Startling news has just come out of the ambiguous, shady ranks of the Trump transition team.
According to a man reported- but not confirmed- to be a key member of this team, president-elect Trump is preparing to push ahead with his campaign season promises of a US-Mexico border wall and a national registry for Muslims in the absence of Congressional approval once he takes office early next year.
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach has worked for years with right wing interests across the nation on fierce anti-immigrant legislation, and he says that he has now been tasked on applying his experience to the shaping of the president-elect’s immigration policy as he prepares to take office.
Kobach claimed to Reuters that he has been on conference calls with Trump immigration policy advisers for the past several months; members of the Trump transition team such as the president-elect’s son-in-law Jared Kushner have, however, refused to comment on Kobach’s role.
What Kobach says he has discussed with Trump’s inner circle is disturbing to say the least.
The Kansas Republican says that he has been a part of seeing some of Trump’s most extreme, widely denounced campaign promises actually take steps towards becoming reality.
These campaign promises which Kobach says are on their way to becoming reality include the border wall between the United States and Mexico and a national registry of Muslims.
And Congressional approval- or the lack thereof- is not about to affect Trump’s plans in the slightest, according to Kobach, even though ranking members of Congress from both major parties have already declared their intention to cast stones into the wheels of the Trump train as he takes office.
Kobach says, rather, that the transition team efforts which he has been a part of have worked towards drafting executive orders for Trump to sign nearly immediately after he takes office which will allow the border wall and the national Muslim registry to become a reality.
How exactly can these executive orders subvert Congress in such a dictatorial and extreme fashion?
It’s simple, according to Kobach. Rather than instituting new programs, the Kansas Secretary of State says that Trump’s pending executive orders would simply redirect, for example, already allocated funds for the Department of Homeland Security towards the construction of the border wall- although that thus negates the part of Trump’s promise that Mexico would pay for the wall, but anyway…
As for the national Muslim registry, a program suggested by the president-elect early in the campaign season in the supposed interest of national security, Kobach says that such a registry could materialize in the form of the resurrection of the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System, also known as NSEERS.
NSEERS was a post-9/11 program- which Kobach himself actually helped draft- which, according to the Huffington Post, required “people from countries deemed ‘higher risk’ to undergo interrogations and fingerprinting on entering the United States.”
In addition, according to the Huffington Post, under NSEERS “some non-citizen male U.S. residents over the age of 16 from countries with active militant threats were required to register in person at government offices and periodically check in.”
So will such a program actually be resurrected? Obviously it remains to be seen- but the people Trump is surrounding himself with, such as Kobach, do not give much hope to those hoping to stop the president-elect’s most extreme plans.
Featured Image via Scott Olson/ Getty Images