The Star recently printed a column by Steve Rose that attacked me personally. It was a nasty column even by Roses standards. He called me stupid, dangerous, mean spirited, and a simmering pot of hostility, among other things.
By KRIS KOBACH
Special to The Star
While Roses column was long on emotional name-calling, it was short on facts.
Rose claimed that the state and local laws that I have drafted to stop illegal immigration have often been struck down in court.
Of course he didnt mention any court decisions to back up his claim.
In fact, those laws have done remarkably well in court. The current score is 2 wins 0 losses 2 draws. (A case is not won or lost until all appeals are finished.)
The two wins were Arizonas 2007 Legal Arizona Workers Act, which the Supreme Court upheld (Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting, 2011), and the Valley Park, Mo., ordinance that prohibited employers from hiring unauthorized aliens, which the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld (Gray v. Valley Park, 2009).
Both laws took a tough stand against the employment of unauthorized aliens, and both survived every argument that the ACLU could throw at them.
The two draws were cases in which some parts of the law were upheld, and other parts were struck down.
The first was Arizonas SB 1070 (U.S. v. Arizona, 2012). The Supreme Court upheld the central provision, which required police to contact federal immigration authorities when they apprehend illegal aliens in the course of enforcing other laws.
That was the core of the law and the provision that attracted so much opposition from the open-borders crowd.
The minor provisions that the court struck down received hardly a mention in the media.
The other draw involved Alabamas HB 56 (U.S. v. Alabama, 2012). In that case, which went to the Eleventh Circuit, the majority of the law was upheld. Only a few provisions were struck down.
Rose also declared that the policy of attrition through enforcement, sometimes called self-deportation, is highly impractical, even absurd.
Did Rose offer any evidence? Of course not.
Attrition through enforcement is simply the policy of increasing the enforcement of existing immigration laws and thereby encouraging aliens to obey the law. When it becomes harder to work illegally in America, many illegal aliens leave on their own.
There is empirical proof that it works.
During 2008-2011, the national illegal alien population decreased 1 percent, according to Center for Immigration Studies analyst Steve Camarota, using numbers from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. However, in Arizona, where massive state and county enforcement efforts were underway, the illegal alien population decreased 36 percent over the same period.
It has also been proven to work on the federal level. After Sept. 11, 2001, while serving at the Department of Justice, I designed the national entry-exit program to track aliens from terrorist-associated countries.
During 2002-03, those extra enforcement efforts induced about 15,000 illegal aliens from Pakistan to leave America on their own. Not surprisingly, when the law is vigorously enforced, people change their behavior.
The bottom line is that enforcing the law works when it is actually tried.
Rose can call me names as much as he wants. But he is not entitled to skimp on facts.
Kris Kobach, a Piper Republican, is Kansas secretary of state.