It’s time for Kris Kobach’s illegal immigration clients to send him back home

08/11/2013 5:12 PM

08/11/2013 11:07 PM

A “Where’s Waldo?” styled board game could track the comings and goings of Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach.

Where’s Kris? Envision a token airplane to show him traveling around the country, drumming up billable hours with efforts to tinker with the nation’s immigration laws.

Last week found Kobach back in Texas.

He appeared before a City Council meeting in Farmers Branch, the latest small town whose idea of how to make life miserable for illegal immigrants was ruled unconstitutional by a federal court.

Appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court! That was the response Kobach pressed.

No action was taken. The Dallas suburb has until Oct. 21 to file an appeal.

Farmers Branch tried to make it a crime for someone not legally in the country to rent a place to live. Landlords could also be cited. The ordinance was quickly challenged and never enforced. But defending it has cost the city nearly $6 million in litigation related to immigration, according to The Dallas Morning News.

The ordinance would have required people to get a license before they could rent. Among other problems, the courts have pointed out that the city would make it difficult for federal deportation to occur, as immigrants are often required to give officials a reliable address as part of that process.

Last month, the full 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans found the ordinance unconstitutional and superseded by federal immigration law.

Kobach told the council that less than $100,000 would be needed to see if the U.S. Supreme Court might take it up.

It’s a long shot, given that the court reviews less than 150 of the 7,000 cases presented to it each year.

Nearly half of the city’s 29,000 population is Latino.

Yet it took another lawsuit before the first Hispanic council member was elected this year. The city was found in violation of the Voting Rights Act, a ruling that prompted Farmers Branch to move from an at-large system to single-member council districts.

Besides Kobach, the council heard from residents during last week’s meeting. Some were pro, others opposed to continuing the lawsuit.

The most lyrical reply echoed a country song. “You got to know when to fold ’em,” one woman testified. “It is time to fold ’em.”

Yes. And send that lawyer packing for home.


Join the Discussion

The Kansas City Star is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Terms of Service