Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach cited the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks at a campaign rally in Topeka while arguing for tougher immigration policies.
Kobach, the Republican nominee for governor in the state known for his hard-line stance on immigration, made the remarks at a rally with President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE.
“I was there during 9/11 and we all remember how the world changed, but let me tell you something that you may not know. All 19 hijackers came into this country legally on temporary visas. Five of them became illegal mostly by overstaying their visas. Four of those five were stopped by state and local law enforcement for speeding violations. They were illegally in the country at the time, but the cops didn’t know it, so they didn’t make an arrest even though they could have if they had that information at their fingertips,” he said.
“Now get this. Three of those four illegal aliens that they could have arrested were pilots. So if they had made those arrests, they could have stopped 9/11 from happening. Those numbers have shaped my career. The gravity of that has never left me. I will not, and I know President Trump will not allow our immigration system to be used again as a weapon to harm the American people. Stopping illegal aliens is not just about jobs, it’s not just about crime, it’s about our nation’s security and that comes first,” Kobach added.
Kobach, who has in the past said immigrants commit a disproportionate amount of crimes, contrary to available data, also served as vice chairman of the Trump administration’s Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, which was designed to investigate claims of voter fraud.
The commission was disbanded in January.
Kobach has cited controversial statistics that claim voter fraud is prevalent and supported Trump’s claim that “millions of people” voted illegally for Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWhite House accuses Biden of pushing ‘conspiracy theories’ with Trump election claim Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness Trayvon Martin’s mother Sybrina Fulton qualifies to run for county commissioner in Florida MORE in 2016. He has been a proponent of tightened voter ID laws and connected voter fraud to immigrants in the country illegally.
“Photo ID creates trust in our elections. If you need photo ID to cash a check or to buy the kind of Sudafed that works, you probably ought to need one to cast a vote in an election. And proof of citizenship too. Every time an alien votes, every time an alien votes, it cancels out the vote of a U.S. citizen,” he said.
“You know the Democrats and their socialist friends, they claim they care about voter cancellation or voter suppression. But they don’t care about U.S. citizens’ votes being canceled out,” Kobach added.
There is no legitimate evidence to suggest that voter fraud is widespread.
Kobach defeated the more mainstream incumbent Gov. Jeff Colyer in the Republican primary earlier this year. Republicans feared Kobach’s extreme views would put the usually safe Republican seat in play and that Colyer had a better chance of defeating state Sen. Laura Kelly, the Democratic candidate.
The Cook Political Report rates the race as a “toss-up.”
Kobach received Trump’s endorsement earlier this year. The president told Kansans Saturday night to “go out and vote for my friend Kris Kobach on Election Day please.”
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