The morning he was due in federal court to give a deposition in an ongoing voter registration case, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach tweeted his support for President Trump’s proposal to curb legal immigration.
Trump announced Tuesday a plan to limit legal immigration to highly skilled workers able to pay their own way. Kobach, who is the vice chair of a White House commission on election integrity, praised the president for placing the interests of Americans ahead of “the aliens.”
Kobach insists that millions of illegal ballots were cast in November but has produced scant evidence to support his claim.
His involvement with the Trump administration has drawn particular attention back home in Kansas, where he's embroiled in litigation over voter registration rules.
The National Voter Registration Act allows people to register to vote when they apply for a driver’s license by simply attesting to their citizenship. The ACLU says Kobach has directed Kansans to provide documentary proof of citizenship – a requirement of Kansas law that is in conflict with the NVRA.
In photos of Kobach meeting with Trump last November, he appears to be holding papers outlining plans to revise the NVRA. A judge fined Kobach $1,000 for misleading the court about the nature of the documents and ordered him to turn them over to the plaintiffs. The documents remain under seal.
On Wednesday, Kobach filed an emergency motion to stay his deposition in the case. A federal appeals court denied his request.
Outside the federal courthouse in Kansas City, Kansas, Thursday morning, three aides waiting by an SUV with a Kobach bumper sticker informed KCUR that the secretary of state would have “no comment” about the case.
Correction: An earlier version of this story said Kobach met with Trump in December. The meeting was in November.
Elle Moxley covers Missouri schools and politics for KCUR. You can reach her on Twitter @ellemoxley.