Trump Immigration Adviser Spoke at White Nationalist Group Conference

Kris Kobach has joined Trump’s transition team.

Orlin Wagner/AP


During Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, in which he embraced hardline immigration policies championed by white nationalists, his backers scoffed at the idea that he was winking at the white nationalists who cheered him on. But the ties between Trump and far-right white nationalist groups are coming into focus. Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who has joined Trump’s transition team to advise him on immigration, spoke last year at a conference for a white nationalist group.

Last October, Kobach was a featured speaker at a writers’ workshop hosted by the Social Contract Press in Washington, DC. The Southern Poverty Law Center has designated the Social Contract Press as an anti-immigrant hate group for its ties to white nationalists and for publishing their work. As its website notes, “Recent articles in its main product, The Social Contract, have propagated the myth that Latino activists want to occupy and ‘reclaim’ the American Southwest, argued that no Muslim immigrants should be allowed into the U.S., and claimed that multiculturalists are trying to replace ‘successful Euro-American culture’ with ‘dysfunctional Third World cultures.'”

Rather than apologize for speaking at the event, Kobach, who is well known as the legal architect of anti-immigrant policies across the countrydefended the group. He has ties to its founder. In May, the white nationalist website VDARE.com, another SPLC-designated hate website that publishes race scientists and anti-Semites, called on Trump to pick Kobach as his running mate. He is now one step closer to President-elect Trump.

Even if Newt Gingrich is right that one of Trump’s signature promises was just a “campaign device,” Trump’s appointment of Kobach would indicate that he remains committed to the anti-immigrant stances he campaigned on.

IT'S TIME TO TALK ABOUT MEDIA BIAS

We believe that journalism needs to stand for something right now. That the press is the enemy of secrecy and corruption. That reporting without a sense of right and wrong only helps liars and propagandists succeed. And that we're in this fight for the long haul.

So we're hoping to raise $30,000 in new monthly donations this fall. Read our argument for journalism that is fair and accurate and stands for something—and join us with a tax-deductible monthly donation (or make a one-time gift) if you agree.

  • Pema Levy

    Pema Levy is a reporter at Mother Jones. Reach her at plevy [at] motherjones [dot] com.