TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas' secretary of state says he's serving on President-elect Donald Trump's transition team.
Kris Kobach, a conservative Republican, told various Kansas media outlets Wednesday he has no expectation of a role in Trump's eventual administration. But he says he's open to working for Trump, if offered.
As part of his unpaid role with the transition team, Kobach will help advise Trump on policy matters leading up to his January inauguration.
Kobach previously advised Trump on immigration policy during the campaign, successfully adding to the Republican Party's platform Trump's plan to build a wall along the U.S.'s southern border with Mexico.
"There is vast potential to increase the level of deportations without adding personnel," said Kris Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state and a member of Trump's immigration policy transition team.
By giving more authority to Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, Trump easily could boost deportations by more than 75 percent in his first year in office, Kobach said.
That would meet the record set in 2012, at the end of Obama's first term, when more than 400,000 people were deported. It fell to 235,000 last year after illegal immigration fell, and after agents were ordered to focus first on deporting criminals, repeat immigration violators and recent arrivals.
Under Trump, Kobach said, agents likely will return to raiding workplaces and checking workers' status. That practice roiled immigrant communities in the final two years of George W. Bush's presidency and was stopped when Obama came to office.
Kobach also has served as counsel to Attorney General John Ashcroft during the President George W. Bush's administration.