By Chris Durden
KWCH 12 Eyewitness News
4:56 PM CST, January 7, 2013
Kris Kobach is known for his tough and controversial stand on illegal immigration.
Kobach helped write the Arizona law known as S.B. 1070. The 2010 law made it a state crime, not just a federal one, to be in the U.S. illegally. It allowed Arizona police to question people on their immigration status.
In June 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the provision requiring immigration status checks during traffic stops, but struck down three other provisions as violations of the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution.
Kansas lawmakers will consider similiar legislation when the session begins later this month.
Legislators are also likely to consider bills requiring government agencies and others to verify an employee's immigration status, banning public health benefits to people in the country illegally and repeal a 2004 law allowing young students who are not citizens to pay in-state tuition at Kansas colleges and universities.
Senator-elect Michael O'Donnell says while immigration will be discussed, it's not high on the agenda. "When we have so many other issues to tackle, specially with the budget, with education, the judicial system here in Kansas. We have so many other issues that are more pressing right now than looking at extending further immigration bills in Kansas."
Kobach was the driving force behind the state's voter ID and voter registration laws.
Critics of Kobach started a recall petition in late 2012 in an effort to force him from office by a public vote. In November, dozens of college students descended on Kobach's Topeka office to demand his resignation.
Kobach has said he works on immigration issues on his own time and not in his official capacity as secretary of state.
Kobach was an adviser to Mitt Romney during the 2012 presidential campaign. Before the election, he pushed for language calling for a border fence, a national E-Verify employment system, the end of in-state tuition for illegal immigrants and an end to sanctuary cities to be added to the Republican Party platform. The platform committee included Kobach's language days before the GOP convention in Tampa, Florida.
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