Our VoiceImmigrationNews & Politics

Kris Kobach: Coming to Your Town, or Not?

Aaron Patrick Flanagan • Apr 12, 2011

As has been widely reported on this blog and elsewhere, anti-immigrant lawyer and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is having a hard time these days finding a parking spot for his mobile legal lab of bigotry.

With towns and counties in Arizona, Texas, Pennsylvania, and Nebraska as the fiscal and social evidence of his ways, news that “Kobach and FAIR are coming to town” has recently had locals in Alabama rather ironically ready to erect a wall to keep them out.

Perhaps the testimonies of residents, like that of Carol Dingman, who’ve stood by and watched the likes of Kobach and the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) simultaneously tear through the community bonds and budgets of their hometowns with all the delicacy of a drunken heart surgeon are finally starting to find an audience.

What follows is an email that former Farmers Branch city council member and Mayor Pro Tem Carol Dingman, who’s lived in the small Texas town for forty-one years, authored to a staff writer at The Sand Mountain Reporter in Albertville, AL; it contains a stark warning—Albertville will be the next Farmers Branch:

“I live in Farmers Branch, Texas. As a former city council person, I have closely followed our city’s anti-immigration fight since the beginning.

I have researched Kris Kobach, who was mentioned the first time this issue came up. Our mayor said he was an expert in immigration law who would help the city on a pro bono basis. I have requested copies of all the legal bills the city has accrued since the start of litigation in 2007. We will have paid almost $4 million in legal fees at the end of this fiscal year (Sept 30, 2010).

Mr. Kobach was paid $100,000 of that. So much for pro bono. Kobach is closely connected with the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), whose agenda is to use cities and states to test out their immigration legislation to see if it is constitutional.

Both of our city’s ordinances were written by Kobach and both were ruled unconstitutional. I believe our city’s taxpayers are being asked to foot the bill for the benefit of a national organization that is never mentioned in any discussion of the issue.

… What is really frustrating…is that this fight has really changed the atmosphere of our town. We’ve always had a small-town feel and this issue has destroyed it. It has ruined our reputation. I’ve never seen such hateful rhetoric. We are now known worldwide as a racist city and it has effected our economic development. I’m embarrassed to say I’m from Farmers Branch.”

(Email unchanged from publication here.)

Unlike Russell Pearce and State Legislators for Legal Immigration (SLLI), unlike FAIR and its racist founder John Tanton, and unlike the whole of the John Tanton Network, it would seem that some of those who’ve seen Kobach’s work up close are less than impressed.

In his explanation as to why they declined Kobach’s services, Albertville council member Randy Amos was quoted by the Gadsden Times as having said, “The advice I have gotten from towns which passed similar resolutions said they would not do it again.”

Alberville, Alabama, said “no.” Would you let your town be next?

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