Nativism Watch

Trump’s pet anti-immigrant group strengthens ties to organized nativism

Imagine2050 Staff • Sep 20, 2016

Donald Trump wasn’t the only nativist politician fêted by a group called the Remembrance Project, perhaps the most cynical anti-immigrant organization in the U.S., this past weekend. Trump was joined by one of the country’s most aggressive anti-immigrant figures: Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach.

The Remembrance Project takes the genuine grief of families who have lost loved ones, allegedly through the actions of undocumented immigrants, and uses it to promote anti-immigrant narratives and nativist sentiment. This weekend the group hosted its first national conference in Houston, Texas.

For years, Kris Kobach has been one of the chief legal minds behind the organized anti-immigrant movement. Kobach is of counsel for the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) and has helped draft notorious anti-immigrant bills including Arizona’s SB 1070 and Alabama’s HB 56. The Center for New Community highlighted Kobach’s role in some of the most significant anti-immigrant litigation in a report earlier this year titled, IRLI Beginnings: The Immigration Reform Law Institute and the Anti-Immigrant Origins of Texas v. United States.

Kris Kobach is also an advisor to the Trump campaign.

Before Trump took the conference stage on Saturday, Kobach addressed the crowd to discuss so-called sanctuary cities. “We have to stand behind him,” Kobach said of Trump while concluding his remarks. “We have to improve the situation and we have to end sanctuary cities in America.”

Maria Espinoza and Kris Kobach Source: The Remembrance Project’s Facebook page

In addition to speaking at the TRP conference, it appears Kris Kobach was also honored by the group. Yesterday, TRP uploaded a photo to Facebook showing TRP director Maria Espinoza handing Kobach a glass award with his name on it.

In the past many critics have blamed Kobach, who served as an advisor to Mitt Romney, for that candidate’s loss in 2012’s presidential election. Romney’s Kobach-inspired “self-deportation” policies were widely viewed as a direct slight to large swaths of the voting public.

Given its own extremism, perhaps it’s no surprise that the Remembrance Project has embraced one of the most prominent and strident advocates for destructive anti-immigrant policies.


Maria Espinoza, Donald Trump, and Kris Kobach (l-r) Source: The Remembrance Project’s Facebook page

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