Former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is in the running to be an “immigration czar” within the Trump administration, and as part of his application he made a list of demands that he’d require if the White House chose him, three unnamed people familiar with the matter said in a New York Times report published on Monday afternoon.
The requests, The Times reported, include “walk-in” privileges to Trump’s office; receiving the same salary as the highest paid senior White House staffers; a seven-person staff (including one person to work for media-related tasks); around-the-clock jet access for weekly trips to the border and Kansas to visit his family on the weekends; and President Donald Trump’s guarantee to nominate him to be Homeland Security Secretary by November.
Some White House staffers were perturbed by the list of demands, The Times said.
Former Virginia attorney general Kenneth Cuccinelli is also in the running for immigration czar, according to other news reports. Trump gravitated towards immigration hardliners like Cuccinelli and Kobach for the role because it requires someone to become the “face” of Trump’s immigration policy, The Associated Press reported in April.
Read more: Stephen Miller tried to engineer another shakeup at Homeland Security just weeks after he urged Trump to fire Kirstjen Nielsen. The new acting secretary shut him down.
The new position is designed to help streamline Trump’s immigration policies throughout government agencies. The Senate is not required to confirm an immigration czar, which gives Trump broad latitude to pick any candidate he desires.
Kobach has echoed Trump’s concern on numerous controversial talking points. Kobach was once the vice-chair of a controversial election-fraud commission, which investigated Trump’s unsubstantiated claims that millions of ballots were illegally cast in the 2016 presidential election.
The investigation faced significant blowback for its voter data requests, and the commission was eventually disbanded in January 2018.
Kobach was floated as a potential replacement for Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. Trump eventually settled on acting Homeland Secretary Kevin McAleenan. The Times reported that Trump believed Kobach would have difficulty in winning enough Senate votes, and discussed the possibility of him filling the immigration czar position.
Kobach unsuccessfully ran in Kansas’ gubernatorial election in 2018. He expressed interest in running in the state’s open Senate seat next year, The Times said in a separate report in January.