California Secretary of State Alex Padilla at a California delegates breakfast meeting in Philadelphia during the Democratic National Convention on July 27, 2016. Hector Amezcua hamezcua@sacbee.com
California Secretary of State Alex Padilla at a California delegates breakfast meeting in Philadelphia during the Democratic National Convention on July 27, 2016. Hector Amezcua hamezcua@sacbee.com

Capitol Alert

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Capitol Alert

California election chief slams Trump immigration adviser as ‘threat to diverse communities’

By Alexei Koseff

akoseff@sacbee.com

November 10, 2016 03:47 PM

It didn’t take long for California to start pushing back on the Trump administration.

Following reports that President-elect Donald Trump’s immigration transition team includes Kris Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state and a leading hard-liner on illegal immigration, California Secretary of State Alex Padilla issued a statement Thursday slamming the appointment as “a threat to diverse communities throughout our nation” and “an imminent assault on our collective voting rights and civil rights.”

In an interview, Padilla said Californians should be “very worried” by Kobach’s track record of supporting “racist, anti-immigrant” policies like Arizona’s SB 1070. That law, which Koback helped draft, would have allowed law enforcement personnel to ask for proof of citizenship from any person they suspected of being in the country illegally. Much of the law was ultimately declared unconstitutional.

“On a day when Mr. Trump has made overtures to unify the nation, Mr. Kobach’s involvement with the administration is not consistent with that,” Padilla said. “If all three branches of government at the federal level move in the direction that Mr. Kobach would like to see, then, yes, even California is in a deep world of hurt.”

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Kobach previously served as an adviser to 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, opposing efforts to grant undocumented immigrants a path to legal status and advocating for self-deportation. He also supports laws requiring photo identification to register to vote or cast a ballot.

Kobach told a Kansas television station Wednesday that he was part of the immigration transition team and that “there will be a lot of changes” because Trump’s immigration polices are “diametric opposites” from President Barack Obama’s.

“There’s no question the wall is going to get built. The only question is how quickly will it get done and who pays for it,” he said.

Alexei Koseff: 916-321-5236, @akoseff