Former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach expressed interest in serving as federal immigration czar for President Donald Trump if granted 24-hour service of a government jet, a West Wing office and walk-in access to the president, as well as the future nomination to become homeland security secretary.
The 10-item request was submitted to the White House, according to a report in The New York Times, as the president considered hiring someone to lead the administration's work on overhauling legal immigration and reducing illegal migration to the United States.
Kobach, a Republican who lost the campaign for Kansas governor in November, wasn't available to comment Tuesday. He said recently when asked about his future that he wasn't certain where he would land. He had been providing legal counsel to an organization dedicated to building a wall along the border with Mexico, but was considering a 2020 campaign for the U.S. Senate seat to be vacated by GOP Sen. Pat Roberts.
"We shall see," Kobach said in response to an interview question about his future at a recent Topeka anti-abortion rally.
The Times reported Kobach requested a staff of seven people, a security detail, title of assistant to the president and power to be the administration's central spokesman on immigration policy. He also proposed that a handful of Cabinet secretaries defer to him on immigration issues.
He sought an assurance that he would be nominated as secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security by November, The Times said. In addition to regular use of government aircraft to make visits to the U.S. border, he also requested weekends off to be with his family. He lives in eastern Kansas.
In the interview with Kobach, he joked "it might be fun" to be part of a rematch with former Gov. Jeff Colyer, who was defeated in the 2018 GOP gubernatorial primary by Kobach, if both entered the Senate race.
He also said the group We Build the Wall would soon break ground on construction of border wall, suggesting it might be easier to move forward on private land in Texas and saying that site was "a closely guarded secret."
Trump campaigned in Kansas for Kobach during the 2018 cycle. After Trump was elected, he appointed Kobach to a commission that examined assertions of voter fraud. The project was inspired by comments by Kobach and Trump that millions of illegal immigrants voting for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton cost the president the popular vote in 2016.