New York – An architect of anti-immigration efforts says U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s administration could push ahead rapidly on construction of a U.S.-Mexico border wall without seeking immediate congressional approval.
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach said in an interview that Trump’s policy advisers had also discussed drafting a proposal for his consideration to reinstate a registry for immigrants from Muslim countries.
Kobach, who helped write tough immigration laws in Arizona and elsewhere, was described by the media as a key member of Trump’s transition team.
He said that he had participated in regular conference calls with about a dozen Trump immigration advisers for the past two to three months.
Trump’s transition team did not respond to requests for confirmation of Kobach’s role.
The president-elect has not committed to following any specific recommendations from advisory groups.
Trump, who scored an upset victory last week over Democrat Hillary Clinton, made building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border a central issue of his campaign.
He has pledged to step up immigration enforcement against the country’s 11 million undocumented immigrants.
He has also said he supports “extreme vetting” of Muslims entering the U.S. as a national security measure.
Kobach said that the immigration group had discussed drafting executive orders for the president-elect’s review “so that Trump and the Department of Homeland Security hit the ground running”.
To implement Trump’s call for “extreme vetting” of some Muslim immigrants, Kobach said the immigration policy group could recommend the reinstatement of a national registry of immigrants and visitors who enter the United States on visas from countries where extremist organisations are active.
Kobach helped design the programme called the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System.
He did that while serving in Republican President George W. Bush’s Department of Justice after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the U.S. by al-Qaeda militants.