Kris Kobach, the conservative Kansas politician who helped draft a number of the country’s most draconian anti-immigration bills, including Arizona’s SB 1070, got schooled today as he testified at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on immigration reform.
Kobach, who is currently Secretary of State of Kansas and is associated with several anti-immigration groups, argued before the committee for policies that lead to “self deportation,” the idea that undocumented immigrants will leave the country if laws make life sufficiently unlivable. This strategy is also referred to as “attrition through enforcement.”
“Self deportation is something Arizona has proven that if you ratchet up the penalties for violating the law,” Kobach said, “people will choose to leave and it has been proven that they do that.”
But at least one Democrat, Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, was not having it today.
“What we have basically said is, ultimately the voters have the last word. The voters had the last word on self-deportation on November 6th,” Durbin said, referring to Mitt Romney’s resounding loss at the polls, in part because of his stance on immigration and his use of the term “self deportation” during the campaign.
“We’re beyond that now,” Durbin added. “I mean, you can stick with that theory as long as you like.”