Trump may be look­ing to im­pose a ‘im­mi­gra­tion czar’ po­si­tion

The Tribune (SLO) - - News - BY JILL COLVIN AND COLLEEN LONG

WASH­ING­TON

As he threat­ens to shut down the south­ern border, Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump is con­sid­er­ing bring­ing on a “border” or “im­mi­gra­tion czar” to co­or­di­nate im­mi­gra­tion poli­cies across var­i­ous fed­eral agen­cies, ac­cord­ing to four peo­ple fa­mil­iar with the dis­cus­sions.

Trump is weigh­ing at least two po­ten­tial can­di­dates for the post: for­mer Kansas Sec­re­tary of State Kris Kobach and for­mer Vir­ginia At­tor­ney Gen­eral Ken Cuc­cinelli, ac­cord­ing to the peo­ple, who spoke to The As­so­ci­ated Press on con­di­tion of anonymity be­cause they were not au­tho­rized to dis­cuss the con­ver­sa­tions pub­licly.

Kobach and Cuc­cinelli are far-right con­ser­va­tives with strong views on im­mi­gra­tion. Cuc­cinelli was seen at the White House on Mon­day.

The plan­ning comes as Trump is threat­en­ing anew to close the U.S.Mex­ico border as soon as this week if Mex­ico does not com­pletely halt il­le­gal im­mi­gra­tion into the U.S. And it serves as the lat­est sign that the pres­i­dent plans to con­tinue to hammer his hard­line im­mi­gra­tion rhetoric and poli­cies as he moves past the spe­cial coun­sel’s Rus­sia in­ves­ti­ga­tion and works to rally his base head­ing into his 2020 re-elec­tion cam­paign.

Aides hope the po­ten­tial ap­point­ment, which they cau­tion is still in the plan­ning stages, would be the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s new “face” of the im­mi­gra­tion is­sue and would pla­cate both the pres­i­dent and his sup­port­ers, show­ing he is se­ri­ous about the is­sue and tak­ing ac­tion.

White House press aides, Kobach and Cuc­cinelli did not im­me­di­ately re­spond Mon­day to re­quests for com­ment. Kobach pre­vi­ously served as vice chair of the pres­i­dent’s short-lived elec­tion fraud com­mis­sion, which was dis­banded af­ter find­ing lit­tle ev­i­dence of widespread fraud.

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