TOPEKA, Kan. — Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach said he is optimistic that Congress will pass a new law so children of illegal immigrants trying to enter the United States will not be separated from their parents.
In an exclusive interview with 41 Action News Anchor Taylor Hemness, Kobach said he supports President Trump's Zero Tolerance Policy. The interview was conducted before President Trump signed the executive order Wednesday to keep children and families together at the border.
"There's a legal requirement right now that says you can't detain the children with the parents for more than 20 days. The Obama administration said, 'Okay. There's our excuse. We will tell everyone that if you bring your children and you come across the border illegally we'll just give you a paper that says please return in 5 months or 6 months or a year for a probation hearing and off you go — go settle in the United States,'" said Kobach.
According to the Kobach, the Obama administration failed to enforce the law, which caused an influx of illegal immigrants with children.
"The Trump administration has said, 'No, we're not going to keep sending that incentive, so we're going to start detaining people even if they bring kids and that means that since the kids can't be detained more than 20 days the family will be separated,'" Kobach said.
"I think that's absolutely the right choice because now we're sending the right message and these messages travel instantaneously and now these messages have gotten back to these Central American countries," Kobach said.
Kobach said when Americans look beyond crying children and dig deeper into why children are being separated from parents, those Americans will realize that the problem is the law and that Congress needs to pass a new law so that families can legally stay together throughout the deportation process.