Former Kansas Secretary of State and gubernatorial candidate Kris Kobach visits with former Kansas Senator Tom Arpke at the Dickinson County Republican Party picnic Saturday. Kobach announced last week he was seeking the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate.

President Donald Trump needs senators in Congress that support his policies and Kris Kobach says he’ll be that senator.

The former Kansas Secretary of State and gubernatorial candidate stopped in Abilene at the Dickinson County Republican Party picnic but didn’t address the crowd Saturday night. Last week Kobach announced he was seeking the party’s nomination for the U.S. Senate seat held by Sen. Pat Roberts, who has announced he was not seeking reelection.

Kobach did answer a few questions about current issues facing Americans and farmers.

Build a wall

“President Trump has got to have people in the Senate that, I believe, are fighting for the wall and believe that physical barriers work,” he said.

For the past six months Kobach has served as counsel and director of We Build the Wall, a fundraising effort.

The web page says that the first wall segment was completed outside El Paso, Texas.

“Many people in Congress say they support border security and support the wall. I have actually built the wall and created border security,” he said, “by actually having built border security and by knowing the law very well, and know which statutes need to be changed and reworded.”


“I feel I can bring a prospective that no other member of Congress has, and that’s because I’ve litigated the actual statutes that need to be changed,” he said.

Closing asylum loopholes is at the top of his list of changes.

“One loophole allows you to claim asylum after you’ve been illegally in the country for any period of time,” he said.

He said there are similar loopholes in defining asylum.

“People are seeking asylum now, claiming there is crime in their neighborhood. Asylum is an international law concept and has never been based on having criminals in your neighborhood. It’s based on being persecuted because of your membership in a particular social group.”

Work visas

“I think people that don’t understand the law say we just need work visas. We already have work visas in two dozen categories. To just give a shallow response that we need work visas shows a lot of misunderstanding,” he said.

He said more visa categories are not needed.

“The problem is we need more status adjudicators who actually run the paperwork, who can process these faster. Right now you have to wait way too long. We need to get the work visas to the applicant in weeks rather than months.”

He said that before President Trump, China laughed at talk about trade imbalances and fair trade practices.


“Now China takes us seriously because tariffs have shown the Chinese that we mean business now. I think President Trump deserves a huge amount of credit for actually bringing these countries to the table when previously they just laughed at the United States when we complained about unfair trade.

“I think the president needs supporters in the Senate that will back him up and at the same time we need to protect the interest of Kansas farmers.”

He said the federal government is subsidizing the farmers.

“The policy is working. It just means, from time to time, there may be a burden that farmers have to bear. Thank goodness President Trump has recognized that and said, okay let’s subsidize the farmers who are being hit the hardest because of this tariff war.”


Kobach calls himself a hardcore conservative who wants to shrink the federal government. He said he is conservative on every issue.

“We need a balanced budget. I believe we need to stop raising the debt ceiling,”

Officials registered with the with the Kansas Secretary of State’s office are Democrat Robert L. Tillman and Republican Gabriel M. Robles.

Other Republicans who have launched campaigns are Kansas Treasurer Jake LaTurner and Kansas Senate President Susan Wagle.

Others who could seek the Republican nomination include U.S. Rep. Roger Marshall, Kansas Chamber of Commerce President Alan Cobb, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt, former Gov. Jeff Colyer and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Contact Tim Horan at editor@abilene-rc.com.

Contact Tim Horan at editor@abilene-rc.com.

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