The county sheriff’s office run by Joe Arpaio is paying a prominent right-wing immigration lawyer between $250 and $300 per hour to train cops on how to enforce immigration laws, according to Arpaio’s top deputy.
As we reported last month,the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office hired Kris Kobach — who was John Ashcroft’s top immigration adviser at DOJ, and specializes in crafting local laws designed to go after those who harbor illegal immigrants — to train deputies in the finer points of immigration enforcement. In announcing the training program, Arpaio appeared to be thumbing his nose at the Justice Department, which recently limited his department’s ability to make immigration arrests after numerous civil-rights complaints.
The information about Kobach’s compensation came from Dave Hendershott, Arpaio’s top deputy, who is testifying in a federal racial-profiling lawsuit filed against his boss. According to the Phoenix New-Times, Hendershott said that Kobach is being paid “either $250 an hour or $300 an hour.”
Hendershott also said, according to the paper, that he hasn’t had any instruction on how to avoid racial profiling since he entered the police academy in 1978. Arpaio’s office is currently the subject of a federal grand jury probe focused in part on allegations of racial profiling.
Kobach is a frequent media spokesman for the anti-illegal-immigration cause. A law professor at the University of Misssouri — Kansas City, he also serves as chair of the Kansas GOP, and is running for Secretary of State. At the Justice Department, he instituted a program that included close observance of Arab and Muslim men, even legal U.S. residents, and which fell apart amid complaints of racial profiling and discrimination, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).
As part of his work for the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), which is listed by the SPLC as a hate group, Kobach crafted local laws for towns including Hazelton, Penn. and Farmer’s Branch, Texas, designed to crack down on citizens who rented property to illegal immigrants. The Hazelton law was struck down by a federal judge in 2007.
Kobach, who has a law degree from Yale, was once seen as a rising Republican star. He was given a speaking slot at the Republican convention in 2004, and called for the U.S. military to be sent to the Mexican border to enforce security. That same year, he ran unsuccessfully for Congress. During the campaign, according to SPLC, he accused his Democratic opponent of associating with groups that support “homosexual pedophilia” — a reference to the Human Rights Campaign, a mainstream gay-rights group.