The New York Times's Julia Preston profiles University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law professor Kris W. Kobach -- a name that might be familiar to residents of Farmers Branch, as Kobach's one of the co-authors of Ordinance 2952 and one of the lawyers who's been trying to get it enforced. Right, you remember that one -- the ordinance that demanded renters in the suburb apply for a residential occupancy license, pay a licensing fee and so on. The one that's been tied up in courts and cost the city a small fortune in legal bills. Right, that one.
Anyway, Kobach's involved in fights like Farmers Branch's all over the country; hence his burgeoning rep as a lightning rod in cases involving illegal immigrants. Says Lucas Guttentag, director of the Immigrants' Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union, "These laws divide communities, stereotype Latinos, burden businesses and trigger needless and expensive litigation." To which Kobach responds that, look, he's all about the rule of law and nothing more, swear:
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"You have members of Congress throwing up their hands and saying, the system is broken. I really think that's a cop-out. Different parts of the system are working fine. The question is, how do you actually enforce the law in a vast nation that has very different circumstances in different states?"