An architect of anti-immigration efforts who says he is advising President-elect Donald Trump said the new administration could push ahead rapidly on construction of a U.S.-Mexico border wall without seeking immediate congressional approval, reports Reuters. Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who helped write tough immigration laws in Arizona and elsewhere, said Trump’s policy advisers had also discussed drafting a proposal for his consideration to reinstate a registry for immigrants from Muslim countries. Kobach, who media reports say is a key member of Trump’s transition team, said he had participated in regular conference calls with about a dozen Trump immigration advisers for the past two to three months.
Trump’s transition team did not respond to requests for confirmation of Kobach’s role. Trump made building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border a central issue of his campaign and has pledged to step up immigration enforcement against the country’s 11 million undocumented immigrants. He has also said he supports “extreme vetting” of Muslims entering the United States as a national security measure. Kobach told Reuters that the immigration group had discussed drafting executive orders for the president-elect’s review “so that Trump and the Department of Homeland Security hit the ground running.” Kobach said the immigration advisers were looking at how the Homeland Security Department could move rapidly on border wall construction without approval from Congress by reappropriating existing funds.