Chris Hayes to Ariz. immigration law architect: ‘Convince me … this is not motivated by racial animus’

Updated
By Aliyah Shahid

On Sunday’s Up with Chris Hayes, host Chris Hayes told Kris Kobach, one of the writers of Arizona’s controversial immigration law, “You need to convince me and convince folks on the other side that this is not motivated by racial animus.”

Kobach, Kansas’ current secretary of state, said that any such accusation would be “absolutely outrageous.”

“It oversimplifies things, and I think it is an ad hominem attack when you say to someone who’s making a reasonable argument, ‘Oh, you must be all about race,’” he said.

His defense comes after the Supreme Court struck down three provisions in Arizona’s immigration law earlier this week. But the Court did not strike down the part of the legislation that requires authorities to check the immigration status of detainees if they have “reasonable suspicion” those people might be undocumented.

Kobach said that there is no reason why the law’s “reasonable suspicion” should be interpreted to be based on the race of the suspect.

“There are more than 800 federal court opinions defining factors that have nothing to do with race than can give rise to reasonable suspicion,” he said. If a suspect claims to not be carrying identification, or displays evidence of having been on a “long journey through the desert, carrying a backpack, with dust all over his clothes,” he said, that would fall under the reasonable suspicion clause.

Kris Kobach

Chris Hayes to Ariz. immigration law architect: 'Convince me ... this is not motivated by racial animus'

Updated