DHS Communications with Anti-Immigration Groups and Kris Kobach

Records from the Department of Homeland Security in response to American Oversight’s request for communications with anti-immigration advocates as well as Kris Kobach, former Secretary of the State of Kansas. 

Records received May and June 2019


Records received from July 2019 to April 2021


In documents received in May and June 2019:

Pages 45–46: On July 23, 2018, Jessica M. Vaughan, director of policy studies at the immigration-restrictionist Center for Immigration Studies emailed ICE official Barbara M. Gonzalez, asking for brochure materials for a training presentation for law enforcement officers. Vaughan also inquired about the possibility of having guest speakers from ICE at the training. She then asked for statistics on the 287(g) program “that are available without doing a FOIA request.” Gonzalez confirmed in an email a week later to Thomas Blank, chief of staff for ICE, that she was working on these requests from CIS. 

Pages 89–90: Then-Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach emails Thomas Homan, then the acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, on December 12, 2017, requesting the agency to run a search on 289 residents in Fremont, Nebraska. In emails with the subject headings “Fremont, NE, aliens to be checked,” Kobach confirms that he is a legal representative of the Fremont Police Department, and Homan then instructs members of his staff to call Kobach.

Kobach also indicates a desire for future collaboration between ICE and the Fremont police, writing, “After this first large batch of 289, we would anticipate that the City might send a smaller number (50 or so) to be verified every 6 months or so, depending on what you advise.”

Pages 94–95: On June 27, 2018, Gonzalez emailed Blank that CIS had requested a tour of a family detention center, and that she planned to communicate with Enforcement and Removal Operations to see if this were possible.

Blank responded to her on the same day that they should “try to work this out for them.”

Pages 105: Blank emailed Homan on April 2, 2018, about a speaker invitation for an event hosted by CIS as part of their Immigration Newsmaker Speaker Series. In the email, Blank described CIS as a “conservative group and staunch ally of the Trump Administration.” Homan responded, “Yes please.”