Washington (CNN) – Controversial anti-illegal immigration activist Kris Kobach is an "informal adviser" to Mitt Romney, a spokeswoman for the likely GOP nominee confirmed to CNN.
Kobach, who co-authored Arizona's illegal immigration law and currently serves as Kansas Secretary of State, said in an interview Friday that he still considers himself an "informal adviser" to Romney. Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul agreed with that assessment in an email to CNN.
– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker
Earlier this week, Kobach's status with the campaign was thrown into doubt after Politico reported a Romney spokesperson described the fierce critic of illegal immigration as only a "supporter."
Romney is coming under increased pressure to moderate his tough positions on illegal immigration. During the primary season, the former Massachusetts governor advocated for the self-deportation of the undocumented and opposed the DREAM Act, a measure that would provide a path to citizenship for the children of illegal immigrants.
Those positions may be harming Romney's popularity among Latino voters. A recent Pew Survey found Romney trailing President Barack Obama by 40% among Hispanics.
Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, a GOP favorite for vice president, discussed his own version of the DREAM Act at a panel discussion earlier this week. Rubio's measure would offer only a path to legal status, not citizenship.
"I felt we had to find a way to accommodate young people who found themselves in the unfortunate circumstance," Rubio said Thursday about his version of the DREAM Act.
In response to Rubio's remarks, the Romney campaign put out a statement saying the presumptive GOP nominee "will study and consider any proposals on immigration from his Republican partners."
Kobach opposes the original DREAM Act as a form of "amnesty." He said he would have to look at Rubio's proposal before rendering a judgment on the measure.
In an interview with CNN, Kobach said he did not expect Romney to soften his stance on the issue.
"I think it would be unusual for a national presidential candidate to back away from statements he's made in debates and he hasn't shown any sign of doing so," Kobach told CNN.
Kobach said he believes Romney has endorsed the Arizona immigration law known as SB1070 as a model for the country, pointing to the former Massachusetts governor's comments at CNN's GOP debate in February.
"You know, I think you see a model in Arizona," Romney said at the debate.
Romney's aides say he was not endorsing the law as a national model in the debate and was only referring to the state's E-Verify system used by employers to confirm the legal status of their workers.
Saul said Romney backs the Arizona law, known as SB1070, just not as a model for the country.
"Gov. Romney supports the right of states to craft laws that assist the federal government in enforcing immigration laws, particularly when the federal government has failed in its duty to enforce those laws," Saul said.
In a videotaped interview posted on the Christian Broadcasting Network's web site on September 15, 2011, Romney does state his support for the Arizona law.
"Well, I support the Arizona law by recognizing what Arizona has done - underscored the failure of the federal government to do its job," Romney said in the interview.
Kobach sees only clarity in Romney's position on the law.
"He stated very publicly that Arizona's law should be a model for how the federal government enforces its immigration laws. And he's correct there too," Kobach said.
Romney releases March fundraising figures
Paul campaign touts campaign cash
RNC looks to Facebook for political edge
Biden says Democrats have chance in Arizona
Fact! There has been more illegal immagration deportation under this administration than all previous. Ie criminals. This administration has a zero tolerance of your an illeagal found commiting crimes. Isnt that what we should want. There is no way in hell progressive americans will do the work these so people are willing to do
I love it when facts....are overcome by political rehteric. You didnt hear all this complaining when contractors were hiring illegals left and right during the housing boom. Hypocrites!
Typical of the "minders" who oversee Romney for the right-wingers to make sure this pretend conservative toes the mark with their extremist agenda.
Romney is screwed by his OWN party on this immigration issue. He has said too much in the debates against immigration that even his normal flip flopping will seem small in comparison. Switching now will only be seen as pandering.
Will Mitt give another flip? I'm expecting it. His bumper sticker should be, "Whatever you wanna hear!"
Romney's opinion seems to change with whoever he is speaking to and being interviewed by. You notice how someone on Romney's staff always has to clarify after the fact what he meant?
People of color are cursed with the "mark of Cain" per the LDS/Mormon Church. Complete and unadulterated bigotry... AND complete hypocrisy from a guy who hires illegal immigrants.
OMG, a "controversial" person involved with Romney! Obama would NEVER do that! LMFAO!
Oh yeah Romney's going to get the Hispanic vote.
I think he's over picking Rubio for his VP choice too, nothing is going to help him.
reagan did every thing he could to bring cheap labour from mexico and i remember republican goveners throwing in free education and health care to sweeten the pot
Sniffit, your comment on the newt almost caused me to snort my olive out of my elitist Blue Goose martini I was enjoying up here in the tower!
Our immigration is incredibly, especially in South America. In many countries in Latin America, it's considered almost impossible to be given a working visa, even for the most qualified. The embassy flat out denies people for no reason, simply because they don't want them in the US. Smooth out the process. It's easy for us to say 'go back to your country' but these countries are broken.
When a very Wealthy nation is next to a Poor nation, what do you expect.
Hispanics are the target concerning immigration, which stems from American ignorance.
The only difference btwn the hispanic imigrants and white people is that the whites got here a lil bit earlier than them,the only group that can truly complain is the natives.
As per usual your headline is a lie. He is anti ILLEGAL immigration.
Illegals should go
Through the process
It is as simple as that
Sorry, Mitt, if you lay down with dogs, you're gonna get up with fleas. And you of all people DO NOT WANT people to be making canine comparisons.
We are starting to see Romney throw supporters under the bus, those who he actively sought out during the primary season but are now a liability, as well they should be. Daily we will probably hear about new road kill that bus keeps running over.
I am opposed to allowing and encouraging illegal immigration. It creates endless and expensive problems, as well as emotional problems. In my 60 years on this planet and in this country, I have NEVER seen anything resembling a crackdown on illegals. I have heard rhetoric.
What is so complicated about immigration?
Yes, we need to have orderly immigration.
Yes the Mexican people are hardworking, polite and for the most part good people.
Yes, we need migrant workers to pick our crops.
And common sense tells you that the sin of your parents should not be a stain on you. Sure kids are brought here legally and grow up thinking they are American. Exceptions should be made in those case. Their parents should still be subject to prosecution. Perhaps the parents should also be fined for human trafficking, I don't know, but don't take it out on the kids. That is just wrong.
Any questions Mr. Kobach?
Is is really surprising that romney is anti- Latino. He is trailing President Obama 69 to 22 with Hispanic voters.
It is not a surprise that romney would choose someone that is anti-latino. Romney is trailing President Obama 69 too 22 for the Hispanic vote according to the most recent CNN poll.
"ILLEGAL immigrants should be deported OR go through the LEGAL process before receiving ANY benefits or opportunities...common sense."
Is that before or after they pick our crops? Before or after they do the dirty work in rebuilding after hurricanes?
I'm just wondering.
When our ancestors came from Europe after WWii, they were immediately processed in. If we had a program that didn't take years to process immigrants we wouldn't have an illegal immigrant problem. A cynic might think the immigrants aren't being processed in now because they are not white Europeans-they are hispanic peons
I agree with comment #5.
Sometimes I wonder if Romney is even attempting to get minority votes.