SCOTUS: Nativist group confirms participation in DAPA legal challenge

Imagine2050 Staff • Jun 23, 2016
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The U.S. Supreme Court announced a deadlock in a critical immigration case today, returning the authority to make a decision to a noted anti-immigrant judge in Texas. The 4-4 ruling, in United States v. Texas, upholds an injunction on expanded deportation relief programs (referred to as DAPA and DACA+) that President Obama announced in November 2014.

This case is the latest legal challenge to immigrant rights brought or supported by members of the organized anti-immigrant movement, as the Center for New Community exposed in an April 2016 report.ReportCover

The Center’s findings of anti-immigrant involvement in this challenge were further corroborated today by its subject, the nativist Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI). Following the Court’s decision the anti-immigrant law firm issued a press release celebrating the decision and stating that IRLI “advised the Texas Attorney-General’s office on key facets of the case.” IRLI is the legal arm of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, widely recognized as a hate group because of its roots in white nationalism and ongoing targeting of immigrants and communities of color.

IRLI’s admission of its involvement in United States v. Texas is further evidence of the troubling influence of organized racist movements on present day laws and policies.

The Supreme Court’s tie in this case halts deportation relief and the ability to work for millions of undocumented immigrants. It also leaves millions of U.S. citizen children uncertain about whether their families will be torn apart by the deportation of their DAPA-eligible parents.


Not surprisingly, anti-immigrant leaders and organizations overwhelmingly welcomed the Supreme Court decision. The decision certainly aligns with nativist goals of both increasing deportations and making life in the U.S. so difficult that immigrants are forced to leave (known as attrition through enforcement).

FAIR wrote that Obama’s executive order amounted to “de facto amnesty.” The Remembrance Project pushed its usual narrative painting immigrants as dangerous criminals. And in a truly stunning feat of inventive bigotry, Center for Immigration Studies director Mark Krikorian responded to today’s decision by pairing his noted anti-Muslim animus with his affinity for science fiction.

“If President Hillary ends up winning this case,” Krikorian wrote, “a future Gibbon musing amidst the ruins of our Capitol, while barefooted imams sing the call to prayer, will devote a whole chapter to this subversion of the Constitution.”

With today’s ruling, the case now heads back to the U.S. District Court in Brownsville, Texas, where federal judge and noted anti-immigrant ideologue Andrew Hanen will rule on the merits of the case. Given Hanen’s track record, his ruling—and an appeal by the U.S. Department of Justice—are already a near-certainty. This sets the stage for the Supreme Court to once again hear the case in a year or two.

It may be years before the courts have their final say in the matter, but one thing is certain. The bigoted motivations harbored by Krikorian and his colleagues within the organized anti-immigrant movement have no place in decisions that can improve the lives of millions.

Photo credit: Imagine2050 staff

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