The U.S. Supreme Court is approaching the end of its October 2015 term. Every day brings us closer to knowing the decision in an immigration case that will affect millions.
The case, United States v. Texas, primarily concerns President Obama’s efforts to grant temporary deportation relief undocumented parents of U.S. citizens. President Obama announced the effort in November 2014 with many believing the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) program would begin accepting applications in February 2015.
Regardless of the ruling, the extremist origins and motivations of United States v. Texas are undeniable. And this extremism must continue to be exposed, countered, and ultimately, defeated.
This was before twenty-six states, led by then-Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, filed a legal challenge against DAPA in early December 2014.
Abbott—and his successor, Ken Paxton—have been the public face of the legal challenge. However, an extreme law firm behind some of the country’s most notorious anti-immigrant legislation is also involved: the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI).
The Center for New Community (CNC) noted IRLI’s involvement in an April 2016 report before the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in United States v. Texas.
IRLI serves as the legal arm of leading anti-immigrant group Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). Over the years, IRLI and FAIR representatives have sought to implement a nativist policy agenda. That agenda maligns immigrants and has cost local communities millions of dollars to defend. Much of this can be attributed to Kris Kobach, IRLI counsel and Kansas Secretary of State.
CNC’s report details Kobach’s involvement in the United States v. Texas lawsuit. It also details other legal efforts including Arizona’s notorious SB 1070 and several unconstitutional anti-immigrant housing ordinances. Kobach and IRLI’s involvement drafting, and then defending these policies in court, have been largely unsuccessful and come at a great cost to communities—immigrant and native-born alike.
The report also details Kobach and the anti-immigrant movement’s essential involvement in Crane v. Napolitano. Crane arguably set stage for United States v. Texas and the Supreme Court tellingly rejected the anti-immigrant movement’s legal challenge.
Now, millions of immigrants await a ruling in United States v. Texas—which could come any day now. The court’s decision can have a massive impact for many immigrants. It could temporarily allay their fear of deportation and the significant harm that brings to families across the country. Regardless of the ruling, however, the extremist origins and motivations of this case are undeniable.
And this extremism must continue to be exposed, countered, and ultimately, defeated.