Nativism Watch

More nativist organizations, lawmakers support states’ anti-immigrant lawsuit

Imagine2050 Staff • May 12, 2015

The 26 states currently suing the federal government over President Obama’s administrative relief programs received some added support from the organized anti-immigrant movement.

FAIR’s legal arm backs lawsuit

Yesterday, three amicus briefs were filed in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals which heard oral arguments in Texas v. U.S. last month. The first brief was authored by the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) – the legal arm of the flagship anti-immigrant group Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) and source of many of the country’s harshest anti-immigrant laws. FAIR, along with the Remembrance Project and the National Sheriffs’ Association added their names to IRLI’s brief.

IRLI previously expressed support for the plaintiff states’ in January when it filed a brief in the court where the lawsuit was first heard.

26 state legislators from 18 states sign on

State Legislators for Legal Immigration (SLLI), the coalition of state-level lawmakers created with the assistance of the organized anti-immigrant movement, announced yesterday that it has also filed an amicus brief in support of the 26 states suing the federal government over administrative relief.

Founded in 2007, SLLI has been the anti-immigrant movement’s primary vehicle for advancing nativist legislation at the state level. FAIR has noted in the past that SLLI “has worked closely with FAIR and the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) to develop state laws and to generate grassroots support for state enforcement efforts.”

SLLI’s brief filed with the assistance of James F. Peterson, an attorney for the far-right activist law firm Judicial Watch. 26 legislators from 18 states have attached their name to brief. Most of the nativist lawmakers adding their support for the states’ lawsuit — including SLLI founder and Pennsylvania Rep. Darryl Metcalfe, Tennessee Rep. Bill Ketron, Oklahoma Rep. Sally Kern, and North Carolina Rep. George Cleveland, among others – have long histories of publicly supporting anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim legislation. Yesterday’s amicus brief is the first SLLI has filed in over 3 years. In February 2012, 29 SLLI members from 20 different states filed a brief in the U.S. Supreme Court in support of Arizona’s SB 1070.

25 senators and 88 representatives join ACLJ

The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), the far-Right law firm that joined IRLI in supporting the states’ lawsuit earlier this year, also filed an amicus brief yesterday. 25 U.S. Senators and 88 House members joined ACLJ’s brief. The vast majority of these members have recklessly used their votes to support shutting down the Department of Homeland Security in order to defund the Obama administration’s deferred action programs.

We have noted before that this current lawsuit challenging these programs is little more than a publicity stunt that fuels the nativist movement’s agenda of obstruction and provides cover for lawmakers in Congress refusing to address needs for meaningful immigration reforms.

A ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court will almost certainly be needed to settle this matter. Until that comes, it should be no surprise that the organized anti-immigrant movement and its legislative allies continues lending their support to this frivolous legal challenge.

Imagine 2050 Newsletter