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September 28, 2012 0

Numbers USA donates $100,000 to help defend anti-immigrant ordinance in Famers Branch, Texas

The anti-immigrant group, Num­ber­sUSA, recently donated $100,000 to the Farm­ers Branch legal defense fund in an effort to help an anti-immigrant ordi­nance in the Texas town pass its lat­est round of legal challenges.

If upheld, the ordi­nance would ban all undoc­u­mented immi­grants from rent­ing prop­er­ties in the town.  Ban­ning undoc­u­mented immi­grants from rent­ing prop­er­ties is a small part of the “attri­tion through enforce­ment” plat­form cre­ated by the anti-immigrant move­ment. The platform’s goal is to make life so dif­fi­cult for immi­grants that they will “self deport” back to their coun­try of origin.

Accord­ing to finan­cial records, Num­ber­sUSA donated $10,000 to the Farm­ers Branch Legal Defense Fund in 2009, so this most recent con­tri­bu­tion of $100,000 is a ten-fold increase. Last week the full Fifth Cir­cuit Court of Appeals heard oral argu­ments on the case. If the Fifth Cir­cuit upholds the law, a key piece of the anti-immigrant movement’s “attri­tion through enforce­ment” pol­icy would be given the green light and sim­i­lar ordi­nances may spring up in towns across the country.

Another anti-immigrant group, the Immi­gra­tion Reform Law Insti­tute (IRLI), is also heav­ily involved in the Farm­ers Branch case. IRLI drafted the ordi­nance and is also defend­ing the case in court. The IRLI lawyer in the case is Kris Kobach, the Sec­re­tary of State of Kansas and author of some of the harsh­est anti-immigrant leg­is­la­tion passed in the coun­try, includ­ing Arizona’s SB 1070 and Alabama’s HB 56.

Kobach and Num­ber­sUSA have worked together pre­vi­ously. Just last month, Kobach filed a law­suit on behalf of ten dis­grun­tled Immi­gra­tion and Cus­toms Enforce­ment (ICE) agents against ICE and the Depart­ment of Home­land Secu­rity, stat­ing that the direc­tives both orga­ni­za­tions received from the Obama administration’s new Deferred Action for Child­hood Arrivals (DACA) pol­icy vio­lates fed­eral law.  The pol­icy allows some eli­gi­ble chil­dren of undoc­u­mented work­ers who were not born in the U.S. to apply for tem­po­rary work autho­riza­tions, and calls for ICE agents to refrain from detain­ing them. After the case was filed, Num­ber­sUSA announced that it will be fund­ing the lawsuit.

IRLI and NumbersUSA’s con­nec­tions run even deeper than just col­lab­o­rat­ing on court cases. IRLI is the legal arm of the Fed­er­a­tion for Amer­i­can Immi­gra­tion Reform (FAIR), founded by racist John Tan­ton in 1979. It was under Tanton’s lead­er­ship that IRLI formed a few years later. Tan­ton also worked closely with Num­ber­sUSA founder, Roy Beck for many years. Beck served as the Wash­ing­ton edi­tor for Tanton’s anti-immigrant jour­nal, The Social Con­tract, for a decade and inter­nal memos from Tan­ton indi­cate that he thought of Beck as his “heir apparent.”

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