This lawsuit is clearly yet another legal maneuver by Kris Kobach that is of no benefit to the American people. It does however conveniently keep Kobach in the public eye. It also allows the controversial anti-immigrant organizations to which he is connected to redefine the terms of immigration debate.
Simply, this is a large-scale media-grab aimed also at reframing the immigration debate, and reinserting it anew into the presidential news cycle. Beck said this is about solving unemployment and protecting American workers—read, “the present election news cycle is focusing on jobs and the economy and reproductive rights; therefore, immigration reform is all about jobs and the economy.” Those behind this lawsuit also claim this suit is about national security, but this—again—is clearly about furthering their anti-immigrant agenda from behind the Conservative leg of national security messaging.
That NumbersUSA is teaming up with the Federation for American Immigration Reform/Immigration Reform Law Institute’s superstar attorney, Kobach, is just more evidence that the organizations that white nationalist and proponent of eugenics John Tanton helped create are still closely aligned.
Roy Beck (top) speaking at the 1997 Council of Conservative Citizens gathering, a group that calls African Americans & Blacks “a retrograde species of humanity”
Kris Kobach has long faced harsh criticism and public protest from Kansas constituents for neglecting his duties as their Secretary of State. Still though, he has undertaken yet another massive project—like his work in Arizona, Alabama, and Hazelton, PA, and myriad other locales—that simply fulfills his obsession with immigration policy, but is wholly unrelated to the duties charged to his office by the state and people of Kansas.
Kobach’s “home away from home” that continually leads him so far from his constituents is the aforementioned Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI). IRLI was incorporated in 1982 and was founded by the also aforementioned John Tanton, father of the contemporary anti-immigrant movement. Kobach has worked for the group since 2004. After founding the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in 1979, Tanton decided that FAIR needed a legal arm, one that could be easily controlled. He stated:
“So the structure we settled upon was a so-called supporting organization, rather than an entirely independent group. We called it the Immigration Reform Law Institute, or IRLI. It was structured in such a way that it could operate under FAIR’S tax exemption but have its own board, appointed initially by FAIR’s board.”
NumbersUSA was born out of the close friendship of its current executive director, Roy Beck, and Tanton. Their relationship goes back at least 20 years, when Tanton hired Beck as a consultant. Beck also worked for years as Washington editor of Tanton’s white nationalist, brazenly anti-immigrant, and pro-eugenics journal, The Social Contract.