Hethmon calls the harsh attrition through enforcement measures drafted and defended by IRLI “field tests”—experiments to test the legality of different anti-immigrant policies.
- Michael M. Hethmon is the senior counsel for Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) and a former staff attorney for the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).
- At an immigration debate, Hethmon described his support for self-deportation policies: “By making the environment for illegal aliens so inhospitable, especially in economic terms — if you can’t get a job, can’t pay rent — then maybe it’s not the good deal it’s cracked up to be.”
- Hethmon argues that the United States’ transition to a country where the majority of its citizens are people of color will lead to violence.
- In an op-ed for CNN in 2010, Hethmon described his work to enact harsh state-based immigration laws like Arizona’s SB 1070 in the hopes of offering model legislation for Congress: “Sink or swim, these new laws are forcing Congress to confront the need for enforcement-based reform. State enactments like SB 1070 will continue to offer Congress models for national legislation and serve as legal antibodies against the fallacy of amnesty.”
Attacks on DACA
- Hethmon’s colleague at IRLI, Kris Kobach, helped initiate and draft anti-immigrant lawsuits like Crane v. Napolitano, the suit that pitted ICE against President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and set the stage for United States v. Texas.
- U.S. v. Texas: IRLI and FAIR filed a joint amicus brief in support of Texas at the U.S. Supreme Court on August 4, 2016.
- Brewer v. ADAC: IRLI has filed several briefs in support of Arizona in Brewer v. ADAC, currently a pending petition at the U.S. Supreme Court, which has invited the Acting Solicitor General to weigh in on behalf of the United States. Previous litigation in this case centered around the state’s right to issue driver’s licenses with a narrowly defined question regarding the President’s authority to administer immigration policy. Now the petition to the U.S. Supreme Court focuses on the constitutionality of DACA.