Ending DACA is a priority for NumbersUSA. According to disclosure paperwork filed this year, the group has lobbied Congress to do just that. Roy Beck, the executive director of NumbersUSA, has publicly supported the Paxton-led strategy to sue the Trump administration over DACA, saying that Paxton was “providing a way for Pres. Trump” to “stop this DACA program.”
What is NumbersUSA and what do they do?
- Roy Beck founded NumbersUSA in 1996. Initially, the organization operated as as a program of Tanton’s foundation U.S. Inc.
- NumbersUSA is an extremist anti-immigrant group with ties to white nationalism that advocates for eugenics-based policies. The group fosters anti-immigrant sentiment to mobilize its grassroots base for political action.
- NumbersUSA directs thousands of calls and emails to members of Congress to kill legislation, influence primaries in support of white nationalist and nativist candidates, and attempts to shift the national conversation around immigration to the right in concert with other members of the organized anti-immigrant movement.
- NumbersUSA has become deeply influential among lawmakers at the highest levels of the U.S. government. It has driven the introduction of anti-immigrant legislation that has, in turn, helped NumbersUSA catalyze additional anti-immigrant organizing.
- Beck, the group’s executive director and Tanton’s “heir apparent,” previously stated that “the aim should be to halt all immigration possible.”
How has NumbersUSA Attacked DACA?
- Following DACA’s rescission, NumbersUSA has spent millions of dollars torpedoing bipartisan DACA legislation through lobbying efforts, grassroots campaigns, paid media, and misleading communications targeting family-based immigration.
- Since 2001, NumbersUSA has spent over $7M in lobbying dollars attacking immigrants including immigrant youth. From 2013 to April 2018, NumbersUSA and FAIR spent more than $8M on paid advertising attacking all immigration.
- According to lobbying disclosure paperwork filed in 2017, NumbersUSA lobbied the 115th Congress on “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.”
- NumbersUSA has used its grassroots network to drive calls and write letters to lawmakers under both the Obama and Trump Administrations, urging representatives to support policies and amendments attached to must-pass bills in the House offered by anti-immigrant Representatives like Steve King, Mo Brooks, Marsha Blackburn, and Paul Gosar. Amendments and other policy proposals have ranged from removing work authorization from DACA recipients to forbidding undocumented youth from serving in the military, rescinding the program altogether, and deporting DACA recipients.
- In August 2016, NumbersUSA shared a 10-point immigration plan with the Trump campaign. Of the 10 points, six were echoed by Trump in a major immigration speech in the same month.
- Although NumbersUSA has been publicly supportive of President Trump’s executive orders on immigration, the group expressed their dismay at the Administration’s decision to keep the 2012 DACA program in place before September 5, 2017.
- In a NumbersUSA’s newsletter on July 28, 2017, executive director Roy Beck described a threat to sue the Trump administration over DACA as an “excuse” for Trump to rescind the program: “Ken Paxton is providing a way for Pres. Trump to finally honor his campaign promises to stop this DACA program for perhaps a million young adult illegal aliens to gain work permits. The Paxton ultimatum gives the President an excuse to reject the advice of his pro-amnesty advisors and to stop issuing work permits that he said as a candidate are unconstitutional.”
- In 2012, IRLI’s counsel 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.
- The same day Kris Kobach filed the lawsuit on behalf of the 10 Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents, NumbersUSA announced that it would financially support the legal effort against DACA. In a blog post that reads more as a fundraising appeal than an announcement, NumbersUSA Founder and President Roy Beck said the ICE agents’ legal team would be “funded entirely by NumbersUSA member contributions.”