Montana Immigrant Justice Alliance v. Bullock
IRLI assisted the state of Montana’s solicitor general in defending a lawsuit brought by special interest groups and an individual born outside the United States that challenged a law passed overwhelmingly (just shy of 80%) by public referendum in 2012 which restricted state public benefits to U.S. citizens and legal residents. Specifically, the law prohibited providing state services to people who are not U.S. citizens and who have unlawfully entered or unlawfully remained in the United States. Under the law, every individual seeking a state service, such as applying for any state licenses, state employment, unemployment or disability benefits, or aid for university students, must provide evidence of U.S. citizenship or lawful alien status, and/or have their status verified through federal databases. The law also required that state agencies must notify the U.S. Department of Homeland Security of noncitizens who have unlawfully entered or remained in the U.S. and who have applied for state services.