November 25, 2014 5:44 PM

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Like many in this country, Priscilla Hancock Cooper is among those breathing a sigh of relief with President Obama's recent executive action on immigration. She is the executive director of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. One might ask why the leader of an institution dedicated to preserving and telling the story of the Civil Rights Movement is relieved by the President's measures.

When I first visited the Institute in June I was amazed to see an exhibition about Méndez vs. Westminster, a 1946 federal case dealing with the unconstitutionality of segregated "Mexican schools" in Orange County, California. The case was adjudicated eight years before the better-known Brown vs. Boa...

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