The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

New SPLC Report: Three leading anti-immigration groups share extremist roots

By Heidi Beirich on February 3, 2009 - 11:54 am, Posted in Anti-Immigrant, Anti-Latino, Extremist Propaganda

Today, the Southern Poverty Law Center is releasing a new report, The Nativist Lobby: Three Faces of Intolerance, examining the three Washington, D.C., organizations standing in the way of comprehensive immigration reform. The report shows that they are part of a network of groups created by a man who has been at the heart of the white nationalist movement for decades.

The Nativist Lobby describes how the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) and NumbersUSA were founded and funded by John Tanton, a retired Michigan ophthalmologist who operates a racist publishing company and has written that to maintain American culture “a European-American majority” is required. The report reveals that Tanton, who still sits on FAIR’s board of directors, founded the racist Social Contract Press and has corresponded with Holocaust deniers, white nationalist intellectuals and Klan lawyers for decades – correspondence documented by his own writings stored at a University of Michigan library.

The report shows that FAIR has been aware of Tanton’s views and activities for years.

FAIR, whose members have testified frequently before Congress, has hired as key officials men who also joined white supremacist groups. It has promoted racist conspiracy theories. And it has even accepted more than $1 million from the Pioneer Fund, a racist foundation devoted to proving a connection between race and intelligence, the report found. In 2007, FAIR was designated as a hate group by the SPLC.

The report also examines how the Center for Immigration Studies – which bills itself as an “independent” scholarly think tank – began its life as a FAIR program and continues to produce dubious and sometimes completely false studies furthering FAIR’s anti-immigration agenda. It’s a vision described by Tanton in a 1985 letter in which he wrote that CIS would produce reports “for later passage to FAIR, the activist organization, to remedy.”

Similarly, NumbersUSA, a group that has achieved dramatic policy successes, began its life as a Tanton foundation program, the report found. NumbersUSA Executive Director Roy Beck has even been described by Tanton as his “heir apparent.” He also edited The Immigration Invasion, a book by Tanton and a colleague that was so raw in its immigrant bashing that Canadian border authorities have banned it as hate literature.

  • Apachecheynne

    Every state comes up with for or against…better known as where the money is designated….because there ae more and more Americans doing without it seems that we are over looked…it’s not just “you and your family, and it is even noteworthy to say that many of the systems that are still in existance are behind the gammet on providing benefit to Americans….it’s across the board…finding a job has become a everyday, every minute dilemna because of one reason or another…No matter how one tries, the jobs are not offering enough pay, or support…and what is this really due to! The heiarchy has been switched uside down and it does not make it right but as I see it, two people trying to find work to offset the needs vs poverty is grave….What is the President doing….I do not see any quick resolution because of immigrants….I think thee is more to this picture that is disabling the American people…If banks can get a bail out, why can’t citizens…why are banks so greedy helpng the families who are in dispariy by the numbers, I doubt banks will go broke helping a family get on their feet!

  • SabrinaR

    Summer, I am sorry to hear about your current situation – our prayers will be with you. I hear what you are saying, but you can not just let us know — you must contact your representatives and senators, write them, email them and call them—let them hear what’s in your voice, let them hear your story. This is a story that is coming forth from many states—the American people are standing up and saying NO MORE – we are taking our country back and if you don’t like it then step aside. I have been watching a lot of CSPAN regarding the committies on Universal Health Care and every time the Republicans tried to offer a bill that says illegals will NOT be covered on health care paid for by American taxpayers the democrats would vote it down — what does that tell you??? Summer – let your voice be heard and make it count if not for your self then for your children.
    Hang in there—it will get better—-it may take 3 more years, but it will get better!!!!

  • Apachecheynne

    To add to this lack of tolerance…does anyone know who the first steam-boat captain was? Does anyone know how he creo;as and the cajuns can to be and be powerful In louisiana? There are facts but never brought forward as most would think….Facts! In a court of law many facts are brought forward to win a case, but there are facts that aren’t brought forward to make a healthy wise decision by our judges! If what I see and have heard in the courts down south, give a flicker in what goes on at the “top” of our country, then, I as an American do not believe just what is borught forward…I know there is more to the story….much is meaningful that is not brought forward for a person to be innocent or guilty…much horrendous of acts….If one is to lean the truth, one is to bring all accounts that the “law” must decide on the fairness, and the justice to be rendered….I do not see that happening in the smaller courts nor the higher courts….to much manipulations…and the purpose! I too am a thinker, who looks to preserve the rights of….but I am also inclined to learn that “truth” is not always the facts presented….someone shifts the words, and changes the dialect….I have seen enough to not believe just what is gossipped about….I have learned that problems are evident because “people” are bias, scarred from fighting, standing up for, and misrepresenting themselves as well as others….Immigration is apart of our country, the real problem is some states closer to the borders see what most of us do not see…it is hard to judge what is not seen…to make a dutiful decision as to how to protect and defend without causing prejudicial treatment…Many came to this country as immigrants…those who got in trouble was a clash of many things….Illegals is a “bad” name for those who come to survive against oppression and death….there is a better way….and for that good is always compromised by evil gain….

  • Summer

    As a side note to my previous rant! Due the current situation with the economy, my husband and I have been laid off from our jobs. We were both employed full time for many years, supporting our family with no assistance from Federal programs. We were forced to go on unemployment, and have been very actively seeking employment since. After 6 months of waiting it out and busting our butts to make ends meet, we were finally at the point that we had to apply for Medicaid for our children (due to the fact that they both suffer from severe asthma and cannot be without medical coverage). In the waiting room at the Income Support Division, I looked up and saw a sign to this effect “If you are an illegal immigrant, and have been denied services due to lack of documentation, please speak to a social worker…..we can help!” WHAT???????????? This is an outrage!

  • Summer

    Reading the pro-immigration arguments on these sites makes me sick to my stomach!!! To all of the advocates excersing their freedom of speech, speaking up for the ILLEGAL immigrants currently destroying our country………..I suggest that you all come and spend a month (or even just a WEEK) living in Southern New Mexico or Arizona. Here, as English speaking Americans…..we, and OUR CHILDREN….are the minority! When we go anywhere in our communities… it the doctor, dentist, grocery store, clothing store……we are treated as second class citizens because we don’t speak Spanish (excuse me…..I didn’t know I suddenly crossed the border into Mexico?????) When we send our children to school, we have to contend with them being outsiders of the VERY prevolent “Brown Pride” attitude (AND established GANG!) because they are not “Hispanic”!!!!!! Are you freakin KIDDING ME???? Not to mention the fact that most of the jobs in the area are PUBLICLY listed as “bi-lingual prefered” because if you work in a public office….you must have the ability to speak spanish in order to converse with most of the public!!! NO! If you insist on living in our country……….we insist you learn our language!!! Bottom line is that it is BULLSHIT! It was not until I had children of middle school age that I realized how outrageous this situation has become! My children are being discriminated against becuase they are WHITE IN AMERICA?????? I am completely and thouroughly ENRAGED with this situation. How did our leaders let it come to this??

  • SabrinaR

    I will say it again——Those who pander for amnesty for illegal aliens are those who profit from them. The racist card has been played too many times and does not raise the eye-brow as it use to—-what does raise the eye-brow are the facts—-Americans will no longer be the quiet little children who are to be seen but not heard—-we will no longer put up with those who wish to drag this nation down, those who try to make us feel less compassionate or those who stick their hands in our pockets and declare that we owe them —- go home if this is not your home — we have enough Americans who need our help.

  • Leann

    I agree with the contributors who ask why there’s an inordinate amount of information about, and emphasis on white supremacists, and seemingly little about other racist – and anti-Semitic groups like Voz De Aztlan, Nation of Islam, and any number of Muslim extremist groups.

    Check out: The Anti-Defamation League (an organization started in 1913) seems to take a more even-handed, all-encompassing, global approach to these issues.

  • Judi

    PS to my previous comment — I was TURNED DOWN for Medicaid because I had no income at all and was forced to take early Social Security (with no medical benefits as I’m not yet 65) in order to live. Illegals come here, have baby after baby and those children become citizens at our expense. It’s time for something to be done.

  • Judi

    When my great grandparents arrived in the US from Germany, along with all the “legal” immigrants who were coming here for a better life and to assimilate into our culture, there were no signs printed in German, Italian, Chinese or any other language. I am totally offended that we have become a 2 language country; if the LEGAL immigrants really wish to assimilate here in our country, let them learn our language. I recently lost my job after working for 45 years and paying taxes, and I applied for Medicaid; I was the only English speaking person in the very large room, and there was a huge sign saying “WE PROVIDE TRANSLATORS”… who is paying for those translators? Fair is fair. Come here legally and become an American, or don’t come here at all!

  • Leann

    Thanks for your reply, Sabrina.

    There are some excellent comments about Voz De Aztlan, a blatantly and virulently anti-Semitic group. Id’ like to see the SPLC site call more attention – and provide more information about La Raza and the Nation of Islam.

  • Mrs Jalica Miller

    Those who are honest, think with honest intent…but overtime of my life I have actually seen the motives of racist intent, spurred through lines of fairness…Immigration is just like blacks wanting to vote, wanting to own businesses, wanting to be apart of this country as they deserved to be….brought here through means of white trading…I wonder why we have these issues today about immigration…was slavery to give these people a job open for exchange…Someone saw a business of making money from illegals…because they were welcome on a visit…and if who they stay with keeps focus and request extension, sometimes it was given…what caused the illegal upheaval..because Big Brother turned an “eye”! For this one Major..i tell you I am a fullblooded born American, served the military, found that racism is a corner stone of many white eyes to disengage those who would become leaders…I saw, I watched and I stood up against such detriments….So when I speak to look at illegals…NO one has the right to persecute another…NO ONE…and in the south I learned what persecution is!!!!!!!!! You may be oblivious to the cults that exist…Drugs are inplicated in order to cover-up racism and white supremacy throughout the legal sector mr Major!

  • SabrinaR

    Leann S. – you are absolutely correct —- no one is apposed to immigrantion, but illegal immigration will no longer be tolorated – the cost to American citizens is just too much to continue.

  • Leann S.

    While this is very surprising and disheartening news
    (I occasionally receive emails from FAIR and Numbers) most clear-thinking, reasonable people are not opposed to immigration. They are opposed to illegal immigration – and the lack of any kind of system that enables our government to know who’s coming and going in our country – including dangerous criminals and terrorists.

  • mother teresa

    hello ,my dear friends ,try to love one another with a open heart,let the children come ,enjoy life while still living ,the world and its passions for pleasure will past ,but God will ALWAYS BE. LOVE WITH OUT CONDITIONS,M.T.