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

Georgia Governor Appoints Hate Group Leader to Immigration Board

By Heidi Beirich on September 2, 2011 - 4:11 pm, Posted in Anti-Immigrant

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal today appointed a longtime leader in an anti-immigrant hate group to serve on a new state panel charged with enforcing the state’s harsh new immigration law.

Phil Kent was among those named by Deal to a new Immigration Enforcement Review Board. Created as part of Georgia’s punishing new anti-immigrant law — the Illegal Immigration Reform and Enforcement Act of 2011 — the panel will “review and investigate complaints related to illegal immigration and it will hold the authority to sanction those found to have violated Georgia’s immigration law.” (The Southern Poverty Law Center is part of a coalition of civil rights groups challenging the law in federal court.)

Phil Kent is a longtime national spokesman for Americans for Immigration Control (AIC), a relationship mentioned in the Kent bio provided by the governor’s office. According to ProEnglish, another group Kent is involved in, he also serves as executive director of the American Immigration Control Foundation (AICF), a partner organization to AIC.

The SPLC has listed AIC and AICF, together, as a hate group for more than a decade. As the SPLC has previously reported, AICF has produced mounds of anti-immigrant propaganda over its more than two decades of existence. Particularly notable is the video “Immigration: Making America Less Beautiful?,” which is filled with a cornucopia of racist images. The video depicts a “raging flood” of Latinos, Haitians and other immigrants  — “the greatest wave of immigration the world has ever witnessed” — threatening America’s “generally European” core with “foreign domination.” In the video, Miami is a “Third World nightmare” where “illegal aliens” practice “voodoo” and leave stinking “human waste” in the streets. “America is beautiful,” says the narrator. “Why spoil it?”

Kent’s close colleague at AIC is John Vinson, who has held leadership positions in both AIC and AICF since signing on with the groups in 1990. Vinson wrote the AICF-published Immigration and Nation: A Biblical View, in which he claims that it is against God’s will to weaken the “divinely unique” character of every nation. In the case of America, Vinson makes clear in the booklet that character belongs to English-speaking, white Anglo-Saxon Protestants. He says that assimilating “the races of the world” is “an impossible task” and argues that current immigration patterns may “destroy our nationhood.” Vinson also attacks the “spiritual Balkanization” he claims is promoted by non-Christian immigration.

Vinson is also a founding member of the neo-Confederate hate group League of the South, one of whose leaders has argued that slavery is “God-ordained.” Another made the statement, “Somebody needs to say a good word for slavery. Where in the world are the Negroes better off today than in America?”

Kent has additional connections to extremists. His articles have run in publications of the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), a white supremacist hate group that believes “mixing the races is rebelliousness against God” and that has described black people as a “retrograde species of humanity.” An article penned by Kent that ran in the CCC’s newsletter in 1999 described the CCC as a good conservative group that had been “targeted for demonization by the political leadership of the Left and its media allies.” Kent described his participation at one of the group’s national meetings where there was a discussion by “some speakers urging preparation for a future North American balkanization whereby some majority-white country in middle America might be established.” Sam Francis, then the CCC’s newsletter editor, called at the meeting for the repeal of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, according to Kent. In other issues of the CCC’s publication, Kent’s books are advertised for sale.

Kent also serves on the board of ProEnglish, a group that pushes for government documents, such as driver’s license tests, to be printed only in English. ProEnglish is the creation of John Tanton, the racist architect of the modern anti-immigrant movement. Tanton has made his white nationalist views clear, writing that he believes that “for European-American society and culture to persist requires a European-American majority, and a clear one at that.” In a memo Tanton prepared for the leadership of the Washington anti-immigrant lobbying group Federation for American Immigration Reform, Tanton questioned the “educability” of Latinos and warned of a coming “Latin onslaught.” Tanton serves on ProEnglish’s board with Kent, and Tanton’s foundation, U.S. Inc., funds the organization.

  • George

    White southerners should learn to speak English first.

  • Jimmyjam048

    Due to the large and growing number of people who speak Spanish, it makes sense to print forms in Spanish and English. It also makes sense to encourage them to learn English. But placing this guy, who has such a clear cut agenda on this board just doesn’t seem right.

  • Kris Ellisor

    I’m hating on Georgia politics right now. I want to help the poor people of GA, help get them voting so we can change things.

    I won’t spend any money in GA until things change. I’ll look for grassroots organizations that are dedicated to justice for all the people of GA.

    I appreciate any advice. Thank you.

  • Cathy

    Northern Guy,
    Mr. Beales said, “Shadow Wolf Americans are lazy pigs”. There is a difference.
    I thought it was a rather interesting way of classifying those who resist languages of the world.

  • Dick Lancaster

    I do actually write comedy. I frequently wake my wife up laughing in my sleep.

  • skinnyminny

    Dick Lancaster,

    Wow! I’m laughing so hard at your comments to ADM – I can’t even write a well-thought response. You’re too funny!

  • Dick Lancaster

    A home invasion is when anyone who doesn’t belong there enters your home without permission. America is my home. If you don’t belong here and don’t have an invitation–stay out.

    I won’t argue about Bush’s love for the Latino vote. I’m not a Republican and never will be. An illegal alien that votes Republican is just as illegal as one who votes Democrat.

  • A.D.M.

    Hey, Ed, I’d say you’re very despicable and pitiful.

  • A.D.M.

    Ishamel Royer, how stupid are you? In order for any legal immigrants to become a citizen of the United States, they have to be able to read, write, speak, and understand the English language. WTF?

    Dick Lancaster, a foreign invasion is when a foreign military invades your country. This is not the case. By the way, the Obama administration has deported more illegal immigrants than the previous administration. The deportations are so huge, the invasion, as you call it, has slowed down tremendously.

  • Pete Hockley

    “We cater to them every way we can including making it easier for them by including the spanish language on forms and documentation. What other Country allows this? None. You can not just move to France or Germany and expect them to give you Welfare Checks and provide you with forms and other items in your native tongue.”
    Well leaning to left you are woefully misinformed, in The EU we have to supply forms, and explanations, in languages other than the native languages of The EU.
    I have never had a single problem with any form of immigration, legal or illegal. If there is to be Free Trade, that means free movement of labour as well!

  • Pete Hockley

    “targeted for demonization by the political leadership of the Left and its media allies.”

    No, just watched the video, damned out of your own mouth!

  • Nick

    We all need to be careful – to hate the “haters” is to be just the same as they. Governor Deal is certainly misguided, but then aren’t we all. I am not sure what the answer is, if there is one, but perhaps how we vote is most important to preserve our democracy under the law, especially the Bill of Rights, as amended. I also think we must remember we all come immigrants, including the Spanish who settled the Southwest and California, (except for Native Americans). Peace be with you.

  • BRL

    How fast all you haters forget from where your ancestors comes from..How sad.. It makes feel that I’m living a Nazi Germany.. Thank God for SPLC…!

  • skinnyminny

    Okay, I know this will probably anger some, but I am standing by Shadow Wolf.

    I don’t think a lot of people here know that this is what a lot of Native Americans say, “the white man.” As well, you go to Latin America and they say, “gringo,” which is, essentially the same thing. On the flip side in this country, when referring to black men, is it ,”the black man,” or something worse, such as outright racial slurs.

    Look at some of the commercials that San Manuel tribe put out on telly, and it specifically says the same, “the white man.”

    I am understanding of where Shadow Wolf is coming from. I am thinking that some people are so focused on the hardships of blacks and Latinos, that no one is paying attention to what is happening to the Native Americans. No one is paying attention to the fact that the Natives have a lot of their lands in trust and have to buy it. No one is paying attention to the fact that some of the sacred lands are being taken away (sacred lands to Natives is just like Historic/monumental sites to Americans), and given to an investor. I could go on and on because there are a lot of injustices being done. I am in agreement, that everytime a different ethnic group comes in this country, that blacks and Native Americans are left behind, pushed aside as if we don’t exist. Yet, I will also venture a little further and say, if they come and are here, there is no reason to mistreat immigrants.

    As for Spanish, again, Puerto Rico is a Spanish speaking territory. Spanish has always been a part of our language, in fact, it is listed in World Atlas, that the predominant languages is Spanish and English. Now, it should also list Native America languages, but, it doesn’t. I will also say that newly arrived refugees, or others that come here may not speak English, but that’s true for some immigrants that have been in this country for decades and never spoken or learned English, to name a few, Chinese, Iranian, Italian…

    Lastly, I will venture to say, that Shadow Wolf is not racist, but speaking out. Rightly so, expressing anger and concern. If he were racist, I believe you will hear some very racist slurs. Deep down inside, I think, depending on the circumstance, we could all be or appear to be racist when defending our own issues, i.e. Israelis, Arabs, Latinos, Whites, Blacks, Asians…not saying this is right, but we have to face the fact, this country is very racist, and always have been. I would say, that some people need to go out and meet some of the Native Americans, and no, they don’t all have names like Blue-Sky, Feather-Chief, but, they have American sounding names as well as Latino last (sur) names.

  • Dick Lancaster

    To be against illegal immigration is to be against foreign invasion. The SPLC supports foreign invasion because they see a potential (and illegally active) voting pool supporting left wing causes.

    Demonizing their political enemies by labeling them anti-immigration, racist, xenophobes or any of the more juvenile terms I see posted here is a classic tactic of tyrants.

    Those of you who support illegals would scream pretty loud if conservative businessmen broke down your door and helped themselves to your groceries, medicine and perhaps your pot, then had the audacity to rearrange your second floor for an extended stay. Your front door is your border. If you really support illegal immigration, leave it open.

  • max

    i say no to : Georgia Governor Appoints Hate Group Leader to Immigration Board

  • j hlton

    We need more politicians like Mr. Kent in positions of power. This country is in dire need of a house cleaning.

  • Ishamel Royer

    What about enforcing the current immigration laws already on the books?

    We are a nation of laws and not a nation of Presidential Executive Orders bypassing the Congress of the United States.

    English is the primary language in the United States. In order for all legal immigrants to achieve their full potential it is imperative they learn English with enthusiasm.

    How can one find fault with these common sense truths.


  • Northern Guy

    Mr. Beales:

    Please tell me you were being ironic when you asked “Why not just cop to your hateful racist jingoism and stop the charade” one paragraph after stating “Americans are lazy pigs, etc.” If not, you win today’s award for unabashed hypocrisy.

    That said, I do agree with your second paragraph.

  • On the left for the most part

    Ask any of my friends or colleages and they will tell you I am usually as far leaning to the left as can be. However, I do have a problem with illegal immigrants. They are breaking the law when they enter this country illegally. And yet we allow it, we pay them to break the law, we pay for them to have children here. They do not assimilate into this Country at all. We cater to them every way we can including making it easier for them by including the spanish language on forms and documentation. What other Country allows this? None. You can not just move to France or Germany and expect them to give you Welfare Checks and provide you with forms and other items in your native tongue. You are required to assimilate. You are required to learn their language. AND you are required to enter their country LEGALLY. The penalties for being an illegal immigrant in another country can be severe. In the US? The worst we do is buy them a plane ticket back to their home town. Three months later — they’re back in the US ILLEGALLY again.

    How do people NOT see this as a problem? How do people justify allowing others to BREAK THE LAW? I’m mystified at all of the backing my lefty’s give to helping ILLEGAL immigrants to prosper. I find it outrageous. And you would too if you reminded yourselves that they are BREAKING THE LAW!!!

    This Country is going to h*ll in a handbasket.

  • Gordon

    I am not a resident of Georgia but it’s obvious that the Gogernor’s appointee has a track record of questionable behavior, in reference to immigration.
    In regards to other comments (re elections), I advovate this:
    “People need to get educated on the candidates and what they stand for, informed on the issues and VOTE! We, as a community, have allowed PROCRASTINATION & APATHY, to rob us of our political will and then we COMPLAIN about the results. Pick up a book, read a newspaper, talk to your neighbors, friends and family and then VOTE!” Remember the old adage – Nothing ventured, NOTHING GAINED!

  • ruben

    to shadow wolf…i suggest that you brush up on your english spelling before you start demanding that someone else speaks only english or becomes fluent in that language….i have read many of your posts here on splc and your are always complaining about the injustices committed by white people against north of the border native americans and then you turn around and behave in the same way as them….especially against latinos….i guess in your eyes discrimination is alright as long as it ain’t you that is being hated… sound like a right wing bigot straight out of arizona… mitch beales said you can stop your charade.

  • Peter

    The “native American” tribes tell of people that were already here when they came who they had to fight and kill.

  • Pickwick

    This country has always been multi-lingual. Spanish was the native language for many in the southwest before it was ever part of the USA. French-speaking Acadians settled in Louisiana when they were forced out of the maritime provinces by the English, hence the present-day Cajuns. The east coast of this country still has pockets of German-speaking communities. Dutch was once the language of New York and New Jersey; and it still lives on thousands of place names (plus they gave us Santa Claus). And then there were the Native Americans. Yes, most of these groups also now speak English — either by choice or by coercion — but we have NEVER been monolingual except through laziness.

  • Mitch Beales

    Shadow Wolf Americans are lazy pigs who want people to cater to them at home and abroad by learning their language. If America becomes “English only” I hope the rest of the world reciprocates by banning English from all international discourse.

    Why do you believe that those who come to America don’t want to integrate into American society? Providing government documents in multiple languages actually helps them to integrate into our country and become citizens. You have repeatedly posted comments that make it clear that the last thing you want is to allow immigrants to become Americans. Why not just cop to your hateful racist jingoism and stop the charade?

  • Shadow Wolf

    The “English Only” sentiment is not a “progressive” plan. Its a right-wing to moderate agenda. And no one is not forcing you to say what you don’t to say whether in English or otherwise. This is strictly a matter of self-education from your end, your ability to read, write and understand English. In spite of being bilingual.

  • skinnyminny

    Concerned Citizen,
    The dems do indeed need to do a better job. However, I would like to know why is it okay that people need to wait until a person’s term is up when it comes to GOP, yet, when it is a dem, everyone is in a rush to either recall, remove, or impeach?

    This is something I have a problem understanding! It seems the public complains, and just take it with the GOP, almost as if their hands are tied, and say, “well, his/her term is almost up.” Then come election time, they either vote that person back in, or don’t bother to vote (because they listen to the rhetoric from these same people that the system is broken, they never bother to see why it’s broken, or why the people that spreads the rumors that the system is broken never tend to do anything to fix it when they are elected). In a nutshell, the people who yell the system is broken in order to get elected never do anything to try to fix it. Then when a dem is elected they start placing demands on them to do things instantly or else (meaning they will be voted out, or they will withhold their votes – there is no, “oh, well his/her term will be up soon”).

    With the people out of work, they need to take the time to learn about politics and the people running instead of looking for the media to do it.

  • Concerned Citizen

    I think Gov. Deal is trying to be a good governor, but no one’s prefect. For the record. He defeated Roy Barnes who changed the Georgia flag and turned it in a national joke.
    The Democrats are going to have to do a better job of fielding a candidate in 2014 against Deal..

  • ModerateMike

    Whether or not Governor Deal’s actions are motivated by genuine agreement with Phil Kent on a philosophical level, he must be quite happy about his political position. If this law is ultimately struck down (and that seems likely), Gov. Deal can simply say to his constituents, “Well, I’m still in your corner, even if the federal government isn’t!” What truly saddens me, however, is that even the mainstream media do not seem to be asking politicians about the practical implications of this kind of legislation. I would love to hear questions like this: “Governor Deal, how many new jobs is this law expected to create in the next 2 years? Upon what data do you base your projections? Do you believe that any U.S. citizens might lose their jobs as a result of the reduced patronage of businesses by immigrants? How many children do you estimate will be separated from their parents as a result of deportation, and what provision, if any, will be made for them?”

    I can’t answer these questions, but then again, I doubt if the Governor can, either. I have often wondered if, in fact, some of these politicians actually do understand how damaging these policies might be, and are counting on their failure in court without having to take the blame. But even if that is astute politics, it just doesn’t seem like very good leadership.

  • ruben

    i agree with you marissa and leslie……the more languages that a person can learn the better off he or she will be.this world is getting smaller and smaller…..and as far as english being the first language (i’ll say european) of the traditional minorities in the country that is a lie…..spanish has been spoken in many parts of this country in some cases for up to a couple hundred years before english……but the far right and there anti hispanic/immigrant cronies love to use this myth that latinos don’t want to learn english and therefore cannot be assimilated to justify there hate……i speak english and spanish fluently and also a little german and i wish i could speak more……and whats more i am making sure that my kids learn spanish……and if you don’t like it to bad!!

  • Leslie

    Shadow Wolf,

    I have a problem with most dogmas that serve the agenda of on progressive attitudes. I don’t want anyone telling me what I can say or in what language I can say it.

  • Shadow Wolf

    That’s the point that I was trying to make. If you are fluent in more than one language(besides English), then one should not have an issue with the “English Only” dogma. English is learned/spoken in both public and pirvate schools. Mostly in the public sector. Besides, English is now a dominate language, and they are already teaching this in China.

  • Ed

    To paraphrase Dr. Samuel Johnson: “The race card is the last refuge of a scoundrel” ! ! ! The SPLC is like the kettle calling the pot black. Hypocritical, sickening. They and their ilk have no answer to Teddy Roosevelt’s “no divided allegiance . . . one flag . . . one language . . . one loyalty . . . Look it up in its entirety. And what about Barbara Jordan’s 1996 pronouncement as Chairwomen of Bill Clinton’s Immigration Reform Commission ? Anybody with a grain of sense is well aware of the smell that emanates from Montgomery, Al and the lower than room-temperature I.Q. that insults any knowledgable person’s intelligence ! ! ! They are too stupid to know the meaning of “illegal”. And they use the word “Law” in their title ? ? ? Hypocrites from the word go. Laughable and despicable. Pitiful . . .

  • Leslie

    I disagree. Even though I am an American citizen I speak several languages. For people who talk about freedom constantly I don’t see how the right wing can forbid someone from speaking any language they want. If many people are bilingual in English/Spanish then speaking either language should not be a big deal. Why is it?

  • Marisa

    Georgia is a beautiful state – too bad the “people” there were either stupid, racist, or crazy enough to elect Nathan Deal as their governor. As for “English Only,” that, too, is stupid – this is the United States of America, and while it is beneficial for everyone to learn English in order to “conduct ordinary business,” we have no “state” language – never have had one. MANY people from Europe, Mexico, South America, Africa, etc., speak English because it’s taught in their schools. In America, way too many of our students are too LAZY to learn another language – it’s always beneficial to be at least bi-lingual, and even better to be multi-lingual. Georgia obviously needs to come out of the Stone Age, – AGAIN – as they have “regressed” to their pre-civil-rights hate era.

  • Shadow Wolf

    One thing that I don’t have a problem with is the “English Only” forms and documentations. In general, the primary language spoken in this country is English. It is also the primary language for the first traditional non-Whites that made up the original assimilated minorities: Blacks,(American born) Latinos/Hispanics(non immigrant excluding new arrivals for last 2 decades), and Native Americans. Both Native Americans and Latino/Hispanics are also biligual. In contrast, it’s really a non-issue.

    The ones that deem this to be a “racist” issue are the new minority groups and immigrants(both legal and illegal), new arrivals, including refugees. As well as their representation from some radical organizations like the ACLU.

  • Curtis Rivers

    This is typical of Deal and his anti-immigrant agenda. Georgians have gotten the worst with him and his record of dishonesty. His support of a hateful agenda toward the Hispanic community is very apparent in much of what he has said and with the signing of HB 87, he made is agenda very clear. Along with Mr. Matt Ramsey and other haters, he has led Georgia back into the era before the signing of the Civil Rights Act. We need to band together to get Mr. Kent and other haters out of our government in Georgia.

  • SpaceyG

    Oh no. Trust me. We’ve noticed – the makeup of this entire *enforcement* board. Some active, very networked young folk have just started a petition to remove Phil Kent. (See link.) And so begins a movement.

  • DrMJG

    The sad thing is that many will not see the problem with this appointment.

  • James

    Are these people stupid? This country is fundimentally a white anglo-saxon country? They think God ordained this?? Do they know they live on stolen land? They are descendants of violent invaders. Homeland security fighting terror since 1492!!!