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Immigrant rights advocacy groups accused the Center For Immigration Studies of employing “fear tactics” with a new study claiming that 300,000 jobs created by the economic stimulus package will go to illegal immigrants.
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Opponents of immigration reform legislation have been trying to steer clear of white nationalists lately, hoping to keep their opposition to citizenship for undocumented Latino immigrants free from the taint of racism.
But they just can’t seem to run fast enough.
Last week, a major Heritage Foundation report about the supposed costs of illegal immigration was pilloried after the revelation that one of its authors, Heritage Foundation senior fellow Jason Richwine, had earlier claimed that there are deep differences in intelligence among races (with Latinos toward the bottom). Richwine resigned from the conservative think tank amid the outcry.
Now, this week, we discover that ProEnglish, a group with white nationalist ties, has launched an ad campaign against immigration reform. The first target is Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, according to BuzzFeed. The group’s minute-long radio ad features a Spanish-speaking character, apparently representing an undocumented immigrant, thanking Graham “for not requiring him to learn English in exchange for amnesty.” ( continue to full post… )
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Editor’s Note: On Friday, May 10, the Heritage Foundation, which earlier distanced itself from the controversial views of its senior policy analyst Jason Richwine, said Richwine had resigned from the foundation, according to Politico.
Jason Richwine, a fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation, is attracting attention because of a recently released anti-immigration study that is garnering criticism from fellow conservatives, including U.S. Rep. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), and anti-tax warrior Grover Norquist. The study, co-authored with Heritage fellow Robert Rector, is a reprise of Rector’s 2007 report (which was also criticized) for the foundation. Both studies claim immigration reform will cost the U.S. trillions of dollars, and both were hotly disputed.
The conservative criticism of the new study charges that it ignores immigrants’ upward mobility and suggests that they will always be poor. But in addition to that, a great deal of criticism from other quarters is now focusing personally on Richwine and what he has said over the years about immigrants, race and intelligence. ( continue to full post… )
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Tomorrow, the House Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement will hold a hearing at the Rayburn House Building entitled, “Making Immigration Work for American Minorities.” On the witness list are two figures whose views of immigrants are less than charitable: Carol Swain, an African-American professor of political science and law at Vanderbilt University, and Frank Morris, former head of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation and a board member of the anti-immigrant hate group, Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).
Swain has some very odd views for someone selected to lecture Congress on immigration and minorities. In her 2002 book, The New White Nationalism in America, Swain argued, in essence, that America doesn’t need to reject white nationalists — people who want the U.S. to be run by and for whites. Rather, it needs to start talking to them, and taking their ideas seriously, particularly when it comes to immigration and racial preferences. In the book, Swain says that white people have been muzzled by political correctness, while African Americans are allowed “to verbally assault and slander whites with racial epithets and false charges without suffering any serious loss of respect or any financial or social damage in the public arena.”
In 2009, Swain endorsed a slick 58-minute documentary, “A Conversation About Race,” devoted to proving the thesis that racism is a bogus concept invented to oppress whites. In a blurb that was posted on the documentary’s website, Swain called the film “outstanding” and “meticulously done.” “[I]t offers people of all races a rare opportunity to engage in cross-racial dialogue,” she wrote. “I highly recommend this film for social science courses dealing with race, class, and ethnicity.” When it turned out that Swain’s much-lauded filmmaker had long posted regular comments on YouTube and a number of other websites, repeatedly describing blacks as “monkeys” and black men in particular as “EVIL monkeys [who] are DESTROYING” America, and even suggesting that a black former White House adviser be lynched, “[p]ossibly with the aid of a noose,” Swain continued to heartily recommend the film, with its “poignant” scenes, to “multicultural forums across the country.” ( continue to full post… )
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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.
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Since its founding nearly 90 years ago, the American Legion has been a fixture of community life. It has hosted Memorial Day parades to remember those who died in America’s wars. It has held bingo nights and dances at its 14,000-plus posts worldwide. It has supported thousands of Boy Scout groups, sponsored a baseball program that’s produced numerous professional players, and helped children living in poverty or with special needs. From World War II to the war in Iraq, the legion has fought to improve benefits for veterans and their families.
Now, America’s largest veterans organization has launched another campaign — a hard-line attack on undocumented immigrants that’s at odds with the legion’s mainstream image. As part of this effort, the legion, which purports to speak for 2.7 million members, recently issued a booklet that regurgitates discredited and often completely false information about how “illegals” are bringing crime, disease, and terrorism to this country, even as they wreck the economy for natives.
The legion’s 34-page booklet, A Strategy to Address Illegal Immigration in the United States, asserts that “poverty, political instability, disease and war” are “on our back doorstep” because of porous borders and the failure of the government to stringently enforce immigration laws. But in making its case, the legion repeatedly cites dubious sources, ignores well-known facts and makes baseless claims — such as the false assertion that the undocumented infected more than 7,000 people in America with leprosy during a recent three-year period.
“They’re sort of trotting out old tropes to do with immigration,” said Richard Wright, a Dartmouth College geography professor who specializes in immigration. “These are hackneyed stereotypes that have no place in a policy document.” ( continue to full post… )
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The Eagle Forum of Alabama is holding a series of “grassroots workshops” around the state entitled “What YOU can do about Illegal Immigration.” Clearly aimed at riling up nativist fury, the fliers for the event allege that “the average illegal immigrant household receives approximately $30,000 in government benefits each year but pays only $9,000 in taxes.”
The problem, as is often the case with the “facts” nativists dredge up to illustrate the evils of immigration, is that these calculations are wildly misleading at best. The numbers above originate in a quote from Robert Rector that was posted on the website NoFreeMustang.com, a new anti-immigration site put up by the conservative Heritage Foundation where Rector is a senior fellow. The website’s title refers to the difference between the two numbers above, $21,000, which Rector alleges is the net cost taxpayers pick up for undocumented workers. “That’s like buying each of these illegal immigrant families a brand new Mustang convertible,” he claims.
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The Social Contract Press, which has been listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center since 2001 for publishing articles by white supremacists and promoting the idea that America should be populated by white people, is co-hosting a news conference at the National Press Club today. The topic is “How Many Illegal Aliens are in the United States?” and it will dispute official government data that shows approximately 12 million undocumented immigrants residing in the US.
The Social Contract Press is one of several programs that make up U.S. Inc., a foundation run for decades by John Tanton (right), the architect of much of the modern anti-immigration movement and the co-founder of the country’s largest immigration restriction outfit, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). FAIR has its own ties to white supremacists, having accepted more than $1 million from the Pioneer Fund, a hate group that funds controversial studies on race and intelligence.
Tanton has a history of bigotry. Perhaps most famous were the remarks he penned on immigrants in internal 1986 memos to his FAIR colleagues. In them, Tanton questioned the “educability” of Latinos compared to others and wondered whether “those with their pants up [whites] are going to get caught by those with their pants down [Latinos]” in what he characterized as a race to procreate. Tanton’s Social Contract Press also has republished and given a full-throated endorsement to a racist novel called The Camp of the Saints. The book depicts a future invasion of France by starving hordes of Indian emigrants, who are characterized as sexually voracious beasts determined to wreck Western civilization. ( continue to full post… )
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The anti-immigrant lobby has long enjoyed influence in Washington but in recent years has been forced to defend itself against charges that it represents the narrow interests of white nationalists who fear the “browning” of America.
So it may have surprised some when a new coalition of African-American activists, called the Black American Leadership Alliance (BALA), announced its opposition to legislation that could provide a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented Latino immigrants.
In a June 3 letter to members of Congress, BALA claimed the proposed bill “will harm black American workers more than any other group” because “[m]ass immigration and amnesty puts African Americans from all walks of life out of work and suppresses wages, causing them to compete with aliens willing to work in poorer working conditions for cheaper pay.”
What BALA did not say in that letter — or during a press conference in April when it called itself the African American Leadership Council — was anything about its provenance. There’s a good reason for that. It turns out that BALA is simply the latest front group for the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), the flagship of a network of anti-immigrant organizations formed by the white nationalist John Tanton. ( continue to full post… )
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John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou, the immigrant-bashing Los Angeles radio personalities who were suspended earlier this year when they referred to Whitney Houston as a “crack ho” and marveled that the late pop singer “took this long” to die, are back on the air and up to their old tricks.
In the August 3 edition of the “John & Ken Show,” the duo took up for the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), an anti-immigrant organization that the Southern Poverty Law Center has called a hate group since 2008 because of its virulent and false attacks on non-white immigrants.
“The Federation for American Immigration Reform, I think, has been defined by some of these think tank organizations as a hate group,” Chiampou said. ( continue to full post… )