The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.
Border militiamen like to tell the public that they offer a simple solution to a complex problem – putting “boots on the ground” along the United States’ border with Mexico as a way to deter would-be immigrants from making illegal crossings, or as they are more inclined to put it, “stopping the illegal invasion of America.”
But already, federal agents have found that their unsought presence in recent weeks on the border in Texas and Arizona is making a difficult job much more complicated and possibly lethal. In some cases, agents are drawing down on the border vigilantes, and in one incident actually fired upon them. Another confrontation involved bat scientists who happened to be gathering field data when they encountered the armed militiamen.
Pete Santilli keeps trying –– and failing –– to organize protests that will shut down border crossings between the United States and Mexico. What’s more, he hasn’t been completely honest about it.
The latest effort by the extremist right-wing radio host was a multi-state “Border Convoy” campaign that featured protests at various stops along the multi-day route. Participants signed a petition declaring that they “oppose Barack Obama’s foreign invasion of our country” and demanding that authorities “secure our border.”
And while at least this time there were no problems with his vehicle’s license plates (unlike Santilli’s previous border-shutdown effort, which collapsed into a small heap of frustrated protesters), the campaign was once again notable for failing to achieve anything.
But you wouldn’t know that if you listened to Santilli. ( continue to full post… )
As the Minuteman Project attempts to restore its influence amid what some feel is a new crisis brewing on the border, the project’s co-founder Jim Gilchrist has been barnstorming media outlets in an effort seemingly aimed at saving a public image marred by criminality as he works to rebuild the project.
On VCY America’s “Crosstalk” show Tuesday, for example, Gilchrist felt free to tell his interviewer that hundreds of thousands of Central American children were going to form the “vanguard” of a “Trojan-horse invasion” of the United States, and even sympathized with a caller who suggested gassing the children to death at the border.
But the more difficult realities of the Minutemen came during an interview with Ed Berliner, host of Newsmax’s “MidPoint” program. Rather than serve up softball questions as one might expect from the frequently far-right media outlet, Berliner challenged Gilchrist about the original incarnation of the Minutemen, noting that the movement unraveled amid “criminal charges against some of the people involved, and that includes the former leader, Chris Simcox,” who now faces trial on three counts of child molestation. ( continue to full post… )
With thousands of undocumented children amassing at the U.S. border, Robert Jones, Imperial Wizard of the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, doesn’t want amnesty. He wants “corpses” on the border.
Speaking to Al Jazeera America, Jones, in full Klan robes, warned that immigrant children crossing the border are a threat to a “white homeland” and simply one more way President Obama has “sold out the American people.”
“If we can’t turn them back, I think if we pop a couple of them off and leave their corpses laying at the border maybe they’ll see we’re serious about stopping immigration,” Jones said.
The situation at the border has intensified in recent weeks as violence has forced many families to help their children cross the border for safety –– an option available due to legislation signed by President George W. Bush that gave new protections to children entering the country by prohibiting them from being quickly sent back to their country of origin, the New York Times reported in early July. In response, militia members armed with assault rifles have once again begun border patrols, and groups like the Klan, long obsessed with a white homeland, have focused their hate toward the border once again.
Though more than three years have passed since the Arizona-based Minuteman organization run by movement co-founder Chris Simcox shuttered its operations, would-be vigilantes are still patrolling the Arizona desert for border crossers. They are generally operating in smaller and, some say, more radical cells.
One of these militiamen made headlines recently when he got into an armed confrontation with a Maricopa County sheriff’s deputy. This was especially noteworthy, since Sheriff Joe Arpaio – a well-known nativist figure himself – made a point of denouncing the vigilantism of the border watchers.
Last week, KPHO in Phoenix aired video of one militia in action in the desert and at a recruitment gathering. The militiamen, who insisted on anonymity and used such monikers as “Reaper” and “Raptor,” said they were only performing a public service ( continue to full post… )
The mother of a young girl who claims she was molested by former Minuteman leader Chris Simcox says she’s outraged about a 10-year prison sentence being offered by Arizona prosecutors.
She’s raising questions about the handling of the case by Maricopa County Prosecutor Bill Montgomery’s office. Montgomery has a history of associating with Simcox politically, having spoken at a Minuteman event and participated in one of Simcox’s border watches.
As things stand, the offer of what seems to the victim’s mother like a sweetheart deal may not even be enough to entice Simcox to accept the arrangement. At his most recent court appearance, according to one report, he shook his head vigorously at the mention of a plea deal, appearing to reject it out of hand. ( continue to full post… )
Chris Simcox, co-founder of the Minuteman movement of armed civilians who patrolled the Arizona border looking for undocumented immigrants, has pleaded innocent to charges that he molested three young girls under the age of 10. In court papers, police identified one of the alleged victims as his own daughter.
Simcox, 52, faces two felony counts of molestation of a child, three charges of sexual conduct with a minor and one count of furnishing obscene or harmful materials to a child. According to the Phoenix New Times, Simcox could face life in prison under Arizona law if convicted of a single felony molestation charge. ( continue to full post… )
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… )
The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), the anti-immigrant hate group behind draconian immigration enforcement laws in Arizona, Alabama and elsewhere, appears to have misled law enforcement officers about a training program it’s sponsoring in Texas, Hatewatch has learned.
In an invitation E-mailed to an unknown number of sheriffs earlier this month, FAIR wrote that its “border school” had been approved by the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program (HIDTA), a program of the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) that facilitates cooperation among local, state and federal law enforcement officials. A flier distributed by FAIR bears HIDTA’s official logo, and FAIR notes in the invitation that travel and lodging costs associated with the Sept. 21-22 event in El Paso “may be covered by your agency’s HIDTA funding.” ( continue to full post… )
A judge in Georgia has denied bail for William Dustin Gold, a one-time rising star in anti-immigrant circles, following his arrest last week on charges he stabbed a 38-year-old reality TV producer with whom he was working.
Producer Marcus Fox had been shooting a commercial with Gold for several days at a Gainesville, Ga., car dealership as part of a President’s Day sales event. On Feb. 16, as production dragged on, tensions flared and a fight erupted at a rented home near Lake Lanier, about 35 miles northeast of Atlanta, according to news reports. It was there, police said, that Gold stabbed Fox in the stomach.
Fox was rushed to Northeast Georgia Medical Center, where he was listed Wednesday in stable condition. ( continue to full post… )