The Nativists

Around the country, an anti-immigration movement is spreading like wildfire. An array of activists is fanning the flames

AGE: 53

D.A. King was going to show the world just how angry Americans are about illegal immigration. Along with his followers, he showed up at the state Capitol in Atlanta last October to protest. Trouble was, there were only a few dozen of them in all.

King wasn't fazed. As The Atlanta Journal-Constitution quickly discovered, the long-time anti-immigration zealot found a solution immediately -- just pay $10 each to 14 homeless people from the neighborhood, hand them signs, and set them loose.

"I consider it very good use of the day labor laws," an unrepentant King boasted to the newspaper. "Yes, I paid them," he added to Creative Loafing, an alternative newspaper. "And I'm going to pay them again."

The tactic, while unusual, wasn't entirely unprecedented. Anti-immigration leaders are eager to show that theirs is a mass movement. So when a couple hundred people showed up to join the Minuteman Project in Arizona last spring -- an armed citizens' effort to seal the border -- Minuteman leaders claimed at least 1,300.

D.A. KingWith the disposition of a drill sergeant, nobody has done more to stoke the flames of the anti-immigration movement in Georgia than King. Standing 6-foot, 2-inches tall, the shaven-headed ex-Marine from Marietta regularly contributes dispatches from what he calls "Georgiafornia" to the anti-immigration Web hate site, VDARE, named for the first white child born in America, Virginia Dare. "For me," King wrote in one of his articles, "while standing a few feet away from group after group, the impulse to reach out and personally deport these Third World invaders was nearly uncontrollable." On another occasion, after a local newspaper did a story on undocumented workers, he described how he'd brought a copy of the article to immigration authorities to demand that they deport those who were featured.

King's been interested in illegal immigration since the late 1990s, when he worked with the Georgia Coalition for Immigration Reduction. In 2003, he retired from his insurance agency to form his own groups: his "coalition of immigration crime fighters," the American Resistance Foundation; and the Dustin Inman Society, a group focused on the Southeast and named after a 16-year-old boy who King says was killed in an automobile accident that involved an illegal immigrant.