Profiles of 20 Nativist Leaders
They're 25 to 81 years old. Their homes are scattered from California to Connecticut. Their occupations include auto dealer, Web designer, Baptist preacher, documentary filmmaker and full-time border vigilante. They agitate on behalf of policies ranging from mining the U.S.-Mexico border and placing government sniper teams in the desert to the forced sterilization of Mexican women and the immediate deportation of all Latino immigrants and Muslims, regardless of legal status or citizenship.
They are 20 of the most active and influential nativists among the looming second wave of anti-immigration activists, organizers and militants. Their rhetoric and tactics often make those of movement icons like Minuteman Project co-founders Jim Gilchrist and Chris Simcox seem tame by comparison. They are media savvy and exploit any medium they can to deliver their message of raging intolerance. Several have been repeat guests on CNN and Fox News. Others have their own radio shows or distribute propaganda videos online.
The net effect of their collective effort has contributed mightily toward darkening the skies of an already harsh political and social climate, with the tone of the national debate on immigration growing nastier by the day and with Latinos increasingly being subject to discrimination and violence. The most current FBI hate crime statistics suggest that hate crimes targeting Latinos in this country spiked 35% over the past four years, and a recently released Pew Hispanic Center study found that Latinos, whether American citizens for generations or undocumented, are feeling more and more vulnerable and discriminated against.
What follows are snapshots of these 20 new-wave nativists. Although this collection is not intended to be comprehensive, it provides insight into the attitudes, motivations and personalities of a still-growing fringe movement that regrettably wields more influence in our society now than ever.
"Buffalo" Rick Galeener
Donald E. Pauly
Jason "J.T." Ready
This report was compiled by Heidi Beirich, Susy Buchanan, David Holthouse, Brentin Mock and Casey Sanchez.