Profiles of 20 Nativist Leaders
Alberto Rodriguez, 81
According to Al Rodriguez, the armed takeover of entire cities doesn't "happen only in Lebanon. It's happening right here in the United States."
Such exercises in hyperbole and distortion are commonplace for Rodriguez, the founder of You Don't Speak For Me! (YDSFM), which purports to be a grassroots collective of Latino anti-immigration activists. According to the YDSFM website, Rodriguez, a retired Army colonel, formed the "loose coalition of individuals" to become the "true" spokespersons of Latino Americans on the issue of immigration.
In truth, YDSFM's representation is grossly inauthentic. Like the similarly fraudulent Choose Black America, a "grassroots" coalition of African-American nativists, YDSFM is wholly engineered and funded by the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a rich and powerful hate group with slick nationwide operations. The groups were formed to deflect accusations of white racism.
As YDSFM Executive Director Miguel Cruz told The Record newspaper in Hackensack, N.J.: "Yes, the coalition is FAIR's creation… . They tell us there's a press conference, and they finance the travel and other expenses."
While FAIR speaks for Rodriguez — Ira Mehlman, FAIR's non-Latino national media director, is listed on the YDSFM website as the media contact — Rodriguez claims to speak for all Americans. In an October 2006 press release, Rodriguez says, "Like all Americans, citizens of Hispanic heritage want the government to untie the hands of the Border Patrol so that they can do their jobs protecting the security of the nation."
Rodriguez claims that YDSFM has over 5,000 members in 22 states. Local chapter leaders include Cruz (Newark, N.J.); Illinois Minutemen leader Rosanna Pulido (Chicago; see also profile above); and Claudia Spencer (Vista, Calif.), whose husband Michael runs the radical vigilante group, Vista Citizens Brigade.
In April, Rodriguez was the guest of Kansas Minuteman and radio talk show host Ed Hayes, who asked the Latino retired colonel if he was ever concerned about being racially profiled by the police. Profiling is a "media myth," Rodriguez responded.
"You've got to admit now that they [immigrants] are all felons," Rodriguez continued. "We've got to accept them into our society? Not no, but hell no!"