The Dustin Inman Society is a Georgia-based anti-immigrant hate group founded and led by activist D.A. King. The Southern Poverty Law Center lists it as an anti-immigrant hate group because it denigrates immigrants and supports efforts to make the lives of immigrants so hard that they leave on their own—a tactic known as “attrition through enforcement.” Despite his regular demonization of immigrants, King finds allies in the Georgia State Legislature and has played a significant role in passing anti-immigrant legislation in Georgia for more than a decade. King is also comfortable working with some of the most hardcore elements of the anti-immigrant movement, including white nationalists.
In their own words
“I was taught that we have an American culture to which immigrants will assimilate, and I am incredibly resentful that’s not what’s happening anymore.” — King, 2013.
“[The march was composed of] mostly Hispanic demonstrators. … I got the sense that I had left the country of my birth and been transported to some Mexican village, completely taken over by an angry, barely restrained mob. … My first act on a safe return home was to take a shower.” — King in a 2010 blog entry on the anti-immigrant hate website VDARE about his experience at a March for Dignity.
“King has described the United States as a country ‘being invaded and colonized,’ and its ‘way of life’ destroyed with the ‘Hispandering’ of his state, which he has taken to calling ‘Georgiafornia.’” — King, quoted by the Anti-Defamation League in 2008.
“[Undocumented immigrants are] not here to mow your lawn – they’re here to blow up your buildings and kill your children, and you, and me.” — King, at a Newton County, Georgia, Republican Party meeting in April 2007.
“We have become sadly acquainted with the absolute and brazen disregard for the law that comes from the third world horde that is allowed to swarm over our border with Mexico. … It is clear that when the mostly Mexican mob illegally ‘migrates’ into our nation, it brings with it the culture of lawlessness and chaos that is responsible for the very conditions that they flee in the rapidly deteriorating example of Democracy without the rule of law that is Mexico.” — King, in a blog in July 2004.
“Must the United States silently suffer the incursion of one million people a year because they are brown?” — King, May 2004.
“Damned right. I hate ‘em all – negroes, wasps, spics, eskimos, jews, honkies, krauts, ruskies, ethopians, pakis, hunkies, pollocks and marxists; there are way too many of them. I’m all for trout, elephants, bacteria, whales, wolves, birds, parrot fish, deciduous foliage and mollusks. Time to rebalance the planet, bleeding heart liberals be damned.” — Fred Elbel, board of advisors and webmaster, 2004.
The Dustin Inman Society began as the American Resistance Foundation in 2003. The organization was renamed the Dustin Inman Society (DIS) after its namesake was killed by an undocumented immigrant. King claims to have been passionate about issues with undocumented immigrants since the 1990s, when he worked for the Georgia Coalition for Immigration Reduction. However, he asserts everything changed after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. “I realized if I could have people living illegally across the street from me and there are people in the country who are flying planes into our buildings, this doesn’t seem like a big effort at national security,” he said.
While King focuses his ire on “criminal illegal aliens,” who he has termed “crimigrants,” he has had his own run-in with the law. In 1977, King pleaded guilty to a charge of interstate gambling, a felony offense. He paid a fine and served two years’ probation.
In an effort to keep his organization afloat, King has depleted his savings account, refinanced his home, and “sold the stock [his] grandmother left” him. He believes DIS is “deterred” by its 501(c)4 rather than 501(c)3 status. King complains an IRS agent would not allow him a 501(c)3 status because he is an “advocate,” to which he responded, “I’m advocating that we obey our laws.” DIS remains a 501(c)4 organization.
DIS and King are longtime allies of the anti-immigrant movement. In 2007, DIS accepted $5,000 from John Tanton’s foundation U.S. Inc. Tanton is a Michigan ophthalmologist turned white nationalist who has created a network of anti-immigrant organizations. Tanton has a long track record of working with white nationalists and espousing racist rhetoric. In 1993, he wrote, “I’ve come to the point of view that for European-American society and culture to persist requires a European-American majority, and a clear one at that.” King not only accepted money from Tanton, but also set up a scheme so that donations to DIS can be funneled through U.S. Inc. and be tax-deductible. In a radio interview, King said he was “proud” of the relationship and stated, “I am also very proud that John Tanton is a personal friend and a personal hero.”
Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), Tanton’s flagship organization that has been designated by SPLC as an anti-immigrant hate group, listed D.A. King as a state contact for a number of years. Roy Beck, the head of NumbersUSA, a prominent nativist group within the Tanton network, was having regular “strategy calls” with King in 2013. Beck once said of King, “I can't think of anybody in my 20 years of working on this issue who has been more adroit in working inside the state Legislature to get legislation actually passed. … He’s just kind of at the top of the heap nationwide in terms of local activists.”
Another anti-immigrant hate group within Tanton’s network, Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS), lists D.A. King as one of its senior writing fellows. CAPS made recent waves in the news for a number of their employees having affiliations with white nationalists. In February 2017, the San Francisco-based newspaper El Tecolote published an article about Parker Anthony Wilson, a neo-Nazi, and his employment at CAPS. CAPS has since tried to erase Wilson’s name from their site. Wilson received an award from CAPS during its 2012 “California Population Awareness Awards” competition.
Both Fred Elbel — who once served as DIS’s webmaster and sits on the group’s board — and King have written for The Social Contract, a quarterly journal founded by Tanton known for routinely publishing race-baiting articles penned by white nationalists. Elbel also works for Colorado Alliance for Immigration Reform (CAIR-CO), another anti-immigrant hate group. On numerous occasions, King has spoken at The Social Contract Press’s (TSCP) Writer’s Workshop, an annual gathering of white nationalists and the anti-immigrant lobby. TSCP is an SPLC-designated white nationalist hate group.
Despite an eight-member board of advisors, King is responsible for most of the action taken by the organization and “works at his own expense and donations.” Since the establishment of DIS, King has taken to the streets to protest and lobby legislators to curb immigration. His strategies are unusual to say the least.
In October 2005, he employed 14 homeless people to hold signs outside the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta at a rate of $10 per protester to push back against “illegal immigration.” “I consider it very good use of the day labor laws. … Yes, I paid them. … And I’m going to pay them again,” he told a local newspaper.
King has organized and participated in several rallies protesting legislation that would aid undocumented immigrants in any way. For example, in 2005, DIS hosted a “public education” rally with anti-immigrant speakers. “ILLEGAL ALIENS DISPLACE U.S. WORKERS,” signs at the rally proclaimed. Chris Simcox, the leader of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, a nationwide anti-immigrant vigilante organization known for its armed-citizen border patrols, spoke at the rally and members of the group were in attendance. King has not only advertised the group on his site, but he also thanked an anti-immigrant blog called “Just Build the Fence” for reporting on the rally.
King has written for the white nationalist SPLC-designated hate group VDARE. VDARE is an anti-immigration website “dedicated to preserving our historical unity as Americans into the 21st century.” It is a hub for white nationalists and antisemites who write on the issue of immigration. White nationalist Peter Brimelow founded the website.
“For me, 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,” King wrote in a June 2006 VDARE article. In September 2006, however, King sought to distance himself from the white nationalist anti-immigrant organization and asked the site to remove his name from the editorial collective but keep an archive of his previous articles.
In April 2007, King organized an anti-immigrant rally in Washington, D.C., as part of the “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” series of anti-immigrant events. The events were held ahead of the annual conference by the same name hosted by anti-immigrant group Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). Leaders in the anti-immigrant movement including Terry Anderson (who passed away in 2010), who King considered a “personal friend,” Rick Oltman and William Gheen were in attendance.
In March 2008, King led a rally to protest “Georgians for McCain” in front of a hotel in Atlanta. The rally was protesting an Atlanta fundraiser for John McCain, who King calls “half” of the “amnesty-again legislation partnernship.” In promoting the rally, King wrote on the DIS site, “We support the concept of attrition of the illegal population through enforcement of existing laws.”
The “attrition through enforcement” concept mentioned by King was popularized in 2005 by the anti-immigrant hate group Center for Immigration Studies (CIS). Mark Krikorian, executive director of CIS, wrote in May 2005 that the United States needs to “shrink the illegal population through consistent, across-the-board enforcement of immigration law.” He explains attrition through enforcement as making it as difficult as possible for an immigrant to live so that they “self deport.”
King has an ongoing dispute with the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials (GALEO). He calls them his “biggest” and “most well-funded enemy” in the state since they lobby against English-only legislation, which King is an advocate of. He further claims they “use a race-baiting scare tactic” with anyone who disagrees with them.
In June 2016, then Sen. Jeff Sessions wrote a letter to King:
“Dear D.A., It was great to see you last night. Thanks for your extraordinary service to the Republic in the immigration realm. Keep up the important work!”
Regrettably, King has permeated mainstream media as an “activist.” In 2008, the Anti-Defamation League reported that 12 mainstream newspapers had printed his articles. On top of allowing King a platform, mainstream outlets often do not appropriately convey his extremism.
The conservative Washington Times has described DIS as “a Georgia-based coalition of citizens with the goal of educating the public on the consequences of illegal immigration.” He has appeared on “Lou Dobbs Tonight,” “Anderson Cooper 360” and National Public Radio (NPR). In October 2007, NPR called him a “grassroots activist.” That same year, CNN’s “Headline News” labeled King an “anti-illegal immigration activist” and “columnist for the Marietta Journal.”
On Feb. 7, 2008, the Gainesville Times, a Georgia-based newspaper, published a letter authored by King. In it, he described a future after the implementation of 287(g), stating that “Parasitic ethnic hustlers who encourage and feed on continued illegal immigration will begin to howl that any enforcement of the law that affects the illegals who are their golden goose is ‘profiling’ and, sooner or later, ‘racist.’” King added a hyperlink to the phrase “ethnic hustlers” on the DIS blog leading to the homepage of Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials (GALEO), a nonprofit organization based in Atlanta. The 287(g) program allows state or local police to enter into an agreement with Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) to enforce federal law.
In June 2018, NYT called DIS “an Atlanta-area group that opposes illegal immigration.”
King has an intimate relationship with state legislators in Georgia. He has been a vocal supporter and staunch advocate for anti-immigrant legislation in the Georgia State legislature for years.
According to a blog on DIS’s website, King took four Georgia state legislators to the U.S.-Mexican border in Cochise County, Arizona, in December 2006: State Senator Chip Rogers and Representatives Tom Graves, Martin Scott and Barry Loudermilk. “We at the Dustin Inman Society are proud to have helped with the on-site education of the curious — and now incredulous — lawmakers,” King wrote.
Supporting section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act
In 2007 and 2008, King was a major supporter of the 287(g) program of the Immigration and Nationality Act. King described the program as “the latest effort to rid Georgia of the taxpayer-subsidized illegal aliens who are lowering wages and straining our schools, hospitals, jails and common language,” in a Gwinnett Daily Post article published in February 2008.
In December 2007, King honored Cobb County Sheriff Neil Warren with DIS’s “Sheriff of the Year” award for being the “only sheriff in Georgia to have taken advantage of” section 287(g). King claimed other elected officials were also in attendance during the event to award Warren.
Contributing to H.B. 87 and Georgia's Immigration Enforcement Review Board
In 2011, Republican Rep. Matt Ramsey authored one of the most contentious immigration bills in Georgia, H.B. 87. King was quick to proclaim he helped write H.B. 87, which allows law enforcement to stop and ask for identification from anyone they consider to be “suspicious” and makes it illegal for any person to “harbor” undocumented immigrants. It also made E-Verify mandatory for businesses with more than 10 employees and makes it illegal to use false information when applying for a job. The bill passed in April 2011 and was enacted that July. When asked about King’s role in drafting the bill, Rep. Ramsey only told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that King is a “staunch advocate for enforcement of immigration laws.”
President Obama criticized H.B. 87 in April 2011: “It is a mistake for states to try to do this piecemeal. … We can’t have 50 different immigration laws around the country. Arizona tried this, and a federal court already struck them down.”
H.B. 87 also created the Immigration Enforcement Review Board (IERB) in Georgia. The board is tasked with reviewing and investigating “complaints related to illegal immigration” and is given authority to take corrective action. Governor Nathan Deal and Speaker David Ralston appointed several members to the IERB including Phil Kent, a friend of D.A. King whose work is regularly featured on DIS’s blog and King’s Facebook page. Kent has also served as the spokesperson for anti-immigrant hate group Americans for Immigration Control. His articles have run in the nativist publication Middle American News, and even in the Citizens Informer, the tabloid of the white nationalist group Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC). Dylann Roof, the Charleston shooter who murdered 9 members of an AME church, claimed the CCC was his gateway into white nationalism. Kent defended the group in a 1999 piece describing the CCC as a good conservative group that had been “targeted for demonization by the political leadership of the Left and its media allies.”
Of the 34 complaints the board has received since its creation, over 30 stem from King, as of September 2018. Only three resulted in action. Tom Edwards, deputy legislative director of the Association County Commissioners of Georgia, said, “The bill’s original language authorized aggrieved parties to sue and have their complaints, even meritless ones, litigated in courts of law. … And what should be concerning, is the legislation had no means by which counties could recoup attorney’s fees and legal costs for meritless suits.”
King has essentially used IERB as his personal, publicly funded investigative agency. Recent complaints by King include elementary schools providing English language classes for parents of students without checking immigration status. One complaint, from May 2017, alleged Marietta City Schools engaged the services of La Amistad, a community-based nonprofit working to empower Latino community members, without getting the E-Verification number or statement showing the organization was in compliance with E-Verify. Marietta schools stipulated that they required written assurances and La Amistad complied with the system. The city of Marietta also has La Amistad’s E-Verify number on record. Such frivolous complaints cost the state of Georgia and the Marietta school district time and money. In May 2018, CBS 46’s “The Bulldog,” an investigative news program, questioned D.A. King on the taxpayer-funded board. “The board should be dissolved,” King conceded, claiming his complaints were not handled quickly enough.
Targeting undocumented students in Georgia
In April 2012, Rep. Barry Loudermilk (who served as a Georgia State Senator during this time) sponsored SB 458, which would bar undocumented students from attending any public school. It would additionally deem foreign passports unacceptable forms of identification with local government agencies. The AJC reports that Loudermilk “consulted King” during legislative sessions on the bill. This bill did not pass.
King was also a big proponent of H.B. 452, which requires criminal data of undocumented immigrants to be published. In an op-ed published by The Telegraph advocating for the bill, termed “Immigrant Registration” by local civil rights groups, King cited a report from CIS, which made the inaccurate claim that “illegal aliens” are “responsible for a significant crime spree in American communities…” Governor Deal signed H.B. 452 into law at the end of the 2017 legislative session.
King’s social media accounts are also revealing.
King retweeted the vile anti-Muslim Voice of Europe Twitter account dozens of times in 2017. The tweets include headlines such as:
“The beautiful Italy is rapidly being Islamised. This looks more like Tehran or Kabul”
“The usual suspects were rioting in Brussels. Sad, it was once a great city with wonderful people”
“Import the Third World, become the Third World: this is Paris!”
“Italian psychiatrist: Italy could soon look like Nigeria and could completely lose control”
In March 2018, King retweeted an account that shared a screenshot of the tweet that got it suspended: “Friendly reminder that Muslims murder gay people.” He has continued to retweet accounts including CIS and Roosh, “one of the most public and reviled online misogynists,” in 2018.
In July 2018, Krikorian cited a DIS blog written by King in July 2018. Krikorian quoted King, explaining Georgia Republican gubernatorial candidates have shied away from speaking about “criminal illegal aliens.” King posted Krikorian’s blog the next day on his Facebook, saying, “Many thanks to my friend Mark Krikorian.” King regularly refers to “criminal illegal aliens” as “crimigrants.”
Also, in July, King posted a graphic with DIS’s logo “VIVA ZERO TOLERANCE! America First! … Deport illegal alien families together.”
In October 2018, he encouraged people to contact their representatives about foreign nationals being able to vote at Georgia polls with temporary driver’s licenses.