The number of “nativist extremist” groups — organizations that go beyond mere advocacy to personally confront suspected undocumented immigrants or those who hire or help them — dropped again last year, falling from 17 to just 15.
But that slight decline was not a reflection of diminishing hatred directed at immigrants to the United States. What appears to have happened is that figures in the political mainstream, along with numerous state legislatures, have essentially co-opted the issue, making the nativist extremist groups’ activism unnecessary. A recent example of that is all of the ugly nativism seen during the 2016 election campaign, where immigrants, and most notably Muslims, were vilified.
The year 2016 did see continued activity among longtime nativist extremist groups such as the Dustin Inman Society in Georgia and Oregonians for Immigration Reform, and also border reconnaissance missions from groups including the Arizona Border Recon and the Texas Border Volunteers.
The drop last year was the latest since the movement peaked in 2010 with 319 groups. The numbers fell quickly at first, at a time when state legislatures were passing extremely harsh nativist laws, but have been very low for four years now.
Arizona Border Recon
Dustin Inman Society
Floridians for Immigration Enforcement
Help Save Maryland
Massachusetts Coalition for Immigration Reform
Michiganders for Immigration Control and Enforcement
Minnesotans Seeking Immigration Reform
Minuteman Civil Defense Corps
North Carolinians for Immigration Reform and Enforcement
Oregonians for Immigration Reform
Rhode Islanders for Immigration Law Enforcement
Stop the Magnet
Texas Border Volunteers
United Patriots of America
We the People Rising