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Trump’s New Communications Director Not a Fan of Federation for American Immigration Reform

The election of Donald Trump, his subsequent appointments of hardline nativists and his xenophobic executive orders have buoyed anti-immigrant groups like the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). 

However, Trump’s recent appointment of Mike Dubke as communications director is sure to have caused some scowling at the FAIR offices, less than two miles from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Dubke’s feud with FAIR dates back to 2000, when he criticized the group for blatantly racist ads the organization ran against then U.S. Senator Spencer Abraham during his reelection campaign. FAIR ran ads against Abraham, a Lebanese American, because he supported issuing more visas for immigrants with high-tech skills. The ads featured side-by-side photos of Abraham and Osama bin Laden and this question: "Why is Senator Abraham trying to make it easier for terrorists like Osama bin Laden to export their war of terror to any city street in America?" The ads also accused the senator of pushing a bill that would "take American jobs. Our jobs." Dubke, who at the time ran Americans for Job Security, a pro-business group supporting Abraham, put out its own ad calling FAIR “part of a coalition with ties to the Ku Klux Klan” that was running a “campaign of hate against Abraham.”

Dubke’s assessment of FAIR is quite reasonable. It was founded by white nationalist John Tanton in 1979, a man who once 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." For almost four decades, FAIR has fought to oppose any and all forms of immigration, to the U.S. calling for a moratorium on immigration while at the same time fostering ties with white supremacist groups and eugenicists and making demonizing statements about non-white immigrants.

FAIR and the other two major anti-immigrant groups — NumbersUSA and the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) — have been quite vocal about Trump’s nativist appointees and executive orders, but the three groups have been notably silent on Dubke’s appointment.

Considering that some of Trump’s closest aides — Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller in particular — are big fans of FAIR, it remains to be seen whether Dubke’s distaste for racist anti-immigrant groups will cause tension in the Trump White House.

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