Dan Stein, the longtime president of anti-immigrant hate group Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), published a letter to the editor this week in the Washington Post claiming that he never said something he actually did say in 1991.
In response to Post columnist Dana Milbank’s article “Is it a coincidence that Trump uses the language of white supremacy?” Stein wrote:
Mr. Milbank claimed that I have “famously uttered” an offensive phrase about immigrants “competitive breeding.” For the record, I state unequivocally, once more, as I have for 25 years, that I have never, ever made any such statement. In fact, there is no entire quote available from me that contains that sentiment.”
Stein added, “Don’t believe me? Find it.”
Stein’s quote comes from a 1991 Albany Times Union article titled “Immigrant Women Have More Babies.” The news report reads:
FAIR Director Daniel Stein argues that higher birth rates will give immigrants a disproportionate share of political power as their numbers increase in America.
"It's almost like they're getting into competitive breeding," he said. "You have to take into account the various fertility rates in designing limits on immigration."
Written by journalist Greg B. Smith, the Times Union article can be read in full here. Reached over email, Smith, now a reporter at the New York Daily News, confirmed the quote. “If I wrote it, he said it,” he told Hatewatch.
People For The American Way uncovered Stein’s comment in a February 2016 report detailing the extensive overlap between anti-immigrant groups like FAIR and the broader white nationalist movement.
When Stein said immigrants were “getting into competitive breeding,” FAIR was still receiving funding from the Pioneer Fund, one of the most influential hate groups of the 20thcentury and a group founded with an explicit eugenicist mission. From the mid-1980s until 1994, FAIR accepted some $1.2 million from the Pioneer Fund.
FAIR is part of a constellation of anti-immigration groups created by population-alarmist-turned-white-nationalist John Tanton, 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."
Tanton, now in his 80s and suffering from Parkinson’s disease, was once prolific in executing a strategic vision for an organized anti-immigrant movement that today has reached new heights of influence under the administration of President Donald J. Trump.
The attacks on sanctuary cities, refugee resettlement, the increase in ICE raids and the sidelining of DACA — all often justified with phony statistics, fearmongering and lies— are the fruits of this movement and its connections. Tanton’s vision of a “European-American majority” is shared by a president who prefers his immigrants from Norway.
Stein no doubt relishes this reversal in political fortune brought by the Trump presidency. “Getting out of bed these days is a lot more fun than it used to be,” he told Vice.
It now appears Stein thinks he can get away with anything, including rewriting his own ugly record.