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Roundup of anti-immigrant activities: 7/26/18

The following is a list of activities and events of anti-immigrant organizations and individuals. Organizations listed as anti-immigrant hate groups are designated with an asterisk.

National groups

On July 2, the anti-immigrant group Immigration Reform Law Institute* (IRLI), filed a friend-of-the-court brief in a Utah case looking at the issue of birthright citizenship. For decades IRLI and the broader movement lead a push to overturn the 14th amendment, which grants citizenship to anyone born in the United States. According to IRLI’s Dale Wilcox, “In America, neither foreigners with no connection to this country nor those here against the will of the nation should get to decide who shall be American citizens. And the Supreme Court has never held to the contrary.” IRLI hopes this case will eventually be brought before the Supreme Court.

In response to the growing calls from progressives to abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) the anti-immigrant movement’s flagship organization, the Federation for American Immigration Reform* (FAIR) issued a press release on July 18 praising a bill passed in the House in support of ICE agents. FAIR’s press release attacked the Democratic Party claiming a “radical, but vocal fringe” has “infiltrated” it. Many other anti-immigrant groups and key figures in the movement have lambasted elected officials who have voiced support for abolishing the agency that has come under renewed scrutiny for militaristic raids during Donald Trump’s presidency.

Numerous anti-immigrant groups, including FAIR and IRLI, praised the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. IRLI issued a press release on July 10, with its leader Dale Wilcox stating, “Judge Kavanaugh has shown wisdom in past rulings on one of our nation’s biggest challenges, immigration. He has sided with U.S. citizens and American manufacturers, farmers, and ranchers in cases where American jobs were threatened by cheap labor, union elections were undermined by illegal alien voting, and foreign competition had the potential to harm American businesses.” FAIR followed suit, with its president Dan Stein noting, “As it relates to immigration policy, Brett Kavanaugh is a superb choice to fill the current vacancy in the U.S. Supreme Court. President Trump should be commended for choosing a candidate who clearly understands the nation’s patchwork of immigration laws and how they are intended to protect both American workers and the overarching national interest.” The appointment of another conservative voice on immigration to the Supreme Court could see the Court considering key long-term goals of the anti-immigrant movement, such as ending birthright citizenship. 

Kris Kobach, a lawyer for IRLI and also the Kansas Secretary of State, spoke at a pro-ICE rally in Wichita on July 14 where he vowed to end in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants. Kobach is currently running for governor as a Republican. According to the Wichita Eagle, Kobach also told the crowd, “If you want to create a job for an American citizen tomorrow, deport an illegal alien today.”

On July 10, the anti-immigrant Center for Immigration Studies* (CIS) released its annual summer report attempting to blame immigrants for taking the jobs of American teens during the summer months while they are not in school. Despite its title, “2018 Shaping Up to Be Another Bad Summer for Teen Employment,” the report admits in the first paragraph that teenage unemployment has in fact declined, but then attempts to counter that by claiming that “the overall number of immigrants (legal and illegal) holding a job has more than doubled.” CIS routinely blames immigrants for taking Americans jobs, be it from teenagers, minorities or others.

On July 17, CIS announced it is suing United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in order to obtain information about individuals who have applied for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. CIS has been one of the most vocal critics of the DACA policy, and lead calls to scrap it following the election of Donald Trump.

Local groups

On July 5, the anti-immigrant Oregonians for Immigration Reform* (OFIR) submitted 105,000 signatures in an effort to overturn Oregon’s decades-old sanctuary law. The Secretary of State’s office confirmed later that OFIR had met the signatures threshold to qualify for the ballot initiative for the November election. OFIR lead a similar effort in 2014, overturning a state law offering drivers licenses to undocumented immigrants. The group received funding from a number of anti-immigrant groups and activists for this effort, most notably FAIR.

On July 17, Dan Rose, of the Kentucky-based anti-immigrant group Americans First participated in a debate on current immigration issues on the television show “Kentucky Tonight.” “We wouldn’t have had 9/11… had we been more careful about who we let into our country,” said Rose before later stating, “The chairman of their party now wants to abolish ICE… and basically let anybody pour into our country with no accountability whatsoever. ICE is the only thing standing between us and complete chaos and anarchy involving immigration and illegal immigration.” In October 2017, Rose travelled to Washington, D.C. to lobby in favor of an anti-sanctuary bill. According to Rose, he attended the lobbying visit as a guest of FAIR.


On July 10, Tennessee Rep. Diane Black introduced a bill that would reclassify unauthorized entry into the United States as a felony for first time offenders. In a press release, Black wrote,

"The United States government should never prioritize illegal immigrants over American citizens. We must have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to illegal border crossings and sanctuary cities, and we must give ICE the resources they need to do their job as they protect our nation.”

The release also contained a quote from the anti-immigrant group NumbersUSA, the mobilizing arm of the anti-immigrant movement, praising Black’s Zero Tolerance for Illegal Entry Act. The NumbersUSA statement reads,

"NumbersUSA applauds Congressman Diane Black's ‘Zero Tolerance for Illegal Entry Act,’ which would protect American jobs, reduce illegal immigration, and hold sanctuary jurisdictions accountable for obstructing the enforcement of Federal immigration law."

On July 18, the state of Massachusetts passed a budget that stripped previous proposed language that would have made the state more welcoming for the undocumented. FAIR praised the vote on its website writing, “Supporters of public safety and the rule of law have scored another remarkable victory over the open-borders crowd in liberal Massachusetts.” As previously reported by Hatewatch, Massachusetts was a key battleground state for the anti-immigrant movement in the effort to abolish sanctuary polices.

In their own words

  • On June 26, Iowa Rep. Steve King told Breitbart, “President Trump can deny foreign nationals entry to the country. He should immediately issue a Presidential Proclamation suspending the entry of foreign nationals from Mexico, Caribbean, Central, and South American countries until such time as he finds the detrimental effects of illegal immigration from these regions have been curtailed and our border is secure.”
  • On July 4, James Kirkpatrick, wrote a piece for the anti-immigrant hate site VDARE* in response to an African American protester climbing the Statue of Liberty where he claimed, “Authorities, presumably fearful of terrorism, shut down the island during the incident, so no one could visit the statue. The possibility of terrorism is another one of those things we have all just gotten used to thanks to diversity.” Kirkpatrick is a frequent contributor to VDARE, which serves as a hub for white nationalists, anti-immigrant activists and antisemities who write on the issue of immigration.
  • July 22, Linda Thom, another longtime VDARE contributor, penned a piece for the site blaming immigrants for the alleged decline in IQ rates in the U.S, writing, “Uneducated immigrants are driving down the overall IQ in the U.S. Poorly educated people are generally not as intelligent as well-educated people.  The overwhelming majority of U.S. immigrants are Hispanic, and they have much less education than do Asians and whites.”
  • In response to a tweet from a reporter who visited the “abolish ICE” camp in Portland, Oregon, CIS head Mark Krikorian tweeted on July 24, “Any rapes yet?”

Upcoming events

On Friday, July 27, anti-immigrant activists in California will pay a “citizens lobby visit” to meet with the district office staff of Republican assemblyman Phillip Chen, according to the Claremont-based anti-immigrant group We the People Rising. We the People and other activists are encouraging elected officials to vote against a bill that would allow undocumented immigrants in California to serve on government boards and commissions.




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