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Extremism Headlines: Trump Immigration plan, Abortion, Anti-LGBTQ+ Laws

Every week, the Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Project rounds up our recent work and headlines on extremism and the radical right that caught our attention through Feb. 16. 

Sage’s retractions in abortion case

  • This week, Hatewatch wrote about academic publisher  Sage’s retraction of two articles cited in an anti-abortion lawsuit in Texas. The article notes that "Sage pointed to 'undeclared conflicts of interest' and 'a lack of scientific rigor that invalidates or renders unreliable the authors’ conclusions' as reasons for retracting the articles." The anti-LGBTQ+ hate group Alliance Defending Freedom filed the lawsuit on behalf of the anti-LGBTQ+ hate group American College of Pediatricians and three other groups. A Texas judge cited the articles when he suspended access to mifepristone, non-surgical abortion option. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration first approved mifepristone in 2000.
  • The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in the case this March. The New York Times, ReutersCNN and more have reported the news.

Uganda anti-LBGTQ+ bill's alleged ties to U.S. Hate Group

  • Hatewatch also published a story on the relationship between Uganda's anti-LGBTQ+ President Yoweri Museveni and First Lady Janet Museveni and Sharon Slater, president of the anti-LGBTQ+ hate group Family Watch International (FWI). Museveni signed into law a fiercely anti-LBGTQ+ in May 2023. Renowned Ugandan LGBTQ+ rights activist Clare Byarugaba told Hatewatch she believes FWI and other far-right activists from the United States influenced the bill.

Trump’s ‘aggressive’ immigration plan

  • Former President Trump’s immigration plan is set to be more aggressive than before, according to The Atlantic. He has promised to pursue "the Largest Domestic Deportation Operation in History." This mass-deportation program would focus on largely minority areas of large cities where many undocumented immigrants have settled, including Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago and New York. Stephen Miller, Trump’s top immigration adviser, has stated that they would create "a private red-state army" under the president’s command, the article reported. They plan to requisition National Guard troops from Republican-controlled states and deploy them into Democratic-run states whose governors refuse to cooperate with their deportation drive.
  • Hatewatch previously reported extensively on Miller's affinity for far-right literature and anti-immigration policy.

Attempts to redefine ‘terror’ in Idaho

  • Eric Parker, known for his role in the 2014 Bundy Ranch standoff, is now a key figure behind Idaho’s Senate Bill 1220, which aims to narrow the state’s definition of "terrorism," according to Investigate West. The bill would limit the application of the law to those associated with U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organizations, excluding those involved in domestic extremism. This change would exclude Parker and others involved in the Bundy Ranch incident. Parker, who spent 19 months in prison and faced two federal trials for his actions at the ranch, has been working behind the scenes for over three years to push this legislation, the article claims.
  • Critics argue that this bill could weaken the state’s ability to address "domestic terrorism" and question the appropriateness of taking policy cues from someone that federal authorities considered an antigovernment extremist.

‘Pro-family’ Hungarian president resigns amid sex abuse pardon scandal 

  • Hungarian President Katalin Novak resigned on Feb. 10, 2024, following public outcry over her pardon of a man convicted of aiding in covering up a child sex abuse case. The pardon, first reported by local news site, led to demands from the opposition for Novak to step down. Novak, whose presidential role is largely ceremonial, admitted her mistake and announced her resignation on state television. Outlets have widely reported the news in the U.S.
  • Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has long courted the international far-right movement with his anti-immigrant and "pro-family" policies. Before she won the office of the presidency in March 2022, Novak was head of the Political Network for Values (PNV), an international network of groups that push ultra-conservative family policy. Hatewatch has reported the presence of two representatives of U.S. hate groups on PNV's board of advisors: FWI's Slater and Brian Brown, president of the International Organization for the Family (IOF). The IOF is an international umbrella organization of anti-LGBTQ organizations.  

Previously: Extremism Headlines: Border convoy, Speaker Johnson, Antisemitic arson

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Above photo: Stephen Miller speaks during the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center on March 4, 2023 in National Harbor, Maryland. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images) 

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