Progressives for Immigration Reform Conference Attracts Major Anti-Immigrant Figures » ADL Blogs
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October 17, 2012

Progressives for Immigration Reform Conference Attracts Major Anti-Immigrant Figures

Despite claims by Progressives for Immigration Reform (PFIR) to be a “progressive” and “environmental” organization, the appearance of several anti-immigrant activists at PFIR’s third annual conference in Washington, DC, earlier this month, further confirms that the group is firmly entrenched in the anti-immigrant movement.

Photos of the conference on the group Facebook page show Roy Beck, head of the Virginia-based anti-immigrant group NumbersUSA, in the audience. Beck is the former Washington editor of The Social Contract (TSC), an anti-immigrant journal published by racist John Tanton. During the years Beck was working as the Washington editor of TSC, the journal published the writings of known white supremacists such as Sam Francis and Jared Taylor. Beck also spoke at the 1997 national conference of the Council of Conservative Citizens, a white supremacist organization.

Another picture taken at the PFIR conference shows John Rohe, vice-president of philanthropy and secretary at the Colcom Foundation, in attendance. Rohe is reportedly a close friend of Tanton, and worked with him at Tanton’s U.S., Inc. organization in Michigan for a number of years.  Rohe even authored Tanton’s biography. The Colcom foundation is the premier funder of the anti-immigrant movement in the United States, and has donated millions of dollars a year to anti-immigrant groups such as PFIR, U.S., Inc., NumbersUSA and many others.

A third key anti-immigrant figure identified at the PFIR conference is Marilyn Brant Chandler DeYoung, the chair of the Santa Barbara-based anti-immigrant group Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS). CAPS reportedly received money from the Pioneer Fund, a foundation that promotes the study of eugenics, in 2002. DeYoung is behind a push this year to get more recognition for CAPS. The group aired ads during the Democratic and Republican conventions and launched a number of new projects in 2012.

PFIR’s claim to legitimacy in the environmental movement continues to unravel. Its website states, “Indeed, it is hard to think of a single environmental problem that is not made significantly worse by population growth, or that could not be more effectively met if we could stabilize or reduce our population.” As this quote indicates, the group’s real agenda is to cite immigration as the major source of environmental problems in the United States.