Progressives for Immigration Reform Conference Attracts Major Anti-Immigrant Figures » ADL Blogs
Perspectives & Information on Contemporary Civil Rights Issues
October 17, 2012 0

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.