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October 7, 2014 1

Anti-Immigrant Groups Call For Immigration Bans Following Ebola Scare

jessica-vaughan-ebola

Jes­sica Vaughan

As news broke of the first per­son inside the U.S. diag­nosed with the deadly Ebola virus, anti-immigrant groups seized the oppor­tu­nity to use this infor­ma­tion as a way to speak out against “mass immi­gra­tion.” Over the past month, anti-immigrant groups used the same tac­tic when attempt­ing to bring the ter­ror­ist group ISIS into the immi­gra­tion debate.

In an inter­view with the Daily Caller, Jes­sica Vaughan, the pol­icy direc­tor of the anti-immigrant think tank Cen­ter for Immi­gra­tion Stud­ies (CIS) argued that Africans will try to come to the United States for treat­ment. She attempted to back up this claim by equat­ing Ebola patients with unac­com­pa­nied minors flee­ing vio­lence in Cen­tral Amer­i­can and seek­ing refuge in the United States, claim­ing both are try­ing “to take advan­tage” of U.S. bor­der pol­icy. Vaughan has made prior big­oted state­ments about immi­grants. In 2008 Vaughan claimed, “One legacy of TPS (Tem­po­rary Pro­tected Sta­tus for refugees) has been its con­tri­bu­tion to the bur­geon­ing street gang prob­lem in the United States.”

Vaughan’s col­league, Mark Kriko­rian, con­tin­ued the argu­ment in a col­umn for National Review Online, titled, “Ban Travel from Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea—Now.” In the col­umn, Kriko­rian again voiced his oppo­si­tion to Mus­lim immi­gra­tion to the United States, stat­ing, “Why has the gov­ern­ment per­mit­ted the num­ber of Saudi immi­grants in the U.S. to dou­ble in just three years?… Why are we going to ‘greatly expand reset­tle­ment for Syr­ian refugees’?”

Anti-immigrant extrem­ists also used the Ebola news as an oppor­tu­nity to call for a reduc­tion to immi­gra­tion. In an Octo­ber 1 arti­cle, Patrick Cle­burne, a writer for the racist web­site VDARE founded by white suprema­cist Peter Brimelow, stated, “My own ques­tion: why does Amer­ica need immi­gra­tion from this famously unhealthy part of the world any­way?” Cle­burne ended his arti­cle by claim­ing the U.S. needs to revisit the Immi­gra­tion and Nation­al­ity Act of 1965, which abol­ished racial quo­tas con­tained in pre­vi­ous immi­gra­tion laws. Also on Octo­ber 1, the Tea Party Immi­gra­tion Coali­tion headed by racist Rick Olt­man posted an arti­cle on its Face­book page about Ebola ask­ing, “Is this how Obama will kill us?”

The anti-immigrant move­ment often paints immi­grants as dis­ease car­ri­ers in an attempt to cre­ate a cli­mate of fear around the issue and call for a restric­tion on immi­gra­tion. Attempt­ing to cap­i­tal­ize of the recent Ebola diag­no­sis is the lat­est exam­ple of this trend.

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October 3, 2014 1

Oklahoma Beheading & The Secondary Effect of Terrorist Propaganda

The evo­lu­tion of online ter­ror­ist pro­pa­ganda has been marked by tar­geted efforts to rad­i­cal­ize and recruit west­ern­ers, often encour­ag­ing them to stage attacks in the U.S. or join ter­ror­ist groups abroad. The influ­ence of this vio­lent pro­pa­ganda, how­ever, goes beyond its intended audience.alton-nolan-via-fb

Alton Nolan, who allegedly beheaded one for­mer coworker and stabbed a sec­ond last week in Okla­homa, did not have any appar­ent ties to ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tions or appear to be respond­ing to a spe­cific call for attacks on behalf of any orga­ni­za­tion. But his actions can be viewed as a sec­ondary effect of ter­ror­ist pro­pa­ganda, which any­one can access with ease.

Nolan’s online activ­ity sug­gests that his inter­est in extrem­ist vio­lence may well have informed his deci­sion to under­take a behead­ing, rather than another form of vio­lence. Some of his Face­book posts, for exam­ple, indi­cate an affin­ity to vio­lent images com­monly prop­a­gated by Islamic extrem­ists. One post from March 2014 fea­tures an image of a behead­ing with text that jus­ti­fies that form of mur­der in Islam, an image of a woman receiv­ing lashes, and an image of a man hold­ing a poster that states “Islam will dom­i­nate the world.” Nolan included a cap­tion that stated “Sharia law will takeover (sic)…Cut the hands off the thieves…Islam is the true religion.”

In June 2014 he posted a screed against Father’s Day together with an image of a mil­i­tant from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). He also wrote mul­ti­ple screeds against the U.S. and specif­i­cally the Statue of Lib­erty for allow­ing women to show their hair, sell­ing pork in gro­cery stores, and allow­ing same-sex marriage.

In May 2014, Nolan posted two images of what appear to be fright­ened women along­side quotes from the Qu’ran about pun­ish­ing “unbe­liev­ers” and the sen­tence “These piks aren’t qiute how their gnna be but jst sum piks. (sic)”

Such posts were inter­spersed with posts about UFOs, posts explain­ing why some peo­ple have blond hair, and posts about Black Moores enslav­ing “white Euro­peans” and keep­ing “white harems,” among oth­ers. Those posts are also signed “****InfoFromAMuslim****.”

In late 2013, prior to these posts, Nolan also had a series of posts sug­gest­ing that Blacks are the “true Jews” and dis­cussing Hitler, Neo-Nazis, and the KKK.

An analy­sis of all these posts indi­cates that Nolan was appar­ently fas­ci­nated by the vio­lence por­trayed by Islamic extrem­ism. He attempts to pro­mote him­self by preach­ing it. But he does not appear to have con­nec­tions to rad­i­cal extrem­ism, and the core of his vio­lent ten­den­cies appear per­son­ally motivated.

These sec­ondary effects of ter­ror­ist pro­pa­ganda were sim­i­larly demon­strated in the case of a mur­der that took place in New Jer­sey in August. The accused per­pe­tra­tor in that case, Ali Muhammed Brown, had a pre­vi­ous crim­i­nal record and is also accused of killing three indi­vid­u­als in Cal­i­for­nia in June. In August, he was allegedly engaged in a rob­bery when he shot a man in a car. When appre­hended, Brown claimed that the mur­der was revenge for U.S. actions in the Mid­dle East.

This was not the first crim­i­nal charge against Alton Nolan, a 30-year-old for­mer employee at a food pro­cess­ing plant in Okla­homa. He had pre­vi­ously been con­victed on drug, resist­ing arrest and escape charges.

Nolan appar­ently con­verted to a rad­i­cal ver­sion of Islam in or around the time he went to prison. In Jan­u­ary 2014, he began sign­ing his Face­book posts and com­ments with the phrase “****InfoFromAMuslim****.”

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October 3, 2014 2

California Takes Lead In Ending School-To-Prison Pipeline

Cal­i­for­nia has once again shown itself to be a leader in pro­mot­ing civil rights and equal­ity for all by ban­ning school sus­pen­sions for K-3rd grade stu­dents and expul­sions for all stu­dents under the sub­jec­tive and often-abused “will­ful defi­ance” stan­dard in the Edu­ca­tion Code.  As part of our mis­sion to fight big­otry of all kinds, ADL has had a long his­tory of sup­port­ing equal access to qual­ity edu­ca­tion for all students—the goal promised in the land­mark Brown v. Board of Edu­ca­tion Supreme Court rul­ing in 1954.  This momen­tous change in Cal­i­for­nia law, which ADL proudly sup­ported, will bring us a sig­nif­i­cant step closer to that ideal.school-to-prison-pipeline

The new law spec­i­fies that a pub­lic school stu­dent in grades 6–12 may be sus­pended for will­ful defiance—which can be as minor as a dress code vio­la­tion or fail­ure to hand in homework—only after the third offense in a school year, and pro­vided that other means of resolv­ing the behav­ioral prob­lems were first attempted.  The law also pro­hibits a school from rec­om­mend­ing that stu­dent for expul­sion solely for will­ful defi­ance.  The law now encour­ages schools to invest in chil­dren rather than resort­ing to harsh out-of-school dis­ci­pline for rel­a­tively minor offenses.  Its pas­sage will ensure that stu­dents remain where they need to be—in class—and not on the streets or in the crim­i­nal jus­tice system.

Although there are many fac­tors that con­tribute to a student’s inabil­ity to thrive in school, the cycle of sus­pen­sions and expul­sions is among the best indi­ca­tors of which stu­dents will drop out.  Stu­dents who drop out of school have more dif­fi­culty find­ing gain­ful employ­ment, have much lower earn­ing power when they are employed, and ulti­mately are more likely to wind up in the crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem.  This trou­bling phenomenon—which dis­pro­por­tion­ately impacts stu­dents of color, stu­dents with dis­abil­i­ties, and stu­dents who iden­tify as les­bian, gay, bisex­ual or trans­gen­der—has become known as the “school-to-prison pipeline.”  Work­ing to dis­man­tle the pipeline has become a key focus of ADL’s civil rights and edu­ca­tion agendas.

Both the Los Ange­les Uni­fied School Dis­trict and the San Fran­cisco Uni­fied School Dis­trict have already com­pletely banned sus­pen­sions and expul­sions for will­ful defi­ance, tak­ing a sig­nif­i­cant step towards dis­man­tling the school-to-prison pipeline.  California’s new statewide law will sun­set in three and a half years.  Dur­ing this time, ADL will be work­ing with coali­tion part­ners on new bills and ini­tia­tives to strengthen pro­tec­tions for stu­dents and develop addi­tional alter­na­tive meth­ods for chang­ing neg­a­tive stu­dent behav­iors with pos­i­tive interventions.

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