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April 5, 2016 1

Anti-Immigrant Ideologue Michelle Dallacroce Calls It Quits

In an April 4th press release, vir­u­lently anti-immigrant activist Michelle Dal­lacroce has claimed that she will no longer be pub­licly active “in the polit­i­cal arena of ille­gal immi­gra­tion” and is per­ma­nently shut­ting down two anti-immigrant orga­ni­za­tions she founded in Arizona.

Dal­lacroce stated in her release that oth­ers within the anti-immigrant move­ment sab­o­taged her and tried to “destroy the rep­u­ta­tion” of one of her groups, the National Orga­ni­za­tion for Vic­tims of Ille­gal Alien Crime (NOVIAC), and this was why she was leaving.

Michelle Dallacroce twitter

Michelle Dal­lacroce

How­ever, Dallacroce’s rea­son for call­ing it quits may have more to do with how she tried but failed to upstage another anti-immigrant orga­ni­za­tion that cov­ered the same ground as NOVIAC. In other words, she may have lost an anti-immigrant group turf war.

Dal­lacroce founded NOVIAC in Feb­ru­ary 2016. Pre­vi­ously, she was the founder and head of the so-called Moth­ers Against Ille­gal Aliens (MAIA). Her new anti-immigrant orga­ni­za­tion, NOVIAC, was actu­ally quite sim­i­lar in nature to a rival anti-immigrant group, The Remem­brance Project, founded by Maria Espinoza in 2009. Espinoza’s orga­ni­za­tion attracted pub­lic­ity to the anti-immigration move­ment by pro­mot­ing pro­pa­ganda about crime vic­tims allegedly killed by undoc­u­mented immi­grants. The Remem­brance Project also gained national atten­tion when pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Don­ald Trump invited mem­bers of the group onstage at one of his cam­paign ral­lies in Novem­ber 2015. The Remem­brance Project sub­se­quently helped Trump stage meet­ings with the fam­i­lies of vic­tims whose assailants were undoc­u­mented immigrants.

Dal­lacroce seemed to eye her rival’s Trump con­nec­tion envi­ously. As part of her effort to pro­mote NOVIAC, Dal­lacroce report­edly sent a set of doc­u­ments via email, snail mail and through a rep­re­sen­ta­tive to the Trump cam­paign out­lin­ing the goals of the orga­ni­za­tion. In one doc­u­ment, dubbed the “NOVIAC Pro­posal,” she urged the Trump cam­paign to take three steps: assign an ille­gal immi­gra­tion spokesper­son for the cam­paign; cre­ate a per­ma­nent orga­ni­za­tion called the National Orga­ni­za­tion for Vic­tims of Ille­gal Alien Crime; and develop and imple­ment a NOVIAC web­site. The packet also included a let­ter to Trump encour­ag­ing him to con­sider the pro­posal and a let­ter addressed to “all Vic­tims of Ille­gal Alien Crime” encour­ag­ing them to endorse the project as well.

Though Dal­lacroce gave credit to The Remem­brance Project for keep­ing “vic­tim family’s sto­ries” alive, she asserted that “these vic­tims’ sto­ries are too impor­tant to the fab­ric of Amer­ica to be left to grass­roots orga­ni­za­tions.” She added that NOVIAC would “legit­imize these fam­i­lies on a NATIONAL LEVEL [empha­sis in orig­i­nal] to com­pete with other nation­ally rec­og­nized victim’s organizations.”

Appar­ently, Maria Espinoza did not appre­ci­ate Dallacroce’s attempt to encroach on her orga­ni­za­tion. Accord­ing to Dal­lacroce in a Face­book post that was sub­se­quently removed, she and her sup­port­ers were blocked from The Remem­brance Project’s Face­book page in mid-March after Dal­lacroce left a com­ment and a link on the Col­orado Remem­brance Project’s Face­book page adver­tis­ing NOVIAC (how­ever, the link does not seem to have been removed). In the since-deleted Face­book post­ing, Dal­lacroce alleged that Espinoza had full knowl­edge of her “NOVIAC pro­posal” to the Trump cam­paign but that Espinoza refused to par­tic­i­pate and would “rather block, obstruct and deny access,” than work together.

In her press release about call­ing it quits, Dal­lacroce asserted that today’s anti-immigration move­ment is filled with “lies, decep­tion and manip­u­la­tion” that did not exist when she cre­ated MAIA in 2006. With­out nam­ing The Remem­brance Project, she accused other peo­ple and orga­ni­za­tions of “steal­ing the intel­lec­tual prop­erty and ideas from our orga­ni­za­tion, in order to sab­o­tage my good name and to destroy the rep­u­ta­tion of the newly found [sic] orga­ni­za­tion NOVIAC.”

In real­ity, it appears that Dal­lacroce is bow­ing out of the anti-immigrant movement—at least for now—because she did not receive the sup­port she expected for NOVIAC. While it is unclear what Dal­lacroce will do next, she and Espinoza do share a com­mon thread. While their orga­ni­za­tions claim to stand up for the vic­tims of crimes, they actu­ally serve to demo­nize immi­grants and pro­vide a plat­form for bigotry.

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February 22, 2016 4

Anti-Immigrant Groups Ratchet Up TV Ad Campaigns

Two anti-immigrant groups, the Fed­er­a­tion for Amer­i­can Immi­gra­tion Reform (FAIR) and Num­ber­sUSA, have been run­ning tele­vi­sion ads dur­ing the cur­rent pres­i­den­tial debates and pri­maries attack­ing immi­gra­tion poli­cies. Both orga­ni­za­tions want to impose lim­its on legal immi­gra­tion and halt undoc­u­mented immigration.

FAIR’s new ad, which began run­ning in Feb­ru­ary in South Car­olina where a pri­mary was held on Feb­ru­ary 20, blames undoc­u­mented immi­grants for tak­ing away jobs and col­lege place­ments from Amer­i­can cit­i­zens. The ad also claims that undoc­u­mented immi­grants are using resources like health­care and wel­fare ben­e­fits “at Amer­i­can tax­payer expense.” In addi­tion, the ad alleges that undoc­u­mented immi­grants are com­mit­ting crimes against Amer­i­cans due to “bro­ken borders.”

Dan Stein, president of FAIR

Dan Stein, pres­i­dent of FAIR

Undoc­u­mented immi­grants, many of whom have resided in the U.S. for decades, live in the shad­ows of Amer­i­can soci­ety as they are afraid that reveal­ing their sta­tus may result in depor­ta­tion. In the ad, Dan Stein, the pres­i­dent of FAIR co-opts the idea that undoc­u­mented immi­grants live in the shad­ows by claim­ing that Amer­i­can cit­i­zens are the ones that need to come out of the shad­ows and speak out against undoc­u­mented immigration.

The Num­ber­sUSA ad is more explicit in attack­ing both legal and undoc­u­mented immi­gra­tion. The ad fea­tures the late Bar­bara Jor­dan, a for­mer Texas rep­re­sen­ta­tive, and the chair of the U.S. Com­mis­sion on Immi­gra­tion Reform in the mid-1990s. Jor­dan has become a much touted hero of the anti-immigrant move­ment for her stance on lim­it­ing legal immi­gra­tion and stop­ping undoc­u­mented immi­gra­tion when she was on the commission.

In the ad, while Jor­dan speaks about the alleged impact of immi­gra­tion on job prospects for Amer­i­can work­ers, Num­ber­sUSA sug­gests that legal immi­gra­tion should be cut dras­ti­cally. It also sug­gests that undoc­u­mented immi­gra­tion is caus­ing wide­spread unemployment.

FAIR and Num­ber­sUSA are two of the most active anti-immigrant groups in the nation. Both have ties to racist John Tan­ton, the archi­tect of the mod­ern anti-immigrant move­ment. Tan­ton founded FAIR in 1979 and had a hand in cre­at­ing Num­ber­sUSA, as well.

Roy Beck, who founded Num­ber­sUSA in the mid-90s, worked closely with Tan­ton and Num­ber­sUSA was under the umbrella of Tanton’s orga­ni­za­tion, U.S. Inc, until 2002. Beck was the Wash­ing­ton edi­tor of Tanton’s anti-immigrant jour­nal, The Social Con­tract dur­ing the 1990s. Dur­ing Beck’s tenure as edi­tor, white suprema­cists such as Jared Tay­lor and Sam Fran­cis pub­lished arti­cles in the jour­nal. Beck him­self addressed the white suprema­cist Coun­cil of Con­ser­v­a­tive Cit­i­zens in 1997.

Both FAIR and Num­ber­sUSA are try­ing to use immi­gra­tion to drive a wedge between vot­ers who sup­port immi­gra­tion reform and those who do not and tend to blame immi­grants for a vari­ety of soci­etal problems.

As a 501(c)(3) non-profit orga­ni­za­tion, the Anti-Defamation League does not sup­port or oppose can­di­dates for polit­i­cal office.

(more…)

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December 22, 2015 0

Condemning Islamic Terrorism, Defending Muslims

By Jonathan Green­blatt
CEO of the Anti-Defamation League

This arti­cle orig­i­nally appeared in The Jerusalem Post.

When Yigal Amir assas­si­nated Israeli Prime Min­is­ter Yitzhak Rabin, surely one of the low moments in Israeli his­tory, there were those who blamed Ortho­dox Jews because he was an Ortho­dox Jew and was edu­cated in that sec­tor of Israeli society.

Shortly after the tragic event, the Ortho­dox Union, the rep­re­sen­ta­tive body of mod­ern Amer­i­can Ortho­dox Jews, con­vened a large gath­er­ing at a promi­nent Ortho­dox synagogue.

The keynote speaker was Rabbi Nor­man Lamm, then Pres­i­dent of Yeshiva University.

Speak­ing to the issue of accu­sa­tions against the Ortho­dox com­mu­nity, Lamm said: “Yigal Amir was a weed, but he was a weed in our garden.”

As Amer­i­can soci­ety and, indeed, the world con­front the chal­lenge of Islamic ter­ror­ism while avoid­ing the destruc­tive think­ing that blames all Mus­lims and Islam itself for the ter­ror, Rabbi Lamm’s com­ment seems more rel­e­vant than ever.

What Lamm was say­ing about the role of Ortho­doxy was that it is a false and dan­ger­ous accu­sa­tion to blame all Ortho­dox and the reli­gion itself for what Yigal Amir did. He was a weed, a per­son who behaved in a way that does not rep­re­sent the Ortho­dox phi­los­o­phy and world­view. So stop these accu­sa­tions and stereotypes.

Hav­ing said that, Rabbi Lamm went on, still the Ortho­dox world needed to look at itself and ask tough and pen­e­trat­ing ques­tions about the way it’s tend­ing to its beau­ti­ful gar­den, that too many of these weeds are appearing.

It was a call for seri­ous intro­spec­tion and a will­ing­ness to say there is an ele­ment of respon­si­bil­ity that demands examination.

In my view, that is the miss­ing piece in the cur­rent dis­cus­sion about Islamic ter­ror­ism. The pres­i­dent of the United States con­demns the ter­ror and calls on all Amer­i­cans not to fall into the trap of stereo­typ­ing Mus­lims or Islam, both admirable reac­tions. But he can­not bring him­self to refer to the hor­ror that is tak­ing place as rad­i­cal Islamic ter­ror­ism, as if were he to do so he would be encour­ag­ing anti-Islamic sen­ti­ment and behavior.

Mean­while, other politi­cians and influ­en­tials blame Mus­lims in gen­eral for the ter­ror, even to the point, as in the case of Don­ald Trump, to exclude Mus­lims from entry into the U.S. and to have them bear ID cards as Muslim.

The truth is these two approaches are not the only choices that could be made. Rabbi Lamm’s per­spec­tive is far more suitable.

The fact that the San Bernardino and Paris ter­ror­ists were rad­i­cal Islamic extrem­ists in no way jus­ti­fies the hor­ren­dous anti-Muslim behav­ior and rhetoric that has emerged in the United States in recent weeks.

ADL has indi­cated that there has been an upsurge in anti-Muslim inci­dents over the past month. Every effort must be made to denounce such activ­ity, par­tic­u­larly when it is incen­tivized by rhetoric such as that com­ing from Trump.

There can be no equiv­o­ca­tion: All Mus­lims should not be blamed for the actions of the few.

But that should not lead to the con­clu­sion that all this ter­ror­ist activ­ity bears no rela­tion­ship to the Islamic world. Not only is this inac­cu­rate, but the reluc­tance to spell out Islamic extrem­ism as the source of the vio­lence actu­ally plays into the hands of those who want to stereo­type all Muslims.

It sounds arti­fi­cial and strained when the pres­i­dent does any­thing to avoid using the term Islamic ter­ror­ism to the point that peo­ple are more, rather than less, will­ing to blame all Muslims.

“He was a weed in our gar­den.” What is it that is going on in the Islamic world that is pro­duc­ing the most vir­u­lent and wide­spread man­i­fes­ta­tion of ter­ror that the world has seen?

Ulti­mately, it is up to Mus­lim lead­ers around the world to ask this ques­tion and to ask what it is that they can do to cre­ate a dif­fer­ent envi­ron­ment less con­ducive to the emer­gence of terror.

We do not help them in this nec­es­sary process when we shy away from call­ing it what it is.

Iron­i­cally, it was Pres­i­dent George W. Bush, still vil­i­fied for his mis­guided war in Iraq, who set the stan­dard for how to deal with problem.

Fol­low­ing 9/11 and the trauma that it was for our nation, the pres­i­dent spoke at a Mosque in Wash­ing­ton, D.C. and made an elo­quent plea not to blame all Mus­lims or Islam itself for the hor­ror that befell our nation.

This impor­tant step in lead­er­ship, how­ever, did not in the least pre­vent him from say­ing clearly and loudly: We are in a war with rad­i­cal Islam and we must win that war for the sake of civ­i­liza­tion itself and for the sake of Mus­lims as well.

A weed, but a weed in our garden.

 

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