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July 16, 2014

Anti-Immigrant Groups Plan National Protests Against Children Fleeing Violence

In response to the humanitarian crisis at the border, which has seen an influx of children fleeing violence in Central America, a number of anti-immigrant activists and right-wing groups are planning two national days of protest on July 18 and 19 against “immigration reform amnesty and the border surge.”protest-immigration

The flyer for the event features the same extreme anti-immigrant rhetoric seen recently at protests in Murrieta, California and Vassar, Michigan. The flyer claims that “illegal aliens with communicable diseases and conditions such as tuberculosis, scabies and head lice are entering our country unabated.” It goes on to warn of a “very real security risk to Americans from drug cartels, gang members and terrorists.”

The organizer of the proposed nationwide events scheduled for July 18 and 19 is Paul Arnold, an anti-immigrant activist and founder of the anti-immigrant group “Make Them Listen.” Arnold is closely tied to the anti-immigrant front group Black American Leadership Alliance (BALA). He helped organize BALA’s “March for Jobs” anti-immigrant rally in July 2013 which was attended by about 800 people. Arnold also helped to organize anti-immigrant rallies in different states in August 2013 as part of a BALA “tour.” Many of the proposed rallies were cancelled due to lack of participants and the few that did take place were sparsely attended

The Facebook event page for this weekend’s planned   protests indicates that a number of extreme anti-immigrant groups are allegedly planning to participate. For example, the South Carolina-based anti-immigrant group Americans Have Had Enough Coalition (AHHEC) plans to hold a protest in the state this weekend. White supremacist Roan Garcia-Quintana is the executive director of AHHEC and is also a director and “lifetime member” of the white supremacist organization Council of Conservative Citizens.

Another group planning to participate in the protests this weekend is the North Carolina-based Americans for Legal Immigration PAC (ALI-PAC), essentially a one man operation run by anti-immigrant extremist William Gheen. Gheen has a long history of anti-immigrant rhetoric. In his recent statements about the humanitarian crisis, for example, Gheen advocated sending “gently used” underwear to John Boehner and President Obama in protest of the border patrol’s plea for citizens to send new pairs of underwear for the migrants fleeing violence.

A number of other very active anti-immigrant organizations from around the country including Min­nesotans Seek­ing Immi­gra­tion Reform (MINNSIR), New Yorkers for Immigration Control and
Enforcement (NYICE) and Help Save Maryland (HSM) are also scheduled to participate at rallies in their states. Though it is unlikely the protests will attract large numbers, the anti-immigrant movement is certainly using the humanitarian crisis at the border to attempt to mobilize its base.

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July 12, 2013

Speakers at DC “March for Jobs” Rally Have Bashed Immigrants and Muslims

dc-march-for-jobs1On July 15, 2013, the Black American Leadership Alliance (BALA), an African American “front group” created by the anti-immigrant movement in the United States, will host a protest against immigration reform in Washington, D.C.

The “DC March for Jobs” will feature a number of speakers from BALA who claim to speak on behalf of the African-American community when in fact they are long-time anti-immigrant activists speaking on behalf of the anti-immigrant movement. A number of politicians and other activists, many of whom have a history of bigoted statements, are also slated to address the crowd:

Rep. Steve King (R-IA) – Steve King is the leader of the anti-immigration reform group in the House of Representatives and has a long history of making bigoted statements against immigrants. King has characterized immigrants – both documented and undocumented – as criminals and disease-carriers. He has spoken alongside leaders of border vigilante groups and advocated for a border “wall” topped with electrified wire to stop what he has called a “slow motion Holocaust” of undocumented immigration into the United States. In an address to the House King asserted that undocumented immigration is “a slow-rolling, slow-motion terrorist attack on the United States.”

Michael CutlerCutler is a former INS (now ICE) agent who is a senior fellow at the Santa Barbara-based anti-immigrant organization Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) and a former fellow at the anti-immigrant group Center for Immigration Studies (CIS). In a July 3, 2013 op-ed in the Washington Times, Cutler claimed that “a significant percentage of the illegal-alien population includes those who know they could not be lawfully admitted via the inspections process that is designed to prevent the entry of aliens who have dangerous communicable diseases, severe mental illness, serious criminal histories, are fugitives from justice in other countries or have committed war crimes or human rights violations, or are spies or terrorists.”

Allen WestWest is a former Representative from the state of Florida who failed to win reelection in 2012. West is closely tied to people in the anti-Muslim movement, publishing blogs on sites such as Pamela Geller’s Atlas Shrugs and frequently presenting at events such as ACT! for America’s 2013 national conference.  In a March 8, 2010 speech, West demonized Islam, stating, Islam is a totalitarian theocratic political ideology, it is not a religion. It has not been a religion since 622 AD, and we need to have individuals that stand up and say that.”

Ken Crow – Crow is an Iowa resident and founder of Tea Party Community. In an undated post on the online forum Hub Pages, Crow wrote, “The only place in American society for MULTICULTURALISM is with our Native Americans. They were here first and need to be treated with a very high level of respect. We should not be altering America for anyone else. But we are. We even have the Islamic faithful building schools here and yes they are teaching their children to hate America. They are teaching and preaching hatred of America on American soil.” Crow has published numerous articles on the virulently anti-Muslim site The United West.

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June 6, 2013

Black American Leadership Alliance Mobilizing Against Immigration Reform

A group made up of longtime anti-immigrant activists claiming that immigration reform will hurt the African-American community is working on a number of fronts in opposition to the Senate’s immigration reform bill. The group, the Black American Leadership Alliance (BALA), recently changed its name from the African American Leadership Council (AALC). black-american-leadership-alliance

Using its original name, the group held a press conference in April announcing its opposition to the Senate’s immigration reform bill. BALA’s members, such as activists Frank Morris and Leah Durant, are closely tied to anti-immigrant groups founded by or with the help of racist John Tanton, the architect of the modern-day anti-immigrant movement. Morris currently sits on the boards of the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) and the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), both founded by Tanton, and another anti-immigrant front group, Progressives for Immigration Reform (PFIR). Durant is the executive director of PFIR and is a former attorney with the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI), the legal arm of FAIR. 

Since its initial press conference, the group issued an open letter on June 3 to the Senate’s bi-partisan “Gang of Eight,” the Congressional Black Caucus and senators from states with high rates of black unemployment urging them to acknowledge the “damaging impact mass immigration has on low-skilled workers” and recognize “the harmful impact that S. 744 would have on low skilled workers, particularly those in the black community.”

Many of the signatories of the letter attended and spoke at the group’s press conference in April. One of the signatories, Tom Broadwater, the national chair of the group Americans4Work, appeared as a guest on a webinar hosted by the anti-immigrant group NumbersUSA on June 4. During this call, Broadwater stated, “We need our jobs, we need our people, our American citizens to have jobs. Legal immigrants, illegal immigrants, they’re all bad as far as we are concerned for America.”

On July 15, BALA is organizing a “DC March for Jobs” rally in Washington, DC, intended “to help to stop Congress’ amnesty push.” BALA’s website says that the group will “demand that our leaders reject amnesty, and pass immigration policies that put black Americans back to work.” It remains to be seen how many activists BALA can mobilize for the event.

The talking points and tactics BALA is using in an attempt to derail the Senate’s immigration reform bill are no different from the broader anti-immigrant movement. Throughout its history, the movement has created front groups opposed to immigration reform, claiming that it will have a negative effect on minorities.

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