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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.

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August 17, 2012 1

Progressives for Immigration Reform Announces Conference and New Project

The pres­i­dent of Pro­gres­sives for Immi­gra­tion Reform, Phil Cafaro

The anti-immigrant group Pro­gres­sives for Immi­gra­tion Reform (PFIR) has announced its third annual con­fer­ence in Wash­ing­ton, D.C. sched­uled for Octo­ber 2012. In addi­tion, the group is pro­mot­ing their new project–a state­ment on the envi­ron­men­tal impact of U.S. immi­gra­tion policy.

PFIR was founded in 2009 claim­ing to “edu­cate the pub­lic about the unin­tended con­se­quences of mass migra­tion.” In real­ity, PFIR is made up of a host of anti-immigrant fig­ures, many of whom approach the issue of immi­gra­tion from an envi­ron­men­tal stand­point. PFIR’s use of the term “pro­gres­sives” is an attempt to attract envi­ron­men­tal­ists and to coax them to view immi­gra­tion as the cause of envi­ron­men­tal problems.

Though the group has not yet announced the speak­ers at this year’s event, speak­ers in the past have included a host of fig­ures from anti-immigrant groups , includ­ing Roy Beck from Num­ber­sUSA and Steven Camarota from the Cen­ter for Immi­gra­tion Stud­ies (CIS). Also in atten­dance last year was Mike Heth­mon from the Immi­gra­tion Reform Law Insti­tute (IRLI), the legal arm of the Fed­er­a­tion for Amer­i­can Immi­gra­tion Reform (FAIR).

The aim of PFIR’s new project is to deter­mine the num­ber of immi­grants Con­gress should allow into the United States. For years, anti-immigrant groups have argued that not only should all undoc­u­mented immi­gra­tion be pre­vented but that Con­gress should also dra­mat­i­cally decrease the num­ber of legal immi­grants enter­ing the coun­try each year. Extreme anti-immigrant groups such as FAIR have gone as far as to call for a tem­po­rary mora­to­rium on all immi­gra­tion to the United States.

The two prin­ci­pal inves­ti­ga­tors of PFIR’s new project are PFIR pres­i­dent Phil Cafaro and advi­sory board mem­ber Leon Kolankiewicz. Both have ties to other anti-immigrant groups.

Kolankiewicz has writ­ten reports for CIS pri­mar­ily address­ing the alleged envi­ron­men­tal impact of immi­gra­tion. He also co-authored a report with Beck, which blamed immi­grants for America’s envi­ron­men­tal prob­lems. Kolankiewicz is a senior writ­ing fel­low for the California-based anti-immigrant group Cal­i­for­ni­ans for Pop­u­la­tion Sta­bi­liza­tion (CAPS).  In addi­tion, he has writ­ten over a half dozen arti­cles for The Social Con­tract, an anti-immigrant jour­nal pub­lished by racist John Tan­ton.

Cafaro was for­merly a fel­low at CIS and wrote a num­ber of reports for the orga­ni­za­tion that attempted to blame immi­grants for envi­ron­men­tal degradation.

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August 3, 2012 0

New Documentary Portrays Negative View of Immigration in the U.S.

Den­nis Lynch

A new doc­u­men­tary, “They Come to Amer­ica,” writ­ten and directed by Den­nis Lynch, a for­mer entre­pre­neur turned film­maker, has caused quite a stir in anti-immigrant cir­cles over the past cou­ple of months. In the doc­u­men­tary, Lynch trav­els the coun­try inter­view­ing peo­ple about undoc­u­mented immi­gra­tion. Lynch talks to fig­ures from anti-immigrant groups such as Num­ber­sUSA and the Fed­er­a­tion for Amer­i­can Immi­gra­tion Reform (FAIR). Lynch also inter­views Glenn Spencer of the anti-Hispanic hate group Amer­i­can Bor­der Patrol.

Lynch attempts to por­tray both sides of the immi­gra­tion debate by inter­view­ing peo­ple on the “pro-immigrant” side of the spec­trum, as well as undoc­u­mented immi­grants, but the film’s con­clu­sions are clear: undoc­u­mented immi­gra­tion has no pos­i­tive impact on the United States. In sub­se­quent inter­views, Lynch fur­thers his argu­ment by claim­ing that the United States needs to lower the amount of legal immi­grants it admits per year – a posi­tion taken by many anti-immigrant groups.

Lynch spends a lot of time on cam­era with Roy Beck, founder of the anti-immigrant group, Num­ber­sUSA. Beck pre­vi­ously worked as the Wash­ing­ton Edi­tor of The Social Con­tract, an anti-immigrant jour­nal pub­lished by racist John Tan­ton. Beck also spoke at the 1996 national con­fer­ence of the Coun­cil of Con­ser­v­a­tive Cit­i­zens, a white suprema­cist orga­ni­za­tion. Jack Mar­tin from FAIR is also inter­viewed at length. FAIR, which pro­motes extreme anti-immigration views, was founded by Tanton.

In the film, Lynch also speaks with Michael Cut­ler, a for­mer fel­low for the anti-immigrant group Cen­ter for Immi­gra­tion Stud­ies (CIS), another group that Tan­ton helped to cre­ate. Cut­ler cur­rently is a Senior Writ­ing Fel­low for the anti-immigrant group Cal­i­for­ni­ans for Pop­u­la­tion Sta­bi­liza­tion (CAPS).

Lynch has begun a tour to screen the film. Not unex­pect­edly, local anti-immigrant orga­ni­za­tions are host­ing the screen­ings. On July 17, two groups that FAIR lists as local affil­i­ates, Tex­ans for Immi­gra­tion Reduc­tion and Enforce­ment (TFIRE) and Immi­gra­tion Reform Coali­tion of Texas (IRCOT), along with Stop the Mag­net, a Houston-based group ded­i­cated to get­ting anti-immigrant mea­sures on the bal­lot in Hous­ton, screened Lynch’s film.

On July 12, Lynch was on “The Ruthie Report,” a radio show hosted by Ruthie Hendrycks who runs the anti-immigrant group, Min­nesotans Seek­ing Immi­gra­tion Reform (MINNSIR). MINNSIR is also listed on FAIR’s web­site as a local affil­i­ate for Minnesota.

In Mary­land, Lynch’s film will be jointly hosted on August 8 by the anti-immigrant group Help Save Mary­land (HSM). HSM is listed on FAIR’s Web site as a local affil­i­ate for Mary­land. HSM has also worked closely with FAIR’s legal arm, the Immi­gra­tion Reform Law Insti­tute (IRLI).

On August 10, the film will be shown at an anti-immigrant con­fer­ence in North Car­olina.

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