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November 18, 2015 0

Anti-Refugee Sentiment Reaches New High After Paris Attacks

Since the ter­ror­ist attacks in Paris on Novem­ber 13, the coun­try has wit­nessed anti-refugee sen­ti­ment com­ing from var­i­ous cor­ners, includ­ing state gov­ern­ments and the anti-immigrant move­ment. Over 30 gov­er­nors across the coun­try have said they will not accept Syr­ian refugees and have asked Pres­i­dent Obama to halt or sus­pend the country’s refugee program.

Many of the gov­er­nors appealed to fear in the wake of the ter­ror­ist attacks, assert­ing that they could not pro­tect the res­i­dents of their states from poten­tial ter­ror­ists. Later, some Con­gres­sional lead­ers also drove home this fear by advo­cat­ing for the sus­pen­sion of the U.S. government’s refugee program.

Ann Corcoran

Ann Cor­co­ran

The notion that ter­ror­ists can enter the United States through U.S. refugee pro­grams is not new. In Octo­ber of this year, a num­ber of pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates said they would not allow Syr­ian refugees into the coun­try and would send back those who have been allowed to set­tle in the U.S.

But the events in Paris have ratch­eted up the anti-refugee rhetoric, equat­ing refugees with ter­ror­ists and ques­tion­ing their abil­ity to assim­i­late into “West­ern cul­ture.” Anti-immigrant orga­ni­za­tions such as the Fed­er­a­tion of Amer­i­can Immi­gra­tion Reform (FAIR), the Cen­ter for Immi­gra­tion Stud­ies (CIS) and Num­ber­sUSA have all released arti­cles or state­ments declar­ing that the U.S. gov­ern­ment should sus­pend its refugee program.

Dan Stein, the pres­i­dent of FAIR, wrote a col­umn on Novem­ber 16 extolling the pro­gram estab­lished by the Eisen­hower admin­is­tra­tion in the 1950s to deport thou­sands of Mex­i­can immi­grants. After talk­ing about the alleged mer­its of the pro­gram, Stein turned his atten­tion to Mus­lim immi­grants in the wake of the Paris attacks. He wrote, “A dulling ortho­doxy within cer­tain Mus­lim com­mu­ni­ties has degen­er­ated [sic] a fanat­i­cal strain that promises an epi­curean par­adise for mass mur­der on earth.”

In a col­umn for National Review, Mark Kriko­rian, head of CIS wrote, “Relo­cat­ing refugees from the Mid­dle East to the U.S. is morally wrong.” He goes on to say that the U.S. should assist refugees by car­ing for them in their “native region”—despite the ter­ror and war that refugees are expe­ri­enc­ing. Num­ber­sUSA released a sim­i­lar state­ments say­ing that the U.S. should help refugees in their home region rather than allow­ing them to come to the U.S.

Ann Cor­co­ran, who runs Refugee Reset­tle­ment Watch, writes daily about the alleged dan­gers of let­ting refugees into this coun­try by appeal­ing to anti-Muslim sen­ti­ment. On Novem­ber 17, she wrote, “All the vet­ting in the world isn’t going to save us from the tod­dlers com­ing in with Mom and Dad from Africa and the Mid­dle East who thumb their noses at the ‘good life’ and become rad­i­cal­ized 20 years down the road.  The only true solu­tion is a com­plete mora­to­rium on Mus­lim immigration.”

The fear-mongering appears to be hav­ing an influ­ence. The media reported on Novem­ber 18 that two refugee fam­i­lies from Syria that had been approved and sched­uled to arrive in Indi­anapo­lis have been told that they are no longer wel­come in the state.


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October 7, 2014 2

Anti-Immigrant Groups Call For Immigration Bans Following Ebola Scare


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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September 12, 2014 0

Anti-Immigrant Groups Attempt To Bring ISIS Into The Immigration Debate

anti-immigrant-islamIn response to the atroc­i­ties com­mit­ted in the Mid­dle East by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), a ter­ror­ist group, Amer­i­can anti-immigrant groups are attempt­ing to exploit the public’s legit­i­mate con­cerns about ISIS by warn­ing that the group plans to enter the United States via Mexico.

In a blog posted on Sep­tem­ber 8, a fel­low for the anti-immigrant think tank Cen­ter for Immi­gra­tion Stud­ies (CIS) argued that Sen­a­tor John McCain’s sup­port of the Senate’s immi­gra­tion reform bill S-744 in 2013, “has pro­vided ISIS with unfet­tered access to the United States for both its per­son­nel and their weapons of death and destruc­tion.” The blog con­cluded with the state­ment, “Should ISIS or some other ter­ror­ist group take advan­tage of McCain’s wel­come mat, he will only have him­self to blame as he goes in the eyes of many from war hero to collaborator.”

The anti-immigrant grass­roots orga­ni­za­tion Num­ber­sUSA and the California-based Cal­i­for­ni­ans for Pop­u­la­tion Sta­bi­liza­tion (CAPS) both sent fundrais­ing emails to activists in recent weeks link­ing ISIS to Pres­i­dent Obama’s rumored announce­ment of some form of exec­u­tive relief for undoc­u­mented immi­grants. Num­ber­sUSA claimed ISIS, “is cer­tainly encour­aged by the weak U.S. gov­ern­ment response to the bor­der surge this sum­mer…” A num­ber of state-based anti-immigrant groups also warned of the threat of ISIS ter­ror­ists enter­ing the U.S. via Mex­ico. Many of the groups cite a report from the conspiracy-orientated “watch­dog” group Judi­cial Watch. Judi­cial Watch is closely aligned with the anti-immigrant movement.

Some anti-immigrant groups are also respond­ing to the media spot­light on ISIS by espous­ing anti-Muslim rhetoric. In a Face­book post on Sep­tem­ber 9, the Tea Party Immi­gra­tion Coali­tion headed by racist Rick Olt­man asserted, “We must rethink the 1st amend­ment as it applies to Islam. Islam is NOT a reli­gion; rather, it is a supra­na­tional orga­ni­za­tion hell bent on world dom­i­na­tion and killing any­one, any­where and at any time to do so.”

The anti-immigrant move­ment often attempts to tie together the issues of immi­gra­tion and ter­ror­ism. This was the case even before the Sep­tem­ber 11, 2001 ter­ror­ist attacks. Since 9–11, the move­ment has con­cen­trated on link­ing ter­ror­ism and immi­gra­tion under the guise of national secu­rity. This is a key argu­ment for the move­ment in oppo­si­tion to any form of immi­gra­tion reform.

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