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February 22, 2016

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.

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November 18, 2015

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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January 14, 2015

After Terrorist Attacks, Anti-immigrant Activists Attack Muslim Immigration

In the wake of the deadly terrorist attacks on the Charlie Hebdo Paris office and a kosher market in Paris, anti-immigrant activists in the U.S. are urging the United States to stop all Muslim immigration to this country. They also claim that anyone who practices Islam is inclined towards extremism.

Tom Tancredo

Tom Tancredo

In a January 12, 2015 column for World Net Daily (WND) titled, “Yes, It is Islam!” former Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo writes, “So, here we are again, being told that we can’t blame Islam for the murderous acts that have cost thousands of lives since 9/11 and millions of lives since the 14th century! Well, then let me ask a simple question: If Islam did not exist, how many of these events would have occurred?”

Although Tancredo acknowledges that radical Islam is the problem, he does not make a distinction between terrorists and people of the Muslim faith.. He asserts “that the jihadists do not represent all Muslims is irrelevant.” He continues, “We have spent tens of billions hunting down and killing terrorist leaders with drones and other tools of high-tech warfare, while accepting and permitting the growth of the cancer of Shariah law in our own communities.” Tancredo then suggests that “we stop all immigration of Muslims into the United States and then deport those already here who adhere to Shariah law.” He also calls for sealing all our borders against illegal entry to prevent jihadists from using “our open borders to infiltrate our communities.”

Frosty Wooldridge, who is an advisory board member of the extreme anti-immigrant group Federation for American Immigration Reform, often denigrates immigrants and Muslims in his columns for in the right-wing online publication, “News with Views.” He has written a series of columns titled, “Impregnating America with Muslims,” in which he attacks Muslim immigrants. In his latest column on January 12, titled, “Islam Forces Western Ideals into Extinction,” he reprints a number of anti-Muslim quotes from the late writer and bigot Lawrence Auster, including: “It is important to understand that what makes Islam dangerous to non-Muslims is not that Muslims are morally bad people. The problem is not that Muslims are bad people, the problem is that they are good Muslims. Our concern is with the religion and the political ideology of Islam, which makes all Muslims dangerous to us, since all Muslims, even if they personally have no aggressive intentions, even if they are personally fine and lovely people, are part of the Islamic community and owe their highest loyalty to Islam.”

Wooldridge ends his column by warning, “The illiterate, barbaric, killing-machine warlord Mohammed continues his carnage into the 21st century with the hands of 1.5 billion of his followers. If we fail to stop mass immigration, France’s nightmare becomes our future.”

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