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July 14, 2014

Longtime Anti-Immigrant Activists Behind Murrieta Protests

Starting in late June 2014, anti-immigrant activists in Murrieta, California, have prevented buses carrying migrants fleeing violence in Central America from entering the town’s border patrol processing center. The protests have garnered national and international attention due to the extreme rhetoric and ugly climate surrounding them. Numerous anti-immigrant activists with close ties to the anti-immigrant movement flocked to Murrieta from all over Southern California to participate. Some of these protesters are closely tied to extreme elements of the anti-immigrant movement and have a history of bigoted statements.murrieta-immigration

As we have seen with similar protests in Vassar, Michigan, established anti-immigrant groups and longtime anti-immigrant activists are playing a crucial role in the protests in both states. In Murrieta and Vassar, anti-immigrant activists closely tied to the largest anti-immigrant groups in the country such as the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) and NumbersUSA are helping to spread their message of bigotry and xenophobia in an attempt to creative a climate of fear around this humanitarian crisis.

Click here to read more about the anti-immigrant activists behind the Murrieta protests.

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July 9, 2014

Michigan Anti-Immigrant Activist Behind Central American Child Protest

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Tamyra Murray

On Monday, July 7, anti-immigrant activists took to the streets in the small town of Vassar, Michigan, to protest the proposal to transfer children and mothers fleeing violence in Central America to their town. The protest resembled the ones in Murrieta, California, which received national attention due to the ugly climate and extreme rhetoric generated by the protesters.

The organizer of the protest in Vassar was Tamyra Murray, a long-time anti-immigrant activist with numerous extreme anti-immigrant ties. Murray announced her plans to hold a protest on her Facebook page and encouraged activists to join her. Her protest announcement also contained the same extreme anti-immigrant rhetoric voiced by Patrice Lynes, the organizer of the Murrieta protests. Murray wrote, “What diseases are being imported into the US that have already been eradicated here? Many of these ‘children’ belong to dangerous gangs and drug cartels.”

Before the protest, Murray announced that anti-immigrant activists from across the state of Michigan would be in attendance. The same was the case in Murrieta, where a number of anti-immigrant activists flocked to join the protests from all over Southern California.

Murray is a state advisor for the extreme anti-immigrant group Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). She is a regular attendee at FAIR’s annual “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” event in Washington, D.C. In 2011, Murray spoke at an anti-immigrant “Protect American Jobs Rally” in her home state of Michigan. Anti-immigrant politicians with ties to FAIR also spoke at the event. In September 2013, Murray, along with FAIR field representative Robert Najmulski, was listed as a speaker at a “Citizens Rising Against Illegal Immigration” event in Chester, Ohio.

Murray is also a liaison/public speaker for U.S., Inc., a Michigan-based extreme anti-immigrant umbrella organization founded by racist John Tanton, the founder of the modern-day anti-immigrant movement. Tanton also founded FAIR in 1979. U.S., Inc. runs a number of “projects” includ­ing Tanton’s pub­lish­ing house, the Social Con­tract Press, which pub­lishes racist books, such as Jean Raspail’s Camp of the Saints, and sells books by racists such as Sam Fran­cis, Wayne Lut­ton and Peter Brimelow.

Despite efforts by the anti-immigrant movement to portray the protests in Michigan and California as spontaneous responses by residents, the evidence suggests that in both cases, longtime anti-immigrant activists with close ties to the movement played a major role in both events.

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May 23, 2014

CIS Promotes Widely Disputed Report on Far-Right Radio Show

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Jessica Vaughan

On May 20, Jessica Vaughan of the anti-immigrant think tank Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) appeared as a guest on “Trunews,” a radio show hosted by far-right conspiracy theorist Rick Wiles. Vaughan was on the show to discuss a widely disputed new CIS report blaming the Obama administration for the release of over 36,000 “criminal aliens” by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in 2013.

The report, authored by Vaughan, provides a skewed analysis of the numbers compiled by ICE.  Her apparent intention in the report was not only to promote the narrative that immigrants are criminals but also to attack the Obama administration for its alleged failure to enforce immigration laws currently on the books, both common tactics of the anti-immigrant movement. In response to the CIS report, ICE spokespersons noted that immigrants who have committed crimes are only sent to ICE after they have served their sentences and that in some cases, the agency was required by law to release some of the immigrants.

After a few minutes of allowing Vaughan to explain the major takeaways from the report, Wiles offered a suggestion as to what to do with the undocumented population currently residing in the United States. Wiles stated, “Hey, um, you put them on a C130 cargo plane and strap a parachute to them and you fly over the home country and you push them out the door!” Vaughan responded with a laugh and stated, “Some people have suggested that!”

Vaughan’s appearance on “Trunews” is another recent example of the anti-immigrant movement using far-right and extreme media to promote their cause. In April of this year, Vaughan granted an interview to reporter from the anti-Semitic newspaper American Free Press (AFP), founded by Holocaust denier Willis Carto. In March of 2014, Chris Chmielenski of the anti-immigrant group NumbersUSA, provided an interview to AFP.

In 2014, Frosty Wooldridge, an advisory board member with the extreme anti-immigrant group Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) appeared on more than one occasion on “The Jeff Rense Pro­gram.”  The program is a conspiracy-oriented Inter­net radio show broadcast on Rense’s noto­ri­ously anti-Semitic web­site. In Decem­ber 2013, David North, a fel­low with CIS appeared on “The Real­ist Report,” an Inter­net radio show hosted by the vir­u­lent anti-Semite and Holo­caust denier, John Friend.

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