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October 7, 2014

Anti-Immigrant Groups Call For Immigration Bans Following Ebola Scare

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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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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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