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October 17, 2012

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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July 13, 2012

Anti-Immigrant Political Action Committee Sees Rise in Contributions for 2012 Election Cycle

US Immigration Reform PAC, a political action committee whose purpose is to “reduce immigration” and “secure our nation’s borders,” has seen a sharp increase in contributions for the 2012 election cycle. The PAC’s president is Mary Lou Tanton, the spouse of John Tanton, the architect of the modern day anti-immigrant movement in the United States. 

According to the website Open Secrets, which tracks federal campaign contributions, US Immigration Reform PAC’s total receipts for 2012 to date are over $14,500 with almost four months to go before Election Day. While this figure is relatively low, it is up almost ten-fold from the last election cycle, where the PAC only received a little over $1500 in total receipts. In the 2012 cycle, US Immigration Reform PAC has donated $2500 to congressional candidates, so far.
Open Secrets also lists individual donors who have given $200 or more to the PAC. Among the donors for 2012 is Sharon Barnes, a longtime board member of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), an extreme anti-immigration group that was founded by John Tanton in 1979. Barnes, who has donated $300 to date, formerly sat on the editorial advisory board of Tanton’s anti-immigrant journal, The Social Contract. Another contributor of over $200 is John Rohe, who, along with his wife, donated a combined $500 to the PAC for the 2012 election cycle. Rohe is a good friend of John and Mary Lou Tanton, even penning the couple’s biography, which was published in 2002. Rohe is also the Vice President of Philanthropy at the Colcom Foundation, an organization that donates millions of dollars to anti-immigrant groups each year.
It is no surprise that US Immigration Reform PAC’s contributions are up since immigration is a hot-button issue in the 2012 election cycle. The four congressional candidates that the PAC has donated to thus far in 2012 are Lou Barletta (R-PA), Paul Broun (R-GA), Steve King (R-IA) and Allen West (R-FL). 

As a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization, ADL does not endorse or oppose any candidates for political office.

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