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November 26, 2014 2

Activists Use Extreme Rhetoric in Response to Obama’s Executive Action

A num­ber of anti-immigrant activists and groups used extreme rhetoric in response to Pres­i­dent Obama’s exec­u­tive action on immi­gra­tion, announced on Novem­ber 20. For exam­ple, William Gheen of the extreme anti-immigrant group Amer­i­cans for Legal Immi­gra­tion PAC (ALIPAC) con­nected the Mex­i­can Civil War with Obama’s exec­u­tive action in an inter­view with the conspiracy-oriented web­site World Net Daily. Gheen stated, “Obama’s choice of this date [Novem­ber 20 is Mex­i­can ‘Rev­o­lu­tion Day’ or Mex­i­can ‘Civil War Day’ which is the equiv­a­lent of America’s 4th of July] for his depar­ture from his Oath of Office and the U.S. Con­sti­tu­tion cre­ates a per­ma­nent sym­bolic rela­tion­ship between his actions and Mexico’s vio­lent rev­o­lu­tion­ary and civil wars from 1910–1920.”

William Gheen

William Gheen

Gheen also cir­cu­lated a Gary Varvel car­toon that depicted an immi­grant fam­ily climb­ing in the win­dow of a house of a white fam­ily while they are eat­ing Thanks­giv­ing din­ner with the cap­tion, “Thanks to the President’s immi­gra­tion order, we’ll be hav­ing extra guests this Thanks­giv­ing.” Gheen later claimed the car­toon “makes a very impor­tant point about ille­gal immi­gra­tion, bound­aries, the assault on Amer­i­can fam­i­lies and Amer­i­can cul­ture… and the real sit­u­a­tion in Amer­ica. And unfor­tu­nately for many Amer­i­can [sic], ille­gal aliens are lit­er­ally crawl­ing through their windows!”

A num­ber of activists asso­ci­ated with the extreme anti-immigrant group Fed­er­a­tion for Amer­i­can Immi­gra­tion Reform (FAIR) also made com­ments about Pres­i­dent Obama’s plan on immi­gra­tion. When asked on his radio show whether Obama’s actions would lead to eth­nic cleans­ing, Kris Kobach, who is of coun­sel with Immi­gra­tion Reform Law Insti­tute (IRLI), the legal arm of FAIR, responded, “And the rule of law used to be unas­sail­able, used to be taken for granted in Amer­ica. And now, of course, we have a pres­i­dent who dis­re­gards the law when it suits his inter­ests. So, while I nor­mally would answer that by say­ing, ‘Steve, of course we have the rule of law, that could never hap­pen in Amer­ica,’ I won­der what could happen…”

Ruthie Hendrycks, a FAIR state advi­sor and head of the anti-immigrant group Min­nesotans Seek­ing Immi­gra­tion Reform (MINNSIR), posted a com­ment on Face­book call­ing for the fam­i­lies of undoc­u­mented immi­grants cur­rently in depor­ta­tion pro­ceed­ings to also be deported.

FAIR advi­sory board mem­ber and anti-immigrant extrem­ist Frosty Wooldridge, responded to the president’s action in his reg­u­lar col­umn on the News With Views web­site by espous­ing birther con­spir­acy the­o­ries. Wooldridge wrote, “We now face a man in the White House who doesn’t mind break­ing our Con­sti­tu­tion, paid for with the blood of mil­lions of men and women. In his youth, he chose to smoke pot, do drugs and lie his way through col­lege and into Con­gress. He lacks any com­pre­hen­sion of what Amer­ica stands for because he still hasn’t proven he’s an American.”

More extreme ele­ments of the anti-immigrant move­ment also weighed in on the issue. White suprema­cist Peter Brimelow, the founder of the racist and anti-immigrant web­site VDARE called for the impeach­ment of Pres­i­dent Obama. Brimelow also used the Novem­ber 20th announce­ment to call for the “imme­di­ate abo­li­tion” of birthright citizenship.

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November 9, 2012 0

Anti-Muslim and Anti-Immigrant Speakers to Appear at Religious Right Conference in Dallas

Kris Kobach

The “Pro­Fam­ily Leg­isla­tive Net­work Con­fer­ence,” which will be held in Dal­las, Texas, next week­end, will fea­ture one speaker with an anti-immigrant agenda, and a sec­ond who has vil­i­fied Mus­lims. Anti-immigrant lawyer Kris Kobach will report­edly speak on “Pre­serv­ing the Sanc­tity of Our Elec­tions: How to Stop Voter Fraud,” and Lt. Gen. William Boykin, who has a his­tory of mak­ing anti-Muslim state­ments, will deliver a pre­sen­ta­tion titled “Never Surrender.”

The con­fer­ence is being orga­nized by Wall­Builders, an Aledo, Texas-based orga­ni­za­tion that pro­motes the idea that the United States was founded on Chris­t­ian pre­cepts. Their con­fer­ence, designed for state leg­is­la­tors from around the coun­try, will address cur­rent pub­lic pol­icy issues “in a man­ner that hon­ors our Judeo-Christian her­itage and the vision of our Found­ing Fathers.”

Kobach, the Sec­re­tary of State of Kansas, has drafted some of the harsh­est anti-immigrant laws in the nation. Kobach and the broader anti-immigrant move­ment often use alle­ga­tions of voter fraud as a jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for attempt­ing to pass voter-ID laws in states around the coun­try. Though the anti-immigrant groups claim that non-citizens are vot­ing in U.S. elec­tions, there is lit­tle to no evi­dence to sup­port those asser­tions, and the voter-ID laws passed in the name of defend­ing against voter fraud dis­pro­por­tion­ately affect minorities.

Boykin, the for­mer U.S. Deputy Under Sec­re­tary of Defense for Intel­li­gence, is noto­ri­ous for mak­ing con­tro­ver­sial state­ments about Mus­lims, often voic­ing the con­spir­acy the­ory that the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood is infil­trat­ing the U.S. gov­ern­ment. Boykin once stated that Islam “is not just a reli­gion, it is a total­i­tar­ian way of life.” He went on to say that Islam “should not be pro­tected under the First Amend­ment, par­tic­u­larly given that those fol­low­ing the dic­tates of the Quran are under an oblig­a­tion to destroy our Con­sti­tu­tion and to replace it with Shariah law.”

Over the past few years, the issues of immi­gra­tion and Islam are increas­ingly becom­ing impor­tant top­ics of dis­cus­sion at con­ser­v­a­tive and reli­gious right gath­er­ings such as the Con­ser­v­a­tive Polit­i­cal Action Con­fer­ence and the Value Vot­ers Sum­mit. Kobach and Boykin’s planned appear­ances at the Pro­Fam­ily Leg­isla­tive Net­work Con­fer­ence are just the lat­est exam­ple of this trend.

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September 28, 2012 0

Numbers USA donates $100,000 to help defend anti-immigrant ordinance in Famers Branch, Texas

The anti-immigrant group, Num­ber­sUSA, recently donated $100,000 to the Farm­ers Branch legal defense fund in an effort to help an anti-immigrant ordi­nance in the Texas town pass its lat­est round of legal challenges.

If upheld, the ordi­nance would ban all undoc­u­mented immi­grants from rent­ing prop­er­ties in the town.  Ban­ning undoc­u­mented immi­grants from rent­ing prop­er­ties is a small part of the “attri­tion through enforce­ment” plat­form cre­ated by the anti-immigrant move­ment. The platform’s goal is to make life so dif­fi­cult for immi­grants that they will “self deport” back to their coun­try of origin.

Accord­ing to finan­cial records, Num­ber­sUSA donated $10,000 to the Farm­ers Branch Legal Defense Fund in 2009, so this most recent con­tri­bu­tion of $100,000 is a ten-fold increase. Last week the full Fifth Cir­cuit Court of Appeals heard oral argu­ments on the case. If the Fifth Cir­cuit upholds the law, a key piece of the anti-immigrant movement’s “attri­tion through enforce­ment” pol­icy would be given the green light and sim­i­lar ordi­nances may spring up in towns across the country.

Another anti-immigrant group, the Immi­gra­tion Reform Law Insti­tute (IRLI), is also heav­ily involved in the Farm­ers Branch case. IRLI drafted the ordi­nance and is also defend­ing the case in court. The IRLI lawyer in the case is Kris Kobach, the Sec­re­tary of State of Kansas and author of some of the harsh­est anti-immigrant leg­is­la­tion passed in the coun­try, includ­ing Arizona’s SB 1070 and Alabama’s HB 56.

Kobach and Num­ber­sUSA have worked together pre­vi­ously. Just last month, Kobach filed a law­suit on behalf of ten dis­grun­tled Immi­gra­tion and Cus­toms Enforce­ment (ICE) agents against ICE and the Depart­ment of Home­land Secu­rity, stat­ing that the direc­tives both orga­ni­za­tions received from the Obama administration’s new Deferred Action for Child­hood Arrivals (DACA) pol­icy vio­lates fed­eral law.  The pol­icy allows some eli­gi­ble chil­dren of undoc­u­mented work­ers who were not born in the U.S. to apply for tem­po­rary work autho­riza­tions, and calls for ICE agents to refrain from detain­ing them. After the case was filed, Num­ber­sUSA announced that it will be fund­ing the lawsuit.

IRLI and NumbersUSA’s con­nec­tions run even deeper than just col­lab­o­rat­ing on court cases. IRLI is the legal arm of the Fed­er­a­tion for Amer­i­can Immi­gra­tion Reform (FAIR), founded by racist John Tan­ton in 1979. It was under Tanton’s lead­er­ship that IRLI formed a few years later. Tan­ton also worked closely with Num­ber­sUSA founder, Roy Beck for many years. Beck served as the Wash­ing­ton edi­tor for Tanton’s anti-immigrant jour­nal, The Social Con­tract, for a decade and inter­nal memos from Tan­ton indi­cate that he thought of Beck as his “heir apparent.”

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