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).
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