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November 26, 2014

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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July 16, 2014

Anti-Immigrant Groups Plan National Protests Against Children Fleeing Violence

In response to the humanitarian crisis at the border, which has seen an influx of children fleeing violence in Central America, a number of anti-immigrant activists and right-wing groups are planning two national days of protest on July 18 and 19 against “immigration reform amnesty and the border surge.”protest-immigration

The flyer for the event features the same extreme anti-immigrant rhetoric seen recently at protests in Murrieta, California and Vassar, Michigan. The flyer claims that “illegal aliens with communicable diseases and conditions such as tuberculosis, scabies and head lice are entering our country unabated.” It goes on to warn of a “very real security risk to Americans from drug cartels, gang members and terrorists.”

The organizer of the proposed nationwide events scheduled for July 18 and 19 is Paul Arnold, an anti-immigrant activist and founder of the anti-immigrant group “Make Them Listen.” Arnold is closely tied to the anti-immigrant front group Black American Leadership Alliance (BALA). He helped organize BALA’s “March for Jobs” anti-immigrant rally in July 2013 which was attended by about 800 people. Arnold also helped to organize anti-immigrant rallies in different states in August 2013 as part of a BALA “tour.” Many of the proposed rallies were cancelled due to lack of participants and the few that did take place were sparsely attended

The Facebook event page for this weekend’s planned   protests indicates that a number of extreme anti-immigrant groups are allegedly planning to participate. For example, the South Carolina-based anti-immigrant group Americans Have Had Enough Coalition (AHHEC) plans to hold a protest in the state this weekend. White supremacist Roan Garcia-Quintana is the executive director of AHHEC and is also a director and “lifetime member” of the white supremacist organization Council of Conservative Citizens.

Another group planning to participate in the protests this weekend is the North Carolina-based Americans for Legal Immigration PAC (ALI-PAC), essentially a one man operation run by anti-immigrant extremist William Gheen. Gheen has a long history of anti-immigrant rhetoric. In his recent statements about the humanitarian crisis, for example, Gheen advocated sending “gently used” underwear to John Boehner and President Obama in protest of the border patrol’s plea for citizens to send new pairs of underwear for the migrants fleeing violence.

A number of other very active anti-immigrant organizations from around the country including Min­nesotans Seek­ing Immi­gra­tion Reform (MINNSIR), New Yorkers for Immigration Control and
Enforcement (NYICE) and Help Save Maryland (HSM) are also scheduled to participate at rallies in their states. Though it is unlikely the protests will attract large numbers, the anti-immigrant movement is certainly using the humanitarian crisis at the border to attempt to mobilize its base.

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January 25, 2013

FAIR’s Susan Tully Promotes Bigotry and Conspiracies on Radio Show

Susan Tully, the national field director of the DC-based anti-immigrant group Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) voiced a number of conspiracy theories and made many anti-immigrant comments during an interview with a right-wing radio show on January 17, 2013. Tully spoke for over an hour on “The Ruthie Report,” a show hosted by Ruthie Hendrycks, who runs the anti-immigrant group Minnesotans Seeking Immigration Reform (MINNSIR).  On its website, FAIR lists MINNSIR as its local affiliate in Minnesota.

During the radio interview, Tully disparaged DREAM Act-eligible students for what she called arrogance and accused Democratic politicians in California of having ties to Mexico. She also claimed that students are crossing the U.S./Mexico border on a daily basis to attend American schools.

When talking about a potential comprehensive immigration reform bill, Tully argued that there should be a study of people granted documented status in the 1986 to see what became of them since that time, insinuating that many may have become criminals. Tully argued, “Ruthie, it seems to me that before we do this again, we need to find out what the four million people who were granted amnesty in 1986 went on to do with their lives in the United States. Are they hard workers, are they college grads, have they become citizens or are they in jail?”

Tully went on to voice the first of her many conspiracy theories claiming that children from Mexico are crossing the U.S./Mexico border to attend American schools on a daily basis. Tully claimed, “I just got a report that I will be investigating later this year that along the border in Arizona and New Mexico they are running school busses to the border to pick up students who are coming in from Mexico to attend K-12 classes.”

Tully also criticized DREAM Act-eligible students, asserting that “the arrogance I have seen by the DREAMers alone, frankly, and their demands and what they think that they’re entitled to simply because they’re here and breathing our air is phenomenal to me. I don’t know what kind of a culture produces people that are that arrogant.”

According to FAIR’s website, Tully’s job is to “educate the media and public on immigration issues.” On “The Ruthie Report” Tully instead voiced unfounded conspiracy theories and used bigoted anti-immigrant rhetoric.

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