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September 12, 2014

Anti-Immigrant Groups Attempt To Bring ISIS Into The Immigration Debate

anti-immigrant-islamIn response to the atrocities committed in the Middle East by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), a terrorist group, American anti-immigrant groups are attempting to exploit the public’s legitimate concerns about ISIS by warning that the group plans to enter the United States via Mexico.

In a blog posted on September 8, a fellow for the anti-immigrant think tank Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) argued that Senator John McCain’s support of the Senate’s immigration reform bill S-744 in 2013, “has provided ISIS with unfettered access to the United States for both its personnel and their weapons of death and destruction.” The blog concluded with the statement, “Should ISIS or some other terrorist group take advantage of McCain’s welcome mat, he will only have himself to blame as he goes in the eyes of many from war hero to collaborator.”

The anti-immigrant grassroots organization NumbersUSA and the California-based Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) both sent fundraising emails to activists in recent weeks linking ISIS to President Obama’s rumored announcement of some form of executive relief for undocumented immigrants. NumbersUSA claimed ISIS, “is certainly encouraged by the weak U.S. government response to the border surge this summer…” A number of state-based anti-immigrant groups also warned of the threat of ISIS terrorists entering the U.S. via Mexico. Many of the groups cite a report from the conspiracy-orientated “watchdog” group Judicial Watch. Judicial Watch is closely aligned with the anti-immigrant movement.

Some anti-immigrant groups are also responding to the media spotlight on ISIS by espousing anti-Muslim rhetoric. In a Facebook post on September 9, the Tea Party Immigration Coalition headed by racist Rick Oltman asserted, “We must rethink the 1st amendment as it applies to Islam. Islam is NOT a religion; rather, it is a supranational organization hell bent on world domination and killing anyone, anywhere and at any time to do so.”

The anti-immigrant movement often attempts to tie together the issues of immigration and terrorism. This was the case even before the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Since 9-11, the movement has concentrated on linking terrorism and immigration under the guise of national security. This is a key argument for the movement in opposition to any form of immigration reform.

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July 14, 2014

Longtime Anti-Immigrant Activists Behind Murrieta Protests

Starting in late June 2014, anti-immigrant activists in Murrieta, California, have prevented buses carrying migrants fleeing violence in Central America from entering the town’s border patrol processing center. The protests have garnered national and international attention due to the extreme rhetoric and ugly climate surrounding them. Numerous anti-immigrant activists with close ties to the anti-immigrant movement flocked to Murrieta from all over Southern California to participate. Some of these protesters are closely tied to extreme elements of the anti-immigrant movement and have a history of bigoted statements.murrieta-immigration

As we have seen with similar protests in Vassar, Michigan, established anti-immigrant groups and longtime anti-immigrant activists are playing a crucial role in the protests in both states. In Murrieta and Vassar, anti-immigrant activists closely tied to the largest anti-immigrant groups in the country such as the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) and NumbersUSA are helping to spread their message of bigotry and xenophobia in an attempt to creative a climate of fear around this humanitarian crisis.

Click here to read more about the anti-immigrant activists behind the Murrieta protests.

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May 23, 2014

CIS Promotes Widely Disputed Report on Far-Right Radio Show

jessica-vaughan

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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