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October 24, 2014

Images Reveal Extreme Anti-Immigrant Activists At PFIR Conference

An independent photographer published images from the October 13, 2014 conference of the anti-immigrant group Progressives for Immigration Reform (PFIR) revealing anti-immigrant extremists and activists with a history of making bigoted statements in attendance. The annual conference takes place around the same weekend as other anti-immigrant gatherings, namely the advisory board meeting of the extreme anti-immigrant group Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) and the Social Contract Press Writers Workshop.progressives-for-immigration-reform

The images reveal that racist Wayne Lutton attended the PFIR conference. Lutton is edi­tor of the anti-immigrant jour­nal The Social Con­tract (TSC), pub­lished by racist John Tan­ton, the founder of the modern-day anti-immigrant movement. In one image from the conference, Lutton is speaking to Roy Beck, founder of the anti-immigrant group NumbersUSA. In addi­tion to his edi­tor­ship of TSC, Lut­ton has been on the edi­to­r­ial advi­sory board of the Occi­den­tal Observer, which pub­lishes racist and anti-Semitic material. In a 2010 issue of TSC, Lutton wrote an editorial calling for a ban on all Muslim immigration to the United States. Lutton has spoken at white supremacist gatherings in the past, such as American Renaissance and Council of Conservative Citizens conferences.

The Montana-based anti-immigrant activist Paul Nachman also attended the PFIR conference. Nachman is a regular contributor to the racist website VDARE, founded by white supremacist Peter Brimelow. Nachman has contributed hundreds of articles for VDARE, dating back to 2006. In one VDARE column, Nachman promoted the work of extremist John Vinson. In the same column, Nachman called the burning of Korans by anti-Muslim activist Terry Jones an “educational demonstration.”

Canadian Madeline Weld also attended the conference. Weld is an advisory board member with Scientists and Environmentalists for Population Stabilization (SEPS) an anti-immigrant group attempting to coax environmentalists and others into taking an anti-immigrant stance. In the autumn 2013 issue of the journal Human Perspectives, Weld wrote, “Multiculturalism may be an invitation to abuse, but none have been more diligent in making the most of this invitation than Muslims, because Islam alone among the religions and cultures brought to the West has a supremacist politico-religious agenda whose ultimate goal is world domination.”  In June of 2013, Weld purportedly signed a petition calling for anti-Muslim bigots Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer to be allowed entry into the UK after the British government banned the pair for making statements which could “foster hatred” and cause “inter-community violence.

Anti-immigrant activists with a history of making bigoted statements and racists have also attended PFIR’s conference in previous years, including Peter Brimelow and K.C. McAlpin, John Tanton’s right- hand man.

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June 6, 2013

Black American Leadership Alliance Mobilizing Against Immigration Reform

A group made up of longtime anti-immigrant activists claiming that immigration reform will hurt the African-American community is working on a number of fronts in opposition to the Senate’s immigration reform bill. The group, the Black American Leadership Alliance (BALA), recently changed its name from the African American Leadership Council (AALC). black-american-leadership-alliance

Using its original name, the group held a press conference in April announcing its opposition to the Senate’s immigration reform bill. BALA’s members, such as activists Frank Morris and Leah Durant, are closely tied to anti-immigrant groups founded by or with the help of racist John Tanton, the architect of the modern-day anti-immigrant movement. Morris currently sits on the boards of the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) and the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), both founded by Tanton, and another anti-immigrant front group, Progressives for Immigration Reform (PFIR). Durant is the executive director of PFIR and is a former attorney with the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI), the legal arm of FAIR. 

Since its initial press conference, the group issued an open letter on June 3 to the Senate’s bi-partisan “Gang of Eight,” the Congressional Black Caucus and senators from states with high rates of black unemployment urging them to acknowledge the “damaging impact mass immigration has on low-skilled workers” and recognize “the harmful impact that S. 744 would have on low skilled workers, particularly those in the black community.”

Many of the signatories of the letter attended and spoke at the group’s press conference in April. One of the signatories, Tom Broadwater, the national chair of the group Americans4Work, appeared as a guest on a webinar hosted by the anti-immigrant group NumbersUSA on June 4. During this call, Broadwater stated, “We need our jobs, we need our people, our American citizens to have jobs. Legal immigrants, illegal immigrants, they’re all bad as far as we are concerned for America.”

On July 15, BALA is organizing a “DC March for Jobs” rally in Washington, DC, intended “to help to stop Congress’ amnesty push.” BALA’s website says that the group will “demand that our leaders reject amnesty, and pass immigration policies that put black Americans back to work.” It remains to be seen how many activists BALA can mobilize for the event.

The talking points and tactics BALA is using in an attempt to derail the Senate’s immigration reform bill are no different from the broader anti-immigrant movement. Throughout its history, the movement has created front groups opposed to immigration reform, claiming that it will have a negative effect on minorities.

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February 19, 2013

New Images Reveal Racists Attended Progressives for Immigration Reform Conference

New images from the October 1, 2012 conference of the anti-immigrant group Progressives for Immigration Reform (PFIR) emerged recently, showing many extremists in attendance.   For example, one attendee was racist Peter Brimelow, the founder of VDARE. After the tragic shooting at a Sikh temple in the summer of 2012 by white supremacist Wade Michael Page, Brimelow wrote an article for VDARE asking what Sikhs were doing in Wisconsin in the first place. VDARE also frequently publishes articles from white supremacists such as Jared Taylor and anti-Semites such as California professor Kevin MacDonald.  

Wayne Lutton, editor of the anti-immigrant journal The Social Contract (TSC), published by racist John Tanton, also was present at the PFIR conference. In addition to his editorship of TSC, Lutton has been on the editorial advisory board of the Occidental Observer, which publishes racist and anti-Semitic material.

In 2010, TSC published an issue entitled “The Menace of Islam” which was filled with anti-Muslim rhetoric.  In the “letter from the editor,” Lutton called for a ban on all Muslim immigration to the United States, arguing “what benefit do Americans derive from having Muslims settle here? The costs have far outweighed any benefits in terms of terrorism, violent crime, and other social costs. What evidence is there that Muslim integration is possible? It seems clear to us that it is (past) time to halt Muslim immigration to the United States.”

K.C. McAlpin, the president of an anti-immigrant umbrella group called U.S., Inc. was another controversial attendee.  After the TSC journal called for a ban on all Muslim immigration, McAlpin attempted to justify the ban.  He claimed that banning Muslims would be the same as banning communists or Nazis in the past. According to McAlpin, “Congress has used that power in the past to ban the immigration of Communist Party and National Socialist (Nazi) party members who were deemed to be threats to our national security. This case is no different.”

PFIR claims to be a “progressive” organization, but allowing racists such as Peter Brimelow and Wayne Lutton to attend its conferences further undermines its credibility.

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