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October 17, 2012 0

Progressives for Immigration Reform Conference Attracts Major Anti-Immigrant Figures

Despite claims by Pro­gres­sives for Immi­gra­tion Reform (PFIR) to be a “pro­gres­sive” and “envi­ron­men­tal” orga­ni­za­tion, the appear­ance of sev­eral anti-immigrant activists at PFIR’s third annual con­fer­ence in Wash­ing­ton, DC, ear­lier this month, fur­ther con­firms that the group is firmly entrenched in the anti-immigrant movement.

Pho­tos of the con­fer­ence on the group Face­book page show Roy Beck, head of the Virginia-based anti-immigrant group Num­ber­sUSA, in the audi­ence. Beck is the for­mer Wash­ing­ton edi­tor of The Social Con­tract (TSC), an anti-immigrant jour­nal pub­lished by racist John Tan­ton. Dur­ing the years Beck was work­ing as the Wash­ing­ton edi­tor of TSC, the jour­nal pub­lished the writ­ings of known white suprema­cists such as Sam Fran­cis and Jared Tay­lor. Beck also spoke at the 1997 national con­fer­ence of the Coun­cil of Con­ser­v­a­tive Cit­i­zens, a white suprema­cist organization.

Another pic­ture taken at the PFIR con­fer­ence shows John Rohe, vice-president of phil­an­thropy and sec­re­tary at the Col­com Foun­da­tion, in atten­dance. Rohe is report­edly a close friend of Tan­ton, and worked with him at Tanton’s U.S., Inc. orga­ni­za­tion in Michi­gan for a num­ber of years.  Rohe even authored Tanton’s biog­ra­phy. The Col­com foun­da­tion is the pre­mier fun­der of the anti-immigrant move­ment in the United States, and has donated mil­lions of dol­lars a year to anti-immigrant groups such as PFIR, U.S., Inc., Num­ber­sUSA and many others.

A third key anti-immigrant fig­ure iden­ti­fied at the PFIR con­fer­ence is Mar­i­lyn Brant Chan­dler DeY­oung, the chair of the Santa Barbara-based anti-immigrant group Cal­i­for­ni­ans for Pop­u­la­tion Sta­bi­liza­tion (CAPS). CAPS report­edly received money from the Pio­neer Fund, a foun­da­tion that pro­motes the study of eugen­ics, in 2002. DeY­oung is behind a push this year to get more recog­ni­tion for CAPS. The group aired ads dur­ing the Demo­c­ra­tic and Repub­li­can con­ven­tions and launched a num­ber of new projects in 2012.

PFIR’s claim to legit­i­macy in the envi­ron­men­tal move­ment con­tin­ues to unravel. Its web­site states, “Indeed, it is hard to think of a sin­gle envi­ron­men­tal prob­lem that is not made sig­nif­i­cantly worse by pop­u­la­tion growth, or that could not be more effec­tively met if we could sta­bi­lize or reduce our pop­u­la­tion.” As this quote indi­cates, the group’s real agenda is to cite immi­gra­tion as the major source of envi­ron­men­tal prob­lems in the United States.

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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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August 17, 2012 1

Progressives for Immigration Reform Announces Conference and New Project

The pres­i­dent of Pro­gres­sives for Immi­gra­tion Reform, Phil Cafaro

The anti-immigrant group Pro­gres­sives for Immi­gra­tion Reform (PFIR) has announced its third annual con­fer­ence in Wash­ing­ton, D.C. sched­uled for Octo­ber 2012. In addi­tion, the group is pro­mot­ing their new project–a state­ment on the envi­ron­men­tal impact of U.S. immi­gra­tion policy.

PFIR was founded in 2009 claim­ing to “edu­cate the pub­lic about the unin­tended con­se­quences of mass migra­tion.” In real­ity, PFIR is made up of a host of anti-immigrant fig­ures, many of whom approach the issue of immi­gra­tion from an envi­ron­men­tal stand­point. PFIR’s use of the term “pro­gres­sives” is an attempt to attract envi­ron­men­tal­ists and to coax them to view immi­gra­tion as the cause of envi­ron­men­tal problems.

Though the group has not yet announced the speak­ers at this year’s event, speak­ers in the past have included a host of fig­ures from anti-immigrant groups , includ­ing Roy Beck from Num­ber­sUSA and Steven Camarota from the Cen­ter for Immi­gra­tion Stud­ies (CIS). Also in atten­dance last year was Mike Heth­mon from the Immi­gra­tion Reform Law Insti­tute (IRLI), the legal arm of the Fed­er­a­tion for Amer­i­can Immi­gra­tion Reform (FAIR).

The aim of PFIR’s new project is to deter­mine the num­ber of immi­grants Con­gress should allow into the United States. For years, anti-immigrant groups have argued that not only should all undoc­u­mented immi­gra­tion be pre­vented but that Con­gress should also dra­mat­i­cally decrease the num­ber of legal immi­grants enter­ing the coun­try each year. Extreme anti-immigrant groups such as FAIR have gone as far as to call for a tem­po­rary mora­to­rium on all immi­gra­tion to the United States.

The two prin­ci­pal inves­ti­ga­tors of PFIR’s new project are PFIR pres­i­dent Phil Cafaro and advi­sory board mem­ber Leon Kolankiewicz. Both have ties to other anti-immigrant groups.

Kolankiewicz has writ­ten reports for CIS pri­mar­ily address­ing the alleged envi­ron­men­tal impact of immi­gra­tion. He also co-authored a report with Beck, which blamed immi­grants for America’s envi­ron­men­tal prob­lems. Kolankiewicz is a senior writ­ing fel­low for the California-based anti-immigrant group Cal­i­for­ni­ans for Pop­u­la­tion Sta­bi­liza­tion (CAPS).  In addi­tion, he has writ­ten over a half dozen arti­cles for The Social Con­tract, an anti-immigrant jour­nal pub­lished by racist John Tan­ton.

Cafaro was for­merly a fel­low at CIS and wrote a num­ber of reports for the orga­ni­za­tion that attempted to blame immi­grants for envi­ron­men­tal degradation.

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