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July 26, 2013 0

ADL Commends Legislators For Taking Stand Against Rep. Steve King’s Demonizing Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric

Those who have fol­lowed Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Steve King’s (R–IA) habit of demo­niz­ing immi­grants as crim­i­nals may not have been sur­prised when he told a jour­nal­ist last week that “there are 100 Mex­i­can immi­grants, with calves the size of can­taloupes, smug­gling drugs for every DREAMer valedictorian.”  steve-king

This fol­lows a long his­tory of deroga­tory and hate­ful anti-immigrant rhetoric by King and oth­ers who pre­fer to obstruct progress toward a leg­isla­tive solu­tion that could actu­ally address the seri­ous prob­lem of America’s bro­ken immi­gra­tion sys­tem. ADL sent a let­ter to Rep. King today urg­ing him to retract his offen­sive state­ments and to refrain from using incen­di­ary and inap­pro­pri­ate language.

Despite wide­spread crit­i­cism for his offen­sive com­ments on immi­grant chil­dren, Rep. King insisted again on June 25on the House floor that undoc­u­mented immi­grant chil­dren are often drug mules who carry ille­gal sub­stances across the bor­der from Mexico.

There was a swift and tar­geted con­dem­na­tion that fol­lowed from the top House lead­ers, as well as other key play­ers in the immi­gra­tion con­ver­sa­tion, includ­ing the House Judi­ciary Immi­gra­tion Sub­com­mit­tee Chair Trey Gowdy (R-SC).  Speaker John Boehner (R–OH) and Major­ity Leader Eric Can­tor (R–VA) stepped up to con­demn the remarks imme­di­ately. The Speaker called on leg­is­la­tors to reject hate­ful com­ments that he said were “deeply offen­sive and wrong.” Can­tor, the second-ranking House Repub­li­can, said: “I strongly dis­agree with his char­ac­ter­i­za­tion of the chil­dren of immi­grants and find the com­ments inexcusable.”

At Speaker John Boehner’s weekly press brief­ing yes­ter­day, he again con­demned Rep. King’s remarks within the first minute of the brief­ing – unprompted and force­fully saying:

“I want to be clear: There is no place in this debate for hate­ful or igno­rant com­ments from elected offi­cials. Ear­lier this week, Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Steve King made com­ments that, I think were deeply offen­sive and wrong. What he said does not reflect the val­ues of the Amer­i­can peo­ple or the Repub­li­can Party. We all need to do our work in a con­struc­tive, open, and respect­ful way.”

ADL has con­sis­tently called on polit­i­cal lead­ers and can­di­dates to speak out against intol­er­ant and dehu­man­iz­ing rhetoric. In let­ters to Reps. Boehner and Can­tor ADL com­mended their lead­er­ship in pub­licly reject­ing such rhetoric. ADL hopes other leg­is­la­tors will fol­low.  The let­ters noted that “poli­cies adopted in the halls of gov­ern­ment, and the tenor and rhetoric used to debate them, directly impact the lives of immi­grants and all minor­ity groups, regard­less of their immi­gra­tion status.” 

The task of fix­ing America’s bro­ken immi­gra­tion sys­tem is urgent and seri­ous and demo­niz­ing immi­grants does lit­tle to advance con­struc­tive solu­tions.  It mer­its a respect­ful pol­icy con­ver­sa­tion that upholds America’s best ideals of ensur­ing dig­nity for all and that hon­ors America’s her­itage as a nation of immigrants. 

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July 12, 2013 0

Speakers at DC “March for Jobs” Rally Have Bashed Immigrants and Muslims

dc-march-for-jobs1On July 15, 2013, the Black Amer­i­can Lead­er­ship Alliance (BALA), an African Amer­i­can “front group” cre­ated by the anti-immigrant move­ment in the United States, will host a protest against immi­gra­tion reform in Wash­ing­ton, D.C.

The “DC March for Jobs” will fea­ture a num­ber of speak­ers from BALA who claim to speak on behalf of the African-American com­mu­nity when in fact they are long-time anti-immigrant activists speak­ing on behalf of the anti-immigrant move­ment. A num­ber of politi­cians and other activists, many of whom have a his­tory of big­oted state­ments, are also slated to address the crowd:

Rep. Steve King (R-IA) – Steve King is the leader of the anti-immigration reform group in the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives and has a long his­tory of mak­ing big­oted state­ments against immi­grants. King has char­ac­ter­ized immi­grants – both doc­u­mented and undoc­u­mented – as crim­i­nals and disease-carriers. He has spo­ken along­side lead­ers of bor­der vig­i­lante groups and advo­cated for a bor­der “wall” topped with elec­tri­fied wire to stop what he has called a “slow motion Holo­caust” of undoc­u­mented immi­gra­tion into the United States. In an address to the House King asserted that undoc­u­mented immi­gra­tion is “a slow-rolling, slow-motion ter­ror­ist attack on the United States.”

Michael Cut­lerCut­ler is a for­mer INS (now ICE) agent who is a senior fel­low at the Santa Barbara-based anti-immigrant orga­ni­za­tion Cal­i­for­ni­ans for Pop­u­la­tion Sta­bi­liza­tion (CAPS) and a for­mer fel­low at the anti-immigrant group Cen­ter for Immi­gra­tion Stud­ies (CIS). In a July 3, 2013 op-ed in the Wash­ing­ton Times, Cut­ler claimed that “a sig­nif­i­cant per­cent­age of the illegal-alien pop­u­la­tion includes those who know they could not be law­fully admit­ted via the inspec­tions process that is designed to pre­vent the entry of aliens who have dan­ger­ous com­mu­ni­ca­ble dis­eases, severe men­tal ill­ness, seri­ous crim­i­nal his­to­ries, are fugi­tives from jus­tice in other coun­tries or have com­mit­ted war crimes or human rights vio­la­tions, or are spies or terrorists.”

Allen WestWest is a for­mer Rep­re­sen­ta­tive from the state of Florida who failed to win reelec­tion in 2012. West is closely tied to peo­ple in the anti-Muslim move­ment, pub­lish­ing blogs on sites such as Pamela Geller’s Atlas Shrugs and fre­quently pre­sent­ing at events such as ACT! for America’s 2013 national con­fer­ence.  In a March 8, 2010 speech, West demo­nized Islam, stat­ing, Islam is a total­i­tar­ian theo­cratic polit­i­cal ide­ol­ogy, it is not a reli­gion. It has not been a reli­gion since 622 AD, and we need to have indi­vid­u­als that stand up and say that.”

Ken Crow – Crow is an Iowa res­i­dent and founder of Tea Party Com­mu­nity. In an undated post on the online forum Hub Pages, Crow wrote, “The only place in Amer­i­can soci­ety for MULTICULTURALISM is with our Native Amer­i­cans. They were here first and need to be treated with a very high level of respect. We should not be alter­ing Amer­ica for any­one else. But we are. We even have the Islamic faith­ful build­ing schools here and yes they are teach­ing their chil­dren to hate Amer­ica. They are teach­ing and preach­ing hatred of Amer­ica on Amer­i­can soil.” Crow has pub­lished numer­ous arti­cles on the vir­u­lently anti-Muslim site The United West.

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