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November 9, 2012 0

ProEnglish Recruits Controversial Signatories for Letter to House and Senate Leadership

The Virginia-based anti-immigrant group Pro­Eng­lish, founded by racist John Tan­ton, recently sent a letter to the lead­er­ship of the U.S. House and Sen­ate on the issue of Puerto Rican state­hood, which  fea­tured a num­ber of con­tro­ver­sial anti-immigrant activists as sig­na­to­ries. The coali­tion of 21 sig­na­to­ries included John Vin­son, of the Virginia-based anti-immigrant group Amer­i­cans for Immi­gra­tion Con­trol (AIC), Rick Olt­man, for­merly of the DC-based anti-immigrant group Federa­tion for Amer­i­can Immi­gra­tion Reform (FAIR), and Phil Kent, a Pro­Eng­lish board mem­ber. The let­ter they signed calls on the House and Sen­ate lead­er­ship to “include spe­cific Eng­lish lan­guage require­ments in any leg­is­la­tion to admit Puerto Rico as the 51st State.” Vot­ers in Puerto Rico voted on Novem­ber 6 in favor of becom­ing a U.S. state, in a non-binding referendum.

Phil Kent is a long­time anti-immigrant activist based in Geor­gia who once sug­gested that cit­i­zens should be wary of mul­ti­cul­tur­al­ism, stat­ing, “What will be the val­ues and ideas of a mul­ti­cul­tural Amer­ica? What will it mean to be white after ‘white­ness’ no longer defines the cul­tural main­stream?” Kent also spoke at the 2009 Social Con­tract Press Writ­ers Work­shop, a group founded by Tan­ton. The work­shop is held annu­ally and often fea­tures racist speak­ers, includ­ing Peter Brimelow, the founder of the anti-immigrant web­site VDARE.

Rick Olt­man, a for­mer FAIR employee, addressed the 1997 con­fer­ence of the white suprema­cist group Coun­cil of Con­ser­v­a­tive Cit­i­zens (CofCC). When Olt­man spoke at an anti-immigrant rally in 1998 in Cull­man, Alabama, an ad for the rally pub­lished in the Spring 1998 edi­tion of CofCC’s newslet­ter, the Coun­cil Reporter, described Olt­man as a “mem­ber” of the orga­ni­za­tion. Olt­man also has had six arti­cles pub­lished in The Social Con­tract (TSC), an anti-immigrant jour­nal, pub­lished by Tanton’s Social Con­tract Press.

John Vin­son, the pres­i­dent of AIC, also has ties to CofCC.  Like Olt­man, Vin­son spoke at a CofCC con­fer­ence (in 1999) and has had many arti­cles pub­lished in TSC. In fact, Vin­son guest edited the sum­mer 1998 edi­tion of TSC titled, “Euro­pho­bia: The Hos­til­ity Toward European-Descended Amer­i­cans.” The issue fea­tured a num­ber of arti­cles writ­ten by white suprema­cists, such as Jared Tay­lor and Sam Francis.

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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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