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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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July 13, 2012 0

Anti-Immigrant Political Action Committee Sees Rise in Contributions for 2012 Election Cycle

US Immi­gra­tion Reform PAC, a polit­i­cal action com­mit­tee whose pur­pose is to “reduce immi­gra­tion” and “secure our nation’s bor­ders,” has seen a sharp increase in con­tri­bu­tions for the 2012 elec­tion cycle. The PAC’s pres­i­dent is Mary Lou Tan­ton, the spouse of John Tan­ton, the archi­tect of the mod­ern day anti-immigrant move­ment in the United States. 

Accord­ing to the web­site Open Secrets, which tracks fed­eral cam­paign con­tri­bu­tions, US Immi­gra­tion Reform PAC’s total receipts for 2012 to date are over $14,500 with almost four months to go before Elec­tion Day. While this fig­ure is rel­a­tively low, it is up almost ten-fold from the last elec­tion cycle, where the PAC only received a lit­tle over $1500 in total receipts. In the 2012 cycle, US Immi­gra­tion Reform PAC has donated $2500 to con­gres­sional can­di­dates, so far.
 
Open Secrets also lists indi­vid­ual donors who have given $200 or more to the PAC. Among the donors for 2012 is Sharon Barnes, a long­time board mem­ber of the Fed­er­a­tion for Amer­i­can Immi­gra­tion Reform (FAIR), an extreme anti-immigration group that was founded by John Tan­ton in 1979. Barnes, who has donated $300 to date, for­merly sat on the edi­to­r­ial advi­sory board of Tanton’s anti-immigrant jour­nal, The Social Con­tract. Another con­trib­u­tor of over $200 is John Rohe, who, along with his wife, donated a com­bined $500 to the PAC for the 2012 elec­tion cycle. Rohe is a good friend of John and Mary Lou Tan­ton, even pen­ning the couple’s biog­ra­phy, which was pub­lished in 2002. Rohe is also the Vice Pres­i­dent of Phil­an­thropy at the Col­com Foun­da­tion, an orga­ni­za­tion that donates mil­lions of dol­lars to anti-immigrant groups each year.
 
It is no sur­prise that US Immi­gra­tion Reform PAC’s con­tri­bu­tions are up since immi­gra­tion is a hot-button issue in the 2012 elec­tion cycle. The four con­gres­sional can­di­dates that the PAC has donated to thus far in 2012 are Lou Bar­letta (R-PA), Paul Broun (R-GA), Steve King (R-IA) and Allen West (R-FL). 

 

As a 501©(3) non-profit char­i­ta­ble orga­ni­za­tion, ADL does not endorse or oppose any can­di­dates for polit­i­cal office.

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