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June 30, 2014 1

Children Suffering On Southern Border Fodder For Anti-Immigrant Voices

The plight of Cen­tral Amer­i­can chil­dren flee­ing vio­lence is being used as yet another excuse for inac­tion on humane and sen­si­ble immi­gra­tion reform that Amer­i­cans crave. border-detention-center-humanitarian

While Pres­i­dent Obama responded strongly to the sit­u­a­tion by send­ing a mes­sage to fam­i­lies in Cen­tral Amer­ica not to risk send­ing their chil­dren to the United States,  anti-immigrant groups and the politi­cians that fol­low their cues are using this human­i­tar­ian cri­sis to argue that the bor­der is out of con­trol and that sen­si­ble reform should be delayed.  

The anti-immigrant move­ment and some right wing media dis­miss the high mur­der rates, gang vio­lence, and poverty that drive these migrants to the United States and attempt to use this dire human­i­tar­ian sit­u­a­tion to cre­ate a cli­mate of fear around immigration.

The uptick in extreme anti-immigrant rhetoric around the issue has focused on por­tray­ing immi­grants as a pub­lic health haz­ard. On June 20, William Gheen of the extreme anti-immigrant group Amer­i­cans for Legal Immi­gra­tion PAC (ALI-PAC) claimed that the chil­dren are com­ing to the U.S. “in dis­ease and gang infested hoards.”  D.A. King of the Georgia-based anti-immigrant group Dustin Inman Soci­ety (DIS) asserted on June 9 that refugees are “swarm­ing the bor­der and bring­ing dis­ease.” On June 12, James Kirk­patrick, an author for the extreme anti-immigrant web­site VDARE, recently voiced his con­cerns about chil­dren car­ry­ing what he called a “diverse mix of excit­ing mul­ti­cul­tural diseases.”

Many right-wing and far-right media out­lets are also echo­ing the rhetoric of anti-immigrant groups. A June 22 arti­cle pub­lished on the far-right web­site News With Views bemoaned the “hordes of une­d­u­cated, unskilled and too many dis­ease rid­den com­ing from El Sal­vador, Guatemala and Nicaragua.” Using the metaphors “flood” and “tidal wave” to talk about the chil­dren, Dr. Eliz­a­beth Lee Vliet penned an arti­cle in the conspiracy-orientated right-wing online news­pa­per World Net Daily  on June 17 warn­ing that the chil­dren are car­ry­ing “dis­eases the U.S. had con­trolled or vir­tu­ally erad­i­cated: tuber­cu­lo­sis (TB), Cha­gas dis­ease, dengue fever, hepati­tis, malaria, measles, plus more.”

Aside from the dis­ease rhetoric, anti-immigrant and right-wing media out­lets are also espous­ing other extreme themes. Mack­u­bin Thomas Owens, an author for National Review Online (NRO), penned an arti­cle for the pub­li­ca­tion on June 13 titled, “Camp of the Saints, 2014 Style?” In the arti­cle, Owens called for his audi­ence to read the bla­tantly racist French novel Camp of the Saints in the wake of the human­i­tar­ian issue. Camp of the Saints tells the story of Indian immi­grants com­ing to France by boat and tak­ing over the coun­try by vio­lent means.

This mes­sage is not only big­oted and dehu­man­iz­ing to these chil­dren; it dis­tracts from the crit­i­cal fact that the real solu­tion to this human­i­tar­ian cri­sis is to reform our bro­ken sys­tem.  Only a func­tion­ing immi­gra­tion sys­tem can truly fos­ter orderly migra­tion and allow author­i­ties to deter­mine which chil­dren are eli­gi­ble to come to or remain in the U.S. and which are not.

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March 21, 2014 0

Anti-Immigrant Think Tank Appoints Bay Buchanan To Board

bay buchananThe Cen­ter for Immi­gra­tion Stud­ies (CIS), an anti-immigrant think tank founded by racist John Tan­ton, recently appointed Bay Buchanan, an anti-immigrant fig­ure with ties to extrem­ists, to its board of directors.

Buchanan is the pres­i­dent of The Amer­i­can Cause, a group founded by her brother, Pat Buchanan, a racist and anti-Semite. Though the orga­ni­za­tion is cur­rently dor­mant, it hosted a num­ber of anti-immigrant gath­er­ings in the past fea­tur­ing racist speakers.

For exam­ple, in Jan­u­ary 2009 the orga­ni­za­tion held an event when it released a report on the impact of can­di­dates’ views on immi­gra­tion dur­ing the 2008 elec­tion. Pan­elists included Bay Buchanan, Peter Brimelow, a white suprema­cist and founder of the racist anti-immigrant web­site VDARE, and Mar­cus Epstein, founder of the now-defunct far-right Robert Taft Club. The Taft Club often invited racist speak­ers to address its gath­er­ings, includ­ing white suprema­cist Jared Tay­lor, founder of The New Cen­tury Foun­da­tion, a self –styled think tank known pri­mar­ily for Amer­i­can Renais­sance , a white suprema­cist jour­nal and com­pan­ion website.

After Mar­cus Epstein was arrested and pleaded guilty to sim­ple assault for attack­ing an African Amer­i­can woman in Wash­ing­ton, D.C., Buchanan defended him in a col­umn pub­lished by VDARE titled “The Inter­net Lynch­ing of Mar­cus Epstein.” Buchanan also con­tributed an arti­cle to The Social Con­tract (TSC) an anti-immigrant jour­nal edited by white suprema­cist Wayne Lut­ton. At the 2011 Con­ser­v­a­tive Polit­i­cal Action Con­fer­ence (CPAC), Buchanan spoke on a panel spon­sored by the now-defunct racist stu­dent group Youth for West­ern Civ­i­liza­tion (YWC) titled “Will Immi­gra­tion Kill the GOP?”  Kevin DeAnna, the founder of YWC, was also on the panel. In 2005, Buchanan was a guest on the racist radio pro­gram The Polit­i­cal Cesspool, hosted by white suprema­cist James Edwards.

Buchanan also served as chair for her brother’s three pres­i­den­tial cam­paigns and in 2008, was a senior advi­sor to for­mer Col­orado con­gress­man Tom Tan­credo, who is known for his anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim rhetoric.  Buchanan also ran the now-defunct Team Amer­ica Polit­i­cal Action Com­mit­tee (PAC) founded by Tancredo.

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February 5, 2014 0

ProEnglish Attacks Super Bowl Ad Promoting America’s Diversity

The anti-immigrant group Pro­Eng­lish is ask­ing its activists to con­tact Coca-Cola about an ad the cor­po­ra­tion aired dur­ing the Super Bowl depict­ing peo­ple of dif­fer­ent eth­nic­i­ties singing “Amer­ica, the Beau­ti­ful” in a num­ber of dif­fer­ent lan­guages.  Pro­Eng­lish claims the ad “directly under­mined the spirit of national unity ‘Amer­ica, the Beau­ti­ful’ was intended to fos­ter.” The group went one step fur­ther, claim­ing Coke should “pro­mote civic unity, not disunity.”pro-english-liberty-bell-adl

ProEnglish’s attacks on the Coca-Cola Cor­po­ra­tion should be seen in light of its nativist agenda and xeno­pho­bic ori­gins and ties. John Tan­ton, the racist archi­tect of the modern-day anti-immigrant move­ment, founded Pro­Eng­lish in 1994. Tan­ton once wrote, “I’ve come to the point of view that for European-American soci­ety and cul­ture to per­sist requires a European-American major­ity, and a clear one at that.” Tan­ton remains on the Pro­Eng­lish board to this day and though the orga­ni­za­tion is based in DC, it remains a “self-governing project” of Tanton’s Michigan-based umbrella anti-immigrant orga­ni­za­tion, U.S., Inc.

The goals of Pro­Eng­lish are to pass English-only bills at the local and state level as well as to make Eng­lish the offi­cial lan­guage of the United States. These laws are often divi­sive. They limit access to the full range of gov­ern­ment rights and ben­e­fits for immi­grants resid­ing in the United States. These laws also do not include steps to estab­lish pro­grams where immi­grants can learn Eng­lish. ProEnglish’s agenda divides com­mu­ni­ties in the United States over the issue of immigration.

The organization’s staff and activ­i­ties are also prob­lem­atic.  ProEnglish’s exec­u­tive direc­tor, Robert Van­der­voort, is report­edly the for­mer head of the white suprema­cist group Chicagoland Friends of Amer­i­can Renais­sance, a local chap­ter of the white suprema­cist orga­ni­za­tion Amer­i­can Renais­sance. Pro­Eng­lish spon­sored a panel at the 2012 CPAC con­fer­ence in Wash­ing­ton, D.C., fea­tur­ing a num­ber of racist speak­ers includ­ing Peter Brimelow, founder of the racist anti-immigrant web­site VDARE and John Der­byshire, a racist for­mer National Review con­trib­u­tor who spoke at the 2013 Amer­i­can Renais­sance con­fer­ence. Later in 2012, Pro­Eng­lish sent a let­ter to House and Sen­ate lead­ers in oppo­si­tion of the issue of Puerto Rican state­hood. A num­ber of racists signed the let­ter includ­ing John Vin­son, a found­ing mem­ber of the League of the South (LOS), a racist neo-Confederate orga­ni­za­tion. Vin­son was cred­ited with draft­ing the “Kin­ism State­ment,” a set of guid­ing prin­ci­ples for a mod­ern white suprema­cist inter­pre­ta­tion of Chris­tian­ity called “Kinism.”

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