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November 26, 2014 2

Activists Use Extreme Rhetoric in Response to Obama’s Executive Action

A num­ber of anti-immigrant activists and groups used extreme rhetoric in response to Pres­i­dent Obama’s exec­u­tive action on immi­gra­tion, announced on Novem­ber 20. For exam­ple, William Gheen of the extreme anti-immigrant group Amer­i­cans for Legal Immi­gra­tion PAC (ALIPAC) con­nected the Mex­i­can Civil War with Obama’s exec­u­tive action in an inter­view with the conspiracy-oriented web­site World Net Daily. Gheen stated, “Obama’s choice of this date [Novem­ber 20 is Mex­i­can ‘Rev­o­lu­tion Day’ or Mex­i­can ‘Civil War Day’ which is the equiv­a­lent of America’s 4th of July] for his depar­ture from his Oath of Office and the U.S. Con­sti­tu­tion cre­ates a per­ma­nent sym­bolic rela­tion­ship between his actions and Mexico’s vio­lent rev­o­lu­tion­ary and civil wars from 1910–1920.”

William Gheen

William Gheen

Gheen also cir­cu­lated a Gary Varvel car­toon that depicted an immi­grant fam­ily climb­ing in the win­dow of a house of a white fam­ily while they are eat­ing Thanks­giv­ing din­ner with the cap­tion, “Thanks to the President’s immi­gra­tion order, we’ll be hav­ing extra guests this Thanks­giv­ing.” Gheen later claimed the car­toon “makes a very impor­tant point about ille­gal immi­gra­tion, bound­aries, the assault on Amer­i­can fam­i­lies and Amer­i­can cul­ture… and the real sit­u­a­tion in Amer­ica. And unfor­tu­nately for many Amer­i­can [sic], ille­gal aliens are lit­er­ally crawl­ing through their windows!”

A num­ber of activists asso­ci­ated with the extreme anti-immigrant group Fed­er­a­tion for Amer­i­can Immi­gra­tion Reform (FAIR) also made com­ments about Pres­i­dent Obama’s plan on immi­gra­tion. When asked on his radio show whether Obama’s actions would lead to eth­nic cleans­ing, Kris Kobach, who is of coun­sel with Immi­gra­tion Reform Law Insti­tute (IRLI), the legal arm of FAIR, responded, “And the rule of law used to be unas­sail­able, used to be taken for granted in Amer­ica. And now, of course, we have a pres­i­dent who dis­re­gards the law when it suits his inter­ests. So, while I nor­mally would answer that by say­ing, ‘Steve, of course we have the rule of law, that could never hap­pen in Amer­ica,’ I won­der what could happen…”

Ruthie Hendrycks, a FAIR state advi­sor and head of the anti-immigrant group Min­nesotans Seek­ing Immi­gra­tion Reform (MINNSIR), posted a com­ment on Face­book call­ing for the fam­i­lies of undoc­u­mented immi­grants cur­rently in depor­ta­tion pro­ceed­ings to also be deported.

FAIR advi­sory board mem­ber and anti-immigrant extrem­ist Frosty Wooldridge, responded to the president’s action in his reg­u­lar col­umn on the News With Views web­site by espous­ing birther con­spir­acy the­o­ries. Wooldridge wrote, “We now face a man in the White House who doesn’t mind break­ing our Con­sti­tu­tion, paid for with the blood of mil­lions of men and women. In his youth, he chose to smoke pot, do drugs and lie his way through col­lege and into Con­gress. He lacks any com­pre­hen­sion of what Amer­ica stands for because he still hasn’t proven he’s an American.”

More extreme ele­ments of the anti-immigrant move­ment also weighed in on the issue. White suprema­cist Peter Brimelow, the founder of the racist and anti-immigrant web­site VDARE called for the impeach­ment of Pres­i­dent Obama. Brimelow also used the Novem­ber 20th announce­ment to call for the “imme­di­ate abo­li­tion” of birthright citizenship.

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July 16, 2014 6

Anti-Immigrant Groups Plan National Protests Against Children Fleeing Violence

In response to the human­i­tar­ian cri­sis at the bor­der, which has seen an influx of chil­dren flee­ing vio­lence in Cen­tral Amer­ica, a num­ber of anti-immigrant activists and right-wing groups are plan­ning two national days of protest on July 18 and 19 against “immi­gra­tion reform amnesty and the bor­der surge.”protest-immigration

The flyer for the event fea­tures the same extreme anti-immigrant rhetoric seen recently at protests in Mur­ri­eta, Cal­i­for­nia and Vas­sar, Michi­gan. The flyer claims that “ille­gal aliens with com­mu­ni­ca­ble dis­eases and con­di­tions such as tuber­cu­lo­sis, sca­bies and head lice are enter­ing our coun­try unabated.” It goes on to warn of a “very real secu­rity risk to Amer­i­cans from drug car­tels, gang mem­bers and terrorists.”

The orga­nizer of the pro­posed nation­wide events sched­uled for July 18 and 19 is Paul Arnold, an anti-immigrant activist and founder of the anti-immigrant group “Make Them Lis­ten.” Arnold is closely tied to the anti-immigrant front group Black Amer­i­can Lead­er­ship Alliance (BALA). He helped orga­nize BALA’s “March for Jobs” anti-immigrant rally in July 2013 which was attended by about 800 peo­ple. Arnold also helped to orga­nize anti-immigrant ral­lies in dif­fer­ent states in August 2013 as part of a BALA “tour.” Many of the pro­posed ral­lies were can­celled due to lack of par­tic­i­pants and the few that did take place were sparsely attended

The Face­book event page for this weekend’s planned   protests indi­cates that a num­ber of extreme anti-immigrant groups are allegedly plan­ning to par­tic­i­pate. For exam­ple, the South Carolina-based anti-immigrant group Amer­i­cans Have Had Enough Coali­tion (AHHEC) plans to hold a protest in the state this week­end. White suprema­cist Roan Garcia-Quintana is the exec­u­tive direc­tor of AHHEC and is also a direc­tor and “life­time mem­ber” of the white suprema­cist orga­ni­za­tion Coun­cil of Con­ser­v­a­tive Cit­i­zens.

Another group plan­ning to par­tic­i­pate in the protests this week­end is the North Carolina-based Amer­i­cans for Legal Immi­gra­tion PAC (ALI-PAC), essen­tially a one man oper­a­tion run by anti-immigrant extrem­ist William Gheen. Gheen has a long his­tory of anti-immigrant rhetoric. In his recent state­ments about the human­i­tar­ian cri­sis, for exam­ple, Gheen advo­cated send­ing “gen­tly used” under­wear to John Boehner and Pres­i­dent Obama in protest of the bor­der patrol’s plea for cit­i­zens to send new pairs of under­wear for the migrants flee­ing violence.

A num­ber of other very active anti-immigrant orga­ni­za­tions from around the coun­try includ­ing Min­nesotans Seek­ing Immi­gra­tion Reform (MINNSIR), New York­ers for Immi­gra­tion Con­trol and
Enforce­ment (NYICE) and Help Save Mary­land (HSM) are also sched­uled to par­tic­i­pate at ral­lies in their states. Though it is unlikely the protests will attract large num­bers, the anti-immigrant move­ment is cer­tainly using the human­i­tar­ian cri­sis at the bor­der to attempt to mobi­lize its base.

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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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