from Anti-Defamation League's Report: Immigrants Targeted: Extremist Rhetoric Moves into the Mainstream
About This Report
Immigration remains a deeply polarizing issue in American politics and public life. Serious policy questions remain about the best way to reform America’s immigration system but the debate has also been framed, at times, by vitriolic anti-immigrant – and particularly anti-Latino – rhetoric and propaganda. Purveyors of this extremist rhetoric use stereotypes and outright bigotry to target immigrants and hold them responsible for numerous societal ills.The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which previously has documented how extremist groups like the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis have exploited the immigration issue to advance their own agenda, has become increasingly concerned about the virulent anti-immigrant and anti-Latino rhetoric employed by a handful of groups and coalitions that have positioned themselves as legitimate, mainstream advocates against illegal immigration in America.
In 2008, these anti-immigrant advocates have attempted to reinvigorate the immigration debate by forming new coalitions. At a press conference announcing its formation, one coalition openly joined together local citizen groups located far from the Mexican/United States border with virulently anti-Latino border vigilante groups that send armed volunteers to patrol the border. Another coalition has run mainstream newspaper ads that exploit the American public’s concerns about the environment by blaming immigrants for traffic congestion, damage to the public infrastructure, and high fuel prices. These coalitions are attempting to broaden their base and legitimize their views through media outreach.
In addition, local citizen groups continue to hold rallies and events where speakers routinely blame undocumented immigrants and their children for a wide range of problems from “dumbing down” American schools to depleting community resources, to being the main cause of crime and disease in this country. The demonization of immigrants has led to an increased sense of fear in communities around the country and created a toxic environment in which hateful rhetoric targeting immigrants has become routine.
Unlike the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis, who make no attempt to hide their racism and bigotry, these anti-immigrant groups and coalitions often use more subtle language to demonize immigrants and foreigners. They are frequently quoted in the media, have been called to testify before Congress, and often hold meetings with lawmakers and other public figures. However, under the guise of warning people about the impact of illegal immigration, anti-immigrant advocates often invoke the same dehumanizing, racist stereotypes as hate groups. And increasingly, they do not make a distinction between illegal and legal immigrants.
A closer look at the public record reveals that some of these supposedly mainstream organizations have disturbing links to, or relationships with, extremists in the anti-immigration movement. Often identified in the media or their mission statements as “anti-illegal immigration advocacy groups,” they attempt to distort the debate over immigration by fomenting fear and spreading unfounded propaganda through the use of several key tactics:
- Describing immigrants as “third world invaders,” who come to America to destroy our heritage, “colonize” the country and attack our “way of life.” This charge is used against Latinos, Asians and other people of color.
- Using terminology that describes immigrants as part of “hordes” that “swarm” over the border. This dehumanizing language has become common.
- Portraying immigrants as carriers of diseases like leprosy, tuberculosis, Chagas disease (a potentially fatal parasitic disease), dengue fever, polio, malaria.
- Depicting immigrants as criminals, murderers, rapists, terrorists, and a danger to children and families.
- Propagating conspiracy theories about an alleged secret “reconquista” plot by Mexican immigrants to create a “greater Mexico” by seizing seven states in the American Southwest that once belonged to Mexico.
- Blaming immigrants for eroding American culture, institutions and quality of life and impacting our environment and natural resources.
In this report, part of a series of reports on immigration and extremism, ADL exposes those individuals and groups who are playing a key a role in mainstreaming extremist rhetoric in the immigration debate in various aspects of American life.
Groups Highlighted in Report...
New Jersey Citizens for Immigration Control
New Jersey Citizens for Immigration Control (NJCIC) claims to be a “non-partisan, grassroots organization of New Jersey citizens who are concerned about the influx of illegal aliens into our communities.” However, the rhetoric, actions, and affiliations of its leadership reveal it to be among the numerous local citizen groups that demonize Hispanics.
NJCIC promotes classic anti-immigrant themes; the front page of its Website declares “Stop the Invasion!” advancing the claim that immigrants are aggressively overtaking the United States. More specifically, the group is “concerned about the effects of this influx on our educational system and our law enforcement system,” which supports the argument that undocumented immigrants are placing strain on elements of America’s infrastructure.
The group’s leadership
NJCIC’s leadership is comprised mainly of co-chairs Gayle Kesselman and John Rucki, who often attend and speak, on behalf of NJCIC, at events hosted by other anti-immigrant groups.
In October 2007, Kesselman spoke at an anti-immigrant rally in New Jersey. She explained that she became involved in the movement after attending a speech by Susan Tully, a Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) field representative. Kesselman said that the experience “opened [her] eyes.” She went on to discuss “how much the state of New Jersey pays for services for illegal aliens,” and the figures she gave were based entirely on a study completed by FAIR. She also explained that by providing “services” to undocumented immigrants, “corporations and politicians are…importing third world poverty into our country…” Fellow speakers included Paul Topete, the lead singer of the anti-government, anti-immigrant band Poker Face; Carmen Morales, a You Don’t Speak for Me leader; and other anti-immigrant figures. Topete, a virulent anti-Semite, encouraged the audience to set aside any differing beliefs to combat “slave wage invaders.”
Kesselman also participates and speaks at events that seek to demonize Muslims. In September 2007, she joined a group in protesting the Muslim Day Parade in New York. She carried a sign that read “Say No To Islamo-Nazis,” equating participants in this mainstream parade to Nazis. Kesselman also spoke at the March 2007 “Rally Against Islamo-Fascism” in New York sponsored by the United American Committee, an anti-Muslim group.
In its May 4, 2008 issue, the Bergen Record published a letter from Kesselman in which she argued that a New Jersey U.S. Attorney, in an attempt to “further his political career,” ignored the possibility of “the political and economic infrastructure of New Jersey get[ting] destroyed by uncontrolled illegal immigration.” The newspaper identified Kesselman as “the co-chairwoman of New Jersey Citizens for Immigration Control.” Another letter of Kesselman’s, published in the Newark, New Jersey-based Star Ledger in July 2006, discussed the “illegals, including terrorists, who have invaded our country…”
To broadcast its views, NJCIC organizes meetings and rallies which bring together anti-immigrant figures and groups. The group’s Website advertised a June 2008 “educational public forum” in New Jersey co-sponsored with FAIR, the largest anti-immigrant group in the country. The forum was entitled “The Effects of Illegal Immigration on the New Jersey Taxpayer,” and scheduled speakers included leaders from NJCIC and FAIR, along with leaders of the anti-immigrant group You Don’t Speak for Me, a FAIR offshoot.
In October 2007, NJCIC sponsored a rally in New Jersey to support “immigration control” and legislation that empowers local law enforcement to initiate deportation proceedings for undocumented immigrants. The rally featured leaders and representatives of other anti-immigrant groups as speakers. During Kesselman’s speech, she argued that “there are people that are coming over here, for no other reason than to enrich themselves, at our expense.” Another speaker, Carmen Morales of You Don’t Speak for Me, stated, “Remember, illegal aliens and their supporters have a different mentality, where if they do not get their way, they will burn buildings and destroy our towns one at a time for that’s how they handle it in their own countries.”
Supporting anti-immigrant policies
Like many of the other citizen activist groups in the anti-immigrant movement, NJCIC supports legislation that focuses on combating the harm that undocumented immigrants allegedly inflict upon individual states. To achieve this end, NJCIC favors legislation that would deny public benefits, including medical care and in-state college tuition, to undocumented immigrants. NJCIC also actively seeks the implementation, “in every town and county of New Jersey,” of legislation that deputizes local law enforcement to enforce federal immigration laws. The group devotes an entire page on its Website to supporting that goal. While many mainstream groups have similar policy aims, NJCIC’s tactics and statements from group leaders demonize immigrants rather than simply advocate for certain policies.
Ties to other anti-immigrant groups
In addition to working with other groups, NJCIC posts links on its Website to several anti-immigrant groups, including FAIR, Americans for Legal Immigration Political Action Committee (ALIPAC), and Mothers Against Illegal Aliens (MAIA). NJCIC also links its Website to those of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, a border vigilante group, and “American Patrol Report,” a Website run by Glenn Spencer, who leads the virulently anti-Hispanic American Border Patrol group. NJCIC’s “Links” page states that the group is “proud to provide links to these fine organizations…”
Groups: The Dustin Inman Society - Georgia
Donald Arthur (D.A.) King is the founder and leader of the Marietta,
Georgia-based Dustin Inman Society (DIS), a group that focuses entirely
on opposing immigration of Hispanics to the United States (Dustin
Inman was a 16-year-old boy who was killed when an alleged undocumented
immigrant crashed into the back of the Inman family car in 2000).
King has described the United States as a country “being invaded and
colonized,” and its “way of life” destroyed with the “Hispandering” of
his state, which he has taken to calling “Georgiafornia.”
He often uses rhetoric that depicts undocumented immigrants as a threat to the American way of life. In March 2008, a reader of King’s blog suggested a “new word” for illegal aliens—“crimigrant.” In response, King wrote, “Makes sense to me.”
Promoting anti-immigrant 287(g) agreements
Since the defeat of the immigration reform bill in Congress in 2007, one of King’s most widely-used tactics has been to promote section 287(g) of The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), which was added to the INA by the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigration Responsibility Act. Section 287(g) deputizes local law enforcement officers to enforce immigration law. In a February 17, 2008 article, published in Georgia’s Gwinnett Daily Post, King discussed the “organized crime of illegal immigration” and described 287(g) as “the latest effort to rid Georgia of the taxpayer-subsidized illegal aliens who are lowering wages and straining our schools, hospitals, jails and common language.”
King does not limit his rhetoric to immigrants; he also targets American Latino leaders. In a February 7, 2008 letter, published in the Gainesville Times, a Georgia-based newspaper, King made predictions about what life will be like if 287(g) is implemented in Hall County, Georgia. He stated, “Parasitic ethnic hustlers who encourage and feed on continued illegal immigration will begin to howl that any enforcement of the law that affects the illegals who are their golden goose is ‘profiling’ and, sooner or later, ‘racist.’” On the Dustin Inman Society blog, King posted the letter and linked the words “ethnic hustlers” to the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials (GALEO) “Membership and Benefits” page and membership application.
In December 2007, he staged an event to honor Neil Warren, a Georgia sheriff, with the first DIS ‘Sheriff of the Year’ award. In the DIS blog, King explained that Warren is the “only sheriff in Georgia to have taken advantage of…section 287(g).” King also reported that “several elected officials were in attendance,” and he anticipated honoring other sheriffs “in the process of following Sheriff Warren’s leadership in using available federal tools to protect their citizens from the ravages of the crime of illegal immigration.”
Months earlier, in April 2007, King was more extreme in his use of anti-immigrant rhetoric. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, when speaking at a Newton County (Georgia) Republican Party meeting, he told attendees that undocumented immigrants are “not here to mow your lawn – they’re here to blow up your buildings and kill your children, and you, and me.”
King has expressed such strong sentiments in previous years, as well. He wrote in a July 2004 article:
We have become sadly acquainted with
the absolute and brazen disregard for the law that comes from the third
world horde that is allowed to swarm over our border with Mexico…It is
clear that when the mostly Mexican mob illegally ‘migrates’ into our
nation, it brings with it the culture of lawlessness and chaos that is
responsible for the very conditions that they flee in the rapidly
deteriorating example of Democracy without the rule of law that is
Mainstream media acceptance
Despite King’s numerous inflammatory statements, the national media has continued to provide King with a mainstream platform. He has toned down his rhetoric in mainstream television and print media and his statements and articles now reach millions of Americans. The Marietta Daily Journal regularly publishes King’s “Guest Columnist” articles and refers to the DIS as a “Cobb based nonprofit coalition which advocates for English as the national official language,” and “a Cobb-based non-profit coalition dedicated to educating the public on illegal immigration.” The newspaper’s Website also provides a link to the DIS Website after the publication of each of King’s pieces.
An October 2007 National Public Radio segment included a quote from King, who was described as “a grassroots activist.” Also in October 2007, King was a guest on CNN’s Headline News. He was introduced as an “anti-illegal immigration activist” and a “columnist for the Marietta Journal.” In May 2007, Anderson Cooper interviewed King on CNN Today, introducing him as a “columnist” and “activist.” Twelve mainstream newspapers have printed King’s articles, most notably The Washington Times, which neutrally describes the Dustin Inman Society as “a Georgia-based coalition of citizens with the goal of educating the public on the consequences of illegal immigration.”
Contributor to racist Website
King also maintained a blog on VDare, a Website that publishes racist, anti-Semitic, and anti-immigrant articles, and has also posted many of his articles. In one blog entry, he discussed his experience at a March for Dignity, comprised of, in King’s words, “mostly Hispanic demonstrators.” He wrote, “I got the sense that I had left the country of my birth and been transported to some Mexican village, completely taken over by an angry, barely restrained mob….My first act on a safe return home was to take a shower.”
King has also promoted conspiracy theories about the “Reconquista,” an alleged plot by Mexicans to forcibly take control of the American Southwest. In a June 2006 article on VDare, he described the ABC network’s airing of an award show hosted by the National Council of La Raza, a Hispanic advocacy group, as “Reconquista TV.”
In September 2006, King attempted to distance himself from VDare. The Dustin Inman Society Website states, “D.A. King demanded that [VDare] remove his name from the VDARE Editorial Collective.” However, he also requested the VDare “archive his writings along with other past authors.”
Rallies and ties to the Minutemen
In addition to spreading his views in the media and online, King has organized public rallies. In March 2008, the DIS held a rally in front of a hotel in Atlanta, Georgia, to protest a “Georgians for McCain” reception, or, as King phrased it on the DIS Website, the “McCain/Kennedy legalization legislation and reward for illegal aliens – and amnesty for their campaign donating criminal employers.” Specifically, the DIS was protesting legislation that would favor amnesty for undocumented immigrants, which the group argues has been supported by the two senators in past years.
The DIS rally reportedly attracted members of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps., a border vigilante group. On the DIS Website, King gave “many thanks” to “Just build the fence,” an anti-immigrant blog that posted a story about the rally. The blog entry stated that “Local patriots from the Georgia Chapter of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps were also present in numbers.” As of July 2008, the DIS Website continues to provide links to the Websites of Minuteman groups.
In April 2007, King organized a kick-off rally for “Hold Their Feet to the Fire,” a series of anti-immigrant events held in Washington, D.C. He brought together anti-immigrant speakers from around the country, including his self-described “personal friend” Terry Anderson, Rick Oltman, and William Gheen, all prominent anti-immigrant activists. The Dustin Inman Society organized a similar rally in 2005, featuring Chris Simcox, currently the leader of the border vigilante Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, which encourages armed patrols and surveillance by volunteers to prevent Mexicans from crossing the border into the United States. In 2005, Simcox co-founded the Minuteman Project, which had a similar agenda. Today, the Minutemen are a loose network of local chapters around the country, whose primary goal is to keep undocumented immigrants from Mexico out of the United States. The more extreme Minutemen chapters continue to advocate patrols of the Mexican-American border by armed volunteers.
Testifying before the government committees
On the political front, in August 2006, King served as a witness at a Gainesville, Georgia, field hearing of the House of Representatives Education and the Workforce Subcommittee. As participants entered the building, Dustin Inman Society members greeted them. Though King softened his language during his testimony, he had secured a permit for his group to demonstrate. One person held up a sign saying “Stop the Invasion.”
Groups: Mothers Against Illegal Aliens - Arizona
In January 2006, Michelle Dallacroce founded Mothers Against Illegal
Aliens (MAIA), a group that, in her words, was formed “to show every
mother in America what is going on on our streets.” Through media
appearances, connections with extremists, and personal appearances at
anti-immigration events, Dallacroce promotes themes that demonize
immigrants. She describes immigrants as a “mass invasion” of
unintelligent, disrespectful, conspiratorial criminals while targeting
her message to women and families. She focuses on immigration as a
threat to American children and denigrates the values of immigrant
families, branding immigrant children as “dumb” and violent.
Denigrating immigrant children
The MAIA “Mission Statement” directs readers to:
…decide if our children are the forgotten and
silent victims when it comes to their education in schools overrun by
illegal aliens and to their safety from a border in peril. Ultimately,
it is up to you to decide for yourself if you want to get involved,
protect your family and country, or if you’d rather watch from the
sidelines and let our government do your bidding as it gives away your
livelihood, your future and your country to a foreign entity that is
dictating U.S. immigration policy…our children and our country are at
risk of being eliminated!
Dallacroce has also claimed that immigrant children are not only “dumb” but raised to be disrespectful and violent. Following an immigration rights Labor Day rally at the Arizona State Capitol in September 2006, media accounts described a woman screaming at a child through a bull horn, surrounded by counter-protestors who referred to Mexicans as “dogs.” In an Internet post, Dallacroce admitted, "I am the lady who is being talked about…We have a prime example of what kind of children are being born and what they are being taught by their illegal alien parents to disobey and disrespect American citizens. This 9 year old boy is being taught to be a violent and hostile child. If this was my child I would have washed his mouth out with soap or better yet, I would have put a lot of tabasco sauce in his mouth..."
Blaming immigrants for diseases
In addition to claiming that children of immigrants are destroying the nation’s school systems, MAIA maintains that undocumented immigrants import diseases into the United States. A January 2008 article in the Washington Post explained that “Mothers Against Illegal Aliens recently posted a plea for people to bring their own sheets and utensils to hotels and restaurants” because of the potential for disease that the immigrant workers might have. The article was referring to a longer derogatory post made to the MAIA Website in November 2007:
…with diseases such as mono, chagas,
hepatitis, staff infections, and flesh eating diseases, which are noted
in this report, it is reasonable for a reasonable person to conclude
that many of these diseases are here and on the rise because of our
OPEN AND INSECURE BORDER with Mexico and the fact that Illegal Aliens
are not subject to medical inspection or certification, as are legal
applicants. With our children being exposed to and infected by the
SUPERBUG in our schools, it should not be inconceivable that we are now
being exposed and subjected to attacks by diseases which put our lives
at risk because of learned bad behavior and unexceptable [sic] and
prohibited cleaning practices which could kill us and our children
while staying in any hotel or eating at any restaurant anywhere in
America!!!!! The next time you eat in a restaurant or sleep in a hotel
or motel....just remember to bring your own food, dishes, untensils
[sic], glasses, towels, and maybe your own water. The person who cooked
your meal or made your bed may very well be the one who picked your
fruit and vegetables, yesterday....and we’ve heard the stories about
what they do in the fields....haven’t we?
Dallacroce goes beyond anti-immigrant rhetoric; she has also voiced opposition to diversity. She claimed that Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has been “hijacked by La Raza” [a Hispanic advocacy group] in response to MADD’s October 2007 request that MAIA remove the “Mothers Against” from its group name. In the October 2007 interview with Wooldridge, Dallacroce makes recommendations for steps that she would like MADD to take. She explains, “the second thing I would like them to do is actually, uh, stop this whole diversity thing because we’re in America, and we’re not supposed to be diverse. We’re one nation.”
Promoting the “reconquista” conspiracy theory
Dallacroce has also proclaimed that America is under attack by Mexico. She promotes the conspiracy theory that Mexican immigrants are trying to reclaim land in the United States that once belonged to Mexico. MAIA’s current “Mission Statement” states, “We are not only at war with Iraq, but we ARE at WAR with MEXICO; a silent war with Aztlanders…”
In an April 2006 appearance on FOX News’s Hannity and Colmes, Dallacroce made several derogatory statements about Hispanics, then alleged that Mexicans are engaged in a plot to reclaim the American Southwest. She explained, “What we have got coming over here, that people don't respect the American people. They don't respect America. They want to take over the Southwest...They're using our hospitals…they're tearing apart our country.”
Ties to the Minutemen and a white supremacist
To help keep undocumented workers out of the United States, Dallacroce has publicly supported and worked alongside the border vigilante Minutemen. The Minutemen are a loose network of local chapters around the country, whose primary goal is to keep undocumented immigrants from Mexico out of the United States. The more extreme Minutemen chapters advocate patrols of the Mexican-American border by armed volunteers.
Dallacroce counter-protested with the Minutemen at a pro-immigrant rally at the Arizona State Capitol in September 2006. That same month, she spoke at a Minuteman rally in Arizona and in February 2006, she spoke at a Minuteman rally at the U.S. Capitol. According to the Arizona Daily Star, at a February 2006 MAIA demonstration in Arizona, Dallacroce stated, "By us supporting the Minuteman...we working [sic] together to protect our families.”
In 2007, however, Dallacroce criticized a major Minuteman leader for “compromising.” A December 2007 Arizona Daily Star article discussed Dallacroce’s opinions of Chris Simcox, the founder of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, a border vigilante patrol group. The article explained that “Simcox inspired [Dallacroce] to join the anti-illegal entrant movement,” but then quoted Dallacroce as stating that Simcox was “giving in” because he made statements supportive of public education and health care for children of undocumented immigrants.
In addition to her work with the Minutemen, Dallacroce has appeared with white supremacist J.T. Ready. When Ready organized a rally at the Phoenix Mexican Consulate in April 2006, Dallacroce was an invited speaker. Ready, who advocates placing landmines across the border, was a Minuteman volunteer. He attends Klan and neo-Nazi events and was a “special guest speaker” at a September 2007 protest against the Mexican Consulate in Omaha, Nebraska, sponsored by the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement.
In spite of Dallacroce’s activities and extremist ties and MAIA’s continued demonization of undocumented immigrants, her group enjoys mainstream exposure. MAIA’s positions have been given voice in various mainstream media outlets, including the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, the Orlando Sentinel, and Fox News.
Groups: The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) – Washington D.C.
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Pulling the Curtain Back on FAIR
(.pdf printable version, 23KB)
The Washington D.C.-based Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) founded in 1979, claims to work to “improve border security, to stop illegal immigration, and to promote immigration levels consistent with the national interest.” Headquartered in the “heart of Capitol Hill,” FAIR tempers its language so as to appear as a mainstream group in front of the media and government agencies. Possibly due to its large size (it claims over 250,000 members and supporters), D.C. location, and exposure, elected officials look to the organization for input. To that end, FAIR boasts that it “has been called to testify on immigration bills before Congress more than any organization in America.”
Nuanced in its approach
Like many other anti-immigrant groups, FAIR opposes legal immigration as well as illegal immigration. Unlike many other anti-immigrant groups, however, FAIR is much more explicit about this opposition. It has consistently supported a moratorium on legal immigration to the United States, suggesting that only spouses and young children of U.S. citizens and “some” legitimate refugees should be allowed into the country.
FAIR is more nuanced in its use of language than other anti-immigrant groups and it has been used as a resource by officials, the media and within anti-immigration policy circles. However, a close look reveals a pattern of extremist affiliations and a strategy of founding and empowering smaller groups that promote xenophobia.
History of extremist ties
Controversy over FAIR’s extremist ties dates back to its founder, John Tanton, a pioneer of the anti-immigrant movement. In 1997, he told the Detroit Free Press that if the borders are not secured, America will be overrun by people “defecating and creating garbage and looking for jobs.”
Tanton founded several other organizations, including U.S. English, a group that seeks to make English the official language of the United States. He also publishes The Social Contract, an anti-immigration journal whose Website links to a number of extremist sites, including VDare, a Website that publishes racist, anti-Semitic, and anti-immigrant articles. In fact, the Spring 2008 issue of The Social Contract is devoted entirely to reprinting material that originally appeared on VDare. An article in the Spring 2007 issue of the journal lauds Sam Francis, a deceased white supremacist, as a “formidable and articulate champion.”
The Social Contract also links to American Border Patrol, the virulently anti-Hispanic border vigilante group whose leader, Glenn Spencer, claimed that the Mexican government is “sponsoring the invasion of the United States with hostile intent,” and the Minutemen, a loose network of local chapters around the country, whose primary goal is to keep undocumented immigrants from Mexico out of the United States. The more extreme Minutemen chapters advocate patrols of the Mexican-American border by armed volunteers.
Despite these extremist ties, Tanton remains on the FAIR Board of Directors. Furthermore, FAIR reportedly accepted over $1 million in the 1980s and 1990s from The Pioneer Fund, a foundation that promotes the study of eugenics. Racist scholar J. Philippe Rushton, The Pioneer Fund’s current president, spoke at a 2006 conference organized by American Renaissance, a white supremacist publication and Website.
In June 2008, as part of its strategy to create a larger movement
and to mainstream its anti-immigrant views to a wider audience, FAIR
joined with four other anti-immigrant groups to found America's
Leadership Team for Long Range Population-Immigration-Resource Planning
(“Leadership Team”). In August 2008, the Leadership Team sponsored a
national ad campaign “to raise America's awareness of the role
population growth plays in the demand for energy.” As part of the
campaign, the Leadership Team took out an ad in the New York Times
which argued that the use of alternative energy sources, combined with
a reduction of immigration into the United States, will “reduce the
threat” of rising prices of fuel and other resources. Another ad
published in September 2008 warned America’s “progressive thinkers”
that the natural resources and future of the United States are in
jeopardy if the country allows continued immigration.
In June 2008, the Leadership Team sponsored a similar campaign, which included ads that appeared in the New York Times and The Nation that month. The ads, which pictured a bulldozer knocking down trees and heavy traffic congestion, argued that high immigration levels will cause environmental damage, traffic congestion, higher taxes, and severe strains on schools, emergency rooms, and public infrastructure.
In addition to having a direct role in an anti-immigrant coalition, FAIR employs and empowers other anti-immigrant activists. For example, in March 2008, FAIR announced that Rosanna Pulido, an Illinois-based anti-immigrant activist would be one of its newest field representatives. FAIR’s announcement omitted any references to Pulido’s former position as the state director of the Illinois Minuteman Project, which, at one point, existed as a subgroup of Chris Simcox’s Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, a border vigilante group. Pulido was, in her words, “one of the original Minutemen on the border in April 2005.” She has also served as the Illinois spokesperson for You Don’t Speak for Me, a FAIR offshoot created to promote an anti-immigrant message from within the Hispanic community. Joe Turner, another anti-immigrant activist and leader of the California group Save Our State, briefly served as FAIR’s Western Field Representative in 2007.
Rick Oltman, while acting as FAIR’s Western Field Director, spoke at a Minuteman rally in Arizona in April 2006; he also presented the Minuteman group with a lantern to signify that the immigrants are coming “by land.” A May 2006 Los Angeles Times article discussed a meeting between Oltman, Mothers Against Illegal Aliens president Michelle Dallacroce, and Rusty Childress, leader of United for Sovereign America, an anti-immigrant group that attracts extremists to its events.
Attracting media attention
FAIR also attempts to bring together various strands of the anti-immigrant movement in events that are geared to attract media attention and broadcast an anti-immigrant message. From December 27-28, 2007, FAIR’s Congressional Task Force hosted a “Talk Radio Row” at a Des Moines, Iowa hotel.
The mainstream media covered the Talk Radio Row and a number of politicians attended and participated in the event. Participants and attendees included Minuteman Project leader Jim Gilchrist and Joe Arpaio, the sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona. Arpaio has gained national publicity by engaging in divisive anti-immigrant practices, including implementing 'crime suppression sweeps,’ which allegedly resulted in discrimination and profiling in areas populated mainly by Latinos.
FAIR also received a lot of mainstream media coverage in April 2007 by co-sponsoring “Hold Their Feet to the Fire,” a series of anti-immigrant events in Washington, D.C., that brought together several members of Congress, anti-immigration groups, media figures, border vigilante groups, and citizen activists from around the country. Through press conferences, continuous radio broadcasting from over 35 hosts, lobbying training and demonstrations, participants voiced their opposition to then pending immigration legislation in the 110th Congress and heard from many of the figures who have injected ugly stereotypes into the national immigration debate.
Testifying before government committees
Despite a problematic background, FAIR often voices its views in front of legislative and political committees. In February 2008, FAIR President Dan Stein testified before the U.S. House of Representatives’ Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security and International Law. In October 2007, FAIR Special Projects Director Jack Martin testified at a Pennsylvania hearing of the House Republican Policy Committee. That same month, Dan Stein made a presentation to the New York Senate Standing Committee on Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs and the Senate Standing Committee on Transportation. In their testimony, Stein and Martin argued that the United States government is not doing its job in enforcing immigration law. FAIR’s testimony also included support for legislation that empowers local law enforcement to initiate deportation proceedings. They contended that undocumented immigration places a “fiscal burden” on taxpayers, who, they alleged, are funding the education, medical care, and prosecution costs of undocumented immigrants.
Choose Black America
To both broaden the demographic of its movement and cultivate a
grassroots following, the Washington D.C.-based Federation for
American Immigration Reform (FAIR) has created front groups that
work together, often in concert with border vigilante groups, to
broadcast a xenophobic message. At the same time, they use these as a
defense against charges of racism.
In May 2006, FAIR founded Choose Black America (CBA), which describes itself as a “Black oriented - Black led organization and movement in the United States that is resisting illegal immigration and amnesty to citizens of foreign countries illegally within ours.” CBA’s leader, Ted Hayes, is an anti-immigrant activist.
Ties to the Minutemen
Hayes has ties to the Minutemen. The Minutemen are a loose network of local chapters around the country, whose primary goal is to keep undocumented immigrants from Mexico out of the United States. The more extreme Minutemen chapters advocate patrols of the Mexican-American border by armed volunteers.
Hayes also leads the anti-immigrant Crispus Attucks Brigade, a group that Hayes made CBA’s direct “subsidiary.” The Crispus Attucks Brigade describes itself as an “American Black US citizens patriotic organization in the ideological insurgency against the invasion and illegal colonization of the United States of America.” (Crispus Attucks, who was of part Native American and part African ancestry, was among the first people killed in the American Revolutionary War, during the 1770 Boston Massacre.) Hayes and the Minutemen have worked in conjunction to stage anti-immigrant events, with members of both groups sharing a stage.
CBA leader Terry Anderson
Another prominent member of CBA is Terry Anderson, who also has ties to several key figures in the anti-immigrant movement. Anderson hosts The Terry Anderson Show, an anti-immigrant radio program. According to his show’s Website, in 2008, Anderson interviewed anti-immigrant figures including D.A. King of the Dustin Inman Society; a member of the anti-immigrant California Coalition for Immigration Reform, headed by racist Barbara Coe; William Gheen of American for Legal Immigration Political Action Committee (ALIPAC); and Glenn Spencer, leader of the virulently anti-Hispanic border vigilante group American Border Patrol, who has claimed that the Mexican government is “sponsoring the invasion of the United States with hostile intent.” Anderson has himself appeared three times on The Political Cesspool, a Tennessee-based radio show hosted by white supremacist James Edwards that routinely features neo-Nazis and white supremacists as guests.
Anderson spoke at “Hold Their Feet to the Fire,” a series of anti-immigrant events in Washington, D.C. that brought together several members of Congress, anti-immigration groups, media figures, border vigilante groups, and citizen activists from around the country in April 2007. In his speech, Anderson complained that a child in an American public school is a “victim” because teachers have to “spend extra time with some little brat that’s illiterate in two languages.”
Featured Video: "Terry Anderson Speech, Dustin Inman Rally"
This video, shared on YouTube, presents anti-immigrant activist and
Choose Black America member Terry Anderson speaking at a rally during
the anti-immigrant Hold Their Feet to the Fire events in Washing ton,
D.C., in April 2007.
Please click on minutes 3:44 – 2:40 for highlights of Terry Anderson’s speech.
You Don’t Speak for Me
To both broaden the demographic of its movement and cultivate a
grassroots following, the Washington D.C.-based Federation for
American Immigration Reform (FAIR) has created front groups that
work together, often in concert with border vigilante groups, to
broadcast a xenophobic message. At the same time, they use these as a
defense against charges of racism.
In May 2006, the Washington D.C.-based Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) “was proud to help launch” a group called You Don’t Speak for Me (YDSFM), which claims to be a “coalition of Americans of Hispanic descent who believe that this nation must enforce its immigration laws in order to protect the security and interest of all citizens.” Though FAIR does not characterize itself as a direct founder of YDSFM, the two groups share a spokesperson. In June 2006, YDSFM leader Miguel Cruz (who has since become a New Jersey-based YDSFM executive director) told a New Jersey newspaper that “the coalition [YDSFM] is FAIR’s creation, it’s their mission…” In addition, YDSFM Chairman Al Rodriguez sits on FAIR’s National Board of Advisors.
In March 2008, FAIR blended the two organizations even more by announcing that Rosanna Pulido, Illinois YDSFM spokeswoman and former state director of the Illinois Minuteman Project, had become a Field Representative for FAIR.
YDSFM members speak at anti-immigrant events across the country, alongside border vigilante activists and anti-immigration figures. YDSFM’s Vice Chairman, Carmen Morales, has spoken on behalf of the group at several anti-immigrant events, where she publicly demonized undocumented immigrants as criminal invaders who threaten to transform America into a third world country. In her speeches, Morales announced that she works with various anti-immigrant groups including New Jersey Citizens for Immigration Control, United Patriots of America, and “my Lakewood [New Jersey] friends, the Minutemen.”
In a May 2008 speech at an anti-immigrant rally in Pennsylvania, joined by other YDSFM leaders and flanked by young children, Morales continually reinforced the conspiracy theory that Mexicans are seeking to assume control of the Southwestern United States. Morales stated that she “can’t believe we’re still fighting the invasion.” Speaking on behalf of YDSFM, Morales explained that “we, do not, in any way or form, agree with the Mexican invasion…We are facing a political invasion from the country of Mexico, who [sic] claims that the entire Southwestern US belongs to Mexico, and they want to take it back without firing a shot, but by simply getting political clout in Washington.”
In an October 2007 speech at an anti-immigrant rally in Fairview, New Jersey, Morales went further by suggesting that undocumented immigrants will take violent action:
We are standing here, a group of
Americans of all ethnicity [sic] to defend the USA from the huge, huge
invasion and the reconquista, in English, reconquest…We will lose our
Garden State because, ladies and gentlemen, they will burn it to the
ground, just like what is happening in California. Remember, illegal
aliens and their supporters have a different mentality, where if they
do not get their way, they will burn buildings and destroy our towns
one at a time for that’s how they handle it in their own countries.
Illegal aliens have created in this country exactly what they left
behind…. If our country does not get tough on our immigration laws…we
will lose America forever.
Ties to the Minutemen
YDSFM leaders don’t just speak at anti-immigrant rallies; a number of them also have ties to the border vigilante Minuteman organization. The Minutemen are a loose network of local chapters around the country, whose primary goal is to keep undocumented immigrants from Mexico out of the United States. The more extreme Minutemen chapters advocate patrols of the Mexican-American border by armed volunteers.
During a November 2007 Lou Dobbs appearance at a Barnes & Nobles bookstore in Chicago, Illinois to promote his book Independents Day, Rosanna Pulido declared, “I was one of the original Minutemen on the border in April 2005, proud to serve my country….” Another prominent YDSFM member, Lupe Moreno, also calls herself “one of the original Minutewomen.” During a June 2007 fundraiser for U.S. Representative Tom Tancredo* (R-CO), Moreno discussed “going out with [Minuteman leader] Jim Gilchrist to the Naco [Arizona] border to defend this nation,” referencing her participation in the April 2005 Minuteman Project. Moreno’s fellow speakers at the fundraiser included Los Angeles Minuteman leader Tony Dolz and Jeff Schwilk, leader of the more extreme San Diego Minuteman faction. YDSFM’s Arizona point of contact, Anna Gaines, is also a member of the Minutemen, according to Minuteman leader Chris Simcox.
Working with other FAIR offshoots
YDSFM co-organizes events with Choose Black America (CBA), another anti-immigration group founded by FAIR in May 2006, to demonstrate opposition to immigration from within the black community. On the grassroots level, the groups’ events attract Minuteman attendance and support.
In June 2007, CBA and YDSFM held a joint press conference at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. That same month, the Los Angeles Chapter of CBA and YDSFM co-sponsored a “Civil Rights March and Rally” in conjunction with other anti-immigration groups, according to a flier released by the Crispus Attucks Brigade, a CBA subsidiary group. The mission of the event was to “Retrieve…Our National Birth Right NOW From Citizens of Foreign Nations Illegally Within Ours.” In March 2007, the Crispus Attucks Brigade, the Minuteman Project, YDSFM and other anti-immigrant groups formed a “coalition” and sponsored a “Civil Rights March.” A Crispus Attucks Brigade’s flier about the march included the group’s demand for “protection of Black US Citizens From Ethnic Cleansing By Latinos, Europeans, Asians, Africans, & Others Invading and Illegally Colonizing Our Country.” During the event, CBA leader Ted Hayes shared the stage with YDSFM leader Al Rodriguez.
*ADL takes no position in favor of, or in opposition to, candidates running for office, including Representative Tancredo.
Groups: Americans for Legal Immigration Political Action Committee (ALIPAC) – North Carolina
Carolina Anti-Immigrant Leader William Gheen Seeks National Prominence
The platform of the North Carolina-based Americans for Legal Immigration Political Action Committee (ALIPAC), led by William Gheen, asserts that “more should be done to reduce illegal immigration.” To achieve this policy aim, the group pledges to utilize the work of its members and contributors to support “candidates for office that are serious about immigration reform” and encourages members to take individual action and lobby elected officials. Gheen, however, advances his group’s mission by branding undocumented immigrants as murderous criminals infecting Americans with diseases.
Strident anti-immigrant rhetoric
Gheen’s rhetoric demonstrates an agenda that goes beyond the enforcement of immigration laws. He regularly demonizes immigrants as drunk drivers, gang members, invaders, murderers, and disease-carriers. In a June 2008 rally, sponsored by ALIPAC in North Carolina, Gheen stated that “we have illegal aliens that are drinking and driving, and vicious, very dangerous, gangs in this state that are killing people...”
Gheen has gone so far as to refer to undocumented immigrants as Nazis. This particular comparison followed a December 2007 appearance on a FOX News: Fox & Friends segment in which he discussed the presence of undocumented immigrants in North Carolina community colleges. Gheen opposed offering in-state tuition to undocumented immigrants and argued that they take seats away from American students by attending the community colleges. In a February 2008 post in the commentary below the YouTube video of the segment, an individual stated, “Hey, this sort of sounds like the propaganda that Hitler used to stir up hatred and blame the Jews for all of the economic woes of Germany…” In response, Gheen wrote, “Yea, except this time Americans are the Jews and the illegal aliens and their supporters are the Nazis.”
In spite of his statements demonizing undocumented immigrants, mainstream media around the nation continue to portray Gheen as a grass roots activist, failing to cite his ideology, activities, and affiliations. In addition, Gheen is often used as a spokesman to talk about immigration issues on national television.
In an October 2007 appearance on CNN to discuss local police officers’ enforcement of immigration law in Irving, Texas, Gheen stated, “We got a half a million felon illegal aliens that are on the run, half a million… that are out there tonight, murdering, raping, assaulting and stealing from Americans…” He later continued, “…the illegal aliens must leave and the existing laws must be enforced or America is going to descend into the type of anarchy that a lot of these people are trying to get away from.”
Gheen’s rhetoric was even more extreme at an August 2007 rally in North Carolina, where he stated, “Illegal aliens in this country have set up ethnic cleansing zones, ethnic cleansing zones where if you walk past the wrong sign post, the invisible line, you’re under the threat of death.”
In July 2007, Gheen appeared with Ted Hayes, leader of the anti-immigrant organization Choose Black America, on a Fox News segment. He demonstrated his bigotry by stating, “I can’t see how anybody would think that someone who’s here illegally in the country that’s stolen someone’s ID, stolen someone’s American job, should then be able to rape, assault or murder and not be deported.”
Gheen also inflames anti-immigrant sentiment by falsely asserting that immigrants bring disease into the nation. During a June 2007 radio interview, he said:
We've got bedbugs back in all, almost
all of our 58 [sic] states. We've got TB on the rise, we've got
hepatitis, we've got HIV, we've got diseases like Chagas disease, which
is a horrifying disease, but also, much like TB, is very, very
difficult to treat at all, and it's coming in because of the, the lack
of enforcement of our immigration laws and, and the end result is
Americans are suffering, Americans are dying.
I want to talk about crime and disease
for a second…They broke the law when they stole your identity,
wrecking your life. They broke the law when they took a job they
weren’t supposed to have…These people have shown a pattern of
disrespect and a pattern of criminal behavior coming from gang-rule
areas where there is no law. And that is what our nation is becoming
like because it’s common sense that when you inject that into a nation,
that is what your nation becomes like…We got a problem. Well I got some
news. According to some rough math I did 20 minutes ago, we’re getting
four to ten TB active cases rushing across our southern border every
In an effort to highlight its own platform, in January 2008, ALIPAC launched a Website to encourage a Presidential run by Lou Dobbs, a national television and radio host who has routinely demonized immigrants on his shows. On the Website, ALIPAC created a platform for a Dobbs campaign and is accepting campaign donation pledges. ALIPAC has also posted links to Dobbs’s television and radio shows on the site and in a February 2008 “open letter,” Gheen stated, “America needs you to run for President, Mr. Dobbs and I hope you will meet with me in a few weeks to allow me to plead the case.”
The campaign to support Dobbs gained wide mainstream coverage. A January 7, 2008, Wall Street Journal article discussed Gheen’s support of Dobbs and described ALIPAC as “an influential grass-roots group that favors strict enforcement of immigration laws…”
Ties to the Minutemen
Gheen also maintains affiliations with the Minutemen. The Minutemen are a loose network of local chapters around the country, whose primary goal is to keep undocumented immigrants from Mexico out of the United States. The more extreme Minutemen chapters advocate patrols of the Mexican-American border by armed volunteers.
Chris Simcox, the leader of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps (MCDC), was a featured speaker at a rally in June 2008 in North Carolina sponsored by ALIPAC. Gheen introduced Simcox as “my friend, my ally.” In a June 2008 post to the MCDC Website, Simcox wrote, “Together, the MCDC working with ALIPAC and other pro-border security and pro-legal immigration groups in North Carolina, we are launching the Battle for NC anew!”
In July 2007, Gheen was a guest on Minuteman Radio, hosted by Simcox. The day before, he spoke at an anti-immigrant conference in Chicago. Fellow speakers included Ted Hayes and Illinois Minuteman leader and prominent YDSFM member Rosanna Pulido.
ALIPAC had a significant presence at the April 2007 anti-immigrant “Hold Their Feet to the Fire,” a series of anti-immigrant events in Washington, D.C., that brought together several members of Congress, anti-immigration groups, media figures, border vigilante groups, and citizen activists from around the country. Though “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” included several mainstream, legitimate figures who refrain from extreme language in their opposition to immigration, ALIPAC invited Los Angeles Minuteman chapter leader Tony Dolz to become an official participant in Blogger’s Row, a small group of individuals who dedicated three days to “meet with citizen activists, talk radio hosts, and elected officials” and catalogue the events in their online journals.
In July 2008, Gheen began to host Last Americans Standing, a radio show on the Republic Broadcasting Network (RBN). RBN also hosts the Internet radio shows of anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant, and anti-government figures. In April 2005, Gheen was a guest on The Political Cesspool, a Tennessee-based radio show hosted by white supremacist James Edwards that regularly features neo-Nazis and white supremacists as guests.
Featured Video: "William Gheen of ALIPAC in Hazelton, June 3, 2007"
This video, shared on YouTube, presents ALIPAC leader William Gheen’s
speech at a June 2007 rally in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, in support of
that city’s restrictive ordinance against undocumented immigrants.
Please click on minutes 4:25 – 3:00 for highlights of William Gheen’s speech.
Groups: Grass Fire -- Iowa
Grass Fire is a non-profit group that claims to hold “a strong and
unwavering commitment to conservative, pro-family and pro-faith
values.” Claiming over one and a half million contacts with elected
officials, the group mobilized opposition to proposed
immigration-reform legislation in the 110th Congress, with a nationwide
ad campaign, mass online petitions, intensive lobbying, and giant
billboards across the country declaring “Stop the Invasion: No Amnesty.”
Grass Fire’s 57-page pamphlet, “The Truth About the Illegal Invasion,” tries to instill fear in readers with its claims that “illegal immigration is creating a crisis of lawlessness and has led to a massive underground criminal element that feeds off human trafficking and drug running. Illegal immigration is inundating our borders with mountains of garbage. And illegal immigration is undermining American culture and threatening our future.”
In an August 2007 Internet post, President Steve Elliott asked, “Does the Mexican government care about the harm their people are inflicting on our environment with all the trash, clothing and human waste they are leaving when they cross illegally?”
Grass Fire’s “Stop the Invasion” online petition, addressed to the President and Members of Congress, portrayed undocumented immigration as a “long-term threat to the American way of life.” Grass Fire has claimed that over 720,000 individuals signed and submitted Internet petitions.
Anti-immigrant rhetoric in media and politics
The hateful rhetoric around the immigration debate has gone beyond the
rallies, lobbying, and media appearances by anti-immigration advocates.
A number of media personalities in television and radio, as well as
political leaders, have adopted the same language when discussing
immigration issues in this country. From national TV correspondent Lou
Dobbs to more extreme political commentator Patrick
Buchanan to local radio personalities to members of Congress such
as Tom Tancredo and Steve King, the use of anti-immigrant rhetoric has
permeated the culture in our country.
An individual who influenced several of these figures is the late Madeleine Cosman, a self-described “medical lawyer” and propagandist who routinely demonized immigrants as a diseased, criminal element. Mainstream media commentators and politicians have utilized Cosman’s “research” to validate false allegations that immigrants coming to the U.S. carry a number of deadly and harmful diseases. In spite of her questionable data, the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons published one of Cosman’s articles in its Spring 2005 issue. Her mainstream exposure added a veneer of legitimacy to her anti-immigrant arguments.
The following examples illustrate how this type of inflammatory rhetoric has been amplified in the media and in cultural and political arenas:
Under the guise of delivering news and commentary, Lou Dobbs, host of Lou Dobbs Tonight, a weekday show on CNN, broadcasts an anti-immigrant message and supports the views and activities of other anti-immigrant activists. Dobbs’ reach has recently spread beyond television, however. In March 2008, he began to host a nightly, three-hour weekday radio program, syndicated throughout the country, to which he has invited a number of anti-immigrant figures for interviews. In June 2008, he invited Rosanna Pulido, the head of the Illinois Minuteman Project, the Illinois spokesperson of You Don’t Speak for Me, and a Field Representative for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, on his show. During the interview, he called her an “outstanding community leader.” Other recent invited guests have included Ira Mehlman, the Media Director at the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a WashingtonD.C.-based anti-immigrant group; Peter Brimelow, who runs VDare, a Website that publishes racist, anti-Semitic, and anti-immigrant articles; William Gheen, the head of the anti-immigrant Americans for Legal Immigration Political Action Committee group who has branded undocumented immigrants as murderous criminals infecting Americans with diseases; and Joe Vento, a Philadelphia restaurant owner who made national news by refusing to serve anyone who does not speak English.
In addition to inviting anti-immigrant activists, Dobbs has gone on the offensive against organizations that seek to expose him as a purveyor of demonizing anti-immigrant sentiment. In a February 2008 interview with National Council of La Raza (NCLR) President Janet Murguia on his syndicated TV show, Dobbs mischaracterized his own previous statements regarding the immigration issue and about the nature of the anti-immigrant advocates he hosts on CNN.
In spite of his pattern of painting undocumented immigrants, particularly Hispanic immigrants, as disease carriers and conspirators in a plot to recapture the American Southwest, he claimed on the show that he has “never spoken a hateful word against illegal immigrants.” Dobbs also contended that Chris Simcox is no longer associated with the Minutemen. Simcox currently leads the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, an anti-immigrant border vigilante group based in Arizona, which conducted border watch operations in four states in April 2008, with participants encouraged to bring arms.
In addition to supporting other anti-immigrant figures, Dobbs frequently spreads false propaganda about how immigrants are harming the United States. One of Dobbs’ most publicized claims was that “unscreened illegal immigrants” were partly to blame for an alleged 7,000 cases of leprosy in the United States from 2002-2005. When confronted with the United States Department of Health and Human Services’s findings of 7,029 cases over the past 30 years, not three years, Dobbs refused to recant his statement. His correspondent cited Madeleine Cosman as the source of the false statistic.
Dobbs has also publicized his views through writing. In 2007, Dobbs released Independents Day: Awakening the American Spirit. In the book he writes:
Socioethnocentric special interest groups,
meanwhile, join in the assault on our borders, demanding
multiculturalism rather than assimilation into American society.
America’s elites have embraced corporatism, globalism, and
mulitculturalism as the unholy trinity of a twenty-first-century
orthodoxy that is now at work to deny our traditions, values, and way of
life and to render impotent even the idea of America’s national
Former presidential candidate and advisor, MSNBC commentator, and columnist Patrick Buchanan has long exploited anti-immigrant sentiment and has often expressed racist views. In June 2008, he appeared on the Political Cesspool, a Memphis-based AM and Internet radio show hosted by white supremacist James Edwards. This was Buchanan’s second appearance on the show, whose guest list has included anti-Semites, white supremacists, and anti-immigrant figures.
In December 2007, Buchanan released Day of Reckoning: How Hubris, Ideology, and Greed Are Tearing America Apart. In the book, Buchanan discusses the “endless invasion from the Third World,” and a “Third World invasion [that] is pouring across our own border with Mexico.” Buchanan also writes, “…unlike the immigrants of old, Mexicans bear an ancient grudge against us as the country that robbed Mexico of half her land when both nations were young.”
Buchanan attributed America’s “committing suicide” to the ethno-demographic changes that have resulted from Latino immigration. He wrote:
How is America committing suicide? Every
way a nation can. The American majority is not reproducing itself. Its
birthrate has been below replacement level for decades...Hispanics, 1
percent of the U.S. population in 1950, are now 14.4 percent. Since
2000, their numbers have soared 25 percent to 45 million…The Anglo
population of California is down to 43 percent and falling fast. White
folks are now a minority in Texas and New Mexico. In Arizona,
Hispanics account for more than half the population under twenty. The
America Southwest is returning to Mexico.
Lynn Woolley, a Texas radio personality, is the host of an AM radio show syndicated throughout the country. At a November 2006 rally in Austin, Texas, Woolley warned that “gate crashers” will “be running this country and hoisting the Mexican flag…in Washington.” In a June 2007 article, he sounded the alarm that “Illegal Immigration Can Make You Sick” by asserting (incorrectly) that “hoards [sic] of illegals crash our border without medical screenings,” carrying “tuberculosis, Chagas disease, leprosy, Dengue fever, polio, malaria, hepatitis, and Marburg disease.” The source of this claim was Madeleine Cosman.
Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo* (R-CO) has generated much attention by exploiting the immigration issue. He chaired the Congressional Caucus on Immigration Reform in the House of Representatives and became a leading national spokesperson for anti-immigration views.
In November 2007, before withdrawing from the United States Presidential race, Tancredo ran ads on Iowa television in advance of the caucuses there that depicted undocumented immigrants as terrorists, rapists, and murderers. In one ad, as images of murdered bodies and tattooed Latino gang members flash across the screen, a narrator stated, “Mothers killed, children executed, the tactics of vicious Central American gangs now on U.S. soil.” Text then appeared on the screen which said, “Pushing Drugs. Raping Kids. Destroying Lives. The Consequence of Open Borders.”
Another ad featured a hooded and gloved man stuffing an object into a backpack and walking through public buildings. As a ticking noise played in the background, a narrator stated:
There are consequences to open borders
beyond the 20 million aliens who’ve come to take our jobs. Islamic
terrorists now freely roam U.S. soil. Jihadists, who froth with hate,
here to do as they have in London, Spain, Russia. The price we pay for
spineless politicians who refuse to defend our borders against those who
come to kill.
Tancredo expressed similar views in his 2006 book, In Mortal Danger: The Battle for America’s Border and Security, which he dedicated to Madeleine Cosman, whose work Tancredo cited in the book. Under “health threats posed by illegal immigration,” he listed Chagas disease (a potentially fatal parasitic disease), dengue fever, polio, and malaria. He also promoted the fallacy that 7,000 cases of leprosy plagued the United States in the past three years. He claimed, “Leprosy now is endemic to the Northeastern states because illegal aliens and other immigrants brought leprosy from Brazil, the Caribbean, India, and Mexico.”
Tancredo publicly supported the actions of border vigilante groups and appears with them at anti-immigrant events. He has a long-standing relationship with the Minutemen. The Minutemen are a loose network of local chapters around the country, whose primary goal is to keep “undocumented” immigrants from Mexico out of the United States. The more extreme Minutemen chapters advocate patrols of the Mexican-American border by armed volunteers.
Representing Iowa in the United States House of Representatives, Congressman Steve King* (R-IA) has characterized immigrants – both legal and undocumented – as criminals and disease-carriers. He has spoken alongside leaders of border vigilante groups and advocated a border “wall” topped with electrified wire to stop what he has called a “slow motion Holocaust” of undocumented immigration into the United States. King addressed the House of Representatives and asserted that undocumented immigration is “a slow-rolling, slow-motion terrorist attack on the United States.” He suggested that because undocumented immigrants comprise 28% of the prison population, “28 percent of the murders, 28 percent of the rapes, 28 percent of the violence and the assaults and battery, first- and second-degree murder and also manslaughter attacks are committed by criminal aliens.”
Featured Video: "Madeleine Cosman, Mexican predators"
video, shared on YouTube, presents the late Madeleine Cosman, a
self-described “medical lawyer” and propagandist, demonizing immigrants
as diseased criminals in a 2005 speech.
*ADL takes no position in favor of, or in opposition to, candidates running for office, including Alan Keyes and Representatives Tancredo and King.(via Anti-Defamation League's Report: Immigrants Targeted: Extremist Rhetoric Moves into the Mainstream)