Nativism Watch

Anti-immigrant leader calls for end to ‘cowbirding’ of U.S. in dehumanizing letter

Imagine 2050 Staff • Jul 01, 2014

Yesterday, The Washington Times published a letter to the editor authored by an Indiana-based anti-immigrant activist likening undocumented immigrants to cowbirds. The letter was written by Cheree Calabro, director of the Indiana Federation for Immigration Reform and Enforcement (IFIRE). The anti-immigrant Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) lists IFIRE as a state contact group on its website.

“When it comes to illegal immigration, American parents can learn from the example of the cowbird,” Calabro’s letter begins before describing how the cowbird often lays its eggs in other birds’ nests. “To stop the cowbirding of America,” Calabro concludes, “illegal-immigrant children and their parents must return to their native countries and build their own nests.”

Such dehumanizing rhetoric from anti-immigrant activists and legislators is unfortunately commonplace. When Rep. Steve King was questioned by Univision’s Jorge Ramos in October about previous statements likening immigrants to dogs, King denied their incendiary nature. In response, Ramos declared, “it is not complimentary to compare a group of people – immigrants – to animals.”

Read the full letter here

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