Our VoiceImmigrationNews & Politics

Center for Immigration Studies Collaborates with Border Vigilantes


Jill Garvey • Jul 16, 2009

Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), founded by John Tanton in 1985, describes itself as a “think tank” and “pro-immigrant.” However, today CIS released a press statement accompanied by videos that show, in reality, that the group collaborates with controversial border vigilantes.

The press release links readers to a website called Borderinvasionpics.com. This site operates in conjunction with American Patrol, Glenn Spencer’s anti-immigrant hate group.

Glenn Spencer has a checkered past. Just last month he met with child-killer Shawna Forde shortly before her arrest. She was apprehended by the FBI less than a mile from his home. He downplayed his relationship with her, but the fact remains that when Forde was on the run for the murder of a nine year-old and her father, she went to Spencer for help.

According to Long Island Wins, “Glenn Spencer is a long-time anti-immigrant leader with a large national following. He helped organize some of the first ‘border watch’ activities that led to the creation of Minuteman nationally.”

Glenn Spencer is also involved with American Renaissance, a monthly journal and website of all-things white supremacy run by Jared Taylor. The Anti-Defamation League reports that “The journal, which Taylor edits, promotes pseudoscientific studies that attempt to demonstrate the intellectual and cultural superiority of whites and publishes articles on the supposed decline of American society because of integrationist social policies.”

Even among others in the politically extreme anti-immigrant movement, Shawna Forde and Glenn Spencer are controversial leaders, to say the least.

The question is, why would a Washington “think tank” that is supposedly a “pro-immigrant” organization associate with such extreme anti-immigrant groups and hard-liners like American Patrol and Spencer?

This isn’t the first time, though, that ties between a so-called “legitimate” immigration organization and Spencer have been unearthed. According to Center for New Community, John Tanton, founder of both FAIR and CIS, indicated in a letter back in 2000 that he gifted Glenn Spencer $40,000 in support of his work in California.

It is troubling that Center for Immigration Studies, which despite criticism has fiercely maintained that it is a non-partisan, independent research organization, should now be found to have active working relationships with politically extreme individuals and out-and-out bigots.

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