Did you hear the one about the white nationalist network invited to participate in a Congressional hearing?
No? Well, sadly, that’s because it’s no joke.
The U.S. House of Representatives’ Border, Maritime and Global Counterterrorism Subcommittee, which is headed by Rep. Loretta Sanchez, has extended such an invitation to Mark Krikorian, who will testify today, Thursday, December 10th at 10 a.m.
The subcommittee hearing, “Moving Toward More Effective Immigration Detention Management,” will feature Krikorian alongside actual experts such as Dora Schriro, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Corrections; Christopher Crane, Vice President for Detention and Removal Operations at the American Federation of Government Employees National ICE Council - 118; Donald Kerwin Jr., Vice President for Programs at the Migration Policy Institute; and Brittney Nystrom, Senior Legal Adviser for the National Immigration Forum.
This morning, instead of soliciting his opinions on detention, U.S. Congressional members — as well as their constituents — should be asking him to justify why he and and his organization, the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), continue to associate so brazenly with white nationalist leaders and organizations. Krikorian and CIS claim full membership in a national network of bigots established by long-time white nationalist John Tanton. According to Tanton himself, CIS has reaped foundational benefits via his network: “We actually donated several of our board members and donors to the Center for Immigration Studies….”
After all, with regards to credibility, at least, such brazenness should not be ignored by anyone, not to mention elected officials. The following are but a few examples of CIS’s close associates:
1. The August 31st edition of American Free Press (AFP) features Steven Camarota, CIS’s Director of Research. CIS apparently granted permission for the publication of said article. American Free Press, formerly dubbed The Spotlight, was formed by white nationalist and Holocaust denier Willis Carto, who is still actively associated with AFP.
2. Over the last year CIS has distributed nearly fifty articles to its members and supporters via the website VDARE. VDARE is a white nationalist website named after Virginia Dare, allegedly the first child born in the Americas to English parents.
3. CIS seems unwilling to distance itself from white nationalists. According to correspondence***, James Edwards, a CIS Fellow who authored the group’s latest report, appears to have been a paid-lobbyist for white nationalist John Tanton. Furthermore, Krikorian, Edwards, and David Simcox, a former CIS Chairman of the Board, all write for The Social Contract Press, a white nationalist publishing hub with its own quarterly journal.
On the basis of such examples, myriad religious, labor, and civil rights organizations nationwide are all holding the John Tanton Network accountable for its networking vision.
Similarly, rather than consulting known bigots for commentary on social agendas and policies, perhaps Congressional leaders should reckon immediately with the profound implications that result from offering an open forum to groups like CIS, which are actively cultivating, nurturing, and sharing in a wealthy network of ties to political extremists.***The John Tanton letters and memos are a public collection at the Bentley Historical Library.