Our VoiceImmigration

Anti-Immigrant Hidden Cameras & Neo-Nazi Patrols


Rebecca Poswolsky • Aug 05, 2010

The anti-immigrant group Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) released its “hidden camera” documentary film this past July. A ten minute video titled, “Hidden Cameras on the Arizona Border 2: Drugs, Guns and 850 Illegal Aliens,” is the second “hidden camera” video from CIS in the past two years.  CIS states that this film “focuses primarily on the environmental destruction caused by illegal activity on federal lands, highlighting in more detail waste and threat to wild animal life.”

This is not the first time CIS has attempted to reach out to environmentalists. Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) was founded in 1985 as a project directly under the control of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). CIS is part of a web of controversial anti-immigrant organizations orchestrated by John Tanton, who founded FAIR.

Groups like CIS, that use ungrounded arguments about ecological degradation for their anti-immigrant agenda, are now coming under harsh criticism from environmentalists.

When CIS makes foolish claims about litter in the desert as a reason to bash immigrants, environmentalists must take a stand. The Sierra Club’s Borderlands Wild Versus Wall video takes on this argument and de-mystifies it quite clearly.

While anti-immigrant groups focus on trivial border issues like litter, a real crisis is taking place in the desert as the bodies of more than 40 immigrants have been discovered this summer alone.

CIS is not alone in attempting to exploit public concerns about environmental degradation.   J.T. Ready, a leader in the neo-Nazi group National Socialist Movement, (NSM) and good friend of Arizona State Senator Russell Pierce (SB 1070 sponsor), has nearly identical talking points to CIS when it comes to immigrants and ecology. According to Stephen Lemons’ article, “Neo-Nazi J.T. Ready and the U.S. Border Patrol Collaborate on Drug Bust?” J.T Ready’s comments on his Flickr photos include,

“Illegal aliens are responsible for the trashing of our wildlife refuge and park areas. National monuments are destroyed by them. Hundreds of millions of dollars of ranch land and animals are destroyed by their invasion. Wildlife and livestock eating the rubbish and drugs left behind in the wake of the illegal aliens die a terrible and agonizing death.”

J.T. Ready promotes nothing short of further environmental and human catastrophe as he continues to patrol our deserts. Anti-immigrant attacks from both CIS and neo-Nazis will not slide by.

Environmentalists have every right to be incensed at CIS’s and J.T Ready’s activities. Their rhetoric damages real environmental efforts to be inclusive and engage diverse communities.

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