Our VoiceImmigration

Leader in the movement to dehumanize immigrants defends attacks on gays

Jill Garvey • Dec 01, 2010

Mark Krikorian, executive director of anti-immigrant think-tank Center for Immigration Studies, has made a series of comments indicating that his xenophobia also manifests as homophobia.

Most recently, Krikorian defended the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), a group that spearheads national campaigns bashing gay and lesbians. Not long before, in a September post on National Review Online, Krikorian wrote, “So now McCain has two extreme Obama positions on immigration to attack: driver’s licenses for illegals and immigration for gay couples. Will McCain ever use them to criticize Obama?”

In a June 4 article in the Boston Globe, Mr. Krikorian strongly opposed the Department of Homeland Security’s decision to grant a temporary entry into the U.S. to Genesio Oliveira of Brazil. Mr. Oliveira was allowed to be reunited with his spouse, Tim Coco, for at least one year on humanitarian grounds. Although they were married in Massachusetts in 2005, Mr. Coco has been unable to sponsor his spouse for legal residency because their marriage is not recognized under federal law.

In the same article, Mr. Krikorian says, “It’s a side-door attempt at changing the Defense of Marriage Act…that’s the problem with our immigration laws; it’s just this vast collection of exceptions for people who get the attention of a particular bureaucrat or judge or politician.”

Mr. Krikorian has long disconcerted human rights groups with his derogatory statements about foreigners, immigrants and Latinos. After the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Krikorian wrote in the National Review Online, “My guess is that Haiti’s so screwed up because it wasn’t colonized long enough.”

He goes on to say that French colonizers didn’t do a good enough job suppressing paganism. He is referring to Haiti becoming the first Black-led republic in the world when it fought for and won independence from France in 1804. It’s akin to saying that America should have been ruled by the British longer or slavery ended too soon.

According to a March 2010 article in The Harvard Crimson:

It’s not just Krikorian’s words that are a problem—his actions are too. In 2007, he accepted an invitation to speak at the Michigan State University chapter of Young Americans for Freedom. It apparently didn’t bother him that MSU-YAF had been widely covered in the media for a series of nasty stunts—attempting to stage a “Catch an Illegal Immigrant Day,” holding a “Koran Desecration” competition, and posting “Gays Spread AIDS” fliers across campus. He also didn’t seem to mind being part of the same speakers series that included Nick Griffin, a Holocaust denier who heads the racist British National Party, and Jared Taylor, who says blacks are incapable of civilization.

Mark Krikorian is representative of a xenophobic movement which attacks anyone who does not fit its vision for America. This includes, immigrants, people of color and it includes the LGBTQ community.

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