Metcalfe invited some of the anti-immigrant movement’s main players to testify on behalf of the anti-immigrant bills. He not only invited national anti-immigrant groups such as the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), and also Pennsylvanians for Immigration Control and Enforcement, an anti-immigrant group listed by FAIR as a state contact.
Metcalfe has had a long history of being tied to the anti-immigrant movement in the United States, so his litany of anti-immigrant testifiers should surprise no one familiar with him and/or the John Tanton Network of anti-immigrant groups. Metcalfe is the founder of State Legislators for Legal Immigration (SLLI), a coalition of anti-immigrant state-elected officials. The coalition works closely with FAIR and its legal arm, the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI), to pass anti-immigrant bills at the state level.
He is also no stranger to controversy. For example, the Philadelphia City Paper recently published a lengthy expose in which Metcalfe and his racist ties are detailed. So, yet again, it is unsurprising that those who Metcalfe invited to testify also have established ties to white nationalist activists and organizations.
For instance, on the second day of hearings last week Metcalfe invited Steven Camarota from CIS to testify. Camarota’s organization was founded by white nationalist John Tanton in 1985. Camarota’s own work has attracted the attention of more than one anti-Semitic organization in recent years, as well. An article written by Camarota was published in two issues of the anti-Semitic newspaper American Free Press in 2009. The fall 2002 issue of the Journal of Social, Political and Economic Studies features an article written by Camarota. Said journal is published by infamous anti-Semite Roger Pearson who in his 1966 monograph Eugenics and Race wrote:
“If a nation with a more advanced, more specialized, or in any way superior set of genes mingles with, instead of exterminating an inferior tribe, then it commits racial suicide….”
Jack Martin from FAIR was also invited to testify on the second day. Martin’s organization, like CIS, was founded by white nationalist John Tanton back in 1979. Martin’s work has also appeared in Tanton’s white nationalist quarterly journal, The Social Contract. Martin’s co-worker at FAIR, Robert Najmulski also testified.
Michael Cutler chose to submit written testimony before Metcalfe’s hearing. For his part, Cutler is a senior writing fellow at the anti-immigrant organization Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS). Mariann Davies of the anti-immigrant group You Don’t Speak For Me also testified. You Don’t Speak for Me was founded by FAIR as a front group aimed at attempting to divide Latinos on the issue of immigration. Finally, Kathleen Appell of the anti-immigrant FAIR state-contact group Pennsylvanians for Immigration Control and Enforcement also testified on the second day. During her testimony, she attacked sanctuary cities extensively.
During the nearly two days of hearings, only one Representative called out the anti-immigrant groups for their ties to white nationalists. Rep. Tony Payton Jr. asked Jack Martin about former FAIR employee Rick Oltman and Oltman’s ties to the white nationalist organization the Council of Conservative Citizens (CofCC). Payton also went on to quiz Martin about FAIR’s founder white nationalist John Tanton.
Point being, the anti-immigrant movement in the United States was founded on the exclusionary and virulently bigoted principles of white nationalism. And there is simply no place in the immigration debate for groups and individuals with bigoted ties.
The “credentials” of any member of the anti-immigrant movement who testifies before government at any level ought to be closely scrutinized – at the very least – because these individuals and their groups represent a set of principles that, simply put, are completely contrary to all we have been and still are evolving our democracy towards—inclusion over exclusion, understanding over misinformation and rhetoric, opportunity over total lack.