Michigan ophthalmologist John Tanton seeded the contemporary anti-immigrant movement in the United States in 1979 when he launched the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). While little-known to the general public, FAIR is at the heart of one of the oldest and most influential anti-immigrant networks in the country. FAIR, along with U.S. Inc. (which Tanton founded in 1982) are the progenitors to many of the anti-immigrant groups active today. Tanton’s U.S. Inc. serves as the primary fundraising vehicle for the contemporary anti-immigrant movement.
What appears to the public and the media as a myriad of voices advocating for draconian immigration enforcement is nothing more than a series of front groups, “coalitions,” and spin-offs of Tanton-founded groups seeking to overwhelm any rational debate on immigration.
The Center for Immigration Studies, founded by Tanton in 1985, serves as a pseudo-think tank to the anti-immigrant movement. Early funding from the notorious Pioneer Fund (committed to eugenics and “scientific racism”) enabled the Tanton network to expand to a multi-million dollar operation.