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Week in Review: ‘Invasions,’ ‘cowbirding’ and more from the nativist movement

Karl Schuster • Jul 04, 2014


Nativist ties prove to be a disadvantage as candidates fall flat in primaries

Tuesday, July 1, 2014  |  Imagine 2050

Conducting our monitoring of Republican primaries nationwide, we have been able to show how the anti-immigrant wing of the organized nativist movement has failed almost completely in 1) punishing Republicans, especially incumbents, for holding pro-immigration reform positions and in 2) manifesting anti-immigrant and anti-immigration reform views into a nationally relevant campaign position. Expanding on the latter point, beyond a small handful of districts in Georgia and one in Alabama, powerful anti-immigrant groups have even failed to manifest their views with any regional significance.

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Nativist politicians want to thwart Obama’s executive action on immigration

Thursday, July 3, 2014  |  Imagine 2050

 In response to President Obama’s speech Monday, nativist politicians and leaders continued to blame him for the increase in children fleeing violence in Central America. They accused the president of over-stepping his constitutional powers and failing to enforce existing immigration laws.

During his speech, the president acknowledged the failure of immigration reform – blaming hardliners in the Republican Party for failing “to pass a darn bill.” Saying “America cannot not wait forever for them to act.”

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Pundits on Fox Business don’t fall for FAIR’s nativist scapegoating

Monday, June 30, 2014  |  Imagine 2050

One thing the anti-immigrant movement has long attempted to do is convince Americans that immigration adversely affects the nation’s economy. On June 20, Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) President Dan Stein appeared on the Fox Business Channel program “The Independents” to debate this very topic.

It would be an understatement to say the appearance was not Mr. Stein’s best.

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Nativists endorse Gaffney’s anti-Muslim infiltration conspiracy theories

Wednesday, July 2, 2014  |  Imagine 2050

A primary talking point of the Islamophobia movement continues to be that the Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated the Obama Administration. And no one seems to be more of an avid believer of this than anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist Frank Gaffney. In his latest endeavor to expose this stealth infiltration, Gaffney has wrangled up a who’s who of prominent nativist figures to laud a senator’s efforts to investigate such matters. This letter serves as yet another vehicle for Gaffney to push his theory. What the letter also reveals is a laundry list of individuals willing to support Gaffney, and the reputation associated with him.

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Anti-immigrant leader calls for end to ‘cowbirding’ of U.S. in dehumanizing letter

Tuesday, July 1, 2014  |  Nativism Watch

Yesterday, The Washington Times published a letter to the editor authored by an Indiana-based anti-immigrant activist likening undocumented immigrants to cowbirds. The letter was written by Cheree Calabro, director of the Indiana Federation for Immigration Reform and Enforcement (IFIRE). The anti-immigrant Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) lists IFIRE as a state contact group on its website.

“When it comes to illegal immigration, American parents can learn from the example of the cowbird,” Calabro’s letter begins before describing how the cowbird often lays its eggs in other birds’ nests. “To stop the cowbirding of America,” Calabro concludes, “illegal-immigrant children and their parents must return to their native countries and build their own nests.”

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Citing public health concerns, Gaffney calls migrant children a ‘toxic invasion’

Thursday, July 3, 2014  |  Nativism Watch

After previously calling the thousands of migrant children fleeing violence a “dangerous invasion,” anti-Muslim activist Frank Gaffney has now deemed them a “toxic invasion,” citing the reports from conservative media outlets about illnesses in the detention centers.

In a brief blog post, Gaffney stoked fear that a large number of undocumented children being detained after attempting to cross the Southern border are carrying rare diseases and will usher in a public health crisis.

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