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Week in Review: Mapping the anti-immigrant movement, nativist obstruction in Congress, Gheen and ALIPAC at it again

Karl Schuster • Aug 08, 2014

Mapping the 21st Century Anti-Immigrant Movement

Friday, August 1, 2014  |  Imagine 2050

As thousands of children attempt to escape violence in Central America, politically extreme groups in the United States have used the humanitarian crisis to launch attacks against these children and all immigrants and refugees. Ugly demonstrations have taken hold in Texas, California and Arizona and spread elsewhere around the country.

Many Americans are wondering: Where is this extreme vitriol coming from? Why does a debate about child refugees sound so violent and dehumanizing?

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Florida senator wants to make D’Souza film required viewing in state’s classrooms

Thursday, August 7, 2014  |  Imagine 2050 

After setting out to rid public schools of supposed pro-Muslim bias earlier this year, Florida state Sen. Alan Hays is now pushing for legislation allowing the state to force students to watch a film created by a right-wing commentator and filmmaker.

The Hollywood Reporter first reported Hays’ plans to propose a bill requiring Florida students to watch Dinesh D’Souza’s latest film “America: Imagine the World Without Her.”

After viewing the film, Hays was quoted saying, “I saw the movie and walked out of the theater and said, ‘Wow, our students need to see this.’ And it’s my plan to show it to my colleagues in the legislature, too, before they’re asked to vote on the bill.”

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Resurgence of extreme nativism carries more than just political threats

Wednesday, August 6, 2014  |  Imagine 2050

It is time to talk back to the protesters at the border.

After surviving unimaginable horrors in their home countries and on their way to the United States, children fleeing violence in Central America are being met with armed protesters and outright hate. More anti-immigrant protests, including one announced by the KKK in North Carolina, are planned for this Saturday.

The organizers of some of the summer’s protests have been encouraging their supporters to come with their anger and with their signs. They are also telling them to come with their guns.

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Ayaan Hirsi Ali weighs in on Israel, says Netanyahu deserves Peace Prize

Tuesday, August 5, 2014  |  Nativism Watch

During a recent interview with an Israeli newspaper, Ayaan Hirsi Ali used the conflict between Israel and Hamas to push her anti-Muslim agenda and other controversial statements, including nominating Benjamin Netanyahu for the Nobel Peace Prize.

In the interview, Ali, who already has an established history of sympathizing with mass murderers, defended Israel’s assault on Gaza. Ali claimed she viewed the conflict as a “small scale model” in the greater war between the “West and radical Islam.” Framing Islam as the enemy in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains a go-to tactic among the Islamophobia movement. In this, Ali is no exception, having previously asked the U.S. government to declare war on the religion.

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Four things you should know about William Gheen

Tuesday, August 5, 2014  |  Imagine 2050

William Gheen and Americans for Legal Immigration Reform PAC (ALIPAC) have been appearing in national news lately. This time, the North Carolina-based Gheen is jumping into the spotlight in connection with sparsely attendedprotests against Central American refugees as well as recent demonstrations against Republicans who supported immigration reform.

Hoping to build on July’s rallies, Gheen has called for a second round of anti-immigrant protests. He supported demonstrations this past Saturday in Tennessee, Michigan and Washington. Once again, he is collaborating with Overpasses for America (whose mission is to impeach Obama), to plan national protests for October 24 and 25.

In this flurry of activity, it useful to know more about Gheen and ALIPAC.

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Nativists continue their run in Congress, block help for children at border

Monday, August 4, 2014  |  Imagine 2050

Republican House leaders have once again caved to the anti-immigrant wing of their party. In doing this, they have derailed any possibility of Congress addressing the needs of Central American children and families fleeing violence.

Last Thursday, stridently anti-immigrant Reps. Steve King (R-IA) and Louie Gohmert (R-TX) most notably led the effort — with assistance from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) — to ensure that any Republican-backed proposal to address the situation at the border also defunded the program to defer deportations for DREAMers under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Parroting the talking points of Beltway anti-immigrant organizations, these members of Congress wrongly assert that programs offering temporary deportation relief like DACA are the reason thousands of children and families are making the perilous journey from Central America to the U.S.-Mexico border.

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