Weekend Anti-Immigrant Rallies Last Ditch Effort for Nativist Groups

Jill Garvey • Sep 06, 2013

This week, the Black American Leadership Alliance (BALA)-one of NumbersUSA and FAIR’s front groups-is holding a nationwide “tour” to promote their message: that immigration reform will hurt American workers, especially African Americans. On a Wednesday press call, a group of immigration, faith, and civil rights leaders discussed the truth behind the Black American Leadership Alliance and how anti-immigrant groups have failed in mobilizing opposition to immigration reform this summer.

As immigrant rights advocates wrap up summer with a strong show of public support for immigration reform, anti-immigrant groups are becoming more and more desperate to derail legislation. Groups like NumbersUSA and FAIR have seen underwhelming results at rallies in Washington and their legislative counterparts, like Congressman Steve King, continue to lose credibility and attract the ire of their Republican colleagues.

Father Daniel Robayo of Virginia was featured on Wednesday’s call and said, “The vast majority of the American people strongly support comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship. There is no comparison between poorly attended anti-immigration reform rallies, like the one U.S. Representative Steve King (R-IA) headlined in Richmond, and the thousands of people in Virginia and across the nation who have come out to rallies, town halls, and other events to support our nation’s immigrants with calls for comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship.”

Tia Oso of the Black Alliance for Just Immigration in Arizona explained, “BALA is a group with no legitimate influence in the Black Community and has no intention of improving job prospects for Black Americans. It is in fact affiliated with and financed by the same right wing groups who protect the economic interests that force immigrants and Black Americans to compete for low-wage jobs. They are working to divide communities of color that have a common goal, social and economic justice.”

Added Crystal Patterson of Center for American Progress, “Anti-immigrant groups’ distortions and dishonesty are failing in the face of reality: there is broad consensus that immigration reform is good for our economy, our communities and our future.”

BALA’s “We Are America” tour, a last-ditch attempt to turn out an anti-immigrant showing this summer, has been whittled down to just a handful of cities-Phoenix, Arizona; Westchester, Ohio; and Richmond, Virginia-and additionally serves as a platform for the anti-immigrant groups that support BALA’s activities.  We’ll see if anyone bothers to show up this time.


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