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Year in Review: The anti-immigrant movement in the mainstream

Anu Joshi • Dec 24, 2015
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While anti-immigrant leaders were busy trying to pretend they were anything but bigoted, their 2015 actions and agenda demonstrated otherwise. Here are our top posts from this year that show what happens when anti-immigrant rhetoric and policy makes it to the mainstream. Also, don’t miss our review of anti-Muslim activity in 2015.

Blurring Borders: CNC’s damning report on collusion between anti-immigrant groups and immigration enforcement agents

Screen shot 2015-12-24 at 9.50.58 AMJune – “Blurring Borders,” examines the large extent to which DHS union leaders have been colluding with the organized anti-immigrant movement–and the impact it has had on the country’s immigration policy. Fundamentally, this collusion calls into question the ability of some to uphold their responsibility as stewards of the country’s immigration system.

In a conference call hosted by CNC, Mark Potok of SPLC asked: “Do we really want law enforcement agents colluding with people who seek a European-American majority? Do we really want our law enforcement officers cooperating with people who are friends with (hate groups) who call all Latino people ‘dumb’ and circulate conspiracy theories about Jewish power?”

The report was covered in The Texas ObserverAl Jazeera America, and Think Progress.

Anything but ‘pro-immigrant’: Mark Krikorian, head of anti-immigrant Center for Immigration Studies, in his own words

June – “Low-Immigration, Pro-Immigrant”: Nothing better captures the disingenuousness of the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) than its own tag-line. As the executive director and chief spokesperson for the self-identified ‘think-tank’ since 1995, Mark Krikorian is both the heart and the voice of this disingenuousness.

Although Krikorian has proven to be especially adept at calibrating his rhetoric based on the outlets and the audiences listening, a full picture of Krikorian’s writings and opinions capture his and CIS’s duplicitous, disingenuous nature. To illustrate this, the research staff here at the Center for New Community created a timeline of quotes from Krikorian’s blog and elsewhere to reveal the true Krikorian.

Kansas Secretary of State attends a white nationalist event

October – On October 25, white nationalist publishing house The Social Contract Press (TSCP) held its 39th annual Writers’ Workshop conference in Washington, DC. Among the featured speakers at the event was Kansas Secretary of State and virulent nativist Kris Kobach. The event is the brainchild of white nationalist and founder of the organized anti-immigrant movement, John Tanton.

After being alerted of Kobach’s appearance at the event, The Kansas City Star lambasted him in an editorial: “Kris Kobach’s despicable affiliation with extremist groups offends Kansans.”

CNC fixes anti-immigrant CAPS ad targeting United States citizen children

October – During the first Democratic presidential debate, some viewers saw an anti-immigrant ad targeting “anchor babies”—more precisely and less offensively known as United States citizen children. The ad was created by Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS), a racist anti-immigrant group masquerading as an environmental group concerned about population growth. So CNC used the opportunity to fix it:

Our voice: ‘Felons, not families’ criminalizes and divides communities

April – The Obama Administration’s “felons, not families” immigration enforcement framework is fundamentally informed by—and is in some ways a direct response to—an idea that has deep roots in the anti-immigrant movement. In fact, the Administration’s choice of this framework can, in part, be attributed to the anti-immigrant movement’s success at fabricating the myth of the “criminal immigrant,” founded on racialized stereotypes and fueled by xenophobia and fear.

By only partially pushing back against this nativist argument, those who use the “felons, not families” framework create a false dichotomy between the “good immigrant” and the “bad immigrant,” all based on a platform of anti-Black racism and the reification of Black criminality.

NumbersUSA, Roy Beck and connections to white supremacy

June – Roy Beck, head of the anti-immigrant group NumbersUSA, has gone to dramatic lengths to ward off accusations of racism directed at him and NumbersUSA. But the truth is, through NumbersUSA, Beck is carrying on the mission and legacy of his mentor, John Tanton, founder of the hate group the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). In fact, Beck also worked with the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens in the late 90s to spread his anti-immigrant message. And there’s a photo.

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