Immigration

You Don't Say: Republicans Admit Anti-Immigrant Movement Driven By Racism

Buzzfeed’s John Stanton today managed to get Republican lawmakers on record admitting that the movement to stop immigration report is at least party driven by racial animosity. One Southern Republican member of Congress, who requested anonymity, told Stanton outright that “part of it…it’s racial.” South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham put it a little more delicately, referring to “ugliness around the issue of immigration.”

While it’s unusual to have Republican members of Congress saying it aloud, it’s hardly a secret that today’s anti-immigrant movement was built by xenophobia and remains in a large part driven by it.

Overtly racist remarks by members of Congress like Steve King and Don Young or by fringe nativists like William Gheen or Judson Phillips could be written off as distractions if they were not part and parcel of this larger movement.

Just look at the three central advocacy groups working to stop immigration reform. The misleadingly named Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), the movement “think tank” Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), and Numbers USA were all founded by John Tanton, an activist who hardly hid his racist views, support for eugenics, and white nationalist ideology. (Sample Tanton argument: “I've come to the point of view that for European-American society and culture to persist requires a European-American majority, and a clear one at that.")

But it’s not just these groups’ history that’s problematic. While most have tried to distance themselves Tanton’s extreme nativist rhetoric, they have turned instead to racial code language to imply that immigration undermines American politics and culture.

Dan Stein, the president of FAIR, has warned that immigrants take part in “competitive breeding” to supplant native-born whites and that "[m]any of them hate America, hate everything the United States stands for. CIS president Mark Krikorian has pointed to “illegitimate” children and “high rates of welfare use” as reasons why Latino immigrants will never vote Republican and therefore shouldn’t be “imported” into the United States.

These arguments linked to two threads common in the anti-immigrant movement: that immigrants, particularly Latino immigrants, will never be prosperous, productive members of society, and that they will never vote Republican, so Republicans shouldn’t bother to try to appeal to them.

The first of these arguments was famously illustrated by a Heritage Foundation study last year that purported to show that immigration reform would cost the country trillions of dollars, an inflated number based on the premise that future generations of immigrants would never help to grow the economy or give back financially to the country. The fact that the report was co-written by a researcher who believes that Latinos have intrinsically lower IQ only served to underline the point that the study was making.

The second line of argument was most clearly put by Eagle Forum founder and conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly, when she said that Republicans should drop their attempts at reaching Latino voters and focus instead on turning out white voters because “there’s not any evidence at all that these Hispanics coming in from Mexico will vote Republican.” The next week, CIS sent out a press release echoing Schlafly’s argument . Pat Buchanan made a similar plea to revive the “Southern Strategy” by ginning up animosity among white voters toward Latino immigrants. It’s no coincidence that this theory that Republicans can maintain a whites-only coalition in an increasingly diverse nation was first laid out by white nationalist writer Steve Sailer.

These two themes were what was behind a FAIR spokesman’s comment last week that allowing undocumented immigrants to work toward legal status would collapse the two-party system and lead to “tyranny.” Similarly, CIS analyst Steven Steinlight recently claimed that immigration reform would be the “unmaking of America” because it “would subvert our political life by destroying the Republican Party” and turn the United States into a one-party state. As evidence, he cited the fact that “Hispanics don’t exemplify ‘strong family values.’”

You don’t have to talk about “cantaloupe calves” to build a movement that relies on and exploits racial animosity. The anti-immigrant movement has mastered this art.

FAIR: Immigration Reform Leads To 'Tyranny'

Panicking about possible immigration legislation in the House, the communications director of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) is warning that any steps towards reforming the immigration system will lead to “tyranny.”

Bob Dane, the chief spokesman for the Nativist group, told Sandy Rios of the American Family Association last week that immigration reform will “split” the GOP, and as a result collapse the multi-party system of government and the system of checks and balances.

“If they split over this GOP bill you’ve got a one-party system in America and that’s one step closer to tyranny,” Dane said.

Of course, you could argue that it is groups like FAIR that are “splitting the GOP” by pressuring lawmakers to embrace unpopular positions on immigration reform.

If the Republicans in fact endorse this amnesty bill and I expect they will and we’re going to fight hard against it, they’re going to face another type of retreat, the one they’re coming out of with their amnesty principles, they’re going to be facing the retreat of disillusioned conservative voters starting to look for other options. We don’t want that. If the GOP splits — if the GOP needs party unity, at any point, it’s right now, but if they split over this GOP bill you’ve got a one-party system in America and that’s one step closer to tyranny. You always need checks and balances, not only within the framework for the government itself but a two-party system is vitally important for democracy.

Lee Bright Warns of Immigrants From 'Terrorist Nations,' Southern Border 'Invasion'

Yesterday, we wrote about a speech that South Carolina U.S. Senate candidate Lee Bright gave to a Tea Party group in August, in which he warned that the Obama administration is training IRS “Brown Shirts” to enforce the Affordable Care Act.

Elsewhere in the speech, Bright shared his views on immigration, and Muslim immigrants in particular, who he warned might be coming from “terrorist nations.”

“We got to be careful about who we let in this country. A lot of these folks from terrorist nations are coming in on student visas, and we shouldn’t allow it,” he said.

Later, in response to an audience member who questioned the wisdom of building a “wall around our nation,” Bright agreed, warning, “those same troops that keep other people out could keep us in.”

But, he added, illegal immigration across the Southern border is “an invasion” and “we don’t know who these people are. This could be Muslim Brotherhood.”

A later questioner was less sympathetic toward immigrants, warning of a growing number of mosques in South Carolina and alluding to seeing Muslim immigrants at the DMV. “I am curious to know, where are these people coming from and have we checked their backgrounds,” Bright responded. “Because we’ve gone out of our way to bring folks in from countries that hate us.”

Anti-Immigrant Group With White Nationalist Ties Invokes MLK In New Ad

The anti-immigrant group Californians for Population Stabilization invokes Martin Luther King, Jr. in a new ad that attempts to dishonestly pin high African-American unemployment on immigrants.

The appeal to King’s memory is more than a little ironic coming from a group that is tied to white nationalist John Tanton and that just this fall hired a founding member of the new-Confederate group League of the South. CAPS spokesman Joe Guzzardi, who announced in a press release that political leaders have “lost sight of Dr. King’s dream” has written dozens of blog posts for the white nationalist website VDARE .

CAPS is a leader in the anti-immigrant movement’s attempts to win over environmentalists, an effort that Stephen Colbert skewered last year.

The close-knit network of anti-immigrant groups tied to Tanton has made repeated efforts to drive a wedge between African Americans and immigrants through a series of front groups.

UPDATED: Anti-Immigrant Group Pushes Draconian Nebraska Ordinance

Updated

Activists fighting to keep a draconian anti-immigrant ordinance in a Nebraska town reportedly have called in the big guns: the Nativist group FAIR.

In 2010, voters in Fremont, Nebraska passed an ordinance barring landlords from renting to undocumented immigrants and requiring employers to check new employee’s immigration status. (The employment provision exempted the town’s largest employers, two meatpacking plants just outside of city limits.) Behind the law was Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who has made a name for himself by peddling anti-immigrant and voter suppression measures to communities across the country.

Last summer, a federal appeals court upheld the law but a city councilmember has introduced a ballot referendum to repeal parts of it. This has angered proponents of the law, who have set up a group called “Our Vote Should Count” and gathered support from the national nativist group FAIR (a former Kobach employer), according to the Fremont Tribune :

Our Vote Should Count enlisted the help of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, the Tea Party Patriots, True The Vote, and other national organizations, including a Washington, D.C.-based analyst and an Omaha media consultant, to put together a media campaign that will use social media, print media, flyers and canvassing to get out their message.

UPDATE: The Fremont Tribune reported that the group True the Vote was involved in the Fremont initiative. True the Vote tells us that they had no involvement in the measure and are seeking a retraction from the Tribune. We have removed True the Vote from our our story.

UPDATE 2: The Fremont Tribune reports that Our Vote Should Count was in contact with local organizers at FAIR and True the Vote, which may not have come to the attention of the national groups:

“In assembling facts and data,” Von Behren replied in an email to the Tribune, “we met individually with representatives of Tea Party Patriots, True The Vote and (the Federation for American Immigration Reform). Each provided varying levels of support, including data access, technical support, data analysis and general knowledge of the issues from their experience. It's correct that the national office of True The Vote may not have known about local conversations. I would expect the same of (Tea Party Patriots) or FAIR.

“The information provided was all publicly available, but much easier to find with help from someone who works in that area. Neither of the other two organizations raised a concern so we assumed that was the normal function of a local representative,” Von Behren wrote.

Supporters of the Fremont ordinance don’t exactly hide that they are motivated by suspicion of the town’s growing Hispanic population – whether documented or not. One Vote Should count shared this graphic on its Facebook page, which warns that “Fremont is a sanctuary city” because its “Hispanic population TRIPLED! in 10 years”:

In November, Harpers author Ted Genoways visited a town meeting about the ordinance and found racial tensions running high, as one woman railed against “Spanish in my schools” and a Latina resident, a third-generation American, recalled a man screaming at her to “go back to Mexico.”

An Our Vote Should Count spokesman, after warning of the increase in the “non-white population” in local schools, told the Fremont Tribune that the real racists were undocumented immigrants:

Enforcing the ordinance is not about targeting a race, he said.

“There are two levels of racism here. One is a set of racists who will use illegal people for their own profit, and that is being done actively. The other racism is people who knowingly break the law to come here for their own profit,” he said.

 

Rios: 'Natural Born Americans' Becoming 'The Minority' In Washington D.C.

As Director of Governmental Affairs for the Tupelo, Mississippi-based American Family Association, Sandy Rios lives in the Washington D.C. area. But she told AFA head Tim Wildmon today that she is one of the few US citizens in the District. In an interview today with Wildmon on Today’s Issues, Rios said that immigrants are the majority in Washington, or at least in the city’s McDonald’s restaurants.

“In Washington D.C., sometimes when we are in public places it’s hard to find any natural-born Americans, you are the minority,” she told Wildmon. “When I go through McDonald’s or whenever I interact with illegal immigrants -- and like I said, they are legion -- my responsibility is to be kind and gracious.” Rios went on to explain that biblical commands to treat immigrants with compassion should not impact public policy.

In fact, foreign born residents account for 13.5% of the city’s population (compared to 13.0% nationally). Undocumented immigrants make up just 4.5% of the District’s residents.

Wildmon warned that offering undocumented immigrants a pathway to citizenship would lead to “the end of the Republican Party as we know it,” while Rios called such a move “Republican suicide” and urged GOP leaders to get out of Washington more and live in places like Mississippi.

“I think of that phrase in the Old Testament about a ‘strong delusion,’ she said. “I would say that the Republican leadership is under a strong delusion. I don’t understand it, I can’t explain it except that they just don’t get out enough, they need to go live in Mississippi, they need to go live in Nebraska, wherever, because the sanity seems to leave them.”

William Gheen Explains He's Not a Racist, Just Wants to Preserve White Rule

William Gheen, head of the anti-immigrant group Americans for Legal Immigration (ALIPAC), explained to an Idaho radio host last month that he’s not a racist, he’s just opposed to the people who are trying to change America’s  history of being “predominately governed by people of European descendancy.”

The people who call him a racist, Gheen told host Kevin Miller, are just “looking for any way to create division among any group,” a practice that he claims has increased under the Obama administration.

Anybody that dares say anything that they don’t like is going to get a label applied to them – sexist, racist, homophobic, anything like that. Because the name of their game is that since America has been traditionally a center-right nation for 200 years, has been predominately governed by people of European descendancy and Christian, different denominations of Christianity and deist backgrounds, they’re trying to knock that down. So they’re looking for any way to create division among any group.

You’ve seen it escalate, I believe, under the Obama administration, an increased tension between white, black and Hispanic; between straight and gay; between male and female; between young and old. Any differences between Americans that they can exploit and accentuate and increase, they don’t miss an opportunity to do it.

Later in the interview, Gheen repeated his frequent claim that illegal immigration amounts to an “invasion” and compared undocumented immigrants to muggers who threaten violence.

CIS Spokesman: Hispanics Lack 'Strong Family Values,' Immigration Reform Would Be 'The Unmaking of America'

Center for Immigration Studies senior policy analyst Stephen Steinlight reportedly told a Washington Times Communities blogger in a pair of recent interviews that immigration reform would cause “the unmaking of America” because it “would subvert our political life by destroying the Republican Party” and turn the United States into a one-party state similar to Mexico under the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).

These sentiments are sadly not unusual coming from an anti-immigrant activist, but are notable coming from CIS, which generally portrays itself as the subdued, numbers-focused “think tank” of the movement.

Steinlight told blogger Joseph Cotto:

“We can expect disaster. In sum, we’ll witness the unmaking of America,” says Dr. Stephen Steinlight of the Center for Immigration Studies. “It would subvert our political life by destroying the Republican Party. The Hispanic vote will make the Democrats the PRI of America. A GOP relic might survive regionally, but could never successfully contest a national election.

“America would turn into a One Party State which, like all others, would be tyrannical and corrupt. The political center would lurch to the left. Political liberty, the freedom to choose among authentically different alternatives, would be lost.

“A population transfer from one nation with a different language and political culture which will become the predominant future demographic will destroy social cohesion. The diversity of previous immigration safeguarded against this. Dual language/dual culture countries are plagued by Balkanizing social strife.”

In a separate interview with Cotto, Steinlight reportedly claimed that Hispanic immigrants won’t be political conservatives because they “don’t exemplify ‘strong family values’” due to “illegitimacy” rates and “anti-social behavior such as teenage child-bearing, the highest school drop-out rate, and high crime and incarceration rates.”

Some claim that Hispanics are “natural conservatives” due to their family-oriented culture. This allegedly makes them Republicans in all but formal registration. Such an idea is controversial because election totals usually do anything other than reflect it.

“The premise and stereotype are equally false,” Steinlight says. “There’s no correlation between ‘strong family values’ and conservatism. Cultures perceived as possessing them (i.e. Asian Americans and Jewish Americans) are predominantly liberal.  Moreover, whether understood generically or as socially conservative code language, Hispanics don’t exemplify ‘strong family values.’

“Illegitimacy is inimical to ‘family values,’ yet Hispanics have a high rate and have witnessed the greatest increase of any group: 19 percent in1980 to 42 percent in 2003. More female-headed single-parent households deepens Hispanic poverty resulting in anti-social behavior such as teenage child-bearing, the highest school drop-out rate, and high crime and incarceration rates.  

Steinlight has made similar comments on Facebook and in a recent speech.

CIS executive director Mark Krikorian has also cited rates of “illegitimate” children to argue that it would be “kind of silly” for Republicans to court Latinos.
 

Nativist Of The Year Award: Eight Of 2013's Worst Xenophobic Leaders

While the vast majority of Americans, including Republicans, back a comprehensive immigration reform plan that includes a pathway to citizenship, the Nativist movement is still trying to scare voters and elected officials into thinking that attempts to fix America’s broken system will actually destroy the country…and all of civilization.

Here’s a look at some of 2013’s worst xenophobic leaders, including our choice for “Nativist of the Year”:

8. William Gheen

Americans For Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC) leader William Gheen hasn’t changed his tune about using violence to stop immigration reform, warning that his group may soon stop using “nonviolent political means.” According to Gheen, politicians are trying “to demonize whites, Christians, and males” and turn over power to immigrants who are “gang raping, molesting kids, drinking, driving, killing, and joining gangs that try to feed our children cocaine and methamphetamine at the earliest age they can.”

This, he contends, is all part of a scheme to collapse the economy and divide America. Gheen even claims that efforts to reduce gun violence are actually part of Obama’s plan to “disarm American citizens” and arm “illegal alien insurgents.”

7. Cathie Adams

As the leader of the Texas chapter of Eagle Forum and a former chairman of the Texas GOP, Adams has been pleading with her fellow Republicans not to aid immigration reform efforts. Why? She believes that such reform measures are tools of Satan that will lead to the enactment of Sharia law and usher in the End Times.

6. Ann Coulter

Conservative columnist Ann Coulter is angry that America no longer has racist immigration quotas, worrying that America will soon “turn itself into Mexico” and undermine its delicate “ethnic composition.” “The country is over,” she said, if the immigration reform passes. Coulter also seems to be creating figures about the undocumented population out of thin air, suggesting that there are 30 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S.

5. Phyllis Schlafly

The immigration debate in Congress opened the door for some conservative activists to not only oppose reform efforts but also to fight any political outreach to non-white voters. Eagle Forum head Phyllis Schlafly took the lead, urging the GOP to abandon any outreach to people of color and Latinos in particular. She claims Latinos don’t understand the Bill of Rights or American values... because if they did, they would be voting Republican like real Americans do. Instead, explained Schlafly, Republicans should simply try to increase white turnout.

4. Mark Krikorian

Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies seems to think that Nativists are the real victims in the immigration debate and is attempting to use a “play the victim” mentality to attack supporters of immigrant rights. He says that Nativists are waging a heroic struggle against “ethnic chauvinist groups” and their allies in “Big Business…Big Labor, all the big donors, Big Government Big Education, Big Media, Big Philanthropy [and] Big Religion.” Krikorian hopes that the GOP stops trying to attract Latino voters, warning that “the future of the republic rests” on whether Speaker Boehner allows immigration reform to come to a vote in the House.

3. Michele Bachmann

Speaking of which, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and her friends in the Tea Party Caucus are desperately trying to defeat immigration reform by making sure that such legislation doesn’t even come up for a vote. Bachmann believes that immigration reform will literally destroy the future of the country and that Obama won re-election in part because he gave some undocumented immigrants the right to vote (he didn’t). She thinks that Republicans should give Obama a spanking until he hands over his magic wand that unilaterally gives the vote to all undocumented immigrants:

2. Jason Richwine

The Heritage Foundation’s study on the supposedly devastating impacts of immigration reform might have had more credibility if its principal author, Jason Richwine, weren’t a proponent of racist pseudo-science with links to white nationalists. His report was so erroneous and misleading that even many of Richwine’s fellow conservatives didn’t find it credible, but that hasn’t stopped GOP politicians from using the salacious report to justify their anti-immigrant rhetoric.

Nativist of the Year: Steve King

No surprise here. Rep. Steve King (R-IA) remains the face of the GOP’s anti-immigrant wing, as he believes that the survival of America and civilization itself relies on people agreeing with his “reasonable” xenophobic views. Nothing captured King’s outlook more clearly than his tirade against undocumented youth, who he believes are mostly drug mules with cantaloupe-sized calves.

Maybe such extemist rhetoric is a reason why the Nativist movement is beginning to fizzle.

Gheen Warns Of Violent Revolution If Tea Party Can't Stop Immigrant 'Invasion'

Larry Klayman and Jim Garrow aren’t the only right-wing activists who spent the weekend warning of a violent revolution against the government.

King: Don't Vote On Any Immigration Legislation, Focus On Obamacare Instead

Rep. Steve King (R-IA), in an interview with WorldNetDaily yesterday, urged the House to continue debating the Affordable Care Act — which was signed into law in 2010 — into 2014 and refuse to consider any legislation pertaining to immigration reform.

Krikorian: Pro-Immigration Republicans Should Vote Against Reform To Spite Obama

At least Mark Krikorian knows his audience. In an interview with WorldNetDaily today, the Center for Immigration Studies director urged House Republicans who support immigration reform to oppose the Senate’s bipartisan immigration plan simply in order to deny President Obama a “victory.”

“The only thing he has left now that would salvage the wreckage of his administration is an amnesty,” Krikorian told WND. “And why any Republican, even if they agreed with him, would save President Obama’s political fortunes is beyond me.”

Rios: Muslim Brotherhood Will Use Immigration Reform To Bring In Anti-American Muslims

Several fringe websites have picked up a video from YouTube savant Gabor Zolna about how “the half-baked African American Arab Muslim” Obama will use immigration reform to “bring in about 150 million Muslims” to the US as part of a plan to impose Sharia law and join the Caliphate. This is actually lower than anti-Muslim activist Avi Lipkin’s estimate that the President will bring in 50-100 million Muslims.

Naturally, Sandy Rios was asked on her show last week if Obama will in fact settle 150 Muslim immigrants in the US if a reform bill passes Congress.

Rios said that such claims make sense and that maybe the whole campaign for immigration reform is a Muslim plot.

The American Family Association radio host pointed to a Muslim organizer of DREAM Act activists as proof that “there’s no question that bad character Muslims, the Muslim Brotherhood and others, are going to use the whole amnesty problem that we have to bring in tons of illegal immigrant Muslims who don’t wish us any kind of good.”

Texas Conservative Student Group Hosting 'Catch An Illegal Immigrant Game'

UPDATE 11/19: YCT head Lorenzo Garcia has cancelled the “game” due to concerns “the university will retailate against [YCT] and the protest against the event could create a safety issue for our volunteers.” He said in a statement that he is “shocked” by the “truly disgraceful” protests against the “Catch an Illegal Immigrant Game,” adding that he will not be “silenced.”

On Wednesday the University of Texas at Austin chapter of Young Conservatives of Texas (YCT) plans to host a “Catch an Illegal Immigrant Game.” According to its Facebook page, students will have to find a person “walking around the UT campus with the label ‘illegal immigrant’ on their clothing” and then turn that person in to a YCT table for a $25 gift card reward.

YCT will be having a "Catch an Illegal Immigrant" event this upcoming Wednesday. The details of the game goes as follows:

There will be several people walking around the UT campus with the label "illegal immigrant" on their clothing. Any UT student who catches one of these "illegal immigrants" and brings them back to our table will receive a $25 gift card.

The purpose of this event is to spark a campus-wide discussion about the issue of illegal immigration, and how it affects our everyday lives.

Last month, the same group hosted an Affirmative Action bake sale which charged students different prices based on their race and gender. Think Progress notes that other right-wing youth groups have hosted similar events in the past.

HT: Latino Rebels.

Gheen: GOP Immigration Advocates Back 'Plot Against Our Republic,' Have 'Blood On Their Hands'

Americans For Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC) leader William Gheen isn’t exactly known for restrained rhetoric against immigration reform. Gheen has compared immigrants to the 9/11 hijackers and labeled them “third world invaders.” He has even floated the idea of violent revolution against elected officials who want to "bring down" America through immigration reform.

In an email to supporters today, Gheen claims that Republican supporters of immigration reform, including Karl Rove, Michael Bloomberg and Lindsey Graham (with whom Gheen has an interesting history) have “blood on all of their hands” because of their support of “the costly and deadly illegal alien invasion of our American homeland.” In fact, Gheen writes, these Republicans have “hatched and executed” a “plot on our Republic.”

Gheen offers another thinly veiled hint at violence, saying he will use “what is left of our peaceful political systems” to “throw them down.”

If our plan to Stop Amnesty 2013 succeeds, these treacherous lawmakers' plan will be to lay low on the issue through the filing period to try to stop groups like us from generating the focus, interest, energy, and funds needed to mount organized primary challengers.

Over the next 3 days, you will be making it very clear to these illegal alien amnesty supporting lawmakers that we are organized and ready to take on Karl Rove, George Soros, Michael Bloomberg, Lindsey Graham, and every other supporter of the costly and deadly illegal alien invasion of our American homeland.

There is blood on all of their hands and we are going to use what is left of our peaceful political systems in America to throw them down despite their insane advantages of wealth and power!

As you read this e-mail, I am riding into Washington, DC, today to do my very best on your behalf.

Thank you so much to each of you who will support our ground effort with your calls. Thank you to all of the donors to ALIPAC who are making this lobbying trip to DC at a very important strategic time possible.

Let's all do our very best to defeat Amnesty and put those who hatched and executed this plot against our Republic on permanent retreat!

Evangelicals Opposed To Evangelicals For Immigration Reform

Today’s Heritage Foundation event featured conservative evangelicals who are unhappy with other evangelicals who are promoting comprehensive immigration reform. Our “who’s who” of the speakers turned out to be a good guide to what they had to say.  Speakers repeatedly (falsely) characterized the Senate immigration bill as “amnesty.”

James Hoffmeier, author of a book on immigration and the Bible, said he objects to people using the Bible to talk about immigration “the wrong way” and “misuse the scriptures to advance a cause.” He argues that undocumented immigrants are not the kind of people referred to in Bible verses about being welcoming to strangers.

Mark Tooley of the Institute on Religion and Democracy griped about mainline denominations demonstrating a lack of concern for border security.  He credited evangelicals endorsing comprehensive immigration reform for citing a need for border security, but criticized them for supporting the “mass legalization” in the Senate bill, which he characterized as legalization first, border security later.

Kelly Kullberg organized Evangelicals for Biblical Immigration as a counter to the Evangelical Immigration Table, which energetically backs the Senate bill.  She is also, like Tooley, a founder of Christians for a Sustainable Economy (CASE), a group that criticized Christians calling themselves the “Circle of Protection,” who had argued against cuts to federal programs that serve the poor.  (In a letter to President Obama and congressional leaders, CASE asked, “Whom would Jesus indebt?” and declared “The Good Samaritan did not use a government credit card.”) Kullberg made similar points about the immigration bill, saying America is a “near-bankrupt welfare state living on borrowed money” and cannot afford “amnesty” and “an influx of foreign labor.” She said “Kindness to foreigners should not be theft or injustice to citizens.” She also said that nowhere in scripture do we see “blanket amnesty or asylum.”

Carol Swain, right-wing author and law professor, argued that Christians should support respect for the rule of law. Swain warned “We’re welcoming people who totally reject who we are as a people,” and said we create problems for ourselves “if we bring in people who are not easily assimilated.” She declared, “There is no place in America for Sharia law in the U.S. Constitution.”  But Swain said she favors immigration reform if it is done the “right way” and encouraged people to read her book, Be the People, to find out how.

 

Schlafly Warns Of Amnesty For Polygamous Muslims On Welfare

Phyllis Schlafly appeared on Crosstalk last week, where she went through her usual argument about why Latino immigrants don’t make good Americans because they are less likely to vote Republican and hold conservative political views. She told host Jim Schneider that immigrants used to “be proud to be an American” and “became good people,” unlike “the people who are coming in now” who “don’t agree with the fundamentals of America.”

Schlafly also warned that immigration authorities are allowing Muslim immigrants to practice polygamy and have “a bunch of wives who will now go on our welfare.” She also agreed with a caller who said that the Obama administration will bring in tens of millions of Muslim immigrants in order to impose Sharia law.

Schlafly: I would like to know if our immigration authorities are letting in people who believe in polygamy. Polygamy is against our law. We’ve brought in thousands of Muslims; I want to know if they made them sign a pledge to assure they’re not bringing in a bunch of wives who will now go on our welfare. Nobody can answer that question, I can’t get any answers to that question.



Caller: See anything that Obama’s had on the front burner so far has destroyed this country and is ripping it away, and we also can’t forget about when we bring in with this amnesty bill these illegal Mexicans and whoever else wants to come in, we’re going to bring in 40-50 million Muslims with them all to destroy our constitution. I think people should keep that in mind and we’ll be under Sharia law shortly.

Schlafly: It is true. They’ve brought in lots of Muslims and in fact they’ve brought a lot into the St. Louis area where I live. Get somebody to answer the question: do you make sure they’re not bringing polygamists in?

Just in case where you were wondering where the figure of 40-50 million Muslims comes from, a regular Crosstalk guest Avi Lipkin claims President Obama plans to “bring in 50-100 million Muslims” in order to impose Sharia law.

Responding to another caller who told a story of undocumented immigrants using phony Social Security numbers in order to find employment, Schlafly added that “a lot of them get on the highway drunk and kill people too.”

Studies show that immigrants actually have a lower crime rate than native-born Americans.

Ken Cuccinelli's Nativist Rhetoric Backfires Badly In General Election

Virginia GOP gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli appears to be paying the price for his anti-immigrant record. Cuccinelli backed Arizona’s draconian SB 1070 as the state attorney general and as a state senator he proposed several bills targeting immigrants and non-English speakers, and even equated US immigration policy to pest control. Cuccinelli’s harsh comparison was captured in this Spanish-language ad sponsored by People For the American Way:

While Cuccinelli’s nativism may have appealed to the Tea Party fringe, it has upset Latino voters — already alienated by the GOP’s extremist stance on immigration — and the majority of voters who back immigration reform.

But judging by interviews with Latino voters on Tuesday, the ad — which aired heavily on Spanish-language television in the weeks leading up to the election — resonated.

“He talks about our community with no respect,” said Umberto Adrian, a Manassas resident who was born in Bolivia and has lived in Virginia for 30 of his 60 years. “I can’t understand why a professional like him would refer to immigrants as if they are not human.”

Some Latino voters who said they were spurred to action by the commercial appeared to have their own interpretations of what Cuccinelli actually said.

“Cuccinelli called Hispanic people rats,” said Mary Alba, 74, a retired bakery worker. “I want people in office who know we need immigrant people. In this country we need people like immigrants, who work hard.”

Pedro Delcid, 40, perceived the remark in a slightly different, but equally derogatory, way. “This man was talking bad about our people. He said we reproduce like rats,” said Delcid, who lives in Manassas. “This is the one issue that brought me here today. I have an issue with the way he talks about immigrants.”

It’s not just anecdotal evidence either, as new polling from Latino Decisions sponsored by PFAW and America’s Voice reveals the extent of the damage from the GOP’s anti-immigrant rhetoric and policy positions:

Immigration weighs heavily in Latino and Asians’ voting decisions. Over half (53%) of Latinos rank immigration as the most important issue facing the Latino community that politicians should address. While the Asian community put other issues first, their voting choices are influenced by a candidate’s position on immigration reform. When asked about the role of immigration in their voting decisions, 53% of Latinos and 46% of Asians said it was either “the most important issue” or “one of the most important issues” in their “decision to vote, and who to vote for.”



Cuccinelli’s hardline immigration hurt not only him, but the Republican Party overall. After hearing a statement from Cuccinelli comparing immigrant families to rat families, 70% of Latinos and 59% of Asians said it made them look less favorably on the Republican Party as a whole. The comments were most salient to foreign-born Latinos and US-born Asians, who said it made them view the GOP more negatively at a rate of 75% and 74% respectively. After learning that Cuccinelli sponsored a bill as state Senator that would allow employers to fire any workers who did not speak English, 75% of Latinos and 67% of Asians said this made them less favorable to the Republican Party as a whole.



Added Gary Segura, Professor of American Politics and Chair of Chicano/a Studies, Stanford University and Co-Founder of Latino Decisions, "Hostility to immigrants--once a political wedge that worked for Republicans--has clearly now become an Achilles' heel for the Party. Latinos and Asians, climbing towards 10% of the electorate in Virginia, are clearly and profoundly put off by GOP rhetoric on this litmus-test issue for these immigrant-heavy communities. Continued antagonism toward immigration reform has the potential to erode or erase GOP competitiveness in this important and growing purple state."

Religious Right Anti-Immigrant Group Warns Non-Christian Immigrants Will Encourage Sex Trafficking

Conservative activist Kelly Monroe Kullberg recently formed Evangelicals for Biblical Immigration as a response to the pro-reform Evangelical Immigration Table, and her new organization has received support from immigration critics like the American Family Association.

Like other Religious Right groups such as Eagle Forum and Family Research Council, the AFA is a staunch opponent of immigration reform and spokesman Bryan Fischer has even called for the US to require that all immigrations convert to Christianity and enforce a ban on Muslim immigration.

AFA talk show host Sandy Rios spoke to Kullberg this week about the supposed dangers of the Senate reform bill, including the laughable claim that the legislation will lead to “open borders” and therefore a rise in sex and human trafficking.

She also warned that people of “other faiths” and “incompatibly worldviews,” especially Muslims, will flood into America and “lessen the value on human life” in the US, making sex trafficking more acceptable. “As Islam takes root in America and other traditions take root, we are seeing a decline in human worth, human value and a rise in trafficking,” Kullberg said.

Numbers USA To Marco Rubio: Too Little, Too Late

Sen. Marco Rubio’s politically transparent U-turn on immigration reform may not be paying dividends among anti-immigrant activists as he would have hoped. The Florida Republican recently came out against the very comprehensive reform legislation he sponsored and helped pass in the Senate, but one of the country’s top opponents of his bill think it’s too little, too late.

NumbersUSA Director of Government Relations Rosemary Jenks told Sandy Rios yesterday that Rubio has already “poisoned the well” and now her group will urge congressman to vote against any immigration bill coming out of the House.

Rios: Do you think that Marco Rubio’s shift, slight shift, is helpful?

Jenks: Unfortunately, Rubio set out his positions in the Gang of 8 bill and that bill has essentially poisoned the well. We can’t go forward with a piecemeal approach now because that bill is sitting there, waiting for the House to pass any immigration bill so that Harry Reid can take that bill and substitute in S. 744, the Senate Gang of 8 bill, and then send it back to the House for a conference. That’s the path. So at this point, because that bill has poisoned the well, it’s too late for Marco Rubio to say, ‘oh you know I believed in a piecemeal approach all along and that’s what we should do.
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Immigration Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Wednesday 03/12/2014, 3:10pm
WorldNetDaily commentator Selena Owens writes today about how much she valued Ann Coulter’s anti-immigrant remarks at CPAC, in which the pundit compared immigration to rape and called for “death squads” against reform advocates. Owens, a Tea Party activist with the Conservative Campaign Committee, lamented that liberals are painting opponents of the DREAM Act and other reform proposals as similar to “the big bad wolf waiting to prey on innocent Goldilocks kids.” “America will be overrun by cesspools of sanctuary cities destroying our society” if... MORE
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 03/12/2014, 11:30am
In an interview with WorldNetDaily today, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) railed against President Obama’s “unconstitutional approach” to immigration, warning that the president’s policies are undermining the Constitution and suggesting that Congress impeach him and remove him from office. “We’ve got three years to get this guy out,” Rohrabacher said. “Hopefully he — well, let me put it this way, I think he probably has been engaged in these unconstitutional approaches that may make his own ability to stay in office a question.” “... MORE
Miranda Blue, Monday 03/10/2014, 2:26pm
Many in the anti-immigrant movement felt slighted by this year’s CPAC, which they claimed did not devote enough time to their cause. Center for Immigration Studies director Mark Krikorian lamented to the Washington Post that the American Conservative Union “pushed out” groups like his from the event; while others, including Phyllis Schlafly, Rep. Steve King, and Frank Gaffney held their own alternative event across the street. But they needn’t have worried. Even if the ACU was trying to appear more moderate on the issue of immigration – chiefly by hosting a... MORE
Brian Tashman, Saturday 03/08/2014, 4:05pm
CPAC today invited conservative commentator Ann Coulter to debate “liberal” journalist Mickey Kaus, who ended up holding the same right-wing views on immigration reform as Coulter, and who even praised ultraconservative GOP Sen. Jeff Sessions. The two tried to outdo each other in bashing supporters of immigration reform, but it was hard to top Coulter. Coulter attacked MSNBC for “celebrating the browning of America.” “But if you don’t celebrate it you’re a racist,” she added. “It’s going to be people who are not from America who are... MORE
Brian Tashman, Saturday 03/08/2014, 1:05pm
Michele Bachmann denounced immigration reform in her speech at CPAC today, warning that "Wall Street and big business" are "clamoring for amnesty" in order to turn the US into "a country of dependency and the welfare state." Channeling John McCain, the Minnesota congresswoman told CPAC attendees that government officials shouldn't tackle immigration reform until they "build the danged fence!" MORE
Miranda Blue, Friday 03/07/2014, 11:13am
William Gheen of the anti-immigrant Americans For Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC) sent out an email yesterday announcing that he has “acquired a premium new domain to use in the fight against illegal immigration, illegal immigrants, and any form of amnesty for illegals.” It turns out that the new website, illegalimmigration.com, is a sort of wiki, inviting users to discuss (although it appears not to edit) articles on diverse subjects including “illegal immigration,” “illegal immigrants,” “immigrants,” and “Obama and illegal... MORE
Miranda Blue, Thursday 03/06/2014, 12:32pm
In a video address to the alternative CPAC conferenced hosted by Breitbart News today, Center for Immigration Studies executive director Mark Krikorian claimed that Democrats support higher levels of immigration so that they can “import voters” and “create the conditions, such as increased poverty, increased lack of health insurance, that lead even non-immigrant voters to be more receptive to big government solutions” and to vote Democratic. MORE