Anti-immigration writer Peter Brimelow and his white nationalist organization VDARE have declared “victory” in the wake of President Donald Trump’s announcement that he plans to temporarily cease immigration into the United States.
Trump tweeted Monday night that because of “the attack from the Invisible Enemy”—a term he uses to refer to the COVID-19 coronavirus—”as well as the need to protect the jobs of our GREAT American Citizens, I will be signing an Executive Order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States!”
In light of the attack from the Invisible Enemy, as well as the need to protect the jobs of our GREAT American Citizens, I will be signing an Executive Order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 21, 2020
On Twitter, Brimelow wrote that he wondered “if there’s *anyone else* in the entire Executive Branch who had any idea D. Trump was going to tweet out an immigration ban,” but followed up, tweeting, “who cares, he’s right!”
Leaked emails published by the Southern Poverty Law Center revealed White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller’s affinity for white nationalism. In 2015, the SPLC reported Miller emailed a Breitbart News editor a link to an article on VDARE’s site on the same day it had been posted. Miller once worked directly with white nationalist Richard Spencer to invite Brimelow to an event on Duke University’s campus in 2007. Miller is widely considered the architect of some of the Trump administration’s harshest immigration policies.
On the VDARE blog Monday night, a headline declared: “VICTORY: Donald Trump Announces Immigration Moratorium.” In the blog post, VDARE took credit for Trump’s announcement, writing, “VDARE has castigated the GOP for weeks for doing nothing about immigration in response to the pandemic. Trump just did exactly what’s needed.” VDARE continued, “This proposal signals that Trump is serious about putting America First. He may have very well won re-election tonight.”
“Trump makes a more extensive moratorium, an idea long championed by VDARE, a realistic possibility,” the VDARE blog states. “This is a huge victory for the cause of immigration patriotism and will reverberate for years to come.”
In a fundraising email, VDARE claimed that it “made history.” The email read:
VDARE has been advocating immigration moratorium for TWENTY YEARS, and finally, moments ago, President Donald Trump took the courageous step of signing an executive order to do just that.
This is a major victory for all of us on the front lines and we cannot let it be the last.
This immigration moratorium will be attacked like no policy in modern political history — in the streets, and in the courts. We’ve seen it all before, but never like this. We must stand together.
VDARE is one of many white nationalist organizations that took keen interest in Trump in 2016, largely due to Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric. And that interest seems to have been at least somewhat reciprocated by some in the Trump administration; Brimelow attended a birthday party held at Trump adviser Larry Kudlow’s home in 2018.
The Southern Poverty Law Center lists VDARE, founded in 1999 by Brimelow, as a white nationalist hate group. The organization, which has a nonprofit tax status, has advocated for extreme anti-immigrant policies and acts as a clearing house for white nationalist, anti-Semitic, and “race realist” writers who often write under pseudonyms. In February, Right Wing Watch identified “Paul Kersey,” who wrote hundreds of racist articles for VDARE, as former WorldNetDaily staffer Michael J. Thompson.