Immigration was again a key issue in 2013. As the established anti-immigrant movement in the United States attempted to derail a push for immigration reform last year, a number of racist incidents showed that bigotry too often comes into play with immigration-related issues. In 2013, both national and local anti-immigrant groups espoused racist and nativist rhetoric, allowed known white supremacists to attend their events and featured articles by extremists. Anti-immigrant politicians also expressed nativism and one scholar resigned from an organization after civil rights groups exposed his racist past after he co-authored an anti-immigrant study. Below are the top 10 most egregious examples of how racism seeps into the anti-immigrant movement.
In May, the Heritage Foundation published a much-anticipated study about the “costs” of undocumented immigration to the American taxpayer. Anti-immigrant groups hyped the study, co-authored by Jason Richwine and Robert Rector, and believed it would go a long way toward derailing immigration reform in 2013. Almost immediately after the release of the study however, stories about Richwine’s racist ties and beliefs surfaced. These included Richwine arguing against allowing immigrants with lower IQs into the country, writing articles for the white supremacist website Alternative Right, and regularly attending the anti-immigrant Social Contract Press Writers Workshop event.
In December, David North, a fellow with the anti-immigrant group Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), appeared on “The Realist Report,” hosted by anti-Semite John Friend. One look at Friend’s website reveals his anti-Semitic beliefs. It displays quotes from Adolf Hitler and Joseph Goebbels and calls the Holocaust a “fake narrative.” Friend announced in March 2013, the creation of the American Nationalist Association (ANA), a group which “aims to develop and advance the interests of traditional White America.”
In October, the Santa Barbara-based anti-immigrant group Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) appointed racist John Vinson as a senior writing fellow for the organization. Vinson, who is the president of the extreme anti-immigrant group American Immigration Control Foundation (AICF), has a long history of racism. Among other things, Vinson is a founding member of the League of the South (LOS), a racist neo-Confederate organization. While with the LOS, Vinson was credited with drafting the “Kinism Statement,” a set of guiding principles for a modern white supremacist interpretation of Christianity called “Kinism.”
In April, Roan Garcia-Quintana, a director and life member of the white supremacist organization Council of Conservative Citizens (CofCC) attended the extreme anti-immigrant group Federation for American Immigration Reform’s (FAIR) Hold Their Feet to the Fire event. Garcia-Quintana also attended the event in 2011, where he appeared in a picture with former Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO) and James Johnson of the North Carolina anti-immigrant group NC FIRE. Garcia-Quintana also runs the South Carolina anti-immigrant group Americans Have Had Enough.
Frosty Wooldridge, a long-time anti-immigrant activist and advisory board member of FAIR, attacked Muslims and immigrants repeatedly in his articles published on the right-wing news site News With Views in 2013. In February, Wooldridge voiced a conspiracy theory often reserved for Jews but in this case directed towards Muslims, claiming, “Wherever their numbers grow, Muslims slowly and methodically overwhelm the host nation.” In July, he blamed immigrants and Muslims for Detroit’s decline, lamenting that “unlawful Mexicans moved in at a torrid pace” and concluding with the statement “If you think Mexicans and Muslims and other foreigners will eventually fit right in then you are as big a part of the problem as they are.”
In January, the Jenks-based anti-immigrant group Immigration Reform for Oklahoma Now (IRON) circulated its newsletter with a headline blaming Jews for pushing gun control. IRON tried to blame gun violence on Jews by claiming that “Jewish millionaires control Hollywood entertainment [sic] feeding TV media, violent movies with pornographic inserts.” IRON went on to claim, “They must take responsibility for glamorizing violence AND GUNS, depicting routine gun violence, terror, vigilante rape, pornography, and profanity.” The newsletter then called Jews “hypocrites” for allegedly wanting to control guns while supposedly glorifying guns in the media. IRON is listed by FAIR as a state contact group for Oklahoma.
In its four issues published in 2013, the anti-immigrant journal The Social Contract (TSC), published by racist John Tanton, the founder of the modern-day anti-immigrant movement, featured a number of articles penned by anti-immigrant extremists. Peter Gemma, a former editorial advisory board member of the Citizens Informer the CofCC’s publication contributed three articles to TSC. In 2004, Gemma introduced notorious Holocaust denier Mark Weber at a meeting of the Institute for Historical Review (IHR), once the leading Holocaust denial organization in the United States. Wayne Lutton, the editor of TSC and a former director on the board of the Charles Martel Society, which publishes the Occidental Quarterly (OQ), a racist journal and the Occidental Observer, an anti-Semitic online magazine, also contributed articles in 2013. The aforementioned John Vinson also contributed to TSC in 2013.
In November, the Young Conservatives of the Texas chapter at the University of Texas in Austin announced plans to host a “Catch an Illegal Alien” game on campus. The game involved “caching” students with t-shirts saying “illegal alien” and bringing them to a point on campus in return for a gift card. The students cancelled the event after a national outcry but that did not stop anti-immigrant groups from showing their support. Ruthie Hendrycks of the Minnesota anti-immigrant group Minnesotans Seeking Immigration Reform (MINNSIR) praised the events founders and claimed she wanted to invite them on her anti-immigrant radio show “The Ruthie Report.” Maria Espinoza, head of the Texas-based anti-immigrant group, The Remembrance Project, voiced her support for the game on her Facebook page.
In September, Mark Krikorian of CIS wrote a blog reflecting on the Kenyan mall attack and a Sinaloa drug cartel based in Mexico. In the blog, Krikorian blamed “high levels of immigration” for preventing “assimilation” thus allowing criminals in Chicago and Minneapolis to hide in plain sight within the immigrant communities in those cities.
In July Iowa Rep. Steve King (R-IA), one of the most outspoken immigration restrictionists in the House, and a man closely tied to the anti-immigrant movement, conducted an interview with Newsmax magazine where he claimed immigrant youth are drug mules. In the interview, King stated, “For every one who’s a valedictorian, there’s another 100 out there who weigh 130 pounds and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.”