North East White Pride (NEWP), a Massachusetts-based white supremacist group with a membership presence in seven states in the Northeast, has exploited the on-going debate over immigration in the United States by vilifying non-white, particularly Latino, immigrants and citizens in a number of communities throughout Connecticut. For years, other neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups have demonized non-white immigrants as a scourge on American society worthy of deportation, and even death. NEWP has distributed literature on this issue in other states and has held anti-immigration rallies in the Northeast.
In early May 2009, NEWP distributed fliers on resident homes and front steps in East Haven. The fliers reportedly blamed Mexicans for the H1N1 flu outbreak, called undocumented immigrants "virus carrying criminals," and warned residents not to leave their homes until May 5 (Cinco de Mayo).
Also in early May, NEWP left fliers outside of residences and offices in Hamden. One flier, entitled "Illegal Immigration: The Demise of our Country," referenced the alleged rape and beating of a Hamden woman at the hands of a supposed undocumented immigrant. It featured a photo of the suspect and read, "We are sick of having diversity pushed on us everywhere we turn." NEWP's contact information was provided with the implication that affiliating with the group will enable readers to "make a change and fight the invasion!"
Another flier, titled "Immigration or INVASION?" featured a map of the United States with its Southwestern states highlighted in red and arrows indicating that the red area will expand. This image symbolizes an anti-immigrant conspiracy theory known as the "Reconquista," an alleged plot by Mexicans in the United States to annex the Southwestern part of the country (also referred to as the Aztlan territory) for Mexico and eventually gain control over all of America. This flier also made a number of derogatory accusations that undocumented immigrants bring crime, disease, and drugs into the country and subsequently transform the United States into a "third-world slum."
Two months earlier, in March, NEWP members left fliers at homes and Latino-run businesses in East Haven and at a church in New Haven. The church was an especially significant target because its priest had made public statements alleging or claiming racial profiling by police that targets Latinos in the town of East Haven.
The fliers, including the "Immigration or INVASION?" sheet left in Hamden in May, used demonizing rhetoric to invoke classic anti-Latino, anti-immigrant stereotypes. They reportedly argued that undocumented immigrants carry out "organized crimes such as theft of prescription drugs from pharmacies, black market gun sales, assaults against police officers and witnesses, assassinations, and human trafficking." The fliers also reportedly claimed that unimmunized, undocumented immigrant school children and restaurant workers expose Americans to diseases including "whooping cough, tuberculosis, polio, and hepatitis."
For years, neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups have demonized non-white immigrants as a scourge on American society, worthy of deportation and even death.
NEWP's presence was not limited to the fliers. Individuals working in an East Haven grocery store alleged that NEWP members, dressed in army fatigues, pulled up in a van in front of the store and left bags of the fliers in front. A store employee reported that one of the white supremacists actually went inside, walked through the store, spoke to her in Spanish, and bought two lemons. Extremists have been known to use such tactics to intimidate their targets and to conjure an atmosphere of fear.
One flier, which featured an image of a soldier holding a rifle, included the Web site address of NumbersUSA, an anti-immigrant think tank. White supremacist groups consistently attempt to legitimize their hateful, anti-Latino views by providing links to, or professing affiliations with, more mainstream anti-immigrant groups.
Founded in 2003, NEWP's members are mostly from Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont. NEWP members produce their own literature, solicit members, and conduct events and meetings. Many NEWP members have criminal backgrounds and/or have committed violent acts.
NEWP members periodically distribute literature that serves the dual purpose of promoting their organization and espousing their racist, anti-immigrant ideology.