Activists Use Extreme Rhetoric in Response to Obama’s Executive Action

  • November 26, 2014

A number of anti-immigrant activists and groups used extreme rhetoric in response to President Obama’s executive action on immigration, announced on November 20. For example, William Gheen of the extreme anti-immigrant group Americans for Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC) connected the Mexican Civil War with Obama’s executive action in an interview with the conspiracy-oriented website World Net Daily. Gheen stated, “Obama’s choice of this date [November 20 is Mexican ‘Revolution Day’ or Mexican ‘Civil War Day’ which is the equivalent of America’s 4th of July] for his departure from his Oath of Office and the U.S. Constitution creates a permanent symbolic relationship between his actions and Mexico’s violent revolutionary and civil wars from 1910-1920.”

William Gheen

William Gheen

Gheen also circulated a Gary Varvel cartoon that depicted an immigrant family climbing in the window of a house of a white family while they are eating Thanksgiving dinner with the caption, “Thanks to the President’s immigration order, we’ll be having extra guests this Thanksgiving.” Gheen later claimed the cartoon “makes a very important point about illegal immigration, boundaries, the assault on American families and American culture... and the real situation in America. And unfortunately for many American [sic], illegal aliens are literally crawling through their windows!”

A number of activists associated with the extreme anti-immigrant group Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) also made comments about President Obama’s plan on immigration. When asked on his radio show whether Obama’s actions would lead to ethnic cleansing, Kris Kobach, who is of counsel with Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI), the legal arm of FAIR, responded, “And the rule of law used to be unassailable, used to be taken for granted in America. And now, of course, we have a president who disregards the law when it suits his interests. So, while I normally would answer that by saying, ‘Steve, of course we have the rule of law, that could never happen in America,’ I wonder what could happen…”

Ruthie Hendrycks, a FAIR state advisor and head of the anti-immigrant group Minnesotans Seeking Immigration Reform (MINNSIR), posted a comment on Facebook calling for the families of undocumented immigrants currently in deportation proceedings to also be deported.

FAIR advisory board member and anti-immigrant extremist Frosty Wooldridge, responded to the president’s action in his regular column on the News With Views website by espousing birther conspiracy theories. Wooldridge wrote, “We now face a man in the White House who doesn’t mind breaking our Constitution, paid for with the blood of millions of men and women. In his youth, he chose to smoke pot, do drugs and lie his way through college and into Congress. He lacks any comprehension of what America stands for because he still hasn’t proven he’s an American.”

More extreme elements of the anti-immigrant movement also weighed in on the issue. White supremacist Peter Brimelow, the founder of the racist and anti-immigrant website VDARE called for the impeachment of President Obama. Brimelow also used the November 20th announcement to call for the “immediate abolition” of birthright citizenship.

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