On Monday, July 7, anti-immigrant activists took to the streets in the small town of Vassar, Michigan, to protest the proposal to transfer children and mothers fleeing violence in Central America to their town. The protest resembled the ones in Murrieta, California, which received national attention due to the ugly climate and extreme rhetoric generated by the protesters.
The organizer of the protest in Vassar was Tamyra Murray, a long-time anti-immigrant activist with numerous extreme anti-immigrant ties. Murray announced her plans to hold a protest on her Facebook page and encouraged activists to join her. Her protest announcement also contained the same extreme anti-immigrant rhetoric voiced by Patrice Lynes, the organizer of the Murrieta protests. Murray wrote, “What diseases are being imported into the US that have already been eradicated here? Many of these ‘children’ belong to dangerous gangs and drug cartels.”
Before the protest, Murray announced that anti-immigrant activists from across the state of Michigan would be in attendance. The same was the case in Murrieta, where a number of anti-immigrant activists flocked to join the protests from all over Southern California.
Murray is a state advisor for the extreme anti-immigrant group Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). She is a regular attendee at FAIR’s annual “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” event in Washington, D.C. In 2011, Murray spoke at an anti-immigrant “Protect American Jobs Rally” in her home state of Michigan. Anti-immigrant politicians with ties to FAIR also spoke at the event. In September 2013, Murray, along with FAIR field representative Robert Najmulski, was listed as a speaker at a “Citizens Rising Against Illegal Immigration” event in Chester, Ohio.
Murray is also a liaison/public speaker for U.S., Inc., a Michigan-based extreme anti-immigrant umbrella organization founded by racist John Tanton, the founder of the modern-day anti-immigrant movement. Tanton also founded FAIR in 1979. U.S., Inc. runs a number of “projects” including Tanton’s publishing house, the Social Contract Press, which publishes racist books, such as Jean Raspail’s Camp of the Saints, and sells books by racists such as Sam Francis, Wayne Lutton and Peter Brimelow.
Despite efforts by the anti-immigrant movement to portray the protests in Michigan and California as spontaneous responses by residents, the evidence suggests that in both cases, longtime anti-immigrant activists with close ties to the movement played a major role in both events.