Anti-Immigrant Extremists Respond to Immigration Reform Bill

  • May 1, 2013

Anti-immigrant activists and groups made a number of bigoted statements both before and after the introduction of the immigration reform bill by a bipartisan group of senators on April 16. The statements ranged from claiming that "foreign interest groups" wrote the bill to calling for the hanging of politicians in favor of the bill.

No Stinking Amnesty, an anti-immigrant website based in Litchfield Park, Arizona, wrote a blog post on April 14 calling for the hanging of traitorous politicians. The post featured a large picture of a noose and asserted, "This is the week that lets America know if we are to prevail in the battle to STOP the complete takeover by ILLEGAL invaders or get the rope ready to hang the traitorous basTURDS, who claim to represent 'We the People' in Washington, District of Criminals. Frankly – I vote for the rope – its answer is more final."

On April 22, the racist website VDARE, which features articles by white supremacists and anti-Semites, published a picture of the "Gang of Eight" senators who drafted the immigration reform bill along with the alleged Boston Marathon bombers. The picture featured the caption "Immigration Reform – Working to Greater Safety, Security and Diversity to America." Underneath the caption, James Fulford, the VDARE contributor who published the picture wrote, "Is it a cheap shot? Not even a little bit—amnesty has always been about betraying America."

Frosty Wooldridge, a Colorado-based anti-immigrant radio host and member of the Federation for American Immigration Reform's (FAIR) advisory board, used the introduction of the bill to attack immigrants and Muslims in particular. In an April 19 column for the right-wing news site News With Views (NWV), Wooldridge claimed that the current bill would result in 100 million immigrants coming to the country by 2050. He compared the current bill to the 1965 Immigration Act, blaming the earlier bill for bringing racial and ethnic strife to America. He asserted that the 1965 bill "created cultural conflicts being played out across America in 2013, i.e. Mexicans battling African-Americans in Los Angeles, Muslims taking over entire cities like Detroit and running out everyone else; it imported many third world immigrants lost in the morass of this high speed society and unable to assimilate. We feature 'Black flash mobs' terrorizing citizens in Philadelphia, Minneapolis and Chicago. We feature female genital mutilation, arranged marriages and honor killings in America in 2013."

Wooldridge's comments about bringing "race and ethnic strife" to the U.S. echo those made by sections of the anti-immigrant movement who claim that immigrants cause what they call a "balkanization" of the country. This claim is yet another attempt by the movement to create divisions between immigrants and native-born Americans and to define immigrants as "the other."

On April 18, Jeff Schwilk, a former Minutemen leader and long-time anti-immigrant activist, asserted that "foreign interest groups" wrote the bill. In an email to his supporters, Schwilk wrote "This is a horrible bill obviously written by La Raza [a DC-based Hispanic-rights group] and other foreign and special interest groups to fundamentally destroy America's immigration system and national security. The American People must rise up now and kill this latest amnesty scam." Schwilk is essentially arguing that pro-immigration groups don't represent the interests of "real" Americans.

As the push for immigration reform moves forward, the potential backlash against immigrants from anti-immigrant extremists will likely rise.