Letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen Regarding Tommy Robinson

November 09, 2018

In a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, ADL urged the Trump Administration to reject anti-Muslim extremist Tommy Robinson's visa application to the U.S.

November 9, 2018

The Honorable Mike Pompeo
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520

The Honorable Kirstjen Nielsen
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
3801 Nebraska Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20016

Dear Secretary Pompeo and Secretary Nielsen:

I write to express concern about reports that anti-Muslim extremist Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, who uses the pseudonym Tommy Robinson, is seeking to travel to the United States for an event in Washington on November 14.  On the basis of his record of incitement against Muslims and immigrants – and on the basis of illegal acts in his past travel to America – I urge you to deny his application for a visa.

As you already know, more than 50 Members of Parliament from our trusted ally the United Kingdom warned you in a letter yesterday that a decision to grant Robinson a visa would bolster extremism and likely give rise to violence.

In 2013, Robinson received a 10-month prison sentence in Great Britain for illegally entering the United States using someone else’s passport.  He did not use his own because he had been banned from entering the U.S. due to a drug-related conviction.

Robinson also has a longstanding history of involvement with extremist causes in Great Britain, particularly those targeting immigrants and Muslims.  He has belonged to numerous extremist groups ranging from the fascist British National Party (which has ties to neo-Nazis) to the virulently anti-Muslim English Defence League. Robinson has become a prominent voice of hate and intolerance in Great Britain.  In the United States, he has gained considerable popularity within the white supremacist movement.

Over the years, Robinson has also amassed a considerable criminal history.  In addition to his immigration-related violation, he has been convicted for threatening, abusive or insulting behavior; breaking bail conditions; common assault; conspiracy to commit fraud; breach of the peace; and contempt of court.

A decision to grant Robinson admission to the United States now would flout not just the rule of law but also would reverse past U.S. policy on his case and throw open America’s doors to a well-known propagator of hatred against some of the most vulnerable in our society.

Thank you for your consideration of my concerns.


Jonathan A. Greenblatt
CEO and National Director
Anti-Defamation League