Mainstreaming Hate: The Anti-Immigrant Movement in the U.S.

Executive Summary


  • Anti-immigrant fervor, once relegated to more extreme quarters, has been increasingly mainstreamed over the last ten years.  Over the last two years, with the advent of a new administration focused on much stricter immigration policies and complementary executive actions, anti-immigrant and anti-refugee sentiment has made life substantially more difficult for all immigrants.
    Anti-Immigrant Report
  • Anti-immigrant groups like FAIR (Federation for Immigration Reform) and CIS (Center for Immigration Studies) have successfully moved the Overton Window – or the boundaries of what’s considered acceptable within political action and public discourse.
  • These groups’ ideologies have been brought into the mainstream by policymakers who appear to agree with their rhetoric, and who have sought to institute harsh anti-immigrant laws nationwide.  
  • The Trump administration includes senior officials such as now former Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Stephen Miller, a senior advisor for policy, who are known for promoting hardline anti-immigrant policies. The Trump administration has also hired people with close ties to well-known anti-immigrant groups like FAIR and CIS throughout the executive branch.
  • President Trump has referred to immigrants and refugees as “an invasion” and used language to stoke fears about immigrants, telling the crowd at an October 22 rally in Texas, “They (immigrants) carve you up with a knife.”
  • Anti-immigrant groups and activists use social media to demonize immigrants and get their messages across to the public.
  • Anti-immigrant groups’ bigotry has also been normalized by the media, which provides a context- free platform for anti-immigrant spokespeople and their talking points.
  • While white supremacist groups remain on the fringes of society, they share certain beliefs and rhetoric with anti-immigrant groups, and often feed off of the anti-immigrant beliefs of groups like FAIR and CIS.


Before the extreme ideas of the anti-immigrant movement fully take root, the government, media and general public must take intentional steps to remove this ideology from tolerable discourse in America’s pluralistic society. The following policy recommendations are explored in depth in our report:

  • Enact Policies that Provide Legislative and Legal Protections for Immigrants and Refugees
  • Improve Federal Response to Hate Crimes
  • Build Trust Between Law Enforcement and Immigrant Communities
  • Cities and Towns Should Work to Be More Welcoming for Immigrants
  • Denounce Anti-Immigrant Bigotry, Racism and Xenophobia
  • Provide Students with Tools to Combat Hatred and Bigotry and Protect Immigrant Students
  • Expand Dialogue Between Civil Society and Tech Sector



America is a nation of immigrants. Immigrants are fundamental to America’s existence, its economic growth, diversity and success. As a country built on immigration and Emma Lazarus’s call to the world’s “tired and poor,” the United States has also been a harbor for refugees and asylum seekers. Yet, America has also suffered from waves of nativism. This anti-immigrant fervor, once relegated to more extreme quarters, has been increasingly mainstreamed over the last ten years. 

During the last two years, in particular, an Administration that demonizes immigrants and those seeking refuge and focused on hardline immigration policies and executive actions, has galvanized the anti-immigrant movement and made life substantially more difficult for all immigrants and the communities that welcome them.

Anti-immigrant ideology has gained mainstream acceptance, infiltrated policy implementation, been used as a wedge issue to scare constituents and become the fodder of media personalities who regularly demonize immigrants to a wide audience.  They frame their messages as reasonable and valid but are promoting xenophobia and preventing a reasonable conversation about real reform to address real challenges in the immigration system.

They are also elevating the anxiety about immigration across the country. Almost a quarter of Americans surveyed in a July 2018 Gallup poll say immigration is the country’s top problem—and this number is higher than at any other point since Gallup began asking about the nation’s most important problem 17 years ago.1

While the majority of the extreme anti-immigrant sentiment in the U.S. emanates from fringe groups like white supremacists and other nativists, there are a number of well-established anti-immigrant groups such as Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), NumbersUSA and The Remembrance Project which have secured a foothold in mainstream politics, and their members play a major role in promoting divisive, dangerous rhetoric and views that demonize immigrants. A number of these groups have attempted to position themselves as legitimate advocates against “illegal immigration” while using stereotypes, conspiracy theories and outright bigotry to disparage immigrants and hold them responsible for a number of societal ills.  A decade ago, most of this bigotry was directed primarily at Latino immigrants, but today, Muslim and Haitian immigrants, among others, are also targeted.

In the last ten years, there has been a mainstreaming of these groups. Anti-immigrant groups have successfully moved the boundaries of what’s considered acceptable within political action and public discourse. They have influenced policy at the state and federal levels. Anti-immigrant groups and their spokespeople are frequently featured by mainstream media outlets, which promote their ideas to an ever-larger audience, including government officials. Staff members of these groups often testify before Congress, which also helps promulgate their views.

In 2008, ADL published a report exposing the individuals and groups who were, at the time, taking the lead in shifting anti-immigrant rhetoric from the confines of hate groups into the mainstream.2 Much has happened since then. This new report updates ADL’s previous examination of the issue and captures how the mainstreaming of anti-immigrant rhetoric and the demonization of immigrants has rapidly accelerated in the intervening decade due to increasing acceptance of anti-immigrant ideas and policies and the promotion of anti-immigrant sentiment in public discourse, on some news shows and on social media.

This report surveys the trends that have shaped anti-immigrant groups since 2008 and examines the groups’ current impact on the immigration debate. The report provides an overview of the anti-immigrant movement in this country and describes anti-immigrant myths and conspiracies that fuel the anti-immigrant movement; the anti-immigrant groups that influence the current atmosphere, including anti-Muslim groups that focus on immigration; the impact of the 2016 presidential race and the subsequent role of the current Administration in mainstreaming anti-immigrant ideology through policies and rhetoric; the rise in hate crimes against vulnerable populations and in hateful rhetoric directed at immigrants; political candidates who promote anti-immigrant views; the role of media and social media in promulgating anti-immigrant beliefs; the part white supremacists play in spreading anti-immigrant hatred and, finally, offers recommendations for the government, media and general public to stop the proliferation of anti-immigrant ideas and policies in this country.

The Politics of Immigration

Our current immigration framework is the product of past debates and political compromises. Over the course of time, programs that were intended for one purpose, like the Green Card lottery, evolved, and major gaps came to light, like what to do with the millions of undocumented immigrants who came to America, participated in the economy, raised American children, and had no way to become documented.

The 2000s saw several failed bipartisan efforts to fix the cracks in the system. In 2007, Senator Harry Reid introduced the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007, a combination of several bills introduced by Senators Ted Kennedy, John McCain, John Cornyn, John Kyl and Arlen Specter, which would have created a pathway for citizenship for undocumented immigrants, tightened family reunification rules, increased border security and created a merit-based system of immigration. It also included the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, which would have provided a pathway for the children of undocumented immigrants who had grown up in the United States to get citizenship. The bill, which had the strong support of President Bush, was widely criticized on the right and left and failed to pass the Senate. 

In 2010, Democrats reintroduced the DREAM Act, but after several attempts, it failed to pass a divided Senate in December 2010.3 While Congress remained mired in gridlock, President Obama took executive action to deploy 1,200 National Guard troops to the border, targeted immigrants with criminal convictions and authorized a record-high number of deportations in 2010—more than 390,000.4 Despite this, Republican members of Congress claimed that President Obama’s efforts were not enough, and called for more troops.5

Frustrated by Congress’s inability to act, President Obama issued an executive order; his new Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy was announced in June 2012. It allows undocumented individuals who were brought to the U.S. as children the opportunity to study and work in the country, and it protects them from deportation, though it does not give them legal status.6

In 2013, a group of eight bipartisan senators, colloquially known as the “Gang of Eight,” introduced the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013. The bill, which passed the Senate in June of that year, was an effort to comprehensively reform the immigration system. It included a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, increased border security measures, and changes to various visa programs. The bill was never taken up by the House.

This lack of success in fixing the system opened the door to more extreme voices that oppose immigration of any kind, whose concerns are often based in racism and bigotry, and who have infiltrated the debate under the guise of representing mainstream conservative points of view.

In 2015, then-candidate Trump adopted the language and policy prescriptions of these groups. In his speech announcing his candidacy, he famously said, “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”  This introduction opened the door to a series of policy prescriptions throughout the campaign that came directly from the anti-immigrant movement.

Anti-Immigrant Report

The recent mainstreaming of anti-immigrant movement rhetoric by and within the Trump administration, and the creeping impact of fringe anti-immigrant ideas on mainstream discourse, now occurs within the context of ongoing, heated debates over this administration’s controversial anti-immigrant policies.  These policies include “zero tolerance” toward migrants seeking to cross the U.S.-Mexico border, resulting in family separations and the detention of children, preventing victims of domestic violence from applying for asylum status in the U.S., slashing the annual refugee resettlement cap, making it harder for immigrants to obtain green cards or lawful permanent immigration status, harsher attitudes towards refugees seeking asylum, National Guard troop deployment to the U.S.-Mexico border and the continual threat of a border wall construction.

In these debates, immigrants are characterized as outsiders who purportedly threaten the lives and well-being of native-born Americans. Should this movement’s extreme anti-immigrant sentiments continue to impact mainstream discourse, millions of immigrants, including documented and undocumented immigrants who have been in this country for decades, as well as their American-born children, could find themselves in even greater danger. And those immigrants and refugees from developing and war-torn countries will be particularly vulnerable and could become more marginalized than they are already.

In October 2018, a caravan of Central American migrants fleeing violence and poverty began making their way toward the United States, where they hoped to seek asylum. The caravan quickly became the target of anti-immigrant pundits and politicians (as did an April 2018 U.S. bound caravan). On October 18, President Trump tweeted that the caravan was “an assault on our country by Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador,” and added the leaders of those governments “are doing little to stop the large flow of people, INCLUDING MANY CRIMINALS [emphasis in original] from entering Mexico to U.S.”7  That same day, President Trump tweeted that “unknown Middle Easterners are mixed in” to the caravan group.8 This attempt at fear-mongering was augmented by comments from Tyler Q. Houlton, a press secretary with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), who made two posts on Twitter asserting that the caravan included citizens of “countries in the Middle East, Africa South Asia and elsewhere,” and that DHS “can confirm that there are individuals within the caravan who are gang members or have significant criminal histories.”9 Neither Houlton nor Trump offered evidence to prove these claims.10

Echoing government officials, media personalities also stoked fears about the caravan.  On October 23, Laura Ingraham argued on her Fox News show, “The Ingraham Angle,” that the people in the caravan are creating a health issue. She asserted. “We don’t know what people have coming in here. We have diseases in this country we haven’t had for decades.”11 She also called the people in the caravan an “invading horde.”12 On the same day, Lou Dobbs, who hosts “Lou Dobbs Tonight,” on the Fox Business Network, had Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz on his show, and later amplified some of Gaetz’s claims about the caravan on his own Twitter account. On air, Gaetz told Dobbs, “This [caravan] is not just a group of desperate migrants. We have people who are criminals and thugs. I have received intelligence…that special interest aliens, jihadists, people from a different hemisphere are using this weakness on our border to bring problems to the United States. This is a national security issue.”13 These types of claims are typical of the rhetoric coming out of the anti-immigrant movement in the United States.

 In October 2018, President Trump also took on the issue of birthright citizenship, which is enshrined in the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. During an interview with “Axios on HBO,” the President falsely claimed that the United States is “the only country in the world where a person comes in, has a baby, and the baby is essentially a citizen of the United Stated for 85 years with all of those benefits.”14 In reality, more than 30 countries provide birthright citizenship. President Trump also said that he could end birthright citizenship by executive order rather than a via Constitutional amendment. The President’s announcement was met with approval by anti-immigrant activists like Rep. Steve King (R-IA)15 and with skepticism and criticism from some lawmakers, including Speaker of the House Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI).16

An Overview of the Anti-Immigrant Movement in the U.S.

There is a distinct anti-immigrant movement in this country, whose roots can be traced back to the 1970s. Groups such as the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) and Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) hope to influence general audiences with somewhat sanitized versions of their anti-immigrant views. In their worldview, non-citizens do not enjoy any status or privilege, and any path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants or refugees is portrayed as a threat to current citizens. Like some other problematic movements, the anti-immigrant movement also has a more extreme wing, which includes border vigilante groups, as well as groups and individuals that seek to demonize immigrants by using racist, sometimes threatening language.  

In addition to the anti-immigrant movement, there are four other segments of the far right that have significant anti-immigrant sentiments.  These are 1) the white supremacist movement, including the alt right, which consists of a loose network of racists and anti-Semites who reject mainstream conservatism in favor of politics that embrace implicit or explicit racist, anti-Semitic and white supremacist ideology;  2) the alt lite, a loosely-connected movement whose adherents generally shun white supremacist thinking, but who are in step with the alt right in their hatred of immigrants, among others; 3) the militia movement; and 4) anti-Muslim extremists. 

All of these groups promote a hysteric, negative view of immigrants. They fervently oppose all forms of immigration, including legal and regulated immigration. Anti-immigrant groups have a perspective on immigration that tends to marginalize immigrants and use arguments and rhetoric that distort the public debate over immigration, often through disinformation that foments fear. While most of these groups are nonviolent, their rhetoric and ideas may inspire hate-motivated violence. Examples of longstanding inflammatory rhetoric include the description of immigrants as “third world invaders” who want to “colonize” the United States by “swarming” the border, bringing diseases, drugs and crime with them.17

Some of these groups attempt to conflate their anti-immigrant ideology with popular issues, such as the environment, education, jobs and the economy, making the claim that immigrants, particularly those who are undocumented, use up the country’s resources in these areas—claims which have been debunked. Not only does this help shield them from public scrutiny for their extremist views, but also gains them support, as they link their xenophobic philosophies to causes mainstream audiences care about.

Anti-Immigrant Themes and Conspiracies

Anti-immigrant groups have been able to demonize immigrants by promoting theories and conspiracies that paint immigrants as outsiders who are planning to “invade” the country and take it over. Some anti-immigrant activists, for example, have embraced the Atzlan or Reconquista conspiracy theory—the idea that Mexican immigrants are plotting to take over the Southwestern part of the United States.18 This theory uses fear to prop up claims that Mexican immigrants do not really want to assimilate into American society.

Some anti-immigrant groups and activists claim that a great number of Muslim immigrants and refugees are terrorists or sympathetic to terrorism.19 A related conspiracy theory,  popular among some anti-immigrant groups and activists, is that terrorists are coming across the U.S.-Mexico border.  In a 2015 report, the US Department of State, Bureau of Counterterrorism said that “there are no known terrorist organizations operating in Mexico.” 20

Many of the myths focus on undocumented immigrants. One is that undocumented immigrants hurt the U.S. financially by taking jobs and social services without paying taxes. In the U.S., immigrants across the board actually help to create new jobs. In addition to buying American and local products, which help create jobs, undocumented immigrants often start their own businesses. Some studies21 have shown that on average, undocumented immigrants pay more in taxes than they receive in benefits, meaning the taxes they pay more than cover the cost of things like public education and healthcare.22 And, with very few exceptions, undocumented immigrants are not eligible for federal public benefits such as Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare and food stamps.23

Another prevalent myth links undocumented immigrants to increased crime and violence.  Even though multiple studies show that undocumented immigration do not bring increased crime, many anti-immigrant groups and pundits claim the opposite.24 Isolated incidents where undocumented immigrants have been accused of killing young women, such as Kate Steinle in San Francisco and Molly Tibbetts in Iowa, have caused anti-immigrant groups to make sweeping generalizations that all immigrants who come into the country without documentation are criminals. A number of government officials have also suggested the violent MS-13 gang is representative of Latino immigrants.25

Another popular myth is that undocumented immigrants are bringing diseases into the U.S., including rare diseases like Chagas and Ebola. However, there is no evidence that immigrants have been the source of any modern outbreaks in this country.26 Former ICE agent David Ward offered similar, inaccurate talking points during an October 29 appearance on Fox News. “They’re coming in from Africa, from the Middle East, and other place, in this caravan,” Ward said, and then claimed that people in the caravan were carrying “diseases such as smallpox and leprosy and TB that are going to affect our people in the United States.”27 No one has offered any proof that individuals from Africa or the Middle East are part of the caravan, smallpox was eradicated in 1977 and leprosy is extremely rare, not particularly communicable and eminently curable.

Despite the fact that many of these assertions about immigrants are false, anti-immigrant groups continue to promote them, generating unfounded fear and hatred towards immigrants.

Profiles of Anti-Immigrant Groups

The following profiles of anti-immigrant groups demonstrate how and why they have been able to promote extreme views on immigration while presenting themselves as legitimate opponents of immigration. These groups often demonize non-white immigrants with bigoted, stereotyped comments, blame them for a variety of societal ills and ascribe the actions of a small number of immigrants to all immigrants. In addition to influencing policy-makers and government officials, many of these anti-immigrant groups are well-funded and able to get their anti-immigrant message out to large audiences.

Federation for American Immigration Reform
Founded in 1979 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) is the largest anti-immigrant group in the United States, describing itself as a “public interest organization with a support base comprising nearly 50 private foundations and over 1.9 million diverse members and supporters.”28 FAIR opposes “illegal immigration,” and also favors a steep reduction in legal immigration.29

Despite FAIR’s toehold in the mainstream, its anti-immigration stance is based on a bigoted representation of immigrants. This tone was set by FAIR’s founder and current advisory board member, John Tanton.30 His xenophobia was exposed decades ago, when a series of private memos he sent to FAIR colleagues in 1986 was leaked to the media. In one such memo, Tanton warned of a “Latin onslaught,” and an “explosion” as “[w]hites see their power and control over their lives declining.”31

FAIR has built on Tanton’s xenophobic outlook, demonizing immigrants. Its website alleges a causal relationship between immigration and American societal ills, including crime rates,32 environmental degradation33 and wage stagnation.34

FAIR developed other anti-immigration front groups in order to broaden the demographics of its movement and shield itself from accusations of racism. These groups include Choose Black America (CBA) and You Don’t Speak for Me (YDSFM), which are now defunct, along with its legal wing, the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI).35 FAIR also has important connections to extremist groups and individuals. The group “reportedly accepted over $1 million in the 1980s and 1990s from The Pioneer Fund, a foundation that promotes the study of eugenics.”36 Tanton himself has verified the Pioneer Fund as a financial supporter of FAIR without specifying the amount that his organization received.37 Rick Oltman, a former FAIR Field Representative, was reportedly a member of the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens.38 FAIR also hosts a number of events designed to unite anti-immigrant thinkers and groups. Since 2006, it has hosted the annual Hold Their Feet to the Fire conference to discuss the “immigration problem.”39

Center for Immigration Studies
John Tanton’s next anti-immigration project came in 1985, when he created the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS). Initially pitched by Tanton as a “project of FAIR,” CIS now promotes itself as “an independent think tank.”40 CIS’s slogan, “Low immigration, Pro-immigrant,” is a misleading statement meant to obscure its radical outlook. Indeed, the group’s “About” page is explicit about its overarching belief that immigration is to blame for the erosion of American quality of life: “current, high levels of immigration are making it harder to achieve such important national objectives as better public schools, a cleaner environment, homeland security, and a living wage.”41 Literature published by longtime CIS executive director Mark Krikorian cites the need for a permanent reduction in both legal and illegal immigration for the sake of America’s survival.42  Krikorian has consistently painted a dehumanizing picture of immigrants, defining them only by illegal activities, manipulative lies and economic cost. For example, he once tweeted, “How many rapists & drug-dealers are the anti-deportation radicals protecting?”43

CIS staff have also promoted their views in racist publications and on an anti-Semitic radio show. In September 2013, Krikorian, and Don Barnett, a CIS fellow, wrote articles that were featured in The Social Contract, an anti-immigrant publication edited by Wayne Lutton, a white supremacist. Lutton has ties to the Council of Conservative Citizens, a long-established white supremacist group and the Charles Martel Society, which publishes racist and anti-Semitic works. The articles from the CIS staffers appeared alongside those written by racists with ties to white supremacist and anti-Semitic groups.44 In December 2013, David North, a CIS fellow, appeared on “The Realist Report,” a radio show hosted by the virulent anti-Semite and Holocaust denier, John Friend. The show focused on immigration.45 In April 2014, Jessica Vaughan, CIS’s Director of Policy, granted an interview to a reporter from the anti-Semitic newspaper American Free Press (AFP), founded by the late Holocaust denier Willis Carto.46

Over the years, CIS has continually and energetically promoted the writings of racists. A study by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and Center for New Community (CNC) found that CIS’s weekly immigration roundup had circulated over 1,700 articles from the racist, anti-immigrant website VDARE over a ten-year period, averaging the promotion of more than three VDARE articles per week.47 CIS has gone so far as to commission Jason Richwine to write for the organization.48 Richwine is a disgraced researcher who resigned from the Heritage Foundation in May 2013 due to public backlash over his racist 2009 Harvard dissertation in which he asserted that the IQ of immigrants of Latino/a descent is biologically inferior to that of Caucasians.49  Reaction to Richwine’s dissertation was swift and strong, causing the Heritage Foundation to undergo “unaccustomed criticism” for an immigration report co-authored by Richwine that it had released only days prior to Richwine’s resignation.50 The Heritage Foundation report was criticized across the ideological spectrum, including by “conservative groups and lawmakers"51 and by the widely-read conservative website RedState.52 Richwine’s departure from the Heritage Foundation marked an effort by the the conservative think tank to distance itself from extremist rhetoric posing as legitimate academic thought. Yet CIS readily hired Richwine as an “independent public policy analyst,” and began publishing his work as early as January 2016.53

Numbers USA
NumbersUSA was founded in 1996 by Roy Beck  with the help of  John Tanton. The group’s tagline is “For lower immigration levels,” and it opposes legal and illegal immigration, as well as immigration policies or initiatives like DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and amnesty. Beck had previously worked for years as the Washington editor of The Social Contract (TSC) which has published white supremacists including Jared Taylor and Sam Francis. In 1997, Beck addressed the national conference of the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens. In 2009, NumbersUSA produced a video called “Immigration 103 – American Trauma: Jobs and the Economy,” which featured commentary from Roan Garcia-Quintana, who is a board member of Council of Conservative Citizens.54

In March 2016, Beck published a blog on the NumbersUSA website arguing that homegrown terrorists can be stopped with a “dramatic reduction in nearly all forms of immigration.” He wrote that while every nationality that has immigrated to the U.S. brought its own form of organized crime, it’s “the large unassimilated number of a nationality in a foreign land provides space for the bad guys to swim with much less chance of detection.” Beck argued that the only way to end the threat of homegrown terror is to stop the “large flows of new foreign citizens” to the United States.55

The Remembrance Project
The Remembrance Project was founded in 2009 by Maria Espinoza and purports to educate and raise awareness about “the epidemic of killings of Americans by illegal aliens,” a narrative promoted by anti-immigrant groups and activists to create fear and anger around undocumented immigration.

Espinoza has ties to right-wing extremists. She has previously written for The Social Contract, has spoken at The Social Contract Press Writers Workshop and joined the Texas Border Volunteers, an armed vigilante group, for a “night watch” on the Texas/Mexico border.56

The Remembrance Project has been embraced by President Donald Trump since the start of his presidential campaign in 2015.  During the election, members of The Remembrance Project could be seen standing alongside then-candidate Trump on stage while he spoke about his proposed strict immigration policies. Some of these families were also featured in Trump presidential campaign ads as a means to garner support for his immigration policies. More recently, President Trump publicly acknowledged The Remembrance Project at a June 2018 press conference with Angel Families (families that have lost relatives to crimes committed by undocumented immigrants).  

San Diegans for Secure Borders
San Diegans for Secure Borders (SDSB) is a regionally-focused anti-immigrant group founded in 2012 that advocates for strong U.S.-Mexico border security in the San Diego area, and the country more broadly. The group opposes “illegal” immigration in any form, and also favors a steep reduction in legal immigration.57 Its founder and spokesman Jeff Schwilk was previously the leader of the San Diego Minutemen, a nativist organization that sent out vigilante-style patrols to the border, and harassed “employers who hire Hispanic day laborers as well as the laborers themselves.”58 SDSB also frequently propagates conspiracy theories about a Mexican takeover of America. In one Facebook post, the group cites an article with the caption: “Next Mexican president calls for the full invasion of the U.S. by Mexico. Sounds like a declaration of war against America.”59 SDSB also consistently dehumanizes Hispanic people by posting negative articles that classify them as criminals, rapists and murderers. One such Facebook caption laments: “Lawless Mexifornia where illegal alien rapes are no problemo.”60

Anti-Immigrant Report

The group also labels politicians who vote to pass any conciliatory pro-immigration policies as “America-hating thugs”61 who are committing “treason.”62

In addition to these groups that exclusively focus on immigration, there are groups that have made anti-immigrant sentiment, particularly towards Muslims, a part of their agenda. Many of these groups promote the idea that all Muslims in the U.S. are radicalized and are trying to implement Sharia law in the country.

Anti-Muslim Groups that Focus on Immigration

ACT for America, the largest anti-Muslim group in America, purports to advocate for national security and against the threat of radical Islam, but in fact promotes conspiracy theories about all Muslims, including the 3.3 million Muslims living in the United States. Its founder and chair Brigitte Gabriel, has said that every practicing Muslim is a radical Muslim, and that any woman wearing a hijab must be an extremist.63 ACT’s hardline stance on Islam and immigration has attracted far-right extremists, including white supremacists and militia group members.

While ACT and Gabriel have primarily focused on Muslims and Muslim immigration, over the past few years they have taken up the issue of immigration from Central and Latin America. ACT, like other anti-immigrant groups cited in this report, has increased their focus on opposing “sanctuary” cities, cities that follow specific practices to keep local police from enforcing federal immigration policies with the aim of building and maintaining trust with immigrant communities. It has also circulated disparaging social media memes about Latino/a immigrants. In September 2018 at their annual conference, ACT convened a panel of “experts” on immigration that included CIS fellow Michael Cutler and Chris Chmielenski, deputy director at NumbersUSA.

In February 2018, ACT promoted a campaign called “Secure Our Borders,” with this talking point: “There is nothing wrong with making sure the people coming into America don’t want to harm us and will assimilate into Western culture.”64

In May 2018, Gabriel appeared on Brett Winterble’s Newsmax radio show to talk about European immigration.  On the show, she said that violence, including rape, “is being perpetrated by one group of people: Islamic immigrants.” She also falsely alleged that Islamic immigrants “do not believe that raping a nine-year-old child is actually rape and pedophilia.”65

Center for Security Policy also promotes anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant views. The organization, headed by Frank Gaffney, publishes books and pamphlets promoting the conspiracy theory that America is under threat from “Islamization,” and that the implementation of Islamic law is imminent. In recent years, Gaffney endorsed calls for a complete ban on Muslims entering the United States.66

Gaffney’s Secure Freedom Radio show provides a platform for other like-minded anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim individuals. He regularly hosts individuals from FAIR, CIS, and IRLI. For example, on September 14, 2018 he hosted Matt O’Brien, director of research at FAIR, and on September 6, 2018, he hosted Dale Wilcox, executive director of IRLI.

In January 2018, during an episode of Secure Freedom Radio, Gaffney said that the United States needs to use vetting systems for immigrants from Muslim majority countries like the ones used to prevent Nazis and communists from immigrating to the United States. Gaffney said the United States needs to “institute a measure akin to what we did with Nazism and Communism in the past, namely to screen for Sharia supremacism. And if people have that as their operating code, shall we say, we’ve actually got enough of those folks in this country as it is. We don’t really need or want any more.”67

The Immigration Debate: States Weigh In

In the last decade, Americans have been deeply divided over the issue of immigration. Large numbers of Central American migrants reaching the U.S.-Mexico border, the highly visible international issue of refugees fleeing the war in Syria and Congressional gridlock over immigration reform have energized the anti-immigrant movement. And state governments have stepped into the resulting policy vacuum. 

The immigration debate came to the forefront in 2010 after the shooting of Arizona rancher Robert Kentz in March of that year. Initially, law enforcement suspected that the perpetrator was an undocumented migrant, and footprints indicated that the assailant may have fled south toward the border. Authorities were ultimately unable to determine whether the killer was in the country with legal documentation. Despite this, Kentz’s death sparked a national debate about immigration, and many politicians and advocacy groups used the incident to call for beefed-up border security.68

Riding the tide of fear sparked by Kentz’s death, Arizona passed the harshest anti-immigrant law in the nation, SB 1070. Featuring an “attrition by enforcement” approach, the bill empowered law enforcement to detain anyone suspected of being in the country without documentation, and criminalized being an undocumented immigrant in the state.69

It is important to understand the environment in Arizona that led to the creation of SB 1070. The law evolved in an atmosphere of anti-immigrant sentiment and rhetoric that made the state the center of activity for anti- immigrant activists and lawmakers such as Russell Pearce, former Arizona State Senator, and Kris Kobach, who co-authored SB1070. At the time, Kobach, who is now the Kansas Secretary of State and failed Republican candidate for governor, was also "of counsel" to the Immigration Reform Law Institute, the legal arm of FAIR.70 Dozens of other states, including Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina, followed Arizona’s lead by passing anti-immigration laws.71

These state initiatives did not go unchallenged. The U.S. Department of Justice, American Civil Liberties Union and other civil rights groups, including ADL, filed legal challenges to SB 1070.72 The day before the law was to take effect, a federal judge blocked its most controversial provisions.73 Congress sought to exercise federal jurisdiction over immigration policy, but its efforts were stymied by partisan division. During this time, the anti-immigrant movement thrived from a polarized climate, rallying against the federal government’s failure to pass immigration reform and supporting state initiatives like SB 1070.

States continued to take the initiative, with some state-level policies starkly opposed to Arizona’s hardline approach. The dire headlines and anti-immigrant rhetoric were clearly having an impact: in 2011, a record number of Americans agreed with the statement that immigration was, on the whole, a “bad thing” for the country (37%), and 42% of Americans said they personally worried about illegal immigration a “great deal.”74

With immigration reform at the forefront of American politics, 2011 also brought legal closure to the controversy surrounding the law enforcement actions of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) in Arizona and Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Over the course of several years, the Sheriff’s Office had acted outside of the scope of law by pursuing racially charged constituent complaints and operation requests, and disproportionately targeting Latinos for stops and arrests. The findings from the Department of Justice’s civil rights investigation into the MSCO were released in December 2011. According to the findings, the Sheriff’s Office had engaged in practices that violated the U.S. Constitution and federal law, including discriminatory policing involving “unlawful stops, detentions and arrests of Latinos,” as well as “unlawful retaliation against individuals exercising their First Amendment right” to criticize the office’s policies, “use of excessive force” and other illegal practices.75  DOJ sought and received a federal court order that required Arpaio and his office to cease the detention of suspected undocumented immigrants.76 Arpaio was convicted in July 2017 of criminal contempt of court for defying that order by continuing to oversee the racial profiling and detention of people of Latino descent in his district.77 Arpaio was later pardoned by President Trump, and appealed to have his conviction cleared from his record when he ran for the U.S. Senate in 2018.78

The same month, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an opinion on Arizona’s SB 1070, largely siding with the federal government by striking down key provisions, such as those that required migrants to carry their immigration papers in Arizona. But the court upheld one of the most controversial provisions: allowing law enforcement to check a suspected undocumented immigrant’s status while enforcing other laws.79

Central American Migration
The anti-immigrant movement was re-energized in 2014 as tens of thousands of Central American migrants arrived at the U.S.-Mexico border. During the 2014 fiscal year, U.S. border agents came across almost 69,000 unaccompanied minors, primarily fleeing from the Northern Triangle countries of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.80 All three countries had experienced a significant growth in violence mostly due to criminal gangs, making them three of the five most dangerous countries in the world.81 In particular, the late 2013 breakdown of a truce between El Salvador’s two most powerful gangs, MS-13 and Barrio 18, caused homicides to jump by 56 percent in 2014.82 By 2015, El Salvador had become the world’s most dangerous country outside a war zone.83 Underlying economic conditions provided fertile ground for such violence, as the Northern Triangle countries were beset by endemic poverty and high youth unemployment rates.84 Central American children’s hope for a higher quality of living and reunification with relatives already living in America produced this wave of migration to the U.S. southern border that President Obama ultimately described as a humanitarian crisis.85

Anti-immigrant demonstrations cropped up across the United States in cities that were designated for migrant processing and resettlement.86 One of the largest protests took place in Murrieta, California in July 2014, after the town mayor himself portrayed the incoming migrants as a public safety threat. About 150 residents blocked buses filled with Central American immigrants heading to the city’s border patrol processing center. The protesters waved American flags and shouted, “Go home, we don’t want you here.”87 After the protesters refused to stand down, the buses were rerouted to another location.88

In addition to violence and crime in Central America, the Middle East, particularly Syria, experienced upheaval due to a civil war that began in 2011 and resulted in a wave of refugees seeking asylum around the world. By November 2015, more than half of America’s governors opposed allowing Syrian refugees into their states.89  The governors’ reaction came after authorities revealed that one of the suspects involved in the terrorist attacks in Paris that year had entered Europe among the wave of Syrian refugees. This vocal opposition to refugee resettlement in communities across the country also fed anti-Muslim sentiment in the U.S.

Donald Trump’s Presidential Campaign: Build the Wall

In 2015, Donald Trump announced his intention to run for president and the anti-immigrant rhetoric and agenda were elevated onto the national political stage. During his campaign, he referred to Mexican immigrants as rapists and criminals, and made anti-immigrant rhetoric part of the national conversation, echoing the views of anti-immigrant groups. These groups fully understand the significance of the current mainstreaming of their ideologies and applaud the government’s prioritization of harsh new immigration policies, inclusion of anti-immigrant voices in policymaking and invitations for anti-immigrant spokespeople to testify before Congress.

In 2016, anti-immigrant groups and activists again turned to presidential candidate Trump to galvanize their movement. On the campaign trail, Trump called for a wall along the southern border as the surge of Central American migrants continued, claiming that he could persuade Mexico to pay for its construction. He accused the “Obama-Clinton open-border policy” of failing to prevent the deaths of Americans at the hands of “illegal immigrant gang members,” and said that he would deport them his “first hour in office.”90 Some of Trump’s campaign rhetoric was reminiscent of traditional anti-immigrant narratives, accusing migrants of bringing crime and violence to the United States.

Anti-Immigrant Report

Impact of the 2016 Election

Leading up to and in the wake of Trump’s election victory in November 2016, the number of hate crimes against vulnerable populations increased. There was a 19% increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes in 2016 (307) compared to 2015 (257), and the number of anti-Muslim hate crimes in 2016 was double the number in 2014 (154).91 Anti-Muslim hate crimes reached a peak in 2016, representing the second highest number of anti-Muslim hate crimes since the FBI started collecting hate crime data- second only to the backlash against the Muslim community after the September 11, 2001 attacks. While the FBI’s hate crime statistics do not categorize strictly anti-immigrant hate crimes, the increase in anti-Muslim incidents is noteworthy because these hate crimes are also often anti-immigrant. For example, on October 14, 2016, authorities arrested three militia members who conspired to blow up a Somali immigrant apartment complex and mosque in Garden City, Kansas. They intended the attack for the day after the 2016 presidential election, so as not to hurt Trump’s chances of winning. They wanted to inspire others to attack Muslim immigrants, allegedly in defense of the U.S. Constitution.92

While the growing number of hate crimes documented by the FBI is alarming, the actual number is likely even higher, as reporting on such incidents is not obligatory. In 2016, 92 cities with populations of over 100,000 people either failed to provide statistics, or else unrealistically reported zero incidents.93 A Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) survey estimated the actual number of hate crimes at 250,000 per year from 2004-2015,94 as opposed to a little over 6,000 recorded by the FBI in 2016.95 Even before the recent spike in anti-immigrant hate, BJS found that Hispanic people were particular targets. BJS found that from 2011-15, Hispanic people (1.3 in 1,000) were victims of violent hate crimes at almost twice the rate of non-Hispanic whites (0.7 in 1,000) and close to 25% more than black and African American people (1.0 in 1,000).96 The survey also found that more than half of victims do not report hate crimes to the police.97 Further, in only 7% of cases reported to police do investigators confirm the act was a hate crime, despite 99% of victims who report such cases citing the “offenders’ use of hate language.”98

After Donald Trump won the presidential election, the number of reported hate crimes continued to rise. According to the non-profit group South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), there were 213 hate crimes against South Asian, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, Middle Eastern and Arab communities in the United States between November 8, 2016 and November 7, 2017, a significant increase from the previous year (130).99 Of the 213 incidents, 181 (or 85%) were anti-Muslim. SAALT also recorded 89 cases of xenophobic political rhetoric, with 75% directed against Muslims and the remaining 25% either anti-immigrant or racist. According to the Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism at California State University in San Bernardino, the number of hate crimes reported to law enforcement rose 12.5% in the ten largest U.S. cities in 2017.100 This figure is consistent with trends from previous years, as 2017 marked the fourth consecutive annual rise in hate crimes, as well as the highest number in over a decade. One hate crime against immigrants occurred in February 2017, when Adam Purinton shot at a group of Indian men who were having a drink at a Kansas bar.  Purinton assumed they were Iranian, yelling that they should “get out of my country,” before fatally shooting one patron and wounding two others.101

Such hate crimes coincided with the enactment of new anti-immigration policies. One of President Trump’s first executive orders was “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States,” which stripped federal grant money from so-called “sanctuary cities,” municipal jurisdictions that limit their cooperation with the federal government in the enforcement of federal immigration law.102 The same day—January 25, 2017—President Trump issued another executive order titled “Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements,” which was designed to fulfill his campaign promise to build a border wall.103 Two days later, President Trump signed “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States,” which placed a 90-day  suspension on entry of immigrants and refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries—Syria, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Yemen, and Somalia—and indefinitely suspended the entry of Syrian refugees.104 (President Obama had called for the acceptance of 110,000 refugees in 2017.)

Hate Crimes Continue in 2018
Anti-immigrant sentiment has continued to escalate in 2018, and it appears that some individuals have been emboldened to act violently on their views. For example, on June 14, 2018 a 24-year-old Puerto Rican woman recorded a 36-minute video showing a 62-year-old man harassing her for wearing a shirt bearing the image of the Puerto Rican flag. He approached her numerous times, shouting that she couldn’t be a U.S. citizen if she’s Puerto Rican (despite the fact that Puerto Ricans were granted U.S. citizenship in 1917). A police officer stood nearby but did not intervene.105 The man was later charged with a hate crime, and the police officer resigned from his position following a public backlash over his inaction.106

A man wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat was charged with a hate crime after allegedly assaulting and pushing a Mexican immigrant onto the tracks at a New York City subway station on April 20, 2018. The 47-year-old attacker accused the victim of coming to the United States to “take his job,” and said that the victim was “bring[ing] drugs here.”107 On the 4th of July, a woman in Los Angeles attacked a 91-year-old male permanent U.S. resident with a brick while shouting, “Go back to your country.” Shortly after, several young men stomped on the man’s head after accusing him of trying to kidnap the woman’s daughter.108

On July 31, less than a month after the July 4th attack, two men attacked Surjit Malhi, a 50-year-old Sikh man wearing a turban, near his home in Turlock, California. The two attackers threw sand in his eyes, beat him with a stick and belt and vandalized his property by spray-painting “Go back to [sic] ur country” down the length of his truck.109 The victim had been in the United States for 26 years after emigrating from India in 1992, and is now a permanent resident known in his California community for his political activism.110 Another July 2018 anti-immigrant assault is being investigated as a hate crime. The first Latino mayor of a suburb near Seattle, Washington, was attacked by a 62-year-old man who allegedly told him, “We’re not going to let you Latino illegals take over our city.” The mayor, the son of undocumented farmworkers, governs a town, Burien, in which one in four residents is Hispanic.111

While violent attacks often receive the most media attention, verbal assaults with anti-immigrant sentiment are even more common. Thanks to the widespread propensity to record and upload hateful incidents using cell phones, there’s no shortage of footage of racist and xenophobic tirades toward immigrants. In May 2018, a New York City attorney was recorded threatening to call ICE on a restaurant employee and customer who were speaking Spanish to each other. 112 The attorney, who shouted, “This is America,” had previously claimed on his website that he is fluent in Spanish.113 In two separate incidents in New York City in June and July 2018, two women on buses harassed Hispanics, a Muslim woman and black or African American individuals. In the first incident, a 57-year-old woman -- who was later arrested and charged with harassment -- called other riders “illegal immigrants,” and told them to “get the [expletive] out of my country” before attacking the passenger recording the incident.114 A week later, a second woman taunted a Muslim woman, saying that ICE was coming to deport her.115

All these incidents, which point to the continued mainstreaming of once-fringe views, feed into a climate of anti-immigrant vitriol, creating an atmosphere where immigrants may be more susceptible to harassment or even violence.

Trump Administration Figures Have a History of Anti-Immigrant Sentiment

President Trump immediately appointed senior officials known for promoting hardline anti-immigrant policies, such as former Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Stephen Miller, a senior advisor for policy (formerly the communications director for Sessions when he was a U.S. Senator representing Alabama).  

Anti-Immigrant Report

During his time in the U.S. Senate, Jeff Sessions led efforts to defeat bipartisan immigration reform and bills that would include a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.  He championed the creation of a fence along the U.S.-Mexico border and supported “zero tolerance” policies for unlawfully crossing the border, advocating for more aggressive prosecution.  He consistently voted to restrict immigration, increase funding for border patrol and expand border barriers.  As Senator, Jeff Sessions also supported legislation that would require local law enforcement to report “any undocumented immigrants to the Department of Homeland Security”116 and insisted that it is “a violation of the criminal code to enter our country illegally.”  He introduced a bill that would make unlawful presence in the United States a crime, mandating jail time for people who overstayed their visa.117 A memo that Sen. Sessions wrote in 2015 outlined his thoughts on immigration. Among other things, he argued in favor of cancelling federal funds to so-called “sanctuary cities,” establishing criminal penalties for visa overstays and “ending catch-and-release on the border with mandatory detention and expedited deportations.”118 Sen. Sessions has also supported legal changes to the 14th Amendment to deny citizenship to American-born children of undocumented immigrants. In 2010 he called for hearings on whether the 14th Amendment should be amended to deny birthright citizenship to children of undocumented immigrants119 and said that birthright citizenship has been “clearly abused.”120  In December 2015, after President-elect Trump proposed a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims” entering the United States, Sen. Sessions said, “It’s time for us to think this through and the classical, internal American religious principles I don’t think apply providing constitutional protections to persons not citizens who want to come here.”121

Sessions was named “2008 Defender of the Rule of Law” by NumbersUSA,122 and received FAIR’s Franklin Society award for his leadership opposing immigration legislation in 2007.123  Sessions had regularly attended these groups’ events, even having speaking roles at some of them.

Upon learning of President Trump’s nomination of Jeff Sessions to Attorney General, numerous anti-immigrant groups expressed their strong support and the hope that their goals would be advanced. And indeed, many of them have been advanced by Attorney General Sessions. Under his leadership, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has limited the authority of immigration judges to dismiss deportation cases, tightened asylum rules and announced the administration’s “zero tolerance” border policy which resulted in thousands of family separations. Sessions also led the charge against “sanctuary cities,” by restricting federal public safety funding to such jurisdictions- a long time policy goal of groups like CIS and FAIR. FAIR commended Sessions’ efforts to withhold federal public safety grant funds from “sanctuary” jurisdictions, stating “Sessions just did America a great service, and he did a huge favor for Donald Trump by helping take a first step toward delivering on one of his campaign promises on sanctuary cities…time to bury the hatchet.”124

Stephen Miller has played a significant role in influencing policies championed by anti-immigrant groups in the White House.  Miller, too, has his own historical and ongoing relationships with these groups.  In his capacity as an aide to then-Senator Jeff Sessions, Miller served as keynote speaker at the 2015 CIS Katz Award Ceremony, where he thanked CIS “for everything they do to illuminate a debate that far too often operates, like illegal immigrants, in the shadows.”125  Soon after Trump appointed Miller as his Senior Policy Advisor, FAIR tweeted the news and dedicated an entire episode of its podcast, FAIRfederation,  to the Miller appointment, entitled “Stephen Miller Fantastic Pick for White House Role.”126 Miller has also demonstrated a fondness for CIS’s analysis, citing CIS studies on numerous occasions.127 For example, at a 2017 White House press conference on the Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment (RAISE) Act- a bill designed to cut legal immigration to the United States- Miller cited a CIS study to make the false claim that immigrants take jobs away from Americans.128 Of Miller’s cite, Krikorian of CIS said: “They cite us and that’s how you define success if you are a think tank.”129 Miller’s relationship with major anti-immigrant players continues. In January 2018, Miller arranged a private phone call with anti-immigrant groups, including CIS and NumbersUSA, to introduce them to the White House’s immigration plan and solicit their feedback prior to the plan being made public.130

While in the White House, Miller was instrumental in creating the Trump administration’s so-called Muslim ban, limits on welcoming refugees, the policy of separating children from their families at the border, and, most recently, crafting a proposed rule which would make it harder for immigrants who receive or have ever received federal public benefits to pursue U.S. citizenship. Miller apparently also played a major role in the President’s decision to slash the number of refugees the U.S. accepts next year to 30,000 — the lowest number in history.

Additionally, the Trump administration has hired people with ties to groups like FAIR and CIS. FAIR’s former executive director, Julie Kirchner, currently serves as the ombudsman of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services at the Department of Homeland Security. She was previously at FAIR for 10 years, serving first as their Government Relations Director and then as Executive Director. In 2015, Kirchner left FAIR to join the Donald Trump presidential campaign as an immigration advisor.131 Kirchner was then appointed to the Customs and Border Protection Agency, and in April 2017 she moved into her current position as ombudsman.

Ian M. Smith, who was formerly an investigative associate with the Immigration Reform Law Institute, the legal arm of FAIR, worked as a policy analyst on immigration in the Department of Homeland Security until he resigned in August 2018. Smith left his job right before the Atlantic reported that he had ties to white nationalists and had been in contact with them as they planned various events.132 In columns he wrote for the National Review, Smith opposed the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, which ended national quotas for immigrants, as well as sanctuary cities.

CIS also has a former employee working in the Trump administration. In January 2017, Jon Feere, a former legal policy analyst at CIS, was hired as an adviser to then Immigration and Customs Enforcement director, Thomas Homan.

Feere has expressed his skepticism at the ability of DACA recipients and children born in the United States to foreign parents to sufficiently assimilate into American society. He wrote that “if we’re not creating Americans, then we’re doing nothing more than creating the conditions of balkanization” and that politicians need to “consider the potential repercussions of incorporating unassimilated illegal aliens into our society via amnesty.”133

Feere has also had some interactions with white nationalists and anti-Semites. In May 2012, Feere provided quotes for an article in the anti-Semitic publication American Free Press,134 and in April 2016, he shared an article from the anti-immigrant, racist website VDARE as part of his criticism of the Boston Globe’s coverage on immigrant deportations. 135

Far-Right Groups Emboldened by Trump Administration’s Policies
While President Trump’s immigration policies spurred protests across the United States, they also emboldened far-right groups, including anti-immigration organizations vocally opposed to immigration. Believing they had support at the highest levels of the U.S. government, these groups began to express their beliefs publicly. On June 10, 2017, the anti-Muslim group ACT for America organized a nationwide protest dubbed “March Against Sharia,” which the group promoted as “the real women’s march,” to protect women and children from the imaginary threat of Sharia law. Protesters and counter-protesters took to the streets in 28 cities. Some participants were members of white supremacist groups like Identity Evropa and Vanguard America, and other attendees included members of anti-government extremist groups like the Oath Keepers and Three Percenters, and alt lite groups such as the Proud Boys.136

Anti-Immigrant Rallies and Candidates Bring Their Message to the Masses

Some anti-immigrant rallies attracted members of extremist groups. Members of the white supremacist group Identity Evropa attended a pro-border wall rally organized by San Diegans for Secure Borders (SDSB) on March 13, 2018 in San Diego, which coincided with President Trump’s visit to view border wall prototypes. Around 200 anti-immigration advocates and nativists, including candidates for public office, attended the rally.137 The presence of Identity Evropa members created an opportunity for dissemination of white supremacist propaganda.

Politicians at Far Right Rallies and Anti-Immigrant Extremists Running for Office
Major party politicians’ participation in anti-immigration and extreme right rallies may lend further credibility to attendees and their ideas. In recent years, state and federal officials and candidates have appeared as guests, and even speakers, at such demonstrations.138 For example, Michael Williams, a Republican state senator from Georgia and former gubernatorial candidate, spoke at one of the March Against Sharia demonstrations organized by ACT for America on June 10, 2017. At the rally, Williams said: “Overseas in Europe and other places, they’re [Muslims] throwing people off of buildings, they’re decapitating people because they do not believe the things they believe.”139 Williams also posed for a picture with members of the Three Percenters.140 Williams’s appearance at the March Against Sharia rally is unsurprising given his history. In May 2018, he released a campaign advertisement that showcased a “Deportation Bus” intended to round up “illegals.” The repurposed school bus featured a “Pro-Trump” label, and included a warning sign: “murderers, rapists, kidnappers, child molestors [sic], and other criminals on board.”141 142

While Williams lost Georgia’s 2018 gubernatorial primary, his bid for governor is part of a broader trend of anti-immigrant activists and candidates sympathetic to their views trying to further infiltrate and inflame mainstream politics. For example, Joe Arpaio, the former sheriff whose unlawful abuse of his powers of office was discussed earlier in this report, ran for the U.S. Senate in Arizona, but lost in the primary in August 2018.

Corey Stewart, who ran as the GOP candidate for U.S. Senate in Virginia, has also brought his vehemently anti-immigrant views into the race.  He has declared that he is running “to stop our great nation from being overrun by illegal aliens and the crime, drugs, human trafficking, poverty and misery they bring with them.”143 In 2007, as County Supervisor for Prince William County, Stewart enacted a harsh anti-immigrant enforcement law and in 2010, tried to take that harsh law to the state level, to emulate Arizona’s SB 1070. He has praised the harsh anti-immigration policies of the Trump administration, including the separation of children from their parents at the border.

Furthermore, Stewart has ties to white supremacists and anti-Semites. He referred to anti-Semite Paul Nehlen (who lost his bid for U.S. Congress in Wisconsin) as one of his “personal heroes" at a political event in February 2017.  In a video obtained by CNN, Stewart praised Nehlen again in November 2017, after Nehlen had made his anti-Semitic, white supremacist positions public. In the exchange, Stewart expresses support for Nehlen’s candidacy and refers to him as a “real conservative.”144

Stewart, who also had an unsuccessful 2017 bid for governor, was an outspoken supporter of the white supremacist Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville and has appeared publicly several times with its local organizer, Jason Kessler. A recent Stewart campaign email praised “volunteer of the week” Ian MacDonald, whose Facebook page includes memes of American Nazi Party founder George Lincoln Rockwell.145

Some candidates running for office are open white supremacists who espouse anti-immigrant views. Arthur Jones, a former American Nazi Party member, won the Republican primary in Illinois’s 3rd Congressional District.146 Jones’ official campaign website promotes anti-immigrant views: “I think it is time to bring our troops home to defend our own country’s borders against illegal alien drug dealers, criminals, and potential terrorists.” He has declared his opposition to “sanctuary cities,” saying that they violate an article in the Constitution “where every state is guaranteed a republican form of government and protection against invasion and domestic violence.” He also echoes hardline anti-immigrant activist claims that undocumented immigrants are “spreading diseases and violent crime across the country.”147

Other incumbent candidates have regularly expressed anti-immigrant views. Rep. Steve King (R-IA) is well-known for making bigoted comments about immigrants and for attacking diversity. On December 10, 2017, King tweeted, “Diversity in not our strength,” while touting the words of anti-immigrant Hungarian leader Victor Orban, who had made comments about not “mixing cultures.”148 On March 12, 2017, in response to a Voice of Europe tweet about anti-immigrant Dutch politician Geert Wilders being right about Muslim immigration in that country, King tweeted, “Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.”149 And perhaps most notoriously,  in a July 2013 interview with the right-wing website Newsmax, he declared this about young undocumented immigrants known as DREAMers: “For everyone who's a valedictorian, there's another 100 out there that weigh 130 pounds and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they're hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert."150

Anti-Immigrant Group Staff Members Testify before Congress and State Legislatures

Delivering testimony to Congress and influencing policy provides anti-immigrant groups another way to gain legitimacy and influence the immigration debate. A number of leaders and members of these groups have testified before Congress and state legislatures nationwide in recent years. When representatives of these groups testify, their views are further mainstreamed and more likely to impact government policies.

These individuals often try to appear as moderate proponents of causes like the environment, education, jobs and the economy while assailing immigrants for negatively impacting these areas. Individuals affiliated with the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) have testified before Congress ten times since August 2017.151 CIS’s Steven Camarota, “has testified before Congress more than any other non-government expert on the economic and fiscal impact of immigration” in recent years.152 Another CIS officer who frequently testifies before Congress is Jessica Vaughan. She recently provided Congressional testimony on February 15, 2018, before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security, where she addressed “the effect of sanctuary city policies on the ability to combat the opioid epidemic.” In her testimony, Vaughan claimed that by not cooperating with federal immigration agencies, sanctuary cities allow “criminal aliens back to the streets instead of back to their country,” and prevent law enforcement from effectively combating the opioid epidemic. Vaughan’s argument hinged on the belief that undocumented immigrants bring crime and drugs to the United States, a myth commonly promoted by anti-immigrant activists.153 Beyond Congressional testimony, CIS has encouraged a recent proposal by the Trump administration to make it more difficult for immigrants who use or have used federal public benefits to become U.S. citizens.  Indeed, CIS’s 2016 “wish list” also included limited federal support to “sanctuary” jurisdictions, speeding up deportation proceedings, and other measures which the Trump administration have ultimately adopted or attempted to adopt.

FAIR Executive Director Dan Stein has also testified before Congress. According to FAIR, Stein “has been asked to testify before Congress” on issues related to immigration “over 50 times.”141 In his testimonies, Stein often appeals to causes like protecting American jobs. For example, he testified against the DREAM Act of 2011, claiming that it incorporated “millions of illegal immigrants as permanent competitors for limited resources.”155

In recent years, other representatives of anti-immigrant groups have become more strident in their Congressional testimonies, using ever less subtle anti-immigration rhetoric. On April 27, 2017, Maria Espinoza, founder of the Remembrance Project, spoke before the House Oversight Subcommittee on National Security. She used inflammatory rhetoric common to anti-immigrant activists, such as “foreign invaders,” and described the “murderous rampage by illegals.”156

The frequent appearance of individuals from anti-immigrant groups in Congressional hearings and forums has helped legitimize some of these groups. Congressional testimonies have also allowed these groups to spread their extreme views on prestigious platforms, facilitating the movement of anti-immigrant extremist ideas into the mainstream. At the same time, the views of anti-immigrant groups give ammunition to anti-immigrant politicians. All of these factors — politicians appearing at extremist rallies, anti-immigrant activists running for office, and administration appointees who embolden the movement — aid anti-immigrant groups in their overall push for legitimation, which is also carried out on other platforms, social media being of particular importance.

In addition to influencing Congress and federal policymaking, these groups have also been primary supporters of anti-immigrant measures at the state and local levels, leveling strong opposition at state and local efforts to protect immigrants, particularly “sanctuary” measures.  In Oregon, a failed statewide ballot measure, which would have overturned a 31-year-old “sanctuary” policy, was strongly supported by the group Oregonians for Immigration Reform (OFIR), which receives significant backing from FAIR.157 Indeed, the Repeal Oregon Sanctuary Law Committee (ROSLC) lists FAIR as one of its largest donors.158 In Massachusetts, a legislative proposal that would have protected immigrants by ensuring that state and local resources were not used for federal immigration enforcement purposes was opposed by CIS and FAIR.  Both groups testified in opposition to the bill, and that testimony was covered159 by local media and may have influenced constituents and state elected officials. Perhaps most notably, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed the anti-sanctuary SB4 into law in 2017, which continues to face legal challenges and is the nation’s harshest anti-immigrant bill targeting “sanctuary” cities. When the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upheld parts of SB4, groups such as NumbersUSA welcomed the ruling.  FAIR, CIS and other anti-immigrant groups referenced in this report have been involved in state policymaking in other states across the country.

Anti-Immigrant Groups’ Use of Social Media

Anti-immigrant groups are effectively appealing to more mainstream audiences on Twitter and Facebook by using nuanced rhetoric about immigration issues. For example, in the last year FAIR’s most popular original content tweet called attention to long-time Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein’s position on “illegal aliens” in 1994.160 The tweet’s success lies in its simultaneous use of partisan politics, allegations of hypocrisy and “America First” logic. By highlighting that a Democratic senator lobbied for immigration reform 24 years ago using language that is now the domain of these anti-immigrant groups, while ignoring the evolution of the immigration debate during those decades, FAIR gained credibility in the Twitter universe. Based on FAIR’s current follower count of more than 200,000 — which is likely higher than it was in November 2017 when this was tweeted — the tweet resulted in an incredibly high engagement rate of 12.79%.

NumbersUSA’s tweets use a similar strategy. In a December 27, 2017 tweet, the group demonized the H-1B visa program and categorized it as a corrupt tool by which to attain cheaper labor161 This tweet gained NumbersUSA an above-average engagement rate of 7%. NumbersUSA also effectively uses slippery slope arguments to gain mainstream credibility. One tweet on “chain migration,” also known as family reunification, the process by which green card holders or legal U.S. residents may sponsor a family member for immigration to the United States, gained NumbersUSA a 14.1% engagement rate, while exaggerating the extent of the practice.162

Much of the hardcore dehumanizing language and views about immigrants, however, is found on the Twitter pages of individual anti-immigrant activists, including people like Mark Krikorian, who heads CIS and Brigitte Gabriel, who heads ACT for America. Other figures who use Twitter to demonize immigrants include Ann Coulter, a conservative political commentator, and writer Michael Savage, a conservative radio host, as well as other media figures.

In September 2018, Krikorian tried to submit two tweets which mentioned the word “illegal alien,” for promotion on Twitter. The tweets were rejected as hateful content. Krikorian publicized the incident, saying that Twitter does not allow users to tweet the words “illegal alien.” He also claimed that Twitter was censoring conservatives, a claim that has been taken up by many on the right. Twitter said that the tweets from Krikorian were rejected due to their content but not to the word “illegal alien.” The company also acknowledged that denying paid promotion status to CIS’s tweets was a mistake and that it had reversed its decision.163 One of the tweets Krikorian tried to post mentioned “illegal aliens pouring across the border”; the other focused on “illegal alien crime.” These types of tweets are representative of Krikorian’s attempts to demonize undocumented immigrants and use the crime of a small number of undocumented immigrants to tarnish all immigrants. He also focuses on diseases that immigrants allegedly bring to the U.S.

In a tweet on February 23, 2016, Krikorian promoted a CIS report that claimed that President Obama was opening “the border to more STDs.” On September 5, 2016, in response to an individual challenging an earlier tweet in which he claimed that “75% of illegal aliens are committing felonies,” Krikorian tweeted, “So you acknowledge that the ‘otherwise law-abiding illegal alien’ is a myth.” In a February 14, 2018 tweet about an undocumented immigrant who killed a baby in a car crash, he wrote, “This isn’t just a crime by a random scumbag; because the criminal is an illegal alien, it also represents a failure of fed.govt [sic] policy.” In another tweet on April 19, 2018, Krikorian tweeted an article about an undocumented immigrant accused of rape in Massachusetts and wrote that the state should replace its license plates with “Illegal-Alien Rapists Welcome Here”

Gabriel’s organization mostly attacks Muslim immigration, but she has also used Twitter to demonize all immigrants coming to the U.S. In an April 26, 2018 tweet, she asserted that she has “no problems with immigrants” but, “unfortunately, today there are too many people immigrating here who do not love America or want to be American.” On June 6, 2018, she tweeted, “Illegal immigrants are killing our citizens. When will leftists put the lives of Americans first and secure our borders? I am sick and tired of hearing how cruel it is to build a wall. What’s cruel is continuing to allow Americans to die because we haven’t built a wall.” In an August 9, 2018 tweet, Gabriel voiced her opposition to legal immigration, writing: “If Americans knew just how many immigrants both legal and illegal, our nation has taken in over the past half century, they’d be marching on Washington every day, demanding immediate action.”

Savage, the radio host, uses much more explicit language to attack immigrants. On October 12, 2017, he wrote, “Millions of illegal aliens sucking the aquifers dry.” On December 1, 2017, referring to Kate Steinle, a woman killed by an undocumented immigrant in San Francisco in 2015, he wrote that a number of California politicians in favor of immigration reform were “complicit in her assassination. Build the wall/deport them all!”

Ann Coulter is one of the more extreme and well-known anti-immigration Twitter commentators. Her 2015 anti-immigrant screed, Adios America! The Left’s Plan to Turn Our Country into a Third World Hellhole, paints immigrants as invaders, criminals and liars. She denigrates immigrants constantly, particularly Latinos and Muslims. In a July 4, 2018 tweet, she attacked immigrants and refugees by implying they were all terrorists. She wrote, “Every Muslim terrorist attack was committed by a LEGAL immigrant, or child of a LEGAL immigrant. All the ‘refugees’ making our country so vibrant are LEGAL.” In an August 8, 2018 tweet, she posted an article about an undocumented immigrant accused of raping a young girl he claimed was his daughter. In response, she wrote, “They’re separating rapists from their victims at the border!!!! (Nice mother to give her daughter to a rapist.)”

The Media’s Role

Social media is not the only place where anti-immigrant commentators promote their views to the public. These groups have managed to co-opt mainstream television networks’ immigration coverage as a platform from which to spread their positions. With rising public interest in immigration policy, leaders and representatives of groups like CIS and FAIR have gained larger soapboxes from which to propagate their views to substantially larger audiences. And because they are on mainstream news networks and featured in mainstream publications, their extreme views are becoming more legitimized.

Anti-Immigrant Report

As of July 2018, four of the five top rated TV shows were broadcast on Fox.164Tucker Carlson Tonight is regularly one of the top-watched primetime TV news programs, and in July 2018 was ranked third for most watched news program overall with an average of 2.697 million viewers, followed closely by The Ingraham Angle, with an average of 2.654 million viewers.165  With its high volume of viewership, Fox News holds a significant position in the U.S. immigration debate. Fox’s primetime shows—particularly Tucker Carlson Tonight and The Ingraham Angle—and daily morning show Fox & Friends often host representatives from anti-immigrant groups, including Dan Stein and Mark Krikorian. Mainstream TV news platforms have become a platform for anti-immigrant activists to voice their arguments as though they were legitimate and acceptable positions.

Anti-Immigrant Report

Since premiering in November 2016, Tucker Carlson Tonight’s host Tucker Carlson has hosted anti-immigrant group leaders and representatives on his show multiple times. In the past year, FAIR’s Dan Stein has appeared on Tucker Carlson Tonight numerous times, each time espousing his anti-immigrant rhetoric with the support of Carlson himself. As a guest, Stein has propagated his xenophobic views. He has insinuated that immigrants from Mexico are liars who are attempting to exploit the U.S. tax system,166 and made fear-mongering statements about undocumented immigrants. In March 2017, Carlson and Stein discussed the alleged rape of a 14-year-old female student by two male students (ages 17 and 18) at Rockville High School in Rockville, Maryland. Both of the accused students were undocumented immigrants and, according to one of their attorneys, the younger alleged perpetrator was “living under special immigrant juveniles status.”164 (All charges in the case were dropped by October 20, 2017.)168 During the interview, Stein asserted that undocumented students’ presence in public schools puts young U.S. citizens in danger because “you don’t really know the identity of someone if they’re here illegally.”169 Stein characterized undocumented and immigrant students as less intelligent, saying: “You look at performance and you can see how people self-segregate within the school system. Rockville used to be a great school, but now it’s kind of declining.”170

A more recent addition to Fox’s prime time, The Ingraham Angle, hosted by Laura Ingraham, has also hosted leaders of anti-immigrant groups. On April 26, 2018, Ingraham hosted Dan Stein (Texas immigration attorney Francisco Hernandez, who aids immigrants facing deportation and other issues, also appeared on the show) to discuss Honduran asylum seekers on their way to the United States.171 Stein characterized the NGO Pueblo Sin Fronteras, a group that provides humanitarian aid and legal advice to migrants and refugees, as “aiding and abetting [illegal immigrants],” claiming that assisting asylum seekers is akin to “organized smuggling.” Stein went on to say about U.S. asylum laws: “If only refugees can get in, then everybody wants to be called a refugee. And so they get coached in” by NGOs like Pueblo Sin Fronteras. While Stein does not explicitly label these asylum seekers as liars, his tone and rhetoric make his insinuations all too clear.172

Stein has also been invited as a guest on Fox & Friends multiple times. In May 2018, Stein explained that sanctuary jurisdictions feel “they have an obligation to assist illegal immigrants [sic] stay in the country” and prioritize this obligation over the welfare and lives of U.S. citizens.173 At the end of the segment, Stein underscored his frustrations with sanctuary cities by recounting the death of his next-door neighbor’s son:

My next-door neighbor, their son, beautiful guy, worked for the firefighters, worked for the police department. A couple of weeks ago, he died at the hands an alien who should have been deported. But Montgomery County, MD did not honor the ICE detainer in 2015. This happens over and over again. Americans are losing their lives.174

    Stein used his story to imply that “undocumented” is synonymous with “criminal.”

    Mark Krikorian has also made regular appearances on Fox & Friends. On numerous occasions, he focused his commentary on the economic burden of undocumented immigrants on the U.S. taxpayer.175 During an appearance on Hannity on April 2, 2018, Krikorian referred to Honduran asylum seekers as “illegal immigrants.”176 But seeking asylum is a legal means by which to enter the United States; the migrants Krikorian referred to are, by definition, not “illegal.” 

    Fox News is not the only major network giving legitimacy to the voices of anti-immigrant groups. Both Mark Krikorian and Dan Stein have made multiple appearances on CNN. 177

    With so many people watching the news, and so much coverage on immigration, views espoused on TV news networks matter. The frequent presence of guests affiliated with major anti-immigrant groups is of great concern.

    White Supremacists and Other Extremists Promote Virulent Anti-Immigrant Sentiment

    Alt –Right Groups at the Forefront of Anti-Immigrant Activity
    While white supremacist groups remain on the fringes of society, they share certain beliefs with anti-immigrant groups, and often feed off of the anti-immigrant sentiment of groups like FAIR and CIS, which tend to be more nuanced in their language about immigrants. Meanwhile, white supremacists explicitly talk about preserving a white majority in the United States.  They believe that non-white immigration threatens white American society and culture. They often talk about demographic changes in America and assert that the country is experiencing “white genocide.” They blame Jews for encouraging non-white immigration to this country.

    These conspiracy theories can lead to deadly repercussions: The final post made to social networking account believed to belong to Robert Bowers, the suspect in October’s deadly shooting spree at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, claimed that “HIAS [Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society] likes to bring invaders in that kill our people. I can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics, I’m going in.”  The post, made just a short time before the attack on the synagogue, echoes the alarmist language used by anti-immigrant groups and politicians.

    Additional posts to the account highlight the common white supremacist conspiracy theory that Jews are behind efforts to impose mass immigration on the United States, with the goal of harming or destroying the white race.

    These opinions are very common among white supremacists. Modern white supremacy is centered on the notion that whites must fight against the imminent extinction of the white race at the hands of growing numbers of non-whites, who are in turn controlled and manipulated by the Jews.  Part of this anti-Semitic conspiracy alleges that Jews are orchestrating the mass immigration of non-whites into North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

    For years, neo-Nazi groups and traditional white supremacist groups like the Ku Klux Klan protested against non-white immigrants coming to the U.S. The most active white supremacist groups that currently focus on immigration are associated with the alt right.  They include Identity Evropa, a California-based group, and Patriot Front, a Texas-based group, which are both active across the country. 

    Both groups have been in involved in the surge of propaganda posted at colleges and other locations across the country from 2016 through 2018. Some of the campus propaganda in April 2018 focused on the baseless perception of the dangers posed by a caravan of undocumented immigrants traveling toward the U.S.-Mexico border. Identity Evropa’s “Stop the Caravan” fliers urged students to call the White House and demand the Trump administration take action to stop the migrants, while a Patriot Front flier implored students to “Keep America American” and to report “illegal aliens” to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.178

    Anti-Immigrant Report

    Both groups have also been active in the proliferation of banners with anti-immigrant themes being displayed at sites such as highway overpasses. Identity Evropa’s anti-immigration banners include language that aligns with mainstream anti-immigration extremist groups, with slogans like “Secure borders. Secure future,” “Defend American workers. End DACA now!” and “No more refugees. America First.” These phrases are a sanitized version of the group’s true aim, the preservation of “white American identity” and the promulgation of the idea that America was founded by white people for white people and was not intended to be a multiracial or multicultural society.179

    In contrast to Identity Evropa’s more nuanced style, Patriot Front uses explicit and provocative language. The group opposes future non-white immigration to the United States and advocates for the expulsion of all non-white citizens, with banners that proclaim, “Deport Them All,” “Send Them All Back” and “Americans are white. The rest must go.” 180
    White supremacists also promote their anti-immigrant views via robocalls.  The Road to Power, a racist and anti-Semitic broadcasting outlet based in Sandpoint, Idaho, run by white supremacist Scott D. Rhodes, is behind robocalls made to communities around the country.  In August, when an undocumented immigrant was implicated in Mollie Tibbetts’ murder in Iowa, her family begged for privacy, and for an end to the anti-immigrant rhetoric that some were peddling in the wake of her death.

    The Road to Power responded with a robocall that referred to Latino Americans as “low IQ, bottom-feeding savages.” The call continued: "If after her life has now been brutally stolen from her, she could be brought back to life for just one moment and asked, ‘What do you think now?’ Mollie Tibbetts would say, ‘Kill them all.’”181

    The alt lite also promotes anti-immigrant sentiment. Adherents of this loosely-connected movement generally shun white supremacist thinking but are in step with the alt right in their hatred of immigrants, among others.  The Proud Boys, founded by Gavin McInnes and dedicated to “Reinstating a Spirit of Western chauvinism,” exemplifies the alt lite attitude. McInnes has expressed numerous baldly anti-immigrant sentiments, including: “It’s such a rape culture with these immigrants, I don’t even think these women see it as rape. They see it as just like having a teeth [sic] pulled…. I wouldn’t be surprised if it doesn’t have the same trauma as it would for a middle-class white girl in the suburbs because it’s so entrenched into their culture.”182

    Border Vigilante groups
    Anti-immigrant extremist groups such as American Border Patrol (ABP) go a step further and take immigration law into their own hands. Operating out of Sierra Vista, Arizona, ABP is a vigilante group that conducts high-tech surveillance on suspected border crossings. ABP posts video and photo evidence on its social media pages to demonstrate the supposed ineffectiveness of the real U.S. Border Patrol.183 Glenn Spencer, the founder of the group, has long propagated anti-Hispanic propaganda. He subscribes to the Aztlan Reconquista theory, which holds that there is a secret Mexican plot to reconquer the American Southwest. The group has posted fear-mongering photoshopped images on Facebook depicting hordes of Mexicans swarming the border, evoking a cinematic battle scene.184 Echoing the portrayals by anti-immigrant groups, ABP depicts immigrants as uneducated, criminal “intruders”185 who are causing America to move “backward.”186

    Arizona Border Recon is currently the largest and most active of the border vigilante groups, which take up arms to prevent migrants from crossing the border.  Some people associated with border vigilante groups hold white supremacist and anti-government extremist views.


    In the ten years since ADL’s previous report on the growing legitimation of extreme anti-immigrant groups, these groups have gained even more widespread acceptance, particularly by government officials. Heartened by politicians’ and political candidates’ attendance at anti-immigration rallies, anti-immigrant state and federal policies and legitimized by invitations to testify before Congress, anti-immigrant activists and groups believe they are successfully transitioning into mainstream acceptance. They have taken advantage of this situation by intensifying their efforts to appeal to a general audience. Major TV news networks help by providing a platform, and broad viewership, for anti-immigration leaders to frame their messages as reasonable and valid. The mainstreaming of these groups and their ideas only makes that compromise more elusive. Reasonable debate is impossible when xenophobic views steamroll legitimate proposals.

    Before the extreme ideas of the anti-immigrant movement fully take root, the government, media and general public must take the necessary steps to make sure that the demonization of immigrants and the bigotry that underlie it do not become further entrenched in our society. These ideas should not become part of the acceptable discourse in America’s diverse and pluralistic society. To accomplish this, ADL recommends the following concrete steps be taken by various sectors of society: 

    Enact Policies that Provide Legislative and Legal Protections for Immigrants and Refugees

    • America’s immigration system is broken. In the short term, Congress must work together in a bipartisan fashion to pass legislation that protects immigrants and refugees from racist and xenophobic policies. These should include laws to prevent family separations, indefinite detention of families at the border, provide a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, protect Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for individuals from countries in crisis, prevents targeting immigrants and refugees from Muslim majority countries and allows for a robust refugee resettlement program.
    • In the long term, it is vital that lawmakers, advocates and the administration work together to fix America’s broken immigration system. We must work towards comprehensive immigration reform that provides a pathway to citizenship for the more than 11 million undocumented individuals currently residing in the U.S. and reforms the current legal immigration system. The current system has created a vulnerable underclass of people living in our communities who lack meaningful rights under our laws and are subject to exploitation while they help to power our economy. Without comprehensive reform, we continue to create fodder for extremists and leave the door open for anti-immigrant groups to continue to push xenophobic and racist policies.

    Improve Federal Response to Hate Crimes

    • The federal government has an essential leadership role to play in confronting hate crimes, extremism, and acts of violence motivated by prejudice. It cannot do so if it scapegoats immigrants, refugees, and other marginalized communities through policy and executive action. At a time of increased incidents of anti-immigrant and anti-refugee bias, harassment, and hate violence, the administration’s policies and actions have a direct impact on whether individuals will trust police enough to report crimes, including hate crimes. Special attention needs to be paid to strong enforcement of hate crime laws, underreporting of hate crimes by law enforcement to the FBI and by communities, and training for law enforcement on recognizing and responding to hate crimes.

    Build Trust Between Law Enforcement and Immigrant Communities

    • Law enforcement agencies should work to foster trust with immigrant communities in order to ensure public safety for all.  This should include so called “sanctuary” or “welcoming” policies that allows immigrant victims and witnesses to report crimes and cooperate with investigations and prosecutions without fear of deportation.  Against a backdrop of federal anti-immigrant policies, both undocumented and documented immigrants justifiably fear that police will report their immigration information.  Local law enforcement must work with communities and enact policies to prevent individuals from avoiding contact with law enforcement.
    • The federal government should assist — not impede — local enforcement in fostering trust with local law enforcement.  Instead, its attempt to impose immigration enforcement-related conditions on local law enforcement’s ability to receive federal public safety grants seems deliberately aimed at undoing these efforts and undermines local law enforcement’s ability to effectively prevent crimes, hate crimes and extremism targeting vulnerable communities.

    Cities and Towns Should Work to Be More Welcoming for Immigrants

    • As the federal government implements additional and continues policies that marginalize and attack immigrants, cities and towns across the country should lead with policies of inclusion and acceptance.  Cities and towns should adopt so-called “sanctuary” or “welcoming” policies that limits local resources used to enforce federal immigration laws and sends a welcoming and protective message to all community members. Cities and towns should take steps to prevent federal immigration enforcement action in “sensitive” locations like schools, hospitals and courthouses, and through tactics that cause deep anxiety and fear in immigrant communities and further marginalize immigrants. Cities and towns can also develop programs to support undocumented residents and refugees. Municipal ID programs, for example, allow all immigrants to access important public benefits even without a driver’s license. Cities and towns have an important role to play in pushing back against federal anti-immigrant policies and the rise of anti-immigrant extremism by denouncing hate and being explicit in their support of inclusion of immigrants and refugees in their communities.
    • Local and state officials must share their concerns about current federal policies with their federal representatives, encourage them to address the policies that harm their citizens and develop and pass comprehensive reforms to the immigration system.

    Denounce Anti-Immigrant Bigotry, Racism and Xenophobia

    • The President, members of Congress, public figures, federal agencies and law enforcement officials must use their bully pulpit to publicly and immediately denounce hatred and bigotry. Failure to do so emboldens anti-immigrant and hate groups and legitimizes their activities and rhetoric. Additionally, Congress must stop inviting members of known anti-immigrant groups to testify in hearings and forums. It lends them credibility and provides a platform for espousing anti-immigration extremist rhetoric.

    Provide Students with Tools to Combat Hatred and Bigotry and Protect Immigrant Students

    • Congress and the Department of Education should increase federal funding for inclusive school anti-bias education, and properly crafted anti-bullying, cyberbullying, and harassment education and training initiatives. Every state has a bullying prevention law, but more must be done to ensure implementation of the policies and programs required by these laws.  Schools must ensure equal education opportunities for all students, regardless of immigration status, and should seek to promote policies and activities that celebrate our nation’s diversity and inclusivity and ensure that all students feel safe and welcome.

    Expand Dialogue Between Civil Society and Tech Sector

    • In the last several years, civil society and the technology sector have partnered on a range of projects to ensure public sector approaches adapt for the digital era. Policymakers should pursue genuine partnerships with the technology sector to ensure the government can better counter extremism and bigotry online, and to help technology companies find solutions to emerging challenges. Tech companies must continue to improve their terms of service, especially in relation to bigotry and extremism. This commitment should include creating strong and robust prohibitions on extremist content. Platforms should fine-tune their approaches to dealing with such extremism. In addition to having clear and transparent terms of services, platforms must vigorously enforce these guidelines for the benefit of their users.


    1. Frank Newport, “Immigration Surges to Top of Most Important Problem List,” Gallup, July 18, 2018,
    2. Anti-Defamation League,“Immigrants Targeted: Extremist Rhetoric Moves in the Mainstream,” (New York:, 2008),
    3. Scott Wong & Shira Toeplitz, “DREAM Act Dies in Senate,” Politico, December 18, 2010,
    4. Randal C. Archibold, “Obama to Send Up to 1,200 Troops to Border,” New York Times, May 25, 2010,; Alan Silverleib, “Obama’s Deportation Record: Inside the Numbers,” CNN, October 19, 2011, 2011 saw even more deportations, over 400,000 total.
    5. Randal C. Archibold, “Obama to Send Up to 1,200 Troops to Border,” New York Times, May 25, 2010,
    6. The White House, “Remarks by the President on Immigration,” June 15, 2012,
    7. Donald J. Trump, Twitter, October 18, 2018,
    8. Donald J. Trump, Twitter, October 22, 2018,
    9. Tyler Q. Houlton, Twitter, October 23, 2018,;
    10. Bishop Garrison, “Trump is lying to scare voters. Migrant caravan families are desperate, not terrorists,” USA Today, October 24, 2018,; Jennifer Epstein and Justin Sink, “Trump concedes there’s ‘no proof’ terrorists are among Honduran immigrants, October 23, 2018,
    11. “Ingraham: “It’s a health issue too, because we don’t know what people have,” Media Matters, October 23, 2018,
    12. Laura Ingraham, Media rolls out red carpet for invading horde-I mean ‘caravan,’” Fox News, October 23, 2018,
    13. Lou Dobbs, Twitter, October 23, 2018,
    14. “Trump immigration executive order: President to terminate birthright citizenship,” Axios, YouTube,
    15. Steve King, Twitter,
    16. Clare Foran, “Paul Ryan says 'You cannot end birthright citizenship with an executive order,’”,
    17. Anti-Defamation League, “Immigrants Targeted: Extremist Rhetoric Moves into the Mainstream,” (New York, 2008), p. 2.
    18. Anti-Defamation League, “Patrick Buchanan, Unrepentant Bigot,; Anti-Defamation League, “Arizona: The Key Players in the Anti-Immigrant Movement,”
    19. Anti-Defamation League, “Anti-immigrant Movement Links Immigration to Terrorism,” October 21, 2014,
    20. “Homeland Security says terrorists haven't crossed U.S-Mexico border,” CBS News, October 9, 2014.
    21. Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, “Undocumented Immigrants’ State and Local Tax Contributions,” March 1 2017,
    22. Anti-Defamation League, “Myths and Facts About Immigrants and Immigration,”
    23. U.S. Chamber of Commerce: Immigration Myths and Facts, October 2013
    24. Illegal Immigration Does Not Increase Crime, 4 Studies Show,” NPR,
    25. Hannah Dreier, “I’ve Been Reporting on MS-13 for a Year. Here Are the 5 Things Trump Gets Most Wrong,” Pro-Publica, June 25, 2018,; Jose Miguel Cruz, “Five Myths about MS-13,” Washington Post, June 29, 2018,; Sahil Chinoy. Jessica Ma, Stuart M. Thompson, “MS-13 Is Far from the ‘Infestation’ Trump Describes,” July 3, 2018,
    26. Are illegal immigrants bringing ‘tremendous’ disease across the border, as Trump says? Unlikely. Politfact,
    27. Jason Le Miere, Fox  News Guest Claims Migrant Caravan Carries ‘Leprosy,’ Will  ‘Infest  Our People,’ Offers No Evidence, Newsweek, October, 29, 2018,
    28. “About FAIR,”, accessed August 7, 2018,
    29. “About FAIR,”, accessed August 7, 2018,
    30. Anti-Defamation League, “Immigrants Targeted: Extremist Rhetoric Moves into the Mainstream,” (New York, 2008), p. 15.
    31. John Tanton, “‘Witan Memo’ III,’” Letter sent October 10, 1986, reprinted at
    32. Federation for American Immigration Reform,“Criminal Aliens,” May 2016,
    33. Federation for American Immigration Reform, “Environmental Impact,” March 2012,
    34. Federation for American Immigration Reform,“For Wages to Rise, Immigration Must Fall,” n.d.,
    35. Anti-Defamation League, “Immigrants Targeted: Extremist Rhetoric Moves into the Mainstream,” (New York, 2008), pp. 17-18.
    36. Anti-Defamation League, “Immigrants Targeted: Extremist Rhetoric Moves into the Mainstream,” (New York, 2008), p. 16. 
    37. John Tanton, “The Puppeteer Replies - John Tanton Replies to the Puppeteer [sic] Racist Nativist Hate Attacks,” January 22, 2003,
    38. Anti-Defamation League, “Immigrants Targeted: Extremist Rhetoric Moves into the Mainstream,” (New York, 2008), p. 3.
    39. Federation for American Immigration Reform,“Hold Their Feet to the Fire 2018,” n.d.,
    40. John Tanton, “Center for Immigration Studies,” letter sent September 1985, reprinted at
    41. Center for Immigration Studies, “About the Center for Immigration Studies,” n.d.,
    42. Mark Krikorian, The New Case Against Immigration: Both Legal and Illegal (New York: Penguin Group, 2008).
    43. Mark Krikorian (@MarkSKrikorian), November 19, 2013, 11:03am tweet,
    44. “Anti-Defamation League, “Mark Krikorian Published Alongside Anti-Immigrant Extremists,” September 24, 2013.
    45. Anti-Defamation League, “Anti-Semite John Friend Interviews Center for Immigration Fellow on his Radio Show, December 24, 2013,
    46. Anti-Defamation League, “CIS Promotes Widely Disputed Report on Far-Right Radio Show,” May 23, 2014,
    47. Stephen Piggot & Alex Amend, “More Than An Occasional Crank: 2,012 Times the Center for Immigration Studies Circulated White Nationalist Content,” Southern Poverty Law Center,May 23, 2017,
    48. For a discussion of Richwine’s ouster from The Heritage Foundation, see Philip Bump, “Heritage Foundation Cuts Ties to Jason Richwine,” The Atlantic, May 10, 2013,
    49. Jason Richwine, IQ and Immigration Policy (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University, 2009), For discussion of the public backlash against Richwine, see Dylan Matthews,  “Jason Richwine Doesn’t Understand Why People are Mad at Him,” Washington Post, August 9, 2013,
    50. Mike Allen, “Heritage Immigration Expert Quits,” Politico, May 10, 2013,
    51. Mike Allen, “Heritage Immigration Expert Quits,” Politico, May 10, 2013,; Kevin Liptak, “Rubio calls Heritage immigration report not 'legitimate,'” CNN Politics, May 7, 2013,
    52. Neil Stevens, “Why Is The Center For Immigration Studies Publishing An “Alt Right” Racist?” RedState, May 10, 2016,
    53. The earliest CIS report written by Jason Richwine was published by CIS on January 12, 2016 according to CIS’s website. It was entitled “Immigration and Wages: The New Debate Over the Mariel Boatlift.” See CIS’s page for Jason Richwine at; see also Jason Richwine, “Immigration and Wages: The New Debate Over the Mariel Boatlift,” Center for Immigration Studies, January 12, 2016,
    54. Anti-Defamation League, “Director of White Supremacist Group Ties to Anti-Immigrant Groups,” April 25, 2013,
    55. Roy Beck, “Being a ‘home-grown’ terrorist doesn’t mean immigration policy irrelevant,” NumbersUSA,
    56. Anti-Defamation League, “Anti-Immigrant Activist Maria Espinoza Increases Her Profile,”,
    57. San Diegans for Secure Borders, “Home,”
    58. Anti-Defamation League, “Longtime Anti-Immigrant Activists Behind Murrieta Protests,”July 10, 2014,
    59. San Diegans for Secure Borders, “Next Mexican President…,” Facebook post, June 23, 2018, 2:20pm,
    60. San Diegans for Secure Borders, “Lawless Mexifornia…” Facebook post, July 21, 2018, 12:57pm,
    61. San Diegans for Secure Borders, “Time to prosecute…” August 2, 2018, 8:25pm, Facebook post,
    62. “Take Action,” San Diegans for Secure Borders,
    63. Anti-Defamation League, “Act for America,”
    64. Act for America, “Secure Our Borders” campaign, PowerPoint presentation, “The Talking Points,”
    65. Anti-Defamation League “Brigitte Gabriel Continues Years-Long Campaign of Islamophobia,” June 15, 2018,
    66. “Anti-Defamation League, “Frank Gaffney, Jr. and the Center for Security Policy,”,
    67. “Pass the Goodlatte Bill Now,” with Daniel Horowitz, Secure Freedom Radio, January 18, 2018,
    68. Amanda Lee Myers, “Killing Roils Immigration Debate,” Associated Press, April 9, 2010,; Nigel Duara, “Death on the Border: Arizona Used Rancher’s Killing to Justify Harsh Immigration Laws, but the Truth of the Case is Unclear,” Los Angeles Times, June 23, 2017,
    69. Senate Bill 1070, Legislature of the State of Arizona, April 23, 2010, See discussion of SB 1070 in Randal C. Archibold, “Arizona Enacts Stringent Law on Immigration,” New York Times, April 23, 2010,; Leslie Berestein Rojas, “The Legacy of SB 1070: Three Ways It Changed the Immigration Landscape,” Southern California Public Radio, April 23, 2012,
    70. Anti-Defamation League, “Arizona: The Key Players in the Anti-Immigrant Movement,”  May 12, 2012,
    71. “Anti-Illegal Immigration Laws in States,” New York Times, April 22, 2012,
    72. American Civil Liberties Union, “U.S. Department of Justice Files Lawsuit Against Arizona’s Racial Profiling Law,” July 6, 2010,
    73. Order, United States v. Arizona, CV 10-1413-PHX-SRB (D. Arizona, July 28, 2010),
    74. “Immigration,” Gallup,
    75. U.S. Department of Justice, press release, “Department of Justice Releases Investigative Findings on the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office,” December 15, 2011,
    76. Alex Dobuzinskis, “Judge Rules Against Arizona Sheriff in Immigrant Stops,” Reuters,December 23, 2011,
    77. Richard Pérez-Peña, “Former Arizone Sheriff Joe Arpaio is Convicted of Criminal Contempt,” New York Times, July 31, 2017,
    78. John Bowden, “Arpaio Files Appeal to Have Criminal Conviction Removed,” The Hill, January 20, 2018,
    79. Arizona v. United States, case no. 11-182, June 25, 2012,
    80. Faye Hipsman & Doris Meissner, In-Country Processing in Central America: A Piece of the Puzzle (Washington, DC: Migration Policy Institute, 2015),p. 2,
    81. Dan Restrepo & Ann Garcia, The Surge of Unaccompanied Children from Central America (Washington, DC: Center for American Progress, July 2014),
    82. “El Salvador Homicides Jump 56 Percent as Gang Truce Unravels,” Reuters,December 30, 2014,
    83. “El Salvador Becomes World’s Most Deadly Country Outside a War Zone,” AFP, January 5, 2016,
    84. Dan Restrepo & Ann Garcia, The Surge of Unaccompanied Children from Central America (Washington, DC: Center for American Progress, July 2014),
    85. Tom Dart, “Child Migrants at Texas border: An Immigration Crisis That’s Hardly New,” The Guardian (U.K.), July 9, 2014,
    86. Anti-Defamation League, “Michigan Anti-Immigrant Activist Behind Central American Child Protest,”July 9, 2014,; “Protesters Carry AR Rifles, Flags in March against Central American Teens coming to Vassar,” MLive, July 15, 2014,; Michael Martinez, “Growing Protests over Where to Shelter Immigrant Children Hits Arizona,” CNN, July 16, 2014,
    87. Marty Graham, “Anti-Immigration Protesters Block Undocumented Migrants in California,” Reuters, July 1, 2014,
    88. Marty Graham, “Anti-Immigration Protesters Block Undocumented Migrants in California,” Reuters, July 1, 2014,
    89. “More than half of the nation’s governors say Syrian refugees not welcome,” by Ashley Grantz and Ben Brumfield, CNN, November 19, 2015,
    90. “Transcript of Donald Trump’s Immigration Speech,” New York Times, September 1, 2016,
    91. Federal Bureau of Investigation,“Hate Crime Statistics, 2016,”; Federal Bureau of Investigation,“Hate Crime Statistics, 2015,”; Federal Bureau of Investigation,“Hate Crime Statistics, 2014,”
    92. “Three Kansas Men Found Guilty Of Bomb Plot Targeting Somali Muslim Immigrants,” NPR, April 18, 2018,; “Mosque Bombing Plot Rattles Immigrants In Kansas’ ‘Meat Triangle,’” NPR, March 20, 2018,
    93. Ryan Lucas, “FBI Data Shows the Number of Hate Crimes are Rising,” NPR, November 13, 2017,
    94. U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Hate Crime Victimization, 2004-2015 (June 2017), p. 1,
    95. Federal Bureau of Investigation,  “FBI Releases 2016 Hate Crime Statistics,” Summary, (November 13, 2017)
    96. U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics,  Hate Crime Victimization, 2004-2015 (June 2017), p. 1,
    97. U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics,  Hate Crime Victimization, 2004-2015 (June 2017), p. 1,
    98. U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics,  Hate Crime Victimization, 2004-2015 (June 2017), pp. 1, 11,
    99. Radha Modi, Communities on Fire: Confronting Hate Violence and Xenophobic Political Rhetoric (South Asian Americans Leading Together, 2018),
    100. Report to the Nation: Hate Crimes Rise in U.S. Cities and Counties in Time of Division & Foreign Interference (Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism at California State University in San Bernardino, May 2018), p. 3,
    101. Chris Fuchs, “Kansas Man Sentenced to 50 Years Without Parole in Alleged Hate Crime Killing,” CBS News, May 4, 2018,; “Olathe, Kansas, Shooting Suspect ‘Said He Killed Iranians,’” BBC, February 28, 2017,
    102. The White House, Executive Order: Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States, January 25, 2017,
    103. The White House, Executive Order: Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements, January 25, 2017,
    104. The White House, Executive Order Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States, January 27, 2017,
    105. Nicole Acevedo, “‘Are You a Citizen?’ Man Berates, Harasses Young Woman Wearing Puerto Rico Shirt,” NBC News, July 10, 2018,
    106. Phil Helsel, “Man Seen in Video Harassing Woman in Puerto Rico Shirt Charged with Hate Crime,” NBC News,July 12, 2018,
    107. Maria Perez, “Black Man Wearing MAGA Hat Who Allegedly Pushed Immigrant Onto Subway Tracks Charged With Hate Crime,” Newsweek, May 31, 2018,
    108. Deanna Paul & Lindsey Bever, “Woman Arrested in Assault of 91-Year-Old Mexican Man Who Was Told to ‘Go Back to Your Country,’” Washington Post, July 11, 2018,
    109. Casey Joyce Musgrave, “Just so everyone knows…” August 3, 2018, 3:58pm, Facebook post,
    110. Sarah Mervosh and Melissa Gomez, “Sikh Man Attacked in Hate Crime: ‘My Turban Really Saved Me,’” New York Times, April 6, 2018,
    111. Adeel Hassan, “Police May Seek Hate Crime Charge in Attack on Latino Mayor,” New York Times, July 24, 2018,
    112. P.R. Lockhart, “A White Lawyer Threatened to Call ICE on Spanish-Speaking Restaurant Workers. Twitter is Tearing Him Apart,” Vox, May 17, 2018,
    113. Aaron Schlossberg Law, “Aaron M. Schlossberg,”
    114. Benjamin Fearnow, “White Woman Arrested After Racist Rant Using N-Word, ‘Illegal Immigrants,’ Deportation Threats,” Newsweek, July 5, 2018,
    115. Jenni Fink, “Bus Rider Mocks Muslim Woman’s Accent, Says ICE is Coming in Latest Racist Rant: ‘You Can’t Even Speak English,” Newsweek, July 12, 2018,
    116. Mary Troyan, Jeff Sessions, a Deficit Hawk, May Need to Spend Big on Immigration, USA Today (Dec. 6, 2016),
    117. Carolyn Lochhead, Republicans Hardening Stance on Immigration, San Francisco Gate (Aug. 4, 2007),
    118. Jeff Sessions, Immigration Handbook for the New Republican Majority (Jan. 2015),
    119. Louis Jacobson, Fact-checking the Claims About ‘Anchor Babies’ and Whether Illegal Immigrants ‘Drop and Leave,’ Politifact (Aug. 6, 2010),
    120. Devin Dwyer and Jonathan Karl, Republicans Eye Change to Birthright Citizenship, ABC News (Aug. 3, 2010),
    121. Jennifer Jacobs and Steven T Dennis, Trump Names Senator Jeff Sessions to Be His Attorney General, Bloomberg Politics (Nov. 18, 2016),
    122. Roy Beck, “New No. 2 on Senate Judiciary Has An Impressive Sensitivity for the Struggling U.S. Worker,” Numbers USA, May 5, 2009,
    123. FAIR Immigration Report, November 2007,
    124. Vivian Yee and Rebecca R. Ruiz, “Sessions Once Again Threatens Sanctuary Cities,” New York Times, July 26, 2017,
    125. 2015 Katz Award Ceremony Transcript, Center for Immigration Studies, May 31, 2015,
    126. FAIR (@FAIRImmigration), December 14, 2016, 1:07pm, Tweet. [“BREAKING NEWS: Stephen Miller Appointed Senior Policy Advisor by @realDonaldTrump. Learn why he is a good fit:”]; “Stephen Miller Fantastic Pick for White House Role,” FAIRfederation podcast, n.d.,
    127. See examples in Michelle Ye Hee Lee, “Stephen Miller’s Claim that 72 from Banned Countries Were Implicated in ‘Terroristic Activity’,” Washington Post, February 13, 2017,; Philip Bump, “A Reporter Pressed the White House for Data. That’s When Things Got Tense,” Washington Post, August 2, 2017,
    128. “Read the full transcript of Wednesday’s press briefing,” The Boston Globe, August 2, 2017,
    129. Fernando Peinado, “Man of the moment: Mark Krikorian, the influential immigration hawk of the Trump era,” UnivisionNews, August 5, 2017,
    130. Dan Merica and Tal Kopan, “Call between Stephen Miller and Immigration Conservatives Gets Testy,” CNN Politics, January 25, 2018,
    131. “Hard-line anti-illegal immigration advocates hired at 2 federal agencies,” Maria Santana, CNN, April 12, 2017,
    132. Rosie Gray, “Emails Link Former Homeland Security Official to White Nationalists,” The Atlantic, August 28, 2018,
    133. Jon Feere, “The Boston Marathon Bombing, Assimilation, and Amnesty,” Center for Immigration Studies, April 15, 2014,
    134. Anti-Defamation League, “Anti-Semite John Friend Interviews Center for Immigration Fellow on His Radio Show,” December 24, 2013,
    135. @JonFeere tweet:
    136. Anti-Defamation League, “ACT for America,”
    137. Erik Anderson, “Trump Boosters Rally Near The Border For President’s First San Diego Visit,” KPBS, March 13, 2018,; Anti-Defamation League, “Identity Evropa,” SDSB claims that rally attendance was about twice as high as portrayed by other sources. San Diegans for Secure Borders, “Thank you to everyone…” Facebook post, March 13, 2018, 10:03pm,
    138. It appears that politicians are attending extreme-right demonstrations less frequently in the post-Charlottesville period. In the past, high-profile figures like Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz spoke at these rallies. For example, in July 2013, Sessions (then a U.S. senator) and Cruz, along with Representatives Mo Brooks (R.-Ala.) and Steve King (R.-Iowa), spoke at the “DC March for Jobs” rally against an immigration reform bill. The rally was organized by the Black American Leadership Alliance (BALA), an anti-immigration advocacy organization now known as the African American Leadership Council (AALC), and largely seen as a FAIR front group. Anti-Defamation League, “Anti-Immigrant Front Groups Used in Fight Against Immigration Reform,” May 3, 2013,; Emily Stanton, “Black Group Rallies Against Immigration Bill,” U.S. News & World Report, July 15, 2013,
    139. Kurtis Lee and Jenny Jarvie, “Anti-Sharia Rallies around the U.S. Denounce Islam while Stoking Concerns among Muslim Groups,” Los Angeles Times, June 10, 2017,
    140. Carla Herraria, “Georgia State Senator Under Fire for Photo with Armed Anti-Government Militia,” Huffington Post, June 11, 2017,
    141. “Michael Williams: Deportation Bus,” Washington Post, May 16, 2018,
    142. Richard Elliot (@RElliotWSB), May 15, 2018, 12:02pm, Tweet; “Michael Williams: Deportation Bus,” Washington Post, May 16, 2018,
    143. “Video: 2018 VA GOP U.S. Senate Candidate, Anti-Immigrant Extremist Corey Stewart, Calls for Arrest of Fairfax County Sheriff for Supposedly Not Cooperating with ICE,” April 9, 2018,
    144. Anti-Defamation League, “Extremism and Intolerance Are on the Ballot in 2018,” September 2018,,
    145. Anti-Defamation League, “Extremism and Intolerance Are on the Ballot in 2018, “ September 2018,,
    146. Liam Stack, “Denounced by His Party as a Nazi, Arthur Jones Wins Illinois G.O.P. Congressional Primary,” New York Times, May 20, 2018,
    147. Art Jones for Congressman,
    148. Luke Nozicka, “Dems call on Reynolds to disassociate from King after 'Diversity is not our strength' tweet,” Des Moines Register, December 8, 2017,
    149. Matthew Haag, “Steve King Says Civilization Can’t Be Restored With ‘Somebody Else’s Babies’,” New York Times, March 12, 2017,
    150. Elspeth Reeve, “Steve King Wants to Protect the Border from Cantaloupe-Sized Calves,” The Atlantic, Jukl 23, 2013,
    151. For a list of CIS Congressional testimonies, see
    152. “Steven A. Camarota,” Center for Immigration Studies, n.d.,
    153.   Jessica M. Vaughan, “The Effect of Sanctuary City Policies on the Ability to Combat the Opioid Epidemic,” testimony before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security, February 15, 2018,
    154. Federation for Immigration Reform, “FAIR Staff,” n.d.,
    155. Dan Stein, “Hearing on S. 952, the DREAM Act of 2011,” testimony before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee, June 28, 2011,
    156. Maria Espinoza, “The Border Wall: Strengthening Our National Security,” before the House Oversight Subcommittee on National Security, April 27, 2017,
    157. Carly Goodman, “The shadowy network shaping Trump's anti-immigration policies,” Washington Post , September 27,
    158. “Oregon Measure 105, Repeal Sanctuary State Law Initiative (2018),” Ballotpedia,,_Repeal_Sanctuary_State_Law_Initiative_(2018)
    159. Christopher Gavin, “MetroWest, Milford area people testify on Beacon Hill about ‘Safe Communities Act,’” The Milford Daily News, June 9, 2017,
    160. FAIR (@FAIRImmigration), November 14, 2017, 9:00am tweet,
    161. NumbersUSA (@NumbersUSA), December 27, 2017, 12:26pm tweet,
    162. NumbersUSA (@NumbersUSA), December 28, 2017, 7:36am tweet,
    163. Ali Breland, “Ted Cruz, Twitter spar over immigration tweets from right-wing think tank,” The Hill, 9/13/18,
    164. Joe Otterson, “Cable News Ratings: ‘Ingraham Angle’ Has Best Month to Date, MSNBC Grows in Total Viewers”, Variety, July 3, 2018,
    165. Joe Otterson, “Cable News Ratings: ‘Ingraham Angle’ Has Best Month to Date, MSNBC Grows in Total Viewers”, Variety, July 3, 2018,
    166. Tucker Carlson Tonight, November 13, 2017,
    167. Eric Levenson and Shachar Peled, “Rape Charge Dropped Against Undocumented Maryland Student,” CNN, May 5, 2017,
    168. Dan Morse, “The ‘Rockville Rape Case’ Erupted as National News. It Quietly Ended Friday,” Washington Post, October 21, 2017,
    169. Tucker Carlson Tonight, March 23, 2017,
    170. Tucker Carlson Tonight, March 23, 2017,
    171. The Ingraham Angle, April 26, 2018,
    172. The Ingraham Angle, April 26, 2018,
    173. Fox & Friends, May 11, 2018,
    174. Fox & Friends, May 11, 2018,
    175. Fox & Friends, January 14, 2018: “the cost of illegal immigration”
    176. Hannity, April 2, 2018,
    177. The Great Debate, January 13, 2018,; New Day, August 2, 2017,
    178. Anti-Defamation League, “White Supremacist Propaganda Nearly Doubles on Campus in 2017-18 Academic Year,  2018,
    179. Anti-Defamation League, “New White Supremacist Tactic: Banners of Hate,” Anti-Defamation League, March 14, 2018,
    180. Anti-Defamation League, “New White Supremacist Tactic: Banners of Hate,”, March 14, 2018,
    181. Anti-Defamation League, “The Road to Power: Idaho Outfit Behind Rash of Racist, Anti-Semitic Robocalls,” September 17, 2018,
    182. Gavin McInnes, “Suffer the Children,” Get Off My Lawn podcast, June 19, 2018,
    183. Erik Kolsrud, “Sierra Vista Man in Long Fight with Border Crossers, U.S. Government,” Arizona Capital Times, October 27, 2017,
    184. American Border Patrol, “Mexico Coming Apart...” March 8, 2011, Facebook post,
    185. American Border Patrol, “Time for Reality: People Want Border Protected,” May 25, 2010,; American Border Patrol,“#BorderSecurity…Facebook post, July 2, 2013,
    186. Quoted in David Weigel, “The Fence Junkies,” Slate, May 6, 2013,