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John Tanton

John Tanton

Tanton’s network of groups is funded by a handful of wealthy donors who share his ideological views and his goal of preventing non-white immigrants from entering the U.S. From 2006-2015 the Colcom Foundation, Fred Stanback who is a donor to Foundation for the Carolinas, the Weeden, Armstrong and Sidney A. Swensrud Foundations have given these groups nearly $100M in financial contributions. Although the Pioneer Fund has since been disbanded the Wall Street Journal reported that FAIR “has received more than $1.5 million from the Pioneer Fund, a white-supremacist outfit devoted to racial purity through eugenics."

White nationalist John Tanton was the architect of the organized anti-immigrant movement we see today. Tanton helped to found and fund a number of key anti-immigrant groups, with the explicit purpose of working to maintain America’s white demographic majority.

The modern day anti-immigrant movement began in 1979, when white nationalist and eugenics proponent John Tanton founded the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). The movement took shape in subsequent years as Tanton either founded or help to found multiple other organizations, most notably the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) in 1985 and NumbersUSA in 1996, to advance his goal of maintaining the United States’s white majority via immigration reductions. Today, these three Washington, D.C.-based organizations are the country’s most influential advocates of anti-immigrant policies, frequently and disingenuously manipulating data in order to present immigration in a negative light. Their efforts are aided by other organizations Tanton assisted in founding, including FAIR’s legal arm, the Immigration Reform Law Institute, and U.S. Inc., Tanton’s philanthropic foundation–which have sought to implement nativist policies at the state and local level through litigation and support for other anti-immigrant groups.

Tanton once wrote, “I’ve come to the point of view that for European-American society and culture to persist requires a European-American majority, and a clear one at that” and authored a paper titled “The Case for Passive Eugenics.” His influence on the groups he established is significant and remains today. Tellingly, the current leadership of FAIR, CIS, and NumbersUSA is reluctant to disavow Tanton and his extremism. In July 2017, FAIR Executive Director Bob Dane plainly accepted Tanton’s stated goal of preserving a white majority. “For many, the question of whether a country loses its majority status is a fair question,” Dane told the Standard-Times. “It’s a legitimate policy question for a lot of folks.”

Other principals at these Tanton-founded organizations, including FAIR President Dan Stein, CIS Executive Director Mark Krikorian, NumbersUSA President Roy Beck and former counsel to IRLI Kris Kobach have similarly minimized Tanton’s extremism and its influence on the policy goals of draconian enforcement and immigration limits that they maintain today. These extremist organizations maintain strong working relationships with members of Congress and law enforcement officials that have been cultivated over decades. They have also gained an unprecedented amount of power and influence in the Trump Administration.

 

The Scaife Family: Colcom and Sarah Scaife Foundations

A number of foundations connected to the Scaife Family, including the Colcom Foundation and the Sarah Scaife Foundation, are major contributors to the anti-immigrant lobby in the U.S., with the Pittsburgh-based Colcom foundation being the largest single funder. Between 2006 and 2016, Colcom donated over $120 million to anti-immigrant groups. Between 2006 and 2017, the Sarah Scaife Foundation donated almost $4 million to these groups.

The Colcom, Sarah Scaife, Scaife Family, and Carthage Foundations are based in Pittsburgh, PA and were founded, funded, and run by the late Richard Mellon Scaife, his sister Cordelia Scaife May, and their family members. Scaife and May were the heir and heiress to their parents’ Mellon banking, oil, and aluminum fortune.

In 2014, The Carthage Foundation merged with the Sarah Scaife Foundation.

Founded in 1996 by Cordelia Scaife May, the Colcom Foundation is the largest funder of anti-immigrant groups in the U.S.

Tanton was a friend of the late Cordelia Scaife May, whose Colcom Foundation, which says it wants to roll back America’s “ever-increasing population,” continues to fund many of Tanton’s groups. Before May died, Colcom gave more than $200,000 to the white supremacist writer Samuel Francis, who opposed halting “all efforts to mix the races of mankind.”

Additionally, she left more than $400 million to her Foundation to promote “sustainable” immigration that wouldn’t “overwhelm the environment.”

Colcom’s current vice president of philanthropy, John Rohe, worked in the 1990s and early 2000s at Tanton’s U.S. Inc. In 2002, FAIR republished Rohe’s biography of Tanton and his wife, Mary Lou & John Tanton: A Journey into American Conservation. In July 2019, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that Colcom’s contributions to anti-immigrant organizations had increased during the Trump Administration.

After Sarah Scaife’s passing in 1965, her son, Richard, took over her foundation. Under his watch, the Sarah Scaife Foundation has used its nearly $700 million endowment to fund various white nationalist and nativist causes.

Upon Richard Scaife’s passing in 2014, Breitbart published an op-ed authored by the Center for Security Policy’s Frank Gaffney praising Scaife as a “founding father [who] built the modern American conservative movement.”

Foundation for the Carolinas

Financial Contributions to anti-immigration causes 2006-2015

$16.8M

 

The Foundation For The Carolinas has for decades given to causes ostensibly “dedicated to the collective strength of communities.” However, because the FFTC is donor-advised, one of its largest donors, Fred Stanback Jr., has had a disproportionate voice in funding anti-immigrant groups and promoting Stanback’s alarming views, including his belief in the sterilization of non-white women and barring immigrants to the U.S. based on race.

Stanback, who is an heir to the headache-powder fortune, is one of North Carolina’s biggest donors to environmental causes.

And has funded an internship program in his name at Duke University since 1995. For 15 years, Stanback placed students in internships at FAIR, CIS and NumbersUSA, until Duke pulled the groups from the program in 2014 after a report from Indy Week.

A friend of John Tanton’s, Stanback admired the virulently racist novel The Camp of the Saints, and once purchased $5,000 worth of copies of the book to distribute.

 

 

 

The Weeden Foundation

Created in 1963 by the late Frank Weeden, The Weeden Foundation provides grants “used to address the adverse impact of growing human populations and overuse of natural resources on the biological fabric of the planet.”

 The Weeden Foundation’s objective in funding anti-immigrant organizations is to create enough anti-immigrant sentiment among the leadership of the environmental movement to steer the movement toward policies fueled by bigotry and racism. Between 2006 and 2015, the Weeden foundation combined with individual donations from Weeden family members has donated just over $2 million to anti-immigrant groups.

The Weeden Foundation’s objective in funding these organizations is to create enough anti-immigrant sentiment among the leadership of the environmental movement to steer the movement toward policies fueled by bigotry and racism.

The leadership of the Foundation is not content merely to fund these organizations, but they seek to hold high-level leadership positions as well. For example, current Weeden Foundation Executive Director Don Weeden also serves as the treasurer for NumbersUSA.

Don Weeden believes that limiting immigration to the U.S., along with curtailing population growth, is a key to conserving natural habitats and species: “We recognize that 80 percent of population growth is due to our immigration policies… Do we want to grow to a country of 600 million, doubling our population by the end of the century? I think environmentally, no we don’t.”

Additionally, Alan Weeden, the father of Don Weeden, serves not only on the Board of Directors of the Weeden Foundation, but also on the Board of Advisors for FAIR, and Jon D. Weeden, a board director for the Weeden Foundation, serves on the advisory board at CAPS.

During the early 1990s, the foundation made at least one donation to FAIR at the same time that FAIR was still accepting funds from the white supremacist, pro-eugenics Pioneer Fund.

Alan Weeden was also one of the FAIR board members who met with Pioneer Fund’s then-President Harry Weyher in 1997 — three years after FAIR had ceased taking Pioneer Fund money — to discuss fundraising for FAIR.

Armstrong Foundation

The Judge Armstrong Foundation continued to promote Armstrong’s racist views after his death by contributing over a hundred thousand dollars to anti-immigrant organizations.

Founded in 1949 by Judge George W. Armstrong

George Armstrong was a KKK supporter and close ally who rose to prominence in 1949.

Sidney A. Swensrud Foundation

Financial Contributions to anti-immigration causes 2006-2015

$1.3M

Founded by oil tycoon Sidney A. Swensrud in 1959 in Boston, Massachusetts. Swensrud became interested in immigration restriction at a young age and as a result, Swensrud funded a number of anti-immigration groups over the years through his foundation, including Tanton’s U.S. Inc. Between 2006 and 2017, the Carthage Foundation has donated over $3.2 million to the anti-immigrant movement.

Swensrud, who became interested in immigration restriction at a young age, and once authored a paper about the “danger of world overpopulation” after reading works by Thomas Robert Malthus, the English economist who produced the Malthusian Theory of Population.

As a result, Swensrud funded a number of anti-immigration groups over the years through his foundation, including Tanton’s U.S. Inc.

U.S. Inc. lauds the late Swensrud, who served on FAIR’s board of directors, as a hero, saying that the population control advocate helped steer the group “through an early and near-fatal financial crisis,” and helped “re-establish control over the demographic destiny in the U.S.”

From 1987 to 1988, Swendsrud served as chairman of FAIR’s board, and is credited with making “critical policy decisions.”

His family is still involved in funding and advising anti-immigrant work, and his son S. Blake Swensrud II sits on FAIR’s board of directors while his granddaughter Nancy Swensrud Anthony, along with Dozier Gardner, serve as Trustees to his foundation.

Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)

In addition to providing the policy framework and being strident supporters of the Trump Administration’s draconian immigration policies such as family separation, and attacks on DACA and TPS, many of FAIR’s former staffers have moved into key positions in government agencies such as USCIS - where they wield considerable influence and help to execute said policies. In the organization’s Immigration Priorities for the 2017 Presidential Transition, the group called upon the incoming Trump administration to “immediately revoke the orders authorizing the DACA, DACA+ and DAPA.” After DACA's rescission, FAIR spent over a million dollars torpedoing bipartisan DACA legislation through lobbying efforts, paid media, and misleading communications targeting family-based immigration.

What is FAIR and what do they do?

  • Tanton founded FAIR in 1979 in Washington, D.C.
  • The group advocates for harsh anti-immigrant policies across the country, including encouraging mass roundups of the undocumented, radical cuts to overall legal immigration numbers, ending birthright citizenship, enacting religious tests on would-be immigrants and refugees, and preventing the entry of individuals who do not meet their racial preference.
  • FAIR’s work advances deeply racist legislation that maligns communities of color, both immigrant and native-born and its self-described mission is to “reduce overall immigration… [including] legal immigration levels from well over one million presently to 300,000 a year… to manage growth, address environmental concerns.”
  • FAIR’s executive director Bob Dane recently refused to disavow Tanton’s infamous quote on maintaining a “European-American majority.” Dane said, “For many, the question of whether a country loses its majority status is a fair question. France, for example, is “probably wondering whether it is still going to be a French country” with all the people crossing the border.
  • FAIR President Dan Stein, who recently told the New York Times that Americans would “be perfectly fine if we didn’t have another immigrant for 50 years,” shares Tanton’s extreme views on immigration:
    • In a statement marking the 50th anniversary of the Immigration Act of 1965, Stein lamented the increase of America’s immigrant population: “Mass immigration is radically transforming our nation without any identifiable public interest that is being served…No one is questioning the potentially catastrophic consequences of a policy under which half the people we admit require public assistance to get by.”
    • In an op-ed for the Daily Caller in March 2016, Stein advocated for “attrition through enforcement,” a policy that has the goal of making life so difficult for undocumented immigrants that they are forced to leave. Stein said, “we should deport illegal aliens when we catch them…Enforcing laws isn’t cheap, but it is the cost of not enforcing our immigration laws that is prohibitively expensive. And, no, our economy would not collapse. It would adjust to the absence of millions of illegal workers just as it adjusted to their large-scale presence.”
    • On CNN, Stein praised President Trump’s executive orders on immigration, saying that the recent deportations were an effort to “reclaim our schools, our hospitals, and our communities once again for the American people.”
    • On then-candidate Donald Trump’s proposal to ban Muslims from entering the United States, Stein said, “as a practical matter …. unless somebody’s got a better idea, sounds like it makes pretty good sense to us.”
    • Stein claimed that late Senator Ted Kennedy’s immigration policies were: “a great way to retaliate against Anglo-Saxon dominance and hubris, and the immigration laws from the 1920s were just this symbol of that, and it’s a form of revengism, or revenge…”
    • Stein supports ending birthright citizenship: “[the current] erroneous interpretation of the 14th Amendment is defeating the operation of U.S. immigration controls.”
    • Stein shares Tanton’s interest in eugenics and once posed the idea of prioritizing reproduction based on IQ score: “Should we be subsidizing people with low IQs to have as many children as possible, and not subsidizing those with high ones?”
    • Stein has consistently derided immigrants as un-American: “Immigrants don’t come all church-loving, freedom-loving, God-fearing,” Stein told The Wall Street Journal. “Many of them hate America; hate everything that the United States stands for. Talk to some of these Central Americans.”
  • Since its founding, FAIR has pushed for measures that go beyond reducing immigration: many FAIR officials have advocated for extreme population control measures, and have even gone as far as pushing for forced sterilization by designing, promoting and distributing “off-label permanent birth control” for women. Tanton, along with FAIR board members Sally Epstein and Donald Collins, contributed funds to the now-defunct Institute for Development Training (IDF), which developed the Quinacrine sterilization method.

How has FAIR Attacked DACA?

  • Lobbying disclosures submitted by FAIR indicate that the nativist group spent thousands of dollars in an effort to derail a bill that would have protected DACA recipients from DHS efforts to use their personal information as a “deportation list.”
  • Following the rescission of DACA, FAIR has drove calls to the offices of House Republicans willing to find a permanent solution for immigrant youth.
  • Former FAIR executive director Julie Kirchner left the group in 2015 to join the Trump campaign and has since been appointed the position of CIS Ombudsman, where she holds considerable power and influence over the Administration’s immigration policy.
  • Since 2001, FAIR has spent over $3.5M in lobbying dollars attacking immigrants including immigrant youth. From 2013 to April 2018, FAIR and NumbersUSA spent more than $8M on paid advertising on radio and television attacking all immigration.
  • FAIR President Dan Stein also serves on the board of IRLI, which helped initiate and draft Crane v. Napolitano, the unsuccessful legal challenge that pitted several ICE agents against DACA and set the stage for United States v. Texas.

How has FAIR Attacked TPS?

  • FAIR’s 2017 Immigration Priorities report for the incoming President suggested drastic cuts to the TPS program, “DHS must issue regulations making illegal aliens ineligible for TPS. The Secretary of Homeland Security must revoke TPS for any country that has received more than two renewals. Future grants on TPS must only occur in limited circumstances.”
  • FAIR’s TPS page on its website calls for the program to be scrapped. “TPS is unnecessary and should be abolished. The law permits the Executive Branch the power to temporarily suspend deportation in emergency situations. That is all that is necessary to cope with foreign humanitarian crises.”
  • In press releases, FAIR lauded the decision to end TPS for Haitians and Hondurans, calling both decisions, “long overdue.”

Center for Immigration Studies (CIS)

CIS’s Executive Director Mark Krikorian recently defended the organization’s circulation of content from the white nationalist and anti-semitic site VDARE by comparing it to the New York Times, and counting it as an “important” site for immigration news. In addition to circulating white nationalist content, CIS publishes the work of its own employees who have advocated for harmful measures such as ending DACA, deporting Dreamers, abolishing TPS and separating children from their parents at the Southern border. CIS’s staffer Andrew Arthur publicly supported the Trump Administration’s policy of separating children from their parents at the Southern border, calling it “absolutely crucial,” and claiming that “there really is no other choice” for the federal government.

What is CIS and what do they do?

  • CIS was founded as a project of FAIR in 1985 to provide legitimacy and lend academic authority to their policy proposals. Its role, as stated by Tanton, was to be “a small think tank [that would] wage the war of ideas” of its parent organization.
  • The group traffics in misinformation and blatant anti-immigrant animus. Over the years, CIS staffers have presented unverifiable anecdotes as established fact,seriously manipulated data to generate misleading evidence in support of their policies, appeared on anti-Semitic radio shows, blamed immigrants for teenage obesity, and have stated that being “hung, drawn and quartered is probably too good” for former U.S. President Barack Obama. Additionally, CIS events have been a safe space for known white nationalists.
  • In May 2017, an analysis by the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Center for New Community revealed CIS had circulated white nationalist content more than 2,000 times in the last decade.
  • The Mark Krikorian led group created the doctrine of “self-deportation,” which argues that laws should be enacted to make life so difficult for immigrants that they are forced to return to their countries of origin. CIS has been so successful in promoting this doctrine that it has appeared in the policy platforms of Senators and GOP presidential candidates. Policies to encourage self-deportation have been found to be unconstitutional and to violate individuals’ civil rights.
  • CIS staff members frequently make harshly anti-immigrant and racist statements:
    • CIS Fellow Dan Cadman called for an expansion of expedited removal due to the “around 11 or 12 million aliens residing and working illegally in the United States.”
    • CIS executive director Mark Krikorian once advocated for religious tests for new immigrants: “Of course people could, and would, lie, but the very fact that such a question is asked would send a message about what we expect of people hoping to live among us.”
    • Krikorian, who frequently makes disparaging statements about immigrants and communities of color, once said that Mexico’s “weakness and backwardness has been deeply harmful to the United States.”
    • Stephen Steinlight, a Senior Policy Analyst at CIS, stated publicly that he believed that being “hung, drawn and quartered is probably too good” for then President Obama. Steinlight still works for CIS and is a frequent spokesperson for the organization.
    • Beginning in January 2016, CIS began publishing reports and blogs authored by discredited policy analyst Jason Richwine. In 2013, Richwine resigned from The Heritage Foundation following revelations that his Harvard dissertation included racist appeals to limit immigration based on IQ.

How has CIS Attacked DACA?

  • In 2010, CIS’s Mark Krikorian wrote in the National Review that the only iteration of the DREAM Act he could support would come with cuts to legal immigration and heavy enforcement measures as part of the bill.
  • In a major policy paper published in April 2016 entitled A Pen and a Phone: 79 Immigration Actions the Next President Can Take, CIS calls for the next President to allow the courts to rule on the constitutionality of DACA with the goal of ending the program once and for all. The group also proposes using DACA application data for enforcement actions. In a ‘Giving Tuesday’ blog post, Krikorian confirmed that the Trump Administration’s harsh immigration principles were developed with the help of this very report.
  • As early as 2010, before DACA, CIS was public in its demands to trade legal status for Dreamers in exchange for harsh attrition through enforcement measures and slashes to legal immigration. Since DACA’s recission CIS has worked to derail all bipartisan efforts to provide legal protections for Dreamers. The group has even sued USCIS for DACA application data; which the U.S government committed to keeping separate from enforcement activities.
  • On August 5th, Univision reported that Krikorian helped Senators Cotton and Perdue draft the RAISE Act, a bill to slash immigration numbers by half.
  • On September 27, 2017, CIS published a new report entitled Immigration Multipliers: Trends in Chain Migration. The report was authored by CIS’s Director of Policy Studies, Jessica Vaughan. In a statement, Vaughan used the report to smear the DACA program and engage in fear mongering about population growth, suggesting that twice as many relatives would receive green cards within 20 years.
  • On October 3rd, 2017, CIS’s Director of Policy Studies Jessica Vaughan testified at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on DACA in which she continued to advocate for severely restrictionist policies in exchange for a legislative solution for immigrant youth.
  • On December 4, 2017 CIS hosted a panel discussion on the report. The event took place at the National Press Club. Panel participants included Vaughan, as well as RAISE Act co-sponsor Sen. David Perdue (R-GA).

How Has CIS Attacked TPS?

    • In a 2019 blog on the prospect of the Trump Administration granting TPS to Venezuelans, CIS fellow Dan Cadman wrote, “Failing that, why would this administration shoot itself and all future administrations in the foot by creating one more special program for aliens who, instead of being thankful a few years up the road for having been given respite and succor, instead take to the streets like so many others have to demand the “right” to remain forever?”
    • A 2018 Cadman blog again ridiculed the program, “Every time something happens in some far-away place in the future, and advocacy groups (or interested state attorneys general) urge the president to exercise his discretion and grant TPS, he is going to remember the incontestable fact that, if he does, it will sit like an albatross around his neck for years to come — precisely because of the litigious-minded zealots who always rabble rouse in favor of grants of discretion, but then argue that it is abuse of discretion when such programs are put to bed. Why would any president want that?”
    • In 2018, CIS fellow David North called for a termination of TPS but argued those immigrants returning to their homeland should be paid small grants. North wrote, “I am all for the termination of Temporary Protected Status for various populations, such as those from Central America, but suggest that we create a silver parachute for the returnees, not only to ease their return, but to soften the terms of the debate.” North concluded that providing financial incentives, “would make selling the termination of TPS that much easier.”  

 

NumbersUSA

Ending DACA is a priority for NumbersUSA. According to disclosure paperwork filed in 2017, the group has lobbied Congress to do just that.  Roy Beck, the executive director of NumbersUSA, has publicly supported the Paxton-led strategy to sue the Trump administration over DACA, saying that Paxton was “providing a way for Pres. Trump” to “stop this DACA program.”

What is NumbersUSA and what do they do?

  • Roy Beck founded NumbersUSA in 1996. Initially, the organization operated as as a program of Tanton’s foundation U.S. Inc.
  • NumbersUSA is an extremist anti-immigrant group with ties to white nationalism that advocates for harsh attrition through enforcement policies. The group fosters anti-immigrant sentiment to mobilize its grassroots base for political action.
  • NumbersUSA directs thousands of calls and emails to members of Congress to kill legislation, influence primaries in support of white nationalist and nativist candidates, and attempts to shift the national conversation around immigration to the right in concert with other members of the organized anti-immigrant movement.
  • NumbersUSA has become deeply influential among lawmakers at the highest levels of the U.S. government. It has driven the introduction of anti-immigrant legislation that has, in turn, helped NumbersUSA catalyze additional anti-immigrant organizing.
  • Beck, the group’s executive director and Tanton’s “heir apparent,” previously stated that “the aim should be to halt all immigration possible.”

How has NumbersUSA Attacked DACA?

  • Following DACA’s rescission, NumbersUSA spent millions of dollars torpedoing bipartisan legislation through lobbying efforts, grassroots campaigns, paid media, and misleading communications targeting family-based immigration.
  • Since 2001, NumbersUSA has spent over $7M in lobbying dollars attacking immigrants including immigrant youth. From 2013 to April 2018, NumbersUSA and FAIR spent more than $8M on paid advertising attacking all immigration.
  • According to lobbying disclosure paperwork filed in 2017, NumbersUSA lobbied the 115th Congress on “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.”
  • NumbersUSA has used its grassroots network to drive calls and write letters to lawmakers under both the Obama and Trump Administrations, urging representatives to support policies and amendments attached to must-pass bills in the House offered by anti-immigrant Representatives like Steve King, Mo Brooks, Paul Gosar and former Rep. and current Sen. Marsha Blackburn. Amendments and other policy proposals have ranged from removing work authorization from DACA recipients to forbidding undocumented youth from serving in the military, rescinding the program altogether, and deporting DACA recipients.
  • In August 2016, NumbersUSA shared a 10-point immigration plan with the Trump campaign. Of the 10 points, six were echoed by Trump in a major immigration speech in the same month.
  • Although NumbersUSA has been publicly supportive of President Trump’s executive orders on immigration, the group expressed their dismay at the Administration’s decision to keep the 2012 DACA program in place before September 5, 2017.
  • Roy Beck, the executive director of NumbersUSA, has publicly supported the strategy led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton to sue the Trump administration over DACA including in a NumbersUSA newsletter on July 28, 2017, in which he praised the “Paxton ultimatum”: “Ken Paxton is providing a way for Pres. Trump to finally honor his campaign promises to stop this DACA program for perhaps a million young adult illegal aliens to gain work permits. The Paxton ultimatum gives the President an excuse to reject the advice of his pro-amnesty advisors and to stop issuing work permits that he said as a candidate are unconstitutional.”
  • In 2012, IRLI’s then counsel Kris Kobach helped initiate and draft anti-immigrant lawsuits like Crane v. Napolitano, the suit that pitted ICE against President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and set the stage for United States v. Texas.
  • The same day Kris Kobach filed the lawsuit on behalf of the 10 Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents, NumbersUSA announced that it would financially support the legal effort against DACA. In a blog post that reads more as a fundraising appeal than an announcement, NumbersUSA Founder and President Roy Beck said the ICE agents’ legal team would be “funded entirely by NumbersUSA member contributions.”

Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI)

As an integral part of the organized anti-immigrant movement, IRLI is behind the legal strategies attacking DACA recipients, including Crane v. Napolitano, U.S. v. Texas, and Brewer v. ADAC. In recent years, IRLI lawyers have brought several cases to the highest levels of the United States court system. Kris Kobach, former IRLI counsel and Kansas Secretary of State, has implemented anti-immigrant ordinances that have largely been overturned in lawsuits that have cost municipalities millions of dollars. On the eve of President Obama’s announcement of the orders pertaining to DACA+ and DAPA, the Washington Post reported that Kobach had already begun drafting the lawsuit which served as the basis for U.S. v. Texas and the current legal threats DACA now faces.

 

What is IRLI and what do they do?

  • IRLI was founded in 1986 by John Tanton.
  • As an integral part of the organized anti-immigrant movement, IRLI, the Tanton network’s litigation arm, has been the primary powerhouse behind most anti-immigrant legislation in localities across the country.
  • In recent years, IRLI lawyers have brought several cases to the highest levels of the United States court system. Three cases, masterminded by former IRLI counsel and current Kansas Secretary of State, Kris Kobach, have been largely unsuccessful and have cost municipalities millions of dollars.
  • Despite these failures, IRLI and its attorneys have become a regular presence in the country’s most prominent immigration-related cases.
  • In addition to taking on legal battles, IRLI staff also draft legislation and work with lawmakers to flood state legislative dockets with anti-immigrant bills. The most recognizable example is Arizona’s infamous SB 1070, which Kobach co-authored.
  • IRLI Counsel and former staff attorney for FAIR Michael Hethmon calls the harsh attrition through enforcement measures drafted and defended by the group “field tests”—experiments to test the legality of different anti-immigrant policies.
  • Several of these initiatives have bankrupted local economies and left taxpayers on the hook for massive legal tabs, much of which is ultimately paid to Kobach himself, who offers up his legal services when the measures he authored are taken to court.
  • Several other IRLI staffers and board members are employed or have been previously employed by other Tanton groups, such as FAIR President Dan Stein, who serves on IRLI’s board of directors.

How has IRLI Attacked DACA?

  • CNC’s report IRLI Beginnings: The Immigration Reform Law Institute and the Anti-Immigrant Origins of United States v. Texas details IRLI’s role in key legal battles on immigration policy over the last decade, and its work to pave the way for the United States v. Texas case. In light of the Paxton-led letter threatening to amend this lawsuit if DACA is not terminated we have included relevant excerpts from the report below:
    • IRLI’s former counsel Kris Kobach has helped initiate and draft anti-immigrant lawsuits like Crane v. Napolitano, the suit that pitted ICE against President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and set the stage for United States v. Texas.
    • Crane v. Napolitano came as a response DACA and was filed on August 23, 2012, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, on behalf of 10 Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents. Chris Crane, president of the National ICE Council union, served as lead plaintiff and spokesperson for the ICE agents involved in the case.
    • That same day, NumbersUSA announced that it would financially support the legal effort against DACA. In a blog post that reads more as a fundraising appeal than an announcement, NumbersUSA Founder and President Roy Beck said the ICE agents’ legal team would be “funded entirely by NumbersUSA member contributions.” Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant announced his state would join Kobach and NumbersUSA’s lawsuit on October 10, 2012.
    • Anti-immigrant leaders once again attempted to use individual states as plaintiffs against former President Obama’s deportation relief programs, as Kobach attempted with Mississippi in Crane, in United States v. Texas.
    • On November 22, 2014, two days after President Obama’s announcement, The Washington Post reported that Kobach has already begun drafting a lawsuit.
  • Estrada v. Becker: On November 15, 2017 IRLI filed a brief in support of the “right of the University of Georgia system to deny admission to illegal aliens whose deportation has been deferred under the former Obama Administration’s controversial DACA program.”
  • U.S. v. Texas: IRLI and FAIR filed a joint amicus brief in support of Texas at the U.S. Supreme Court on August 4, 2016.
  • Brewer v. ADAC: IRLI has filed several briefs in support of Arizona in Brewer v. ADAC, currently a pending petition at the U.S. Supreme Court, which has invited the Acting Solicitor General to weigh in on behalf of the United States. Previous litigation in this case centered around the state’s right to issue driver’s licenses with a narrowly defined question regarding the President’s authority to administer immigration policy. Now the petition to the U.S. Supreme Court focuses on the constitutionality of DACA.

How Has IRLI Attacked TPS

      • In a 2019 interview with USA Today, IRLI’s director of litigation, Chris Hajec urged President Trump to continue his onslaught on programs such as TPS, despite blocks being imposed by federal judges. “They can’t become timid because of these activist courts. They just have to fight it out.”
      • In a 2016 op-ed for The Hill, IRLI head Dale Wilcox wrote, “And more fundamentally, why are temporarily present aliens bringing their kids (and now their kids’ “caregivers”) into the country in the first place? Under TPS, once the problem in their home countries subsists, they’re supposed to return home.”
      • In a 2017 interview with Breitbart, Dale Wilcox, IRLI’s executive director started, “TPS is a perfect example of an open-borders program getting expanded and manipulated until it no longer correlates with Congress’s original intent. It originally applied only to El Salvador, now it applies to about a dozen countries, and DHS consistently renews the grants even when the original problems justifying them have long since subsided.”

Dan Stein

Executive Director of FAIR and Board Director member of IRLI

FAIR President Dan Stein told the New York Times in 2017 that Americans would “be perfectly fine if we didn’t have another immigrant for 50 years.” Many of Stein’s former colleagues at FAIR have moved into positions within the Trump Administration such as Julie Kirchner, and Robert Law. While commenting on FAIR’s new found influence Stein stated that he was “surprised they haven't hired more people out of the stable of our organization.”

About

  • FAIR President Dan Stein, who has been a leading figure in the anti-immigrant movement since the 1980s, was a mentee of Tanton’s and once called him a “Renaissance man.”
  • As leader of the country’s most prominent anti-immigrant organization, Stein has exhibited blatant animus toward immigrants. He has previously lamented that repealing overtly racist immigration laws passed in the 1920s was a “great way to retaliate against Anglo-Saxon dominance” and a form of “revenge.” Stein also noted that repealing these laws “will continue to create chaos down the line.”

Views

  • In 1997, Stein derided immigrants as un-American. “Immigrants don’t come all church-loving, freedom-loving, God-fearing.” Stein told The Wall Street Journal. “Many of them hate America; hate everything that the United States stands for. Talk to some of these Central Americans.”
  • FAIR’s self-described mission is to “reduce overall immigration… [including] legal immigration levels from well over one million presently to 300,000 a year… to manage growth, address environmental concerns.”
  • FAIR President Dan Stein, shares Tanton’s extreme views on immigration:
    • FAIR has stridently supported the Trump Administration’s “zero tolerance” policy and downplayed the severity of family separations. “I think the administration is spot-on. FAIR supports the policy,” Dan Stein said on Fox and Friends last month. Additionally, Stein’s group wrote multiple blog posts supporting the measure.
    • In a statement marking the 50th anniversary of the Immigration Act of 1965, Stein lamented the increase of America’s immigrant population: “Mass immigration is radically transforming our nation without any identifiable public interest that is being served…No one is questioning the potentially catastrophic consequences of a policy under which half the people we admit require public assistance to get by.”
    • In an op-ed for the Daily Caller in March 2016, Stein advocated for “attrition through enforcement,” which has the same goals as mass deportation, saying, “we should deport illegal aliens when we catch them… Enforcing laws isn’t cheap, but it is the cost of not enforcing our immigration laws that is prohibitively expensive. And, no, our economy would not collapse. It would adjust to the absence of millions of illegal workers just as it adjusted to their large-scale presence.”
    • On CNN, Stein praised President Trump’s executive orders on immigration, saying that the recent deportations were an effort to “reclaim our schools, our hospitals, and our communities once again for the American people.”
    • On then-candidate Donald Trump’s proposal to ban Muslims from entering the United States, Stein said, “as a practical matter …. unless somebody’s got a better idea, sounds like it makes pretty good sense to us.”
    • Stein supports ending birthright citizenship: “[the current] erroneous interpretation of the 14th Amendment is defeating the operation of U.S. immigration controls. It is trumping the legislative intent of the statutes, it is rewarding illegal immigration and making the laws unenforceable.”
    • Stein shares Tanton’s interest in eugenics and once posed the idea of prioritizing reproduction based on IQ score: “Should we be subsidizing people with low IQs to have as many children as possible, and not subsidizing those with high ones?”

Attacks on DACA

  • Since 2001, Stein’s group has spent over $3.5M in lobbying dollars attacking immigrants including immigrant youth. From 2013 to April 2018, FAIR and NumbersUSA spent more than $8M on paid advertising attacking all immigration.
  • The FAIR President serves on the board of IRLI, which helped initiate and draft Crane v. Napolitano, the suit that pitted ICE against DACA and set the stage for United States v. Texas.
  • IRLI and FAIR filed a joint amicus brief on behalf of FAIR in support of Texas at the Supreme Court.
  • In a December 2014 op-ed, Stein derided President Obama’s executive actions offering temporary deportation relief to some as an effort “to re-engineer this society” that “will make the nation ungovernable.”
  • FAIR repeatedly lashed out at President Trump for having kept DACA in place, calling it “an illegal executive overreach.”
  • In FAIR’s Immigration Priorities for the 2017 Presidential Transition paper published in November 2016, the group called for Trump to “immediately revoke the orders authorizing the DACA, DACA+ and DAPA schemes; and revoke all work, identity, and immigration status documents issued pursuant thereto.”

Attacks on TPS

  • In a recent interview regarding the possibility of TPS being granted to Venezuelans, Dan Stein stated, “Until such time that TPS can be proven to actually be temporary, we no longer support use of the program.”
  • After a judge blocked President Trump’s move to terminate TPS for immigrants from El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Sudan, Dan Stein backed Trump in a press release issued by FAIR, “Once again, an unelected activist judge stepped in and hamstrung the president’s ability to exercise his lawful authority under immigration laws passed by Congress. When the Trump administration moved to restore the integrity of the TPS program by terminating the designations for El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Sudan, it was acting fully within the scope of its authority.”
  • In a 2018 interview with NPR, Stein exclaimed, “It is beyond ludicrous to suggest that TPS should be extended any longer. There’s simply no basis for it.”

Mark Krikorian

Executive Director of CIS

CIS’s Executive Director Mark Krikorian has defended the organization’s circulation of content from the white nationalist and anti-semitic site VDARE by comparing it to the New York Times, and counting it as an “important” site for immigration news. In addition to circulating white nationalist content, CIS publishes the work of its own employees who have advocated for harmful measures such as ending DACA, deporting Dreamers, abolishing TPS and separating children from their parents at the Southern border. CIS’s staffer Andrew Arthur publicly supported the Trump Administration’s policy of separating children from their parents calling it “absolutely crucial,” and claiming that “there really is no other choice” for the federal government.

About

  • The CIS executive director who has floated the idea of housing unaccompanied children at Guantanamo Bay, and has advocated for the zero-tolerance policy years before Jeff Sessions implemented the one that resulted in the Trump Administration separating children from their parents ,authors policy papers, provides research to lawmakers, testifies at Congressional hearings, provides commentary to journalists, and is an active Twitter user, where he advocates for attrition through enforcement or self deportation, for mass roundups of the undocumented, ending birthright citizenship, imposing radical restrictions on refugee entries, religious tests, and massive reductions to legal immigration  levels.
  • In 2015 the former FAIR employee spoke at The Social Contract Press’ annual Writers’ Workshop event. The Social Contract Press (TSCP) was founded in 1990 by Tanton, who served as editor for the outlet known for featuring white nationalist writers, and most infamously in 1994 republished an English translation of the openly racist novel The Camp of the Saints.

Views

  • During the 2016 presidential race, Krikorian praised Trump’s call to ban Muslims from entering the U.S.: “Of course people could, and would, lie, but the very fact that such a question is asked would send a message about what we expect of people hoping to live among us.”
  • In an article for the National Review entitled End Birthright Citizenship Now, Kirkorian called the 14th Amendment an “archaic practice.” He argued, “What matters is that automatic citizenship for anyone and everyone born on our soil is a policy that has outlived its usefulness.”
  • Krikorian, who often disparages immigrants on social media, has previously referred to immigrants as a “poor, problem-ridden demographic who are addicted to big government.”
  • Krikorian benefits from the speed of the news cycle, understanding that many journalists, researchers, and elected officials don’t have time or bandwidth to delve into their background while still needing “balance” or research from an anti-immigrant and anti-immigrant party. For this reason, Krikorian and his staff are quoted nationwide hundreds and hundreds of time yearly.

Attacks on DACA

  • In a ‘Giving Tuesday’ blog post Krikorian confirmed that the Trump Administration’s harsh immigration principles were developed with the help of CIS’s report A Pen and a Phone: 79 immigration actions the next president can take: “The White House has also submitted to Congress a wish list of 70 immigration improvements, most of which we have developed and advocated.”
  • Since DACA’s rescission Krikorian has driven anti-immigrant calls to the offices of House Republicans willing to find a permanent solution for immigrant youth.
  • As a key external ally of Stephen Miller and former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Mark Krikorian and CIS have threatened the deportation of 800,000 undocumented youth in hopes of gaining a massive ramp-up in enforcement, mandatory e-verify, workplace raids, wall funding, capping guest worker programs, and huge cuts to legal immigration.
  • This strategy has been in the works for years. In 2010, Krikorian wrote in the National Review that the only iteration of the DREAM Act he could support would come at the cost of much lower total legal immigration levels.
  • Krikorian’s rhetoric around undocumented youth similarly demands trade-offs, including massive reductions in legal immigration levels, and mandatory e-verify: “We’re talking about three-quarters of a million people included in this. There’s got to be a legal immigration offset. The DREAM Act on its own is simply indefensible.”
  • In CIS’ A Pen and a Phone: 79 immigration actions the next president can take paper, published in April 2016, Krikorian’s organization laid out proposals which included calls to track down DACA recipients and require DNA samples for immigration applications.

Attacks on TPS

  • In a May 2018 tweet, Krikorian attacked the Trump Administration’s decision to not immediately cancel the TPS program for Hondurans. Krikorian wrote, “Honduras TPS will end in *2020*? In other words, it’s been extended *again* for 18 months, but supposedly won’t be extended again? Ridiculous.”
  • In a February 2019 tweet, Krikorian again attacked TPS, this time focusing on Liberians who had TPS status and may soon become undocumented. Krikorian wrote, “This is why TPS must be abolished & presidents barred by law from giving work permits to anyone not specifically eligible in the statute. In exchange, amnesty for TPSers would be worth it. W/o those changes, tho, amnesty would just attract more illegality.”
  • Following Trump’s decision to end TPS for El Salvadorians Krikorian wrote in National Review in 2018, “It’s long past time for this “temporary” status to end. TPS was passed in 1990 as a way to amnesty illegal aliens who couldn’t qualify for asylum, and its temporary-ness has been a sham from day one…This administration has finally been moving toward ending the charade; TPS for Haitians and Nicaraguans was ended last year (albeit with long lead times), and the termination of Honduran TPS will likely be announced later this year.”

Roy Beck

President and CEO of NumbersUSA

Ending DACA is a priority for NumbersUSA and according to lobbying disclosure paperwork filed prior to the program’s recission, the group lobbied Congress to do just that. Roy Beck publicly supported the Paxton-led strategy to sue the Trump administration over DACA, saying that Paxton was “providing a way for Pres. Trump” to “stop this DACA program.”

About

  • Roy Beck founded NumbersUSA with John Tanton through the latter’s foundation, U.S. Inc., in 1996.
  • Beck, who Tanton described as his “heir apparent,” serves as the group’s president has sought to spread his extremist immigration reduction agenda, most famously through his dehumanizing “gumballs” video and presentations.
  • Beck’s group is an extremist anti-immigrant organization with ties to white nationalism. The group fosters anti-immigrant sentiment to mobilize its grassroots base for political action. It directs thousands of calls and emails to members of Congress to successfully kill legislation, influencing primaries in support of nativist candidates, and shifts the national conversation on immigration to the right—in concert with other members of the organized anti-immigrant movement.

Views

  • In addition to serving as the former editor of Tanton’s white nationalist publication The Social Contract, Beck spoke at an event organized by the white nationalist Council of Conservative Citizens in the late 1990s.
  • Beck has led his group’s effort to shrink the immigrant population by attrition through enforcement measures and by radically slashing annual immigration levels.
  • Beck published a population control paper with fellow immigration restrictionist and immigrant scapegoater Leon Kolankiewicz titled “The Environmental Movement’s Retreat from Advocating, U.S. Population Stabilization (1970–1998): A First Draft of History.”
  • NumbersUSA says “no to immigrant bashing” but Beck bragged about doing his best to make “immigration radioactive in as many places as possible,” and has said that the goal should be to “halt all immigration possible.”

Attacks on DACA

  • Since 2001, NumbersUSA has spent over $7M in lobbying dollars attacking immigrants including immigrant youth. From 2013 to April 2018, NumbersUSA and FAIR spent more than $8M on paid advertising attacking all immigration.
  • According to lobbying disclosure paperwork filed in 2017, NumbersUSA lobbied the 115th Congress on “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.”
  • NumbersUSA has pushed its grassroots network to drive calls and write letters to lawmakers in both the Obama and Trump Administration’s, urging them to support policies and amendments attached to must-pass bill in the House offered by anti-immigrant Representatives like King, Brooks, Blackburn, and Gosar. Amendments and other policy proposals have ranged from removing work authorization from DACA recipients, forbidding undocumented youth from serving in the military, and rescinding the program altogether and deporting these individuals.
  • In August 2016, Beck shared a 10-point immigration plan with the Trump campaign. Of the 10 points, six were echoed by Trump in a major immigration speech in the same month.
  • Although NumbersUSA has been publicly supportive of President Trump’s executive orders on immigration, the group has expressed their dismay at the Administration’s decision to keep the 2012 DACA program in place thus far and in a NumbersUSA’s newsletter on July 28, 2017 executive director Roy Beck described the 10 Republican AGs led by Texas’ Paxton, threat to sue the Trump administration over DACA, unless the President ended the DACA program by September 5th as an “excuse” to rescind the program: “Ken Paxton is providing a way for Pres. Trump to finally honor his campaign promises to stop this DACA program for perhaps a million young adult illegal aliens to gain work permits. The Paxton ultimatum gives the President an excuse to reject the advice of his pro-amnesty advisors and to stop issuing work permits that he said as a candidate are unconstitutional.”
  • The group has two current action alerts related to Dreamers including one which urges the White House to end DACA and another that opposes Senators Graham and Durbin’s DREAM Act.
  • In 2012 IRLI’s counsel Kris Kobach has helped initiate and draft anti-immigrant lawsuits like Crane v. Napolitano, the suit that pitted ICE against President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and set the stage for United States v. Texas.
  • The same day Kris Kobach filed the lawsuit on behalf of the 10 Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents, NumbersUSA announced that it would financially support the legal effort against DACA. In a blog post that reads more as a fundraising appeal than an announcement, NumbersUSA Founder and President Roy Beck said the ICE agents’ legal team would be “funded entirely by NumbersUSA member contributions.”

Attacks on TPS

  • Following the elimination of TPS protections for Nicaraguans by the Trump Administration in November of 2017, Beck issued a press release applauding the move, but called for the TPS program for Hodurans to also be eliminated before starting, “It is long past time for DHS to put the “T” back into Temporary Protected Status.”
  • In 2008, Roy Beck rejected calls for Haitians to receive TPS due to devastating storms that ravaged the country. Beck told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, “If Bush had ended the TPS for the Central American countries, then we would be in favor of TPS for Haitians. The reason we don’t is that there’s no ‘T’ in TPS.”
  • When a US District Judge in San Francisco blocked the decision to end TPS for immigrants from Sudan, Nicaragua, Haiti and El Salvador, Beck told one media outlet that the decision was, “shocking,” before “shocking” and claimed it, “will undermine humanitarian relief in the future.”

Kris Kobach

IRLI counsel

Kobach is an integral figure within the organized anti-immigrant movement and has been the primary architect behind legal strategies attacking DACA recipients, including Crane v. Napolitano and U.S. v. Texas. The former Kansas secretary of state for years collected hundreds of thousands of dollars in the form of legal fees defending harsh immigration laws that he drafted.

About

  • Kansas Secretary of State and voting rights restrictionist Kris Kobach served as counsel to IRLI and the vice-chair of President Trump’s now folded Commission on Election Integrity.
  • Kobach, who advised the Trump campaign, transition and now administration on immigration policy, has also co-authored some of the country’s most draconian and destructive anti-immigrant lawsuits and legislation.
  • In his role at IRLI, Kobach, who bragged to the Washington Post about having authored the U.S. v. Texas lawsuit, has written legislation and launched lawsuits in Pennsylvania, California, Texas, Missouri, Alabama, and Arizona. Much of this legislation, including Arizona’s S.B 1070, or the “Show Me Your Papers” Law, has been struck down in court as unconstitutional.
  • In 2006, Kobach helped FAIR’s advisory board member former Rep. Lou Barletta, then the mayor of Hazleton, Pennsylvania, develop his cruel and unsuccessful anti-immigrant policies, which included fining landlords who rented to undocumented immigrants.
  • Kobach collects hundreds of thousands of dollars in the form of legal fees to defend his draconian laws, even as they bankrupt local economies, crush small businesses, tear apart communities, and cost taxpayers millions.
  • Virtually every year he files statement of financial interest forms which declare his income from his private practice. In 2012, the Wichita Eagle reported that Kobach had received $424,000 in legal fees over a five year period for work in various jurisdictions, and in 2010 the KS Secretary of State reported income from 10 groups including IRLI, the Eagle Forum, and Maricopa County, Arizona – home to Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
  • Below are just a few examples of the costs to cities and states of the policies Kobach is hawking:
    • Legal fees, Hazleton, PA, July 13, 2006 – Took on debt to pay $1.4 million in legal fees and eventually had to file for a state bailout. Almost $400,000 paid to defense lawyers including Kobach.
    • Legal fees, Farmers Branch, TX, Nov. 13, 2006 – over $7 million.
      • Then-Mayor Bob Phelps has since called Kobach’s pitch “a sham,” “It was just a sad situation that we had to go through, and everybody now regrets it.”
    • Economic costs, AZ SB1070, Jan. 13, 2010 – $141 million.
    • Economic costs, AL HB 56, June 9th, 2011 – Researchers estimated that HB 56 could cost the state nearly $11 billion in lost GDP, as much as $264.5 million in tax revenue, and as many as 140,000 jobs.
  • Kobach helped create the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS), a Muslim registry program launched under the Bush Administration and later disbanded.
  • The former Kansas Secretary of State told a group of Republicans gathered in Manhattan for their 2017 state convention that he had been advising President Trump on methods to overcome federal court rulings blocking the administration’s first executive order related to the ban on travel from seven Muslim majority countries.
  • Kobach spoke at the annual white nationalist Writers’ Workshop in 2015. The event is organized by Tanton’s white nationalist publishing house The Social Contract Press.
  • Kobach’s 2018 gubernatorial campaign was a recipient of Tanton’s US Immigration Reform PAC.

Views

  • Kobach hosted a weekly radio show where he promoted his anti-immigrant views:
    • Kobach alluded to the possibility that that there could be an ethnic cleansing by Latino immigrants in the U.S., under the Obama Administration, who he said “disregards the law.”
    • On the Gold Star Khan Family: “It is maddening to be lectured about our Constitution and about what American law should be by aliens in the United States.”
    • Kobach has advocated for the dismantling of the 14th Amendment, which grants birthright citizenship: “Any justice who sought to come to the conclusion that the Constitution requires citizenship for the children of illegal aliens would have to explain what the words ‘subject to the jurisdiction thereof’ mean, and that’s a very difficult task for them to do.”

Attacks on DACA

  • Kobach, who is a close ally to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Governor Greg Abbott, drafted Crane v. Napolitano, the suit that pitted ICE against President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) in 2012 and set the stage for United States v. Texas.
  • In July 2017 Kobach praised the Texas led letter to The Washington Times: “The cases are nearly identical. It’s a clear winner for the states, and I’m very happy Texas has sent this letter.”

Attacks on TPS

  • In a 2017 interview with Breitbart after the Trump Administration ended TPS for Haitians, Kobach affirmed, “The fact that people are talking about finding a ‘permanent solution’ illustrates that they see TPS as de facto amnesty because they’re looking for a way to keep TPS recipients in the United States. That is a gross abuse of our laws. TPS was never intended to be used like this.”
  • In the same interview, Kobach was critical of the Trump Administration’s decision to give Haitians with TPS a limited amount of time to pack up their lives, stating, “President Trump’s core message is restoring the Rule of Law in immigration and the law demands that the TPS program only be used temporarily and only during a period where it is unsafe for foreign nationals to return to their country. That is not the case with Haiti.”
  • In a November 2017 article for Breitbart, Kobach was critical of the Trump Administration’s decision to extend TPS for Hondurans for six months. Kobach opined, “It is an absurd abuse of the law to continue extending the Honduran illegal aliens’ stay in the United States when an entire generation of Hondurans has been born since the hurricane….By ignoring the fact that it was safe for Hondurans to return, the Obama administration transformed the Honduran TPS designation into a de facto amnesty – extending it again and again. We expected the Trump administration to return sanity to the TPS program. But, sadly, this recent decision continues the Obama administration’s abuse of the law.”

Jessica Vaughan

Director of Policy Studies

In 2012 Vaughan spoke at The Social Contract Press’ annual Writers’ Workshop event. The year Vaughan spoke to the workshop, one of her fellow speakers was Peter Brimelow, the founder and editor of the white nationalist website VDARE. The Social Contract Press (TSCP) was founded in 1990 by John Tanton, who served as editor for the outlet known for featuring white nationalist writers, and most infamously in 1994 republished an English translation of the openly racist novel The Camp of the Saints.

About

  • As the director of policy studies for CIS, Vaughan authors and promotes reports filled with blatant anti-immigrant animus and misinformation.
  • Vaughan has cited unverifiable facts from government agencies that go unchecked because they are not available to the public, such as in the case of this 2015 report on Central American minors fleeing violence in the Northern Triangle, in which Vaughan claimed, “According to the DHS statistics, which have not been released to the public, but were obtained by the Center, about 99 percent of all the illegal alien minors taken into ICE custody since the beginning of the fiscal year were apprehended by the Border Patrol.”
  • Media outlets frequently include Vaughan’s commentary on immigration-related reporting without mentioning her white nationalist and nativist ties.

Views

  • Vaughan’s opinion is regularly sought by anti-immigrant members of Congress, and since 2007 she has provided testimony at immigration related hearings nearly 20 times.
  • In January 2017, Vaughan praised Bristol County, Massachusetts Sheriff Thomas Hodgson’s offer to send county inmates to help build President Trump’s border wall, saying, “I can think of no other project that would have such a positive impact on our inmates and our country than building this wall.” Vaughan also told the Washington Examiner that the plan would put any immigrant prisoners “that much closer for deportation.” “Not only that, they can use their new skills to support themselves in their home country,” she added.

Attacks on DACA

  • On October 3rd, 2017, CIS’s Director of Policy Studies Jessica Vaughan testified at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on DACA in which she continued to advocate for severely restrictionist policies in exchange for a legislative solution for immigrant youth.
  • On September 27, 2017 CIS published a new report entitled Immigration Multipliers: Trends in Chain Migration. The report was authored by CIS’s Director of Policy Studies, Jessica Vaughan. In a statement, Vaughan used the report to smear the DACA program and suggest twice as many relatives would receive green cards within 20 years.
  • On December 4, 2017 CIS hosted a panel discussion on the report. The event took place at the National Press Club. Panel participants included Vaughan, as well as RAISE Act co-sponsor Sen. David Perdue (R-GA).
  • Vaughan has for years advocated for DACA to be ended, including under President Trump: ‘This program was improper under the Obama administration, and it’s still improper and, in our view, unconstitutional under the Trump administration.” Vaughan has also fabricated unnecessary alarm over high DACA application approval rates.

Attacks on TPS

  • In 2008, Vaughan blamed the Temporary Protected Status program for allegedly contributing to “the burgeoning street gang problem in the United States.”
  • In a 2017 interview with Public Radio International, Vaughan criticized the program asserting, “Many of these people have really settled here and the government has allowed this status to continue. [TPS is] almost like a backdoor legalization or amnesty program because very few people who’ve ever gotten temporary protected status have ever had to return home.”
  • In a 2018 op-ed in USA Today, Vaughan called for the TPS program to be terminated, “Despite this, some are clamoring for amnesty for TPS grantees. Instead, Congress should let those who qualify adjust to permanent status, and then end the TPS program altogether, so future presidents will have to find less permanent ways to postpone deportations.”

Jan Brewer

Former Governor of Arizona

Brewer has long held harsh anti-immigrant stances. The former Arizona governor argued against the issuance of licenses for DACA recipients and has refuted DACA’s validity in formal briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court.

About

  • In 2010, then-Governor Brewer signed the Kobach-authored SB 1070 into law, and has remained a staunch supporter of the anti-immigrant movement since leaving office in 2015. That same year, she spoke at FAIR’s National Board of Advisors Conference.

Views

  • Brewer has repeatedly used dehumanizing language to vilify immigrants. At the signing of SB1070, Brewer said, “We cannot sacrifice our safety to the murderous greed of drug cartels. We cannot stand idly by as drop houses, kidnappings, and violence compromise our quality of life. We cannot delay while the destruction happening south of our border — our international border creeps its way north.”

Attacks on DACA

Brewer v. ADAC:

  • Soon after the Obama administration launched DACA in 2012, then-Arizona Governor Jan Brewer changed the state’s policy to deny driver’s licenses to DACA recipients.
  • Civil rights groups filed suit on behalf of the Arizona DREAM Act Coalition (ADAC) and individual DACA recipients to challenge the policy.
  • Arizona argued that DACA recipients are not authorized to be present in the United States under federal law, and do not meet the state’s driver’s license requirements.
  • After the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that Arizona’s policy was preempted by the federal government’s  power to classify non-citizens, Arizona asked the Supreme Court to take up the case.
  • Even after the former Governor left office, Governor Doug Ducey and Attorney General Mark Brnovich have taken up the mantle to defend Brewer’s policies. While Ducey had the opportunity to rescind her executive order since he took office, and Brnovich the opportunity to not defend the suit, both have actively continued to pursue litigation. The Attorney General’s office is on the petition to the U.S. Supreme Court, and Brewer’s name still remains on the case.
  • Previous litigation in this case centered around the state’s right to issue driver’s licenses with a narrowly defined question regarding the President’s authority to administer immigration policy. Now the petition to the U.S. Supreme Court focuses on the constitutionality of DACA.

Steven Camarota

Director of Research

The CIS director of research helps to craft policy proposals for the group which, according to reporting by Univision, had a hand in drafting the RAISE Act. Camarota was cited by White House policy advisor Stephen Miller as a top expert on immigration policy at a press conference announcing RAISE's introduction. For years CIS has demanded drastic cuts to authorized immigration levels, among other anti-immigrant measures, as a trade for the DREAM Act.

About

  • As director of research for CIS, Camarota is responsible for various studies that use dubious sources, manipulate numbers, and distort data to support anti-immigrant policies and positions.
  • Camarota’s writing and Congressional testimony has been republished by The Social Contract Press, which was founded in 1990 by John Tanton. The outlet is known for featuring white nationalist writers, and most infamously in 1994 republished an English translation of the openly racist novel The Camp of the Saints.

Views

Attacks on DACA

  • On August 3, 2017, Camarota wrote an article that appeared in the National Review, titled, “Time To End DACA.” Camarota insisted “the president should end a program that is illegal, overbroad, and likely to lead to a more extensive amnesty.” He further argued that DACA “harms working-class voters, the very people who put Trump over the top. The employment situation for those without a college education continues to look bleak.”
  • In a January 10, 2017 Vice News article, Camarota said ending DACA “could be positive for native-born residents. If someone is illegally in this country and has to leave, what’s the impact on the native born? Do their incomes go up? By itself, it’s not a benefit to increase the GDP.”

Dale Wilcox

Executive Director of IRLI

Wilcox has called for DACA recipients to “self-deport,” He said, “DACA-pushers missed their mark because the best thing for these ‘kids’ isn’t to stay here and push down blue-collar wages, but to return to Latin America and reform it. Ending DACA will help them deal with what’s really the root of the problem: corruption south of the border.” IRLI has been a driving force behind the legal attacks on undocumented youth.

About

  • Dale L. Wilcox is the executive director of IRLI, the former state and local director for FAIR, and former counsel to Judicial Watch.

Views

Attacks on DACA

  • Wilcox’s former colleague at IRLI, Kris Kobach, helped initiate and draft anti-immigrant lawsuits like Crane v. Napolitano, the suit that pitted ICE against President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and set the stage for United States v. Texas.
  • U.S. v. Texas: IRLI and FAIR filed a joint amicus brief in support of Texas at the U.S. Supreme Court on August 4, 2016.
  • Brewer v. ADAC: IRLI has filed several briefs in support of Arizona in Brewer v. ADAC, currently a pending petition at the U.S. Supreme Court, which has invited the Acting Solicitor General to weigh in on behalf of the United States. Previous litigation in this case centered around the state’s right to issue driver’s licenses with a narrowly defined question regarding the President’s authority to administer immigration policy. Now the petition to the U.S. Supreme Court focuses on the constitutionality of DACA.

Rosemary Jenks

Director of Government Relations for NumbersUSA

Ending DACA is a priority for Rosemary Jenks and her employer, NumbersUSA. According to disclosure paperwork filed in 2017, the group has lobbied Congress to do just that.  NumbersUSA, has publicly supported the Paxton-led strategy to sue the Trump administration over DACA, saying that Paxton was “providing a way for Pres. Trump” to “stop this DACA program.”

About

  • Rosemary Jenks is the Director of Government Relations for NumbersUSA. In this role, Jenks serves as a primary link between the anti-immigrant movement’s grassroots base and lawmakers on Capitol Hill.
  • Prior to joining NumbersUSA in 2001, Jenks worked as a senior fellow and legislative analyst for the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS).

Views

  • Jenks is not shy about her ties to former Representative Tom Tancredo (R-CO), who previously received support from white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups. At a lobbying event in Washington, which former Rep. Tancredo attended, Jenks announced that if anyone was looking for her, they could find her in the offices of Representative Tancredo, where she and Linda Purdue (who has long worked with Tanton) were “virtual staffers.”
  • Jenks is a close associate of anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist Frank Gaffney. Since 2010, Jenks has been a guest on Gaffney’s radio program multiple times. Jenks also contributed to Gaffney’s 2013 book, “War Footing: 10 Steps America Must Take to Prevail in the War for the Free World” and has spoken at multiple events organized by Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy.
  • During a 2010 anti-immigrant rally in Phoenix, Arizona, Jenks lauded former State Sen. Russell Pearce for his efforts to pass Arizona’s bigoted SB 1070.
  • Jenks works closely with key anti-immigrant representatives including Rep. Steve King, Rep. Louie Gohmert, and former Rep. Lamar Smith.

Attacks on DACA

  • According to lobbying disclosure paperwork filed in 2017, NumbersUSA lobbied the 115th Congress on “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.”
  • In a Los Angeles Times interview, Jenks stated, “I certainly am very happy that Secretary Kelly ended DAPA … that is a good thing and needed to happen — but it does not fulfill Trump’s campaign promise. DACA needs to be ended…You can’t continue to do something that is unconstitutional.”

John Miano

IRLI Legal Counsel and Fellow for CIS

In a November 10, 2016 blog for CIS entitled “The Coming End of DACA and DAPA,” Miano floated the idea of using contact information provided by DACA applicants in order to find and deport recipients of the program.

About

  • John M. Miano is a fellow at CIS and legal counsel for Immigration Reform Law Institute and has authored several articles for VDARE, a website that regularly publishes articles by white nationalists and anti-Semites.

Views

Attacks on DACA

  • Miano’s former colleague at IRLI, Kris Kobach helped initiate and draft anti-immigrant lawsuits like Crane v. Napolitano, the suit that pitted ICE against President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and set the stage for United States v. Texas.
  • U.S. v. Texas: IRLI and FAIR filed a joint amicus brief in support of Texas at the U.S. Supreme Court on August 4, 2016.
  • Brewer v. ADAC: IRLI has filed several briefs in support of Arizona in Brewer v. ADAC, currently a pending petition at the U.S. Supreme Court, which has invited the Acting Solicitor General to weigh in on behalf of the United States. Previous litigation in this case centered around the state’s right to issue driver’s licenses with a narrowly defined question regarding the President’s authority to administer immigration policy. Now the petition to the U.S. Supreme Court focuses on the constitutionality of DACA.

Michael Hethmon

Senior Counsel for IRLI

Hethmon calls the harsh attrition through enforcement measures drafted and defended by IRLI “field tests”—experiments to test the legality of different anti-immigrant policies.

About

  • Michael M. Hethmon is the senior counsel for Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) and a former staff attorney for the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).

Views

  • At an immigration debate, Hethmon described his support for self-deportation policies: “By making the environment for illegal aliens so inhospitable, especially in economic terms — if you can’t get a job, can’t pay rent — then maybe it’s not the good deal it’s cracked up to be.”
  • Hethmon argues that the United States’ transition to a country where the majority of its citizens are people of color will lead to violence.
  • In an op-ed for CNN in 2010, Hethmon described his work to enact harsh state-based immigration laws like Arizona’s SB 1070 in the hopes of offering model legislation for Congress: “Sink or swim, these new laws are forcing Congress to confront the need for enforcement-based reform. State enactments like SB 1070 will continue to offer Congress models for national legislation and serve as legal antibodies against the fallacy of amnesty.”

Attacks on DACA

  • Hethmon’s colleague at IRLI, Kris Kobach, helped initiate and draft anti-immigrant lawsuits like Crane v. Napolitano, the suit that pitted ICE against President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and set the stage for United States v. Texas.
  • U.S. v. Texas: IRLI and FAIR filed a joint amicus brief in support of Texas at the U.S. Supreme Court on August 4, 2016.
  • Brewer v. ADAC: IRLI has filed several briefs in support of Arizona in Brewer v. ADAC, currently a pending petition at the U.S. Supreme Court, which has invited the Acting Solicitor General to weigh in on behalf of the United States. Previous litigation in this case centered around the state’s right to issue driver’s licenses with a narrowly defined question regarding the President’s authority to administer immigration policy. Now the petition to the U.S. Supreme Court focuses on the constitutionality of DACA.

Jeff Sessions

Former U.S. Attorney General

While Sessions served as the U.S.’s top lawyer, he implemented a long list of harsh and unpopular immigration policies - such as the cancelling of DACA, family separation, dismantling the asylum system, defending the Muslim bans and reshaping the immigration courts.

 

About

  • Former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions served as one of the organized anti-immigrant movement’s most strident allies during his time in Congress.
  • Sessions became Attorney General of Alabama in 1994 and was elected to the Senate in 1996, where he served as chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and National Interest from 2015-2017 when he was confirmed as U.S. Attorney General.
  • The former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama was denied a federal judgeship in 1986 due to racist remarks he made to and about African Americans, the NAACP, the ACLU, and the Voting Rights Act. Thomas Figures, a black Assistant U.S. Attorney who had worked for Sessions, testified that the former U.S. Attorney called him “boy” on multiple occasions and joked about the Ku Klux Klan, saying that he thought Klan members were “OK, until he learned that they smoked marijuana.”
  • The former Alabama Senator rose to prominence as an advocate of ruthless immigration enforcement measures, self-deportation, drastic reductions in legal immigration, revocation of birthright citizenship and attacks on dreamers.
  • Several anti-immigrant groups have honored Sessions for his role in obstructing immigration reform legislation in the Senate, and he often used his position as chair of the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and National Interest to invite nativist demagogues to testify before Congress, in an attempt to control the narrative around immigration reform.

Views

  • Jeff Sessions is known for his rejection by the Judiciary Committee for the federal bench and his extreme and unpopular views on immigration.
  • In 2016, Sessions co-authored a letter to Republicans in which he referred to immigration as a “National Security Issue” which affected “every aspect” of his constituents’ lives and encouraged his party to stop current immigration flows: “This autopilot immigration flow is not only extreme, but ahistorical.”
  • Sessions supports revoking – not just ending – birthright citizenship and in response to 2016 Presidential candidate Trump’s policy proposal to revoke the 14th amendment Sessions said: “This absolutely is not an extreme position.”
  • In October 2016, Sessions told CNN that under a Trump Administration, undocumented immigrants would have to self-deport: “But you basically would have to self-deport….Many people that proposed this over the years.”
  • During the 2016 presidential campaign Sessions defended Trump’s plan to ban Muslims from entering the U.S.: “We have a toxic ideology, hopefully very small within Islam…And we need to figure out a better way to identify that.”
  • During a 2006 Senate debate on an immigration bill proposed by then President George W. Bush, Sessions disparaged immigrants from the Dominican Republic: “Fundamentally, almost no one coming from the Dominican Republic to the United States is coming here because they have a provable skill that would benefit us and that would indicate their likely success in our society.”

Attacks on DACA

  • While Sessions sat at the head of the Justice Department the former U.S. Attorney General said he would take “every lawful measure” to end DACA.
  • Less than two weeks after the DAPA repeal, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and 10 other state Attorneys General sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions threatening to sue the federal government if DACA was not repealed by September 5th.
  • In an interview with Fox and Friends, Sessions seemed to endorse Paxton’s attack on DACA, stating, “I like that states and localities are holding the federal government to account and expecting us to do our responsibility to the state and locals, and that’s to enforce the law.”
  • During an October 2017 Justice Department Oversight Hearing, then-U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, refused to deny DoJ’s coordination with Texas to force the end of DACA through backdoor legal assaults. However, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton had already confirmed the coordination a few weeks prior.
  • On September 5, 2017 President Trump tasked Sessions with announcing the DACA program’s rescission. During his remarks the Attorney General said DACA’s end would “further economically the lives of millions” of Americans. In response to a request of evidence to support this claim, DoJ provided CIS authored reports.
  • During remarks at the Heritage Foundation’s Legal Strategy Forum Sessions criticized recent legal action taken by states and localities to protect DACA recipients:“As you all know well, some judges have failed to respect our representatives and Congress and the Executive Branch.  One particularly striking example was the federal judge in Brooklyn who heard argument on a challenge to the federal government’s wind down of DACA.”
  • In prior commentary, Sessions had publicly contradicted President Trump’s stance on Dreamers, stating “the only thing I can say is what the law says. If you enter the country unlawfully, you are subject to being deported.” During his confirmation hearing to be Attorney General, Sessions, undermined President Trump’s recent softening on DACA: “The Department of Justice I think would have no objection to have a decision to ban that order because it is very questionable, in my opinion, constitutionally.”
  • As chair of the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and National Interest during the 114th Congress, then-Senator Sessions held multiple hearings attacking former President Obama’s executive actions on immigration, where he called staff members from anti-immigrant groups like CIS to testify as many as 8 times.
  • In 2015, Sessions released his second version of a timeline titled “How the Obama Administration Bypassed Congress to Dismantle Immigration Enforcement.” Included in the timeline was the Obama administration’s decision to sue Arizona over SB 1070, Alabama over a similar law in 2011, and their announcement of DACA.
  • In 2014, Sessions worked with Texas Senator Ted Cruz behind the scenes to pit hardliners in the House like Steve King against moderate Republicans in an effort to derail an emergency DHS appropriations bill. The House ultimately capitulated to Sessions,’ Cruz’s, and King’s demands, and even voted on an amendment offered by Rep. Blackburn to defund DACA.
  • During the debate on the Senate’s 2013 immigration reform bill, Sessions worked with the anti-immigrant lobby to pressure the House into not bringing the bill to the floor. Included in the version of the bill that passed the Senate was a provision for undocumented youth to earn a path to citizenship.

Additional Attacks on Immigrants

  • As a U.S. Senator, Sessions frequently cited and promoted false statistics and dubious ‘research’ from CIS, and regularly called the group’s staff to testify at congressional hearings.
  • Sessions attended FAIR’s annual immigrant bashing “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” event as recently as 2016.
  • In June of 2016, Sessions spoke at a reception at the National Press Club organized by CIS.
  • In 2013, as Congress was considering another bipartisan immigration compromise, the Senator and three Republican House members joined a CIS teleconference to argue against it.
  • In July 2013 Sessions, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Rep. Steve King spoke at a rally organized by a front group of FAIR.
  • In 2013, he hired then-CIS staff member Janice Kephart as temporary counsel while the Senate Judiciary Committee considered the comprehensive immigration reform bill S.744.

Awards, Contributions, and Praise from Anti-Immigrant Groups:

  • Sessions received funding from Tanton’s political action committee USIRPAC in 2008 and 2014.
  • In 2007, after a bipartisan immigration reform plan fell apart, Sessions spoke at a FAIR board meeting, where he thanked them for helping to stir up opposition to the bill and was honored by the group with its “Franklin Society Award.” These details were omitted from documents he turned over to the Senate Judiciary Committee as part of his AG confirmation proceedings.
  • When asked by Senator Blumenthal during his confirmation hearing whether he would give back the awards, Sessions declined.
  • In 2015, Sessions received the “Keeper of the Flame” award from Frank Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy.
  • In 2014, Sessions was commended by the anti-Muslim David Horowitz Freedom Center.
  • During a meet-and-greet event at the 2015 CPAC, Sessions publicly praised Rosemary Jenks of NumbersUSA and anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist Frank Gaffney.
  • In a 2012 floor speech, Sessions commemorated anti-immigrant group NumbersUSA’s 15th anniversary.
  • In a 2009 press release from NumbersUSA, Sessions was named the “No. 1 champion for the American worker on immigration issues.”
  • In 2008, NumbersUSA awarded Sessions with its Defender of the Rule of Law Award.

Attacks on TPS

  • After a judge ruled to stop the Trump Administration from terminating TPS for select countries, Sessions, who served as Attorney General at the time, heavily criticized the ruling, calling it “judicial encroachment.”

Steve Bannon

Former White House Chief Strategist and Breitbart Executive Chairman

One of Bannon’s favorite novels, the virulently racist The Camp of the Saints, was republished in English in 1994 by John Tanton’s publishing house The Social Contract Press. According to Cécile Alduy, an expert on the modern French far right, Jean Raspail’s widely denounced book “describes the takeover of Europe by waves of immigrants that wash ashore like the plague.”

About

  • Steve Bannon, the former Executive Chairman of Breitbart News Network who previously served as then-candidate Trump’s campaign CEO, left his position in the White House as chief strategist and senior advisor to the President in August 2017.
  • Prior to joining the Trump campaign, Bannon used Breitbart as a de facto propaganda outlet for Trump’s presidential run, publishing countless pieces breathlessly praising the candidate and excoriating Trump’s adversaries during the primary campaign. One former Breitbart editor lamented that the outlet turned “into Trump Pravda” under Bannon’s leadership, and became a “go-to website” for supporters of the white supremacist alt-right movement.
  • Bannon recently teamed up with other anti-immigrant such as Kobach and former Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo to advise a group called We Build The Wall, Inc., dedicated privately funding the border wall.

Views

  • In an interview with Mother Jones, Bannon boasted that Breitbart is “the platform for the alt-right,” referring to a loosely affiliated faction of racists and white supremacists.
  • Bannon responded to criticism of his ties to white nationalists, saying, “I’m a nationalist.”
  • The former White House strategist who was one of the Trump Administration’s key architects of both versions of the travel ban restricting entry from Muslim majority countries, previously used the French novel to describe the current refugee crisis, saying, “It’s not a migration. It’s really an invasion. I call it the Camp of the Saints.”
  • Bannon is a member of the secretive far-right strategy coalition Groundswell. Other members include Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies and anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist Frank Gaffney.
  • As Mother Jones has previously reported, Groundswell is comprised of hard-right leaders who have “been meeting privately since early [2013] to concoct talking points, coordinate messaging, and hatch plans for ‘a 30 front war seeking to fundamentally transform the nation.’”
  • In a March 2016 episode of Breitbart Radio, Bannon said that restoring sovereignty meant reducing immigration, stating, “Twenty percent of this country is immigrants. Is that not the beating heart of this problem?”
  • Bannon, who is a staunch proponent of slashing immigration to the U.S., included on his policy whiteboard a call to “sunset our visa laws so that Congress is forced to revise and revisit them.”
  • Breitbart has regularly published articles by anti-Muslim mouthpieces Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer, Brigitte Gabriel, and David Horowitz.

Attacks on DACA

  • In March of 2017, Buzzfeed reported that Bannon had in fact advocated for keeping DACA in place for a short period of time because he saw it as potential leverage for later immigration fights, such as using the threat of ending the program to extract demands for laws and funding to support a ramp up in deportations and possible cuts to legal immigration.
  • On September 7, 2017, Bannon appeared on CBS’s 60 Minutes and expressed his disappointment in a tweet by President Trump that showed sympathy for DACA recipients. Bannon said, “the guys in the far right, the guys on the conservative side are not happy with this.”
  • A photo of Bannon’s policy whiteboard in May 2017 included a pledge to “terminate President Obama’s two illegal (EOs).”
  • Bannon and his protege, Julia Hahn, who is a former staff writer at Breitbart and who followed her former boss to work in the Trump Administration, co-wrote a 2015 hit piece on Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, in which they attacked the Wisconsin lawmaker for his work on an omnibus bill that included continued protections and work permits for DACA recipients: “Though much of the public attention has surrounded the President’s 2014 executive amnesty, the President’s 2012 amnesty quietly continues to churn out work permits and federal benefits for hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens. Paul Ryan’s bill funds entirely this 2012 executive amnesty for ‘DREAMers’—or illegal immigrants who came to the country as minors.”
  • Bannon’s pupil was also a fan of The Camp of the Saints, and once authored an article lauding the racist novel, stating that “all around the world, events seem to be lining up with the predictions of the book.” In the article, Hahn drew comparisons of Pope Francis’ welcoming attitude towards immigrants to the Papal figure in the French novel whose author partially blames for the “undoing of Western civilization itself.”

Stephen Miller

White House Senior Policy Advisor and former Communications Director for Senator Jeff Sessions

Stephen Miller, one of the architects behind the Trump Administration's harsh immigration policies such as family separation, the Muslim bans, cuts to legal immigration, family separation, and the rescission of DACA, used his influence in the White House to torpedo bipartisan legislation that would have provided permanent protections for Dreamers. Miller has worked to end DACA and hold the program’s recipients hostage in exchange for dramatic cuts to legal immigration, harsh attrition through enforcement measures, and changes to the U.S. asylum system.

About

  • Miller has reportedly been a key player in many of the Trump Administration’s harsh immigration policies including family separation at the Southern border. According to The New York Times, Miller called the zero-tolerance policy that resulted in the separations “a simple decision.”
  • The former Sessions staffer played a role in pushing through the first version of the Trump Administration’s Muslim ban, which also saw the refugee program suspended indefinitely.
  • Prior to joined the Trump campaign and then administration, Miller  worked for Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and former Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) before joining the Trump campaign as an advisor in January of 2016.
  • As one of Sessions’ and then Trump’s most trusted policy advisors, Miller has played a significant role in influencing opposition to immigration reform.
  • According to Haaretz, anti-Muslim speaker David Horowitz served as Miller’s mentor during college and “eventually started Miller out on his political career by introducing him to Sessions.”

Views

  • While still in high school, Miller helped bring Horowitz to speak at his school and published several pieces decrying so-called liberal indoctrination for the Horowitz-published FrontPage Magazine.
  • During his time at Duke University, Miller authored several controversial op-eds claiming that former Sen. Ted Kennedy was “a traitor” for opposing torture, and that multiculturalism is akin to “segregation.”
  • While at Duke, Miller and Richard Spencer, who would go on to become a white nationalist leader invited VDARE founder Peter Brimelow to speak at the university.
  • During a March 2016 episode of a Breitbart radio program with Stephen Bannon, Miller called for an “immigration-off period.”
  • At a May 2015 CIS-hosted awards ceremony honoring Breitbart reporter Neil Munro, Miller praised the honoree and CIS’s Director of Research Steve Camarota.

Attacks on DACA

  • Since joining the Trump Administration, Miller has pushed the President to target undocumented youth by rescinding protections for these young people.
  • The White House Policy Advisor helped to craft a set of anti-immigrant policy priorities outlined by the White House and submitted to congressional leaders. The White House letter to Congress regarding these priorities demanded that they “be included as part of any legislation addressing the status of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients.”
  • Miller devised a bill to cut family based legal immigration avenues by 85%. Miller’s leading external allies, like Mark Krikorian of CIS and Dan Stein of FAIR, have proposed what they want as a trade for DACA: threaten the deportation of 800,000 Dreamers in exchange for a massive ramp-up in enforcement, mandatory e-verify, workplace raids, wall funding, capping guest worker programs, and huge cuts to legal immigration.
  • This is essentially the same trade offered in 2010 by opponents of immigration reform.

Julie Kirchner

CIS Ombudsman and former FAIR Executive Director

As Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman, Julie Kirchner is reportedly working against the mission of her office which is to assist individuals and employers in resolving problems with USCIS. In addition to high staff turnover her office has reportedly faced backlogs in assisting individuals with casework, and has failed to address systemic concerns raised by employees and outside stakeholders. Her agency’s failure to adequately address the needs of legal immigrants in the U.S. is unsurprising, considering she moved into the Administration from FAIR - an organization dedicated to halting as much immigration as possible. In February 2019, House Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings sent Kirchner a letter requesting information pertaining to case backlogs as well as any communications she or her staff may have had about FAIR or with FAIR employees.

About

  • Julie Kirchner joined FAIR as its government relations director in 2005. She was promoted to executive director in 2007, served in that role until August 2015, and joined the Trump campaign shortly afterwards.
  • Kirchner worked briefly as a high-level advisor at CBP in early 2017 before taking up her position as CIS Ombudsman.

Views

  • The CIS Ombudsman was one of FAIR’s main lobbyists during her decade at the organization, maintaining a network of allies in Congress. For example, Kirchner oversaw the launch of FAIR’s legislative efforts to eliminate the constitutionally protected right to birthright citizenship in 2011.
  • During 2007 Congressional testimony Kirchner fretted about the so-called impact that legal immigration has on the environment:“As the rate of immigration grows without limit, so does development and the impact on our environment. America simply cannot sustain perpetual growth infinite places with limited resources. Our immigration policy must recognize this truth.”
  • During Kirchner’s tenure, FAIR worked to torpedo immigration reform efforts in 2013.
  • Under Kirchner’s leadership, FAIR regularly welcomed known white nationalists to its annual events.

Attacks on DACA

  • Since 2001, FAIR has spent over $3.5M in lobbying dollars attacking immigrants including immigrant youth. From 2013 to April 2018, FAIR and NumbersUSA spent more than $8M on radio and television paid advertising attacking all immigration.

Jon Feere

Adviser to Acting ICE Director Thomas Homan

In 2012, Feere gave an interview to the anti-Semitic newspaper American Free Press. The news outlet promotes Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism, and once promoted a book titled The Holocaust Hoax Exposed: Debunking the 20th Century’s Biggest Lie.

About

  • Jon Feere is an adviser at Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and previously worked as a legal policy analyst for CIS.
  • Feere left CIS, where he had worked since 2002, in January of 2017 for his position at ICE.
  • While at his former employer, Feere authored reports and provided testimony to Congress advocating for abolishing the 14th Amendment, as well as harsh attrition through enforcement policies.

Views

Attacks on DACA

Ken Paxton

Texas Attorney General

On May 1, 2018 Texas and 6 other states filed a lawsuit in Judge Hanen’s court to end DACA, seeking a nationwide injunction against renewals. In a press release announcing the actions, Paxton defended the Trump Administration, blaming nationwide injunctions against the program’s rescission which allowed renewals to continue. This followed Paxton’s confirmation that he had coordinated with the Trump Administration to end the program.

About

  • Paxton, who was indicted in 2015 on three felony counts of securities law violations, has led the charge nationally to end DACA and potentially expel 800,000 working immigrants nationally, and 125,000 in Texas.  

Views

Attacks on DACA

  • In June of 2017, Paxton lead 10 Republican state Attorneys General in threatening to amend their pending DAPA lawsuit to sue over DACA 2012, unless President Trump ends the program by September 5, 2017.
  • Texas led the opposition against Obama’s 2014 immigration actions, which would have protected the undocumented parents of U.S. citizens and permanent residents from deportation and allowed them to work legally.
  • In an op-ed for USA Today entitled: Donald Trump Should Keep his Promise to Dump DACA, Paxton again threatened the President over his decision to keep the program in place: “We’ve given the Trump Administration until September 5 to agree to phase out DACA. Otherwise, our lawsuit challenging unlawful deferred-action programs currently pending in district court will be amended to challenge the renewal or issuance of any new DACA permits in the future.”
  • And in a letter to the editor addressed to the WSJ Paxton attempted to defend his vindictive attack on DACA by drawing comparisons between DACA 2012 and DAPA: “DACA is exactly like DAPA and needs to be phased out to preserve the rule of law and constitutional separation of powers.”
  • As the Center for New Community noted in an April 2016 report, Ken Paxton and Greg Abbott worked closely with anti-immigrant groups while leveling a legal challenge against President Obama’s temporary deportation relief program DAPA. The anti-immigrant movement later confirmed its involvement in that legal challenge in June of 2016, after the U.S. Supreme Court allowed an injunction against the program to remain. IRLI, the legal arm of flagship anti-immigrant group FAIR, announced after that decision it had “advised the Texas Attorney-General’s office on key facets of the case.”

Greg Abbott

Texas Governor

U.S. v. Texas marked the 31st time that Governor Greg Abbott had sued the federal government since 2009. Abbott has previously outlined his philosophy on lawsuits by stating, "I go into the office, I sue the federal government, and then I go home."

About

  • Abbott has made immigration crackdowns a key part of his efforts to shore up support among social conservatives and the Tea Party, including:
    • Ending the state refugee resettlement program, forcing agencies to negotiate directly with the federal government for funding
    • Adding approximately $800 million to border funding in 2015 and 2017, the results of which have been unclear.
    • Actively supporting SB4

Views

  • Governor Abbott signed SB4 into law on Facebook Live. The law, which is widely considered one of the harshest state immigration laws currently on the books, will allow law enforcement officials to inquire about a person’s immigration status when they are held for any legal detention including a routine traffic stop. The Texas Conference of Catholic Bishops strongly opposed the bill and prior to its signing on a Sunday away from public scrutiny they had called on the Governor to veto it.

Attacks on DACA

  • Greg Abbott, then the governor-elect and outgoing TX Attorney General, indicated shortly after President Obama’s 2014 announcement of the DAPA/expanded DACA program Texas’ intent to sue. 26 states in total joined the lawsuit, with Texas at the helm. From there, the newly elected Attorney General, Ken Paxton, carried out the lawsuit through the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • The case went through the District Court in Brownsville, Texas, where Judge Andrew S. Hanen, thought to be sympathetic to Texas’s view, sided with Texas, and issued a preliminary injunction, 2 days before the new policy was to go into effect, and indefinitely prevent the Obama Administration from implementing the program.
  • The United States immediately filed a stay at the District level (February 23, 2015) to temporarily lift the injunction while the case made its way to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. Judge Hanen, however, denied that request on April 7th, 2015.
  • The 5th Circuit affirmed the District ruling while still denying the United States’s motion to stay in order to implement the program. The United States decided to appeal to the Supreme Court to reverse the ruling, filing in November, 2015.
  • The U.S Supreme Court agreed to hear the case, but remained divided and gave no decision on the case in a 4-4 tie. The injunction remained as the United States petitioned for a rehearing, under which the Court said it would review upon the nomination of a new Justice.
  • Finally, in June of this year, the new Trump Administration rescinded the DAPA memo. The program never commenced, and those who would have received deferred action and temporary work permits, never had the chance to apply.
  • Abbott’s Attorney General Ken Paxton thanked President Trump, but swiftly also gave notice that the United States should do the same and rescind the DACA program, threatening to amend the U.S. v. Texas case to make the DACA program and whether it is Constitutional, its central question.

Steve King

Congressman (R-IA 4th District)

King, who toasted on Twitter to reports of the first DACA recipient being deported under the Trump Administration, has often characterized undocumented youth as drug runners: "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." Later on in the interview, King claimed that undocumented youth were "undermining our culture and civilization."

About

  • Congressman Steve King of Iowa is the most vocal proponent of deporting the undocumented, as well as making cuts to overall immigration levels, in the House of Representatives.
  • For years, King has espoused extreme and false far right beliefs about immigrants and minorities, has associated with Nazi-founded European political parties like the Austrian Freedom Party, and has pushed back on immigration reform bills with groups founded and funded by eugenics proponent John Tanton.
  • Rep. King’s statements about immigrants and association with white supremacists have become increasingly explicit in recent years, and have even drawn criticism from individuals within his own party.

Views and Associations

  • King has openly associated with the anti-immigrant lobby for years, including frequent attendance at FAIR’s annual “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” event, and appearing at events hosted by FAIR, NumbersUSA and CIS:
    • In 2013, as Congress was considering another bipartisan immigration compromise, King joined Reps. Barletta, Brooks, Lamar Smith and Senator Sessions on a CIS teleconference to argue against it.
    • King joined NumbersUSA executive director Roy Beck at a 2013 rally against the same bill.
    • King was a recipient of Tanton’s political action committee USIRPAC in ‘02, ‘04, ‘06, ‘08, ‘12, ‘14, ’16 and 2018.
    • The Republican Congressman, who frequently makes overtly racist comments about immigrants and minorities, has previously praised the nationalist Dutch politician Geert Wilders and echoed his belief in white superiority: “Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny,” King wrote. “We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.”
  • King frequently expresses his belief in white supremacy, such as by posing to MSNBC host Chris Hayes “Where did any other sub-group of people contribute more to civilization… than white people?”
  • And as a proponent of ending birthright citizenship, he has introduced legislation that would do just that.
  • King is a advocate for mass deportation, and reintroduced his End Sanctuary Capitol Act in 2017 or H.R.3486 which would “authorize the Capitol Police to enforce the immigration laws.”

Attacks on DACA

  • From the announcement of the program in 2012, King has led the charge against DACA in the House.
  • Since DACA’s rescission Congressman King has pledged to do the “killing-of all amnesty in every form!” He also exclaimed to Breitbart News’ Whatever It Takes radio host Curt Schilling that there is a “a pejoraty [sic] against white people in America. It’s an anti-white, anti-Western civilization culture that they are fostering.”
  • In addition to his repeated mischaracterization of the majority of Dreamers as criminals, the Iowa Congressman has introduced a number of amendments to must-pass bills such as the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and the DHS Appropriations bills that would have made life exponentially more difficult for DACA recipients:
    • In June 2013 King introduced an amendment to the DHS Appropriations Act that would have prohibited the use of funds to process DACA applications.
    • In June 2016 King attempted to attach two amendments to the NDAA, both of which were designed to prohibit Dreamers from serving in the military. These were ultimately rejected, and 34 Republicans voted against the measure.
  • In the summer of 2014, he worked with Reps. Blackburn and Barletta to pass a bill that would have halted DACA.

Ted Cruz

U.S. Senator (R-TX)

Ted Cruz

Connections

During a campaign stop in 2016, Cruz berated a DACA recipient who shared her story with the Senator: “I would note, if you’re a DACA recipient it means that you were brought here illegally, and violating the laws has consequences.”

About

  • Cruz was elected to the Senate in 2012 with the support of the Tea Party.
  • Prior to being elected Texas’s junior U.S. Senator, Cruz served as the state’s Solicitor General. Two of his mentees in the solicitor general’s office, Chip Roy and Scott A. Keller, spearheaded many of the attacks on Dreamers and President Obama’s immigration policies through the courts, including U.S. v Texas.
  • Senator Cruz has aligned himself with anti-immigrant groups in their efforts to attack DACA and commonsense immigration reform.
  • In 2013 Senators Cruz, Sessions and Reps. King and Brooks spoke at a rally organized by a front group of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). Cruz’s policies are in lockstep with FAIR and their congressional allies and in during the 2016 presidential race he bragged about defeating comprehensive immigration reform with Senator Sessions.

Views

  • In previous years Cruz was open to providing a path to legalization for undocumented immigrants and supported expanding legal immigration. But in an attempt to match Donald Trump’s extreme proposals on immigration policy during the 2016 presidential race, he quickly abandoned some of his earlier positions and matched his rival’s calls to end birthright citizenship, “freeze” legal immigration channels and enact mass deportation.

Attacks on DACA

  • In 2014 Cruz stated that ending DACA was a “top priority” which he demonstrated by introducing the Protect Children and Families Through the Rule of Law Act. S.2666 which would have defunded DACA, died in the Senate but a similar bill H.R.5272, offered by Rep. Blackburn passed the House by recorded vote on August 1, 2014.

Louie Gohmert

Congressman (R-TX 1st District)

In July 2010, Rep. Gohmert offered up his “terror babies” conspiracy theory on the floor of the House, claiming that “[terrorists] would get [pregnant women] into the United States to have a baby… then they would turn back where they could be raised and coddled as future terrorists… and then one day, twenty, thirty years down the road, they can be sent in to help destroy our way of life.” The following year CIS attempted to add an academic veil to this theory in a report entitled: “Birthright Citizenship for the Children of Visitors: A National Security Problem in the Making?”

About

  • Since 2005, Rep. Louie Gohmert has served Texas’ 1st District in the U.S. House of Representatives.
  • Rep. Gohmert is an active supporter of the organized anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant movements, and maintains close relationships with their leaders.
  • The Texan has an A+ rating by NumbersUSA, and is a regular attendee at FAIR’s annual “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” event.

Views and Associations

  • From his position on the immigration subcommittee, Rep. Gohmert has become a go-to for far-right fringe media outlets for opinions on immigration and terrorism, and frequently peddles bigotry and conspiracy theories regarding undocumented immigrants and Muslims.
  • When referring to an influx of unaccompanied minors arriving in Texas in 2014, Rep. Gohmert attempted to bring in the Texas National Guard to “stop the invasion… [because] we don’t know what diseases they’re bringing in.”

Attacks on DACA

  • Rep. Gohmert is a staunch opponent of DACA, and since 2012 has worked with Representatives King, Blackburn, Brooks and others in the House to attack the program in every way possible. He has supported legislation that would defund DACA both as stand alone bills and amendments attached to must-pass appropriations bills like the NDAA or the Department of Homeland Security Appropriation Act.
  • In 2016 Congress Gohmert supported amendments to the NDAA offered by Representatives King and Gosar which were designed to prohibit Dreamers from serving in the military.
  • In the summer of 2014 Gohmert worked with Reps. Blackburn, Barletta, King and Brooks to pass a bill that would have halted DACA.
  • In 2013 Congressman Gohmert voted in favor of an amendment to the DHS Appropriations Act. H.Amdt.136 would have prohibited the use of funds to process DACA applications. It passed by a recorded vote 224/221.

Marsha Blackburn

U.S. Senator (R-TN)

In 2017 Blackburn who is known to associate with extremist groups celebrated President Trump’s inauguration with Rep. Steve King and the Austrian Freedom Party, which was founded by Nazis in 1956.

About

  • Senator Blackburn has represented Tennessee’s 7th Congressional district since 2002, and has for years advocated for legislation harmful to immigrants and refugees.

Views and Associations

  • The Tennessean holds an A+ rating from NumbersUSA and has a score of 100% from FAIR, whose annual “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” event she attends regularly.
  • In 2014 Blackburn, was honored with an award from the anti-Muslim grassroots group ACT! ACT! for America honors lawmakers who work to pass legislation aimed at disparaging both immigrants and Muslims.

Attacks on DACA

  • In 2015, then-Congresswoman Blackburn introduced an amendment to the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act that would have defunded DACA.
  • In 2014, Blackburn voted in opposition to the House Continuing Resolution, which she said “failed to take the steps necessary to defund President Obama’s executive actions to expand amnesty for illegal aliens.”
  • In the same year Blackburn introduced a bill which would have prohibited federal funds from being used to process DACA applications. The bill passed the House by recorded voted on August 1, 2014.

Paul Gosar

Congressman (R-AZ 4th District)

On Congressman Gosar’s website he brags about his high marks from anti-immigrant groups NumbersUSA and FAIR: “For my leadership and action on these issues, I have a career grade of “A+” with the immigration enforcement advocacy group NumbersUSA and a career 100% rating with the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).”

About

  • Congressman Paul Gosar represents the 4th District of Arizona, and associates with some of the furthest fringe congressional members and their allies in the anti-immigrant lobby who advocate for mass roundups of the undocumented, radical reductions to overall immigration levels, ending birthright citizenship, and barring individuals based on religion.
  • Rep. Gosar frequently cites CIS, FAIR, and NumbersUSA in many of his public statements on immigration, and often touts their endorsement of legislation he sponsors.
  • Gosar was a recipient of Tanton’s political action committee USIRPAC in 2014.

Views and Associations

  • The Arizona congressman is a cosponsor of King’s H.R.140, the Birthright Citizenship Act of 2017, which would eliminate granting automatic citizenship to the U.S.-born children to undocumented parents.
  • Congressman Gosar is a strong supporter of Arizona’s draconian “show me your papers” bill SB 1070 and has expressed his admiration for the legislation on multiple occasions: “I have been an avid supporter of the Arizona immigration law… Arizona was forced to fend for itself and enforce the laws already on the books because the Federal Government refused to.”

Attacks on DACA

  • In July of 2017 Rep. Gosar introduced an amendment to the NDAA to prohibit DACA recipients from joining the military via the MAVNI program, which allows for some non-citizens who possess unique and sought-after medical or language skills to enlist.
  • Gosar introduced the same amendment in the 114th Congress and it was a rejected in a recorded vote with 30 Republicans voting against it.

Mo Brooks

Congressman (R-AL 5th District)

At a town hall in June of 2011, the Alabama congressman claimed he would do “anything short of shooting" undocumented immigrants to remove them from the U.S..

About

  • Rep. Brooks has openly associated with the anti-immigrant lobby for years, and has participated at events with FAIR and CIS.
  • He is a regular attendee at FAIR’s annual “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” event, and in addition to citing FAIR’s research on the House floor, he has attended multiple events sponsored by CIS.
  • Brooks touts CIS’ endorsement of legislation he sponsors, and was a recipient of Tanton’s political action committee USIRPAC in 2014 and 2016.

Views and Associations

  • On Alabama’s destructive HB 56, Brooks claimed that reports of Latino students staying home were the intended outcome of the legislation.
  • Brooks complained that criticism of Senator Session’s dismal record on civil rights amounted to a “war on whites,” a phrase he had used in 2014. Unsurprisingly Brooks went back on his agreement with the RNC to stop using the divisive language.
  • The Alabama Congressman supports revoking the 14th Amendment and is cosponsor of Rep. King’s H.R.140, the Birthright Citizenship Act of 2017, which would eliminate granting automatic citizenship to the U.S.-born children to undocumented parents.
  • Tanton’s US Immigration Reform PAC contributed to Brooks’ 2018 congressional campaign.

Attacks on DACA

  • Brooks has been a strident opponent of allowing Dreamers to serve in the U.S. military, and has previously introduced legislation to prevent DACA recipients from doing so.
  • In 2014, Brooks warned his colleagues that “all hell will break loose” if they supported legislation that would allow Dreamers to serve and be “on equal footing with American citizens for jobs in the military.”
  • Additionally, Rep. Brooks cautioned lawmakers against supporting Congressman Jeff Denham’s ENLIST Act on the premise of their possible loyalty to the U.S.

Lou Barletta

Former Congressman (R-PA 11th District) and member of FAIR's Board of Advisors

The FAIR Board of Advisors member once stated that his 2006 Hazleton effort was inspired by self-described “proud nationalist” Joseph Turner. Turner pushed a similar effort in San Bernardino, California in order to prevent the state from becoming, as he claimed, a “Third World Cesspool.”

About

  • Former U.S. Representative Lou Barletta (R-PA) served in Congress from 2011 to 2019.
  • He previously served as mayor of Hazleton, Pennsylvania, where he implemented and defended a draconian anti-immigrant housing ordinance, which had been devised by Kris Kobach, in 2006. Since arriving in Congress, Barletta has continued to champion the organized anti-immigrant movement and made no secret of his support for their work.
  • A federal judge ultimately ruled that the ordinance was unconstitutional, and ordered Hazleton to pay $1.4 million to attorneys who challenged the law. Barletta showed no remorse for city taxpayers following the ruling.
  • After working with FAIR on the Hazleton ordinance, Barletta joined their advisory board and remains a member today.

Views and Associations

  • In addition to FAIR, Barletta has praised the work and counsel of NumbersUSA. “I rely on NumbersUSA whenever there’s an immigration-related bill in the House,” he told MSNBC in 2013. ”I like to get their input and their opinion on pending legislation, and I like to hear what they have to say about immigration-related bills and amendments I’m considering offering.”
  • Barletta lauded the publication of a report by anti-immigrant think tank Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) in 2014, claiming that the release of the report should be referred to as “the day immigration reform died.”
  • Barletta was a recipient of Tanton’s political action committee USIRPAC in ‘08, ‘12, ‘14, ’16 and 2018, is a featured speaker at the 2011 Writer’s Workshop of The Social Contract Press, an annual event organized by Tanton’s U.S. Inc., and is a regular attendee at FAIR’s annual immigrant bashing “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” event.
  • In 2009, he spoke at a conference hosted by The American Cause, a group which promotes white supremacy. American Cause’s executive director was previously charged with carrying out a hate crime against an African American woman.
  • In 2013, as Congress was considering another bipartisan immigration compromise, Barletta joined Reps. King, Brooks, Lamar Smith and Senator Sessions on a CIS teleconference to argue against it.
  • The Pennsylvania Congressman supports revoking birthright citizenship as laid out in the 14th Amendment and is cosponsor of Rep. King’s H.R.140, the Birthright Citizenship Act of 2017, which would eliminate granting automatic citizenship to the U.S.-born children to undocumented parents.

Attacks on DACA

  • The close ally to Kris Kobach has attacked Dreamers for years, including introducing a piece of legislation introduced this Congress, the Defense of Legal Workers Act of 2017, which would prohibit DACA recipients from receiving work authorization.
  • Barletta voted in favor of legislation that would defund DACA and subject the program’s recipients to immediate deportation.
  • In the summer of 2014, Barletta worked with Reps. Blackburn and King to pass a bill that would have halted DACA. Barletta released a statement congratulating himself saying that he, “played a key role” in stopping a “non-deportation policy in it’s tracks”

Breitbart

Formerly headed by Steve Bannon, Breitbart is a right wing media site that routinely publishes anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim conspiracy theories and gives a platform to many anti-immigrant talking heads. Far-right Breitbart News has used its rising platform to parrot and amplify the anti-immigrant movement’s bigoted message. Reports and other publications produced by anti-immigrant groups like the Center for Immigration Studies and Federation for American Immigration Reform reliably garner positive coverage from the outlet once described by Steve Bannon as “the platform for the alt-right.”

Fox News

Fox not only gives a platform to anti-immigrant voices, but also spreads anti-immigrant conspiracy theories to a wide audience via its nightly pundits such as Laura Ingraham and Tucker Carlson.  As the country’s most prominent right wing news outlet, Fox News has reliably provided a platform for the anti-immigrant movement for years. Anti-immigrant spokespeople and publications by anti-immigrant groups are a fixture of the network’s immigration-related coverage. Ironically, Tucker Carlson, the keystone anchor of Fox’s primetime programming was once an ardent critic of the Federation for American Immigration Reform and other anti-immigrant spokespeople. “There are reasonable critics of immigration, but [FAIR’s] Dan Stein is not one of them,” Carlson wrote in a 1997 Wall Street Journal article. “Which makes it all the more puzzling that a number of otherwise sober-minded conservatives seem to be making common cause with Mr. Stein and FAIR.” 20 years later, Stein has been an in-studio guest on Tucker Carlson Tonight multiple times in 2017.

National Review

While National Review has removed a number of far-right contributors such as John Derbyshire and Peter Brimelow, it continues to publish a regular column from CIS’s Mark Krikorian and regularly publishes the work of prominent figures in the anti-immigrant movement. 

National Review has misleadingly developed a reputation as the home base for reasonable conservative thought, largely due to the publication’s founder, the late racist William F. Buckley’s opposition to conspiracy-spouting groups like the John Birch Society. However, the outlet has regularly published Center for Immigration Studies Executive Director Mark Krikorian for nearly 15 years. Krikorian’s missives for the magazine and its online companion are rife with incendiary and bigoted sentiment. Among other things, Krikorian has derided the “weakness and backwardness” of Mexicans, cited known white nationalist thinkers like the late Samuel Huntington, called for Israeli-style border militarization, and accused pro-immigrant faith leaders of “prostituting scripture.” National Review’s editorial board and contributors have also been ardent proponents of Jeff Sessions’ so-called “humble and honest populism,” a euphemism for destructive and draconian anti-immigrant enforcement measures that baselessly scapegoat immigrants for income inequality.

Others

The anti-immigrant movement has also benefited from conservative new media publications. These outlets include, but are not limited to, The Washington Times, The Daily Caller, The Washington Examiner, Lifezette, One America News, Newsmax, and blogs of conservative organizations such as the American Family Association’s One News Now, and the Heritage Foundation’s The Daily Signal. Much like coverage the anti-immigrant movement receives from Breitbart, these smaller outlets frequently present anti-immigrant leaders and their assertions uncritically, flouting any traditional standards for journalistic integrity.