Despite the valiant efforts of unions, immigrant rights and progressive groups, nativists successfully led an effort to repeal hard-fought legislation to provide driver cards to undocumented immigrants in Oregon.
IREHR examines the behind-the-scenes political committees, uncovers the network of anti-immigrant and Tea Party groups in the state, and follows the money to find out how nativists were victorious in Oregon. We also look at what the nativist victory portends for national immigration reform in 2015 and beyond.
Even before the recent controversy about the CPAC and the white nationalist directing the English-Only outfit ProEnglish, organizations pushing English-Only legislation have had a long history of employing bigots.
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, known nationally for his anti-immigrant activism, is scheduled to share the stage with a long-time white nationalist leader Saturday at CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference.
Kobach is on a panel entitled "High Fences, Wide Gates: States vs. the Feds, the Rule of Law & American Identity" alongside Robert "Bob" Vandervoort. The organizational affiliation listed for Vandevoort at CPAC is executive director of ProEnglish. What Vandervoort left out of his bio is that during his time in Illinois he was also the organizer of the white nationalist group Chicagoland Friends of American Renaissance.
Bob Vandervoort is scheduled to moderate a Thursday afternoon panel at the CPAC 2012 conference, entitled, "The Failure of Multiculturalism: How the Pursuit of Diversity is Weakening the American Identity." Vandervoort listed his organizational affiliation as executive director of ProEnglish—an English-Only outfit founded by John Tanton. What he left out of his bio is that he was also the organizer of the white nationalist group, Chicagoland Friends of American Renaissance, while he lived in Illinois.
Excerpts from presentation by Leonard Zeskind to the "Annual Civil Rights Town Hall Meeting" held by the Kansas City, Missouri branch of the NAACP on January 28, 2012.
In this special report the Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights (IREHR) delineates the intersection of two trends. One is a measureable drop in the number of local and national anti-immigrant organizations that were established prior to the presidency of Barack Obama. Along the same lines, those organizations which remained experienced a noticeable decrease in the size of their membership and financial support.
This has led to a relative decline in what IREHR describes as the Nativist Establishment. It should be noted that IREHR is not arguing that these organizations have disappeared altogether. Neither does IREHR contend that such organizations have ceased to be a danger to human rights. Rather, the data suggests that their size and power have fallen relative to the strength they had achieved at their height during the period 2007-2008.
The second trend is a rise in anti-immigrant activism by the Tea Parties. As IREHR reported in its 2010 special report, Tea Party Nationalism, anti-immigrant sentiment and activism have been part of the Tea Party mix from the beginning. Indeed, we noted then that one of the six national factions, 1776 Tea Party, had imported its staff leadership directly from the Minutemen. In Beyond FAIR, however, we note both an increase in anti-immigrant activism by national and local Tea Party groups, as well as a measurable number of anti-immigrant leaders who have joined the Tea Parties and consequently accelerated the rate of anti-immigrant activism by those Tea Parties.
To a noticeable degree, the transfer of organizational allegiances to the Tea Parties noted in trend two is caused by the drop in strength by established anti-immigrant organizations described in trend one.
This re-articulation of the Nativist Establishment into the Tea Parties changes both the shape and strength of the anti-immigrant impulse in American life. Mixed into the activities of multi-issue organizations (the Tea Parties), it will be harder to delineate and counter by immigrant rights advocates. Further, the Tea Party movement by itself is larger and more significant than the Nativist Establishment ever was, even at its height. As a result, anti-immigrant activism has a bigger immediate constituency and is likely to be stronger.
NumbersUSA announced that they will air television ads during the next GOP presidential candidate debate that advocate further restrictions on the level of documented (so called "legal") immigrants. As IREHR recently noted, some national nativist groups appear to be changing course, and preparing to launch a campaign to restrict documented immigration. If this shift in nativist strategy fully materializes, it is likely to alter the terms of discussion by policymakers and the public.
A Michigan university got quite a shock when they requested a speaker from an upstate anti-immigration group.
Just when you thought they were out, they jump right back in…
As quickly as one anti-immigrant group extricates itself from the Tea Party Nation convention, another one jumps in to fill the gap.