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The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), the oldest and arguably most influential nativist group in the country, held their annual “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” event in Washington DC on September 15 and 16, 2009. Despite being unable to attract any sizable grassroots participation, dozens of members of Congress flocked to participate in the event’s “radio row.”

FAIR continues to claim that “hundreds activists from across the country” participated, but only fifty people showed up for the event. That’s only five more than the forty-five talk radio hosts who broadcasted from the event, and barely more than the twenty-seven of members of Congress in attendance.

The twenty-three members of the House of Representatives in attendance included Brian Bilbray (R-CA), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Kevin Brady (R-TX), Henry Brown (R-SC), John Carter (R-TX), Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Geoff Davis (R-KY), Nathan Deal (R-GA), Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Parker Griffith (D-AL), Walter Jones (R-NC), Jack Kingston (R-GA), Steve King (R-IA), Ted Poe (R-TX), Tom Price (R-GA), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Hal Rogers (R-KY), Ed Royce (R-CA), Paul Ryan (R-WI), Lamar Smith (R-TX), and Joe Wilson (R-SC).

Eighteen of the participants were members of the House Immigration Reform Caucus, the 93-member nativist bloc in Congress. Twenty-two of the twenty-three Representatives were Republicans.

Also making visits to radio row were Senators Jim Bunning (R-KY), Charles Grassley (R-IA), Ben Nelson (D-NE), and Jeff Sessions (R-AL). Sessions is one of the eleven members of the nativist U.S. Senate Border Security and Enforcement First Caucus. Three of the four Senators were Republican.

Other notable nativists participating in the Hold their Feet to the Fire radio row included white nationalist standard-bearer Pat Buchanan;  Peter Brimelow, founder of the white nationalist website VDARE; former head of the HIRC, Tom Tancredo; anti-immigrant Arizona Sheriff, Joe Arpaio; and Hazleton, Pennsylvania Mayor Lou Barletta.


Devin Burghart

Author Devin Burghart

is vice president of IREHR. He coordinates our Seattle office, directs our research efforts, and manages our online communications. He has researched, written, and organized on virtually all facets of contemporary white nationalism since 1992, and is internationally recognized for this effort. Devin is frequently quoted as an expert by print, broadcast, and online media outlets. In 2007, he was awarded a Petra Foundation fellowship. more...

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