What if all the leading anti-immigration groups were founded by the same man?

“What if all the leading anti-immigration groups were founded by the same man, funded by the same organization, and [had] ties to White supremacy?” So begins Heidi Beirich’s narrative in “Behind the Veil”—a new video being released today that details the common origins of many of the country’s leading anti-immigration groups and their ties to White supremacists. In the video, Beirich of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC)—the nation’s premier monitor of hate groups—discusses SPLC’s research on organizations such as the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), NumbersUSA, and the Social Contract Press.

Beirich’s narrative, in particular, draws connections between anti-immigrant forces and one of their founders/funders, retired ophthalmologist John Tanton. Beirich shows how the more extreme groups are designed to coexist with those that appear to the public and media as more moderate.

“There is a debate to be had over immigration,” says the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) President and CEO Janet Murguía, “and we’re anxious to have it. But, so far, the rhetoric has not been about policy, it has been about hate. No good policy has ever come from the demonization of one group by another. The hate has got to stop.”

Produced by NCLR, “Behind the Veil” is the last of three videos that are part of a campaign to divorce hate groups and hate speech from the immigration debate. As with the organizations featured in the other two videos, the Anti-Defamation League (“Code Words of Hate”) and the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (“America’s Immigration Legacy”), the SPLC has no public policy stake in the immigration debate. All three videos can be found on NCLR’s website: www.WeCanStopTheHate.org.

“On the one hand,” says Beirich, “the anti-immigrant system is based on pandering to the extremists that you know will join your ranks, back you, fund you, and attend your events. On the other hand, it tries to use groups like FAIR to present a more moderate face that seems disconnected from these folks, but really at the end of the day, isn’t.” “Most people,” says Murguía, “don’t realize that these groups have common origins and agendas that are suspect.”

Beirich also draws the connection between the dramatic rise in hate groups over the past eight years to their refocus on anti-immigrant rhetoric. According to the SPLC, the number of hate groups targeting Latinos is up 48% since the year 2000.

“The driving factor that we found behind this,” says Beirich, “is the shift to pounding the anti-immigrant drum. Every one of them recruits now on immigration. That’s what is driving the rise of hate groups—that, and almost that alone.”

This copy came from a press release I recieved today via email from the National Council of La Raza.

About Admin

"Admin" is just editors Vern Nelson, Greg Diamond, or Ryan Cantor sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.