Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Anti-Immigration Movement

The immigration debate in the United States has been marked by racist propaganda, bogus statistics about immigrants and wild conspiracy theories — all of which combine to dehumanize Latino immigrants and falsely portray them as disease-carrying, job-stealing criminals invading our country.

This xenophobic rhetoric — echoes of the scapegoating of new immigrants throughout American history — has seeped steadily into the mainstream, taken up by right-wing politicians and popular media figures like Lou Dobbs.

The myths and conspiracy theories about immigrants often originate within racist extremist organizations. And the vitriol heard daily on talk radio and cable TV has helped nurture a movement of anti-immigration groups as well as traditional hate groups.

The number of hate groups operating in the United States has grown to 926 — a staggering 50 percent increase since 2000, driven largely by anti-immigrant hysteria. And since the spring of 2005, some 300 new immigration restriction groups, including border vigilantes like the Minutemen and organizations that exist simply to harass Latino immigrants, have sprung up across the country. Of that number, 173 are listed as "nativist extremist" groups — organizations that do not merely seek to change immigration policy, but actively confront or harass individuals who they believe are undocumented.

Many anti-immigrant groups — like the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) — present a veneer of respectability but are deeply rooted in the world of white supremacists. In fact, John Tanton, the founder of FAIR, is considered by many to be the father of the anti-immigration movement.

At the same time that anti-immigrant rhetoric has grown more heated, violence against Latinos has grown. FBI statistics suggest that hate crimes against Latinos climbed 35 percent from 2003 to 2006.

Undeniably, this issue has proven to be fertile ground for hate groups and other extremists looking to spread their racist beliefs. That is why it is important to understand the background and motives of the groups shaping the discussion. The nation's immigration debate is too important to be defined by radical groups manipulating it for their own bigoted reasons.

Editor's Note: Most of the articles and profiles featured here first appeared in the Intelligence Report, the SPLC's quarterly investigative journal. Their publication dates are noted prominently throughout.

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1 comment:

Vicente Duque said...

Republican senators Christopher S. ( "Kit" ) Bond of Missouri and Judd Gregg of New Hampshire announce vote for Sonia Sotomayor - Votation is Today's Afternoon : Thursday August 6, 2009

Eight Republicans have announced that they will vote YES in the U. S. Senate to confirm the nominee for the Supreme Court

The other Republicans announcing votes for Sotomayor are Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Richard G. Lugar of Indiana, Mel Martinez of Florida and Susan Collins and Olympia J. Snowe, both of Maine. Other Republican senators who haven’t seemed to tip their hand in public yet include Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and George Voinovich of Ohio.

Associated Press and Google

Senate poised to make history with Sotomayor vote
August 7, 2009

Senate poised to make history with Sotomayor vote


Some excerpts :

Senate poised to make history with Sotomayor vote

WASHINGTON — Sonia Sotomayor stands on the verge of making history as the Supreme Court's first Hispanic justice, despite staunch opposition from Republicans who call her ill-suited for the bench.

The Democratic-led Senate is set to vote Thursday to confirm President Barack Obama's high court nominee, a 55-year-old appeals court judge of Puerto Rican descent who was raised in a New York City housing project, educated in the Ivy League and served 17 years on the federal bench.

Sotomayor picked up more GOP support Wednesday even as nearly three-quarters of the Senate's 40 Republicans said they would vote "no" .....

The National Rifle Association is strongly opposing her and has threatened to downgrade any senator who votes to confirm Sotomayor in its closely watched candidate ratings. The warning has made little impact on Democrats, many of whom have rallied behind the judge despite their perfect or near-perfect ratings from the NRA, but it may have influenced some Republicans who were initially considered possible supporters but have since announced their opposition, citing gun rights as a key reason.

Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., also said he'd vote for her, adding that politicizing the confirmation process — as he argued Democrats did when they blocked GOP nominees in the past — "undermines the public's views of our courts and the integrity of our judicial system."


Vicente Duque