John Tanton

John Tanton

The modern anti-immigrant movement was set in motion by a network of groups founded by John Tanton and funded by a handful of wealthy donors including Cordelia Scaife May. Scaife May and her Colcom Foundation have funneled millions of dollars into Tanton-founded groups. Colcom continues to bankroll these groups, bolstering their ability to influence immigration policy at the highest levels of government. Additionally, according to the Wall Street Journal, Tanton’s first group, 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, who is the author of The Case for Passive Eugenics, helped to found and fund a number of key anti-immigrant groups, in order to maintain a “clear European-American majority,” as Tanton once wrote.

The modern day anti-immigrant movement began in 1979, when white nationalist and eugenics proponent John Tanton founded his flagship Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). According to Tanton’s funding proposal to get FAIR started, he said “we plan to make the restriction of immigration a legitimate position for thinking people.” The movement took shape in subsequent years as Tanton either founded or helped found other organizations, most notably the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) in 1985 and NumbersUSA in 1996.

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 had a hand 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.” His influence on the groups he established is significant and remains today even after his death in July 2019.

In fact, following Tanton’s passing, FAIR President Dan Stein described FAIR’s founder as “a person with extraordinary persistence in promoting ideas,” and a “gift to the nation” who “will be sorely missed.” Stein also noted Tanton’s influence over immigration policy in the U.S., saying, “Of course for John, the big reward was to see a number of the organizations he helped conceive grow into tall oaks – guiding and shaping the public discourse in history-changing ways.” Stein repeatedly defended Tanton throughout the years, once telling Rachel Maddow that he would, “go to bat” for Tanton anytime.

Cultivated over decades, FAIR, CIS, NumbersUSA, and IRLI, maintain strong working relationships with members of Congress, state and local electeds, and law enforcement officials. Tanton’s PAC, run by his wife, Mary Lou, has donated thousands of dollars to elected officials, including Jeff Sessions, Steve King, Mo Brooks and Lou Barletta.

The modern anti-immigrant movement which Tanton helped to build now has unprecedented power and influence in the Trump Administration, where they work with White House Senior Policy Advisor Stephen Miller to implement policies to restrict immigration as much as possible.

Years ago, Tanton donated a number of boxes of his papers to the University of Michigan’s Bentley Library. Some of these boxes were made available to the public, while boxes 15 – 25 are closed to the public until 2035, per the gift agreement. After a lawsuit brought by immigration attorney and advocate Hassan Ahmad, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that the “sealed records are public records and should be made available.” Instead of releasing the records, UM has instead continued to fight against the release of these documents.

  • In a memo addressed to attendees of Tanton’s nativist retreat, he warned of a “latin onslaught,” asked if Latino immigrants would bring with them the “tradition of the mordida (bribe),” fretted about the “educability” of Latinos, and posed the question, “as whites see their power and control over their lives declining, will they simply go quietly into the night? Or will there be an explosion?”
  • Tanton promoted and helped fund sterilization efforts throughout the developing world for decades, and had a history of attacking religious institutions, such as the Catholic Church.
  • In 1997, Tanton told the Detroit Free Press that if borders are not secured, America will be overrun by people “defecating and creating garbage and looking for jobs.”
  • The eugenics proponent corresponded regularly with prominent white supremacists including Jared Taylor, Peter Brimelow and Sam Francis.
  • In a letter to benefactor Cordelia Scaife May, Tanton assured his friend that his population control policies would not disrupt their goal of maintaining a white ethnic majority in the U.S.: “The idea behind the population movement was not those of us who thought population was a problem would adopt permanent sub-replacement fertility, and eventually disappear from the scene, handing our territory over to the more fertile, and thereby lose the battle.”

Cordelia Scaife May/Colcom and Scaife Foundations

Financial Contributions to anti-immigration causes made by Colcom, Sarah Scaife, Scaife Family and the Carthage foundations 2006-2017

$127.69M

 

 

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. Between 2006 and 2017, the Scaife Family Foundation donated over $2.2 million to anti-immigrant groups. Between 2006 and 2014, the Carthage Foundation donated over $1.3 million to anti-immigrant groups.

The Colcom, Sarah Scaife, Scaife Family, and Carthage Foundations were founded, funded, and run by the late Richard Mellon Scaife, his sister Cordelia Scaife May, and their family members. The Scaife Family Foundation is based in West Palm Beach, Florida, and the other foundations are all based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 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. Cordelia Scaife May used her fortune to advance causes she personally cared about, specifically the environment, population control, and immigration restriction. She left more than $400 million to her Foundation to promote “sustainable” immigration that wouldn’t “overwhelm the environment.”

Founded in 1996 by May, the Colcom Foundation is the largest funder of anti-immigrant groups in the U.S. John Tanton was a friend of May, whose Colcom Foundation says it wants to roll back America’s “ever-increasing population,” provided the financial backing for eugenics-proponent Tanton to build a comprehensive network of anti-immigrant groups aimed at preventing as much immigration to the U.S. as possible and preventing future entries.

May, who thought that the U.S. was “being invaded on all fronts,” by immigrants who “breed like hamsters,” bonded with Tanton in the 1970s over their passion for population control, and credited Tanton for helping her “realize she could take a stand for her beliefs.” Like Tanton, May’s obsession with population control was largely motivated by race, and once stated that “the unwanted child is not the problem, but rather, the wanted one that society, for diverse cultural reasons, demands.”  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.” Further, Colcom provided funding to VDARE, a website that publishes white nationalist and anti-Semitic content.

Leaders at the organizations May helped to build have failed to distance themselves from May’s extremist views, and have noted the role she played in building the groups they now lead. President of FAIR Dan Stein has said that May was of “enormous foresight and wisdom” and that she and others who helped create FAIR “would be gratified over the fact that we’ve seen these ideas championed at the highest level.” Roy Beck, president of the anti-immigrant grassroots organization NumbersUSA, said of the Colcom foundation, “without them, it would be a very different situation… We’d be functioning at a very different level.” Mark Krikorian, executive director of Tanton’s think thank, CIS, has stated that May was their biggest funder, and that she came to the issue “from the concern about population growth.” Colcom’s current vice president of philanthropy, John Rohe, formerly served on the board of Tanton’s U.S. Inc, wrote a biography of Tanton and his wife, Mary Lou & John Tanton: A Journey into American Conservation, in 2002.

Today, the anti-immigrant network has unprecedented power and influence over immigration policy in the United States; the draconian policies championed by the organizations May kickstarted are being proposed and implemented by the Trump Administration. Unsurprisingly, Colcom has increased their funding to Tanton’s organizations during this time, as reported by the Post Gazette in July 2019. Following a New York Times investigation and front page article which revealed May’s powerful role in funding the anti-immigrant movement, Tiedemann Advisors, the foundation’s wealth management firm, dropped the Colcom Foundation as a client upon learning of their grant making priorities. In a statement to City Paper, the spokesperson of the firm, Julie Dunnington said, “Tiedemann does not work with Colcom currently. Tiedemann previously served as an investment consultant with no role, input or knowledge of their grant making priorities. Upon learning, we resigned the client. Several of their policies are inconsistent with our views on diversity, equity and inclusion.”

Foundation for the Carolinas

For decades, The Foundation For The Carolinas (FFTC) has supported causes ostensibly “dedicated to the collective strength of communities.” Beneath this altruism, the FFTC quietly shields their largest donor, anti-immigration funder Fred Stanback Jr., who contributed 64% of the foundation’s 2014 revenue.

FFTC and its President, Michael Marsicano, have refused to cut off Stanback, even in the face of public backlash and criticism over some of its beneficiaries which include anti-immigrant groups FAIR, CIS and NumbersUSA. These organizations, founded or aided by white nationalist and eugenics proponent John Tanton, have had an enormous influence on immigration policy in the Trump Administration. According to financial records, from 2006-2017, the foundation provided more than $23 million to efforts to restrict immigration in the U.S.

Fred Stanback, 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 fifteen 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. Stanback and Tanton connected over their shared interest in overpopulation, and over the years Stanback has donated millions of dollars to groups Tanton founded or helped to found, both through his contributions to FFTC and directly to anti-immigrant groups such as FAIR. Like Tanton, Stanback admired the virulently racist novel The Camp of the Saints, and once purchased $5,000 in copies of the book to distribute. In a 1995 memo on a meeting between the two men, Tanton noted that they had discussed sterilization, and that Tanton had brought up the Quinacrine sterilization method. Quinacrine is a drug that has been used as an off-label form of female sterilization. The Quinacrine sterilization method is a dangerous and painful procedure, and evidence indicates that it has been disproportionately and coercively performed on low-income women of color in developing countries.

The Weeden Foundation

The Weeden Foundation funds anti-immigrant organizations to build anti-immigrant sentiment among the leadership of the environmental movement in order to steer them toward taking an anti-immigrant stance. Between 2006 and 2015, the Weeden Foundation, combined with individual donations from Weeden family members, donated just over $2 million to anti-immigrant groups.

The leadership of the Foundation is not content to merely fund these organizations, but also play a leadership role within them. For example, current Weeden Foundation Executive Director, Don Weeden, 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, Don Weeden’s father, 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 (Californians for Population Stabilization).

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.

Sidney A. Swensrud Foundation

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 anti-immigration groups through his foundation, including Tanton’s U.S. Inc. Between 2006 and 2017, the Sidney A. Swensrud foundation has donated over $3.2 million to the anti-immigrant movement.

From 1987 to 1988, Swensrud served as chairman of FAIR’s board, and is credited with making “critical policy decisions.” U.S. Inc. has lauded the late Swensrud 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.”

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)

Founded by white nationalist John Tanton in 1979, FAIR is the anti-immigrant movement’s flagship organization, and despite a four-decade-long history of anti-immigrant animus, the group is more influential than ever. FAIR provides the policy framework for 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 DHS—where they wield considerable influence and help to execute these harmful measures.

  • Tanton founded FAIR in 1979 in Washington, D.C. He was on FAIR’s board and advisory board for a number of years before his death in 2019.
  • FAIR received over $1 million from the Pioneer Fund, an organization which embraced eugenics.
  • The Tanton founded group advocates for harsh anti-immigrant policies across the country such as attrition through enforcement, repealing DACA, dismantling TPS, radical cuts to overall legal immigration numbers, and ending birthright citizenship.
  • FAIR’s work advances legislation that maligns communities of color, both immigrant and native-born. 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” and “address environmental concerns.” For years, FAIR called for a moratorium on all immigration before changing its stance.
  • FAIR has spent decades advocating for policies designed to shrink the overall immigrant and refugee population in the U.S. FAIR’s unprecedented power and influence in the Trump Administration has led to harsh immigration policies such as the rescission of DACA, ending TPS for over 300,000 individuals, family separation at the border, refugee reductions, legal immigration cuts, a Public Charge rule, and increased arrests and deportations of undocumented and documented immigrants. In some cases these deportations have resulted in immigrants returning to countries where they are persecuted and at risk of slavery. FAIR staffers have also taken up positions within DHS.
  • As reported by The New York Times, FAIR wrote in its 2018 federal tax filing that the election of President Donald Trump presented “a unique opportunity” to enact policies such as “building the wall, ending chain migration, rolling back dangerous sanctuary policies,” and “eliminating the visa lottery.”
  • Stein, whose former colleagues have taken up positions within agencies responsible for implementing immigration policy such as USCIS, told the Pittsburgh Post Gazette in June 2019: “you can assume we have contacts throughout the (Trump) administration.”
    • While commenting on FAIR’s new found influence, Stein stated that he was surprised the Trump Administration “haven’t hired more people out of the stable of our organization.”
  • In a New York Times profile on Cordelia Scaife May, FAIR’s President Dan Stein praised her, saying, “We occupied the space before anybody, and the people who helped found the organization and fund the organization, including Mrs. May, were people of enormous foresight and wisdom…They would be gratified over the fact that we’ve seen these ideas championed at the highest level.” May, one of the primary funders of the anti-immigrant movement in the U.S., believed the country was “being invaded on all fronts,” by immigrants who “breed like hamsters.”
  • While some Tanton-founded groups have tried to minimize his role in creating their organizations and driving their policy work, FAIR’s Dan Stein lauded Tanton in a press release in July 2019, after Tanton’s passing: “I have stated that John was a Renaissance man, and that was true.”
  • For years, FAIR has cultivated relationships with elected officials at both the state and local levels in order to advance anti-immigrant legislation and deter immigration reform efforts. Elected officials who have attended events or worked with FAIR in some fashion include Jan Brewer, Daryl Metcalife, Russell Pearce, Joe Arpaio, Joe Gruters, Thomas Hodgson, Steve King, Tom Cotton, Louie Gohmert, Marsha Blackburn, Paul Gosar, Mo Brooks, Lou Barletta, and Andy Biggs.
  • FAIR also built a strong network of local anti-immigrant groups around the country that it coordinates with on a regular basis in order to help organize on-the-ground opposition to progressive immigration legislation. FAIR has worked successfully with local activists to run or support campaigns pushing attrition through enforcement legislation. FAIR has ties to a number of state-based anti-immigrant groups such as Oregonians for Immigration Reform, We the People Rising, the Dustin Inman Society and Floridians for Immigration Enforcement. Leadership from many of these groups, and more nationally-focused groups such as the Remembrance Project, have also attended FAIR’s flagship Hold Their Feet to the Fire event alongside state and federal elected officials.
  • Many FAIR staff are longtime anti-immigrant leaders like Dan Stein, but the organization has also developed a number of staff who took up positions in the Trump Administration or other anti-immigrant groups such as Mark Krikorian, Julie Kirchner, Robert Law, Elizabeth Jacobs, Dale Wilcox, and John Zadrozny.
  • On September 25, 2019, FAIR organized a “Badges and Angels” press conference on Capitol Hill with Sheriff Thomas Hodgson. Acting USCIS Director Ken Cuccinelli and Congressman Andy Biggs were featured speakers. FAIR subsidized travel costs for nearly two-hundred sheriffs from around the country, who attended the event. The following day, the group of sheriffs met with President Trump to present him with a plaque at the White House.
  • FAIR President Dan Stein, who in 2017 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:
    • Stein’s statements on immigrants have often echoed sentiments expressed by Tanton; he 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?”
    • In a statement marking the 50th anniversary of the Immigration Act of 1965, Stein lamented the increase in the U.S.’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.”
    • 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.”
    • 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.”
    • 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…”
    • 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.”
  • FAIR founder John Tanton and FAIR board members Sally Epstein and Donald Collins were longtime advocates of coercive sterilization, specifically supporting the Quinacrine sterilization method. FAIR donated $5,000 in 1993 to the Institute for Development Training (IDT). Two years after the donation, Tanton wrote to Dan Stein and the FAIR board that the Institute for Development Training’s “most recent project is the production of materials on the new Quinacrine sterilization method.” Quinacrine is a drug that has been used as an off-label form of female sterilization. The Quinacrine sterilization method is a dangerous and painful procedure, and evidence indicates that it has been disproportionately and coercively performed on low-income women of color in developing countries.
  • In 2017, FAIR’s executive director Bob Dane 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.”
  • FAIR President Dan Stein has publicly 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.” Additionally, Stein’s group wrote multiple blog posts supporting the measure.
  • 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.” The group repeatedly lashed out at President Trump for having kept DACA in place for awhile, calling it “an illegal executive overreach.” After the Trump Administration rescinded DACA, FAIR spent close to a million dollars torpedoing bipartisan legislation in the U.S. Senate through lobbying efforts, paid media, and misleading communications targeting family-based immigration.
  • In addition to spending millions of dollars on radio and television ads, from 2001-2018 FAIR spent over $3.6M in lobbying dollars, and from May 2018 to August 2019 the group spent more than $850,000 on Facebook ads attacking immigrants.
  • Following the rescission of DACA, FAIR drove calls targeting the offices of House Republicans willing to find a permanent solution for undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. at a young age.
  • 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. Crane also spoke at a press event with sheriffs FAIR helped to organize.
  • In line with its mission to “reduce overall immigration,” FAIR called on the Trump Administration to cut annual immigration levels by slashing programs under the executive branch’s control “such as: Temporary Protected Status, also know as TPS, the refugee and asylum programs, humanitarian parole and Transit Without Visa.”
  • FAIR’s website page on Temporary Protected Status (TPS) calls for the program to be scrapped altogether: “TPS is unnecessary and should be abolished,” and in a major policy report, FAIR floated the idea of eliminating certain immigration programs altogether, including TPS. In the same report, the organization proposed that DHS make undocumented immigrants ineligible for TPS and called on the agency’s Secretary to “revoke TPS for any country that has received more than two renewals.”
  • In a policy paper, FAIR called for all asylum seekers to be detained for the entirety of their immigration proceedings. Because the process of applying for asylum can take months or even years, this could lead to individuals being detained indefinitely.
  • Long before the Trump Administration announced New Credible Fear Standards for asylum seekers and refugees, FAIR proposed providing “New Definitions” for persecution.
  • In addition to attacking immigration at the federal level, FAIR advises state elected and regional advocacy groups and has supported efforts to enact harsh attrition through enforcement measures in state legislatures across the country, including Arizona, Texas, Florida, Oregon, among others.

Center for Immigration Studies (CIS)

Viewed as the anti-immigrant movement’s key think tank, CIS has published a litany of reports scapegoating and demonizing immigrants. CIS’s Executive Director Mark Krikorian has defended the organization’s circulation of content from VDARE, a site that routinely publishes the work of white nationalists and anti-Semites by comparing it to The New York Times, and counting it as an “important” site for immigration news.

  • CIS was founded as a project of FAIR in 1985 to provide legitimacy and lend academic authority to its 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, 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.
  • Jared Taylor, one of the most recognized and influential white nationalists of the past half-century has attended and participated in multiple CIS events. Following CIS founder John Tanton’s passing, Taylor who runs the group American Renaissance, stated, “Everything I know about immigration I learned from CIS.”
  • CIS holds an unprecedented amount of power and influence in the Trump Administration, and has provided the policy framework for the President’s harsh and unpopular immigration measures. Additionally, current CIS fellow Ronald Mortensen has been nominated to lead the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM), the State Department agency responsible for protecting refugees, and separately, the group’s former legal policy analyst Jon Feere, now serves as a senior advisor at ICE.
  • The group has hosted several officials including then-Acting ICE Director Thomas Homan, then-USCIS Director Lee Francis Cissna, EOIR’s James McHenry, and Acting USCIS Director Ken Cuccinelli, at their “Immigration Newsmaker” events and staffers have championed the Trump Administration’s cruel policy of separating families.
  • In a 2017 ‘Giving Tuesday’ blog post, executive director Mark Krikorian bragged about being referred to as the Trump Administration’s “go-to source for immigration research,” and that the Administration’s immigration principles were “developed and advocated” by CIS. Krikorian said in a blog, “The White House has also submitted to Congress a wish list of 70 immigration improvements, most of which we have developed and advocated.”
  • According to NPR, emails, obtained during discovery in the 2020 Census citizenship question lawsuit, revealed that Trump Administration officials suggested CIS staff members Mark Krikorian and Steven Camarota be contacted for advice and support.
  • The group regularly circulates white nationalist content, including from VDARE. In a May 2017 analysis by the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Center for New Community, it was revealed that CIS had done so more than 2,000 times in the last decade.
  • CIS has championed 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. The group 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 unconstitutional and a violation of individuals’ civil rights.
  • CIS often participates in events with elected officials including Mo Brooks, Jeff Sessions, Steve King, and Lou Barletta among others.
  • In May 2015, CIS hosted an awards ceremony that honored Breitbart reporter Neil Munro and featured Stephen Miller as a keynote speaker at the event. Breitbart, Fox, and other media outlets often give CIS a platform by interviewing its staffers on immigration issues.
  • A number of CIS staffers have also spoken at Tanton’s Social Contract Press Writers Workshop event, including Mark Krikorian, Jessica Vaughan and John Miano.
  • CIS staff members have a long track record of using demonizing rhetoric in regards to immigrants.
  • 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.”
  • Krikorian has also called for radical immigration cuts, targeting Muslims: “So alongside ideological screening we need to cut immigration overall, focusing on the categories most likely to cause problems. That means eliminating the visa lottery, an absurd program in its own right but also the source of a disproportionate share of Muslim immigration; limiting family immigration to the closest relations, to prevent a cascading chain of relatives; dramatically curbing refugee resettlement…and reducing the number of foreign-student admissions, the feeder program for a large share of new permanent immigration from the Islamic world.”
  • 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 appeals to limit immigration based on intelligence.
  • CIS Director of Policy Studies Jessica Vaughan once wrote that the TPS program has contributed to “the burgeoning street gang problem in the United States.”
  • In a piece for Time Magazine, CIS Director of Research Steven Camarota stated that, “even if immigrants are less likely to commit crimes, their children and grandchildren may be more likely to end up on the wrong side of the law.”
  • In 2008, CIS published a report by fellow David Seminara which alleged widespread fraud among marriages between Americans and immigrants in which it referred to the latter as “Third-World gold-diggers.”
  • CIS’s A Pen and a Phone: 79 Immigration Actions the Next President Can Take report has provided a blueprint for the Trump Administration to make life for immigrants and refugees in the United States and those hoping to enter the country as difficult as possible. Policies such as restricting the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program, an expansion of public charge, ramping up interior enforcement measures, terminating the OPT program, dismantling the asylum system, and ending DACA, are all laid out in detail in the CIS report.
  • In addition to calling for DACA’s repeal, Krikorian has advocated for leveraging protections for DACA recipients in exchange for attrition through enforcement measures and cuts to legal immigration. In a June 2017 blog post, Krikorian wrote, “Though I was initially skeptical, it might even make sense to try to trade a real, lawful amnesty for the DACAs in exchange for important immigration changes only Congress can pass – specifically, universal E-Verify and cuts in legal immigration.”
  • In a July 2017 interview with Breitbart Texas, Krikorian called for a “legal immigration offset” in exchange for some protections for Dreamers. Krikorian stated, “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.”
  • As early as 2010, before DACA, CIS’s Mark Krikorian was outspoken in advocating for harsh attrition through enforcement measures and cuts to legal immigration in exchange legal status for Dreamers. Since DACA’s rescission, 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 5, 2017, Univision reported that Krikorian’s group helped Stephen Miller, along with the bill’s sponsors Senators Cotton and Perdue draft the RAISE Act, which would slash immigration numbers by half.
  • In the fall of 2017, CIS staffers worked overtime to advocate for severely restrictionist policies in exchange for a legislative solution for undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. at a young age, propagating and weaponizing the term “Chain-migration.” CIS staffer Jessica Vaughan authored a report entitled Immigration Multipliers: Trends in Chain Migration, and testified at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on DACA.
  • 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. Perdue.
  • In CIS’s 2016 “Pen and a Phone” policy report, the group called on the next president to terminate “TPS designations that have been in effect for years for several nations, such as El Salvador…” and to issue an “EO directing that no TPS designation may stay in effect longer than one year unless vetted and approved through the National Security Council prior to being extended, and only in a one-year increment.”
  • Mark Krikorian has repeatedly attacked the TPS program on social media and in the National Review. In one instance, he even went so far as to call for the program to be abolished.
  • CIS staffers including Mark Krikorian have for years pushed for the “zero-tolerance” policy which when implemented by the Trump Administration, resulted in children being separated from their parents. In 2014, Krikorian wrote in National Review, “it is now practical to adopt a zero-tolerance strategy along the entire border.” CIS fellow, Andrew Arthur, called family separation an “absolutely crucial” step to “reducing the flow of parents and their children,” saying “there really is no other choice.” Further, Krikorian wrote that critics of the harsh policy were generating a “wave of hysteria” and described widely circulated photos of distressed families as “atrocity propaganda.”
  • CIS has called for numerous changes to the asylum system such as doing away with protections for children and their families arriving at the border, expanding immigration detention and expedited removal, refusing to release unaccompanied minors to family members who are undocumented unless they surrender themselves for removal proceedings, restricting work authorization for individuals with pending asylum cases, and denying asylum to individuals who pass through other countries en route to the United States.

NumbersUSA

NumbersUSA is primarily a grassroots and lobbying organization that mobilizes its members to pressure elected officials to reject pro-immigrant legislation and to approve harmful anti-immigrant legislation both at the federal and state levels. NumbersUSA has become deeply influential among lawmakers at the highest levels of the U.S. government. The group has a deep level of influence over President Trump’s immigration policies.

  • Roy Beck founded NumbersUSA in 1996. Initially, the organization operated as a program of John Tanton’s foundation, U.S., Inc.
  • 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 defeat legislation, attempts to influence primaries in support of nativist candidates, and attempts to shift the national conversation around immigration further 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. NumbersUSA has built relationships with a number of elected officials, once honoring Jeff Sessions with its Defender of the Rule of Law Award. The group also has held events and coordinated with other elected officials including Ken Paxton, Steve King, Tom Cotton, Lou Barletta, Paul Gosar and Andy Biggs. Rosemary Jenks, the longtime director of government relations for NumbersUSA serves as a bridge between the organization and Congress.
  • NumbersUSA, like FAIR, often works with state-based anti-immigrant groups such as the Dustin Inman Society.
  • Beck, the group’s executive director and Tanton’s “heir apparent,” previously stated that “the aim should be to halt all immigration possible.”
  • NumbersUSA helped to provide the Trump campaign with its immigration policy framework during the 2016 Presidential race. In October 2016 Beck told Reuters that in addition to having met with the candidate personally and people “at the top” of his campaign, the group had shared with them a ten-point immigration plan. Of the ten points, six were echoed by Trump in his major immigration speech in August 2016.
  • 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.”
  • In addition to serving as the former Washington editor of Tanton’s racist publication The Social Contract, the group’s executive director Roy Beck spoke at multiple events organized by the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens in the late 1990s.
  • Beck was once interviewed on the “Alien Invasion of the US,” by Jeff Rense, according to an archive of his interviews. Rense runs a blatantly anti-Semitic website.
  • During a 2016 Reddit ask me anything, Beck entertained racist questions and policy proposals, advocated for temporary bans on refugees and slashing legal immigration by 75%, called immigration a “program of forced population growth,” and said that “Refugee resettlement is mainly about some people in rich countries making themselves feel morally superior rather than responding to the greatest needs of the refugees.”
  • Beck has stated that integration of immigrants in Europe is unlikely to be successful “unless they do what the U.S. did in the 1920s.”
  • 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.”
  • Beck, who has advocated against the TPS program for years, has praised the Trump Administration’s decision to terminate protections for many of the program’s hundreds of thousands of recipients, and railed against a court injunction which blocked the Administration from doing so.
  • In 2008, the NumbersUSA President rejected calls for Haitians to receive TPS after devastating storms ravaged the country.
  • NumbersUSA and Beck have spent decades advocating for policies designed to shrink the overall immigrant population in the U.S.
  • In addition to spending millions of dollars on radio and television ads, from 2001-2018 NumbersUSA spent over $7M in lobbying dollars, and from May 2018 to August 2019 the group spent nearly $900,000 on Facebook ads attacking immigrants.
  • Like FAIR and CIS, Beck’s group has an unprecedented amount of power and influence over President Trump’s immigration policy, and the results have been disastrous. Perhaps most notably is NumbersUSA’s work to end DACA and derail permanent protections for undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. at a young age. In addition to publicly pressuring President Trump to end the program, NumbersUSA spent over a million dollars working to derail bipartisan talks on protections for these immigrants.
    • Ahead of a vote on H.R. 6, the Dream and Promise Act, NumbersUSA urged its supporters and members of Congress, including some Democrats, to vote against the measure. The group placed Facebook ads targeting a number of moderate Democratic representatives including some freshman members.
  • Roy Beck, 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, NumbersUSA coordinated with former IRLI lawyer Kris Kobach on the Crane v. Napolitano case,  the suit that pitted ICE against the Obama Administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and set the stage for United States v. Texas, and the subsequent legal attacks the program has faced. The same day Kobach filed the lawsuit on behalf of ten Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents, NumbersUSA announced that it would financially support the legal effort against DACA. In a blog post that read more as a fundraising appeal than an announcement, Beck said the ICE agents’ legal team would be “funded entirely by NumbersUSA member contributions.”
  • The group has used its grassroots network to drive calls and faxes and write letters to lawmakers during both the Obama and Trump Administrations, urging representatives to support policies and amendments attached to must-pass bills offered by anti-immigrant representatives in the House and Senate. Policy proposals have ranged from removing work authorization from DACA recipients to forbidding undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. at a young age from serving in the military, rescinding the program altogether to harsh interior enforcement policies. They have also stridently supported ending birthright citizenship, dramatic cuts to legal immigration, including ending family-based immigration, and increased border wall funding.

Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI)

Founded in 1986 as a legal arm of FAIR, IRLI now serves as the legal outfit for the anti-immigrant movement, drafting model anti-immigrant legislation for lawmakers, defending their harmful measures in court, and litigating against cities and states that have passed ordinances and laws welcoming immigrants. As an integral part of the organized anti-immigrant movement, IRLI has been behind the legal strategies attacking DACA recipients, including Crane v. Napolitano and U.S. v. Texas. In recent years, IRLI lawyers have brought several cases to the highest levels of the U.S. court system. Former IRLI counsel Kris Kobach, has helped to implement anti-immigrant measures, many of them overturned in lawsuits but costing 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. On August 29, 2019, the group filed two legal briefs at the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the Trump Administration on DACA litigation. President Trump quoted IRLI’s director of litigation Christopher Hajec in a series of tweets on September 6, 2019, urging the court to rule in his Administration’s favor.

  • 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, is the primary powerhouse behind several anti-immigrant bills and lawsuits in localities and states across the country.
  • Groups like IRLI, FAIR, CIS and NumbersUSA have an enormous amount of influence over the Trump Administration’s immigration policies and have even placed former staffers in government agencies such as U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security. IRLI’s former investigative associate Ian Smith went on to work as a policy analyst for DHS before resigning from his post, shortly before The Atlantic reported he had been on email chains with white nationalists including Richard Spencer and Jared Taylor.
  • 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 with former state Senator Russell Pearce, and which was signed into law by then-Governor Jan Brewer.
  • 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,” designed 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, a portion of which was paid to Kobach, who offers his legal services when the measures he authored are taken to court. According to the Kansas City Star Kobach “earned more than $800,000 for his immigration work, paid by both towns and an advocacy group, over 13 years.”
  • Below are just a few examples of the costs to cities and states of the policies IRLI and their former lawyer Kris Kobach worked on:
    • Hazleton, PA, July 13, 2006 – Hazleton took on debt to pay $1.4 million in legal fees and eventually had to file for a state bailout. Former Congressman Lou Barletta worked with Kobach on this legislation while he was mayor of Hazleton.
    • Farmers Branch, TX, 2006 – Farmer’s Branch paid over $7 million in legal fees. Then-Mayor Bob Phelps has since called Kobach’s pitch “a sham,” Phelps stated “It was just a sad situation that we had to go through, and everybody now regrets it.”
    • AZ SB1070, 2010 – According to the Center for American Progress Arizona lost an estimated “$253 million in economic output, $9.4 million in tax revenues, and 2,761 jobs.”
    • AL HB 56, 2011 – Researchers estimated that HB 56 could cost the state nearly $11 billion in lost economic output and as much as $264.5 million in tax revenue.
  • In 2007, representatives from IRLI and FAIR joined Daryl Metcalfe, founder of State Legislators for Legal Immigration (SLLI) to announce that SLLI would enter into a “working partnership” with IRLI to create a set of model attrition through enforcement legislation that state legislators across the country could introduce in their legislatures.
  • 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.
  • Former IRLI counsel Kris Kobach entertained the possibility that Latinx immigrants could conduct “ethnic cleansing” in the U.S. by outnumbering the current white majority, due to what Kobach described as having “a president who disregards the law when it suits his interests.” Kobach continued, “So, while I normally would answer that by saying, ‘Steve, of course we have the rule of law, that could never happen in America,’ I wonder what could happen. I still don’t think it’s going to happen in America, but I have to admit, things are strange and they are happening.”
  • On the Gold Star Khan Family berated by Donald Trump, Kobach stated: “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.”
  • In 2017 Kobach told a group of Republicans gathered at 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 Muslim Ban.
  • Kobach was critical of the Trump Administration’s decision to allow a small transition period for the hundreds of thousands of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders who have lived in the U.S. for decades and who have nearly 300,000 U.S. children. In a November 2017 interview for Breitbart, Kobach opined, “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.”
  • At an immigration debate, IRLI Senior Counsel Michael Hethmon described his support for attrition through enforcement 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 has argued that the United States’ transition to a country where the majority of its citizens are people of color could 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.”
  • In addition to the group’s unprecedented power and influence over the Trump Administration’s immigration policies, Tanton’s legal group has continued its attacks on immigrants via the judicial branch of government and has been a frequent supporter of the Trump Administration’s policies even as they face numerous constitutional challenges.
  • IRLI has filed friend of the court briefs in support of the Trump Administration’s policies including the  Muslim Ban, dismantling of asylum law, declaring a national emergency to fund a wall along the Southern border, the 2020 Census citizenship question and ending DACA.
  • Additionally, IRLI continues its work to dismantle birthright citizenship, employment based immigration, work authorization for immigrants, supported the Georgia higher education system’s decision to deny DACA recipients access to certain universities in the state, and former Arizona Governor Jan Brewer’s attempt to deny driver’s licenses to DACA recipients.
  • IRLI is one of the primary architects behind the legal attacks on undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. at a young age and the DACA program. Following the Supreme Court’s failure to reach a majority decision in the U.S. v. Texas case, IRLI issued a press release lauding the outcome, and confirming their behind-the-scenes work to attack these immigrants: “IRLI advised the Texas Attorney-General’s office on key facets of the case and filed a total of six friend-of-the-court briefs throughout the case’s proceedings.”
  • The Center for New Community report titled IRLI Beginnings: The Immigration Reform Law Institute and the Anti-Immigrant Origins of United States v. Texas detailed IRLI’s role in key legal battles on immigration policy over the last decade and its work to pave the way for the legal attacks on the DACA program.
    • IRLI’s former 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.
    • 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 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 Texas v. U.S.
    • On November 22, 2014, two days after President Obama’s announcement on DAPA and the expansion of DACA, the Washington Post reported that then-IRLI lawyer Kris Kobach had already begun drafting a lawsuit, and was shopping for a state with a large undocumented population to act as the plaintiff. Kobach told participants at a community forum that that he “already begun drafting a suit as the lead attorney, with plans to file it in early December,” and that “Texas is interested in being a plaintiff.” On December 3, 2014, then-Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott filed a lawsuit challenging DAPA and DACA+. From there, the newly elected Attorney General, Ken Paxton, carried out the lawsuit through to the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • In January 2016, IRLI filed a motion on behalf of its client, OFIR, to intervene and dismiss a lawsuit against the outcome of the 2014 ballot measure, which overturned the state’s law to expand drivers licenses to undocumented immigrants. In a press release announcing the motion, IRLI executive director Wilcox stated “Illegal aliens do not have a right to driving privileges, nor do they have a right to travel freely in the U.S. as federal law makes their very presence in the U.S. unlawful.”

U.S., Inc.

Founded in 1981 by John Tanton, U.S., Inc. is an umbrella organization that serves as the parent for projects set up by Tanton including ProEnglish, NumbersUSA and the publishing house The Social Contract Press. Based in Tanton’s hometown of Petoskey, Michigan, U.S., Inc. also donates money to state-based anti-immigrant groups each year.

  • U.S., Inc. is currently run by K.C. McAlpin, who serves as the president of the organization’s board. John Tanton’s wife, Mary Lou, is the vice-chair of the board. The U.S, Inc. website notes, “US has also served as an incubator and umbrella for start-up projects that later spin off to become fully independent organizations, or achieve their purpose.”
  • Projects incubated by U.S., Inc. went on to become key cogs in the anti-immigrant movement. NumbersUSA was responsible for scuppering comprehensive immigration reform efforts at the federal level and The Social Contract Press gave a voice to anti-immigrant activists and white nationalists who pushed a litany of anti-immigrant conspiracy theories such as linking immigration and crime, as well as arguing that immigration will “Balkanize” the United States.
  • U.S., Inc. has routinely donated to the racist VDARE website founded by white nationalist Peter Brimelow. VDARE’s regular contributors include white nationalists and anti-Semites.
  • In 2013, D.A. King of the anti-immigrant group Dustin Inman Society announced that his supporters could make tax-free donations to his organization through U.S., Inc. U.S., Inc. has previously donated money to King’s efforts in Georgia.
  • While its mission statement appears benign, U.S., Inc. serves as an anchor of the anti-immigrant movement, not only publishing anti-immigrant conspiracy theories through The Social Contract Press, but providing thousands of dollars in funding for state-based anti-immigrant groups to run campaigns. In 2017, U.S. Inc. donated $100,000 to The Remembrance Project, one of its largest donations to date.
  • U.S., Inc. also routinely donates to state-based anti-immigrant groups pushing exclusionary legislation such as anti-sanctuary efforts. While a number of these campaigns were unsuccessful, U.S., Inc. funding for groups in Florida and Oregon resulted in major victories for the anti-immigrant movement in recent years.
  • Many of the larger anti-immigrant groups are quick to claim that state-based efforts to promote anti-immigrant legislation have occurred organically and are the work of local grassroots activists. This is an attempt to make the movement seem much broader than it is, but in reality, without funding from larger groups like U.S., Inc., these campaigns would not be possible.
  • In a 2000 memo, Tanton went into detail about the projects that U.S., Inc. has founded and funded throughout the years. One project is NumbersUSA, founded in 1996 by Roy Beck whom Tanton saw as his “heir apparent.” Beck made the group independent from U.S., Inc. in 2002. Strangely, there is no mention of NumbersUSA being a project of U.S., Inc. on the U.S., Inc. website.
  • A former U.S., Inc. board member was Tanton’s close friend John Rohe. Rohe currently works for the Pittsburgh-based Colcom Foundation, the single largest funder of the anti-immigrant movement. Colcom has donated just under $15 million to U.S., Inc. since 2006.
  • In a 2017 op-ed in The Hill, K.C. McAlpin, U.S., Inc.’s head, staunchly defended the racist novel The Camp of the Saints, published in English by The Social Contract Press. McAlpin wrote, “Forty four years and tens of millions of migrants later, refugees and changing demographics are widely viewed as an existential threat to Europe’s historic identity. But while more and more people recognize Raspail’s amazing foresight, establishment liberal opinion attempts to demonize and distort the book’s message more egregiously than ever.” McAlpin went on to call the novel “not racist.”
  • In a 1996 letter, Tanton wrote, “Do we leave it to individuals to decide that they are the intelligent ones who should have more kids? And more troublesome, what about the less intelligent, who logically should have less? Who is going to break the bad news [to less intelligent individuals], and how will it be implemented?”
  • In a 1986 memo, Tanton wrote, “Will the present majority peaceably hand over its political power to a group that is simply more fertile?” Tanton was forced to resign from U.S. English after the contents of these memos came to light. Tanton later set up another English-only group, ProEnglish, which remains a project of U.S., Inc.
  • In 2007, McAlpin spoke at the Dr. Samuel Francis Memorial Forum of the National Capitol Region chapter of the white supremacist group Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), according to the CCC tabloid the Citizens Informer. The mass shooter who was convicted of murdering nine people at a Charleston AME church in 2015 cited the CCC as his gateway into white nationalism.
  • In 2011, McAlpin defended the editor of The Social Contract Press who had called for a ban on all Muslim immigration to the United States, comparing a Muslim ban to a previous ban by Congress barring members of the Nazi party to enter the United States.
  • In 2017, U.S., Inc. provided funding for the Washington-state based anti-immigrant group Respect Washington. Respect Washington ran a campaign in 2017 to push the city of Burien, WA, to repeal its “safe city” ordinance. As part of the campaign, Respect Washington sent 3,000 letters to Burien residents that contained a map complete with names, addresses and a list of alleged crimes committed by undocumented immigrants in the city. The fliers prompted a major backlash from residents, law enforcement and immigrant rights activists.
  • The U.S., Inc. website has a regularly updated blog, with posts penned by Rick Oltman. Oltman has spoken at a number of CCC events on immigration issues. Oltman is also a former FAIR employee. Oltman’s blog posts are full of racist diatribes. In May of 2019, he wrote, “With all the illegal immigration from Third World countries, although drug resistant bugs are not confined to the Third World or illegal aliens, diseases are surely coming across the border with them. And as many infected illegals travel to crowded American sanctuary cities, the chance for diseases to spread into our population grows dramatically.”
  • In 2014 and 2018, the nativist Oregonians for Immigration Refom (OFIR) ran two ballot iniative campaigns to repeal a law granting drivers licenses to undocumented immigrants and to attempt to overturn Oregon’s decades-old sanctuary law. In 2013 and 2014, U.S., Inc. provided funding to OFIR and for the 2018 ballot initiative campaign, U.S., Inc. donated $3,000 to the effort.
  • U.S., Inc. has also funded a number of Florida-based anti-immigrant groups in recent years including Floridians for Immigration Enforcement (FLIMEN) and Protect US Workers. These groups supported the anti-sanctuary bill signed into law in Florida in 2019.
  • When ProEnglish launched an English-only campaign in Nashville in 2009, U.S., Inc. donated over $76,000 to the unsuccessful effort.
  • Back in 2001, U.S., Inc. donated to a now-defunct anti-immigrant group in New York named Sachem Quality of Life (SQL). SQL members verbally abused day-laborers in Long Island and were partially responsible for a climate of anti-Latino hysteria in Long Island that resulted in a number of violent attacks, including stabbings and arson. A 2000 letter to the editor published in The New York Times from the Program Director of the Central American Refugee Center in Long Island claimed a spokesperson for SQL, Ray Wysolmierski, called for the Army to be deployed to Farmingville, NY, to shoot immigrants if they did not “move on.”

ProEnglish

ProEnglish was established by white nationalist John Tanton in 1994. The group is dedicated to accomplishing one of the key goals of the anti-immigrant movement: pushing states and the nation as a whole to declare English as their official language. Without any practical need for an official language, this goal instead seeks to restrict access to public life and provides an opportunity for anti-immigrant fear mongering.

  • John Tanton founded the predecessor of ProEnglish, an organization called U.S. English, in the early 1980s and began working at the state level to advocate for English-only legislation. Tanton was able to recruit high-profile figures for U.S. English’s board such as Walter Cronkite and Linda Chavez. However, during a legislative battle for English-only legislation in Arizona in 1988, a series of racist memos penned by Tanton came to light. The memos included questions like, “Will the present majority peaceably hand over its political power to a group that is simply more fertile?,” “Will Latin American migrants bring with them the tradition of the mordida (bribe), the lack of involvement in public affairs, etc.?,” and “Will Blacks be able to improve (or even maintain) their position in the face of the Latin onslaught?” These memos prompted Cronkite and Chavez to resign from the board. Tanton was forced to leave the organization as a result of the memos, and he formed English Language Advocates in 1994. It was later renamed ProEnglish.
  • Though ProEnglish is technically a project of Tanton’s U.S., Inc., it has its own board and staff and raises its own money. ProEnglish and U.S., Inc. have shared a number of staff and board members through the years including Tanton himself and K.C. McAlpin, the current head of U.S., Inc., who sits on the board of ProEnglish.
  • ProEnglish’s efforts at the state level have had mixed results, but the group has been successful in some states. In 2009, for example, ProEnglish was instrumental in an effort to pass an official English referendum in the state of Oklahoma. Rep. Randy Terrill, a longtime ally of the anti-immigrant movement, praised ProEnglish for providing legal and grassroots support for the referendum, writing, “I can’t tell you how important it was to have ProEnglish and its legal team available whenever I needed help throughout our legislative session.”
  • For over a decade, ProEnglish has actively endorsed the “English Language Unity Act,” a piece of legislation that would make English the official language in the United States. The Act has been introduced in some form or another since 2005 and ProEnglish gives periodic updates each legislative session praising those who have signed on. In 2018, ProEnglish held a legislative briefing with Iowa Rep. Steve King to promote the English Language Unity Act.
  • In 2016, ProEnglish awarded Rep. Steve Scalise with its Unity Award. A year later, officials from ProEnglish met with Scalise to discuss the recruitment of co-sponsors for the “English Language Unity Act.”
  • In the later 2000s and into the 2010s, ProEnglish’s influence dwindled and the organization is currently down to only two full-time staff members. Since 2010, only West Virginia has passed official English legislation.
  • ProEnglish also targets legislation at the municipal level, helping Frederick County (MD) to pass an English-only measure in 2012, only for it to be overturned a few years later.
  • ProEnglish’s fortunes have changed with the election of Donald Trump. Despite its small stature compared to other DC-based anti-immigrant groups, ProEnglish has enjoyed multiple visits to the White House to talk with Trump staffers about official English issues. In total, ProEnglish Executive Director Stephen Guschov and Director of Government Relations Dan Carter have met with Trump or Vice President Pence staffers six times, according to a ProEnglish release on July 11, 2019. After one such meeting, ProEnglish claimed VP Pence is, “a loyal and strong supporter” of official English legislation.
  • Throughout its history, ProEnglish has hired both staff and board members with extensive ties to extremists and white nationalists, starting with its founder, John Tanton. Tanton was the founding chairman of ProEnglish and remained on the board until a few years ago. In 1993, he 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.”
  • For a number of years, ProEnglish’s executive director was Robert Vandervoort. Vandervoort formerly helped to organize the Chicagoland Friends of American Renaissance, an affiliated chapter of the white nationalist American Renaissance, founded by Jared Taylor, one of the most influential white nationalists of the past quarter century.
  • Under Vandervoort’s leadership, ProEnglish organized a panel at the 2012 CPAC conference, one of the largest annual right-wing gatherings. ProEnglish invited white nationalist and founder of VDARE, Peter Brimelow, to speak on the panel titled, “The Failure of Multiculturalism.” Another panelist was John Derbyshire, a friend of Brimelow’s who was fired from his position at National Review a few months later for penning a racist screed in the form of a white parent talking to his children about African Americans. One of the lines read, “If planning a trip to a beach or amusement park at some date, find out whether it is likely to be swamped with blacks on that date.”
  • Former executive director and current board member K.C. McAlpin is another ProEnglish figure with a sordid history. In 2011, McAlpin defended a ban on Muslim immigration to America, writing, “Congress has used that power in the past to ban the immigration of Communist Party and National Socialist (Nazi) party members who were deemed to be threats to our national security. This case is no different.”
  • In 2007, McAlpin spoke at the Dr. Samuel Francis Memorial Forum of the National Capitol Region chapter of the white supremacist group Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), according to the CCC tabloid the Citizens Informer. The mass shooter who was convicted of murdering nine people at a Charleston AME church in 2015 cited the CCC as his gateway into white nationalism.
  • Current ProEnglish board member Phil Kent once defended Council of Conservative Citizens in a piece published in the Council’s publication, the Citizens Informer. In 2010, Kent wrote, “Unless there is a moratorium on legal immigration coupled with stepped-up enforcement efforts to significantly curb illegal immigration, then this country will be radically transformed demographically. It will be highlighted by more and more gang atrocities like that at Richmond High which, by the way, rarely occurred in the United States before ‘multiculturalism’ and ‘open borders’ became liberalism’s dominant dogmas.”
  • ProEnglish is a staunch opponent of Puerto Rican statehood. Former ProEnglish executive director and current board member K.C. McAlpin called a bill that would pave the way for statehood a “deadly threat to English’s role as the unifying language of the United States” in a 2009 newsletter.
  • ProEnglish also pushed states to provide certain state-issued documents in English only. ProEnglish is a big proponent of states only offering drivers license tests in English. In a 2005 piece, K.C. McAlpin wrote, “In state after state they are caving into pressure from “immigrants rights” groups to make driver’s license exams and manuals available not only in Spanish but in many other foreign languages. The predictable result — growing carnage on our roads and highways.”
  • ProEnglish figures repeatedly use the anti-immigrant trope about the “Balkanization” of the United States when arguing for English-only measures. Balkanization has a very negative connotation due to the Balkan conflict in the 1990s that resulted in the breakup of former Yugoslavia. Anti-immigrant groups argue that diversity, be it in language, race, or religion, could result in ethnic conflict within the United States. In a piece titled, “Why English Should Be the Official Language of the United States?,” K.C. McAlpin discussed the “linguistic Balkanization of the country.”
  • ProEnglish has also sought to eradicate bilingual education in the United States, arguing, “Segregation by language and ethnicity does not lead to higher academic performance, does not raise students’ self-esteem, results in social isolation and may contribute to high drop-out rates.” Longtime ProEnglish board chair Rosalie Porter is a major opponent of bilingual education and has fought against it in her home state of Massachusetts.
  • ProEnglish is vehemently opposed to multilingual ballots for voters, often citing the costs of printing ballots in languages other than English. After the 2010 census results were published, the Census Bureau published a list of locales where multilingual ballots were required for the 2012 election. In response, ProEnglish issued an angry press release with then-executive director K.C. McAlpin stating, “There is no justification for this absurd, arbitrary and budget busting provision, especially since it means that every municipality within a covered jurisdiction must provide multilingual election materials— even if everyone there speaks English.”

The Remembrance Project

Embraced by Donald Trump during his presidential campaign, The Remembrance Project (TRP) is an anti-immigrant group that attempts to exploit deaths of Americans involving undocumented immigrants for political gain and to further demonize immigrants. TRP’s founder, Maria Espinoza, depicts immigrants as invaders and criminals, has aligned herself with extremists, and even once cited a neo-Nazi website.

  • The Remembrance Project was founded by Houston-based Maria Espinoza and her husband, Tim Lyng, in 2009. It claims to be “a voice for those killed by illegal aliens.”
  • Espinoza built the organization by traveling the country, attending trials of of undocumented immigrants charged with the deaths of American citizens in an attempt to cultivate relationships with the victims’ families. The parents of children killed by undocumented immigrants would later be referred to as “angel” moms and dads. TRP soon began displaying pictures of victims on “Stolen Lives Quilts” that were displayed at political and immigration rallies.
  • Espinoza has routinely attacked immigrants on social media and in media interviews which attracted the attention of a number of groups in the anti-immigrant movement who approved of her message and tactics and began forming alliances. Today, TRP claims to have “state directors” in about 20 states. Many of these figures are longtime anti-immigrant activists such as Robin Hvidston, the head of the Southern California-based anti-immigrant group We the People Rising.
  • Espinoza also made inroads with elected officials through a nationwide “Stolen Lives Quilt” tour in 2012, but it wasn’t until 2015 that her organization enjoyed a national spotlight, thanks to an endorsement by Donald Trump.
  • Trump invited TRP activists displaying the Stolen Lives Quilt on stage at a number of his campaign rallies and also attended a TRP conference in Wasington, D.C.
  • Espinoza attempted to capitalize on her newfound publicity by launching a Congressional run in Texas in 2016, but failed to win the Republican primary.
  • A Trump victory prompted Espinoza to move TRP headquarters to Washington, D.C., where she claimed the organization would be supporting a new Trump Administration program called the Victims of Illegal Crime Engagement (VOICE). Like many of Trump’s immigration policies, the VOICE program originated with the anti-immigrant movement and specifically Espinoza, who claimed Trump was the only elected official to embrace the program.
  • In mid-2017, Politico published an article featuring quotes from a number of “angel families” criticizing TRP and Maria Espinoza for not doing enough to support them. One former TRP member told Politico, “We were used, abused and exploited, and what’s worse is that my son was used, abused and exploited and is still being used, abused and exploited.” “Angel parents” went on to form a splinter group from TRP named Advocates for Victims of Illegal Alien Crime (AVIAC).
  • Espinoza’s work has been praised by key leaders in the anti-immigrant movement including Mark Krikorian of CIS, who called Espinoza “indefatigable” in 2015 and claimed that TRP “for years has been the only forum for people like this to tell their stories of Americans killed because of lax immigration policies.”
  • In a 2014 Facebook post, Espinoza claimed, “Child molestation and rape are very numerous in this illegal alien demographic!”
  • Espinoza claimed in a 2015 Buzzfeed interview that her organization is not “anti-immigrant,” but said,  “We are against illegal aliens trespassing upon our soil.”
  • In 2012, Espinoza was published in the far-right Social Contract Press, an anti-immigrant journal launched by white nationalist John Tanton, the founder of the modern-day anti-immigrant movement. In her piece, Espinoza wrote, “We must demand justice for American citizens, not ‘social justice’ for illegals. Insist that our elected officials remember that ‘We, the People,’ not the illegal aliens, are their constituents. And that the racism perpetrated by illegal invaders upon Americans of all ethnic backgrounds is real.”
  • In the same piece, she wrote, “No one is immune to the illegal who drives wildly drunk, or the wanna-be gang-banger who needs to machete innocent citizens to gain entry and respect into the Latino or other gangs. We have uncovered the fact that Americans are under assault, a fact under-reported by the press, and unconnected by our elected leaders at all levels of government. Sanctuary cities, unsecured communities, human trafficking, molestations of our children, are all part of the vernacular of this disease that illegal immigration speaks, and must be addressed now!”
  • When a conservative campus group at the University of Texas attempted to hold a “Catch an Illegal Alien Day,” Espinoza praised the group on social media.
  • A year later, Espinoza was on the front cover of The Social Contract holding the Stolen Lives Quilt with the Contract’s editor, white nationalist Wayne Lutton. Lutton was a longtime member of the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC) and wrote for a number of white supremacist and Holocaust denial publications.
  • Espinoza spoke at the annual Writers Workshop put on by the Social Contract Press in 2013.
  • Espinoza has also attended FAIR’s annual Hold Their Feet to the Fire event in Washington, D.C., on multiple occasions.
  • TRP has accepted over $155,000 in funding from U.S. Inc., Tanton’s umbrella organization.
  • A 2013 post on the official TRP website cited The Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi website. The title of the article TRP cited was, “Family Furious as Illegal Alien Let Out of Jail to Kill White People.”
  • According to The New Yorker, the TRP website once declared, “Pro-amnesty special interests have spent millions on spreading the lie that the legalization of undocumented aliens is somehow good for America and American families.”
  • TRP leader Maria Espinoza has promoted the debunked claim that 25 Americans are killed by undocumented immigrants every day. Depicting immigrants as criminals is a key talking point for the organization.
  • TRP is one of the main anti-immigrant organizations fighting against so-called “sanctuary cities” in the United States. In 2015, after the San Francisco shooting death of Kathryn Steinle by an undocumented immigrant, Espinoza first called for a boycott of the city. She then travelled there for a memorial with other anti-immigrant activists including Rick Oltman, a former FAIR employee and speaker at gatherings of the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC). The press event focused on blaming San Francisco’s sanctuary policy for Steinle’s death.
  • In a recent interview, Espinoza criticized elected officials in “sanctuary” locales, stating, “Use the laws that are on the books to actually prosecute these offenders, the sanctuary city mayors, sanctuary state governors, and all of these municipalities.”

Dan Stein

Executive Director of FAIR and Board Director Member of IRLI

An integral figure in the anti-immigrant movement for over three decades, Stein and his organization have orchestrated countless attacks on immigrants ranging from drafting restrictionist policies to arguing that immigrants are “getting into competitive breeding.” 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,” and has publicly supported the Trump Administration’s family separation policy. Some of Stein’s former colleagues at FAIR, like Julie Kirchner and Robert Law, took up positions within the Trump Administration. 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.”

  • FAIR President Dan Stein, who has been a leading figure in the anti-immigrant movement since the 1980s, was a mentee of white nationalist John Tanton and has referred to him as a “Renaissance man,” including in a glowing eulogy after his passing.
  • In his tribute, Stein called Tanton a “selfless giver,” “remarkable giant,” stated that he was “interested in history and the future, in population policy…assimilation,” and that he “made those ideas move with incredible success over time.” Stein closed the tribute by hailing Tanton as a “gift to the nation.”
  • Stein has served as president of FAIR since 2003 and as a FAIR staffer for over 35 years. He’s worked alongside a number of current FAIR staffers, as well as others who have left to join other anti-immigrant groups or the Trump Administration, including Mark Krikorian, Julie Kirchner, Robert Law, Elizabeth Jacobs, John Zadrozny and Dale Wilcox.
  • In a New York Times profile on Cordelia Scaife May, Stein praised her, saying, “We occupied the space before anybody, and the people who helped found the organization and fund the organization, including Mrs. May, were people of enormous foresight and wisdom…They would be gratified over the fact that we’ve seen these ideas championed at the highest level.” May, one of the primary funders of the anti-immigrant movement in the U.S., believed the country was “being invaded on all fronts,” by immigrants who “breed like hamsters.”
  • As leader of the country’s most prominent anti-immigrant organization, Stein has exhibited blatant animus toward immigrants. He has previously lamented the repeal of overtly racist immigration laws passed in the 1920s as 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.”
  • Stein and FAIR have spent decades advocating for policies designed to shrink the overall immigrant and refugee population in the U.S. FAIR’s power and influence in the Trump Administration has led to harsh immigration policies such as the rescission of DACA, ending TPS for over 300,000 individuals, family separation at the border, refugee reductions, legal immigration cuts, a Public Charge rule, and increasing arrests and deportations of undocumented and documented immigrants. In some cases these deportations have resulted in immigrants returning to countries where they are persecuted and at risk of slavery.
  • As reported by The New York Times, Stein’s group wrote in its 2018 federal tax filing that the election of President Donald Trump presented “a unique opportunity” to enact policies such as “building the wall, ending chain migration, rolling back dangerous sanctuary policies,” and “eliminating the visa lottery.”
  • Stein, whose former colleagues have taken up positions within agencies responsible for implementing immigration policy such as USCIS, told the Pittsburgh Post Gazette in June 2019:  “you can assume we have contacts throughout the (Trump) administration.”
  • For many years, Stein was a contributor to Tanton’s journal, The Social Contract.
  • In March of 2019, Stein posed for a photo with Congressman Andy Biggs, after he was invited to speak at a House Border Security Caucus meeting.
  • 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.”
  • Although Stein has spent decades demonizing immigrants, he dismissed connections between FAIR’s ideology and views expressed by the El Paso shooter who targeted Latinx people in August 2019.
  • 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” and “address environmental concerns.” For years, FAIR called for a moratorium on all immigration before changing its stance.
  • Stein’s statements on immigrants have often echoed sentiments expressed by Tanton; he 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?”
  • In a statement marking the 50th anniversary of the Immigration Act of 1965, Stein lamented the increase of the U.S.’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.”
  • 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.”
  • 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.”
  • 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.”
  • 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.”
  • Stein has publicly 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 in 2018. Additionally, Stein’s group wrote multiple blog posts supporting the measure.
  • 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.”
  • FAIR repeatedly lashed out at President Trump for having kept DACA in place for awhile, calling it “an illegal executive overreach.” After the Trump Administration rescinded DACA, FAIR spent close to a million dollars torpedoing bipartisan legislation in the U.S. Senate through lobbying efforts, paid media, and misleading communications targeting family-based immigration.
  • From 2001-2018 Stein’s group spent over $3.6M in lobbying dollars, and from May 2018 to August 2019 the group spent more than $850,000 on Facebook ads attacking immigrants.
  • The FAIR President serves on the board of Immigration Reform Law Institute (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. Stein has held joint press events with IRLI and has defended former IRLI lawyer Kris Kobach in the past.
  • 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 the Obama Administration’s creation of DAPA and the expansion of DACA as an effort “to re-engineer this society” that “will make the nation ungovernable.”
  • In FAIR’s major policy report, it floated the idea of eliminating certain immigration programs altogether including TPS, and in the same report it proposed that DHS make undocumented immigrants ineligible for the program.
  • After a judge blocked President Trump’s move to terminate TPS for immigrants from El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Sudan, Stein backed Trump in a press release issued by FAIR, “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.”
  • In a policy paper, FAIR called for asylum seekers determined to have a “credible fear” of persecution to be detained for the entirety of their immigration proceedings. Because the process of applying for asylum can take months and even years, this would mean individuals could be detained indefinitely.
  • Long before the Trump Administration announced New Credible Fear Standards for asylum seekers  and refugees, Stein’s group proposed providing “New Definitions” for persecution.

Mark Krikorian

Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies

Despite his routine bigoted comments about immigrants and Muslims, Mark Krikorian is one of the most prominent figures in the anti-immigrant movement and is regularly cited by the media. Despite Krikorian’s efforts to distance himself and the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) from white nationalists in order to maintain their perceived credibility, Krikorian has defended CIS’s circulation of content from VDARE. VDARE is a website that routinely publishes the work of white nationalists and anti-Semites, but Krikorian compared it to the New York Times, and counted it as an “important” site for immigration news.

  • Krikorian, who previously worked at FAIR, has served as CIS’s executive director since 1995. CIS founder John Tanton wrote to Krikorian to congratulate him on his new role, and on several other occasions he wrote Krikorian about “various aspects of policy.” He has worked with a number of CIS’s current staffers and those who have left to join other anti-immigrant groups or the Trump Administration including Jessica Vaughan, Andrew Arthur, Steven Camarota, Rosemary Jenks, John Miano, Jon Feere, and Ronald  Mortensen.
  • Krikorian who penned the book entitled The New Case Against Immigration: Both Legal and Illegal, authors policy papers, provides research to lawmakers, testifies at congressional hearings, offers commentary to journalists, and is an active Twitter user. Krikorian advocates for attrition through enforcement or self deportation, ending birthright citizenship, imposing radical restrictions on refugee entries, restricting immigrants who are Muslim, massive reductions to legal immigration, and more.
  • The CIS executive director has floated the idea of housing unaccompanied children at Guantanamo Bay and advocated for a “zero-tolerance” policy. Further, Krikorian wrote that critics of family separation were generating a “wave of hysteria” and described widely reported photos as “atrocity propaganda.”
  • CIS holds an unprecedented amount of power and influence in the Trump Administration, and has provided the policy framework for the President’s harsh and unpopular immigration measures. Additionally, current CIS fellow Ronald Mortensen has been nominated to lead the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM), the State Department agency responsible for protecting refugees, and separately, the group’s former legal policy analyst Jon Feere, now serves as a senior advisor at ICE.
  • The group has hosted several officials including then-Acting ICE Director Thomas Homan, then-USCIS Director Lee Francis Cissna, EOIR’s James McHenry, and Acting USCIS Director Ken Cuccinelli, at their “Immigration Newsmaker” events and staffers have championed the Trump Administration’s cruel policy of separating families.
  • Krikorian, who has said he doesn’t meet with President Trump on a regular basis, has indicated that he frequently deals with immigration staff in the White House: “Usually we’ll get requests about, ‘Is this a good idea or do you have research on X, Y, Z?’”
  • According to NPR, emails obtained during discovery for the 2020 Census citizenship question lawsuit, revealed that Trump Administration officials suggested CIS staff members Mark Krikorian and Steven Camarota be contacted for advice and support.
  • In a 2017 ‘Giving Tuesday’ blog post, executive director Mark Krikorian bragged about being referred to as the Trump Administration’s “go-to source for immigration research,” and that the Administration’s immigration principles were “developed and advocated” by CIS. Krikorian stated in a blog, “The White House has also submitted to Congress a wish list of 70 immigration improvements, most of which we have developed and advocated.”
  • Krikorian has called the presence of President Trump’s chief policy advisor Stephen Miller in the White House important, saying: “If he weren’t there, I’m pretty sure it’d be worse.”
  • Following the 2019 mass murder in El Paso, Texas, which targeted Latinx people, Krikorian called the manifesto of the alleged killer,“remarkably well-written for a 21-year-old loner.”
  • In an interview with C-SPAN Krikorian expressed that “mass immigration in a modern society” is a “problem in a whole variety of reasons.” The interview was regarding his organization being funded by Cordelia Scaife May, a population control advocate who believed the U.S. was “being invaded on all fronts” by immigrants who “breed like hamsters.”
  • In 2015 the former FAIR employee spoke at The Social Contract Press’ annual Writers’ Workshop event. The Social Contract Press 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.
  • During the 2016 presidential election, Krikorian proposed returning to the Cold War-era policy of  “ideological exclusion” as an alternative to Donald Trump’s call for a “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.” In the same piece for National Review, Krikorian called for radical immigration cuts targeting Muslims: “So alongside ideological screening we need to cut immigration overall, focusing on the categories most likely to cause problems. That means eliminating the visa lottery, an absurd program in its own right but also the source of a disproportionate share of Muslim immigration; limiting family immigration to the closest relations, to prevent a cascading chain of relatives; dramatically curbing refugee resettlement…and reducing the number of foreign-student admissions, the feeder program for a large share of new permanent immigration from the Islamic world.”
  • In an article for the National Review entitled “End Birthright Citizenship Now,” Krikorian 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,” and authored a book titled: The New Case Against Immigration: Both Legal and Illegal.
  • Krikorian and his staff are quoted by journalists nationwide hundreds of times annually, falsely positioning themselves as moderately conservative on immigration and providing an opposing viewpoint in a range of articles.
  • The CIS Executive Director, who once stated in the National Review that Haiti “wasn’t colonized long enough,” wrote for the same outlet that the “Islamic world democracy” faced the “problem of a vicious people.” In an article for the National Review published in April 2011, Krikorian wrote, “Well, I’m afraid that in the Islamic world democracy faces the problem of a vicious people, one where the desire for freedom is indeed written in every human heart, but the freedom to do evil.”
  • CIS’s A Pen and a Phone: 79 Immigration Actions the Next President Can Take report has provided a blueprint for the Trump Administration to make life for immigrants and refugees in the United States and those hoping to enter the country as difficult as possible. Policies such as restricting the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program, an expansion of public charge, ramping up interior enforcement measures, terminating the OPT program, dismantling the asylum system, and ending DACA, are all laid out in detail in the CIS report.
  • In addition to calling for DACA’s repeal, Krikorian has advocated for leveraging protections for DACA recipients in exchange for attrition through enforcement measures and cuts to legal immigration. In a June 2017 blog post, Krikorian wrote, “Though I was initially skeptical, it might even make sense to try to trade a real, lawful amnesty for the DACAs in exchange for important immigration changes only Congress can pass – specifically, universal E-Verify and cuts in legal immigration.”
  • In a July 2017 interview with Breitbart Texas, Krikorian called for a “legal immigration offset” in exchange for some protections for Dreamers. Krikorian stated, “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.”
  • As early as 2010, before DACA, CIS’s Mark Krikorian was outspoken in advocating for harsh attrition through enforcement measures and cuts to legal immigration in exchange legal status for Dreamers. Since DACA’s rescission, CIS has worked to derail all bipartisan efforts to provide legal protections for Dreamers.
  • During Congressional negotiations on the program in 2017, Krikorian drove calls to the offices of House Republicans willing to find a permanent solution in the U.S. for DACA-eligible immigrants.
  • In July 2018, CIS filed a lawsuit against USCIS requesting DACA application data, which the U.S. government promised would not be used for enforcement actions against the program’s recipients.
  • On August 5, 2017, Univision reported that Krikorian’s group helped Stephen Miller, along with the bill’s sponsors Senators Cotton and Perdue draft the RAISE Act, which would slash immigration numbers by half.
  • Krikorian has repeatedly attacked the TPS program on social media and in the National Review. In one instance, he even went so far as to call for the program to be abolished.
  • For the National Review, Krikorian wrote in 2018, “It’s long past time for this “temporary” status to end.” Further, in CIS’s 2016 “Pen and a Phone” policy report the group called on the next President to terminate “TPS designations that have been in effect for years for several nations, such as El Salvador…” and to issue an “EO directing that no TPS designation may stay in effect longer than one year unless vetted and approved through the National Security Council prior to being extended, and only in a one-year increment.”
  • Following the Trump Administration’s expansion of public charge, Krikorian praised the move in a piece for the National Review citing his colleague, Jason Richwine, who resigned from The Heritage Foundation after it was revealed his college dissertation called for limiting immigration based on intelligence.
  • In 2011, Krikorian teamed up with Roy Beck for an event to mark the 10-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
  • Also in 2011, Krikorian spoke at a CIS press conference along with Senator Jeff Sessions, in which the Alabama Senator thanked the organization for their “invaluable research.” Sessions stated, “I would just say this: You know, any kind of a debate or a discussion like this, most of us don’t have time to go out and crunch the numbers and census data and go through all of this. I just want to thank CIS for providing invaluable research.”

Roy Beck

President and CEO of NumbersUSA

Beck spent years working for John Tanton who named him his “heir apparent,” before founding NumbersUSA in the mid 1990s. Beck has worked for years to make life as difficult as possible for immigrants living in the United States so that they will “self-deport.” He does this by advocating for harsh attrition-through-enforcement policies and dramatic cuts to legal immigration levels. In fact, he has said that the goal should be to “halt all immigration possible.”

  • Roy Beck, who is the author of the book entitled The Case Against Immigration, founded NumbersUSA in 1996. During its fledgling years, NumbersUSA was housed under John Tanton’s U.S. Inc. umbrella.
  • Beck serves as the group’s president and has sought to popularize an extreme immigration-reduction agenda, most famously through his dehumanizing “gumballs” video and presentations.
  • It directs thousands of calls and emails to members of congress to successfully kill legislation, and seeks to influence primaries in support of nativist candidates and shift the national conversation on immigration to the right—in concert with other members of the organized anti-immigrant movement. Beck and his longtime colleague Rosemary Jenks have sought to build robust relationships with members of congress in order to help scupper any and all immigration reform efforts.
  • Beck, NumbersUSA and the policies they advocate for have helped to inform the Trump Administration’s actions on immigration.
  • In 2011, Beck joined Mark Krikorian at a Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) event to mark the 10 year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
  • Beck served as the former editor of Tanton’s publication The Social Contract.The journal published the work of a number of white nationalists, such as Peter Brimelow, the founder of VDARE.
  • Beck spoke at multiple events organized by the white supremacist 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.
  • During a 2016 Reddit ask me anything, Beck entertained racist questions and policy proposals, advocated for temporary bans on refugees, slashing legal immigration by 75%, called immigration a “program of forced population growth,” and said, “Refugee resettlement is mainly about some people in rich countries making themselves feel morally superior rather than responding to the greatest needs of the refugees.”
  • Beck has stated that integration of immigrants in Europe is unlikely to be successful “unless they do what the U.S. did in the 1920s.”
  • 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.”
  • Beck, who has advocated against the TPS program for years, has praised the Trump Administration’s decision to terminate protections for many of the program’s hundreds of thousands of recipients, and railed against a court injunction which blocked the Administration from doing so.
  • In 2008, the NumbersUSA President rejected calls for Haitians to receive TPS after devastating storms ravaged the country.
  • In August 2019, Beck told The New York Times, that without the funding from Cordelia Scaife May’s Colcom Foundation, his group would “be functioning at a very different level.”
  • NumbersUSA and Beck have spent decades advocating for policies designed to shrink the overall immigrant population in the U.S.
  • In addition to spending millions of dollars on radio and television ads, from 2001-2018 Beck’s group spent over $7M in lobbying dollars, and from May 2018 to August 2019 the group spent nearly $900,000 on facebook ads attacking immigrants.
  • Like FAIR and CIS, Beck’s group has an unprecedented amount of power and influence over President Trump’s immigration policy, and the results have been disastrous. Perhaps most notably is NumbersUSA’s work advocate for an end to DACA and derail permanent protections for young immigrants. In addition to publicly pressuring President Trump to end the program, NumbersUSA spent over a million dollars working to derail bipartisan talks on protections for these immigrants.
    • Ahead of a vote on H.R. 6, the Dream and Promise Act, NumbersUSA urged its supporters and members of Congress, including some Democrats, to vote against the measure. The group placed Facebook ads targeting a number of moderate Democratic representatives including some freshman members.
  • Beck 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 what he called 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, NumbersUSA coordinated with former IRLI lawyer Kris Kobach on the Crane v. Napolitano case,  the suit that pitted ICE against the Obama Administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and set the stage for United States v. Texas, and the subsequent legal attacks the program has faced. The same day Kobach filed the lawsuit on behalf of ten Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents, NumbersUSA announced that it would financially support the legal effort against DACA. In a blog post that read more as a fundraising appeal than an announcement, Beck said the ICE agents’ legal team would be “funded entirely by NumbersUSA member contributions.”
  • Beck and his group have used their 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 immigrants who came to the U.S. at a young age from serving in the military, rescinding the program altogether, deporting DACA recipients, harsh interior enforcement policies, ending birthright citizenship and dramatic cuts to legal immigration.

Kris Kobach

Former Counsel for Immigration Reform Law Institute, Former KS Secretary of State

The chief legal mind in the anti-immigrant movement, Kobach has used his Ivy League education to draft some of the harshest policies on the books at the federal and local level targeting immigrants and Muslims. Most of these were enacted while he served as of counsel for the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI). Kobach is one of the primary architects behind legal strategies attacking DACA recipients, including Crane v. Napolitano, U.S. v. Texas, and harsh attrition through enforcement policies that have devastated localities and states such as Farmers Branch, Texas and Arizona. Further, Kobach has collected hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees defending these harsh immigration laws that he drafts, leaving a plethora of towns with giant fiscal burdens, after legal challenges to the legislation Kobach proposed.

  • Former 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. He suffered an embarrassing defeat in the 2018 Kansas Gubernatorial race and is a paid columnist for Breitbart. He has co-authored some of the United States’s most draconian and destructive anti-immigrant lawsuits and legislation, and is one of the chief architects of the legal attacks on DACA.
  • Kobach often gets into legal trouble. He frequently loses in court, has violated campaign finance laws and has been fined as a result. His tenure as Vice Chair of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity was unceremoniously cut short. Numerous state officials, including Republicans, criticized the commission and its demands, and in January 2018 the Trump Administration dissolved the commission citing “endless legal battles.”
  • In June 2017 Kobach was fined $1,000 and held in contempt of court for misleading the court and opposing counsel during a lawsuit involving federal voting laws. In U.S. Magistrate Judge James O’Hara’s decision he wrote, “The court agrees that defendant’s deceptive conduct and lack of candor warrant the imposition of sanctions.”
  • In addition to Kobach’s work for anti-immigrant groups founded by eugenicist John Tanton, he has associated with white nationalists.
  • Not only did Kobach reportedly employ white nationalists on his 2018 Kansas Gubernatorial campaign, he accepted campaign contributions from extremists, including John Tanton’s political action committee U.S. Immigration Reform PAC, former DHS official Ian Smith, who resigned after emails revealed his relationships with white supremacists, and VDARE writer Paul Nachman. In 2016, VDARE founder Peter Brimelow endorsed Kobach for Vice President, and Marcus Epstein, who runs in white nationalist circles, attended a Kobach 2017 Gubernatorial fundraiser in Washington, D.C.
  • Kobach, who has taken part in FAIR’s Hold Their Feet to the Fire annual event, and who spoke at the The Social Contract Press’s annual Writers’ Workshop, has maligned immigrants and minorities, including on his discontinued radio show.
  • According to Axios, leaked vetting documents for the Trump transition team included “white supremacy” as a vulnerability for Kobach, who was at the time in the running for DHS Secretary. The document cited “accusations from past political opponents that he had ties to white supremacist groups.”
  • Kobach worked for over a decade at IRLI alongside figures such as Ian Smith, Dale Wilcox and John Miano. Later, he teamed up with other anti-immigrant individuals such as Steve Bannon and former Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo to advise a group called We Build The Wall, Inc., dedicated to privately funding a border wall.
  • On September 25, 2019, Steve Bannon hosted a fundraiser for Kobach’s 2020 Kansas Senate campaign.
  • Kobach entertained the possibility that Latinx immigrants could conduct “ethnic cleansing” in the U.S. by outnumbering the current white majority, due to what Kobach described as having “a president who disregards the law when it suits his interests.” Kobach continued, “So, while I normally would answer that by saying, ‘Steve, of course we have the rule of law, that could never happen in America,’ I wonder what could happen. I still don’t think it’s going to happen in America, but I have to admit, things are strange and they are happening.”
  • On the Gold Star Khan Family, Kobach stated: “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.”
  • Kobach helped create the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS), a Muslim registry program launched under the Bush Administration and later disbanded. During the 2016 Presidential transition Kobach told Reuters that he, along with a transition team working group, were considering recommending a reinstatement of the program.
  • In 2017 Kobach told a group of Republicans gathered at 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 Muslim Ban.
  • Kobach was critical of the Trump Administration’s decision to allow a small transition period for the hundreds of thousands of TPS holders who have lived in the U.S. for decades. In a November 2017 interview for Breitbart, Kobach opined, “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.”
  • In his role as an advisor to the Trump campaign and the transition team Kobach advised on policies related to a wall along the Southern border, ending DACA and reinstating the NSEERS tracking system. Some of Kobach’s policy recommendations were captured in a photo of a memo he carried into a meeting with Trump, and later confirmed in deposition transcripts.
  • As part of ongoing litigation over the Trump Administration’s decision to include a citizenship question in the 2020 census, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross recalled Steve Bannon asking the Secretary if he would be willing to speak to Kobach about ideas on a possible citizenship question on the decennial census. Bannon connected the two men.
  • Kobach, who reportedly lost out on an immigration czar post in the Trump Administration, told the Washington Times that he was actually the one to turn down the position because the job didn’t carry enough weight, and that he continued to “meet regularly with the president to discuss immigration issues.”
  • In his role at IRLI, Kobach wrote 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, introduced by Russell Pearce after consultation with Kobach, and signed into law by then-Governor Jan Brewer, 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.
  • Former Arizona Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio once hired Kobach to train his law enforcement officers on immigration issues.
  • 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.
  • According to the Kansas City Star Kobach “earned more than $800,000 for his immigration work, paid by both towns and an advocacy group, over 13 years.” Below are just a few examples of the costs to cities and states of the policies Kris Kobach worked on:
    • Hazleton, PA, July 13, 2006 – Hazleton took on debt to pay $1.4 million in legal fees and eventually had to file for a state bailout. Former Congressman Lou Barletta worked with Kobach on this legislation while he was mayor of Hazleton.
    • Farmers Branch, TX, 2006 – Farmer’s Branch paid over $7 million in legal fees. Then-Mayor Bob Phelps has since called Kobach’s pitch “a sham,” Phelps stated “It was just a sad situation that we had to go through, and everybody now regrets it.”
    • AZ SB1070, 2010 – According to the Center for American Progress Arizona lost an estimated “$253 million in economic output, $9.4 million in tax revenues, and 2,761 jobs.”
    • AL HB 56, 2011 – Researchers estimated that HB 56 could cost the state nearly $11 billion in lost economic output and as much as $264.5 million in tax revenue.
  • IRLI’s former 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.
  • 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 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 Texas v. U.S.
  • Just two days after President Obama’s announcement on DAPA and an expansion of the DACA program, The Washington Post reported that then-IRLI lawyer Kris Kobach had stated at a community forum that he had “already begun drafting a suit as the lead attorney, with plans to file it in early December,” and that “Texas is interested in being a plaintiff.” On December 3, 2014, then-Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott filed a lawsuit challenging DAPA and DACA+. From there, the newly elected Attorney General, Ken Paxton, carried out the lawsuit through the U.S. Supreme Court, who agreed to hear the case, but remained divided and gave no decision on the case in a 4-4 tie.
  • In July 2017 Kobach praised a Texas led strategy which threatened to sue the Trump Administration if they failed to end DACA: “The cases are nearly identical. It’s a clear winner for the states, and I’m very happy Texas has sent this letter.”

Jessica Vaughan

Director of Policy Studies, Center for Immigration Studies

As director of policy studies for CIS, Vaughan is one of the key figures leading the anti-immigrant movement’s assault on so-called sanctuary cities. In 2015, Stephen Miller praised Vaughan by saying, “There is no one in America who knows more about immigration enforcement…” 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 white nationalist Peter Brimelow, the founder and editor of the racist  website VDARE, a hub for white nationalists and anti-Semites. The Social Contract Press (TSCP) was founded in 1990 by John Tanton, who served as editor for its journal, 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.

  • As the director of policy studies for CIS, Vaughan authors and promotes reports filled with blatant anti-immigrant animus and misinformation. Vaughan joined CIS in 1992 and worked alongside a number of longtime CIS staffers and those who have left to join the Trump Administration or other anti-immigrant groups, including, Mark Krikorian, Andrew Arthur, Steven Camarota, Rosemary Jenks, John Miano, Jon Feere and Ronald Mortensen.
  • Vaughan and CIS have an unprecedented amount of power and influence over the Trump Administration’s immigration policies, and have provided the framework for the President’s harsh and unpopular immigration measures. Additionally, former CIS staff members have moved into government agencies responsible for implementing immigration policy and several Administration officials have participated in CIS events.
  • In an NPR piece on President Trump’s renewed threats of mass deportation, Vaughan was described as being “in regular discussions with the administration.”
  • On August 15, 2018, then USCIS head Lee Francis Cissna addressed CIS at their “Immigration Newsmaker” event. Cissna was the third Trump Administration official to participate in this series. EOIR’s James McHenry and former ICE Director Thomas Homan were previous speakers. Vaughan was the moderator for two out of three of the events.
  • Vaughan’s group has circulated white nationalist content including VDARE posts thousands of times and has refused to stop doing so. In fact, the group’s executive director, Mark Krikorian has defended sending around articles published by VDARE by comparing it to the New York Times, and counting it as an “important” site for immigration news.
  • Vaughan’s opinion is regularly sought by anti-immigrant members of Congress, and she often provides testimony at immigration related hearings in front of both the Senate and House of Representatives.
  • 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 ninety-nine percent of all the illegal alien minors taken into ICE custody since the beginning of the fiscal year were apprehended by the Border Patrol.”
  • In 2017, Vaughan traveled to Oregon to address the anti-immigrant group Oregonians for Immigration Reform (OFIR).
  • In January 2017, Vaughan praised Bristol County, Massachusetts Sheriff Thomas Hodgson’s offer to send individuals who were incarcerated to the border to build President Trump’s wall, saying that the plan would put any immigrants in detention “that much closer for deportation.” Vaughan said to the Washington Examiner “Not only that, they can use their new skills to support themselves in their home country.”
  • Vaughan once wrote that the TPS program has contributed to “the burgeoning street gang problem in the United States.”
  • Vaughan has defended Miller from critiques of his anti-immigrant policies.
  • Vaughan has also granted an interview to the anti-Semitic tabloid American Free Press, founded by Willis Carto, a man who spent five decades on the hate circuit in the United States.
  • Vaughan and CIS have spread false and misleading information about the DACA program, and long advocated for its repeal which they continued under President Trump. After the Trump Administration rescinded DACA in September of 2017, Vaughan and other CIS spokespeople suggested using the preservation of the DACA program as a trade-off for severely restricting existing legal immigration channels:
  • Vaughan who has sounded the unnecessary alarm over high DACA application approval rates, blamed DACA recipients on processing delays at USCIS during a House Judiciary hearing in July 2019.
  • In CIS’ A Pen and a Phone: 79 immigration actions the next president can take paper, published in April 2016, the group laid out proposals which included calls to track down DACA recipients and require DNA samples for immigration applications.
  • In July 2018, the group filed a lawsuit against USCIS, requesting DACA application data, which the U.S. government promised would not be used for enforcement actions against the program’s recipients.
  • In July 2019, Vaughan penned a fact sheet on H.R. 1044, in which she stated that the bill would “reward” employers who “literally replaced American workers.”
  • In 2008, Vaughan blamed the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program for allegedly contributing to “the burgeoning street gang problem in the United States,” and in a 2018 op-ed in USA Today, she called for the 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.”
  • Further, in CIS’s “Pen and a Phone” the group called on the next President to terminate “TPS designations that have been in effect for years for several nations, such as El Salvador…” and to issue an “EO directing that no TPS designation may stay in effect longer than one year unless vetted and approved through the National Security Council prior to being extended, and only in a one-year increment.”
  • Vaughan’s colleagues at CIS including Mark Krikorian and Andrew Arthur are supporters of the  “zero-tolerance” policy which when implemented by the Trump Administration, separated thousands of children from their parents. CIS Fellow Andrew Arthur called family separation an “absolutely crucial” step to “reducing the flow of parents and their children,” saying “there really is no other choice.”
  • The group has called for numerous changes to the asylum system such as doing away with protections for children and their families arriving at the border, expanding immigration detention, expedited removal, refusing to release unaccompanied minors to family members who are undocumented unless they surrender themselves for removal proceedings, and restrictions on work authorization for individuals with pending asylum cases.
  • In 2013, Vaughan teamed up with Jeff Sessions and Congressmen including Mo Brooks and Lou Barletta for a teleconference in opposition to the Gang of Eight SB-744 legislation.
  • In recent years, Vaughan has been one of the leading anti-sanctuary activists, producing a map of so-called sanctuary areas but omitting key information on legal issues regarding detainer requests. Vaughan has worked directly with law enforcement and elected officials, including Thomas Hodgson in her home state of Massachusetts in opposing sanctuary legislation.

Andrew Arthur

Resident Fellow in Law and Policy, Center for Immigration Studies

In written reports and Congressional hearings, CIS Fellow and former Immigration Judge Andrew Arthur has frequently proposed and defended inhumane immigration policies such as the Trump Administration’s “zero-tolerance” policy which resulted in thousands of families being separated at the border and detained. Arthur called this policy “absolutely crucial” to reducing the flow of parents and their children,” and has claimed that “there really is no other choice” for the federal government.

  • Since 2017, Andrew Arthur has served as the Resident Fellow in Law and Policy for the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), working alongside CIS colleagues Mark Krikorian, Jessica Vaughan, Steven Camarota, John Miano and Ronald Mortensen.
  • At CIS, he authors policy briefs and has provided testimony at Congressional hearings where he advocates for harsh enforcement policies at the Southern border and in the interior of the U.S. such as ‘zero-tolerance,’ and additional policies designed to remove humanitarian protections for children and adults seeking asylum.
  • Arthur’s boss at CIS, Mark Krikorian has defended the organization’s circulation of content from the VDARE, a site that routinely publishes the work of white nationalists and anti-Semites by comparing it to The New York Times: “Some of what VDare publishes is sensible, some of it is not, and some of it is downright scurrilous. Kind of like the New York Times.”
  • On April 19, 2018 Arthur moderated a CIS “Immigration Newsmaker” event featuring the Executive Office for Immigration Review’s James McHenry.
  • The CIS fellow has implied that the group does not find the Trump Administration’s “zero tolerance” policy of family separation harsh enough, stating his belief that the Attorney General’s failure to detain unaccompanied minor children incentivizes older children to enter the U.S., as well as encouraging parents of younger children to “have their children smuggled illegally to the United States.”
  • Arthur and CIS support removing protections from children in detention, and Arthur has lamented the Flores Settlement as a “loophole.” The CIS fellow has argued for the use of family detention as a deterrent to asylum seekers and illegal immigration, claiming before Congress that “an increase in detention will make it less likely that aliens will enter the United States illegally.”
  • During a March 2019 House Judiciary hearing on immigration, Arthur feigned ignorance when asked by Congressman Hank Johnson if he was aware that John Tanton had founded the organization for which Arthur himself worked, saying: “I do not know what role Mr. Tanton played.” Later in the exchange the CIS fellow acknowledged that the group had circulated content by VDARE in their immigration newsletter. Arthur was challenged again over the founding of CIS at a September 2019, House Judiciary hearing on the Muslim Ban, by Congresswoman Ilhan Omar.
  • While at CIS, Arthur has used his platform as a fellow, to advocate for policies harmful to many groups of immigrants including DACA recpipents, TPS holders, and asylum seekers.
  • Arthur and CIS have for years advocated for leveraging protections for Dreamers in exchange for massive reductions in legal immigration and harsh enforcement policies. In their effort to derail a deal on DACA in 2017 and 2018 the group helped to propagate the term “chain-migration,” which they used to deride family reunification.
  • Arthur has attacked the TPS program in blogs for CIS and in congressional testimony.
    • In a 2017 blog for CIS titled, “Temporary’ Protected Status: The Biggest Misnomer in Immigration,” Arthur called on Congress and the President to act “dispassionately,” towards the hundreds of thousands of TPS holders who have built their life in the U.S. and if deported would be removed to conditions which are not safe.
    • In March 2019 testimony delivered to the United States House of Representatives, Committee on the Judiciary, Arthur called on Congress to limit DHS’s authority on TPS extensions, “Congress should act to limit the authority of the Secretary of Homeland Security to extend TPS in the future to ensure that it is used properly and effectively.”
    • In another 2017 blog for CIS, Arthur compared TPS to the opioid epidemic in the United States, writing, “TPS is similar to another pressing topic of the day, opioid use. If a patient is in true pain, administering opioids will be a palliative. The longer that the drug is used, however (especially when it is no longer needed), it becomes habit-forming, and the subsequent withdrawal itself becomes a painful process with its own set of deleterious consequences.”

Steven Camarota

Director of Research, Center for Immigration Studies

CIS’s longtime director of research produces dozens of reports each year that are routinely cited by anti-immigrant politicians and Trump officials alike. Like his colleagues, Camarota has a history of demonizing immigrants. Camarota helps to craft policy proposals for the group which, according to reporting by Univision, had a hand in drafting the RAISE Act, co-authored by Senator Tom Cotton. 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 legal immigration levels, among other anti-immigrant measures, as a trade for protections for Dreamers.

  • 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 has worked at CIS for approxamately two decades, with staffers such as Rosemary Jenks, Mark Krikorian, Jessica Vaughan, Andrew Arthur, Jon Feere, Ronald Mortensen and John Miano.
  • Camarota’s writing and Congressional testimony has been republished by The Social Contract Press in its journal 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.
  • Camarota works for an organization that regularly circulates white nationalist content, and has done so thousands of times. CIS’s executive director has defended circulating content from VDARE, a website that routinely publishes the work of white nationalists and anti-Semities, by comparing it to the New York Times, and counting it as an “important” site for immigration news.
  • Camarota regularly publishes editorials on immigration for National Review, like his colleague, Mark Krikorian.
  • CIS and the group’s staffers such as Camarota have unprecedented influence over the Trump Administration’s immigration policies. In fact, many of their harsh measures can be traced directly back to CIS’s report entitled A Pen and Phone.
  • According to NPR, emails obtained during discovery in the Maryland 2020 Census citizenship question lawsuit revealed that Trump Administration officials suggested CIS staff members Mark Krikorian and Steven Camarota be contacted for advice and support.
  • During a White House press conference on The RAISE Act, President Trump’s Senior Advisor Stephen Miller cited Camarota to justify the measure which if enacted, would cut legal immigration levels by one half.
  • Camarota publicly advocated for President Trump to end DACA, and after the program was rescinded, CIS worked to derail bipartisan negotiations in the U.S. Senate on protections for undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. at a young age.
  • In advocating in August of 2017 for the Trump Administration to end the program, Camarota argued that the program “harms working-class voters,” and subsequently argued that ending DACA would be a boom to native-born residents.

Dale Wilcox

Executive Director and General Counsel, IRLI

Wilcox spearheads IRLI’s aggressive legal strategy targeting cities and locales that have passed immigrant rights legislation. Like many IRLI lawyers, Wilcox first worked for FAIR before joining its legal arm. Wilcox has called for DACA recipients to “self-deport,” saying, “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 immigrants who came to the U.S. at a young age.

  • Dale L. Wilcox is the executive director and general counsel of IRLI, the former state and local director for FAIR, and former counsel to Judicial Watch.
  • Wilcox has worked with a number of IRLI staffers, both current and those who left to join the Trump Administration, including Kris Kobach, John Miano, Mike Hethmon and Ian Smith.
  • Wilcox has advocated for harsh attrition through enforcement measures, and as executive director of IRLI has led the organization’s work to make life more difficult for immigrants throughout the United States. In a 2016 press release announcing IRLI’s filing of a motion to intervene and dismiss a lawsuit filed against an Oregonians for Immigration Reform (OFIR) driven ballot measure in 2014 which overturned an Oregon law to expand driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants, Wilcox stated “Illegal aliens do not have a right to driving privileges, nor do they have a right to travel freely in the U.S. as federal law makes their very presence in the U.S. unlawful.”
  • In a press release announcing IRLI’s decision to sue the Department of State for agency records regarding the names of countries that have allegedly refused to accept the return of their nationals, Wilcox, who often uses hateful rhetoric to describe immigrants derided these nations as “deadbeat nations.” All of the countries the group discussed in the release are in Asia and Africa.
  • In June 2018, Wilcox defended the Trump Administration’s “zero-tolerance” policy in a piece for Breitbart. Wilcox called the international outrage and condemnation of the U.S.’s family separation policy a distraction, and described the thousands of children torn from their parents as a “relatively few children.”
  • In a 2019 press release announcing IRLI’s submission of a friend-of-the-court brief in support of an Erie County, New York clerk who filed a lawsuit against Gov. Cuomo to defeat the Green Light New York law which grants driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants in the state, Wilcox, stated, “not only does New York’s Green Light Law turn public officials into criminals, but it also was expressly designed to help illegal aliens take jobs from Americans in New York State.”
  • His group has helped craft anti-immigrant legislation all over the country, including Arizona’s infamous “self-deportation” measure SB 1070, Alabama’s HB 56 and Georgia’s HB 87.
  • Wilcox has led IRLI’s work in defense of the Trump Administration’s harsh immigration policies as they face constitutional legal challenges. The group has filed friend of the court briefs in support of President Trump’s policies including the Muslim Ban, dismantling of asylum law, declaring a national emergency to fund a wall along the Southern border, the 2020 Census citizenship question and ending DACA.
  • On August 29, 2019, the IRLI filed two legal briefs at the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the Trump Administration on DACA litigation. One of the briefs filed on behalf of SaveJobs USA and the Washington Alliance of Technology Workers, challenged work authorization for DACA recipients, while the other one argued that DACA was unlawful.
  • Additionally, IRLI has continued its work to dismantle birthright citizenship, employment based immigration and supported the Georgia higher education system’s decision to deny DACA recipients access to certain universities in the state.
  • The group is one of the primary architects behind the legal attacks on undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. at a young age. Following the Supreme Court’s failure to reach a majority decision in the U.S. v. Texas case, IRLI issued a press release lauding the outcome, and confirming their behind the scenes work to attack these immigrants: “IRLI advised the Texas Attorney-General’s office on key facets of the case and filed a total of six friend-of-the-court briefs throughout the case’s proceedings.” Wilcox said the group was “honored to have had the opportunity to contribute toward that victory.”

Rosemary Jenks

Director of Government Relations, NumbersUSA

For more than a decade, Rosemary Jenks has walked the halls of Congress, cultivating relationships with elected officials and their staff while lobbying to stifle any proposed legislation that supports immigrant rights or a pathway to citizenship for immigrants. As a former CIS analyst and the director of government relations for NumbersUSA, Jenks has worked for years to make life as difficult as possible for immigrants living in the U.S. and to prevent future entries.

  • 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).
  • In her roles at CIS and NumbersUSA, Jenks worked alongside a number of key anti-immigrant figures, including Roy Beck, Mark Krikorian, Jessica Vaughan and Steven Camarota.
  • 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.”
  • In 2006, Jeff Sessions participated in a CIS event featuring Jenks.
  • 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. In 2008, she spoke at the Social Contract Press’s Annual Writers Workshop. The Social Contract Press (TSCP) was founded in 1990 by John Tanton, who served as editor for its journal 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.
  • Jenks works closely with key anti-immigrant representatives in the House, including Rep. Steve King, Rep. Louie Gohmert, and former Rep. Lamar Smith, and serves as one of NumbersUSA’s main contacts with the U.S. Congress and state legislative officials.
  • In addition to spending millions of dollars on radio and television ads, from 2001-2018 Jenks’s employer spent over $7M in lobbying dollars, and from May 2018 to August 2019 the group spent nearly $900,000 on Facebook ads attacking immigrants.
  • NumbersUSA has an unprecedented amount of power and influence over President Trump’s immigration policy, and the results have been disastrous. Perhaps most notably is NumbersUSA’s work to end DACA and derail permanent protections for undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. at a young age. In addition to publicly pressuring President Trump to end the program, NumbersUSA spent over a million dollars working to derail bipartisan talks on protections for these immigrants.
    • Ahead of a vote on H.R. 6, the Dream and Promise Act, NumbersUSA urged their supporters and members of Congress, including some Democrats to vote against the measure. The group placed Facebook ads targeting a number of moderate Democratic representatives including some freshman members.
  • In 2012, NumbersUSA coordinated with former IRLI lawyer Kris Kobach on the Crane v. Napolitano case,  the suit that pitted ICE against President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and set the stage for United States v. Texas, and the subsequent legal attacks the program has faced. The same day Kobach filed the lawsuit on behalf of the ten Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents, NumbersUSA announced that it would financially support the legal effort against DACA. In a blog post that read more as a fundraising appeal than an announcement, Beck said the ICE agents’ legal team would be “funded entirely by NumbersUSA member contributions.”
  • The group has used its grassroots network to drive calls and send faxes to lawmakers under both the Obama and Trump Administrations, urging representatives to support policies and amendments attached to must-pass bills offered by anti-immigrant Representatives in the House and Senate. Policy proposals have ranged from removing work authorization from DACA recipients to forbidding undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. at a young age from serving in the military, rescinding the program altogether and deporting DACA recipients to harsh interior enforcement policies such as mandatory e-verify. They have also stridently supported ending birthright citizenship, dramatic cuts to legal immigration, including ending family based immigration, and increased border wall funding.

John Miano

IRLI Legal Counsel and Fellow for CIS

Miano is tied to a number of anti-immigrant groups, serving as a fellow for CIS and as counsel for IRLI. In a 2016 CIS blog, “The Coming End of DACA and DAPA,” Miano, one of the primary architects behind legal strategies designed to dismantle employment authorization channels for immigrants, floated the idea of using contact information provided by DACA applicants to find and deport them. On August 26, 2019, Miano filed a legal brief challenging work authorization for DACA recipients at the U.S. Supreme Court for IRLI, on behalf of SaveJobs USA and the Washington Alliance of Technology Workers.

  • Miano has spent a number of years at both CIS and IRLI, working alongside Mark Krikorian, Kris Kobach, Jessica Vaughan, Steve Camarota, Dale Wilcox, Ian Smith and Ronald Mortensen, among others.
  • Miano who is a constant critic of high skilled immigrant workers and other legal immigration channels is the chief lawyer representing Save Jobs USA and Wash Tech in their lawsuits filed against the Department of Homeland Security during the Obama Administration related to their decision to grant work authorization for spouses of H-1B holders, and extend work permission for some students. Litigation related to these cases has carried over into the Trump Administration.
  • In recent years IRLI has worked to dismantle birthright citizenship, employment based immigration, the DACA and DAPA programs, and supported the Georgia higher education system’s decision to deny DACA recipients access to certain universities in the state.
  • IRLI, an ardent supporter of the Trump Administration, has filed friend of the court briefs in support of many of their policies such as the Muslim Ban, dismantling of asylum law, declaring a national emergency to fund a wall along the Southern border, the 2020 Census citizenship question and ending DACA.

Michael Hethmon

Senior Counsel, Immigration Reform Law Institute

Hethmon and Kris Kobach were the legal architects behind the anti-immigrant movement’s attrition through enforcement policy – enacting ordinances that make life so difficult for immigrants that they relocate or “self-deport” back to their country of origin. 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.

  • Michael M. Hethmon is a senior counsel for Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) and a former staff attorney for the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). IRLI has worked for years to shrink the total immigrant population in the U.S. by supporting legal attacks on states and localities and immigrants around the country, through its attrition through enforcement lawsuits and laws like SB1070 and Alabama’s HB 56.
  • During his time at FAIR and IRLI, Hethmon’s colleagues included Dale Wilcox, John Miano and Ian Smith.
  • In 2007, Hethmon joined Dan Stein of FAIR and Daryl Metcalfe, founder of State Legislators for Legal Immigration (SLLI) to announce that SLLI would be entering into a “working partnership” with IRLI to create a set of model attrition through enforcement legislation that state legislators across the country could introduce.
  • The legislation would target things like in-state tuition for undocumented students and making the E-Verify program mandatory.
  • 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 could 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.”
  • As senior counsel to IRLI, Hethmon has supported the group in high profile cases of state and local anti-immigrant legislation and lawsuits, and their years long legal attacks on DACA and DAPA. Following the Supreme Court’s failure to reach a majority decision in the U.S. v. Texas case, IRLI issued a press release lauding the outcome, and confirming their behind-the-scenes work to attack these immigrants: “IRLI advised the Texas Attorney-General’s office on key facets of the case and filed a total of six friend-of-the-court briefs throughout the case’s proceedings.”
  • IRLI, an ardent supporter of the Trump Administration, and has filed friend-of-the-court briefs in support of many of their policies such as the Muslim Ban, dismantling of asylum law, declaring a national emergency to fund a wall along the Southern border, the 2020 Census citizenship question and ending DACA.
  • On August 29, 2019, the IRLI filed two legal briefs at the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the Trump Administration on DACA litigation. One of the briefs filed on behalf of SaveJobs USA and the Washington Alliance of Technology Workers, challenged work authorization for DACA recipients, while the other one argued that DACA was unlawful.
  • In recent years IRLI has worked to dismantle birthright citizenship, employment based immigration, the DACA and DAPA programs, and supported the Georgia higher education system’s decision to deny DACA recipients access to certain universities in the state.

Chris Crane

President of the National ICE Council

The longtime President of the National ICE Council, Chris Crane is a staunch ally of some of the most influential anti-immigrant groups in the country including NumbersUSA and the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). Fostering relationships with ICE and other law enforcement has long been a tactic of national anti-immigrant groups. Crane was the lead plaintiff in the anti-immigrant movement’s lawsuit against the DACA program.

  • Crane served in the Marines before becoming an ICE agent in the early 2000s. Crane now serves as the President of the National ICE Council, representing over 7,000 ICE agents.
  • In 2011, Crane attacked DHS Secretary Morton’s memos on prosecutorial discretion, advising immigration enforcement agencies to focus on those who pose a serious threat to public safety. Crane claimed the memos are “just one of many new ICE policies in the queue aimed at stopping the enforcement of U.S. immigration laws.”
  • In 2012, Crane teamed up with the anti-immigrant movement to file a lawsuit against Obama’s DHS secretary Janet Napolitano and ICE Director John Morton in an effort to halt DACA. Anti-immigrant group NumbersUSA took credit for funding the lawsuit, and Kris Kobach, then of the anti-immigrant Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) represented Crane and nine other ICE agents in the suit.
  • Crane was one of the most outspoken opponents of SB-744, the comprehensive immigration reform bill introduced by the Gang of Eight in the Senate in 2013. In 2013, the Federation for American Immigration Reform coordinated with sheriffs from around the country to attend their Hold Their Feet to the Fire event and helped to organize a press conference that featured Crane, then-Senator Jeff Sessions and others in order to provide “a critical counter-balancing voice to the Gang of Eight.” Sessions once described Crane as, “a great American.”
  • Crane also gathered signatures from over 100 sheriffs for a letter sent to Congress in opposition to SB-744.
  • Crane’s union is not the largest for ICE agents and many oppose the actions taken by it during the Obama Administration. “The union has a tendency to fire Scud missiles at the administration. We work to find common ground,” ICE’s representative at the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association told The New York Times in 2013.
  • In 2014, CIS director of research Steve Camarota admitted just how important it is for the anti-immigrant movement to have allies like Crane in agencies like ICE. On a radio station, Camarota stated that CIS wouldn’t be nearly as effective, “without our ongoing good connections with whistleblowers in agencies like Immigration and Customs Enforcement.”
  • Crane’s union endorsed Donald Trump when he ran for President in 2016, after a sitdown meeting between Crane and the then-candidate. “In his immigration policy, he has outlined core policies needed to restore immigration security — including support for increased interior enforcement and border security, an end to Sanctuary Cities, an end to catch-and-release, mandatory detainers, and the canceling of executive amnesty and non-enforcement directives,” Crane stated.
  • Crane also spoke at a campaign rally Trump held in Madison, Alabama, in February of 2016.
  • In 2019, Crane opposed Trump’s pick for Acting director of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) Ronald Vitiello.
  • In a 2013 letter Crane sent to Members of Congress in opposition to SB-744, he claimed, “Violent criminal aliens are released every day from jails back into American communities.”
  • After President Trump released his immigration reform plan in early 2018, Crane criticized it for not being harsh enough, writing in a letter, “we simply cannot in good faith support any legislative effort on immigration that does not include provisions regarding immigration detainers, sanctuary cities, and the smuggling and trafficking of children across U.S. borders.”
  • When speaking at a 2016 Trump rally, Crane attacked Trump’s Republican opponent Marco Rubio and his immigration plan claiming, “It’s as if the criminals wrote it themselves.”
  • When attacking SB-744, Crane told Townall.com, “Law making in our nation has indeed taken a strange twist as Senators invite illegal aliens to testify before Congress and groups representing illegal aliens are brought into the development of our nation’s laws, but American citizens working as law enforcement officers within our nation’s broken immigration system are purposely excluded from the process and prohibited from providing input. Never before have I seen such contempt for law enforcement officers as what I’ve seen from the Gang of 8.”
  • At a 2014 hearing held in response to women and children fleeing violence in Central America and seeking asylum in the United States, Crane testified and called for increased interior enforcement, “The answer of course is that we aggressively enforce our immigration laws and quickly remove those who enter the country illegally. And in doing so, we send a message to the world that these types of tactics will not be successful.”

Stephen Miller

White House Chief Policy Advisor

Donald Trump’s chief immigration advisor has been working with anti-immigrant extremists since he was in high school with the goal of restricting as much immigration to the U.S. as possible. Miller has repeatedly praised and cited the work of anti-immigrant groups and helped to implement their policy recommendations in the Trump Administration, targeting immigrants, refugees and Muslims. According to The New York Times, Miller called the “zero-tolerance” policy that resulted in family separations “a simple decision, ” and in August 2019 the Washington Post reported that he had since continued to defend the measure. In many ways, Miller serves as a bridge between the anti-immigrant movement and the Administration.

  • Stephen Miller, who was one of the first staffers to join the Trump presidential campaign has been railing against immigration and immigrants for decades, and has used his power and influence in the Trump Administration to restrict as much immigration as possible.
  • As White House chief policy advisor, Stephen Miller has been a driving factor behind the Trump Administration’s harsh immigration agenda including the repeal of DACA, the Muslim bans, expansion of public charge, restricting refugee entries, militarization of the border, family separation, cruel asylum policies, and cuts to legal immigration.
  • By bringing Stephen Miller and then- Sen. Jeff Sessions onto his campaign, Donald Trump brought their years-long alliance with anti-immigrant groups who helped to create a dangerous policy framework for the candidate, which included proposals such as ending birthright citizenship, a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,” and the repeal of DACA. This framework would go on to serve as the foundation for the Trump Administration’s actions on immigration.
  • During his time in the White House, Miller has enlisted his alliance with anti-immigrant groups in order to force manufactured crises, in an effort to make life miserable for immigrants in the U.S..
  • Before joining the Trump campaign as an advisor in January of 2016, Miller worked for Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and former Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), who brought him on as press secretary shortly after an interview when she learned they were reading the same anti-Muslim book.
  • As one of Sessions’s and then Trump’s most trusted policy advisors, Miller has played a significant role in influencing opposition to bipartisan immigration measures including protections for Dreamers and TPS holders and the “Gang of Eight” bill in 2013.
  • Miller began his relationship with nativist activists at a young age and according to Haaretz, anti-Muslim speaker David Horowitz served as Miller’s mentor during college and introduced him to Jeff Sessions.
  • 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.
  • Miller would go on to attend Duke University where he met white nationalist leader Richard Spencer.
  • During a March 2016 episode of a Breitbart radio program with Stephen Bannon, Miller called for an “immigration-off period.”
  • Miller reportedly told a communications aide: “I would be happy if not a single refugee foot ever again touched America’s soil.”
  • During his time at Duke, 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.
  • At a May 2015 awards ceremony hosted by CIS and honoring Breitbart reporter Neil Munro, Miller, who was a keynote speaker, praised Munro, CIS’s Jessica Vaughan, and Steven Camarota. Camarota, for his part, has also praised Miller, notably in a Washington Post interview in August of 2019.
  • As the Trump Administration’s chief policy advisor, Stephen Miller has been a driving factor behind President Trump’s harsh immigration agenda including the repeal of DACA, the Muslim bans, public charge, reduction in refugee cap, the border wall and family separation at the Southern border. According to The New York Times, Miller, who helped devise “zero-tolerance” with then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Gene Hamilton, called the policy that resulted in children being ripped from their parents “a simple decision.”
  • According to current and former Trump Administration officials, Miller is “obsessed” with ramping up deportations. One former official told the Washington Post Miller “is singularly focused on how to get people out of the country.”
  • Before joining the Trump campaign, and serving as chief policy advisor to President Trump, Miller, supported Sessions’ efforts in the U.S. Senate to derail bipartisan immigration reform and to make life for immigrants living in the U.S. as difficult as possible.
  • One of the ways Miller has been able to push the President to adopt so many harsh and unpopular immigration policies is through the political appointees he has placed at agencies across the Administration including at DHS and the DOJ. According to the Washington Post Miller has placed calls at DHS and other agencies, where he gives “orders to employees several layers beneath the Cabinet secretaries.”
  • In addition to pushing President Trump to end protections for DACA recipients, he attempted to leverage their safety for cuts to legal immigration, humanitarian protections and harsh interior enforcement measures.
  • As part of his goal of ending immigration into the U.S., Miller helped to devise the RAISE Act, along with Steve Bannon, Julie Kirchner and Jeff Sessions, according to reports. The RAISE Act, a bill co-authored by Tom Cotton, would cut legal immigration by 50% if enacted.
  • One of Miller’s top priorities is pushing through a harsh public charge rule. According to The New York Times, he told high level officials that they “ought to be working on this regulation all day every day. It should be the first thought you have when you wake up. And it should be the last thought you have before you go to bed. And sometimes you shouldn’t go to bed.”
  • The continued chaos that has marred the Trump Administration’s immigration policy, is evident not only in the measures they have adopted but in the constant staff turnover within leadership positions at DHS and DOJ. One of the more recent “purges” took place in the spring of 2019, and was reportedly related to Miller’s impatience with the rule making process delaying the implementation of the public charge measure.
  • 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.
  • Similarly, the chief policy advisor is partly responsible for the dramatic decrease in the annual number of refugees the U.S. accepts – which is at its lowest level in 30 years.
  • Like many in the organized anti-immigrant movement, Miller has worked to demonize and criminalize immigrants and immigration. The New York Times wrote in 2019, “Immigrant crime would be a running theme in Mr. Miller’s career, and his emphasis on the issue borrowed from the broader restrictionist movement.” Miller was a catalyst behind the Trump Administration’s VOICE program and according to Politico, during one internal meeting, a former National Security Council official recalled Miller saying “We must save Americans from these immigrant criminals!”

Jeff Sessions

Former U.S. Attorney General and Former U.S. Senator for AL

Long before he joined the Trump Administration, Jeff Sessions was one of the anti-immigrant movement’s closest allies in the Senate. Sessions was a regular at anti-immigrant gatherings and even received an award from FAIR for his work to derail immigration reform efforts. While Sessions served as the U.S.’s top lawyer, he recommended, implemented, and defended 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.

  • 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 and in the Trump Administration where he served as U.S. Attorney General.
  • 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 and derogatory 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, in an attempt to control the narrative around immigration reform, he often used his position as chair of the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration to invite nativist demagogues to testify before Congress.
  • Sessions received funding from Tanton’s political action committee USIRPAC in 2008 and 2014.
  • He has publicly addressed and received numerous awards from Tanton founded and other extremist groups including FAIR NumbersUSA and Frank Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy.
    • In 2006, Sessions participated in a CIS event featuring Rosemary Jenks of NumbersUSA.
    • 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.” In 2014, Sessions was commended by the anti-Muslim David Horowitz Freedom Center, and in 2015, the then Senator received the “Keeper of the Flame” award from anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist Frank Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy.
    • Some of these details were omitted from documents he turned over to the Senate Judiciary Committee as part of his U.S. Attorney General confirmation proceedings. Senator Richard Blumenthal questioned Sessions on some of these awards during his confirmation hearing.
    • During a meet-and-greet event at the 2015 CPAC, Sessions publicly praised Gaffney and Rosemary Jenks of NumbersUSA.
    • In a 2012 floor speech, Sessions commemorated NumbersUSA’s 15th anniversary. In a 2009 press release, the group named Sessions the “No. 1 champion for the American worker on immigration issues.” Just a year earlier in 2008, NumbersUSA awarded Sessions with its Defender of the Rule of Law Award.
    • Sessions has attended FAIR’s annual immigrant bashing “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” event as recently as 2016. The same year, Sessions spoke at a reception at the National Press Club organized by CIS.
    • In 2013, as Congress was considering a bipartisan immigration compromise, Sessions hired then-CIS staff member Janice Kephart as temporary counsel, joined three Republican House members on a CIS teleconference, and spoke alongside Sen. Ted Cruz and Reps Steve King and Mo Brooks at a rally organized by an anti-immigrant front group. Also in 2013, Sheriff Thomas Hodgson participated in a press event organized by Sessions in opposition to S744.
    • In 2013, the Federation for American Immigration Reform coordinated with sheriffs from around the country to attend their Hold Their Feet to the Fire event and helped to organize a press conference that featured ICE Union President Chris Crane , then-Senator Jeff Sessions and others in order to provide “a critical counter-balancing voice to the Gang of Eight.” Sessions once described Crane as, “a great American.”
  • Jeff Sessions is known for his rejection by the Judiciary Committee for the federal bench and his extreme and unpopular views on immigration and race.
  • Sessions, who announced the Trump Administration’s “zero-tolerance” policy in April 2018, defended the “zero-tolerance” policy which separated children from their parents along the Southern border, by quoting a passage from the bible, and calling the measure “not unusual or unjustified,” saying: “Our policies that can result in short term separation of families is not unusual or unjustified.”
  • During his tenure as U.S. Attorney General, Sessions repeatedly railed against legal immigration, often blaming immigrants for the economic challenges Americans faced. At his swearing in ceremony, Sessions, stated: “We admit a million people a year plus, lawfully, and we need to end this lawlessness that threatens the public safety, pulls down wages of working Americans.” Separately, the then-Attorney General who has often equated immigrants and immigration with crime, called for a “rational immigration flow,” saying: “It is only reasonable that the good and decent people of this country want to end the illegality, create a rational immigration flow, and protect the nation from criminals.”
  • For years, Sessions has worked to shrink legal immigration levels, including while in the Senate. 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 attempted to minimize the fallout of Trump’s call 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.”
  • Jeff Sessions has worked for decades to make life for immigrants in the U.S. as difficult as possible, with the goal of shrinking the total immigrant population in the country, including those forced to flee their home countries due to unsafe conditions. As a U.S. senator, he worked tirelessly to derail comprehensive immigration reform in 2013, and would go on to assist the Trump 2016 presidential campaign in the creation of a dangerous policy framework, which Sessions and President Trump would enact from the White House.
  • As U.S. Attorney General, Sessions did everything in his power to end DACA, separate families, speed up deportations and dismantle humanitarian protections. In addition to implementing the “zero tolerance policy” which separated thousands of families along the Southern border, Sessions, set arbitrary quotas for immigration judges, and overruled decisions from the Board of immigration Appeals, in order to set up a scenario where as many immigrants were removed from the U.S. as possible. Sessions threatened states and localities he believed would not implement harsh immigration policies, and defended the Trump Administration’s cruel and unpopular measures in court such as the ending of multiple TPS designations, the Muslim bans and the repeal of DACA; a policy which he said the DOJ would take “every lawful measure” to end.
  • Less than two weeks after the repeal of DAPA, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and ten other state attorneys general sent a letter to then-U.S. 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, Sessions refused to deny that he had any communication with Texas AG Ken Paxton or any other attorneys general who were “threatening to bring a lawsuit to void DACA before the decision was made by Trump Administration.” Sessions claimed that these kinds of conversations were privileged. However, Paxton had already confirmed talks with the Trump Administration earlier in the month. According to deposition transcripts with Sessions’ former Senate staffer, Gene Hamilton, the then-DHS advisor acknowledged he’d been the author of the agency’s memo which repealed DACA. Hamilton also admitted he had spoken with Stephen Miller and John Kelly about ending DACA, and had several conversations with the Texas Attorney General’s office before and after that office led an effort threatening legal action if DACA was not repealed before September 5, 2017.
  • On September 5, 2017, Sessions announced the repeal of DACA. 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 Tanton founded CIS authored reports. In a letter recommending the termination of the program to then-Acting DHS Secretary Elaine Duke, Sessions cited “potentially imminent litigation” as a reason.
  • During remarks at the Heritage Foundation’s Legal Strategy Forum, Sessions criticized 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 stated “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, stated in relation to 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, Sessions frequently cited and promoted false statistics and dubious research from CIS, and regularly called the group’s staff to testify at congressional hearings.
  • 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 June 2017, The United States Department of Justice filed a statement of interest, siding with Texas on SB4 litigation. In a press release announcing the decision, then-U.S. Attorney General said that Texas had admirably followed President Trump’s lead “by mandating state-wide cooperation with federal immigration laws that require the removal of illegal aliens who have committed crimes.” Sessions said in a statement “The Department of Justice fully supports Texas’s effort and is participating in this lawsuit because of the strong federal interest in facilitating the state and local cooperation that is critical in enforcing our nation’s immigration laws.” In his own statement TX Attorney General Ken Paxton thanked the U.S. DOJ for their support on the case and stated: “We look forward to working with DOJ lawyers to see that Senate Bill 4 is fully honored in Texas.”
  • In 2017, Breitbart’s Steve Bannon reportedly joined Stephen Miller, Julie Kirchner and Sessions to assist in the drafting of the RAISE Act, a bill co-authored by Tom Cotton, which, if enacted, would cut legal immigration by 50%. Miller previously worked as an aide to Sessions, along with Gene Hamilton.
  • 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 Former Breitbart Executive Chairman

The former Breitbart editor turned Presidential advisor describes himself as a “nationalist,” and is comfortable working with extremists both in the United States and Europe. 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.”

  • 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 individuals such as Kris Kobach and former Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo to advise a group called We Build The Wall, Inc., dedicated to privately funding the border wall.
  • On September 25, 2019, Bannon hosted a fundraiser for Kris Kobach’s 2020 Kansas Senate campaign.
  • 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 has 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 a 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.”
  • On September 7, 2017, Bannon appeared on CBS’s 60 Minutes, where he 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.” Bannon went on to criticize the Catholic Church over their support for immigrants stating, “They need illegal aliens to fill the churches.”
  • Bannon was a member of the secretive far-right strategy coalition Groundswell. Other members included Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies and anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist Frank Gaffney. As Mother Jones has 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?”
  • Breitbart has regularly published articles by anti-Muslim mouthpieces Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer, Brigitte Gabriel, and David Horowitz.
  • In 2017, Bannon reportedly joined Stephen Miller, Julie Kirchner and Jeff Sessions to assist in drafting the RAISE Act, a bill co-authored by Tom Cotton, which, if enacted, would cut legal immigration by 50%.
  • While at Breitbart, Bannon worked to promote misinformation about immigrants, immigration and individuals across the political spectrum who supported sensible reforms to the U.S. immigration system. He carried his goal of halting immigration to the United States with him in his work for the Trump 2016 presidential campaign and into the White House.
  • As part of ongoing litigation over the Trump Administration’s decision to include a citizenship question in the 2020 census, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross recalled Bannon asking the Secretary if he would be willing to speak to Kobach about ideas on a possible citizenship question on the decennial census. Bannon connected the two men.
  • Some of the other policies Bannon pushed for while in the Trump Administration were captured in a photo of his policy whiteboard in May 2017. Bannon’s immigration pledge board included sunsetting our visa laws, harsh interior enforcement measures, suspending the entry of Syrian refugees, building a wall along the Southern border and terminating DAPA and DACA.
  • In March of 2017, Buzzfeed reported that Bannon had 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.
  • 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 former 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.

Julie Kirchner

Former Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman and Former FAIR Executive Director Category: Trump Administration

Kirchner was among the first staffers of anti-immigrant groups to join the Trump Administration, and would go on to take up the powerful role of Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman after spending almost a decade at FAIR. On October 28, 2019, Buzzfeed reported that Kirchner had resigned from her role as Ombudsman. As Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman, Julie Kirchner reportedly worked against the mission of her office to assist individuals and employers in resolving problems with USCIS. In addition to high staff turnover, under her leadership the office reportedly faced backlogs in assisting individuals with casework, and failed to address systemic concerns raised by employees and outside stakeholders. The agency’s failure to adequately address the needs of legal immigrants in the U.S. is unsurprising, considering Kirchner moved into the Administration from FAIR – an organization dedicated to shrinking immigration as much 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 at the time may have had about FAIR or with FAIR employees.

  • Julie Kirchner joined FAIR as its government relations director in 2005. She was promoted to executive director in 2007, served in that role alongside President Dan Stein until August 2015, and joined the Trump campaign shortly afterwards. Other FAIR staff members she worked with included Robert Law, Elizabeth Jacobs, and John Zadrozny.
  • Kirchner worked briefly as a high-level advisor at CBP in early 2017 before taking up her position as Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman. She is one of a number of former FAIR staffers who have moved into the Trump Administration. While commenting on FAIR’s newfound influence, Kirchner’s former boss Dan Stein, who once posed the idea of prioritizing reproduction based on intelligence, stated that he was “surprised they haven’t hired more people out of the stable of our organization.”
  • During Kirchner’s tenure, FAIR worked to torpedo immigration reform efforts at every turn, advocate for harsh attrition through enforcement measures at the federal level and in states and localities, and regularly welcomed known racists to its annual events.
  • As Executive Director of FAIR, Kirchner oversaw their legislative efforts and served as one of the group’s primary lobbyists. According to federal lobbying disclosure paperwork and congressional testimony, she advocated to slash legal immigration levels and eliminate birthright citizenship.
  • In 2007 Congressional testimony Kirchner called for immigration cuts and fretted about human “sprawl.” Kirchner stated, “As we spread out, our sprawl consumes land, water, and habitats, all the while creating a rising outflow of environmental waste…As the rate of immigration grows without limit, so does development and the impact on our environment. America simply cannot sustain perpetual growth in finite places with limited resources. Our immigration policy must recognize this truth.”
  • During her short stint at CBP, Kirchner reportedly joined Miller, Bannon and Sessions to assist in the drafting of the RAISE Act, a bill co-authored by Tom Cotton, which, if enacted, would cut legal immigration by 50%.

Jon Feere

Advisor at Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)

Jon Feere left Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), where he had been working since 2002, to take an advisory role at ICE in 2017. Feere routinely circulated extremist content on Twitter and once went as far as to grant an interview to an openly anti-Semitic tabloid. In 2012, Feere gave an interview to the anti-Semitic newspaper, American Free Press (AFP). AFP once promoted a book titled The Holocaust Hoax Exposed: Debunking the 20th Century’s Biggest Lie.

  • Jon Feere is an advisor at Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and previously worked as a legal policy analyst for CIS, where he worked alongside Mark Krikorian, Jessica Vaughan, Steven Camarota, John Miano and Ronald Mortensen.
  • Before former Acting ICE Director Thomas Homan departed the agency, he recommended the family separation policy which the United Nations Human Rights Council said “may amount to torture.” Feere served as an advisor to Homan during this time.
  • Feere is one of a number of CIS and FAIR employees that have taken up positions within the Trump Administration, where they have worked to enact harsh immigration policies such as family separation at the border.
  • While at CIS, Feere authored reports and provided testimony to Congress advocating for abolishing the 14th Amendment, as well as harsh attrition through enforcement policies.
  • In a 2014 blog post Feere questioned the ability of Dreamers to serve faithfully in the military.
  • Included in an August 2019 New York Times profile on Stephen Miller’s influence over the Trump Administration’s immigration policies, is Feere’s depiction of Latinx people as a supposed electoral threat: “If four out of five Latinos are registering with the Democrats, perhaps less immigration would be in the interest of the Republican Party, no?”
  • In an August 2015 op-ed for The Hill, Feere proposed various avenues for Trump to end birthright citizenship, including a legislative option and executive action. President Trump has since proposed dismantling the 14th Amendment.
  • Feere has promoted the work of the racist site VDARE on his Twitter account.
  • Feere and CIS have for years pushed for harsh attrition through enforcement policies that are designed to shrink the total immigrant population in the U.S. and prevent future individuals from coming.
  • Like Feere’s former colleagues at CIS, the ICE advisor advocated for holding protections for undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. at a young age hostage in exchange for harsh enforcement policies. In a blog for CIS, Feere suggested that deporting Dreamers’ parents should be a prerequisite in any deal which provided them legal status: “It would seem that the advocates would require the deportation of the parent as a prerequisite for the child receiving amnesty. Anything less would amount to the parent also receiving amnesty, rendering pointless the entire discussion about moral and legal culpability of the children.”

Gene Hamilton

Senior Advisor, Department of Justice, Former Senior Counselor to DHS Sec., Former General Counsel to Sen. Sessions

As a key architect of the repeal of DACA and ending Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for hundreds of thousands of individuals, Gene Hamilton, a DOJ lawyer and former Sen. Jeff Sessions staffer, was a steadfast proponent of anti-immigrant policies while in the Senate and has carried that work into the Trump Administration. According to transcripts from an October 2017 deposition, the DOJ lawyer acknowledged that he had been the author of the September 5th D.H.S. memo that formally terminated DACA, and had discussed the end of the program with Sessions, Miller, and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

  • Gene Hamilton is a lawyer and one of a number of former Sen. Sessions staffers who have moved into key positions within the Trump Administration, wielding significant influence over the U.S. immigration system. Hamilton acknowledged during his deposition, his “tremendous working relationship with then Senator Sessions, and we spoke on a nearly daily basis, if not multiple times a day,” during his time as general counsel to then-Senator Sessions.
  • In his time on the Trump transition team and in the Adminsitration, Hamilton has helped to draft and implement some of the most inhumane immigration policies in decades like the Muslim Ban, repeal of DACA and ending countless TPS designations for vulnerable nations.
  • Hamilton stayed on at the Justice Department after Sessions departed as Attorney General.
  • Hamilton volunteered on the Trump transition team where he laid the groundwork for President Trump’s Muslim bans, changes to refugee policies, and immigration enforcement measures. According to Hamilton, “I was generally the lead on development of all immigration-policy issues for the transition entity, and so everyone who worked on that reported to me.”
  • According to deposition transcripts, Gene Hamilton, acknowledged he’d been the author of the DHS memo which repealed DACA, and had several conversations with the Texas Attorney General’s office, including Ken Paxton himself, before and after that office led an effort threatening legal action if DACA was not repealed before September 5, 2017.
  • Documents made public as part of ongoing litigation on the Trump Administration’s decision to end TPS for hundreds of thousands of immigrants, demonstrated an effort by Administration officials including Hamilton, USCIS Senior Advisor Robert Law, and then-USCIS Director Lee Francis Cissna, to rewrite TPS recommendation memos in order to terminate the program for many. According to these documents, Hamilton pushed past career department officials in order to make last minute revisions to TPS assessment memos, attempting to remove references to human rights violations.

Lee Francis Cissna

Director of Immigration Policy, DHS, Former Director of USCIS

Former U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director, Lee Francis Cissna, once a Senate Judiciary staffer for Senator Grassley, served on the Trump transition team and has associated with anti-immigrant groups like the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) in the past. As USCIS Director, Cissna began using the agency for immigration enforcement purposes, a departure from its traditional role of providing processing services for immigrants and refugees. Cissna, who removed “nation of immigrants” from USCIS’ mission statement in February 2018, has participated in panel events for CIS and is said to have helped the Trump transition team to craft its first executive orders on immigration.

  • Cissna worked at law firms in his late 20s and early 30s, and became familiar with immigration policy throughout his career at the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security. The former USCIS Director then moved into more political terrain working with the Senate Judiciary Committee.
    • Cissna reportedly worked for Sen. Grassley from 2015 until his confirmation as USCIS Director in early 2017, helping the Senator to intensify oversight of immigration policy and laying the foundation to dismantle Obama Administration initiatives.
  • Cissna removed “nation of immigrants” from USCIS’ mission statement in February 2018, has participated in panel events for CIS, and reportedly helped the Trump transition team craft its first executive orders on immigration.
  • As USCIS Director, Cissna began using the agency for immigration enforcement purposes, a departure from its traditional role as a service and processing department responsible for adjudicating benefits and humanitarian relief. Cissna talked at length about this new strategy and their expanded issuance of notices to appear to individuals who are denied a benefit during his address at CIS’s “Immigration Newsmaker” event: “To that end the USCIS has a role in enforcement, too. We don’t just adjudicate petitions. We don’t just adjudicate benefit applications or requests. If someone is not eligible for a benefit and they appear before us and they’re denied and they have no status, they should receive a notice to appear.”
  • On August 15, 2018 Cissna addressed CIS at their “Immigration Newsmaker” event, where he talked about his long-planned upcoming public charge rule, and his decision to change the agency’s mission statement saying that USCIS serves “the people. We serve the American people,” (not the) “people that we interact with every day when we take applications or petitions.”
    • Cissna attended a previous CIS event in 2015 while working for Senator Chuck Grassley in 2015.
  • In an op-ed entitled “Break the chain and lose the lottery — America deserves a better immigration system” the then-USCIS Director called on Congress to end the Diversity Visa Lottery and “chain-migration,” saying: “We need to end extended family chain-migration that favors low-skilled or no-skilled immigrants.”
  • During Cissna’s confirmation hearing he refused to answer questions for the record from Senator Hirono on whether it was appropriate for former FAIR Executive Director Julie Kirchner to serve as the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman.
  • As the head of USCIS, Cissna implemented a denaturalization task force, issued denials to immigration applications without requesting additional information, began automatically initiating deportation proceedings if an application for an immigration benefit was denied, attempted to rescind work authorization for spouses of high-skilled workers, and planned a roll out of the “public charge” rule that would harm immigrant families by forcing them to make a choice between meeting their basic needs for health care, food and shelter, or a permanent future in the United States.
  • During Cissna’s confirmation hearing he refused to confirm or deny several questions surrounding his work on the Trump Transition team in drafting executive orders on immigration. One of these orders was rumoured to be the repeal of DACA.
  • In a June, 2018 USCIS press release, Cissna stated, “There are legitimate concerns over a portion of the population who have requested, and been granted, the privilege of a temporary stay of their removal under the illegal DACA policy. Until it can be repealed, this criminality data only reinforces the need for its continued review and scrutiny, which was imposed unilaterally by the Obama administration in circumventing Congress. It’s our hope that it helps the public and policy makers better understand the reality of the entire DACA population.”
  • Documents made public as part of ongoing litigation on the Trump Administration’s decision to end TPS for hundreds of thousands of immigrants, demonstrated an effort by Administration officials including Cissna, DOJ Senior Advisor Gene Hamilton, and USCIS Senior Advisor Robert Law to rewrite TPS recommendation memos in order to terminate the program for many.
  • In 2017, then-USCIS Director Cissna criticized the agency’s weak justification of its recommendation of an end to TPS for Sudan, writing, “This memo reads like one person who strongly supports extending TPS for Sudan wrote everything up to the recommendation section, and then someone who opposes extension snuck up behind the first guy, clubbed him over the head, pushed his senseless body out of the way, and finished the memo. Am I missing something?”
  • In a 2017 memo advocating for the termination of TPS for Haiti, Cissna wrote, “Haiti has made significant progress in recovering from the 2010 earthquake, and no longer continues to meet the conditions for designation.”

Ken Cuccinelli

Acting USCIS Director, Former VA Attorney General, Former Member of State Legislators for Legal Imigration (SLLI)

The acting USCIS director, Ken Cuccinelli has been an immigration hardliner since his time in the Virginia Senate over a decade ago, once going so far as to compare immigrants to pests such as rats. Tapped by Stephen Miller, following his impatience with Lee Francis Cissna over the public charge rule, Cuccinelli has continued to turn USCIS into an enforcement agency, telling The Wall Street Journal, “We are not a benefit agency, we are a vetting agency.”

  • Cuccinelli was first elected to the Virginia Senate in 2002 after winning a special election.
  • In 2007, Cuccinelli joined State Legislators for Legal Immigration (SLLI) as a founding member. SLLI was a coalition of nativist lawmakers who worked with Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) to introduce a slew of anti-immigrant model legislation during the late 2000s. Notably, SLLI promoted the attrition through enforcement campaign, or “self deportation.” This meant introducing legislation that made day to day life so hard for immigrants that they would “self-deport” to another state or ultimately back to their country of origin. Other SLLI founding members included Daryl Metcalfe, Russell Pearce and Kim Thatcher.
  • In a press release announcing his move to join SLLI, Cuccinelli stated, “We face very real security threats today. Porous borders and lax immigration enforcement have left us vulnerable not only to terrorist attacks but to increasing levels of crime in our communities. Those already accustomed to flagrantly disregarding our laws do not hesitate to traffic their deadly cocktail of drugs and gang violence into Virginia.”
  • A year later, Cuccinelli introduced a bill in an attempt to do away with birthright citizenship for undocumented immigrants—another key SLLI platform.
  • Cuccinelli was elected as Attorney General of Virginia in 2009, assuming office in 2010. He quickly filed a brief supporting Arizona’s draconian SB 1070 law, authored by Russell Pearce, who, like Cuccinelli, was a founding member of SLLI.
  • In 2013, Cuccinelli was the Republican nominee for Virginia’s gubernatorial race, but lost. He was supported by the anti-immigrant group ProEnglish.
  • When Cuccinelli was tapped as acting USCIS director, FAIR issued a press release pushing for a quick confirmation with FAIR’s president Dan Stein stating, “The president has tapped a staunch supporter of the administration’s agenda who has his confidence to carry out a difficult job in the absence of action by Congress to address the root causes of the crisis.”
  • In September 2019, Cuccinelli attended FAIR’s annual “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” event, and separately, spoke at a “Badges and Angels” press conference organized by Bristol County Sheriff Tom Hodgson and FAIR. Congressman Andy Biggs was also a speaker.
  • Cuccinelli’s views have been repeatedly praised by Mark Krikorian, head of the anti-immigrant Center for Immigration Studies. Krikorian tweeted in May of 2019, “I’m not worried about Cuccinelli — you’re right that he’s solid. My fear is that running USCIS requires extremely granular knowledge of the immigration system & everyone w/ that knowledge, with a handful of exceptions, is on the other side.”
  • On September 26, 2019 Cuccinelli participated in CIS’s Immigration Newsmaker event, moderated by executive director Mark Krikorian. He is the fourth Trump Administration official to do so. Just one day before Cuccinelli addressed the group, House Assistant Speaker Ben Ray Lujan sent a letter to the Acting USCIS Director calling on him to cancel his scheduled appearance. Lujan wrote, “Government officials and federal agencies must combat these hateful ideologies and should not lend a public stage to extremist groups or bigoted philosophies. I call on you to rescind your plans to headline the gathering hosted by CIS.” In a separate letter to Acting DHS Director Kevin McAleenan, Congresswoman Veronica Escobar expressed concern over Cuccinelli’s decision to participate in both CIS and FAIR events.
  • During his tenure as Acting USCIS Director, Cuccinelli has worked aggressively to implement harsh Trump Administration policies, such as an expansion of public charge, which would force immigrants to choose between staying in the U.S. or having access to basic needs like health care, food, and housing, attempting to terminate medical deportation relief for immigrants who are facing life-threatening illnesses, and making it more difficult for asylum seekers to receive a favorable asylum decision by rushing their credible fear interview.
  • When asked about the tragic death of a father and child attempting to seek asylum in the United States, Cuccinelli said, “Let’s be very clear, adults are responsible for their decisions, and that father is responsible for his decision. I will not absolve an adult from his own decisions. The decisions he made, if they happened in this country, would be child neglect.”
  • When asked about the public charge rule that he implemented, barring green cards for those immigrants who use public assistance, Cuccinelli reinterpreted the famous Emma Lazarus poem on the Statue of Liberty telling NPR, “give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge.” When asked about his comments during an interview on CNN later that day, Cuccinelli claimed that the poem described “people coming from Europe, where they had class-based societies.”
  • During a 2018 radio interview with Breitbart media, known for elevating the voices of anti-immigrant figures, Cuccinelli floated the idea that states could declare war against the so-called “caravan” of asylum seekers fleeing violence in Central America because, “we’ve been being invaded for a long time and so the border states clearly qualify here to utilize this power themselves.” He later said, “They can literally just line their National Guard up with, presumably with riot gear like they would if they had a civil disturbance and turn people back at the border.” Later in the interview, Cuccunelli said, “You just point them back across the river and let them swim for it.”
  • In July of 2014, Cuccinelli posted on Facebook, “The border states that are being directly invaded by illegal immigrants — Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico — may constitutionally deal with the invasion themselves, at least as it relates to attempting to stop the flow across their own borders. And there is nothing President Obama or those in Washington can do to stop any of these states, if they are determined to act.” Cuccinelli’s longer Facebook post was reprinted in the Social Contract journal founded by white nationalist John Tanton.
  • In 2013, he compared immigrants to pests, telling a local radio station, “What you may not know is that last year, in its finite wisdom, the D.C. City Council passed a new law, or a triumph of animal rights over human health, where those pest control people you suggested they bring in aren’t allowed to kill the rats. They have to relocate the rats and not only that — that’s actually not the worst part — they cannot break up the families of the rats. Now, as actual experts in pest control will tell you, if you don’t move an animal at least 25 miles, it’ll come back. And so what’s the solution to that? Well, cross a river.”
  • In May of 2018, Cuccinelli blamed the Obama Administration for President Trump’s family separation policy, telling CNN, “And the system we have — the Obama administration owns a lot of the recent ramp-up of this. They have the responsibility for it. It’s encouraging these families to come and encouraging parents to use their children as essentially a bargaining chip to get into this country.” In the same interview, Cuccinelli claimed it would be “logistically challenging,” for President Trump to sign an executive action reuniting families.
  • Cuccinelli initially appeared to be a supporter of the racist Birther conspiracy theory in 2010 before walking it back.
  • In a 2019 interview with Fox and Friends, Cuccinelli claimed that the federal government is, “the last mile in a human trafficking chain,” and that “Nancy Pelosi’s efforts are financing” the traffickers.
  • In the wake of Arizona’s “papers please” SB 1070 law Cuccinelli, while serving as Attorney General of Virginia in 2010 issued an opinion that police officers in his state could check the immigration status of any individual they stop or arrest.
  • In 2008, while in the Virginia Senate, he authored a bill that would strip employment benefits to those who were not proficient in English.
  • Following the largest ICE raid to take place during President Trump’s tenure, in Mississippi of August 2019, Cuccinelli tweeted, “Incredible work by the professionals at our sister agency @ICEgov. Employers who knowingly hire illegal workers and individuals who engage in identity theft & immigration fraud will be brought to justice in the @realDonaldTrump Administration.”
  • In August of 2019, Cuccinelli’s USCIS announced the termination of the Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program and the Fillipino World War II Veterans Parole Program. Cuccinelli also rejected attempts to grant Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to vulnerable Venezuelans.

Robert Law

Senior Policy Advisor, USCIS, Former FAIR Government Relations Director

Before joining the Trump Administration, Robert Law served as government relations director at the anti-immigrant group Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) where he set the policy agenda for the organization and advocated for harsh immigration policies such as ending DACA and eliminating Temporary Protected Status (TPS). Law co-authored FAIR’s major policy report: Immigration Priorities for the 2017 Presidential Transition, in which he proposed indefinite family detention, the repeal of DACA, and an elimination of Temporary Protected Status (TPS). Weeks into Law’s job in the Trump Administration, the former FAIR staffer rewrote a recommendation memo on Haiti in an effort to terminate TPS for the country.

  • Law is one of a number of individuals who have moved into the Trump Administration from anti-immigrant groups founded by white nationalist John Tanton. His former colleagues at FAIR, Julie Kirchner and Elizabeth Jacobs, who also served under Dan Stein’s leadership, are just a few of the political appointees in the Administration who have advocated for policies designed to shrink the immigrant and refugee population of the United States.
  • Before moving into the Trump Administration, the Senior Policy Advisor to USCIS served as FAIR’s Director of Government Relations and in other roles from 2013-2017. Law helped to set the policy agenda for the organization, maintained the group’s congressional relationships and assisted with drafting legislation.
  • While at FAIR, Law co-authored the group’s major policy report: Immigration Priorities for the 2017 Presidential Transition, in which he proposed a myriad of draconian immigration policies, many of which the Administration has enacted.
  • Documents made public as part of ongoing litigation on the Trump Administration’s decision to end TPS for hundreds of thousands of immigrants, demonstrated an effort by administration officials including Law, DOJ Senior Advisor Gene Hamilton, and former USCIS Director Lee Cissna, to rewrite TPS recommendation memos in order to terminate the program for many. According to these documents, Law rewrote a TPS recommendation memo on Haiti in order to get the conclusion “we are looking for.”
  • While still working for FAIR, Law praised the anti-immigrant agenda put forth by the Trump Administration, stating, “Every single component of it is basically what we have fought for, for a very long time.”
  • In an op-ed for The Hill, Law railed against The Succeed Act, an immigration proposal offered as a DACA fix by Sens. Lankford, Tillis and Hatch, calling it a “massive amnesty proposal” and derided Senator Hatch as “the cheap labor lobby’s favorite senator.”
  • Law has disparaged DACA recipients in several opinion pieces for The Hill. In one, he said that a repeal of DACA “is a win for young Americans who have struggled to find decent work over the last five years.” Law called the repeal “welcome news to the hundreds of thousands of recent college graduates stuck living at home because they couldn’t find decent employment after graduation.”
  • In a radio interview while still with FAIR, Law claimed that DACA was, “[R]ewarding their parents for their lawless behavior. Their parents made a choice to bring them here and defy our immigration laws and just because you have children doesn’t mean that you have a human shield that exempts you from any form of enforcement.”
  • While at FAIR, Law advocated for DACA’s rescission. In a policy paper he co-authored, he and his colleagues urged the incoming Trump Administration: “The president must immediately revoke the orders authorizing the DACA, DACA+ and DAPA schemes; and revoke all work, identity, and immigration status documents issued pursuant thereto. These unconstitutional programs reward illegal aliens and encourage additional illegal immigration.”
  • In the same report Law and his colleagues called for a drastic reduction to the TPS program, “The president must order significant reductions in the numbers of aliens admitted to the United States each year pursuant to programs under Executive Branch control, such as: Temporary Protected Status, also know [sic] as TPS, the refugee and asylum programs, humanitarian parole and Transit Without Visa. DHS should monitor individuals admitted under these categories and their status should be terminated where no longer justified.”
  • According to The Nation, while at USCIS, Law “was urging the administration to end TPS designations for any country whose former residents had been protected by it for more than three years, regardless of the current conditions.”

Elizabeth Jacobs

USCIS Senior Advisor to the Chief Counsel, Former Senior Government Relations Manager at FAIR

Jacobs serves as a senior advisor for USCIS, where she works alongside her former colleague at FAIR, Robert Law, to restrict immigration as much as possible. Before joining the Trump Administration, Jacobs worked in the government relations department at FAIR where she set the policy agenda for the organization and lobbied Congress on hardline immigration policies like massive reductions to legal immigration, the repeal of DACA, and harsh interior enforcement policies.

  • Prior to joining the Trump Administration, the Senior Advisor for USCIS served as FAIR’s Government Relations Manager under the leadership of Julie Kirchner.
  • According to an archived FAIR staff page, Jacobs, who joined FAIR in 2012, was responsible for reviewing legislation and regulations, building and maintaining relationships with members of Congress, and lobbying Congress on harsh immigration policies such as the repeal of DACA. Before moving to the Government Relations team, Jacobs assisted state and local legislators in the drafting of draconian interior enforcement measures.
  • In 2014, Jacobs spoke at a border tour for sheriffs organized by FAIR, along with a CIS staffer.
  • Following the Trump Administration’s decision to terminate TPS for El Salvador, Jacobs and FAIR President Dan Stein went on the group’s podcast to scoff at the time afforded to individuals to pack up their lives and leave the U.S. Jacobs characterized it as “kicking the can down the road.”
  • According to lobbying disclosure paperwork filed by FAIR, Jacobs lobbied Congress on many immigration issues, including DACA.
  • In a policy paper published in November 2016, FAIR (Jacob’s employer at the time) urged the incoming Trump Administration to: “immediately revoke the orders authorizing the DACA, DACA+ and DAPA schemes; and revoke all work, identity, and immigration status documents issued pursuant thereto. These unconstitutional programs reward illegal aliens and encourage additional illegal immigration.”
  • In January of 2018, Jacobs joined FAIR leader Dan Stein on a FAIR podcast to discuss the termination of TPS for El Salvador. Jacobs told Stein, “While we applaud their decision to terminate the program, we don’t think it’s in the interest of American citizens to continue to extend it.”

Ian Smith

Former DHS Policy Analyst, Former Investigative Associate For IRLI

A former DHS Policy Analyst who worked for the anti-immigrant movement’s litigation shop as an investigative associate, Ian Smith has demonized immigrants and advocated for harsh immigration policies for years. Smith left his post at DHS shortly before The Atlantic reported that the former IRLI staffer had been on email threads with white nationalists such as Richard Spencer and Jared Taylor.

  • Ian Smith worked as an Investigative Associate for the anti-immigrant litigation group Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) from 2015-2017, along with colleagues Kris Kobach, Dale Wilcox, John Miano, and Michael Hethmon, before moving into the Trump Administration.
  • While at IRLI, Smith railed against legal immigration, DACA recipients, and refugees, and promoted attrition through enforcement policies in op-eds published in The Hill and the National Review.
  • The Atlantic reported that in one email exchange between Smith and real estate agent with alt-right ties Ben Zapp, the pair joked about Nazi slang. Zapp used the Nazi slang judenfrei, or “free of Jews,” to discuss Friday night plans, to which Smith replied, “They don’t call it Freitag [German: Friday, literally “free day”] for nothing.” In the same exchange Smith expressed a desire to spend time with a former spokesperson for the neo-Nazi Traditionalist Worker Party, Matt Parrott.
  • In 2013, he claimed that the cost estimates of the ‘Gang of Eight’ immigration bill failed to account for strains on Obamacare caused by “high obesity rates” and “greater fertility” among Mexican immigrants. Smith concluded with, “The problems associated with obesity, the OECD concludes, are best curbed through preventative care and education. For the U.S., however, the best preventative solution might be to kill the amnesty bill.”
  • On the increase of refugees fleeing Syria, Smith argued that Europeans were “dealing with their Camp of the Saints-style unarmed invasion.” The Camp of the Saints, a favorite novel among white nationalists, was re-published 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.”
  • Smith has publicly expressed his opposition to the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, which ended the race-based quotas from the 1920s, saying it was responsible for the “barely governable system we have today,” and has lauded Arizona’s SB 1070, or the ‘show me your papers law.’
  • Ian Smith is one of a number of individuals who have moved into the Trump Administration from Tanton founded groups. Prior to joining the Administration Smith supported IRLI’s legal attacks on immigrants across the country including DACA recipients.
  • During his time in the Trump Administration, DHS implemented harsh immigration policies such as rescission of DACA, ending TPS for hundreds of thousands of immigrants, and family separation at the Southern border, which the United Nations Human Rights office said “may amount to torture.”
  • Smith has a history of maligning immigrants and once railed against DACA recipients, calling them “people who not only broke into our sovereign nation, but have done huge damage to our social security system and cultural fabric.”
  • In a 2017 piece for The Hill attacking DACA, Smith wrote, “Why it still stands is surely testament to the moral blackmail employed by the anti-borders lobby, specifically, the daily hectoring of the public about the need to empathize with illegal aliens, to “put yourselves in their shoes”, to “think about their families,” etc.”
  • In a 2017 piece published in The Hill, Smith attempted to tie DACA and TPS recipients to voter fraud, writing, “DACA and TPS-beneficiaries also have an increased ability to register and vote due to their eligibility for federal identification documents, including driver’s licenses and Social Security numbers. The burden of cross-checking as well as the threat of illegal voting increases with the size of the noncitizen population…”

John Zadrozny

USCIS Official, Former Official at the State Department, Former Legislative Counsel for FAIR, Former Counsel for Sen. Ted Cruz

A former legislative counsel with the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), John Zadrozny is one of the many former staffers of established anti-immigrant groups to take up a position in the Trump Administration. He currently serves as an official with USCIS.

  • Zadrozny attended Fordham and Catholic Universities before taking up a number of roles at the White House and State Department. In 2009, Zadrozny joined the anti-immigrant group Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), founded by white nationalist John Tanton, where he worked as legislative counsel.
  • Zadrozny worked for FAIR under Dan Stein’s leadership for less than a year before leaving to join a legal consulting group and then taking up positions at the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.
  • In 2015, he joined Senator Ted Cruz’s team as counsel, and joined President Trump’s State Department after he took office.
  • According to multiple reports, Zadrozny is an ally of Stephen Miller, President Trump’s chief immigration strategist who is responsible for the bulk of the draconian immigration policies that Trump has enacted since taking office, including family separation, the Muslim ban, dramatic cuts to the refugee resettlement program and ending DACA.
  • Vanity Fair described Zadrozny as a “veteran” of Miller’s influential Domestic Policy Council who was expected to oversee the Administration’s refugee policy in the State Department.
  • Many credit Miller for the mass shakeup of at USCIS in 2019, in which Lee Francis Cissna resigned from his position as USCIS head. Cissna, like Miller and Zadrozny, has strong ties to anti-immigrant groups, but it is widely reported that Miller wanted Cissna out and replaced him with someone even more hardline.
  • Ken Cuccinelli, the former Attorney General of Virginia, replaced Cissna, and John Zadrozny joined his team.
  • Zadrozny has said very little publicly regarding his views about immigrants, but R.J. Hauman, the current government relations director at FAIR, told Politico, “Not only does John Zadrozny have extensive immigration experience in the Senate, White House, and State Department, but he’s a firm believer in the administration’s agenda. He’ll be a fantastic addition at USCIS under Ken Cuccinelli.”
  • According to Foreign Policy, “Zadrozny is also close to Andrew Veprek, the deputy assistant secretary of state for the embattled refugee bureau, according to former officials. Veprek has most recently come under fire for pushing to soften language on a United Nations resolution condemning racism…”

Ronald Mortensen

Nominated in the 115th and the 116th Congress to be Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of PRM, Department of State, CIS Fellow, Co-founder Utah Coalition on Illegal Immigration

A Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) fellow and Utah resident with a long history of railing against refugees, immigrants, elected officials, and religious institutions, Ronald Mortensen has advocated for measures designed to restrict as much immigration as possible. Mortensen was nominated by the Trump Administration to be the Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration in 2018. In January 2019 Mortensen’s nomination was re-sent to the Senate for consideration.

  • In addition to serving as a Fellow for CIS, Mortensen has written for the organization since at least 2009 and has worked alongside other CIS colleagues including Mark Krikorian, Jessica Vaughan, Steven Camarota, John Miano, and Jon Feere.
  • He co-founded the anti-immigrant Utah Coalition on Illegal Immigration, and has used his platform to malign immigrants, elected officials from both the Democratic and Republican parties and church communities including the LDS church, who do not agree with his harsh policy proposals.
  • After failing in the 115th Congress, Mortensen’s nomination was again sent by the Trump Administration to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in the 116th Congress. In July 2019, The Salt Lake Tribune reported that Mortensen’s nomination appears to be going nowhere. Suzanne Wrasse, spokeswoman for the Committee’s Chairman Sen. John Risch stated: “There are no plans for Mortensen to have a hearing at this time.”
  • Mortensen’s employer CIS is an anti-immigrant policy center founded by white nationalist John Tanton that advocates reducing legal immigration as much as possible. The group regularly circulates white nationalist content including posts from extremist website VDARE, and in the last decade has done so more than 2,000 times. VDARE was founded by English white nationalist Peter Brimelow.
  • CIS Executive Director Mark Krikorian has defended the organization’s circulation of content from VDARE by comparing it to The New York Times: “Some of what VDare publishes is sensible, some of it is not, and some of it is downright scurrilous. Kind of like the New York Times.”
  • Mortensen’s nomination has generated broad opposition, including Utah conservatives.
    • In an op-ed for the Salt Lake Tribune entitled Utah’s senators should vote no on Ron Mortensen, Utah state Sen. Curt Bramble, R-Provo, former Army Brig. Gen. David Irvine and Paul Mero, president of the Next Generation Freedom Fund, strongly argued that Sens. Lee and Romney should oppose Mortensen. The gentlemen wrote: “The policies for which Mortensen and his colleagues have long advocated reflect the worst and darkest impulses of our nation, and we urge conservatives of good conscience to oppose his nomination and stand instead for our country’s proud tradition – and Christ’s call — of welcoming the stranger.”
    • U.S. Congressman John Curtis stated, “there is no way this congressman will ever vote for a racist to fill that position.”
    • Utah’s Governor Gary Herbert let the White House know that his office could not support his nomination in large part because of his hostility toward the principles of the Utah Compact.
    • The Salt Lake City Chamber of Commerce called “upon the Trump Administration to withdraw its nomination of Ronald Mortensen and upon Utah’s congressional delegation to actively oppose it, and encourage them to work together to find a candidate who reflects core Utah values.”
  • In response to Mortensen’s nomination, seventy-five  national security experts penned a letter to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in April of 2019 expressing their concerns. The letter notes, “Mr. Mortensen’s past writings on migration issues are alarming. Mr. Mortensen’s body of work concentrates on attacking immigrants…”
    • In April of 2019, nearly fifty Members of Congress—led by Rep’s Frankel, Torres, Roybal-Allard and Lofgren wrote a letter to Secretary Pompeo, urging the Trump Administration to withdraw the nomination.
  • Mortensen has criticized the Mormon church and other religious leaders for invoking “love of neighbor” to support undocumented immigrants: “…their love of neighbor appears to largely exclude American citizens, including American children, who are victimized by illegal aliens… In addition, America’s religious leaders have a double standard for American citizens and illegal aliens.”
  • Mortensen claimed religious leaders put undocumented immigrants ahead of “the rule of law.” According to Mortensen, “Religious leaders actively court illegal aliens…These spiritual leaders put the interests of illegal aliens ahead of the rule of law and the American men, women, and innocent children who are the victims of their crimes. This is not only corrupt; it is cruel…”
  • Mortensen attacked late Sen. John McCain over his support for comprehensive immigration reform, and claimed the ‘Gang of Eight’ immigration bill would welcome ISIS into the U.S.: “What is certain is that McCain has provided ISIS with unfettered access to the United States for both its personnel and their weapons of death and destruction. Should ISIS or some other terrorist group take advantage of McCain’s welcome mat, he will only have himself to blame as he goes in the eyes of many from war hero to collaborator.”
  • In March 2015, the CIS fellow attacked Sen. Rubio, “Marco Rubio just can’t seem to stay away from gangs, or to tell the truth about gang-sponsored legislation…Either Rubio is exceptionally gullible or just plain dishonest. In either case, he has once again demonstrated that he is not qualified to be president of the United States.”
  • Mortensen has spent decades maligning immigrants and communities which support them, and has supported CIS’s goal to make life as difficult as possible for immigrants living in the U.S.
  • The CIS fellow advocated for a DACA repeal, saying Dreamers destroyed lives of American children and has called for a “DACA Victims’ Restitution Fund,” claiming DACA recipients committed identity theft. According to The Hill, Mortensen said,  “(DACA) rewards illegal aliens (the so-called “Dreamers”) for destroying the futures of innocent American children. It should be repealed.”
  • Mortensen referred to providing Dreamers with work authorization as “Elite-driven child abuse,” in a policy blog for CIS: “While the elites are busy getting what they want, the parents of the American children whose futures are systematically being destroyed are busy trying to make a living in the economy that the elites have handed them. Many don’t have time to protect their children from this elite-driven child abuse.”
  • In 2017, Mortensen wrote a piece in The Hill titled with a falsehood, “Most illegal aliens routinely commit felonies.” In it he states bluntly, “The myth of the law abiding illegal alien is just that: a myth.”

Steve King

Congressman (R-IA 4th District)

Rep. Steve King is the most outspoken member of Congress who opposes immigration, using the House floor and social media to attack immigrants who he repeatedly claims are a threat to Western civilization. King’s views have become so extreme that his rhetoric is indistinguishable from that of white nationalists. King, who toasted on Twitter to reports of the first DACA recipient being deported under the Trump Administration, was stripped of his committee assignments in January 2019, following an interview with The New York Times in which he stated: “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?”

  • Congressman Steve King of Iowa is one of the most vocal proponents of deporting undocumented immigrants 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 worked to derail immigration reform bills with groups founded and funded by eugenics proponent John Tanton.
  • Rep. King’s rhetoric has become increasingly explicit in recent years, and have even drawn criticism from individuals within his own party.
  • According to the Des Moines Register, King stated that “there’s nothing cruel” about the Trump Administration’s family separation policy and the detention conditions of children separated from their families.
  • Following King’s defense of white nationalism and white supremacy in January 2019, the Iowa congressman was stripped of his committee assignments and denounced by many, including the National Review, which called on conservatives to “Dump Steve King.”
  • This was not the first time King espoused racist beliefs; in fact, this trend has continued for a number of years.
    • In December 2017, King exclaimed to Breitbart News’ Whatever It Takes radio host Curt Schilling that there is “a pejoraty [sic] against white people in America. It’s an anti-white, anti-Western civilization culture that they are fostering.”
    • In July 2016, King posed the following question to MSNBC host Chris Hayes: “Where did any other sub-group of people contribute more to civilization… than white people?”
    • In a 2017 tweet, King echoed these remarks while praising the nationalist Dutch politician Geert Wilders: “Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.”
    • Following backlash surrounding these comments King doubled down defending his tweet on Breitbart radio: “We’re watching as Western civilization is shrinking in the face of the massive, epic migration that is pouring into Europe. That’s the core of that tweet. They’re importing a different culture, a different civilization — and that culture and civilization, the imported one, rejects the host culture. And so they are supplanting Western civilization with Middle Eastern civilization and I say, and Geert Wilders says, Western civilization is a superior civilization — it is the first world.”
    • In December 2017, King celebrated President Trump’s inauguration with then-Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn and the Austrian Freedom Party, which was founded by Nazis in 1956.
    • The Republican congressman has recommended and praised the racist The Camp of the Saints novel, which Tanton republished through The Social Contract Press.
  • King has characterized Dreamers 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 immigrants who came to the U.S. at a young age were “undermining our culture and civilization.”
  • King openly associates with the anti-immigrant lobby, including his frequent attendance at FAIR’s annual “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” event.
  • In 2013, as Congress was considering a bipartisan immigration compromise, King appeared at a rally with NumbersUSA executive director Roy Beck. Also in 2013, he spoke alongside Sen. Cruz, Sen. Sessions and Rep. Brooks at a rally organized by an anti-immigrant front group. King also spoke at a CIS event in 2011 and in 2013 he spoke alongside Rosemary Jenks of NumbersUSA.
  • King was a recipient of funding from Tanton’s political action committee USIRPAC in almost every election from 2002 through 2018.
  • In addition to espousing racist beliefs and making other racist remarks about immigrants and minorities, King has propped up his ideology with policy proposals that include harsh interior enforcement measures, dismantling birthright citizenship, imposing e-bonds, toughening penalties for unauthorized reentry, withholding federal funds from “sanctuary cities,” building a wall along the Southern border, and ending DACA and deporting Dreamers.
  • King has met with President Trump to discuss immigration topics including King’s e-bonding bill – HR 6089. Additionally, in 2017, King met with then-DHS Secretary John Kelly to consider border security measures showcasing a model for a border wall. In the past, King has suggested electrifying parts of the wall along the Southern border.
  • From the announcement of the program in 2012, King has led the charge against DACA in the House.
  • 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 on the one which was given a vote, 33 Republicans voted against it.
    • In the summer of 2014, he voted with Reps. Blackburn and Barletta to pass a bill that would have halted DACA.
    • In 2018, King teamed up with Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) and five other Members of Congress, including Representatives Paul Gosar, Andy Biggs, Louie Gohmert, Thomas Massie and Ralph Norman, to file an amicus brief in support of the state of Texas for its lawsuit seeking to eliminate DACA. IRLI filed the brief on behalf of the Congressmen.
    • In February 2019, on behalf of King and Rep. Gosar, IRLI filed an additional brief.
  • In 2018, ProEnglish held a legislative briefing with King to promote the English Language Unity Act.

Lou Barletta

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

Former U.S. Representative Lou Barletta began his anti-immigrant crusade when he served as mayor of Hazleton, PA, where he teamed up with Kris Kobach to introduce a number of anti-immigrant city ordinances in a package as part of the anti-immigrant movement’s attrition through enforcement campaign. Barletta went on to serve on FAIR’s board of advisors and has openly praised both NumbersUSA and CIS. 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.”

  • Former U.S. Rep. 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, formerly of the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI), in 2006. As a congressman, Barletta continued to champion the organized anti-immigrant movement and made no secret of his support for its 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.
  • In a sign of his strong relationship with the organized anti-immigrant movement, Barletta joined FAIR’s advisory board and remains a member today.
  • In June 2018, Barletta defended the Trump Administration’s family separation policy saying: “In America, we have laws. Should you or I commit a criminal act this afternoon after we’re done with this interview, we’re going to be separated from our families…Remember, why people come to the country illegally is because we’re not enforcing the laws. So if people knew when they came here what would happen, we would not have this situation.”
  • 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 funding from Tanton’s political action committee USIRPAC in 2008, 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018. He was 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 2016, Barletta did an interview with anti-Semitic tabloid American Free Press, which is a publication that promotes Holocaust denial. During the interview Barletta talked about his ordinance in Hazleton crafted with the help of Kobach.
  • In 2009, he spoke at a conference hosted by the now-defunct group The American Cause, whose leadership were active in white nationalist circles. American Cause’s executive director was previously charged with drunkenly assaulting an African-American woman after using a racial slur against her.
  • Barletta made attacking immigrants a focal point of his 2018 Senate bid, and went so far as to send out a mailer stating that “America is at war,” and described some immigration measures as encouraging murder and terrorism.
  • In 2006, as mayor of Hazleton, Pennsylvania, Barletta implemented a draconian anti-immigrant housing ordinance, devised by Kris Kobach. While in Congress, Barletta worked to derail bipartisan immigration reform and was a major force behind House Republicans attacks on Dreamers and the DACA program.
  • In 2013, as Congress was considering an immigration compromise, Barletta joined Rep. Brooks, Rep. 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 cosponsored Rep. King’s H.R.140, the Birthright Citizenship Act four times in 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017, which would eliminate granting automatic citizenship to the U.S.-born children of undocumented parents.
  • Barletta has attacked Dreamers for years, including introducing a piece of legislation titled 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 voted 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 its tracks”
  • In 2007, then-Hazleton Mayor Barletta joined Pennsylvania Representative and founder of State Legislators for Legal Immigration (SLLI) Daryl Metcalfe, at the PA Capitol Rotunda for the release of a dehumanizing report which vilified immigrants, entitled “Invasion PA.” In a press release announcing the report, Metcalfe scolded the United States government for what he called its “refusal to honor the constitutional obligation of securing America’s borders against foreign invaders.”

Mo Brooks

Congressman (R-AL 5th District)

Alabama Congressman Mo Brooks regularly attends anti-immigrant gatherings and was a vocal proponent of Alabama’s harsh anti-immigrant law, HB 56. Brooks is an ardent opponent of allowing undocumented immigrants to serve in the U.S. military. 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.

  • 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’s endorsement of legislation he sponsors, and was a recipient of Tanton’s political action committee USIRPAC in 2018.
  • In March 2019, Brooks read from Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” to attack Democrats alleging that they had pushed a “big lie” to smear President Trump during the Mueller investigation. The Alabama Holocaust Commission condemned Brooks’s remarks in a statement: “Such facile comparisons, used in order to demean opponents and gain political capital, should be actively avoided. Using such rhetoric not only trivializes our past, as well as the victims of this genocide, but also cheapens our current discourse and maintains a divisive rhetoric all too common at the present time.”
  • On Alabama’s destructive HB 56, Brooks claimed that reports of Latinx students staying home from school were the intended outcome of the legislation.
  • Brooks complained that criticism of Senator Sessions’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 then RNC Chair Reince Priebus to stop using the divisive language.
  • The Alabama Congressman supports revoking the 14th Amendment and cosponsored Rep. King’s H.R.140, the Birthright Citizenship Act of 2019, which would eliminate granting automatic citizenship to the U.S.-born children to undocumented parents. He also supported the elimination in 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2017.
  • In 2013, as Congress was considering an immigration compromise, Brooks joined Reps. Barletta and Lamar Smith, and Senator Sessions on a CIS teleconference to argue against it. Also in 2013, Brooks spoke at a rally organized by an anti-immigrant front group, along with Rep. Steve King and Senators Sessions and Cruz.
  • Brooks has been a proponent for harsh immigration policies for years including building a wall at the Southern border, limiting protections for Temporary Protective Status recipients, promoting a monumental reduction of legal immigration, and banning the entry of individuals from predominantly Muslim countries.
  • In May 2018, Brooks filed a lawsuit against the Census Bureau for counting undocumented immigrants in the Census, though the Administration asked for the case to be dismissed.
  • 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 former Congressman Jeff Denham’s ENLIST Act on the premise of their possible disloyalty to the U.S.
  • Congressman Brooks defended President Trump’s decision to declare a national emergency in order to fund the construction of a wall along the Southern border, claiming the lack of a border wall had led to the loss of American lives, and compared it to 9/11 casualties.
  • In 2018, Brooks expressed support for President Trump’s plan to deploy National Guard troops to the Southern border “against an invasion of foreign nationals,” until Congress funded a border wall.

Paul Gosar

Congressman (R-AZ 4th District)

Congressman Paul Gosar is a strong ally of the organized anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim movements in the United States. He frequently cites anti-immigrant sources when discussing immigration issues. Ahead of President Trump’s state of the union address in January 2018, Gosar called for any Dreamers attending the event to be arrested and deported: “Of all the places where the Rule of Law needs to be enforced, it should be in the hallowed halls of Congress. Any illegal aliens attempting to go through security, under any pretext of invitation or otherwise, should be arrested and deported.”

  • Rep. Gosar represents the 4th District of Arizona. He associates with some of the most far-right congressional members and their allies in the anti-immigrant lobby, who advocate for harsh attrition through enforcement policies, deporting Dreamers, radical reductions to overall immigration levels, ending birthright citizenship and barring individuals based on religion.
  • Rep. Gosar frequently cites CIS, FAIR and NumbersUSA in his public statements on immigration, and often touts their endorsement of legislation he sponsors. He has hosted a Facebook Live event with NumbersUSA.
  • Included on Gosar’s ‘Awards and Recognitions’ page on his website, are his high marks from anti-immigrant groups NumbersUSA and FAIR, including a career “A+”  from NumbersUSA and a career 100% from FAIR. Gosar attended FAIR’s Hold Their Feet to the Fire event in 2016.
  • The Arizona congressman supports revoking the 14th Amendment and cosponsored Rep. King’s H.R.140, the Birthright Citizenship Act of 2019, which would eliminate granting automatic citizenship to the U.S.-born children of undocumented parents. He also supported the elimination in 2011, 2015 and 2017.
  • 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.”
  • In January 2018, Gosar incorrectly cited debunked statistics on “DACA-aged” immigrants on his Facebook page. Gosar falsely posted “DACA-aged illegals account for nearly 30 percent of all kidnappings in Arizona.”
  • On June 2018, during a floor speech before a House vote on the Dream and Promise Act, Congressman Gosar characterized Dreamers as “lawbreakers” and stated, “this legislation grants smugglers and gang members with green cards and a path to citizenship.”
  • In 2018, Gosar teamed up with Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) and five other Members of Congress, including Representatives Steve King, Andy Biggs, Louie Gohmert, Thomas Massie and Ralph Norman, to file an amicus brief in support of the state of Texas for its lawsuit seeking to eliminate DACA. IRLI filed the brief on behalf of the Congressmen.
  • In February 2019, on behalf of Gosar and Rep. King, IRLI filed an additional brief.
  • Congressman Gosar has sought to prohibit DACA recipients from joining the military, and introduced amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for  FY17, FY18 and FY19, that would have limited the government’s authority to enlist DACA recipients.
  • Gosar introduced the same amendment in the 114th Congress and it was rejected in a recorded vote with 30 Republicans voting against it.
  • The Arizona Congressman has introduced a measure which would prohibit undocumented immigrants from accessing in-state tuition, and has sought to terminate the Optional Practical Training or OPT program. H.R. 3564, which would eliminate OPT, was introduced on June 27, 2019. The same month Gosar wrote a letter to President Trump calling for an end to the program through executive action: “Mr. President, American educated professionals and graduates need your support, protection and leadership. We encourage you to end OPT by Executive Order and put Americans first.”

Marsha Blackburn

U.S. Senator (R-TN)

Blackburn served as a member of Congress in the U.S. House of Representatives for over a decade before being elected to the Senate in 2018. While in office, Blackburn has made multiple efforts to scrap the DACA program. 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.

  • Senator Blackburn represented Tennessee’s 7th Congressional District from 2002 until she became the state’s junior senator in 2019. For years, Blackburn has advocated for legislation harmful to immigrants and refugees.
  • Editorials penned by Blackburn are regularly published by Breitbart.
  • 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 has attended.
  • In 2014, Blackburn was honored with an award from the anti-Muslim grassroots group ACT for America. ACT honors lawmakers who work to pass legislation aimed at disparaging both immigrants and Muslims.
  • Blackburn is one of three co-sponsors in the Senate to designate English as the United States’ official language.
  • Since President Obama announced DACA in June 2012, Blackburn has taken every opportunity to attack the program and its recipients.
    • In 2015, then-Congresswoman Blackburn introduced an amendment to the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act that would have defunded DACA.
    • In 2014, 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.
  • During the 2018 midterm elections, Blackburn’s Senate campaign ads mentioned the caravan of asylum seekers headed for the Southern border almost 800 times, and described them as “gang members, known criminals, people from the Middle East, possibly even terrorists.”
  • Blackburn ran another ad in which she attacked her Democratic opponent Phil Bredesen for supporting ID cards for undocumented immigrants and for opposing the Muslim bans and the border wall.
  • At the height of the family separation crisis in the summer of 2018, Blackburn took the opportunity to assign blame to Democrats saying: “As a mother, my heart breaks for the families who are separated at the border, but we are in this position because liberals would not pay to enforce our immigration laws or build appropriate facilities for asylum seekers.”
  • The Tennessee senator has advocated for the construction of a wall along the Southern border, often depicting immigrants as criminals making their way across the country: “You have every town a border town, and every state a border state… these gangs and drug traffickers, human traffickers, sex traffickers are coming to a community near you.”

Louie Gohmert

Congressman (R-TX 1st District)

Rep. Louie Gohmert has a history of trafficking in anti-immigrant conspiracy theories and has attended a number of events hosted by extremist groups during his time in office. 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?”

  • Since 2005, Rep. Louie Gohmert has served Texas’s 1st District in the U.S. House of Representatives.
  • The Texan has an A+ rating by NumbersUSA, and has attended FAIR’s annual “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” event.
  • From his position on immigration related committees over the years Rep. Gohmert has become a go-to for right-wing media outlets for opinions on immigration and terrorism, and frequently peddles bigotry and conspiracy theories regarding undocumented immigrants and Muslims.
  • In response to an influx of unaccompanied minors arriving in Texas in 2014, Rep. Gohmert suggested bringing in the Texas National Guard to “stop the invasion… [because] we don’t know what diseases they’re bringing in.”
  • Congressman Gohmert has publicly supported the construction of a wall along the Southern border, dismantling birthright citizenship, has described an increase of people seeking asylum as a “brazen invasion,” has praised the Muslim bans and once introduced a resolution which would declare Cesar Chavez’s birthday as “National Border Control Day.”
  • Gohmert was one of the very few to defend Rep. Steve King’s comments to The New York Times when he stated: “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?”
  • Gohmert is a staunch supporter of President Trump and his immigration policies, and he has often come to Trump’s defense, even when it includes measures such as zero-tolerance and family separation. At a December 2018 congressional hearing, Gohmert defended the policy, saying “it’s what happens,” and “Mueller did it…to Manafort.”
  • In 2019, Gohmert participated in an event organized by group We Build The Wall in New Mexico that featured a number of anti-immigrant activists, including Rosemary Jenks of NumbersUSA.
  • Rep. Gohmert is an opponent of DACA, and since 2012 has worked with his allies in the U.S. Congress to attack the program. 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.
    • During the markup of the Dream and Promise Act of 2019, Congressman Gohmert introduced a “poison pill” measure in an attempt to sideline the bill which would have provided permanent protections for Dreamers and TPS recipients.
    • In 2018, Gohmert teamed up with Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) and five other Members of Congress, including Representatives Steve King, Andy Biggs, Paul Gosar, Thomas Massie and Ralph Norman, to file an amicus brief in support of the state of Texas for its lawsuit seeking to eliminate DACA. IRLI filed the brief on behalf of the Congressmen.
    • In 2016, 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 voted 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. The measure passed by a recorded vote 224/201.

Ted Cruz

U.S. Senator (R-TX)

Senator Ted Cruz previously was in favor of a pathway to legalization for undocumented immigrants, but in recent years his views have radicalized and he has publicly called for the DACA program to be scrapped. He has participated in events organized by anti-immigrant groups. 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.”

  • Senator 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 legal attacks on Dreamers and Obama Administration immigration policies, including U.S. v Texas.
  • Senator Cruz has aligned himself with anti-immigrant groups as they’ve attacked commonsense immigration reform and DACA recipients, and has used their misleading and false reports as sources.
  • In 2013, Senators Cruz and Sessions, and Reps. King and Brooks spoke at a rally organized by an anti-immigrant front group. Cruz’s policies are in lockstep with FAIR and its congressional allies, and during the 2016 presidential race he bragged about defeating comprehensive immigration reform with Senator Sessions.
  • In 2015, former FAIR staffer John Zadrozny joined Senator Ted Cruz’s team as counsel and then joined Trump’s State Department after he took office.
  • 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 compete with then-candidate Donald Trump’s extreme views 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. His immigration positions since have only become more extreme.
  • In an October 2018 interview with the Texas Tribune, Sen. Cruz doubled down on his opposition to birthright citizenship, saying, “Virtually every country on Earth doesn’t allow children of those there illegally to become citizens automatically, that isn’t a policy that makes any sense.”
  • In January of 2018, as the Senate was debating protections for DACA recipients, Senator Cruz attacked his fellow Republican members of Congress for working on the bipartisan measures saying, “at the time virtually every Republican denounced executive action as unconstitutional, as lawless, as wrong, and yet today far too many Senate Republicans are staking out a place well to the left of President Obama, it’s almost as if elections don’t penetrate. We need to be listening to the voters. I do not know a single Republican, not one in this body, not one in the House of Representatives, who was elected on a promise of: I will go to the left of Barack Obama on immigration.”
  • In 2014, Cruz stated that ending DACA was a “top priority.” He introduced the Protect Children and Families Through the Rule of Law Act, S.2666, which would have defunded DACA. It 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.
  • In June 2018, Cruz defended the Trump Administration’s family separation policy calling it “inevitable.”
  • Cruz, breaking with some of his Republican colleagues in TX, offered an endorsement of President Trump’s first Muslim ban and berated then Acting Attorney General Sally Yates for her opposition to the ban, calling her position “arguments that we can expect litigants to bring — partisan litigants who disagree with the policy decision of the president.”

Tom Cotton

U.S. Senator (R-AR)

Cotton was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012 and to the U.S. Senate in 2014. Cotton quickly established ties with anti-immigrant groups and has become one of the most outspoken anti-immigrant voices on Capitol Hill. After working with anti-immigrant groups including the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) and the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), Cotton introduced the RAISE Act that would cut the current authorized immigration levels in half.

  • During his time in the House, Cotton vocally opposed S 744, the “Gang of Eight” comprehensive immigration reform bill, saying, “Unless the Senate, specifically Chuck Schumer and the Democrats that drafted this bill, relent on their insistence for legalization first, enforcement later, then I can’t see a way to reconcile any legislation that we might pass that would focus on enforcement.”
  • Cotton’s actions were endorsed by Iowa Rep. Steve King, a man known for his repeated demonization of immigrants. King told the National Review, “It’s so clear that he’s done the research and taken the time to understand the issue.” National Review, a conservative outlet that routinely gives a platform to anti-immigrant voices, called Cotton “a charismatic, brainy voice for Steve King’s coalition.”
  • In 2015, following the death of Kathryn Steinle, Cotton introduced an amendment targeting “sanctuary cities.” The bill would cut federal funding for cities that have chosen to limit cooperation with the federal government’s deportation efforts.
  • Senator Cotton and Senator David Perdue introduced the RAISE Act in 2017, with support from President Trump. Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller, Julie Kirchner, and Jeff Sessions reportedly assisted in drafting the bill, which if enacted would cut legal immigration by 50%. The Anti-Defamation League called the bill “cruel, anti-family and un-American.”
  • Roy Beck, founder of the anti-immigrant group NumbersUSA, praised Cotton, telling Politico, “With the introduction of this bill, Sen. Cotton has made it clear that he’s stepping not necessarily into the shoes, but onto the platform where Sessions’ shoes have been. This is beyond anything that Sen. Sessions ever did.” In a press release, Cotton included a positive endorsement by NumbersUSA of another piece of legislation he introduced in March of 2019.
  • In 2018, Cotton attended FAIR’s Hold Their Feet to the Fire event. The event brings together anti-immigrant activists, radio hosts, and elected officials in an effort to flood the airwaves with anti-immigrant rhetoric. FAIR also boasted in its 2017 annual report that it held “key meetings” with Cotton and Perdue.
  • In 2019, Cotton again targeted so-called sanctuary cities, introducing a bill that would withhold federal grants from cities which allegedly prohibit their local law enforcement officers from cooperating with federal immigration officials. In a press release, Cotton stated, “Sanctuary cities keep criminal aliens on our streets, and we will no longer tolerate their willful defiance of our nation’s laws.”
  • In 2014, when running for Senate, Cotton claimed, “Groups like the Islamic State collaborate with drug cartels in Mexico who have clearly shown they’re willing to expand outside the drug trade into human trafficking and potentially even terrorism. They could infiltrate our defenseless border and attack us right here in places like Arkansas.”
  • In an interview with The New Yorker, Cotton stated, “But if you live and work in a community where they have a large illegal-immigrant population that’s straining the public school, that’s clogging up the emergency room when you’re trying to get care, that makes it more dangerous to drive in the roads because people don’t have driver’s licenses or they don’t have insurance, or if they are bidding down the wages or even taking jobs away from you, then it doesn’t look nearly so good.”
  • In response to a 2017 New York Times piece, Cotton defended President Trump and said, “It’s not a ‘nativist view’ to say immigration policy should be crafted to benefit American citizens, not foreigners.”
  • Cotton accepted an invitation from CIS to participate in its “Immigration Newsmaker” event at the National Press Club in July of 2019. CIS was founded by white nationalist John Tanton and has a long history of disparaging immigrants, such as blaming them for the “burgeoning street gang problem in the United States.” In his opening remarks, Cotton told CIS head Mark Krikorian, “thanks for the Center for Immigration Studies for hosting this conversation, and also for all the very important work the Center does on immigration.”
  • In 2017, Cotton tweeted, “Sanctuary cities, illegal/mass immigration, & leniency for violent felons are wildly unpopular. Republicans SHOULD campaign on these issues!”
  • In February of 2019, Cotton and Sen. Boozman introduced mandatory E-Verify legislation.
  • Cotton has been vocally opposed to the DREAM Act, calling it, “the single biggest amnesty in the history of the United States.”
  • In July of 2018, a judge temporarily blocked the deporations of families reunited after being separated at the border, in order to give them time to plan next steps regarding possible asylum claims. In response, Sen. Cotton stated, “No judge—certainly not a trial judge in California—should set our nation’s immigration policy, which is the responsibility of Congress and the President. This misguided ruling will only make it harder to secure our border.”

 

Andy Biggs

Andy Biggs, Congressman (R-AZ 5th District)

After spending over a decade supporting anti-immigrant measures in Arizona, including SB 1070, Biggs was elected to Congress in 2016. As a Member of Congress, he has introduced anti-immigrant bills and partnered with anti-immigrant groups.

  • Biggs was first elected to the Arizona House in 2002 and served until 2010. He was subsequently elected to the Arizona Senate in 2010 and took over leadership as Senate President in 2013.
  • Immigration was one of Biggs’ key issues during his time in Phoenix. He supported, among other legislation, the draconian SB 1070 bill introduced by Sen. Russell Pearce.
  • Pearce lost a recall election after the passage of SB 1070, making him the first elected official ever to be recalled in the state. Biggs was a strong supporter of Pearce and told the Arizona Republic after the recall vote, “I am profoundly disappointed that he (Pearce) didn’t win.”
  • Following the Supreme Court’s 2012 ruling that parts of the anti-immigrant law should be upheld, Biggs welcomed the decision. “This is a huge victory for the state of Arizona and SB 1070,” said Biggs. Biggs told KJZZ, “What’s different is we have the imprimatur of the Supreme Court saying ‘this is acceptable police behavior.’ And so, what that does, is that validates what we’re doing, what we want police officers to do in this state.”
  • Biggs ran for Congress in 2016 and since taking office, he has been one of Donald Trump’s staunchest allies on immigration policy. In 2018, Biggs issued a statement in support of the President, “I support President Trump’s decision to deploy National Guard troops to the border. I continue to fight to fund, begin, and complete a border wall, just as President Trump promised when America elected him. His commitment to building the wall and ending illegal immigration helped him capture the Republican nomination and the Presidency. I appreciate President Trump’s efforts to keep his promises.”
  • Since taking office, Biggs has introduced a number of anti-immigrant bills, including the Fund and Complete the Border Wall Act, which includes provisions such as directing the Department of Treasury to provide funding for building a wall on the US/Mexico border, and charging a 5% fee for foreign remittances. Biggs’ bill was endorsed by the National Border Council and the anti-immigrant groups NumbersUSA and FAIR. In September of 2018, Biggs and NumbersUSA issued a joint statement in which Biggs praised the group founded by Roy Beck, “I’m grateful for NumberUSA’s support for my legislation. NumbersUSA engages millions of activists around the nation who are passionate about border security and enforcing the immigration laws this country has on its books.”
  • Biggs repeatedly cites anti-immigrant groups including NumbersUSA, FAIR and the Center for Immigration Studies on his website when discussing immigration issues.
  • In 2019, Biggs and Rep. Babin announced they would co-chair the House Border Security Caucus.
  • In 2018, Biggs invited Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), to speak on his podcast. Vaughan has previously blamed the TPS program for “its contribution to the burgeoning street gang problem in the United States.” Vaughan also granted an interview in 2014 to the virulently anti-Semitic tabloid, American Free Press.
  • In March of 2019, Biggs posed for a photo with FAIR’s president Dan Stein, after he was invited to speak at a House Border Security Caucus meeting. Stein has previously argued that immigrants are “getting into competitive breeding.”
  • In 2018, Biggs spoke at an annual gathering of the conservative Eagle Forum, a group that often gives a platform to anti-immigrant figures. The event featured officials from far-right parties in Germany and Poland as well as Canadian Stefan Molyneux, a man who routinely interviews white nationalists and eugenicists. Among other racist things, Molyneux has stated, “Screaming ‘racism’ at people because blacks are collectively less intelligent…is insane.”
  • In 2019, Biggs spoke at a “Patriotism Over Socialism” rally in Phoenix, which was attended by a number of extremist groups. Another speaker was Laura Loomer, who has been banned from Twitter for her anti-Muslim tweets. In response to a question about why Biggs would speak at such a gathering, a Biggs spokesperson told the Arizona Republic, “He enjoys talking to constituents in his district — and other Arizonans — about his firsthand experience as an elected official and his long-held views about his love for the Constitution, Arizona, and the United States.” Russell Pearce also spoke at the event.
  • The Arizona Republic reported that Biggs spoke at a 2015 event featuring anti-government figures. During the event, the founder of the anti-government Oath Keepers, Stewart Rhodes, told the crowd that then-Arizona Senator John McCain should be put on trial for treason, and “hung by the neck until dead.” According to the Republic, “Biggs said he doesn’t agree with Rhodes’ comments, but said he didn’t feel it was his place to speak up and denounce him.”
  • On April 3, 2019, Biggs tweeted, “Every day, thousands of illegal aliens cross over our southern border, overwhelming our law enforcement officials & our communities. Still, most Democrats in Congress refuse to take the necessary actions to end this crisis and secure our border. We must act before it’s too late.”
  • In 2018, Biggs teamed up with Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) and five other Members of Congress, including Representatives Steve King, Paul Gosar, Louie Gohmert, Thomas Massie and Ralph Norman, to file an amicus brief in support of the state of Texas for its lawsuit seeking to eliminate DACA. IRLI filed the brief on behalf of the Congressmen.
  • In May of 2018, Biggs endorsed a bill introduced by Rep. Mark Meadows that “would require the Department of Homeland Security to work with state and local law enforcement agencies who want to participate in the 287(g) program.” The program allows state and local law enforcement to act as immigration enforcement officers.
  • In April 2018, Biggs co-signed a bill by Rep. John Ratcliffe designed to eliminate concurrent sentencing for undocumented immigrants. FAIR welcomed the bill.
  • Biggs has received an “A+” rating from NumbersUSA for his record supporting anti-immigrant legislation.
  • Biggs is a proponent of ending the constitutionally guaranteed right to birthright citizenship, penning a piece on his website in November of 2018 noting, “I agree with President Trump that the policy of birthright citizenship needs to be reconsidered. Only 39 countries in the world offer birthright citizenship, excluding all of Western Europe and most developed nations.”
  • In September 2019, Biggs attended FAIR’s annual “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” event in Washington D.C., and spoke at a “Badges and Angels” press conference organized by Bristol County Sheriff Tom Hodgson and FAIR. Acting USCIS Director Ken Cuccinelli was also a speaker.

Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS)

Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) is one of the oldest and best funded anti-immigrant groups in the state. Since its founding, CAPS has maintained strong ties to white nationalists. In fact, the group has routinely hired white nationalists and other extremists, including a known neo-Nazi. CAPS once received funding from the notorious Pioneer Fund, a group set up in the 1930s to pursue “race betterment.”

  • CAPS was founded in 1986. One of its co-founders was white nationalist Garrett Hardin, a friend of John Tanton’s who helped Tanton build the established anti-immigrant movement we see in the U.S. today. Hardin, like Tanton, was concerned with environmental degradation and today, CAPS positions itself as an environmental organization troubled by California’s rising population.
  • Hardin served on the board of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) for several years and since its founding, CAPS has worked closely with a number of national anti-immigrant groups. Tanton-founded group U.S., Inc. has donated thousands of dollars to CAPS since its founding.
  • CAPS claims to be “pro-immigrant” and the “About Us” page on its website reads, “Don’t Blame Immigrants. Blame Our Government’s Antiquated Immigration Policy.” Statements by CAPS’s staff and board over the past four decades prove that this claim is patently false.
  • CAPS staff and board are regulars at annual anti-immigrant gatherings such as the Writers Workshop put on by The Social Contract Press and FAIR’s Hold Their Feet to the Fire event.
  • CAPS is also one of the best funded state-based anti-immigrant groups, allowing it to routinely run radio and television ads attacking immigrants. CAPS’s most recent ad in March of 2019 criticized President Trump for calling for increases in immigration.
  • Because of CAPS’s large budget, the organization’s activities are not confined to just California. In fact, for a number of years, CAPS has actively fought immigration reform efforts at the federal level, notably airing ads in other states in opposition to elected officials there who have come out in favor of immigration reform, such as Lindsay Graham in South Carolina, former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and former Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona.
  • CAPS board member Ben Zuckerman was directly involved in a hostile takeover attempt of the board of the environmental organization Sierra Club by anti-immigrant activists in the late 1990s. Zuckerman was one of the anti-immigrant activists who unsuccessfully ran for a position on the Sierra Club’s board in an attempt to push the organization to take an anti-immigrant stance. Back in 1986, Tanton encouraged anti-immigrant activists to target the Sierra Club.
  • In late 2012 and early 2013, CAPS helped to create another anti-immigrant group attempting to coax environmentalists into joining the anti-immigrant movement called Scientists and Environmentalists for Population Stabilization (SEPS). SEPS was created after CAPS spent the previous few years attending major scientific conferences in an attempt to convince attendees that population control should be a priority.
  • Many CAPS projects often harken back to California in the 1960s and prior and blame “out-of-control population growth” for environmental degradation and longer commute times in the state.
  • CAPS co-founder, white nationalist Garrett Hardin, stated in a 1997 interview, “My position is that this idea of a multiethnic society is a disaster. That’s what we’ve got in Central Europe, and in Central Africa. A multiethnic society is insanity. I think we should restrict immigration for that reason.”
  • Before the founding of CAPS, its current board chair, Ben Zuckerman, co-authored a book with another white nationalist, Michael Hart. Hart has been a regular at a number of racist events over the past few decades. According to an email exchange obtained by the Southern Poverty Law Center, Zuckerman gave no indication that he was concerned about Hart’s views when they were pointed out to him.
  • In 2017, San Francisco-based newspaper El Tecolote revealed that CAPS had hired a known neo-Nazi, Parker Wilson. CAPS fired Wilson after the exposé, but it was later revealed that CAPS had given Wilson an award back in 2012. A year prior, a search of Wilson’s home by law enforcement uncovered, “numerous White Pride paraphernalia, firearms, ammunition and components to make a pipe bomb.”
  • For at least six years, anti-immigrant extremist Frosty Wooldridge served as a contributor to the CAPS blog. Wooldridge writes for a number of outlets and has a particular animus towards Muslims. In 2015 he wrote in a guest editorial for the Sonora News, “At some point, we must shut down all Muslim immigration before we lose control of our own country. They prove relentless, uncompromising and unyielding. No such thing as a ‘moderate Muslim!’” Wooldridge also served as a FAIR advisory board member.
  • CAPS also hired John Vinson as a senior writing fellow in 2013. Vinson is one of the founding members of the neo-Confederate League of the South, and, according to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Vinson is credited with penning the “Kinism Statement,” a set of guiding principals for Kinism, “a modern white supremacist interpretation of Christianity.” Both Vinson and Wooldridge left their positions at CAPS not long after the Southern Poverty Law Center pointed out their racist pasts.
  • Rick Oltman worked at CAPS for a time as its national media director in the mid-2000s. Oltman has spoken at multiple events put on by the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), the group Charleston shooter Dylann Roof cited as his gateway into white nationalism. Oltman also previously worked for FAIR.
  • In a 2013 interview with CAPS board chair Marilyn DeYoung, she told the immigrant rights group Cuéntame, “A baby can join a gang and commit a crime. A baby can drop out of school and become a criminal. A baby grows up.”
  • Over the past two years, the anti-immigrant movement has focused largely on attempting to dismantle so-called sanctuary cities and states. In California, a number of cities have taken steps to reject California’s sanctuary state law, SB54. CAPS is one of the loudest voices in the anti-sanctuary movement. The group created the website StopSanctuary.com in opposition to SB54.
  • In 2014, CAPS sent an email to its supporters attempting to make a link between ISIS and immigration, according to the Anti-Defamation League.
  • After the 2010 census results were released, CAPS senior writing fellow Leon Kolankiewicz lamented the focus by some observers on the increase in America’s Latinx population and not, “the implications of continuing aggregate population increase with no end in sight.”
  • In 2014, an ad produced by CAPS during the height of the drought in California caused outrage because it blamed immigrants for the water shortage. The ad begins with a boy asking, “If Californians are having fewer children, why is it so crowded? If Californians are having fewer children, why isn’t there enough water? “If Californians are having fewer children, where are all the people coming from?” A man responds by claiming, “Virtually all of California’s population growth is from immigration.”

Oregonians for Immigration Reform (OFIR)

Oregonians for Immigration Reform (OFIR) is one of the most active state-based anti-immigrant groups in the country. It has received significant logistical and financial backing from national anti-immigrant groups for its state-wide ballot initiative campaigns to prevent Oregon from issuing drivers licenses to undocumented immigrants and attempting to overturn Oregon’s sanctury law. OFIR’s close ties to some elected officials in the state lend it credibility despite its leaders’ well documented history of attacking immigrants.

  • OFIR was founded in 2000 and is currently based in the town of McMinnville, but conducts most of its meetings and activities in Salem, Oregon’s capital.
  • OFIR’s current leader is Cynthia Kendoll, but many of its co-founders, Jim Ludwick, and Elizabeth Van Staaveren are all still very active with the group.
  • The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) helped to build and coordinate a network of state-based anti-immigrant groups throughout the 2000’s which included OFIR. OFIR’s co-founder Frank Brehm thanked FAIR in 2001, stating, “In speaking with a number of members over the past week, they, like me, felt re-energized in the cause of immigration reform by your presentation and use of dialogue to assist the group in formulating strategy.”
  • OFIR’s website claims the group believes the government must protect its citizens first and that all immigration laws on the books should be enforced. OFIR’s website also notes that it agrees with the following statement from FAIR, “America has reached a point where perpetual growth cannot realistically continue within limited space,” and “without common sense limitations on immigration and the resulting population growth, virtually every social cause is a lost cause.”
  • OFIR’s first forays into activism targeted day-labor centers in the state, in partnership with the Oregon chapter of the vigilante Minutemen Civil Defence Corps, a nationwide group that was very active in the mid 2000s.
  • OFIR has always made it a priority to cultivate relationships with elected officials. The group has a close relationship with Rep. Kim Thatcher dating back to a 2006 OFIR rally at which Thatcher spoke. Elected officials including Thatcher and Sal Esquivel served as “chief petitioners” for OFIR’s drivers license ballot initiative.
  • In 2013, following a successful legislative effort to grant drivers licenses to undocumented immigrants, OFIR launched a signature drive in an attempt to overturn the law by referednum. A political action committee named Protect Oregon Drivers Licenses (PODL) was established and with major financial support from national anti-immigrant groups and wealthy activists, OFIR was able to gather enough signatures to qualify a ballot measure for the 2014 elections. Oregon residents voted to overturn the driver’s license bill, which was hailed as a major win for OFIR and the broader anti-immigrant movement.
  • In January 2016, the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) filed a motion on behalf of its client, OFIR, to intervene and dismiss a lawsuit against the outcome of the 2014 ballot measure, which overturned the state’s law to expand drivers licenses to undocumented immirgants. Founded within the Federation for American Immigration Reform, IRLI serves as the legal arm of the anti-immigrant movement.
  • OFIR attempted to build upon its 2014 success by targeting Oregon’s long standing sanctuary state law, which prevents the use of state resources to detain undocumented immigrants, in 2018. With continued logistical and financial support from FAIR (amounting to almost $200,000) and Tanton’s U.S. Inc., OFIR again gathered enough signatures for their “Stop Oregon Sanctuary Cities” campaign to qualify as a ballot measure. Three state elected officials joined OFIR’s campaign as “chief petitioners”: Rep. Mike Nearman, Rep. Greg Barreto, and Rep. Esquivel. But this time, nearly two thirds of Oregon voters rejected OFIR’s attempt to overturn the law, much to the chagrin of the group.
  • In the six months after the 2018 election, OFIR actively opposed a number of pro-immigrant bills in the legislature, specifically focusing on providing drivers licenses for undocumented immigrants and prohibiting courts from inquiring into defendant’s immigration status.
  • In a 2014 interview, Kendoll castigated immigrants as a whole, “We are told all the time that people come here and want to become Americans. I don’t think they’re interested in becoming U.S. citizens. It’s just an organized assault on our culture.”
  • OFIR co-founder Elizabeth Van Staaveren routinely attacks immigrants in letters published in local media outlets. In 2016 she wrote, “‘Refugees’ are a mixed group, and may include genuine refugees, adventurists, economic migrants, terrorists, criminals and con artists.” A June 2018 piece she penned in the Portland Tribune was titled, “Immigrants the cause of many ills.”
  • Kendoll is a regular at events put on by national anti-immigrant groups including the Writers Workshop organized by the Social Contract Press, FAIR’s Hold Their Feet to the Fire annual event, and border tours organized by both FAIR and the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS). Jessica Vaughan of CIS traveled to Oregon to address the group in 2017.
  • In 2015, OFIR invited Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio to be the keynote speaker at a rally in Salem, Oregon.
  • Richard LaMountain, another OFIR member and former leader once submitted a letter about Iraqi refugees to the racist tabloid American Free Press, a publication founded by prominent anti-Semite Willis Carto. Following a decision by Portland Community College to host a White History Month to shine the spotlight on white privilege, LaMountain wrote in the Portland Tribune, “Over the past half-century, American governments, colleges and businesses have instituted aggressive ‘diversity,’ affirmative-action and minority set-aside policies. These give citizens and even non-citizens of color preferences for  educations, jobs and promotions over the very citizens PCC alleged are ‘privileged’ by ‘whiteness.’”
  • LaMountain has contributed to a number of far-right outlets including the racist VDARE website founded by English white nationalist Peter Brimelow and Middle American News, a tabloid that routinely published the works of white nationalists such as Sam Francis.
  • OFIR’s current secretary Lyneil Vandermolen criticized the city of Wilsonville in 2017 for signing a statement of inclusivity on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, claiming, “I think that it carries a subtext that most Americans are a bunch of closet racists, bigots, sexists, homophobes, xenophobes and now there’s even a pregnancy phobia, because you mentioned it there. I don’t think that we need the shaming.” In 2009, she claimed that Latinos and Muslims, “are interested in assimilating us.”
  • In 2014, OFIR’s anti-immigrant rally was attended by members of the white nationalist American Freedom Party (AFP).
  • In response to the move by lawmakers to push for drivers licenses for Oregon’s undocumented population, Cynthia Kendoll told the Willamette Week, “The idea of providing a driver license to a person that is in the country illegally is just as repulsive to voters today as it was in 2014. Kill this bill.”
  • A number of current OFIR officers and co-founders testified in opposition to a bill prohibiting courts from inquiring into a defendant’s immigration status at a House hearing in Salem on March 18, 2019. A day later, Cynthia Kendoll remarked to The Oregonian, “Oregon legislators, once again, are going out of their way to shield those that have entered our country illegally.”
  • In April of 2019, President Trump threatened to relocate undocumented immigrants to sanctuary cities, prompting Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler to criticize the proposed move. In response, OFIR stated, “Oregonians for Immigration Reform is opposed to illegal immigration, it’s farcical how Oregon law and sanctuary cities put the rights of illegal immigrants above legal residents.”
  • When Oregon Governor Kate Brown refused to send her national guard troops to the border in 2018, OFIR secretary Lyneil Vandermolen wrote in The Oregonian, “Gov. Kate Brown’s refusal to allow the Oregon National Guard to help stop the strangely spontaneous column of dubious refugees marching through Mexico to forcibly storm our border is an example of her contempt for the rule of law. Her apparent indifference to the likelihood of terrorists or smugglers embedded in the crowd is intolerable.”
  • Since its founding, OFIR has attempted to coax environmentalists in Oregon into taking a stance against immigration. The OFIR website introduction reads, “Oregonians for Immigration Reform works to stop illegal immigration as well as reduce legal immigration to a more environmentally, economically and socially sustainable level here in Oregon and across the United States.” In 2017, the Oregon chapter of the Sierra Club criticized OFIR prompting a response by Richard LaMountain who wrote, “One can’t be both pro-environment and pro-illegal immigration.”

Floridians for Immigration Enforcement (FLIMEN)

One of Florida’s most active anti-immigrant groups, Floridians for Immigration Enforcement (FLIMEN) played a major role in the passage of anti-sanctuary bill SB 168 in Florida in 2019.

  • Founded in 2003, Floridians for Immigration Enforcement (FLIMEN) is based in South Florida, but is active throughout the state.
  • Since its inception, FLIMEN has had a strong working relationship with the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). It was listed as a state contact group by FAIR for a number of years.
  • In 2018, FLIMEN achieved its biggest anti-immigrant policy change to date, working directly with Rep. Joe Gruters and FAIR on anti-sanctuary legislation that passed the Florida House and Senate and was signed into law by Florida governor Ron DeSantis in 2019. Florida had no sanctuary jurisdictions previously, but now they are not permitted under Florida law. A number of immigrant and civil rights organizations have announced lawsuits against the state in response.
  • FLIMEN officials have attended FAIR’s annual Hold Their Feet to the Fire event in the past, and when FLIMEN leader Jack Oliver died in 2018, an obituary ran in John Tanton’s racist journal, The Social Contract, thanking Oliver for his activism.
  • FLIMEN has been a vocal critic of Marco Rubio well before he was elected to the U.S Senate in 2010. In 2008, FLIMEN raised funds for a 30-second ad attacking Rubio, then the Florida Speaker of the House, for not bringing forth anti-immigrant legislation at the state level. Rubio’s Senate run was littered with anti-immigrant rhetoric, but he broke those promises by pushing for immigration reform federally, much to the chagrin of FLIMEN activists.
  • For a number of years, FLIMEN has pushed for a bill or ballot measure mandating that Florida businesses participate in the E-verify program. In 2010, FLIMEN supported bills in the Florida House and Senate that would require state contractors to use E-verify. Elected officials who introduced the bill worked with FAIR’s legal arm, the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) on the language of the bill. In 2018, FLIMEN was unsuccessful in an effort to get an E-verify measure on the ballot for the 2018 election.
  • In 2016, FLIMEN vice-president Dave Caulkett granted an interview to the anti-Semitic tabloid American Free Press. In the interview, Caulkett stated, “There are a small set of globalists and open border advocates who’ve set Obama’s agenda. They tout diversity and multiculturalism, but our nation is less unified than it’s ever been because of a bogus concept that we have to respect all minor cultures.”
  • FLIMEN has received thousands of dollars in the form of multiple grants from U.S., Inc., a group founded by white nationalist John Tanton.
  • In 2019, the FLIMEN Twitter account tweeted, “Bringing crime, drugs, disease, human trafficking – truly a #NationalEmergency #BuildThatWall”
  • When asked about undocumented immigrants in a 2019 interview, Caulkett stated, “Not only do they disobey the law, but I question their loyalty to this country.”
  • In 2007, FAIR field representative Joyce Mucci held a statewide meeting with anti-immigrant activists in Florida regarding the introduction of anti-immigrant legislation in the next legislative session. FAIR also praised FLIMEN’s previous work with elected officials in the state.
  • FLIMEN was vocally opposed to an in-state tuition bill for undocumented immigrants signed into law in 2014 by Florida Governor Rick Scott. After the bill was signed, FLIMEN claimed it would, “cause an unknown number of legal students to be displaced from college by illegal alien students.”
  • FLIMEN has also been a vocal proponent of state officials’ push to criminalize hiring undocumented immigrants. FLIMEN brought this to the attention of then Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi in 2014. FLIMEN vice president Dave Caulkett told Human Events in 2014, “Document security is the grease that allows illegal immigration to flourish.”
  • In 2014, when Palm Beach County decided to curtail immigration jailings, FLIMEN was outraged, opposing the move and claiming more should be done to encourage deportations, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel.
  • Though there are no so-called “sanctuary” cities in Florida, FLIMEN claims there are over a dozen and refers to them as “anarchy cities.”

Dustin Inman Society (DIS)

Although the Dustin Inman Society is small in membership size, it serves as a vehicle for its Atlanta-based founder D.A. King, one of the most prominent anti-immigrant voices based outside of Washington, D.C. today.

  • D.A. King set up the Dustin Inman Society (DIS) in 2005. DIS is focused on creating statewide legislative change to enact attrition through enforcement policies in an effort to reduce Georgia’s immigrant population. FAIR listed DIS as a state contact group on its website for a number of years. In 2011, NumbersUSA head Roy Beck praised King, stating, “I can’t think of anybody in my 20 years of working on this issue who has been more adroit in working inside the state Legislature to get legislation actually passed. He’s just kind of at the top of the heap nationwide in terms of local activists.” NumbersUSA holds conference calls with King and others on a regular basis, according to The New York Times.
  • King has been a regular at anti-immigrant events and protests in the D.C. area dating back to the mid-2000s, including the “DC March for Jobs” in 2013 during the last major push for comprehensive immigration reform. King has attended FAIR’s Hold Their Feet to the Fire event on multiple occasions.
  • King is most influential in his home state of Georgia, where he has spent years cultivating relationships with elected officials in the halls of the Capitol in Atlanta. DIS assisted in the passage of the Georgia Security and Immigration Compliance Act of 2006 and Georgia’s Illegal Immigration Reform and Enforcement Act of 2011, H.B. 87, a bill introduced by King’s ally Rep. Matt Ramsey.
  • Among other things, H.B. 87 created the Immigration Enforcement Review Board to examine complaints brought forth by Georgians from around the state. The board lasted until May of 2019 and King was responsible for bringing forward the overwhelming majority of the complaints. In its first six years, King filed 19 of the 20 complaints reviewed by the board. Critics dismissed the Immigration Enforcement Review Board as a major waste of taxpayer funds. As one Atlanta lawyer described it in 2011, “If a complaint is filed against you, even if it has no merit, you still have to waste time and money that a lot of counties don’t have.”
  • On the DIS website, King bragged about DIS’s efforts in support of the 287(g) program, allowing state and local law enforcement to act as immigration enforcement officers. King has a very close working relationship with Sheriff Neil Warren of Cobb County, the only Georgia jurisdiction currently participating in the 287(g) program. Warren proudly boasts on his bio page on the Cobb Country Sheriff’s Office website that he is recongnized as “one of America’s toughest sheriffs on illegal immigration.”
  • King has a long and well-documented history of demonizing immigrants, both on social media and in other outlets. In a speech in 2007 he told a gathering of the Newton County GOP, “[Undocumented immigrants are] not here to mow your lawn – they’re here to blow up your buildings and kill your children, and you, and me.”
  • In a 2006 piece for the VDARE website, founded by white nationalist Peter Brimelow, King wrote, “For me, while standing a few feet away from group after group, the impulse to reach out and personally deport these Third World invaders was nearly uncontrollable.” For about three years, King served as a regular contributor to VDARE. In his columns, King has referred to immigrants as “criminal invaders,” among other things.
  • Seven years later in an interview with The New York Times, King stated, “I was taught that we have an American culture to which immigrants will assimilate, and I am incredibly resentful that’s not what’s happening anymore.”
  • In 2004, King wrote, “Must the United States silently suffer the incursion of one million people a year because they are brown?”
  • King announced in 2013 that his supporters could make tax-free donations to DIS through the Michigan-based U.S., Inc. — founded by white nationalist John Tanton. U.S., Inc. has previously donated money to King’s efforts in Georgia.
  • King has also spoken on multiple occasions at the annual Writers Workshop event put on by Tanton’s Social Contract Press. The event brings together anti-immigrant activists, white nationalists, and others to speak on different immigration issues. Another speaker along with King at the 2010 Writers Workshop was white nationalist Kevin DeAnna, the founder of the now-defunct far-right student group Youth for Western Civilization. King has also contributed to Tanton’s racist journal, The Social Contract.
  • According to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), in 2005, King organized an anti-immigrant rally featuring Chris Simcox as a featured speaker. Simcox was the co-founder of the Minuteman Project. Simcox is currently serving an almost 20 year sentence after being convicted of child molestation crimes.
  • King has regularly pushed the nativist conspiracy theory of the “La Reconquista,” a reconquering of the Southwestern United States by Mexico. The conspiracy theory was popularized by Glenn Spencer, an anti-immigrant activist and founder of the American Border Patrol. King once called an awards show hosted by the advocacy group UnidosUS, “Reconquista TV.”
  • In 2008, King voiced his support for the concept of attrition through enforcement, passing laws/ordinances that make it so difficult for immigrants to go about their daily lives that they “self deport” to another locale, or to their country of origin. King wrote on his blog, “We support the concept of attrition of the illegal population through enforcement of existing laws. The illegal immigration crisis will take years to fix, just as it did to occur. It did not happen overnight and cannot be solved overnight.”
  • In a 2008 letter, King voiced his support for the 287(g) program in grotesque terms, writing, “Parasitic ethnic hustlers who encourage and feed on continued illegal immigration will begin to howl that any enforcement of the law that affects the illegals who are their golden goose is ‘profiling’ and, sooner or later, ‘racist.’”
  • King often refers to Georgia as “Georgiafornia,” a play on “Mexifornia,” a name given to the state of California by anti-immigrant activists. In a 2006 blog post on VDARE, King lamented, “Proof that Georgia has become a border state is not hard to find. The flag of Mexico is everywhere here and when I call my bank, the cable TV company, my health care provider, and a list of businesses too long to list, English is an optional language on the telephone.”
  • In 2019, King penned a piece in favor of Georgia’s E-verify law. King described undocumented workers as, “black market labor.”

We the People Rising

One of the most active anti-immigrant groups in California, We the People Rising, holds protests targeting pro-immigrant elected officials, on an almost weekly basis. Its leaders are longtime anti-immigrant activists and have direct ties to far-right extremists. In 2014, We the People activists were part of the mob that prevented buses carrying women and children from entering an immigration processing center in the town of Murrieta, CA.

  • Founded in the mid 2000s as “We the People – California’s Crusader,” by longtime anti-immigrant activist Raymond Herrera, We the People Rising is based in Claremont, but its activists travel the length of the state for rallies and other events.
  • We the People specifically targets elected officials who have introduced pro-immigrant legislation, holding events outside of their offices or demanding to meet with the officials and their staff in person.
  • The face of the organization is Robin Hvidston, a former leader in the extremist Minuteman movement. Hvidston is routinely interviewed by California media and has a history of espousing anti-immigrant rhetoric.
  • We the People routinely holds demonstrations at the US/Mexico border and has supported anti-sanctuary efforts across Southern California since 2017. In 2014, during the height of fear mongering about a “border surge” in which thousands of predominantly women and children fleeing violence in Central America sought asylum in the United States, We the People organized protests in the town of Murrieta and were among the activists responsible for preventing buses carrying women and children from entering an immigration processing center in the town. A year later, Hvidston and We the People held a rally to mark the anniversary of the Murrieta protests and defend her group’s actions, stating, “We’re law abiding citizens. That was our message that day,” Hvidston said. “We respect our law officers and what the government was doing was extremely inappropriate.” The Murrieta mayor called the incident, “a black eye,” for the city. We the People is tied to the broader anti-immigrant movement outside of California, sending representatives to Washington, D.C. in the past for rallies and other events.
  • Hvidston also serves as the California director of the anti-immigrant group The Remembrance Project. Through her activism with The Remembrance Project, Hvidston was able to meet with Donald Trump a number of times while he was campaigning. Hvidston works directly with activist Arthur Schaper of the virulently anti-LGBT MassResistence, and in 2017, she was a featured speaker at a gathering of the right-wing American Freedom Alliance where she discussed targeting sanctuary cities.
  • In 2016, Hvidston traveled to San Francisco for a memorial for Kathryn Steinle. At the memorial, Hvidston was pictured with activist Rick Oltman. In the past, Oltman spoke at a number of gatherings of the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens, and also previously worked for FAIR.
  • In 2017, Hvidston attended and spoke at the annual Writers Workshop put on by the Social Contract Press, the publishing house founded by white nationalist John Tanton. The gathering brings together anti-immigrant activists, far-right figures, and elected officials to discuss the ills of immigration.
  • In an interview about why she became active with anti-immigrant groups, Hvidston stated, “When I go shopping and when I’m driving I’m usually a minority, but I have no minority rights as a person of Anglo descent. Even though I really know what it feels like to be a minority.”

 

  • In 2013, Hvidston travelled to Washington, D.C., to participate in the annual Hold Their Feet to the Fire event put on by the anti-immigrant Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), a group founded by white nationalist John Tanton.
  • From 2017 to the present, Hvidston and her organization have traveled throughout southern California attending city council meetings and encouraging council members to sign resolutions opposing California’s sanctuary state law.

Ken Paxton

Texas Attorney General

Ken Paxton has used his position as Attorney General of Texas to lead state-level attacks on DACA. On May 1, 2018, Texas and six other states filed a lawsuit to end DACA, seeking a nationwide injunction against renewals. In a press release announcing the actions, Paxton defended the Trump Administration, instead blaming continued renewals of the program on the nationwide injunctions to halt its dismantling. This followed Paxton’s confirmation that he had conversations with the Trump Administration, including the Department of Justice about the repeal of DACA.

  • Paxton has led the charge nationally to end DACA and expel hundreds of undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. at a young age, many of whom live in Texas.
  • While Paxton has feigned a lack of interest in physically deporting current DACA recipients, he is aware that if the Administration were to end DACA, recipients would unquestionably be at immediate risk of deportation.
  • Paxton has been vocal about his opposition to every major component of the DACA program.
  • In an effort to minimize fallout over several lawsuits challenging SB 4, a harsh attrition through enforcement measure signed into law in May 2017, Paxton filed a lawsuit the very same day, requesting a federal court declare the new law constitutional. Unsurprisingly, anti-immigrant group FAIR wrote in its annual report that it had “provided anti-sanctuary bill ideas to staff for Texas State Senator Charles Perry, whose measure (SB 4) was signed into law by Governor Abbott.”
  • In June 2017, The United States Department of Justice filed a statement of interest, siding with Texas on SB 4 litigation. In a press release announcing the decision, former U.S. Attorney General Sessions said that Texas had admirably followed President Trump’s lead “by mandating state-wide cooperation with federal immigration laws that require the removal of illegal aliens who have committed crimes.” Sessions said in a statement, “The Department of Justice fully supports Texas’s effort and is participating in this lawsuit because of the strong federal interest in facilitating the state and local cooperation that is critical in enforcing our nation’s immigration laws.” In his own statement Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton thanked the DOJ for its support on the case and stated: “We look forward to working with DOJ lawyers to see that Senate Bill 4 is fully honored in Texas.”
  • On March 13, 2018, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the majority of the provisions of SB 4 could go into effect, only blocking a piece of the measure which did not allow elected officials to criticize or speak favorably about limiting immigration enforcement. However, the provisions that were not struck down allow local law enforcement to inquire about the immigration status of a detained person and mandates that all ICE detainers be honored.
  • In the summer of 2018, Paxton refused to condemn the Trump Administration’s policy of separating families, saying it was President Trump’s job “to enforce the law, not to make it up. What he’s doing is securing the border, just like he said he’d do.”
  • In an October 2018 interview on Fox News, Paxton said that he supported President Trump’s proposal to end birthright citizenship: “You create an incentive for somebody to cross the border, have a baby and suddenly they’re a citizen. It doesn’t make any sense and I’m glad the president’s taking a look at this and considering this option.”
  • In addition to making life as difficult as possible for immigrants in Texas, Paxton has helped to lead the charge in ending DACA and deporting Dreamers.
  • Texas led the opposition against President Obama’s 2014 executive actions on immigration through DHS, which in addition to expanding the DACA program would have protected the undocumented parents of U.S. citizens and permanent residents from deportation and allowed them to work legally.
  • Just two days after President Obama’s announcement on DAPA and the expanded DACA program, The Washington Post reported that then-Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) lawyer Kris Kobach had stated at a community forum that he had “already begun drafting a suit as the lead attorney, with plans to file it in early December,” and that “Texas is interested in being a plaintiff.” On December 3, 2014, then-Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott filed a lawsuit challenging DAPA and DACA+. From there, the newly-elected Attorney General, Ken Paxton, carried out the lawsuit.
  • After the U.S. Supreme Court allowed an injunction against the DAPA and DACA+ programs to remain in place in June 2016, IRLI, the legal arm of flagship anti-immigrant group FAIR, announced it had “advised the Texas Attorney-General’s office on key facets of the case.”
  • In June of 2017, Paxton lead ten Republican state attorney generals in threatening to amend their pending DAPA lawsuit to sue over DACA 2012 unless President Trump ended the program by September 5, 2017.
  • During an October 2017 Justice Department Oversight Hearing, Sessions refused to deny that he had any communication with Texas AG Ken Paxton or any other attorneys general who were “threatening to bring a lawsuit to void DACA before the decision was made by Trump Administration.” Sessions claimed that these kinds of conversations were privileged; however, Paxton had already confirmed talks with the Trump Administration earlier in the month.
    • According to deposition transcripts with Gene Hamilton, the then-DHS advisor acknowledged he’d been the author of the agency’s memo which repealed DACA, and had had several conversations with the Texas Attorney General’s office, including Ken Paxton himself, before and after that office led an effort threatening legal action if DACA was not repealed before September 5, 2017.
  • In an op-ed for USA Today entitled: Donald Trump Should Keep his Promise to Dump DACA, Paxton again challenged 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 Wall Street Journal, Paxton attempted to defend his 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.”

Greg Abbott

Governor of Texas

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has openly targeted immigrants in his state during his tenure, most notably seeking to dismantle DACA and ending his state’s refugee resettlement program. After working to block DAPA and an expanded version of DACA in 2014, Abbott signed SB 4 into law in Texas in 2017.

  • Abbott has made immigration crackdowns a key part of his agenda both as Texas Attorney General and as the state’s governor. In addition to Abbott and current Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s legal attacks on DAPA and DACA, the Texas politician withdrew the state from the federal refugee resettlement program in 2016, forcing agencies to negotiate directly with the federal government for funding, and signed into law SB4; the harsh interior enforcement immigration measure which has been compared to Arizona’s SB 1070.
  • The Texas Justice department is behind many of the legal attacks on DACA and Dreamers, and in October 2017, Ken Paxton admitted to having had conversations with the Trump Administration, including the Department of Justice about ending DACA.
  • Governor Abbott complained about a Supreme Court decision which found denying public education to K-12 students based on their immigration status unconstitutional. In August 2019, Abbott complained about the decision on Twitter saying: “5 liberals on the Supreme Court ruled that Texas had to provide and fund public education for illegal immigrants. The next decade, in Texas v. U. S., Federal courts rejected our lawsuit that the federal government should pay for that education cost.”
  • In June 2018, Gov. Abbott defended President Trump’s policy of separating children from their parents, and instead blamed Democrats in Congress for the humanitarian crisis while speaking with a local news network. The governor followed this with a letter to the Texas delegation putting the responsibility on them, rather than calling on the Trump Administration to end the manufactured crisis it had started.
  • According to a 2019 fundraising letter brought to light by the Texas Signal and the Texas Tribune, Abbott called on Republicans to “defend” Texas against undocumented immigrants crossing along the U.S.-Mexico border: “Unless you and I want liberals to succeed in their plan to transform Texas — and our entire country — through illegal immigration, this is a message we MUST send.” The letter was sent to his supporters just one day before the massacre in El Paso, Texas when a gunman who targeted Latinx people opened fired at a Walmart, killing twenty-two people.
  • The Texas governor pushed for increases in harsh and unpopular measures such as the border wall by misrepresenting immigrants as criminals. In 2014, Abbott wrongly claimed that 3,000 murders had been conducted by undocumented immigrants in Texas due to lax border control.
  • In 2019, Governor Abbott stood behind a botched voter purge that incorrectly claimed 95,000 non-citizens were registered to vote, a claim widely debunked and has previously called voter fraud an “epidemic.”
  • In 2016, Gov. Abbott withdrew Texas from the federal refugee program after he unsuccessfully sued to keep Syrian refugees out of Texas. Following President Trump’s Muslim ban, which included restrictions on refugee entry, the state’s resettlement efforts have dwindled.
  • In May 2017, Governor Abbott signed S.B.4 into law via 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, called on the governor to veto it.
  • Abbott and Ken Paxton have spent years launching legal attacks on the DACA program, and its recipients, in an attempt to have the program deemed unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court and to expel Dreamers from the U.S.
  • Just two days after President Obama’s announcement on DAPA and an expansion of the DACA program, The Washington Post reported that then-IRLI lawyer Kris Kobach stated at a community forum that he had “already begun drafting a suit as the lead attorney, with plans to file it in early December,” and that “Texas is interested in being a plaintiff.” On December 3, 2014, then-Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott filed a lawsuit challenging DAPA and DACA+. From there, the newly elected Attorney General, Ken Paxton, shepherded the lawsuit to the U.S. Supreme Court, which agreed to hear the case, but remained divided and gave no decision on the case in a 4-4 tie.
  • In June 2017, President Trump rescinded the DAPA memo. Abbott’s Attorney General Ken Paxton thanked President Trump, but swiftly threatened that the United States should also rescind the DACA program or he might amend the U.S. v. Texas case to make the DACA program and its constitutionality its central question. A few months later in September 2017, Trump repealed the 2012 DACA program as well, citing legal vulnerabilities. After several federal courts barred the Trump Administration from ending the program, Texas filed a lawsuit in Judge Andrew Hanen’s court seeking a nationwide injunction against DACA renewals in May 2018.
  • IRLI is one of the primary architects behind the legal attacks on undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. at a young age and the DACA program. Following the Supreme Court’s failure to reach a majority decision in the U.S. v. Texas case, IRLI issued a press release lauding the outcome, and confirming its behind-the-scenes work to attack these immigrants: “IRLI advised the Texas Attorney-General’s office on key facets of the case and filed a total of six friend-of-the-court briefs throughout the case’s proceedings.” It has been reported that Kris Kobach who worked for IRLI for a number of years was a close ally of both Ken Paxton and Greg Abbott, the key players in the U.S. vs Texas case.

Thomas Hodgson

Sheriff of Bristol County, Massachusetts

First elected in 1997, Sheriff Thomas Hodgson of Bristol County, MA, has, in many ways, replaced Joe Arpaio as America’s most anti-immigrant sheriff. In recent years, Hodgson has worked hand in hand with national anti-immigrant groups to the point that he is now a member of the Federation for American Immigration Reform’s (FAIR) advisory board.

  • Hodgson was first elected in 1997, but it was not until years later that Hodgson made anti-immigrant advocacy one of his biggest priorities.
  • In 2012, Hodgson accepted an invitation from FAIR to participate in its annual “border school” in El Paso, Texas. The school brings together sheriffs from around the country who participate in workshops led by anti-immigrant groups and local law enforcement. According to FAIR’s annual report, “Sheriff Hodgson of Bristol County, Massachusetts, was so impressed with the “school,” he signed on to host an all-day training session in his jurisdiction.” Hodgson’s working relationship with FAIR and other anti-immigrant groups only strengthened as time went on.
  • In 2013, Hodgson vocally opposed the “Gang of Eight” comprehensive immigration package, S 744, introduced in the Senate. He signed on to a letter with a number of other sheriffs who’ve worked closely with anti-immigrant groups in opposition to S 744. The letter claimed, “The degree to which this legislation tolerates both past and future criminal activities ensures legalization and a path to citizenship for many criminal aliens and gang members currently residing in the United States.” Also in 2013, Hodgson participated in a press event organized by then-Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions in opposition to S 744.
  • A year later, Hodgson organized a gathering of sheriffs in Washington, D.C., who spoke out against executive actions on immigration taken by President Obama. In attendance was anti-government former sheriff Richard Mack. Mack gave an interview to the anti-Semitic tabloid American Free Press at the event. According to research from the Center for New Community (CNC), FAIR was directly involved in the planning of Hodgson’s event.
  • The CNC report also found, through FOIA requests, that Hodgson was using a personal email account to communicate with FAIR and not his Bristol County Sheriff’s Office email.
  • Following the election of Donald Trump, Sheriff Hodgson signed an agreement with ICE and DHS to participate in the 287(g) program, allowing state and local law enforcement to act as immigration enforcement officers.
  • In February of 2018, Hodgson was invited to the White House to participate in a roundtable discussion on immigration. In 2019, Hodgson was again invited to the White House to participate in President Trump’s veto of legislation designed to overturn the national emergency he declared regarding an increase in asylum seekers coming from Central America.
  • On September 25, 2019, Hodgson organized a “Badges and Angels” press conference on Capitol Hill with FAIR. Acting USCIS Director Ken Cuccinelli and Congressman Andy Biggs were featured speakers. One day later, Hodgson along with nearly 200 sheriffs from around the country presented President Trump with a plaque at an event sponsored in part by FAIR. During a photo op at the White House, President Trump called the gift a “great honor.”
  • In 2017, Hodgson joined FAIR’s board of advisors, despite the fact that the organization was founded by white nationalist John Tanton, took over $1 million in funding from the eugenicist Pioneer Fund, and has past and present employees who have demonized immigrants.
  • Hodgson provided an endorsement for FAIR that is published on its website. The endorsement reads, “FAIR is one of the greatest organizations to be able to work with because they have provided us the opportunity to talk to America about one of the most important issues, if not the most important issue, impacting our communities.”
  • In his 2014 letter inviting sheriffs to join him at his event in Washington, D.C., Hodgson included the bogus statistic, first publicized by Rep. Steve King, that “25 people in the U.S. are killed each day by illegal immigrants.” When asked in an interview by CNC about where he got that information, Hodgson responded, “That piece comes from, I think it’s actually, let me just think for a second. Oh boy. I’ll find it for you.”
  • Hodgson infamously offered in 2017 to send people incarcerated in Bristol County to the border help build the wall that Trump promised during his campaign. Jessica Vaughan of CIS agreed with his proposal, stating, “If any of the inmates working on the wall are criminal aliens from south of the border, they’ll be that much closer for deportation. Not only that, they can use their new skills to support themselves in their home country.”
  • Hodgson has attended FAIR’s Hold Their Feet to the Fire event on multiple occasions. The event brings together anti-immigrant elected officials, activists and radio hosts who flood the airwaves with nativist rhetoric during a two-day period. At the 2017 event, Hodgson told one radio host that arrest warrants should be issued to elected officials pledging to provide sanctuary for the undocumented. It is not the first time he has made this argument.
  • In 2018, Hodgson signed a letter sent to members of Congress by the National Sheriffs Association in opposition to sanctuary policies. The letter read, in part, “Further delay and inaction on immigration reform will cost more innocent lives, more financial hardships, and an even greater decline in the public trust that is essential to the preservation of our Republic. Without border security and immigration reform, more Americans will continue to be victims of crime. Now is the time to act!”
  • Hodgson has been opposed to any sanctuary efforts throughout his tenure. In 2015 he spoke out against a proposal modeled on California’s Trust Act, that would limit law enforcement cooperation with ICE unless the person in question was convicted of a serious crime.
  • In 2018, he teamed up with Jessica Vaughan of CIS and others to denounce proposed legislation that would provide a form of sanctuary relief for undocumented immigrants in Massachussetts.
  • Hodgson was vocally opposed to the Obama Administration’s exercise of prosecutorial discretion to prioritize immigration enforcement. At a press conference in 2015, he stated, “It is unconscionable that after spending resources to investigate and apprehend criminal illegal aliens and remove them from our streets that the federal government would order sheriffs to release them back into our neighborhoods to victimize our citizens, legal residents, and their families once again.”
  • In 2018, Hodgson presented President Trump with a plaque at an event in Washington, D.C., that coincided with the National Sheriffs’ Association’s announcement of a crowdfunding effort to help pay for Trump’s promised border wall. Hodgson is a prominent member of the National Sheriffs’ Association. When presenting Trump with the plaque, Hodgson said, “You and your administration have given law enforcement its footing back and given law enforcement the support and tools necessary to protect the people in our neighborhoods, communities and our entire nation.”

Daryl Metcalfe

Founder of State Legislators for Legal Immigration (SLLI)

One of the most outspoken anti-immigrant elected officials at the state level, Pennsylvania Rep. Daryl Metcalfe has strong ties to national anti-immigrant groups and is the founder of State Legislators for Legal Immigration, the group of state-based elected officials responsible for introducing some of the harshest anti-immigrant legislation seen in the past decade.

  • Metcalfe was first elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in 1998 and began cultivating relationships with anti-immigrant groups a few years later.
  • In 2007, Metcalfe founded State Legislators for Legal Immigration (SLLI), a network of anti-immigrant elected officials who worked directly with the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) and its legal arm Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) to introduce attrition through enforcement or “self-deportation” style legislation at the state level. According to a press release, “Metcalfe founded this national coalition of state lawmakers with the mission of protecting American lives, personal liberties, property and jobs from the clear and present dangers of illegal immigration by demanding full cooperation among federal, state and local governments to secure America’s borders against unlawful invasion.” Other founding members of SLLI included Ken Cuccinelli, Russell Pearce and Kim Thatcher. In recent years, SLLI has become dormant, with a number of its founding members either no longer in office or moving into a higher office.
  • A few months later, Metcalfe traveled to Washington, D.C. where he and other anti-immigrant state-level elected officials held a press conference with Dan Stein of FAIR and Mike Hethmon of IRLI. The purpose of the press conference was to push federal elected officials to reject any immigration reform measures that would provide relief for undocumented individuals. Metcalfe told the press, “Congressional dereliction of duty has resulted in Americans suffering the consequences of identity theft, property theft, drug running, human trafficking, sexual assaults, murder, increased gang activity, terrorism and the many other clear and present dangers directly associated with the illegal alien invasion. It is long past time for Congress to put Americans first by legislatively burning the illegal alien amnesty national in-security blanket.”
  • At the same press event, Metcalfe announced that SLLI would be entering into a “working partnership” with IRLI to create a set of model attrition through enforcement legislation that state legislators across the country could introduce in their legislatures. The legislation would target things like in-state tuition for undocumented students and making the E-Verify program mandatory.
  • This model legislation paved the way for a wave of nativist legislation culminating with Arizona’s notorious SB 1070 law, introduced by SLLI member Russell Pearce. Pearce was in D.C. with Metcalfe for the press event with FAIR and IRLI.
  • Metcalfe was a vocal opponent of sanctuary cities a decade before the most recent wave of anti-immigrant organizing on the issue. In 2008 he announced a package of anti-sanctuary bills he dubbed the “National Security Begins at Home illegal immigration reform package,” after acknowledging that Pennsylvania did not have any so-called “sanctuary cities.” Metcalfe said his goal was to designate his state “a permanent no-vacancy zone for illegal aliens and the corresponding threats to our national sovereignty and personal safety.”
  • During the height of the push for attrition through enforcement legislation at the state level, Metcalfe attacked the 14th Amendment which grants citizenship to all born in the United States. In a press release in January of 2011, Metcalfe stated, “Currently, hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens are crossing U.S. borders to give birth and exploit their child as an “anchor baby,” as a means to obtain residency, access taxpayer-funded benefits and steal American jobs for themselves and for their families.” Again, IRLI provided support for the Metcalfe initiative.
  • Later that year, Metcalfe again traveled to Washington, D.C., this time to participate in FAIR’s annual Hold Their Feet to the Fire event.
  • In 2017, Metcalfe made a renewed attempt to pass a “National Security Begins at Home,” package following the election of Donald Trump. “There’s kind of a new sheriff in town in the White House,” Metcalfe told reporters.
  • In 2015, Metcalfe introduced an English-only bill and invited Robert Vandervoort, then head of the anti-immigrant group ProEnglish, founded by white nationalist John Tanton, to testify. Vandervoort previously led the Chicagoland Friends of American Renaissance, a chapter of the white nationalist American Renaissance group headed by Jared Taylor, one of the most influential white nationalists of modern times. When pressed about Vandervoort’s views, Metcalfe stated, “It was an email put out alleging that somebody was a white nationalist, which is quite a bit different from a white supremacist. To say somebody is a nationalist and for the independence of their country and a patriot to defending their country, is a lot different from saying somebody is a racist.” Metcalfe received praise from The Daily Stormer, a notorious neo-Nazi website, for his comments.
  • In 2008, Metcalfe rejected a resolution in the Pennsylvania House to recognize the 60th annual convention of the Ahmadiyya Muslim communitiy, saying, “The Muslims do not recognize Jesus Christ as God.”
  • In 2010, after introducing an SB 1070-style piece of omnibus legislation in Pennsylvania, Metcalfe wrote in an op-ed, “In the larger picture, the purpose of this legislation is to offer every illegal alien residing in Pennsylvania two options: leave immediately (‘self deport’) or go to jail.”
  • In 2014, Metcalfe introduced legislation aiming to take away licenses for any care facility providing shelter for unaccompanied minors fleeing violence in their home countries. According to Penn Live Metcalfe stated, “Pennsylvania residents have expressed concerns that unaccompanied illegal alien youth entering the Commonwealth could be carrying contagious diseases and that older youth could be members of violent gangs.”
  • Metcalfe has repeatedly used the derogatory term “anchor babies.” At a 2010 press conference to discuss legislation to scrap birthright citizenship, Metcalfe stated that his goal was to dismantle “an anchor baby status, in which an illegal alien invader comes into our country and has a child on our soil that is granted citizenship automatically.”
  • During the height of the “Birther” movement targeting President Obama, Metcalfe told the conspiracy theory website World Net Daily, “Once we’re sworn in we’ll be introducing the legislation that would require presidential candidates to prove their natural born citizenship before they are allowed to file petitions to have their name on the state ballot.”
  • In 2007, Metcalfe released a dehumanizing report entitled “Invasion PA” which vilified immigrants. In a press release announcing the report, Metcalfe scolded the United States government for what he called its “refusal to honor the constitutional obligation of securing America’s borders against foreign invaders.” According to the press release, then-Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta joined Metcalfe and his colleagues at the PA Capitol Rotunda for the release of the report, which was quickly lambasted by the ACLU of Pennsylvania.
  • Metcalfe repeatedly refers to undocumented immigrants as “invaders,” and in a 2017 press conference stated, “Every illegal alien is a law breaker who broke the law from the time they stepped foot across our border to remaining within our border by violating a multitude of laws just to exist in our economy.”

Joe Gruters

Florida State Senator

Despite having only been in his current office for less than a year, Florida Sen. Joe Gruters was instrumental in getting anti-sanctuary bill SB-168 passed. Gruters worked closely on the bill with a host of local and national anti-immigrant groups.

  • Gruters served in the Florida House between 2016-2018 before being elected to the Senate in November of 2018.
  • In December of 2018, Gruters introduced an anti-sanctuary bill, SB 168, despite the fact that there are no so-called “sanctuary cities” in Florida. Another identical bill by Sen. Bean was also introduced.
  • According to emails obtained by The News Service of Florida, Gruters worked directly with Dave Caulkett from the anti-immigrant group Floridians for Immigration Enforcement (FLIMEN), in the drafting of SB 168. Caulkett told The News Service of Florida, “Of course we helped. How influential we were? I don’t know. I can’t say.”
  • The bill closely resembled model legislation sent by FLIMEN to elected officials via email in 2016, according to emails obtained by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).
  • Gruters relied on facts and figures from both FAIR and CIS to justify the legislation, even after Caulkett told him in an email not to publicize the information in case there would be backlash during testimony on the bill.
  • A further email obtained by the Herald-Tribune indicated that FAIR staff worked with FLIMEN to provide advice to Gruters staff on how to “defend the sanctuary bill against critics.” Gruters attempted to distance himself from FAIR, a group founded by white nationalist John Tanton, stating, “This should not be about race; this is about protecting the rule of law in our country. I don’t want to deal with anybody who has hate in their heart and in my brief interactions with these guys they’ve never said anything hateful.”
  • Gruters’ bill was signed into law by his ally, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, in June of 2019. DeSantis stated in the signing ceremony, “[s]anctuary cities basically create law-free zones where people can come to our state illegally and our country illegally, commit criminal offenses and then just walk right out the door and continue to do it… In Florida, that will not happen.”
  • Gruters went on a tour of the U.S./Mexico border and produced a mini-documentary before announcing his plans for a “listening tour” of Florida to hear what residents have to say about immigration. The tour was later scrapped.
  • Gruters also announced plans to introduce E-Verify legislation during the next Florida legislative session.
  • FLIMEN endorsed Gruters bid for the Florida Senate back in 2018, writing, “Floridians for Immigration Enforcement (FLIMEN) enthusiastically endorses Joe Gruters for Florida Senate, District 23. Joe Gruters sponsored a mandatory E-Verify bill in his freshman year as a State Representative. This ACTION separates Joe Gruters from others who PROMISE to support immigration but far too often renege on their campaign rhetoric.”
  • During the signing ceremony for his anti-sanctuary bill, Gruters told reporters he wanted to, “mak[e] sure we protect American citizens from the very bad, criminal illegal aliens that are here committing the worst crimes imaginable.”
  • In a July 2019 piece in the Englewood Sun, Gruters wrote, “The only problem is that after a certain point the barrier just ends and there is a gaping hole allowing illegal immigrants to come and go at will. They can be anybody. Families looking for a better life. Or drug and sex trafficers looking to wreak havoc on our country.”
  • In a tweet announcing his new mini-documentary about his visit to the U.S./Mexico border, Gruters wrote, “I just returned from the US-Mexico border and saw firsthand the illegal immigration crisis threatening America. Our system is shot and Washington continues to fail us. Every member of Congress should be required to visit the border before spouting off on the subject.”
  • Gruters attended a press event to drum up support for his bill organized by FLIMEN. Two anti-immigrant groups participated in the press conference, Legal Immigrants for America (LIFA) and a representative from The Remembrance Project, founded by Maria Espinoza. At the press event, Amapola Hansberger of LIFA claimed, “[undocumented people] will kill you.”
  • In 2019, Gruters hung a sign outside his office with the title, “Faces of Criminal Aliens Deported from Sarasota County.” The sign showed the photos of dozens of individuals, mainly people of color, with the words “Criminal Aliens” in a larger red font. It was quickly denounced as racist by immigrant rights groups. Gruters dismissed the accusations.
  • Following the passage of Gruters’ anti-sanctuary law, the ACLU issued a travel advisory for immigrants of color to take precautions when traveling in the state. Gruters responded by attacking the ACLU, “You talk about fearmongering and upping the rhetoric even more? That’s one way to do it,” and calling the travel advisory, “borderline race-baiting” and “misguided at best.”
  • Gruters has also vocally opposed providing driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants in the state of Florida.

Joe Arpaio

Former Maricopa County, AZ Sheriff

Joe Arpaio has made a career out of exploiting immigrants in his prisons and attacking immigrants through his policies and public statements. In 2016 he was found in contempt of court for violating “an order meant to curtail racial profiling in his agency,” but was pardoned by President Trump a year later. Arpaio announced a bid to get his old job back in 2020.

  • Arpaio served as Maricopa County Sheriff from 1993 to 2017, a tenure that saw multiple recall efforts and legal challenges due to his conduct and that of his officers.
  • Arpaio often bragged about the poor treatment of people in Maricopa County jails, which included forced labor on “chain gangs,” housing people in a “tent city” next to the jail in scorching Arizona heat, serving rotten baloney sandwiches, and attempting to humiliate people with a requirement to wear pink underwear.
  • In 2004, Arpaio mandated that all undocumented immigrants in his jail register with the Selective Service System for potential millitary service.
  • From 2004 to 2007, over 400 reported sex crimes were “inadequately investigated and in some instances were not worked at all” by Arpaio’s office, according to law enforcement familiar with the cases. Many of the victims were the children of undocumented immigrants.
  • Ahead of the 2008 election, Arpaio attended a large radio event in Iowa hosted by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) and featuring a number of nativist elected officials such as Rep. Steve King and anti-immigrant activists including Jim Gilchrist, the co-founder of the Minuteman Project.
  • In 2010, following the passage of Arizona’s draconian anti-immigrant SB 1070 law, Arpaio announced that he was forming a “posse” of civilian volunteers to assist his officers with law enforcement duties. Among the celebrities to join Arpaio was actor Steven Seagal.
  • Arpaio spoke at a large anti-immigrant gathering in support of SB-1070 in June of 2010 with Russell Pearce and others. In fact Pearce previously worked as Arpaio’s chief deputy. Both men have spoken at events together in the past.
  • For a number of years under Arpaio’s watch, his department would conduct raids, traffic stops, and other actions in an attempt to round up undocumented immigrants. Due to these tactics, Arpaio faced a number of lawsuits, including from President Obama’s justice department, alleging racial profiling.
  • In 2010, Arpaio hired IRLI lawyer Kris Kobach to train his law enforcement officers on immigration issues.
  • Arpaio was a big supporter of Donald Trump during his run for President, introducing Trump at a rally he held in Phoenix in 2015 and endorsing him in 2016.
  • In 2016, Arpaio was found in contempt of court for violating “an order meant to curtail racial profiling in his agency.”
  • Later that year, he lost his reelection bid, ending a 24-year stint as Maricopa County Sheriff.
  • But in 2017, President Donald Trump pardoned Arpaio, stating, “Throughout his time as sheriff, Arpaio continued his life’s work of protecting the public from the scourges of crime and illegal immigration.” Arpaio and former Arizona Governor Jan Brewer had previously appeared with Trump on a Sean Hannity segment live from Arizona.
  • In 2017, FAIR’s Dan Stein defended Arpaio, stating, “Clearly Joe Arpaio won the war, even though he lost this particular battle. Like any good American citizen, he recognized his obligation and was willing to pay the price for a form of civil disobedience.”
  • Arpaio has granted multiple interviews to the anti-Semitic tabloid American Free Press (AFP). AFP was founded by Willis Carto, a Holocaust denier. In a May 2019 interview Arpaio was asked if he read AFP, and he responded, “Yeah, I love your paper.”
  • Arpaio was one of the leading voices promoting the racist “Birther” conspiracy theory targeting President Obama. In the same interview with AFP, Arpaio said, “Now, the irony would be if [former President Obama] was here illegally—that’s an immigration issue. I never talked about him being here illegally or from somewhere else. I said I’m investigating a fake Hawaiian government official document. And I can’t get anywhere with this. If it wasn’t him, I’m sure somebody would come to me and investigate it.”
  • In 2015, Arpaio was the keynote speaker at a rally in Salem, Oregon, organized by the anti-immigrant group Oregonians for Immigration Reform (OFIR).
  • In 2009, Arpaio compared undocumented immigrants to fruits and vegetables and called them dirty, stating, “All these people that come over, they could come with disease. There’s no control, no health checks or anything. They check fruits and vegetables, how come they don’t check people? No one talks about that! They’re all dirty.”
  • In 2006, Arpaio openly threatened undocumented immigrants in an interview with the Washington Times. “My message is clear: If you come here and I catch you, you’re going straight to jail. We’re going to arrest any illegal who violates this new law, and I’m not going to turn these people over to federal authorities so they can have a free ride back to Mexico. I’ll give them a free ride to my jail.”
  • When putting together a press release about the swine flu disease in 2009, Arpaio suggested titling it, “Illegal Immigration Breeds Crime, Disease” according to a profile in The New Yorker.
  • Arpaio’s tent city, which lasted over 20 years, was often compared to a concentration camp for its inhumane conditions. Arpaio dismissed the comparisons in an interview with The Guardian in 2017, stating, “But even if it was a concentration camp, what difference does it make? I still survived. I still kept getting re-elected.”
  • In an interview with The New Yorker in 2009, Arpaio bragged about low costs in terms that dehumanized people in Maricopa County jails, “It costs more to feed the dogs than it does the inmates.” The same profile discussed how Arpaio allowed individuals who were incarcerated to watch the Weather Channel, “So these morons will know how hot it’s going to be while they are working on my chain gangs.”
  • The same New Yorker profile quoted Arpaio as saying, “We’re talking about drop houses and human smuggling. I think we should start off with a paragraph about how I’m concerned about the illegals coming over the border. We can’t say they’re all Mexicans. That would be racial profiling,” when stratagizing about a press release.
  • When he ran the Maricopa County Jail, Arpaio did not allow undocumented immigrants to visit individuals incarcerated there.

Russell Pearce

Former Arizona State Senator, Former Member of State Legislators for Legal Immigration (SLLI)

One of the most outspoken anti-immigrant elected officials at the state level, Russell Pearce was responsible for advancing Arizona’s draconian SB 1070 legislation — the backlash to which ultimately led to his recall.

  • Russell Pearce was first elected to the Arizona House of Representatives in 2000 before being elected to the Senate in 2006. Before his time in office, Pearce served under notorious sheriff Joe Arpaio as a deputy in the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.
  • While in the House in 2004, Pearce was the “architect” of Arizona’s anti-immigrant Proposition 200 measure that passed with the assistance of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).
  • In 2007, Pearce was one of the first state legislators to join Darryl Metcalfe’s State Legislators for Legal Immigration (SLLI) group. At a press conference announcing his SLLI membership, Pearce stated, “With Democrats in Congress throwing the border gates wide open, Arizona must step up and stop this lawlessness. These open-border pro amnesty liberals don’t have their communities being invaded by drug smugglers, thieves, and gangs.” Other SLLI founding members included Ken Cuccinelli and Kim Thatcher.
  • Also in 2007, Pearce held a press event in Phoenix with representatives from FAIR and a FAIR front group called “You Don’t Speak For Me” regarding anti-immigrant legislation he hoped to get on the ballot for the 2008 election.
  • In 2008, Pearce told NPR, “I will not back off until we solve the problem of this illegal invasion. Invaders, that’s what they are. Invaders on the American sovereignty and it can’t be tolerated.”
  • Pearce worked directly with then-Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) lawyer Kris Kobach to draft SB 1070, an omnibus anti-immigrant law that resulted in multiple lawsuits from civil rights groups and President Obama’s Justice Department, a mass boycott of Arizona and a recall election that Pearce lost. Pearce was the first elected official in Arizona history to be recalled.
  • Pearce spoke at a large anti-immigrant gathering in support of SB 1070 in June of 2010 with Joe Arpaio and others. In fact, Pearce formerly worked as Arpaio’s chief deputy. Arpaio and Pearce have a history of speaking at events together.
  • The harshest provisions of SB 1070 required residents to carry proof of citizenship with them and allow law enforcement to check the immigration status of anyone they had “reasonable suspicion” of being undocumented.
  • In early January 2011, Pearce again teamed up with Darryl Metcalfe and SLLI to announce the introduction of legislation aimed at ending birthright citizenship. Pearce did not attend the press conference but submitted the following comment, “The law is clear, the history is clear, the 14th Amendment is clear; natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens, for, if he is born there of a foreigner, it will be only the place of his birth, and not his country.”
  • In 2012 following his recall, Pearce became the head of the anti-immigrant group Ban Amnesty Now (BAN). Former Arizona Governor Jan Brewer supported Pearce during his recall election, sending out a fundraising email for him in 2011.
  • In 2014, a law that Pearce introduced back in 2010 automatically denying bail to undocumented immigrants was struck down by the 9th Circuit Court, much to the chagrin of Pearce.
  • Pearce maintained a relationship with known neo-Nazi J.T. Ready. According to the Phoenix New Times, “Ready was a man Pearce mentored for years, supported in a race for the Mesa City Council, groomed for higher political office, and inducted into his faith—the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” In 2012, Ready shot and killed his girlfriend, her daughter, her daughter’s boyfriend, and the couple’s infant child before turning the gun on himself. 
  • In 2006, Pearce sent an email sent an email containing an article from the neo-Nazi group National Alliance to his supporters. The article contained lines like “any racially conscious White person who looks askance at miscegenation or at the rapidly darkening racial situation in America.” Later in the email it attacked the media for pushing “a world in which every voice proclaims the equality of the races, the inerrant nature of the Jewish ‘Holocaust’ tale, the wickedness of attempting to halt the flood of non-White aliens pouring across our borders….”
  • In 2012, the ACLU uncovered a trove of racist emails Pearce sent throughout the years. Those emails contained lines like, “The United States faces the greatest internal threat to its existence since the Civil War. It faces disintegration of its culture; of its language; of its cohesiveness as a nation of free people. It faces massive infusion of unrelenting poverty; of crime; of diseases; of civil violence; of corruption at all levels; and worst of all, the United States faces balkanization that will destroy the fabric of its ability to function as a peaceful nation,” and, “Can we maintain our social fabric as a nation with Spanish fighting English for dominance? It’s like injecting yourself with cancer cells to see what will happen. It’s like importing leper colonies and hoping we don’t catch leprosy. It’s like importing thousands of Islamic jihadists and hoping they adapt to the American Dream.”
  • In 2006, Pearce told a local Arizona radio station, “We know what we need to do. In 1953, Dwight D. Eisenhower put together a task force called ‘Operation Wetback.’ He removed, in less than a year, 1.3 million illegal aliens. They must be deported.”
  • Pearce has frequently repeated bogus statistics regarding undocumented immigrants. Pearce has claimed that “60% of the homicides in Phoenix involve illegal aliens,” and that “’67 percent’ of law enforcement officers killed in ‘the last few years’ [sic] have been murdered by illegal aliens.”
  • In justifying his goal of ending birthright citizenship, Pearce claimed, “This is an orchestrated effort by them to come here and have children to gain access to the great welfare state we’ve created.”
  • In an interview with NPR in 2010, Pearce said, “People need to focus on the cost of not enforcing our laws and securing our border. It is the Trojan horse destroying our country and a republic cannot survive as a lawless nation.”
  • In 2011, Pearce introduced a bill that would deny the children of undocumented immigrants the right to attend public schools in Arizona. Pearce justified the legislation by stating, “If we’re going to stop this invasion — and it is an invasion — you’re going to have to stop rewarding people for breaking those laws. I make no apology for demanding the taxpayers be protected.”

Kim Thatcher

Oregon State Representative and Former Member of State Legislators for Legal Immigration (SLLI)

Since she was first elected to the Oregon House in 2004, Thatcher has openly associated with anti-immigrant and anti-government activists alike. She has introduced and supported a plethora of anti-immigrant legislation. At a 2006 rally, Thatcher blamed her state for giving “cover to too many people wreaking havoc on our society.”

  • Thatcher won her first Oregon House race in 2004 and it did not take her long to start working with Oregon’s largest anti-immigrant group, Oregonians for Immigration Reform (OFIR). In 2006 she spoke at an anti-immigrant rally organized by the group. At the event, she told the crowd that the state was giving too much, “cover to too many people wreaking havoc on our society.”
  • A year later, Thatcher introduced a total of ten anti-immigrant bills, including making English the official language or Oregon, barring drives licenses for undocumented immigrants, and other harsh measures.
  • The same year, Thatcher joined a coalition of anti-immigrant elected officials called State Legislators for Legal Immigration (SLLI), as a founding member. The coalition was started by Daryl Metcalfe of Pennsylvania. Soon after, SLLI entered into a “working partnership” with the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) in an effort to get anti-immigrant legislation, similar to the measures Thatcher championed in Oregon, passed at the state level across the country. Other SLLI founding members included Russell Pearce and Ken Cuccinelli.
  • In 2009, Thatcher introduced another slew of anti-immigrant legislation including enhanced cooperation with ICE and mandatory E-Verify implementation. This legislation, combined with the measures introduced two years prior, were all part of the anti-immigrant movement’s attrition through enforcement or “self-deportation” strategy designed to make daily life so hard for immigrants that they “self-deport,” either out of the state or out of the country.
  • The harshest of these measures was Arizona’s infamous SB 1070, authored by SLLI member Russell Pearce. In 2010, Thatcher and other SLLI members filed an amicus brief in defense of SB 1070.
  • In 2014, Thatcher teamed up again with OFIR, this time signing on as a “chief petitioner” for OFIR’s ballot measure campaign to overturn a newly signed law granting drivers licenses to undocumented immigrants.
  • With support from national anti-immigrant groups like FAIR, OFIR and Thatcher were successful in gathering enough signatures to qualify for the ballot measure. Oregon voted to rescind the law, handing OFIR, Thatcher and the larger anti-immigrant movement a substantial victory.
  • In the same election, Thatcher was elected to the Oregon Senate.
  • In 2015, Thatcher and other SLLI members signed on to an amicus brief in support of a lawsuit opposing President Obama’s DAPA and an expansion of the DACA program.
  • In 2017, Thatcher supported efforts by OFIR and national anti-immigrant groups to repeal Oregon’s decades-old sanctuary law. Thatcher issued a press release titled, “Illicit political correctness and so-called ‘Sanctuary State’ laws imperiling Oregonians, going further down this road is madness and engenders violence.”
  • In 2015, Thatcher appeared alongside anti-government leader Mike Vanderboegh, who founded the 3% movement. In his speech, Vanderboegh threatened Oregon Governor Kate Brown with violence, telling the crowd, “this country has long had a remedy for tyrants—a second amendment remedy. So be careful for what you wish for, Madam—you may get it.”
  • In a 2015 radio interview, Thatcher said of Portland, “Rueben I’m afraid you’re going to sound a little more intelligent on these details than I am because I haven’t really been paying that close of attention to Portland. Because I’m fine with letting them self destruct.”
  • In opposition to a bill that would expand Oregon’s welcoming status, Thatcher issued a press release, stating, “Oregon has a serious human trafficking and sex trafficking problem. We need to stop calling Oregon a sanctuary state because it’s not a sanctuary at all. We should be empowering law enforcement, not rapists and sex offenders. You have two choices, you either embrace the rule of law, or you embrace lawbreakers.”
  • Thatcher is a regular at OFIR events—a group whose leadership has a long history of demonizing immigrants.
  • Despite earlier failures to pass mandatory E-Verify in Oregon, Thatcher has continued to introduce the legislation. After Thatcher sponsored it in 2013, OFIR issued a release encouraging members to press their representatives to advance the bill, writing, “If they don’t hear from you, they will succumb to the pressure of the pro-illegal alien advocacy groups that are pushing for even more rights and benefits for foreign nationals illegally present in our country.”

Jan Brewer

Former Governor of Arizona

As governor of Arizona, Brewer signed into law one of the harshest pieces of anti-immigrant legislation, SB1070, drafted by IRLI’s Kris Kobach, that prompted a mass economic boycott of her state and multiple lawsuits by civil rights organizations. The former Arizona governor has argued against the issuance of licenses for DACA recipients and after President Obama announced the program in 2012, Brewer changed the state’s policy, to do just that. The move was met with legal challenges, which Arizona’s Justice Department fought even after Brewer left office.

  • In 2010, then-Governor Brewer signed the Kobach-authored SB 1070 into law. That same year, she spoke at FAIR’s National Board of Advisors Conference. Brewer has remained a staunch supporter of the anti-immigrant movement since leaving office in 2015.
  • Brewer, who is a devoted supporter of President Trump, and has spoken at his campaign rallies, appeared alongside him and disgraced Sheriff Joe Arpaio in a Hannity segment in 2016. Later that year Brewer confirmed that she had advised the Trump transition team in 2016. The former governor has repeatedly praised the Trump Administration’s immigration policies, and in April 2019 she defended President Trump’s proposal to place some immigrants in localities they identified as sanctuary cities. In the same month she voiced her support for closing down the Southern border.
  • 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.”
  • In her memoir which she released in 2017 entitled Scorpions for Breakfast, Brewer defended the unconstitutional law which devastated the state calling it “a fair, effective and necessary response.”
  • In 2016 Brewer dismissed the importance of Latinx voters saying: “They don’t get out and vote.”
  • In 2012, Brewer stated that Maricopa County sheriff, Joe Arpaio has “been very successful.” In 2016, Arpaio and Brewer appeared alongside Trump for a campaign event.
  • In 2011, Brewer sent out a fundraising email in support of Russell Pearce.
  • In 2010 Brewer signed SB1070 into law. The harsh measure made it a state misdemeanor to be in Arizona without immigration documentation, turned local law enforcement into immigration agents, and enabled racial profiling. The law was met with immense opposition and, in a blow to Brewer, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down three of its four provisions. However, the court’s decision did not deter Brewer from her work to make life as difficult as possible for immigrants in Arizona and throughout the United States.
  • Soon after the Obama Administration announced DACA in 2012, Brewer changed the state’s policy to deny driver’s licenses to DACA recipients. The decision was again met with legal challenges and 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 were not authorized to be present in the United States under federal law, and did 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 which would become Brewer v. ADAC. Brewer’s litigation was pursued even after she left office, though in January 2019 Governor Ducey agreed to issue driver’s license to all DACA recipients. In 2017, IRLI submitted a legal brief in support of Brewer on the case.

Breitbart

Formerly headed by Steve Bannon, Breitbart News is a far-right syndicated news, opinion and commentary web site that routinely publishes anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim conspiracy theories and provides a platform to many anti-immigrant talking heads. Breitbart has used its rising platform to amplify the anti-immigrant movement’s messages. Reports and other publications produced by anti-immigrant groups like the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) and Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), reliably garner positive coverage from the outlet once described by Steve Bannon as “the platform for the alt-right.” In 2015, CIS awarded Breitbart reporter Neil Munro its Eugene Katz Award for Excellence in the Coverage of Immigration. Anti-immigrant hard-liners Kris Kobach, Dale Wilcox, and Marsha Blackburn all have written regular columns for Breitbart.

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 such as Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) and the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), 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 FAIR 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.” In 2017, twenty years later, Stein was an in-studio guest on Tucker Carlson Tonight multiple times. His appearances on the show have been largely friendly and non-combative. In one instance, FAIR gave exclusive access to the Tucker Carlson show of a new study that “shows the scale on which the United States is being plundered” by immigrants.

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 the Center for Immigration Studies’ (CIS) 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 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 fifteen 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, claimed after the devastating earthquake in Haiti that the country is, “so screwed up because it wasn’t colonized long enough,” and accused pro-immigrant faith leaders of “prostituting scripture.”

VDARE

VDARE is an anti-immigrant news site founded by English white nationalist Peter Brimelow in 1999. The site is named after Virginia Dare, the alleged first white child born in the New World. Brimelow founded VDARE not long after publishing his nativist screed Alien Nation, held up as a seminal text by anti-immigrant activists and white nationalists alike. VDARE is one of the most popular anti-immigrant websites, publishing Beltway whistleblowers, usually writing under synonyms, alongside the work of anti-Semites and white nationalists. In fact, more people visit the VDARE website than the FAIR or NumbersUSA websites, according to the Alexa website ratings. Though VDARE lacks the credibility of a “mainstream” media source, many of the nativist conspiracy theories peddled on VDARE for two decades are now espoused by Fox News and Breitbart.

Brimelow has longstanding ties to established anti-immigrant groups and figures. Brimelow regularly corresponded with John Tanton, according to Tanton’s personal memos, and his group is a recipient of Cordelia Scaife May’s Colcom Foundation. Brimelow has attended events organized by FAIR and was once interviewed for FAIR’s short-lived TV series Borderline. The Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) featured Brimelow in a 1998 report titled, “What, Then, Is the American, This New Man?” and regularly circulates VDARE’s content. CIS executive director Mark Krikorian has defended CIS’s circulation of content from VDARE by comparing it to the New York Times as an “important” site for immigration news. CIS fellow and Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) staffer John Miano was a regular contributor to VDARE for a number of years and he attended their annual Christmas party in New York in 2016. In 2012 Brimelow spoke at a panel organized by the anti-immigrant group ProEnglish at the Conservative Political Action Conference. Brimelow has also spoken at the annual Writers Workshop put on by The Social Contract Press, a publishing house founded by Tanton.

In reference to Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign speech deriding Mexicans as rapists, Brimelow, said that “there’s ethnic specialization in crime,” and “Hispanics do specialize in rape, particularly of children. They’re very prone to it, compared to other groups.” Brimelow has been linked to the Trump Administration. In August of 2018, the Washington Post reported that Brimelow attended a birthday party for President Trump’s top economic advisor, Larry Kudlow, at Kudlow’s home. In August 2019, Buzzfeed reported that the Department of Justice had circulated an anti-Semitic blog post from VDARE which contained “racial and ethnically tinged slurs” to all immigration court employees, including judges. In response to backlash from the immigration judges’ union, VDARE doubled down, publishing another blog the same week attacking Judge Tabaddor for leading the complaint and calling her an “idiot immigration judge” who made a “crazed attack on VDARE.” CIS, included this blog titled Idiot Immigration “Judge” Ashley Tabaddor Makes Crazed Attack On VDARE.com As “Anti-Semitic” Because Of The Word “Kritarch” (Which Is Greek), in their weekly “Immigration Opinions” newsletter for the week of August 23rd, 2019.

Brimelow uses VDARE to advance his white nationalist philosophy. In one instance Brimelow wrote that “diversity is not strength. It is weakness,” and according to an interview transcript published on the website, Brimelow told Fox News radio host Alan Colmes that if the U.S. no longer continued to have a white ethnic majority “historic American society as we know it will simply cease to exist.” VDARE has also published pieces from members of anti-immigrant groups such as Oregonians for Immigration Reform (OFIR) and the Dustin Inman Society (DIS).

The Social Contract Press

A project of white nationalist John Tanton’s umbrella organization, U.S., Inc., The Social Contract Press publishes a quarterly racist journal, hosts an annual gathering of anti-immigrant activists, and has published some of the most seminal anti-immigrant texts of the past quarter century, including the English translation of the racist novel The Camp of the Saints, by Jean Raspail. The current editor of the journal is another white nationalist, Wayne Lutton.

  • In 1990, John Tanton established the publishing house The Social Contract Press (TSCP) and a quarterly journal, The Social Contract. Tanton believed there was a lack of journals that consistently published on anti-immigrant topics and hoped that this would fill the void. TSCP also publishes occasional papers focusing on the alleged fiscal impacts of immigration that are penned by economist Edwin Rubeinstein, a contributor to the racist VDARE website.
  • TSCP is most known for republishing Jean Raspail’s infamous novel The Camp of the Saints into English. Linda Chavez, who served under three presidents and once served on the board of Tanton’s U.S. English described it as, “without a doubt the most vehemently racist book I have ever read.” Chavez resigned from the board of U.S. English after racially charged memos penned by Tanton were leaked to the press in the late 1980s and has denounced him since. Tanton had another view, writing, “We are indebted to Jean Raspail for his insights into the human condition, and for being 20 years ahead of his time. History will judge him more kindly than have some of his contemporaries.”
  • Also in 1994, TSCP published another racist screed, this time co-authored by Tanton and Wayne Lutton. The book was titled The Immigration Invasion and was banned in Canada for violating hate literature laws.
  • Since 1985, TSCP has hosted an annual Writers Workshop event. The Writers Workshop brings together anti-immigrant activists, elected officials and white nationalists to listen to speeches about the ills of immigration. A number of white nationalists have spoken at the event, including Peter Brimelow, founder of VDARE and Kevin DeAnna, the founder of the now-defunct far-right student group Youth for Western Civilization (YWC). A number of YWC members went on to become active in the white nationalist movement, including Devin Saucier, Matthew Heimbach and DeAnna. Elected officials have also spoken at the event including former Congressman Lou Barletta and Tom Tancredo, along with key anti-immigrant leaders such as Mark Krikorian, Jessica Vaughan, Robin Hvidston, John Miano, Cynthia Kendoll, Rosemary Jenks, Roy Beck, Maria Espinoza, Kris Kobach and D.A. King. The Social Contract’s journal routinely publishes anti-immigrant figures including Steven Camarota of the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS).
  • Tanton served as the first editor of his quarterly journal, The Social Contract, until 1998 when Wayne Lutton took over the editorship. Lutton is a white nationalist who has written for a number of white supremacist and Holocaust denial groups and once penned an extremely homophobic book arguing that HIV-positive LGBT inviduals should be quarantined and HIV-positive patients should be barred from visiting regular hospitals.
  • In the mid-2000s Kevin Lamb joined TSC’s editorial staff. Lamb is the former editor of the anti-Semitic Occidental Quarterly. Roy Beck, the founder of the Beltway-based anti-immigrant group NumbersUSA served as Washington Editor for TSC for a number of years.
  • Throughout the years, the journal has published a number of anti-immigrant activists, white nationalists and even academics. Each of the issues has a central theme, such as environmental degradation, the alleged fiscal impact of immigration, and warning about overpopulation. Many of the pieces contain rhetoric indistinguishable from that used by white nationalists.
  • In 2012, Maria Espinoza was published in the journal, and was on the front cover, holding the Stolen Lives Quilt with Wayne Lutton.
  • A 2017 piece by TSC contributor Dave Gibson read, “While Americans are now quite aware of the dangers illegal aliens from Mexico and Central America pose to all of us who use this nation’s roads and highways, most are likely unaware that there is a genetic component at work in every alcohol-fueled crash caused by one of these invaders.”
  • In 2010, under Lutton’s editorship, TSC published an issue titled, “The Menace of Islam.” In his editorial, Lutton called for a ban on Muslim immigration to America, years before a similar ban was champoined by President Donald Trump. Lutton’s column prompted a backlash but he was defended by K.C. McAlpin, president of TSCP’s parent U.S., Inc., who responded in 2011, by comparing the call for a Muslim ban to the Congressional ban on members of the Nazi party from entering the United States during World War II.
  • The Winter 1999-2000 issue of TSC featured a piece by Michael Masters who wrote, “The contrast between the bloody nature of tribal warfare and the relatively tranquil nature of modern life should not mislead people into believing that the rules of natural selection have changed. Invasion of the homeland of one group by another group – combined with high differential birth rates and amalgamation through intermixing – are ultimately just as destructive as overt tribal massacres.”
  • A 1998 issue of TSC was guest-edited by John Vinson, a founding member of the neo-Confederate group League of the South and head of the anti-immigrant American Immigration Control Foundation (AICF). The issue was titled, “Europhobia: The Hostility Toward European-Descended Americans,” and featured pieces by a number of white nationalists including Jared Taylor of American Renaissance and the late Sam Francis. A line in Vinson’s editorial read, “Multiculturalism, which subordinates successful Euro-American culture to dysfunctional Third World cultures, keeps gaining ground against surprisingly weak opposition.” The issue is not available for sale on the TSCP website and the archive of that issue does not contain Taylor’s piece.
  • In a 1994 issue of TSC, contributor Malcom Brown wrote, “The Third World, like AIDS and killer-bee swarms, gropes outward with persistent tendrils, like the tender roots of plants that pierce even concrete sewer pipes. The branch of medicine called epidemiology has turned up evidence that the Third World has something in common with bacterial cultures and cancerous tumors.”
  • In the same piece, Brown wrote, “The other prong of the new therapy would be the development of a bacterial or viral carrier that would make the antifertility factor infectious – capable, that is, of spreading throughout the human race on its own. Infection of a few individuals with the sterility bug might produce an epidemic that might spread widely enough to reduce the global birthrate for a while, until human beings became immune and resumed breeding.”
  • In 1993, Tanton wrote in TSC, “Nigerian citizens, many of whom enter on student visas, are part of an international crime syndicate headquartered in Washington, D.C. and now active across the country. They specialize in huge drug deals and major fraud schemes, and are among the most violent of criminals.”
  • In his biography on the TSCP website, it notes that Kevin Lamb has contributed to The Journal of Social, Political and Economic Studies. That journal is edited by Roger Pearson, a longtime eugenicist and former colleague of anti-Semite Willis Carto. Pearson once wrote,“If a nation with a more advanced, more specialized, or in any way superior set of genes mingles with, instead of exterminating an inferior tribe, then it commits racial suicide.”
  • The Social Contract Press, through its journal and books, served as one of the go-to outlets for those seeking talking points on some of the most common nativist tropes. TSCP excelled at depicting immigrants as criminals and harborers of disease. The titles of TSC’s quarterly journals are not subtle. The winter 2017 issue is titled, “Importing Diseases: The Toxic Threat of Infected Migrants,” while the fall 2014 issue focused entirely on “Illegal Alien Crime in North Carolina.”
  • TSCP would also occasionally hold press events in an attempt to get these anti-immigrant conspiracy theories into the mainstream. In 2008, the group organized an event at the National Press Club to discuss the findings of a report published by David Simcox, that focused on another key anti-immigrant trope, namely non-citizen voting. Simox claimed that somewhere between 1.8 and 2.7 million “illegal alien voters” reside in the United States. The issue of voter fraud is often exaggerated by former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach and President Trump.
  • Other TSCP reports have focused on challanging the official number of undocumented immigrants in the United States and even claiming that immigration will be responsible for 80% of the infastructure expansion that will take place in the U.S.
  • TSCP was also one of the first anti-immigrant outlets to explicitly single out Muslim immigration as a “danger” to the United States. Through the Writers Workshop and TSC, Tanton and Lutton have given a platform to a number of anti-Muslim activists such as Bill Warner, Ann Corcoran and others.
  • In a 2013 report by Edwin Rubenstein attacking immigrants for “defrauding the American taxpayer,” he claims the “IRS knowingly enables illegal aliens to defraud honest taxpayers. It has allowed itself to become a political arm of the Obama Administration.”