Leader of Anti-Immigration Movement Calls Issue a "Skirmish in a Wider War"

In 1989, the founder of the modern day anti-immigrant movement, John Tanton, told Otis L. Graham Jr. that "I have all along seen the immigration battle as really a skirmish in a wider war ... " Since that time critics of Tanton have worried that his "wider war" would be one steeped in racism and white nationalism.

Critics had reason to worry, particularly because of Tanton's strong commitment to the false study of eugenics. When one cuts straight to the chase eugenics can be defined as the forced sterilization of poor and brown skinned people.

Critics should worry even more. In a recently surfaced memo, The Case for Passive Eugenics, Tanton argues for a softer, gentler eugenics movement because simply "Hitler's reign in Nazi Germany did little to advance the discussion of eugenics among sensitive persons." Tanton still serves on the board of his most influential organization -- the Federation for American Immigration Reform.

Other items to surface in these newly uncovered Tanton memos include:


"I'm sure it will give you a new understanding of the Jewish outlook on life, which explains a large part of the Jewish opposition to immigration reform." -- John Tanton promoting an article written by anti-Semite Kevin McDonald of Occidental Quarterly a vicious anti-Semitic journal [Source: Letter to Mrs. C.S. May, December 10, 1998].
"You are saying a lot of things that need to be said, but I anticipate it will be very tough sledding" -- John Tanton writing to Jared Taylor of the white supremacist group Council of Conservative Citizens concerning Taylor's draft newsletter [Source: Letter to Jared Taylor, October 10, 1990].
"I've been a reader of your materials for some time, and hope that we can meet some day. Is there any chance that you could come up and join us?" -- John Tanton inviting Wayne Lutton of the white supremacist group Council of Conservative Citizens to a FAIR event [Source: Letter to Wayne Lutton, June 10, 1991].
Over the last decade the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) has argued vehemently that the charges of racism leveled against it and its front groups by such respected institutions, ranging from the Southern Poverty Law Center to the Wall Street Journal, were all patently false. In December 2007, when the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) added FAIR to their list of hate groups, the anti-immigrant organization responded with a statement of its own. While choosing not to respond to the charges convincingly laid out by SPLC, they did state -- while maintaining a straight face -- that "FAIR is highly respected for the very reason that it has always argued that immigration policy should not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity or religion."

FAIR must have left that respect at the door when it allowed radio talk show host Doug McIntyre without interruption at the Fall 2005 FAIR Director's Meeting to rant the truth behind FAIR's political agenda:
"The brown toxic cloud strangling Los Angeles never lifts and grows thicker with every immigrant added. One can't help appreciate the streets of Paris will soon become the streets of LA. However, Paris' streets erupted while LA's shall sink into a Third World quagmire much like Bombay or Calcutta, India. When you import that much crime, illiteracy, multiple languages and disease-Americans pick up stakes and move away."
Perhaps FAIR forgot to pass the memo on to staff member, Rosanna Pulido, before she decided to tell an audience attending a debate on immigration what she really thought about the American Catholic Church:
"What better way to fill your pews and fill your offering coffers then with inviting in and giving sanctuary to illegal aliens? ... The Catholic Church is not Catholicism. It has nothing to do with Christianity or the Bible." - Rosanna Pulido, FAIR Staffer, Chicago Public Radio, October 04, 2007)
While FAIR seems clearly offended by SPLC and the Wall Street Journal's criticism, no one at FAIR seems remotely offended by current board member John Tanton's outreach to white nationalists, the racist musings at its Director's Meeting, or the anti-Catholic bashing of it staff. In fact when it comes to cleaning their own house, the Federation for American Immigration Reform seems to be unable, or more frighteningly, unwilling to do the same. However, one thing has now become absolutely clear; While the Federation for American Immigration Reform may be against racism, it clearly doesn't have a problem associating with racists.

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.