After combing and studying decades worth of his personal correspondence, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) reached the following conclusion about John Tanton and his family of anti-immigrant organizations:
“[John Tanton] has corresponded frequently with leading white nationalist thinkers, race scientists and Holocaust deniers.”
In their report, SPLC cites some damning evidence of the bigotry that’s spawned Tanton’s network of groups. Here’s are two examples:
“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.” And, “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?”
His most high profile organization, Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), was designated as a hate group by the SPLC late last year; that in mind, SPLC has also identified the following groups as either being founded or co-founded by Tanton: Center for Immigration Studies, NumbersUSA, Pro English, the Social Contract Press, U.S. English and U.S. Inc.
FAIR’s relentless bashing of immigrants is becoming more-and-more infamous, but less has been heard about Tanton’s designed assembling of cohorts, with each tackling overlapping yet distinct angles of anti-immigrant rhetoric.
Fortunately for us, though, a new report by Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) lays much of their messaging mission bare. CIS’s report is called “Taking Back the Streets”: 28 pages of barely restrained anti-immigrant bigotry that includes a difficult-to-swallow outlining of the “benefits” that will emerge from local law enforcement agencies cooperating with Immigration & Custom Enforcement (ICE).
Most of the report’s data, it should be noted, was drawn from Operation Community Shield (OCS), an ICE program initiative from which pre-dawn raids on private homes in search of “foreign-born gang members” are coordinated and launched.
According to the New York Times, when OCS swept into Greenport, NY, late last year, Greenport’s mayor said:
“The whole gang issue is something to keep the white majority scared about the Latino population, and to come in and bust as many people as they want.”
Unsurprisingly, since it’s inception in 2005 Operation Community Shield has drawn intense criticism, with critics pointing to how the program has prompted a tendency to employ supposed gang affiliations to detain individuals on charges related to immigration.
I recommend reading the report to see for yourself, of course, all the questionable claims CIS is making.
For example, on page 13 is featured a wonderful breakdown of all the “Gangsters” arrested under OCS. The breakdown is organized according to the crime(s) with which individuals were charged. (Total number of convictions were not made available.)
Word choices, as one can imagine, are particularly revealing.
Here’s a breakdown of the number of times certain words, choices that are designed to criminalize entire communities, are being used by CIS authors:
- Immigrant(s) — 86
- Immigration — 97
- Gang[sters] — 371
- Illegal — 89
- Alien — 124
- Criminal Alien — 31
- Illegal alien — 52
- Immigrant Gangs — 35
- Alien gang[sters] — 21
While the report itself is troubling in it’s distortions, exaggerations, and wild usages of prejudicial, criminalizing language, what I find even more disturbing is CIS’s assertion that this report was, actually, funded by the U.S. Department of Justice.
To no avail, I made five attempts to confirm this with the Department of Justice.
If the DOJ did fund this report, serious questions about why a government agency is injecting money into an organization with proven ties to hate groups, white supremacists, and white nationalists must be raised, and quick.
I’m still waiting for a return phone call from the Department of Justice, but perhaps if others contact them, they would be more inclined to offer an explanation. Following is information on contacting DOJ:
Department of Justice Main Switchboard – 202-514-2000
Correspondence to the Department, including the Attorney General, may be sent to:
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001
E-mails to the Department of Justice, including the Attorney General, may be sent to AskDOJ@usdoj.gov.