NumbersUSA, a well-financed anti-immigrant group, likes to misrepresent itself as a leading “immigration restriction” group. This includes passing out immigration report cards for elected officials. For example, an A+ in the NumbersUSA grade book translates to a politician who is an immigrant-bashing bigot. This highly-rated group is comprised of 25 Senators and Representatives (24 Republicans and one Democrat), and includes such political winners as Jeff Sessions and Lamar Smith.
NumbersUSA, under the leadership of president Roy Beck, has a troubling history when it comes to political tactics. Back in March 2010, a NumbersUSA’s campaign was promoted by white nationalist David Duke, a former Grand Wizard of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. The campaign was also featured on Stormfront, in a thread entitled, “Obama Begins Immigration Reform and Amnesty,” a posting which describes the details of the campaign and directs Stormfront members to the NumbersUSA website. Stormfront is the leading white nationalist, white supremacist, neo-Nazi, and skinhead social networking forum. Concurrently, NumbersUSA was promoted on the website of Vinlanders Social Club with a direct link to its website. Vinlanders Social Club is a Midwest coalition of racist skinhead groups with a history of violence against members of the Black community.
As part of its grading system for elected officials, NumbersUSA created a members-only section on its website that evaluates members of Congress and it assigned Senator Dick Durbin an F and Senator Roland Burris an F minus on their immigration records. Under a picture of Burris a NumbersUSA member wrote, “You have disgraced yourself and the (sic) all the people of IL, especially the Black citizens. We should welcome you home with Tar and Feathers.”
Another member wrote, “Only when the people show up to REMOVE these treasonous crooks will justice be served! Bring back the rope!”
Roland Burris is African-American and despite the racist violence referred to in the comments, these threats of lynching and torture remained on NumbersUSA’s website for nearly a month before being removed.
In light of this, it may not seem strange that NumbersUSA is desperately trying to reassert itself as an authority on immigration; what’s curious is that some politicians actually care what NumbersUSA thinks of them. That’s the case in New Orleans, with a few candidates publicly squabbling for NumbersUSA’s approval. Sen. David Vitter, who has been running racist ads about immigrants, was especially incensed that his Democratic opponent received the same B grading from NumbersUSA. Flaunting his anti-immigrant extremism, Vitter wanted more of his anti-immigrant promotion to be taken into account. Of course, NumbersUSA obliged, and Sen. Vitter is now comfortably highlighted as an A+ student on its website.
One has to wonder if this was all just a publicity stunt dreamed up between Vitter and NumbersUSA.
New Orleans voters should be worried. An elected official who is using campaign dollars to run racist ads and pander to a special interest group with white nationalist roots is bad news, no matter what side of the aisle they come from.