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The Tanton Network’s Top 10 Gaffes of 2010


Stephen Piggott • Dec 29, 2010

Reflecting on the past year, the John Tanton Network’s anti-immigrant organizations performed an embarrassing number of gaffes that further exposed their extreme views and ties to white nationalism. Here is a list of the top 10 gaffes made by the John Tanton Network in 2010:

10. House Immigration Reform Caucus member Steve King (R-Iowa) attended the 2010 CPAC conference in Washington DC. During a panel session with Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies, King said that he empathized with the man who crashed into the IRS building in Texas. King clarified his comments by saying that he would hold a fundraiser to help others “implode” IRS offices.

9. The bodyguard of Roy Beck, the leader of Tanton group NumbersUSA, was arrested for allegedly assaulting a female mime who was protesting NumbersUSA’s attempts to harass immigrants during an immigration rally in DC earlier this year. In the ensuing weeks, Roy Beck used the incident as a fundraising tool for his organization.

8. In April of 2010, the Northeastern University Law Review uploaded an essay written by Patrick J. Charles in which he endorsed “armed militias.” In an article Imagine2050 published about the essay, we pointed out that Charles was affiliated with the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI), the legal arm of anti-immigrant group Federation for American Immigration Reform. After our article on the subject was published in May 2010, Charles’ affiliation with IRLI was removed from the online essay. It remains unclear when he left his position as a legal analyst with the Immigration Reform Law Institute.

7. Eddie Garcia, advisory board member of ProEnglish, compared undocumented immigration to rape. ProEnglish is one of two organizations in which John Tanton still holds an official leadership position.

6. Progressives for Immigration Reform had its weekly column on Huffington Post removed because of its ties to white nationalism. The group was then defended on the white nationalist blog VDARE.

5. Roy Beck, leader of NumbersUSA was scheduled to address an event organized by the Institute of the Constitution in June. The Institute’s co-founder Michael Peroutka is a member of the League of the South, a racist organization that seeks to create its own nation in the American south.

4. Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform in an effort to show his disdain for the 14th Amendment, stated, “We should not allow language from 1868 to enslave our thinking…in the 21st century,”

3. Kris Kobach, a lawyer with the Immigration Reform Law Institute, the legal arm of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, is continually criticized for working with hate groups and people who have ties to white nationalists. Kobach has attempted to defend these associations by highlighting his mission trips to Africa. However, it has recently come to light that Kobach’s mission trips are tied to the virulently homophobic Church of Rwanda.

2. After Rachel Maddow exposed the Federation for American Immigration Reform’s racist ties, the group’s president, Dan Stein, appeared on her program to refute the claims. Stein was caught red-handed by Maddow when she further exposed the group’s ties to white nationalists after he lied to viewers about the group’s history.

1. After the tragedy and horror of the earthquake in Haiti at the beginning of 2010, Mark Krikorian, the executive director of the Tanton Network group Center for Immigration Studies stated, “my guess is that Haiti’s so screwed up because it wasn’t colonized long enough.”

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