On May 28, an article titled, “Big Ag’ Favors Illegal Immigration,” appeared on the website of the newspaper American Free Press (AFP). The article relies heavily on an interview with Jon Feere of the anti-immigrant group Center for Immigration Studies.
American Free Press is run by one of the most influential white nationalists of the modern era, Willis Carto. Carto’s American Free Press, formerly known as The Spotlight, is an openly white nationalist publication that publishes anti-Semitic articles and employs anti-Semitic commentators such as Michael Collins Piper.
American Free Press also publishes articles sympathizing with Holocaust deniers such as Germar Rudolf who was imprisoned for inciting racial hatred.
Disturbingly, this is not this first time Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) has been featured in the anti-Semitic paper. In 2009, an article written by CIS staffer Steven Camarota appeared in the newspaper. Camarota’s article appeared in a later edition as a fundraising tool. It is unclear whether American Free Press was granted permission to reprint Camarota’s article in 2009, but it’s clear from this article that Jon Feere provided information directly to the newspaper.
Feere’s comments are the latest in a long line of controversy for CIS, beginning with its founding in 1985 by white nationalist John Tanton. Mark Krikorian, CIS’s executive director, is also not a stranger to controversy, regularly bashing Muslims in his National Review Online column. Krikorian even wrote, “my guess is that Haiti’s so screwed up because it wasn’t colonized long enough,” following the country’s devastating earthquake in 2010.
Despite all of these disturbing associations, CIS continues to be one of the leading voices in the anti-immigrant movement. CIS is regularly quoted in national newspapers such as The New York Times and USA Today. CIS staffers often testify before Congress and appear on news programs. The organization attempts to position itself as “pro-immigrant,” but this recent controversy reveals that it is still entangled with racist extremism.