As is a weekly occurrence for all subscribers to the anti-immigrant Center for Immigration Studies’ (CIS) email list, the group’s “Immigration Opinions” email arrived as usual during the course of the past weekend.
CIS sends out a number of immigration related emails during a given week, but the “Opinions” email is set-up to scan like a well-balanced list of Left and Right musing on this complex topic. As is generally the case with CIS, appearances are purposefully deceiving. These emails generally compile 20 to 30 articles and blogs from the previous week, bear a link to donate to CIS, and are ususally “signed,” for lack of a better term, by CIS’s head, Mark Krikorian.
They usually offer one or two pieces from the Huffington Post or MSNBC, for example, that together constitute the Leftist corner of representation.
To say these emails lean to the Right is only inaccurate because the works of far-right extremists, Islamophobes, self-avowed white nationalists, like some of the writers of VDARE.com, and sometimes even the work of self-labeled “ethnic separatists,” like Virginia Abernathy of the white nationalist American Third Position party, find their way into these lists–seemingly via Krikorian. These are folks that many conservatives and die-hard GOP’ers want nothing to do with, frankly.
Yet such controversial inclusions in these “Opinions” emails are a regular occurrence.
One piece that immediately stands out from within this particular batch is from Alan Wall of VDARE.com. Wall’s piece bears the title, “Obama’s Administrative Amnesty Not Applicable To White, Legal, English Girl. And While We’re On The Subject, Aren’t British Immigrants Preferable To Mexican Immigrants Anyway?” (Emphasis ours.)
Yes, you read that right.
Bearing such titles in mind, strange that an organization that calls itself “Low-Immigration, Pro-Immigrant” would gesture towards offering any shred of validity whatsoever to the opinions of admitted bigots. And so it is also strange that curiously missing from each of these emails is any sort of disclaimer of responsibility for the opinions of those whose pieces are so often deemed worthy of inclusion.
Always, though, and this is important, these lists are front-loaded with CIS blogs,articles, and/or reports from the previous week, a block that usually represents 30% to 40% of the work included. This week’s “Opinions” list puts forth 31 articles, 12 of which were written by CIS staffers.
Alongside CIS’s own work in this particular batch–which also includes work by a Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) advisory board member, Tom Tancredo, Breitbart News, the far-right magazine Human Events, the Conservative TownHall.com, and others–is a piece by Nonie Darwish, a leader and founder of the groups Former Muslims United and Arabs for Israel.
Darwish is a favorite among far-Right Christian groups, with the Family Research Council (FRC) being just one example. Darwish, in fact, spoke on a panel at FRC’s Values Voter Summit 2012 alongside fellow Islamophobes Frank Gaffney and Erick Stakelbeck. Similar to Kamal Saleem, who spoke multiple times at this year’s FRC Summit, and Walid Shoebat, who is a fellow co-founder of Former Muslims United, Darwish works the speaking and lecture circuit as a Muslim-turned-Christain-convert who sees it as her duty to inform and warn the world of the truly “conflicted” and inherently violent nature of all Muslims. Darwish has made such claims as, “Islam obliges Muslims to lie,” and, “the most dangerous threat in our age is Islam.”
In one speech, Darwish went as far as to claim that “everyone in the Middle East mourned when Bin Laden was killed.”
Darwish’s article passed along by CIS was unsurprisingly published in FrontPage Magazine (FPM). FPM is an online magazine run by the David Horowitz Freedom Center (DHFC), which is described by the anti-bigotry organization Hope Not Hate as “a leading think-tank which helps fund and coordinate Counter-Jihad activities.” The DHFC, of course, is run by one David Horowitz, who Hope Not Hate accurately describes as “probably the most important public funder of the international Counter-Jihad movement.”
Clearly it is positive to study a wide-spectrum of opinions regarding topics as inherently dense and culturally salient as immigration studies and policy. That in mind, compiling a fallaciously balanced list of “Immigration Opinions” so that one can pass off the musings of loud and proud bigots as legitimate, well-meaning voices within a national debate is hardly the work of a “Pro-Immigrant” organization.
Unless by “Pro-Immigrant” what one truly means “Pro-British Immigrant” but completely “Anti-Mexican Immigrant,” perhaps.