As President Obama prepares to outline his plans for immigration reform this evening at a press conference in Las Vegas, NumbersUSA has called for its brigade of anti-immigrant supporters to barrage their congress members with faxes and phone calls demanding “NO AMNESTY” for 11 million aspiring citizens already living in the country.
NumbersUSA, a faction of the anti-immigrant John Tanton Network, touts itself as a pro-immigrant, moderate, and nonpartisan effort, while actually skewing extremely far to the right. The anti-immigrant lobby cleverly frames its call for major immigration restrictions as simply a population concern, claiming the “numbers of people…negatively impact environmental and economic conditions within the United States.”
Electronically mobilizing its base to thwart progress on comprehensive immigration reform is not new to NumbersUSA. When President George Bush pushed an immigration bill in 2007, the organization had its members flood legislators with faxes, emails, and phone calls, effectively halting the bill.
NumbersUSA founder Roy Beck is a close friend of John Tanton – white nationalist and architect of the modern anti-immigrant movement. Tanton hired Beck to serve as Washington Editor of his white nationalist journal, The Social Contract, from 1991-2000. Beck also edited books for Tanton’s publishing house, the Social Contract Press—one of which was banned in Canada as hate-speech.
Founded as a project of U.S.Inc, NumbersUSA did not become an independent organization until 2002, but affiliations with John Tanton and the network continue.
While NumbersUSA has been successful at positioning itself publicly as in favor of immigration, their values, efforts, and connections simply boil down to nativism.
As more Americans demonstrate their support for immigration reform, it is important to highlight the origins of divisive organizations like NumbersUSA, especially when they stand in the way of progress.