Nativism Watch

Rep. King Uses Petition to Fundraise for Anti-Immigrant Group

Imagine 2050 Staff • Feb 21, 2013

Rep. Steve King (R) of Iowa has once again endorsed anti-immigrant group ProEnglish. In a letter, the Iowa Congressman asks anyone willing to sign citizen co-sponsor petitions for his English Only legislation to “send your most generous tax-deductible  gift” to ProEnglish and “help make English our official language.”  Rep. King’s support should come as no surprise as this is not the first time he has authored a fundraising letter for the organization that has ties to white nationalist activists.

In the letter, Rep. King attempts to drum up support for his English Language Unity Act, which would make English the official language of the United States – an effort he has been attempting to implement for eight years. Rep. King blames the bill’s lack of success on the “powerful ‘multicultural’ lobby on Capitol Hill and across America that has a huge financial stake in stopping English from becoming our official language.” He later notes that this lobby “includes foreign language media conglomerates such as Telemundo and Univision,” the former of which is owned by an actual media conglomerate: the U.S.-based NBCUniversal.

Rep. Steve King also notes ProEnglish “has a long history of opposing harmful things,” omitting the fact ProEnglish was founded by white nationalist and architect of the contemporary anti-immigrant movement, John Tanton. The organization also has a history of providing a stage for professional bigots at CPAC , employing racist activists, and having advisory board members that liken undocumented immigration to rape.

The efforts of Rep. King to further align himself with increasingly fringe groups are illustrative of his ever-dwindling credibility. Last year, the Iowa Rep. compared immigrants to dogs, and then later reaffirmed his stance claiming it “was a compliment”.  Additionally, last month, after being a longtime member under former Chairman Bilbray, Rep. King disappeared from the virulently anti-immigrant House Immigration Reform Caucus’s Executive Committee. Rep. King needs any allies he can hold on to. With ProEnglish, the Congressman has found a match made in narrow-minded heaven.

Rep. King concludes his letter with, “I hope you can help us win this fight!” Let’s ensure the bigotry of Rep. Steve King and ProEnglish loses.

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