As thousands of children attempt to escape violence in Central America, politically extreme groups in the United States have used the humanitarian crisis to launch attacks against these children and all immigrants and refugees. Ugly demonstrations have taken hold in Texas, California and Arizona and spread elsewhere around the country.
Many Americans are wondering: Where is this extreme vitriol coming from? Why does a debate about child refugees sound so violent and dehumanizing?
Today, the Center for New Community released an updated mapping of the anti-immigrant movement, titled “The 21st Century Anti-Immigrant Movement” to help expose the forces orchestrating this surge in anti-immigrant activity.
It details an extensive network of politically extreme groups that has been growing in power, resources and allies for more than 30 years. The map identifies the three most powerful anti-immigrant groups in the United States, exposes their leadership and financial connections, as well as their success at building legislative networks and alliances.
Two of those organizations, FAIR and NumbersUSA spent almost $7 million over 10 years lobbying against immigration.
This map is specifically designed to aid the public and the media in understanding who is involved in orchestrating dehumanizing rhetoric and efforts to derail legislative relief for suffering families – whether they are immigrants or refugees.
What started with one man, and his mission to mainstream a white nationalist ideology, has amassed into dozens of front groups, legislative networks and special interest organizations with a singular agenda: to malign the presence of immigrants and eliminate future immigration.
Exposing the controversial history and xenophobic agenda of the anti-immigrant movement is more important than ever. The lives of children, who desperately need protection, may depend on the willingness of everyday Americans to stand up to bigotry.
Jill Garvey is the executive director of the Center for New Community.