Dan Stein, president of the anti-immigrant Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), reached a new low last week.
Appearing on Newsmax TV’s “DML Unfiltered” Tuesday, Stein suggested that current screening practices at border patrol facilities are insufficient and invite levels of death and destruction previously experienced by Native Americans beginning in the 17th Century.
“In the end, take a look at what happened to the Native Americans when they didn’t properly screen for contagious diseases back in 1620,” Stein said.
By making this false–and offensive–equivalence, Stein employs not only long-running and predictable rhetoric about supposed biological threats from immigration, but also the paranoid rhetoric of genocide normally only seen on the darkest fringes of the nativist and white nationalist right. Stein’s use of fear mongering, apocalyptic terms to describe current immigration policy only serves to underscore the anti-immigrant extremist agenda.
Stein has been a leading figure in the anti-immigrant movement since the 1980s. He has previously derided the repeal of blatantly racist immigration laws in the 1960s as a form of “revenge” that “will continue to create chaos down the line.” He has also described President Obama’s attempts to temporarily protect some immigrants from deportation (through DACA and DAPA) as an effort “to re-engineer this society” that “will make the nation ungovernable.”
Troublingly, Stein and FAIR organization continue to hold significant influence among nativist lawmakers and law enforcement officials. In a few months, FAIR is expected to hold its annual “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” event in Washington, D.C. The event brings together lawmakers, sheriffs, talk radio hosts, and the country’s most dedicated anti-immigrant activists. In the past, bigoted sentiments and attacks on immigrants such as Stein’s earlier this week have prominently as well.
(h/t: Right Wing Watch)