In an interview with Janet Mefferd yesterday, Federation for American Immigration (FAIR) spokesman Ira Mehlman, suggested that DREAMers should be forced to “go home” with their families and called Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor a “demagogue” for using the term “undocumented immigrant” rather than “illegal alien.”
When Mefferd asked what he proposed doing about DREAMers, or young undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children, Mehlman responded, “First of all, what we need to do is to encourage families to go home as a unit.” He then turned the blame on their families: “There is no good, happy solution to this problem. But we do have to remember who created the problem. It was the parents who brought them here.”
To Mefferd’s question about Sotomayor’s use of the term “undocumented immigrant,” Mehlman responded, “Throughout history, demagogues have been able to get away with what they get away with by controlling the language. Once you start defining people who have broken the law as people who are not criminals, then you’ve essentially negated the whole concept of the law itself.”
As Miranda noted the other day, Phyllis Schlafly "has never been very good at hiding partisan motivation for right-wing policy," frequently coming right out and admitting the petty, partisan motivations behind the supposedly "principled" stands that conservatives inevitably take in opposing things supported by Democrats or President Obama.
And this was a trend she continued when she appeared on Newsmax yesterday to discuss her new report warning that immigration reform legislation will doom the Republican Party when she declared that conservatives ought to oppose such legislation simply because President Obama supports it.
While conservatives and Republicans are out there laughably claiming that they want to work for President Obama but are constantly having their bipartisan efforts rejected by the administration, Schlafly openly states that conservatives ought to just flatly oppose anything that Obama supports.
"If they like it," she said, "it's certainly not going to be good for the conservative movement or for the grassroots or for the Republican Party ... Anything that Obama is for, I think the conservatives should be against":
The following is a guest post by Cairo Mendes, a 2013 Fellow of affiliate People For the American Way Foundation’s Young People For (YP4) program.
When I came to the U.S. in 2002, I remember being told on the way home from the airport that I was undocumented. I was told that if anyone knew this, our whole family would be deported and we would lose out on the “American Dream.” That was over ten years ago, but as I write this I cannot help but hold back emotions – a mixture of anger, sadness, and confusion. I feel this way because ten years later, millions of people in our country – including my mother – continue to live in limbo, in the shadows. We continue to be treated as second class citizens.
When I recently received a call informing me that I would be covered under President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) process, I was working at a factory, recycling wire. I remember the joy and relief I felt at that moment. For the first time I would be able to have a social security card and a work permit. I felt like maybe, just maybe, I too could be “normal” and get a driver’s license. Yet later that day, my happiness became bittersweet. My mom – my strong, heroic, single mother – would not be able to receive those same benefits. Still, when I got home later that day I realized how happy she was for me. It was then that I told her, looking straight into her eyes: “Mom, we will figure a way out of this. We will fight, we will march, and we will organize – we are going to figure out a way.”
When President Obama won reelection in 2012 after receiving 71 percent of the Latino vote (compared to Romney’s 27 percent), I felt for the first time that we were on the offensive. From the rhetoric coming from Washington to the energy within the immigrant rights movement in the weeks following the elections, immigration reform was finally a real possibility. But it has not been an easy road. Even though we were able to push the Senate to pass an immigration reform bill through our lobbying, organizing, and advocacy efforts, House leadership has – until very recently – been closed off to the calls for reforms, ignoring the cries of families throughout the country.
As a result, we ended 2013 with no bill delivered. The extreme right – small but loud faction of the Republican Party – managed to derail any efforts involving citizenship, and Speaker Boehner avoided putting the Senate bill up for a vote. His inaction could cost the Republican Party in the 2016 elections, since immigration reform is a top issue for Latino voters.
The Senate immigration reform bill is not perfect, but as families struggle to live day by day, comprehensive immigration reform is still a light at the end of the tunnel. It will make legalization – and hopefully citizenship – possible for many who have lived in the shadows until now, like my family.
This debate goes beyond stats about how many billions of dollars could be added to the economy as a result of reform. This is a moral issue. And it’s one that – if not resolved soon – will result in more deportations and more family separations that damage individual lives and diminish our country as a whole.
Because of Congress’ inaction, mothers and fathers are still being separated from their children and loved ones as 2014 begins. We cannot wait – our communities need relief now.
Buzzfeed’s John Stanton today managed to get Republican lawmakers on record admitting that the movement to stop immigration report is at least party driven by racial animosity. One Southern Republican member of Congress, who requested anonymity, told Stanton outright that “part of it…it’s racial.” South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham put it a little more delicately, referring to “ugliness around the issue of immigration.”
While it’s unusual to have Republican members of Congress saying it aloud, it’s hardly a secret that today’s anti-immigrant movement was built by xenophobia and remains in a large part driven by it.
Just look at the three central advocacy groups working to stop immigration reform. The misleadingly named Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), the movement “think tank” Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), and Numbers USA were all founded by John Tanton, an activist who hardly hid his racist views, support for eugenics, and white nationalist ideology. (Sample Tanton argument: “I've come to the point of view that for European-American society and culture to persist requires a European-American majority, and a clear one at that.")
But it’s not just these groups’ history that’s problematic. While most have tried to distance themselves Tanton’s extreme nativist rhetoric, they have turned instead to racial code language to imply that immigration undermines American politics and culture.
Dan Stein, the president of FAIR, has warned that immigrants take part in “competitive breeding” to supplant native-born whites and that "[m]any of them hate America, hate everything the United States stands for. CIS president Mark Krikorian has pointed to “illegitimate” children and “high rates of welfare use” as reasons why Latino immigrants will never vote Republican and therefore shouldn’t be “imported” into the United States.
These arguments linked to two threads common in the anti-immigrant movement: that immigrants, particularly Latino immigrants, will never be prosperous, productive members of society, and that they will never vote Republican, so Republicans shouldn’t bother to try to appeal to them.
The first of these arguments was famously illustrated by a Heritage Foundation study last year that purported to show that immigration reform would cost the country trillions of dollars, an inflated number based on the premise that future generations of immigrants would never help to grow the economy or give back financially to the country. The fact that the report was co-written by a researcher who believes that Latinos have intrinsically lower IQ only served to underline the point that the study was making.
The second line of argument was most clearly put by Eagle Forum founder and conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly, when she said that Republicans should drop their attempts at reaching Latino voters and focus instead on turning out white voters because “there’s not any evidence at all that these Hispanics coming in from Mexico will vote Republican.” The next week, CIS sent out a press release echoing Schlafly’s argument . Pat Buchanan made a similar plea to revive the “Southern Strategy” by ginning up animosity among white voters toward Latino immigrants. It’s no coincidence that this theory that Republicans can maintain a whites-only coalition in an increasingly diverse nation was first laid out by white nationalist writer Steve Sailer.
These two themes were what was behind a FAIR spokesman’s comment last week that allowing undocumented immigrants to work toward legal status would collapse the two-party system and lead to “tyranny.” Similarly, CIS analyst Steven Steinlight recently claimed that immigration reform would be the “unmaking of America” because it “would subvert our political life by destroying the Republican Party” and turn the United States into a one-party state. As evidence, he cited the fact that “Hispanics don’t exemplify ‘strong family values.’”
You don’t have to talk about “cantaloupe calves” to build a movement that relies on and exploits racial animosity. The anti-immigrant movement has mastered this art.
Panicking about possible immigration legislation in the House, the communications director of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) is warning that any steps towards reforming the immigration system will lead to “tyranny.”
Bob Dane, the chief spokesman for the Nativist group, told Sandy Rios of the American Family Association last week that immigration reform will “split” the GOP, and as a result collapse the multi-party system of government and the system of checks and balances.
“If they split over this GOP bill you’ve got a one-party system in America and that’s one step closer to tyranny,” Dane said.
Of course, you could argue that it is groups like FAIR that are “splitting the GOP” by pressuring lawmakers to embrace unpopularpositions on immigration reform.
If the Republicans in fact endorse this amnesty bill and I expect they will and we’re going to fight hard against it, they’re going to face another type of retreat, the one they’re coming out of with their amnesty principles, they’re going to be facing the retreat of disillusioned conservative voters starting to look for other options. We don’t want that. If the GOP splits — if the GOP needs party unity, at any point, it’s right now, but if they split over this GOP bill you’ve got a one-party system in America and that’s one step closer to tyranny. You always need checks and balances, not only within the framework for the government itself but a two-party system is vitally important for democracy.
Yesterday, we wrote about a speech that South Carolina U.S. Senate candidate Lee Bright gave to a Tea Party group in August, in which he warned that the Obama administration is training IRS “Brown Shirts” to enforce the Affordable Care Act.
Elsewhere in the speech, Bright shared his views on immigration, and Muslim immigrants in particular, who he warned might be coming from “terrorist nations.”
“We got to be careful about who we let in this country. A lot of these folks from terrorist nations are coming in on student visas, and we shouldn’t allow it,” he said.
Later, in response to an audience member who questioned the wisdom of building a “wall around our nation,” Bright agreed, warning, “those same troops that keep other people out could keep us in.”
But, he added, illegal immigration across the Southern border is “an invasion” and “we don’t know who these people are. This could be Muslim Brotherhood.”
A later questioner was less sympathetic toward immigrants, warning of a growing number of mosques in South Carolina and alluding to seeing Muslim immigrants at the DMV. “I am curious to know, where are these people coming from and have we checked their backgrounds,” Bright responded. “Because we’ve gone out of our way to bring folks in from countries that hate us.”
Activists fighting to keep a draconian anti-immigrant ordinance in a Nebraska town reportedly have called in the big guns: the Nativist group FAIR.
In 2010, voters in Fremont, Nebraska passed an ordinance barring landlords from renting to undocumented immigrants and requiring employers to check new employee’s immigration status. (The employment provision exempted the town’s largest employers, two meatpacking plants just outside of city limits.) Behind the law was Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who has made a name for himself by peddling anti-immigrant and voter suppression measures to communities across the country.
Our Vote Should Count enlisted the help of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, the Tea Party Patriots, True The Vote, and other national organizations, including a Washington, D.C.-based analyst and an Omaha media consultant, to put together a media campaign that will use social media, print media, flyers and canvassing to get out their message.
UPDATE: The Fremont Tribune reported that the group True the Vote was involved in the Fremont initiative. True the Vote tells us that they had no involvement in the measure and are seeking a retraction from the Tribune. We have removed True the Vote from our our story.
UPDATE 2: The Fremont Tribune reports that Our Vote Should Count was in contact with local organizers at FAIR and True the Vote, which may not have come to the attention of the national groups:
“In assembling facts and data,” Von Behren replied in an email to the Tribune, “we met individually with representatives of Tea Party Patriots, True The Vote and (the Federation for American Immigration Reform). Each provided varying levels of support, including data access, technical support, data analysis and general knowledge of the issues from their experience. It's correct that the national office of True The Vote may not have known about local conversations. I would expect the same of (Tea Party Patriots) or FAIR.
“The information provided was all publicly available, but much easier to find with help from someone who works in that area. Neither of the other two organizations raised a concern so we assumed that was the normal function of a local representative,” Von Behren wrote.
Supporters of the Fremont ordinance don’t exactly hide that they are motivated by suspicion of the town’s growing Hispanic population – whether documented or not. One Vote Should count shared this graphic on its Facebook page, which warns that “Fremont is a sanctuary city” because its “Hispanic population TRIPLED! in 10 years”:
In November, Harpers author Ted Genoways visited a town meeting about the ordinance and found racial tensions running high, as one woman railed against “Spanish in my schools” and a Latina resident, a third-generation American, recalled a man screaming at her to “go back to Mexico.”
An Our Vote Should Count spokesman, after warning of the increase in the “non-white population” in local schools, told the Fremont Tribune that the real racists were undocumented immigrants:
Enforcing the ordinance is not about targeting a race, he said.
“There are two levels of racism here. One is a set of racists who will use illegal people for their own profit, and that is being done actively. The other racism is people who knowingly break the law to come here for their own profit,” he said.
As Director of Governmental Affairs for the Tupelo, Mississippi-based American Family Association, Sandy Rios lives in the Washington D.C. area. But she told AFA head Tim Wildmon today that she is one of the few US citizens in the District. In an interview today with Wildmon on Today’s Issues, Rios said that immigrants are the majority in Washington, or at least in the city’s McDonald’s restaurants.
“In Washington D.C., sometimes when we are in public places it’s hard to find any natural-born Americans, you are the minority,” she told Wildmon. “When I go through McDonald’s or whenever I interact with illegal immigrants -- and like I said, they are legion -- my responsibility is to be kind and gracious.” Rios went on to explain that biblical commands to treat immigrants with compassion should not impact public policy.
In fact, foreign born residents account for 13.5% of the city’s population (compared to 13.0% nationally). Undocumented immigrants make up just 4.5% of the District’s residents.
Wildmon warned that offering undocumented immigrants a pathway to citizenship would lead to “the end of the Republican Party as we know it,” while Rios called such a move “Republican suicide” and urged GOP leaders to get out of Washington more and live in places like Mississippi.
“I think of that phrase in the Old Testament about a ‘strong delusion,’ she said. “I would say that the Republican leadership is under a strong delusion. I don’t understand it, I can’t explain it except that they just don’t get out enough, they need to go live in Mississippi, they need to go live in Nebraska, wherever, because the sanity seems to leave them.”
William Gheen, head of the anti-immigrant group Americans for Legal Immigration (ALIPAC), explained to an Idaho radio host last month that he’s not a racist, he’s just opposed to the people who are trying to change America’s history of being “predominately governed by people of European descendancy.”
The people who call him a racist, Gheen told host Kevin Miller, are just “looking for any way to create division among any group,” a practice that he claims has increased under the Obama administration.
Anybody that dares say anything that they don’t like is going to get a label applied to them – sexist, racist, homophobic, anything like that. Because the name of their game is that since America has been traditionally a center-right nation for 200 years, has been predominately governed by people of European descendancy and Christian, different denominations of Christianity and deist backgrounds, they’re trying to knock that down. So they’re looking for any way to create division among any group.
You’ve seen it escalate, I believe, under the Obama administration, an increased tension between white, black and Hispanic; between straight and gay; between male and female; between young and old. Any differences between Americans that they can exploit and accentuate and increase, they don’t miss an opportunity to do it.
Later in the interview, Gheen repeated his frequent claim that illegal immigration amounts to an “invasion” and compared undocumented immigrants to muggers who threaten violence.
These sentiments are sadly not unusual coming from an anti-immigrant activist, but are notable coming from CIS, which generally portrays itself as the subdued, numbers-focused “think tank” of the movement.
“We can expect disaster. In sum, we’ll witness the unmaking of America,” says Dr. Stephen Steinlight of the Center for Immigration Studies. “It would subvert our political life by destroying the Republican Party. The Hispanic vote will make the Democrats the PRI of America. A GOP relic might survive regionally, but could never successfully contest a national election.
“America would turn into a One Party State which, like all others, would be tyrannical and corrupt. The political center would lurch to the left. Political liberty, the freedom to choose among authentically different alternatives, would be lost.
“A population transfer from one nation with a different language and political culture which will become the predominant future demographic will destroy social cohesion. The diversity of previous immigration safeguarded against this. Dual language/dual culture countries are plagued by Balkanizing social strife.”
In a separate interview with Cotto, Steinlight reportedly claimed that Hispanic immigrants won’t be political conservatives because they “don’t exemplify ‘strong family values’” due to “illegitimacy” rates and “anti-social behavior such as teenage child-bearing, the highest school drop-out rate, and high crime and incarceration rates.”
Some claim that Hispanics are “natural conservatives” due to their family-oriented culture. This allegedly makes them Republicans in all but formal registration. Such an idea is controversial because election totals usually do anything other than reflect it.
“The premise and stereotype are equally false,” Steinlight says. “There’s no correlation between ‘strong family values’ and conservatism. Cultures perceived as possessing them (i.e. Asian Americans and Jewish Americans) are predominantly liberal. Moreover, whether understood generically or as socially conservative code language, Hispanics don’t exemplify ‘strong family values.’
“Illegitimacy is inimical to ‘family values,’ yet Hispanics have a high rate and have witnessed the greatest increase of any group: 19 percent in1980 to 42 percent in 2003. More female-headed single-parent households deepens Hispanic poverty resulting in anti-social behavior such as teenage child-bearing, the highest school drop-out rate, and high crime and incarceration rates.
While the vast majority of Americans, including Republicans, back a comprehensive immigration reform plan that includes a pathway to citizenship, the Nativist movement is still trying to scare voters and elected officials into thinking that attempts to fix America’s broken system will actually destroy the country…and all of civilization.
Here’s a look at some of 2013’s worst xenophobic leaders, including our choice for “Nativist of the Year”:
8. William Gheen
Americans For Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC) leader William Gheen hasn’t changed his tune about usingviolence to stop immigration reform, warning that his group may soon stop using “nonviolent political means.” According to Gheen, politicians are trying “to demonize whites, Christians, and males” and turn over power to immigrants who are “gang raping, molesting kids, drinking, driving, killing, and joining gangs that try to feed our children cocaine and methamphetamine at the earliest age they can.”
As the leader of the Texas chapter of Eagle Forum and a former chairman of the Texas GOP, Adams has been pleading with her fellow Republicans not to aid immigration reform efforts. Why? She believes that such reform measures are tools of Satan that will lead to the enactment of Sharia law and usher in the End Times.
6. Ann Coulter
Conservative columnist Ann Coulter is angry that America no longer has racist immigration quotas, worrying that America will soon “turn itself into Mexico” and undermine its delicate “ethnic composition.” “The country is over,” she said, if the immigration reform passes. Coulter also seems to be creating figures about the undocumented population out of thin air, suggesting that there are 30 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S.
5. Phyllis Schlafly
The immigration debate in Congress opened the door for some conservative activists to not only oppose reform efforts but also to fight any political outreach to non-white voters. Eagle Forum head Phyllis Schlafly took the lead, urging the GOP to abandon any outreach to people of color and Latinos in particular. She claims Latinos don’t understand the Bill of Rights or American values... because if they did, they would be voting Republican like real Americans do. Instead, explained Schlafly, Republicans should simply try to increase white turnout.
4. Mark Krikorian
Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies seems to think that Nativists are the real victims in the immigration debate and is attempting to use a “play the victim” mentality to attack supporters of immigrant rights. He says that Nativists are waging a heroic struggle against “ethnic chauvinist groups” and their allies in “Big Business…Big Labor, all the big donors, Big Government Big Education, Big Media, Big Philanthropy [and] Big Religion.” Krikorian hopes that the GOP stops trying to attract Latino voters, warning that “the future of the republic rests” on whether Speaker Boehner allows immigration reform to come to a vote in the House.
3. Michele Bachmann
Speaking of which, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) andherfriends in the Tea Party Caucus are desperately trying to defeat immigration reform by making sure that such legislation doesn’t even come up for a vote. Bachmann believes that immigration reform will literally destroy the future of the country and that Obama won re-election in part because he gave some undocumented immigrants the right to vote (he didn’t). She thinks that Republicans should give Obama a spanking until he hands over his magic wand that unilaterally gives the vote to all undocumented immigrants:
2. Jason Richwine
The Heritage Foundation’s study on the supposedly devastating impacts of immigration reform might have had more credibility if its principal author, Jason Richwine, weren’t a proponent of racist pseudo-science with links to white nationalists. His report was so erroneous and misleading that even many of Richwine’s fellowconservatives didn’t find it credible, but that hasn’tstopped GOP politicians from using the salacious report to justify their anti-immigrant rhetoric.
Rep. Steve King (R-IA), in an interview with WorldNetDaily yesterday, urged the House to continue debating the Affordable Care Act — which was signed into law in 2010 — into 2014 and refuse to consider any legislation pertaining to immigration reform.
At least Mark Krikorian knows his audience. In an interview with WorldNetDaily today, the Center for Immigration Studies director urged House Republicans who support immigration reform to oppose the Senate’s bipartisan immigration plan simply in order to deny President Obama a “victory.”
“The only thing he has left now that would salvage the wreckage of his administration is an amnesty,” Krikorian told WND. “And why any Republican, even if they agreed with him, would save President Obama’s political fortunes is beyond me.”
Several fringewebsites have picked up a video from YouTube savant Gabor Zolna about how “the half-baked African American Arab Muslim” Obama will use immigration reform to “bring in about 150 million Muslims” to the US as part of a plan to impose Sharia law and join the Caliphate. This is actually lower than anti-Muslim activist Avi Lipkin’s estimate that the President will bring in 50-100 million Muslims.
Naturally, Sandy Rios was asked on her show last week if Obama will in fact settle 150 Muslim immigrants in the US if a reform bill passes Congress.
Rios said that such claims make sense and that maybe the whole campaign for immigration reform is a Muslim plot.
The American Family Association radio host pointed to a Muslim organizer of DREAM Act activists as proof that “there’s no question that bad character Muslims, the Muslim Brotherhood and others, are going to use the whole amnesty problem that we have to bring in tons of illegal immigrant Muslims who don’t wish us any kind of good.”
UPDATE 11/19: YCT head Lorenzo Garcia has cancelled the “game” due to concerns “the university will retailate against [YCT] and the protest against the event could create a safety issue for our volunteers.” He said in a statement that he is “shocked” by the “truly disgraceful” protests against the “Catch an Illegal Immigrant Game,” adding that he will not be “silenced.”
On Wednesday the University of Texas at Austin chapter of Young Conservatives of Texas (YCT) plans to host a “Catch an Illegal Immigrant Game.” According to its Facebook page, students will have to find a person “walking around the UT campus with the label ‘illegal immigrant’ on their clothing” and then turn that person in to a YCT table for a $25 gift card reward.
YCT will be having a "Catch an Illegal Immigrant" event this upcoming Wednesday. The details of the game goes as follows:
There will be several people walking around the UT campus with the label "illegal immigrant" on their clothing. Any UT student who catches one of these "illegal immigrants" and brings them back to our table will receive a $25 gift card.
The purpose of this event is to spark a campus-wide discussion about the issue of illegal immigration, and how it affects our everyday lives.
Last month, the same group hosted an Affirmative Action bake sale which charged students different prices based on their race and gender. Think Progress notes that other right-wing youth groups have hosted similar events in the past.
In an email to supporters today, Gheen claims that Republican supporters of immigration reform, including Karl Rove, Michael Bloomberg and Lindsey Graham (with whom Gheen has an interesting history) have “blood on all of their hands” because of their support of “the costly and deadly illegal alien invasion of our American homeland.” In fact, Gheen writes, these Republicans have “hatched and executed” a “plot on our Republic.”
Gheen offers another thinly veiled hint at violence, saying he will use “what is left of our peaceful political systems” to “throw them down.”
If our plan to Stop Amnesty 2013 succeeds, these treacherous lawmakers' plan will be to lay low on the issue through the filing period to try to stop groups like us from generating the focus, interest, energy, and funds needed to mount organized primary challengers.
Over the next 3 days, you will be making it very clear to these illegal alien amnesty supporting lawmakers that we are organized and ready to take on Karl Rove, George Soros, Michael Bloomberg, Lindsey Graham, and every other supporter of the costly and deadly illegal alien invasion of our American homeland.
There is blood on all of their hands and we are going to use what is left of our peaceful political systems in America to throw them down despite their insane advantages of wealth and power!
As you read this e-mail, I am riding into Washington, DC, today to do my very best on your behalf.
Thank you so much to each of you who will support our ground effort with your calls. Thank you to all of the donors to ALIPAC who are making this lobbying trip to DC at a very important strategic time possible.
Let's all do our very best to defeat Amnesty and put those who hatched and executed this plot against our Republic on permanent retreat!
Today’s Heritage Foundation event featured conservative evangelicals who are unhappy with other evangelicals who are promoting comprehensive immigration reform. Our “who’s who” of the speakers turned out to be a good guide to what they had to say. Speakers repeatedly (falsely) characterized the Senate immigration bill as “amnesty.”
James Hoffmeier, author of a book on immigration and the Bible, said he objects to people using the Bible to talk about immigration “the wrong way” and “misuse the scriptures to advance a cause.” He argues that undocumented immigrants are not the kind of people referred to in Bible verses about being welcoming to strangers.
Mark Tooley of the Institute on Religion and Democracy griped about mainline denominations demonstrating a lack of concern for border security. He credited evangelicals endorsing comprehensive immigration reform for citing a need for border security, but criticized them for supporting the “mass legalization” in the Senate bill, which he characterized as legalization first, border security later.
Kelly Kullberg organized Evangelicals for Biblical Immigration as a counter to the Evangelical Immigration Table, which energetically backs the Senate bill. She is also, like Tooley, a founder of Christians for a Sustainable Economy (CASE), a group that criticized Christians calling themselves the “Circle of Protection,” who had argued against cuts to federal programs that serve the poor. (In a letter to President Obama and congressional leaders, CASE asked, “Whom would Jesus indebt?” and declared “The Good Samaritan did not use a government credit card.”) Kullberg made similar points about the immigration bill, saying America is a “near-bankrupt welfare state living on borrowed money” and cannot afford “amnesty” and “an influx of foreign labor.” She said “Kindness to foreigners should not be theft or injustice to citizens.” She also said that nowhere in scripture do we see “blanket amnesty or asylum.”
Carol Swain, right-wing author and law professor, argued that Christians should support respect for the rule of law. Swain warned “We’re welcoming people who totally reject who we are as a people,” and said we create problems for ourselves “if we bring in people who are not easily assimilated.” She declared, “There is no place in America for Sharia law in the U.S. Constitution.” But Swain said she favors immigration reform if it is done the “right way” and encouraged people to read her book, Be the People, to find out how.
It has been 140 days of inaction since the Senate passed a bipartisan, comprehensive immigration reform bill that moves us closer to addressing our broken immigration system. But all of this progress has stalled in the GOP-led House, where they have chosen to align with extremists in their party rather than with business, civic and faith groups across the political spectrum that support reform.
This was made clear earlier this week, when Speaker Boehner confirmed that he has “no intentions of every going to conference” with the Senate on its bipartisan immigration legislation, once again showing where House leadership takes its cues. In a report released earlier this summer, PFAW laid out the clear choices facing Republicans as the pressing need for serious immigration fixes looms over families and our economy. While there is a lack of will to act on the part of House GOP leadership, immigration reform activists around the country are not sitting passively by. We are speaking up, planning actions, and calling out those who continue to stand in the way of common-sense reform.