Anti-Immigrant Groups Exploiting Humanitarian Situation at the Border

Written by on July 16, 2014 in Enforcement with 8 Comments

ScreamerThe scenes are chilling. In Murrieta, California, protesters scream and wave signs saying “Return to Sender” at busloads of mothers and children from Central America. In Oracle, Arizona, enraged demonstrators, awaiting the arrival of a busload of Central American children that never comes, initially mistake a YMCA bus for the target they seek. And in Vassar, Michigan, anti-immigrant protesters carry AR-15 rifles, handguns, and “Don’t Tread on Me” signs. These and other, similar mobilizations around the country might look like spontaneous outpourings of emotion by communities concerned with how they will be effected by the Central American refugee crisis now unfolding along the U.S.-Mexico border. But don’t be fooled. These protests are orchestrated by national groups and individuals with long histories of often extreme anti-immigrant activism.

For instance, the far-right Americans for Legal Immigration Political Action Committee (ALIPAC), together with newer creations like Make Them Listen and Overpasses for America, have been busy fomenting protests against the housing of child refugees from Central America in virtually any community in the United States. According to a recent press release from all three of these groups, July 18-19 will be days of protest against the “Obama-inspired illegal immigration surge on America’s borders.” The head of ALIPAC, William Gheen, has made many bizarre, overtly racist statements over the years.

Likewise, NumbersUSA—while not quite as far on the fringe as ALIPAC—is just as busy opposing the housing, however brief, of any Central American refugee in any U.S. town or city. The group is encouraging people to contact their State Refugee Resettlement Coordinators to find out if any “resettlement” of Central American children is in the works. NumbersUSA also maintains an “interactive map” detailing “where feds are trying to relocate illegal border surgers.” They even offer an on-line letter to Members of Congress asking them to “please make sure the government doesn’t try to house illegal aliens in our state.” And, not surprisingly, they are backing the July 18-19 protests as well.

Groups like ALIPAC and NumbersUSA are exploiting the violence that is occurring in Central America, and the refugee flow that is being driven by that violence, in order to advance an anti-immigrant ideological agenda they have held for a very long time. They do not represent communities in Murrieta, California, or Oracle, Arizona, or Vassar, Michigan. They represent an extremist minority of people scattered across this country who believe that immigrants represent a threat to their ideal version of what U.S. society should be. Moreover, the beliefs that the members of these groups hold are rooted in fear, hate, and stereotypes—not reality.

Fortunately, some elected officials are adopting a more humanitarian stance to what is, after all, a humanitarian crisis. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, for example, has said of the unaccompanied children, “let’s get them someplace safe and secure, let’s get them legal representation which is what this country has always stood for.” His sentiments have been echoed by Bob Buckhorn, the mayor of Tampa, Florida, and Jim Darling, mayor of McAllen, Texas.

As Mayor Garcetti and Mayor Buckhorn understand, the problem is not the “border surgers.” The problem is how to ensure the safety of refugees who are already here, and how to assist the Central American nations engulfed in the gang violence which is causing people to flee. Screaming insults at traumatized children through bus windows accomplishes nothing.

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  • Aidee

    Where did you get this picture? it is clearly a not immigrant child

  • Chris Boren

    I’m unfamiliar with any of the organizations mentioned in this article or their cited representatives. As a reader trying to navigate through the information being put out on both sides of the topic, it would be nice to cited facts about these organizations and individuals. Instead, the writer has provided only a smattering of facts from the “pro” side, woven with what I can only assume are opinions. How does this help me educate me so that I can take an informed stance on the situation?

    • RobGinChicago

      The first mention of ALIPAC and NumbersUSA in the article above are links/shortcuts. Click on those links for additional information concerning these organizations.

  • Terry Todaro Ballard Schaferme

    About time…someone cared

  • Guest

    How this comedic! Yet, very creative for a PhD. Of course your entire premise goes to hell in a hand basket if I simply ask for you to produce evidence of your false and defamatory claim I have ‘made many overtly racist comments over the years’ You sir are a propagandist and and a liar and I have never made any overt and racist comments in my life! And you cannot produce one shred of real evidence of me making a racist comment because none exists egghead. But thanks for taking time to apply all of your education to such a blood libel.

    William
    Gheen, has made many bizarre, overtly racist statements over the years.
    – See more at:
    http://immigrationimpact.com/2014/07/16/anti-immigrant-groups-exploiting-humanitarian-situation-at-the-border/#sthash.0DgpG3Pi.dpuf
    William
    Gheen, has made many bizarre, overtly racist statements over the years.
    – See more at:
    http://immigrationimpact.com/2014/07/16/anti-immigrant-groups-exploiting-humanitarian-situation-at-the-border/#sthash.0DgpG3Pi.dpuf
    William
    Gheen, has made many bizarre, overtly racist statements over the years.
    – See more at:
    http://immigrationimpact.com/2014/07/16/anti-immigrant-groups-exploiting-humanitarian-situation-at-the-border/#sthash.0DgpG3Pi.dpuf

  • Guest

    How this comedic! Yet, very creative for a PhD. Of course your entire
    premise goes to hell in a hand basket if I simply ask for you to
    produce evidence of your false and defamatory claim I have ‘made many
    overtly racist comments over the years’ You sir are a propagandist and
    and a liar and I have never made any overt and racist comments in my
    life! And you cannot produce one shred of real evidence of me making a
    racist comment because none exists egghead. But thanks for taking time
    to apply all of your education to such a blood libel.

  • This is so funny and comedic! Yet, very creative for a PhD. Of course your entire
    premise goes to hell in a hand basket if I simply ask for you to
    produce reasonable evidence of your false and defamatory claim that I have ‘made many
    overtly racist comments over the years’ You sir are a propagandist and
    and a liar and I have never made any overt and racist comments in my
    life! And you cannot produce one shred of real evidence of me making a
    racist comment because none exists egghead. But thanks for taking time
    to apply all of your education to such a blood libel. I have a background in civil rights campaigning in my state and I have worked hard to unify Americans of every race earning the support of minorities that make up approximately 27% my activists and donors.

  • Darrel Decal

    First off read the Headline of this article Anti-Immigrant Groups it starts off. You see who ever wrote this article doesn’t make the distinction between illegal immigrant and immigrant. Even in a rough wording it should have started with Anti-Illegal Immigrant Groups. I am a supporter of ALIPAC which stands for Americans for Legal Immigration PAC. My personal views as with many Hispanic Americans feel that legal Immigration is the only way to come to America and also that we need to lower the legal numbers as well as it has gotten out of control to over a million a year legally. Then you add in the illegal immigrants which are normally 3 times more than the legal way in it just burdens down our way of life. In my opinion this is why you see so many U.S. Americans homeless on the streets due to many economic opportunities are being given to the illegal immigrant who will do the work cheaper than the American you see with a sign on the street. Keep in mind most of these illegal immigrants main goal is to make as much money to send back to their country of origin to help their families live there or to bring them to USA making the problem worse. I know it is hear breaking seeing some of these people on TV. But what you don’t see is when you actually go to the streets of some of these cities and find Americans with children living on the streets of America and relying on soup kitchens and shelters then you ask how can this be? well hard to keep your family off the streets if you have no work due to jobs being consumed by illegal migrants. Just an Americans ability to stay clean, safe and presentable for a job interview go out the door when most of what is on the mind of the Homeless American is where will I sleep tonight, where can I get food, where can i find a public restroom to use int he middle of the early hours of the morning. I just ask the next time you see an American living on the streets of American trying to survive. The you see the illegals immigrants who get all sorts of help with housing, food, college, you name it. Then think of why can’t our poor get that same help? Just imagine if we actually sent people that shouldn’t be here to begin with and give honest Americans a chance to get back on their feet and get off the streets by being able to find work.

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