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Washington, DC- Amid the most recent immigration debate on Capitol Hill, a new crop of spokespeople has emerged in the media against the efforts to reform our broken immigration system. The Center for American Progress’ Senior Fellow Henry Fernandez writes about the ties these so called “immigration experts” have to white supremacists groups and their connections to leading restrictionist organizations such as NumbersUSA, FAIR, and the American Immigration Control Foundation.
For example, Fernandez writes that John Vinson, head of the American Immigration Control Foundation, and a leading anti-immigrant voice in the mainstream press, is also a co-author of The Greybook: Blueprint for Southern Independence by the racist League of the South. As the name implies, the authors call for the secession of the former Confederate states in order to protect the racial purity and economic viability of the white middle class. Vinson was quoted as an immigration expert by the South Bend Tribune of South Bend, Indiana and the Arizona Daily Star.
John Tanton is another example. He is the founder and/or early funder of almost every national anti-immigrant organization in the country, including the largest and best-known of the national anti-immigrant organizations: NumbersUSA and FAIR, which stands for the Federation for American Immigration Reform. This information never came up on CNN on June 25, 2007, when Wolf Blitzer’s “The Situation Room” ran a nearly congratulatory piece about NumbersUSA’s efforts to defeat the Senate’s immigration reform bill.
It matters to readers and viewers to know basic facts about the people who are being quoted or given air time to participate in mainstream debate about a sensitive topic such as immigration. As these issues are debated at statehouses, city halls, living rooms, and online, CNN, National Public Radio, The Orlando Sentinel and many others need to do their homework and ensure that Americans are getting honest facts from reputable people and organizations.
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