Eugenics — the idea that a race of people is somehow genetically inferior to another — has been rejected as racist pseudoscience, and virtually no mainstream organization in the United States would attach its name to the theory. But it turns out that the Heritage Foundation isn’t the only anti-immigration reform group that is tied to eugenics. In fact, each of the major anti-immigration organizations has ties to one man, a major purveyor of eugenics theory, who has bankrolled major anti-immigration efforts.
John Tanton is responsible for creating a network of anti-immigrant organizations, including Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), and Numbers USA.
Tanton is a strict a nativist who once wrote a paper titled “The Case for Passive Eugenics.” He has openly professed his preference for white people, and once said, “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.” Later in his life, Tanton tried to start an organization called the Society for Genetic Education.
He is also close with Roy Beck, the man who currently runs Numbers USA. Beck and Tanton worked together on a journal named “The Social Contract Press,” which frequently runs articles by white supremacists. Quotes from the material published in The Social Contract include, “The ethnic identity that is emerging among Hispanic immigrants … [is] a militant and all-encompassing identity that excludes and conflicts with traditional American allegiances, institutions, and values and explicitly identifies whites as a racially alien enemy, an oppressor, whose institutions are to be taken over and whose race is to be expelled from territories that whites stole in the Mexican-American War,” and ” We are infested with an alien force that seeks, Borg-like, to assimilate us to their totalitarian system of religion and society.”
An earlier version of this story said that Tanton is the founder of a group called the Pioneer Fund. He is not, though the organizations he is associated with receive money from the group.