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White Nationalist Is Behind Black Anti-Immigration Reform March

By Esther Yu-Hsi Lee  

"White Nationalist Is Behind Black Anti-Immigration Reform March"

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(Credit: Tony Warren)

A white nationalist famed for creating influential immigration-restrictionist groups is bankrolling a black anti-immigration march set to take place on July 15 of this year. John Tanton — a man who has declared his preference for whites and published articles by racist writers who have referred to black Americans as “a retrograde species of humanity” — is using his network of anti-immigration groups as the financial force behind the event.

The Black American Leadership Alliance (BALA) is the latest iteration of black pseudo-advocacy groups created by Tanton’s groups, which include the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), and Numbers USA. BALA’s predecessor, Choose Black America, was also created by the same groups.

On Monday, in an open letter meant to condemn the Senate’s immigration reform bill, BALA called for a march to show racial opposition to “amnesty,” stating that undocumented immigrants would hurt unemployment for black Americans. The aim of the letter is to rally black Americans against Hispanic immigration, two marginalized groups with overlapping skills in the labor workforce.

Pitting two historically discriminated groups against one another has long been a common immigration opposition tactic for John Tanton’s organizations. Another of Tanton’s groups, the hard-line, immigration-restrictionist group NumbersUSA has pushed numerous articles and ads meant to show how immigration reform would negatively impact black Americans. In the past, Tanton’s groups funded trips and conferences for black activists to drive a racial wedge between Hispanics and blacks.

Black unemployment has historically been high independent of undocumented employment. In order to advance their anti-immigration stance though, restrictionist groups have used outdated unemployment data to place the blame firmly on immigrants. In denying any kind of immigration reform, NumbersUSA is advocating for a status quo in which black wages will stay depressed.

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