Anti-immigration Tea Party activists attempt to distance themselves from neo-Nazis.

On Saturday, approximately 200 people showed up to the anti-immigration “No Amnesty” tea party rally organized by American Citizens United in Phoenix. Many people were holding signs that had phrases such as “America not Amexico.” At one point there was a “tussle” when neo-Nazis showed up and tried to join the event, holding a Hitler banner and waving a Confederate flag with the “Don’t Tread on Me” Tea Party symbol. When a Tea Party activist confronted the group, one of the neo-Nazis pushed him to the ground. “If you assault me, you get assaulted back,” he said as police intervened. Watch it:

The Phoenix rally appeared to be part of a larger nationwide effort by Americans for Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC), which organized anti-immigration Tea Parties on Saturday to stop the effort to “destroy America through mass illegal immigration and amnesty.” As Andrea Nill explains in today’s Progress Report, “Right-wing nativists continue to confuse sensible immigration reform with ‘amnesty’ and anti-immigrant groups are exploiting the anger of the right-wing Tea Party movement in an effort to recruit more supporters to join their hateful cause.” Despite American Citizens United’s attempts to distance itself from the neo-Nazis, the Phoenix New Times’ Stephen Lemons says “there’s plenty of overlap between the two groups, whether it be in rhetoric or, occasionally, membership.” (HT: Dawn Teo)