The Racist Roots of Anti-Immigration Activists Part I

From guest blogger Santiago J. Valenzuela

A lot of talk is flying around assuring everyone that no racist motivations are behind the supporters of strict immigration law. While many supporters of strict immigration law are no doubt merely mistaken in their beliefs, there is a significant core of people who are at least questionable and in other instances blatantly racist in their ideology. The most worrisome part is that these are not the "lunatic fringe" of the anti-immigration movement, but rather it’s leaders, the intellectuals and some of the most influential activist organizations in the movement.

Take Russell Pearce, a hero of the conservative movement that played a large role in pushing through the current crop of immigration legislation passed. He runs the standard line that immigrants "steal" "American jobs" (as if the jobs belong to all of us collectively, and employers have no right to hire whom they please) and supports such evil measures as repealing the 14th Amendment in order to prevent so-called "anchor babies" from gaining US Citizenship. What qualifications he would give to gaining US Citizenship, he has not said. Above and beyond those disgusting viewpoints, however, Pearce has some highly suspicious associates and activities.

In 2006, he "accidentally" sent an article from The National Alliance, a white supremacist website, to a few dozen supporters in his district. Allegedly, Pearce only read the first few paragraphs of the article entitled "Who Rules America? The Alien Grip on Our News and Entertainment Media Must Be Broken." We are to believe that Pearce somehow was forwarded this article yet did not investigate the organization's website, nor even read more than 12 sentences into the article before copying the whole thing - never catching a glimpse of such phrases as:

"For example, a racially mixed couple will be respected, liked, and socially sought after by other characters, as will a "take charge" Black scholar or businessman, or a sensitive and talented homosexual, or a poor but honest and hardworking illegal alien from Mexico. On the other hand, a White racist—that is, any racially conscious White person who looks askance at miscegenation or at the rapidly darkening racial situation in America—is portrayed, at best, as a despicable bigot who is reviled by the other characters, or, at worst, as a dangerous psychopath who is fascinated by firearms and is a menace to all law-abiding citizens."

Which is all of 13 sentences into the article. Or:

"The National Alliance, parent organization of National Vanguard Books, is a membership organization of activists working for White interests and helping to build and fund our new media. For further information on Alliance membership, write to PO Box 90, Hillsboro WV 24946 USA."

Which is the second-to-last paragraph of the article, which Pearce might have glimpsed even if he had just highlighted the whole article.

The title of the piece itself, along with the vague organization writing it, might have raised a little suspicion. What is absolutely unbelievable though, is Pearce's claim that he read only some of those first 12 sentences, then copied the article (all 10 pages of it, when printed out in 10 point courier font) to a few dozen supporters in his district. Lets not even get into his defense that a "friend" had forwarded the article to him, since it leads to uncomfortable questions like why Pearce would be such close friends with a white supremacist. Either he is the least intelligent man serving in politics, he is racist or both.

It does not stop there, though, as Pearce somehow managed to “accidentally” endorse a neo-Nazi for Mesa City Council. Pearce claims that he didn't know anything about Ready’s racist views, but Ready does not seem shy about broadcasting them openly. Somehow, Pearce got to know Ready well enough to endorse him, but did not bother to look into Ready’s beliefs or associations (or perhaps listen to the man himself) enough to realize that the man was a neo-Nazi? The question has been raised: was Ready the friend who forwarded Pearce the racist email, or does Pearce have other racist friends?

The fact that Pearce is a hero of the conservative movement is a shame. Rather than praise his activism, they should be busy condemning his abject, obvious and very poorly hidden racism. The fact that this man was the driving force behind much of the model immigration laws being pushed throughout the country should give its supporters pause.

In the Part II of this post, I will examine the misnamed Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), their extreme racist roots and their continuing support from the white supremacist community, a fact that does not exclude them from a very prominent role in immigration policy activism.

Comments (9)

Haven't you ever heard of Strom Thurmond? ;)

This stuff is rampant. Anti-immigration and antiSemitism are fairly widespread and common in the United States, even (especially?) amongst the well to do, and perhaps moreso in Europe.

The most common forms of racism I've encountered are by those who are very loud about not being racist, usually followed by, "But..." and a big long explanation. In my experience, this type of racism is very prevalent on the east coast... both north and south. I will admit that while anyone, but especially a legislator from the west, having this attitude is troubling, there is a sort of renewed antisemitism that is arising even amongst educated people. Holocaust denialism is becoming more and more popular these days, often combined with some sort of "Jews control the banks" mentality and Islamist apologism.

I wrote the above before clicking on the article you provide... yes, another tiresome and lengthy canard about Jews controlling the world. Pretty predictable.

I used to think racism wasn't very common, mostly because I believed peoples' adamant assertions of how un-racist they are. But I can't tell you how many times I've heard people say things like, "I don't have anything against black (or Mexican or whatever...) people, BUT..." followed by a big long list of everything they have against black or hispanic people. You know, the sort of statements that begin with a, "No offense, but..." in order to ward off any assertions that they might be trying to offend you.

I can't help but wonder whether racist people are perhaps more willing to open up to a blond, blue-eyed person than a darker person with last names like Valenzuela or Schoenbeim. :) Racism usually isn't very overt, because in our politically correct culture, it can't be, until the government starts sanctioning it.

I think the issue here is that many people who support the ideas and websites of groups like and and have no clue they're funded and headed by neo-Nazis, and if they did, they may think twice about supporting them. Then perhaps, just maybe, that will cause them to rethink their position.

I believe most Americans are benevolent and tend to judge people on their merits rather than race. I know there are a lot of ignorant pieces of trash out there that believe otherwise and a lot more with good intentions but unchecked premises, but I don't believe most people are racist.

As a former Conservative Republican, I used to forward around the Numbers USA videos because they scared the hell out of me and I had not fully thought through the issues. Thankfully, I am open to new ideas and I'm always seeking out new knowledge. I think there are many other Conservative Republicans like I was and I think they can be reached.

One thing is certain, we all deserve to know the truth about these groups and I intend to spread the word.

"One thing is certain, we all deserve to know the truth about these groups and I intend to spread the word."

I agree. I simply don't find much of the above surprising, i.e. that there are politicians and well to do white people in this country pushing a white supremacist agenda, particularly when coupled with antisemitism. Racism: it's not just for backwater, inbred hicks anymore! (sorry, can't resist!)

Incidentally, I dated a black guy once that was originally from the Virgin Islands and spent a great deal of time in Houston. He said race relations there were the best he'd seen of anywhere he'd lived in the US, and they were particularly bad on the east coast, especially in New York. I think out west, we are fortunate to live amongst financial conservatives who aren't pushing as much of a religious or social agenda.

Then again, there are plenty of liberals that buy into this anti-immigration trash as well.

Having spent the first 33 years of my life in Houston, I'd have to agree with your ex-boyfriend, Monica. I think it's much worse in the northeast. The most racist person I've ever personally experienced was one of my ex-husband's military friends, a native of Pennsylvania. He was ridiculous!

Thank you for posting such an illuminating article. I had no idea that Neo-Nazi groups were funding some of these groups. I do have a question for you, in your article you asserted "evil measures as repealing the 14th Amendment in order to prevent so-called "anchor babies" from gaining US Citizenship". I would like to hear your reasons for writing that, because a few tea partiers that I associate with have remarked that we need to repeal the 14th amendment.

Hi Prometheus,

The 14th amendment has 3 main clauses.

The 1st clause is the most relevant here: the citizenship clause states that anyone born or naturalized in the US is a US citizen. That is what they want repealed, so that they can pass laws to prevent the children of illegal immigrants (or legal immigrants) from becoming citizens by virtue of being born here.

The 2nd clause is for due process, and the 3rd is equal protection under the law.


The reason people want to repeal the 14th amendment is to repeal "birthright citizenship" - ie, the law which states that anyone born on US soil is a US citizen.

It does not take long to figure out that without that, the kinds of citizenship process put in by the government would not be rational. In fact you could pretty much guarantee it would discriminate based on a variety of factors, from national origin to political ideology. Putting "who gets to be a citizen" in the hands of the government is a recipe for disaster.

Right, what's the standard for citizenship if we repeal the 14th Amendment? What if one parent is a citizen and the other is not? What if both parents are or are not citizens? If you are born here and are not a citizen, then what country are you a citizen of?

The government holds enough arbitrary rules and regulations over our heads. We certainly don't need them further complicating citizenship and immigration.

"The most racist person I've ever personally experienced was one of my ex-husband's military friends, a native of Pennsylvania. He was ridiculous!"

No surprise. I grew up most of my life in upstate NY. If you drive around the rural areas, sometimes you can see people flying Confederate flags. In NY... !?

I have zero tolerance for all this nonsense about flying the Confederate flag just being an expression of free speech and no one should name what it really means. If people want to do it, that's their choice, I think. However, no one is going to pull the wool over my eyes about what it is: a blatant expression of racism. You can get away with asserting that flying the confederate flag in the south has something to do with states' rights or secession, and not racism. But in New York? Give me a break. No one living in New York wants to secede from the US. I make no excuses for these hateful fools, and anyone half-way reasonable shouldn't either.

I think one reason that so-called race relations are better in the west is that there isn't as much of a distinction between classes. Largely speculation on my part, but back east, whether you live in the north or the south, there's something called Old Money that served to keep black people resentful (and poorer whites ticked off, too). Out west, that was largely eliminated as anyone who made a new life here had to basically start from scratch. This didn't eliminate all racism -- particularly against Asians making their way from China and Japan -- but it helped, I think.

Post a Comment