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SPLC Briefing on the extremist roots of leading anti-immigrant groups

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    ... Subject: SPLC Briefing on the extremist roots of leading anti-immigrant groups / Study: Immigration program leads to profiling / Conflicting Accounts of
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 18, 2009
      ----- Forwarded Message ----
      Subject: SPLC Briefing on the extremist roots of leading anti-immigrant groups / Study: Immigration program leads to profiling / Conflicting Accounts of an ICE Raid in Md.

      Briefing on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s report on the extremist roots of leading anti-immigrant groups


       Thursday, February 19, 2009

      Cannon 121

      11:00 am

      Light snacks and refreshments will be provided



      According to a recently released report issued by the Southern Poverty Law Center, three Washington, D.C. organizations most responsible for blocking comprehensive immigration reform and SCHIP during the 110th Congress, and that have tried but failed to block SCHIP and the economic stimulus plan this year, are part of a network of groups created by a man who has been at the heart of the white nationalist movement for decades.


      The report, entitled The Nativist Lobby: Three Faces of Intolerance, describes how the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) and NumbersUSA were founded and funded by John Tanton, who operates a racist publishing company and has written that to maintain American culture, "a European-American majority" is required.  It also examines how each of these groups maintain close ties to Mr. Tanton and other extremist elements while infiltrating the mainstream and presenting themselves as legitimate and unbiased commentators and policy experts. 


      This briefing will be a valuable opportunity for you and your staff to learn about the extremist roots of these organizations, how they have blocked progressive priorities such as the expansion of health care and jobs, and the passage of fair and just immigration reform, and how you can dispel the myths they propagate.


      Speakers include:


      Mark Potok and Heidi Beirich, Southern Poverty Law Center

      Henry Fernandez, Center for American Progress

      Adam Luna, America’s Voice

      ©2009 All rights reserved..



      ACLU/UNC School of Law Exec. Summary:

      http://www..law.unc.edu/ documents/clinicalprograms/ 287gexecutivesummary.pdf

      ------------------------------ ----------------------

      Study calls 287 (g) program into question
      Robert Boyer / Times-News
      February 18, 2009 - 2:03PM

         CHAPEL HILL - The 287 (g) program encourages racial profiling and other
      civil rights violations and is being used to "purge" Alamance County and other
      parts of North Carolina of "unwelcome immigrants."

      These are among the conclusions of a summary of a new report from the American
      Civil Liberties Union and the Immigration and Human Rights Policy Clinic at the
      University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

      Students from the UNC School of Law also worked on the report, called The
      Policies and Politics of Local Immigration Enforcement Laws.

      (To access an Internet version, log on to:

      http://www.law.unc.edu/ documents/clinicalprograms/ 287gexecutivesummary.pdf.)

      Representatives of the clinic and the ACLU's North Carolina Legal Foundation
      announced the release of the report Wednesday morning at the UNC School of Law.

      The 287 (g) program, named after a portion of federal law, allows the U.S.
      Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement to train and deputize local law
      enforcement as federal immigration officials.

      The Alamance County Sheriff's Department has had 287 (g) in place nearly two
      years. Sheriff Terry Johnson and other proponents say the program follows the
      law and is behind reductions in crime.

      Critics, which include Fairness Alamance, a local citizens' group, say the
      program unfairly targets Hispanics who live in the county.

      According to the report's executive summary, 287 (g) marginalizes an "already
      vulnerable population" and "encourages or ... tolerates, racial profiling and
      baseless stereotyping."

      It also results in "economic devastation ... as immigrants are forced to flee
      communities" and "violations of basic American liberties and legal protections
      that ... ease the way for future encroachments into basic fundamental

      "North Carolinians, including residents and citizens, are becoming tremendously
      fearful of law enforcement as more and more members of their communities are
      arrested for minor traffic violations and scheduled for deportation by the
      local law enforcement," Rebecca C. Headen, an ACLU attorney who co-authored the

      "More stories emerged as we traveled in 287 (g) counties of lawful residents
      and U.S. citizens getting pulled over about their immigration status, and even
      arrested when it seems (there is) no instigation, except that they look like
      Hispanic immigrants," Headen continued. "Well, North Carolina has seen and
      dealt with that kind of conduct before. That is racial profiling."

      The program, Headen added, is a financial drain on local law enforcement and
      diverts officers from fighting crime.

      The program, originally aimed at "terrorists and hardened criminals" has turned
      into a "political football, largely as the failure of comprehensive immigration
      reform" that largely targets minor traffic offenders, said study co-author
      Deborah Weissman, a UNC law professor who is the director of the university's
      clinical programs.

      Local law enforcement aren't immigration experts and rely on a faulty federal
      database to identify immigration status, Weissman added.

      Reforms like more transparency and citizen oversight would be an improvement,
      but Weissman and her colleagues prefer 287 (g) to end in North Carolina.

      "At the end of the day, we really need to ask ourselves ... what kind of
      society we want to be, and if we want to go down the slippery slope where some
      of us can just be deprived of equal protection of the law and due process of
      the law," Weissman said.

      Randy Jones, the Alamance County sheriff's spokesman, said traffic stop data
      shows conclusively that local deputies and police officers aren't profiling
      Hispanics. In 2008, only 52 Hispanics were stopped out of the 698 stops
      deputies made, he said. The low rate compared to the overall number of stops
      has held steady for several years.

      The rate was significantly higher in 2004, before 287 (g), but the increase was
      because the department "went real aggressive" on traffic stops because of a
      spike in drug trafficking and a rash of property thefts.

      The Alamance County data is similar to that of Orange County, which Jones said
      has a reputation as a "sanctuary county" for Hispanics.

      Before 287 (g) began in Alamance County, Sheriff Johnson said he targeted only
      those involved in major crimes, but he later changed his position.

      Jones defended processing through 287 (g) immigrants and all others stopped for
      minor traffic violations, saying it was "the only fair way to do it.."

      Since 287 (g) went into effect nearly two years ago, crime has dropped 19
      percent in Alamance County, Jones said.

      Jones said he has no way of knowing whether 287 (g) accounts for the decrease,
      but added that far fewer local Hispanics are coming into the jail as repeat

      Jones had not read the full report but said the summary is full of
      "generalities" that are not supported by statistics. "I've seen the same
      rhetoric I've been hearing," he said. "I haven't heard from these people."

      Jones also questioned the ACLU's motives. The organization has been against 287
      (g) from the beginning, he said.

      Regarding the claim that 287 (g) is behind rising fear of lawmen, Jones said it
      is "not uncommon" for Hispanics to call his department with tips about drug

      Overall, Jones questions the "objectivity and validity" of the study. "We don't
      know where they're getting this."


      see video at link:

      of washingtonpost. com

      Conflicting Accounts of an ICE Raid in Md.

      By N.C. Aizenman

      The boss was not happy. His elite team of immigration officers had been raiding
      targets across Prince George's and Montgomery counties all night long in search
      of fugitive and criminal immigrants but had netted only a handful.

      To view the entire article, go to http://www.washingt onpost.com/ wp-dyn/content/ article/2009/ 02/17/AR20090217 03451.html? referrer= emailarticle

      Would you like to send this article to a friend? Go to
      http://www.washingt onpost.com/ ac2/wp-dyn/ emailafriend? contentId= AR2009021703451&sent=no&referrer=emailartic le


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