Writing from his perch at National Review, Mark Krikorian, the Executive Director of the anti-immigrant “think tank” Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), is having a bit of a melt-down. He’s accusing everyone on all sides of the political spectrum of ganging up on him and his fellow anti-immigrant zealots from the John Tanton network. (John Tanton is a well-known bigot with ties to eugenicists and race supremacists, and created CIS, among other anti-immigrant groups.) It’s a very desperate screed, spurred on by Peter Wallsten’s article in the Washington Post, “Effort to change immigration law sparks internal battle within GOP,” which details how conservative leaders are working to undermine the Tanton network from the right.
Here’s the thing: Mark Krikorian and his ilk helped craft the GOP’s anti-immigrant strategy. Krikorian is one of the “brains” behind the GOP’s self-deportation strategy. Last year, when Mitt Romney embraced self-deportation, Krikorian crowed about it. And that embrace of Krikorian’s extreme agenda led to Mitt Romney’s historic loss of Latino voters to President Obama in November of 2012. A lot of Krikorian’s old pals have figured out that he and his anti-immigrant ilk are politically toxic.
In his latest column, Krikorian claims that he’s being “Borked” by pro-immigration reform forces on both sides (referring to Robert Bork, the Reagan Supreme Court nominee who was blocked from confirmation). But Krikorian’s not being Borked — political reality has just caught up with him. The days when the John Tanton network set the immigration debate are over. The future belongs to those who support immigration reform with a path to citizenship.
Krikorian is getting more and more shrill. Besides this rant at National Review, one of his other recent gems was a tweet demanding the arrest of Pulitzer-Prize winning immigrant Jose Antonio Vargas:
Illegal-alien journalist Jose Antonio Vargas will testify next week before Senate Judiciary. Will anyone arrest him?
— Mark Krikorian (@MarkSKrikorian) February 8, 2013
A few days after Krikorian sent that tweet, Jose Antonio Vargas went on to deliver a widely-applauded testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee during a broadly-covered immigration hearing. And Krikorian’s colleague at CIS, Director of Policy Studies Jessica Vaughan, tone-deafedly sat next to Vargas and maintained the position that we should keep out and continue to deport immigrants.
This is what losing looks like.