Congressional Republicans clearly don’t care that the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) is a hate group or that its founder, John Tanton, is a white nationalist. Why else would they hold two immigration hearings today (one by the House Judiciary Committee and one in the Senate) and invite not one, not two, not three, but four witnesses affiliated with FAIR or its sibling groups? Between the two hearings, thirteen people are giving testimony today, which means that the Tanton anti-immigrant network gets to enjoy nearly a full third of all non-committee speaking time.
Who are these witnesses? The Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing is titled “Keeping Families Together: The President’s Executive Action On Immigration And The Need To Pass Comprehensive Reform“. The minority witness is Jan C. Ting, who has been called to give testimony before and has been a board member of the anti-immigrant Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) since 2012.
The House Judiciary Committee’s hearing is called “The Impact on Local Communities of the Release of Unaccompanied Alien Minors and the Need for Consultation and Notification.” Here are some of the people Republicans have speaking:
- Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA), who sits on FAIR’s advisory board (and says things like “I will get rid of the illegal people…They must leave.”)
- Jessica Vaughan, Director of Policy Studies for CIS. At least that one’s upfront.
- Sheriff Thomas Hodgson of Bristol County, MA, an anti-immigrant sheriff associated with FAIR
Republicans like to claim that the pro-immigration reform movement is full of special interests. Why then, are so many of the voices speaking for the opposition directly traceable to a single shadowy network?