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At Today's Rally, Tanton Network Nativists, King and Sessions Set Ugly Tone For GOP

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George Zornick at The Nation spent some time today at the Tanton Network’s anti-immigrant event today:

If there’s one media failing in the immigration debate, it is that many mainstream reporters hedge around the fact that at least some conservative opposition to the bill is based in cultural and even racial animus towards Hispanics.

It’s not the only reason people oppose immigration reform. There are many good reasons, and many bad reasons that have nothing to do with race. But a non-trivial portion of conservative opposition reform is couched in those terms, particularly among the activist crowd organizing against the bill.

It’s ugly, but it happens to be true. One could forgive mainstream reporters for largely dancing around this fact—if these activists didn’t regularly plan large rallies in the shadow of the Capitol building, and then say a bunch of plainly racist and nativist things into a microphone.

Such was the case Monday, where several hundred people gathered in Upper Senate Park to denounce immigration reform as a job-killer.

Watch the video:

Yeah, that’s the kind of ugly rhetoric we often see from the anti-immigrant crowd.  (It’s a good thing the rally got punked.)

And, of course, two of the leading opponents of reform, Senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III (R-AL) and Rep. Steve King (R-IA), were there today. Those two are the leading anti-immigrant voices for the Senate and House, respectively.

The Senate has already passed a bipartisan reform bill. But, Sessions is teaming up with King to block any progress in the House. They’re trying to slow down our momentum, but today’s event should be a real wake up call for John Boehner and his leadership team. Sessions, King and the Tanton Network are defining the GOP’s position right now. It’s pretty clear that the longer this debate drags out, the uglier it will get. And that’s only going to be bad for Boehner and his party.

Check out some of the ugliness from today’s rally:



Meanwhile, view these resources pushing back against the so-called “March for Jobs” against immigration reform today: