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Ahead of FAIR’s ‘Hold Their Feet To The Fire’ Event, Experts Provide Insight to Ties Between Nativist Hate Groups and the Trump Administration

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Ahead of FAIR’s ‘Hold Their Feet To The Fire’ event intended to encourage President Trump to deliver on his anti-immigrant and mass deportation promises, experts reviewed the longstanding ties between anti-immigrant hate groups and white nationalists and analyze the ties between those groups and the Trump administration.  A recording of today’s event is available here.

FAIR, which was founded by white nationalist John Tanton, has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. This year, SPLC granted that same designation to the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), another Tanton-founded group. Both groups have close ties to the Trump administration, as well as to white nationalists. SPLC and Center for New Community (CNC) recently released a report that documents how the CIS engaged in regular mass circulation of content from white nationalists.

Henry Fernandez, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress (CAP), said:

The Center for New Community recently released a report entitled “Nativists at the White House,” detailing spokespeople associated with hate groups that now have positions in the Executive Branch. We  staffers of these organizations join the Trump campaign and now they are receiving positions developing and implementing immigration policy. We did not see organizations like FAIR and CIS have much of a presence in mainstream media before this. Now, as these individuals leave hate groups to work in the Administration, they become legitimate spokespeople in the eyes of the media. We want to make clear to the press that these are not legitimate experts with regard to immigration, and we want to expose who they really are, and the danger that this entails for our communities. Research shows that the normalization of hate in the comments of public officials is often the precursor to violence against minorities. Given the type of language that Trump and his top officials use, it is not a surprise that there has been an uptick in violence.

Heidi Beirich, Intelligence Project Director at the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), said:

The ties between the Trump Administration and hate groups is extremely problematic. Staffers from groups that engage in anti-immigrant rhetoric and racist stereotyping about immigrants have increasingly found a home in the new administration and thus are bringing their hateful views to immigration policy. This mainstreaming of hatred in this highest offices is a tragedy of the highest level.

Lindsay Schubiner, Advocacy Director at the Center for New Community (CNC), said:

Trump has appointed individuals from extremist, nativist groups to positions throughout the federal government, and they are responsible for some of the most egregious anti-immigrant policies we’ve seen this year. These are groups that promote deeply racist policies. There is every reason to assume that their representatives in the Trump administration will continue to promote an agenda that targets and scapegoats immigrants.

For more information, see CNC’s new report, “Nativists at the White House,” that details the range of anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim spokespeople affiliated with these racist groups who now have senior positions in the executive branch.