Washington, DC -On Thursday, January 15th, American Border Patrol founder Glenn Spencer will speak at the National Press Club and release his organization’s new report, assessing the status of the U.S.-Mexico border fence.
What the event organizers won’t tell you is that American Border Patrol has been labeled a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center and called “virulently anti-Hispanic” by the Anti-Defamation League. Spencer has a long history of connections to white supremacist organizations and leaders, appearing at their conferences and even featuring their leaders on his syndicated radio program.
The Southern Poverty Law Center reports that Spencer is part of a loose network of anti-immigrant organizations – including the Center for Immigration Studies, Numbers USA and the Federation for American Immigration Reform – founded or funded by John Tanton, the multi-millionaire godfather of the anti-immigrant movement. Together, they share an extremist agenda aimed at obstructing progress on comprehensive immigration reform and the horrific goal of the mass deportations of 12 million men, women and children. These groups oppose immigration of any kind, including through legal channels.
“Clearly, this report and press conference are just thinly-veiled vehicles for extremist, anti-Hispanic leaders to bring their disturbing views to Washington,” said Paco Fabián, Communications Director of America’s Voice. “Organizations like American Border Patrol, the Federation for American Immigration Reform, the Center for Immigration Studies and Numbers USA promote an extremist agenda that has been soundly rejected by voters time and again. Voters have spoken at the polls, and want smart solutions t tough problems, not more of the same.”
Below, please find several news clips, highlighting the true nature of the American Border Patrol.
Spencer Assures Community, “We’re Not Kooks,” and Fires Shots at Neighbor’s Garage.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, “After a neighbor reported hearing two shots fired and a weapon cocked outside her home, local officers drove out and found that bullets had been fired into the woman’s garage door. Spencer, claiming that he opened fire after hearing suspicious noises outside, was arrested on three felony counts of disorderly conduct with a weapon, one felony count of endangerment and one count of misdemeanor criminal damage.” And upon moving his organizational headquarters to Southern Arizona, Spencer felt compelled to assure residents that: “We’re not kooks.” [SPLC Intelligence Report, Fall 2003]
Southern Poverty Law Center Accused American Border Patrol Of Abusing And Illegally Detaining Immigrants, And The Center Listed the Organization As A Hate Group. According to USA Today, “There are about 12 million illegal immigrants in the USA. Such immigrants — particularly Hispanics who cross from Mexico in search of work — also have become targets for private groups that have formed patrols along the southwestern border, usually against the wishes of law enforcement. One of those groups is American Border Patrol. Its efforts have included rounding up illegal immigrants and turning them over to law enforcement. The Southern Poverty Law Center has accused ABP of abusing and illegally detaining immigrants, and the center lists ABP as a hate group. ABP’s director, Glenn Spencer, is a vocal critic of illegal immigration but says his group has done nothing wrong. ‘Our borders are unprotected, and the (U.S.) Border Patrol is derelict in its duty,’ Spencer says. ‘We are trying to help by any means necessary.'” [USA Today, 5/17/06]
Anti-Defamation League Flagged Spencer’s Organization As “Virulently Anti-Hispanic.” According to the San Antonio Express-News, “Gilchrist [spokesman for Minutemen Project founder Jim Gilchrist] and McGauley [Shannon McGauley, president of the Texas Minutemen] will be getting more support Saturday in North Texas when Glenn Spencer, founder of the activist organization American Border Patrol, joins them for a fundraiser. The Anti-Defamation League has flagged Spencer’s organization as ‘virulently anti-Hispanic.'” [San Antonio Express-News, 8/22/06]
Spencer Sponsored Fundraiser for Rep. Tom Tancredo. According to the Tucson Citizen, “Spencer will kick off the expansion Friday night at his ranch in Hereford, near Naco, with a $50-a-seat cookout and fundraiser for U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo, R- Colo., who is running for president on an anti-illegal immigration platform. About 200 people are expected to attend. Attendees will be shown a high-definition display of the group’s surveillance cameras at work, along with its un-manned aerial vehicles, Spencer said.” [Tucson Citizen, 5/04/07]
Spencer Joined Border Vigil With Patriots’ Border Alliance, Which Broke from Minuteman Civil Defense Corps. According to the Washington Times, “Civilian volunteers who broke from the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps (MCDC) over questions of financial accountability will begin their own border vigil today, setting up observation posts near Palominas, Ariz., to spot and re-port illegal aliens. The Patriots’ Border Alliance (PBA), whose leadership includes former MCDC organizers will spend 30 days on the U.S.-Mexican border in what has been described as the country’s most popular alien- and drug-smuggling corridor… Joining in the vigil is James Gilchrist, who co-founded the Minuteman Project and Glenn Spencer, president of the American Border Patrol, a private organization that uses high-tech equipment to highlight what it calls the ‘crisis of illegal immigration.'” [Washington Times, 9/29/07]
Spencer Said Illegal Immigrant Were “An Army That Has Invaded The United States, And Now They’re Trying To Consolidate Their Gains.” According to the Arizona Daily Star, “Those are the same words used by groups like Sierra Vista-based American Border Patrol, which calls MEChA members and pro-immigration activists and politicians ‘reconquistadors,’ implying that they want to take over this part of the country again just as the Conquistadors did centuries ago. Glenn Spencer, 68, president of American Border Patrol, said Mechistas are ‘subversives turning the Southwest into a jurisdiction of Mexico.’ He also said illegal immigrants are ‘an army that has invaded the United States, and now they’re trying to consolidate their gains.'” [Arizona Daily Star, 5/27/06]
Spencer Raged Over “Illegal Invasion” That He Saw as a Conspiracy Aimed at the “Reconquista.” According to the LA Weekly, “He [Glenn Spencer] took the issue further than many of his fellow travelers, raging over an ‘illegal invasion’ that he saw as no mere accident of global economics but as a sly conspiracy aimed at the ‘reconquista’ of American territories once held by Mexico. He has called for all undocumented immigrants (and their American-born children) to be rounded up and de-ported, for the banning of all foreign-language TV and radio broadcasts, for the military to be deployed to guard the border, for migrants caught crossing to be held in tent cities in the desert. His rhetorical and ideological excesses were constant enough and bold enough to get VCT labeled a ‘hate group’ by the Southern Poverty Law Center.” [LA Weekly, 9/02/05]
# # #