Our VoiceImmigration

FAIR and Lyndon LaRouche: Of Soul Mates and Front Groups

Rev. David L. Ostendorf • Feb 10, 2010


When it comes to creating bogus front groups, few organizations in the U.S. today can match the anti-immigrant Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).

Its most recent incarnation—“Progressives for Immigration Reform”—is all dressed up in a caringly liberal-like web site, professing its commitment to protect American workers and the environment, and to “improve the lives of people worldwide.” One has to wonder if someone at FAIR got schooled in its front groups strategy by Lyndon LaRouche, the wacky, right wing demagogue and political operative and whose capacity to create political confusion through his fronts is the gold standard to which FAIR may aspire.

LaRouche’s National Caucus of Labor Committees launched his lifetime of facades. The Caucus had little to do with labor. He later operated under the guise of the National Anti-Drug Coalition and the Fusion Energy Foundation. Along the way he spun off the Schiller Institute to provide pseudo-intellectual cover to his operations. He topped himself in 1980 by establishing the National Democratic Policy Committee, which spread confusion nationwide as a perceived arm of the Democratic Party. In 1986, LaRouche minions actually won the Illinois primary for Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of State, prompting Democrat Adlai Stevenson to run independently as a candidate for Governor with the Party’s support—a campaign he lost. Indomitable, LaRouche and his cult persist to this day, the latter hawking Obama-as-Hitler flyers reflecting their leader’s warped views on the President.

While FAIR has a long way to go to match LaRouche, its front groups eerily mirror the master. FAIR’s “Coalition for the Future American Worker” has for years run brazen anti-immigrant ads, the most infamous of which were labeled “borderline racist” by a Des Moines, Iowa network station. Its “Choose Black America” (now defunct after it was “unwelcomed” in Chicago) and “You Don’t Speak for Me” fronts attempt(ed) to place African American and Latino/a leaders, respectively, in the fight against immigrants. In 1985 John Tanton and FAIR spun off its own pseudo-research Center for Immigration Studies to provide cover for anti-immigrant policies. Its ill-named “America’s Leadership Team for Long Range Population- Immigration- and Resource Planning” ran “environmental” ads in the New York Times and other national publications long before Progressives for Immigration Reform emerged.

One wonders just what FAIR has to hide. In this respect, FAIR and LaRouche share a common façade, a penchant to confuse, obfuscate, mislead, and misdirect. Like LaRouche, FAIR has a handful of persons of color to cover its racism (one of whom is photographed with known white nationalists), and just enough so-called Democrats to lend its anti-immigrant agenda a touch of nonpartisan credence. But the more the FAIR onion is unpeeled the more it smells like the group took a page from Lydon LaRouche—Front Group Master, con artist, and bloviator-at-large, FAIR soul mate in creating and hiding behind front groups.

Take a look. And give a warm (un)welcome to FAIR’s more aptly-named “Regressives for Immigration Reform,” coming soon to a “progressive” meeting in a white community near you.

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