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Anti-Immigrant Group Revamps Website, Apparently Drops Controversial Advisory Board Member

Stephen Piggott • Sep 30, 2010

Anti-immigrant group, ProEnglish, a group founded by white nationalist John Tanton, recently updated its website. The slick new site features information about “official English,” ProEnglish’s goal of making English the official language of the United States. The site also features an “Our Projects” page which describes the anti-immigrant efforts that ProEnglish are currently involved in.

Unsuccessful at getting national “official English” legislation passed, ProEnglish have focused its efforts on getting English-only ordinances passed in smaller towns. A recent example of this is the town of Lino Lakes, Minnesota, whose city council voted to adopt English as the official language of the town. According to Minnesota National Public Radio, But the national advocacy group that helped officials in the northern Twin Cities suburb write the resolution is tied to other organizations that call for a cap on federal immigration levels. The Arlington, Va.-based ProEnglish bills itself as the nation’s “leading advocate of official English.” The article then goes on to talk about John Tanton, the white nationalist who founded Pro-English stating, “It was founded by a controversial activist named John Tanton, a retired ophthalmologist from Michigan who has pushed to curtail the level of immigration into the United States. Tanton has helped start groups known as the Federation for American Immigration Reform, NumbersUSA, and the conservative think tank, Center for Immigration Studies.”

Though Tanton remains on ProEnglish’s board. Controversial advisory board member Eddie Garcia is nowhere to be seen on the new ProEnglish website. Last month, Imagine2050 reported how Eddie Garcia talked on his Facebook page about how undocumented immigrants are “raping” America. Garcia then sent an email to Imagine2050 where he refused to retract his offensive comment. Garcia’s comments must have upset someone at the Pro-English offices because it appears that he no longer has a role with the organization.

Even though it appears that Pro-English have dropped Garcia, the group has not dropped its assault on immigrants. Implementing English as the official language in the United States would have a devastating impact on huge percentages of immigrants who come to the United States, both documented and undocumented. A large percentage of immigrants who come to the United States do not have a strong grasp of English, and requiring them to fill out all forms and conduct all tests (such as the drivers license test) in English is unnecessary. As we have seen with the case of Lino Lakes, ProEnglish remain extremely active in anti-immigrant circles and will remain so until the group’s goal of making English the official language of the United States is achieved.

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