Our VoiceImmigration

University students take a stand against bigotry

Cloee Cooper • Nov 19, 2010

You might remember hearing last month about students at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee who staged a walkout on anti-immigrant group FAIR.  When FAIR’s president, Dan Stein, came to their campus to debate SB1070, students not only asked him to account for the organization’s ties to white nationalism, but organized a demonstration and walkout to protest the presence of a hate group on campus.  Their actions created a ripple effect across campuses nationally.

Last week, university students launched a campus speaking tour called “No More Arizonas: A Student Tour Against Bigotry” to discuss SB1070 and the anti-immigrant network of organizations known as the John Tanton Network.

Behind the modern day anti-immigrant movement is a controversial network of anti-immigrant organizations all founded or supported by one man – John Tanton.  Tanton launched Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), the organization that takes credit for crafting SB1070.  FAIR received early seed funding from the notorious Pioneer Fund – a foundation that promotes race betterment theories.  From there, Tanton built most of today’s most influential anti-immigration groups, including Progressives for Immigration Reform (PFIR), NumbersUSA and the national think tank Center for Immigration Studies (CIS).  Until recently, this network has been successful in sustaining mainstream credibility, despite its controversial agenda.

We’ve all heard about the heated battles in Arizona over anti-immigrant laws like SB 1070. But have you ever wondered what is behind passing a bill like SB1070? During a week-long tour of the state after the enactment of SB 1070, a delegation of nine university students decided to find out.

These same students toured the East coast last week to share their stories.  With the slogan “No More Arizonas,” they discussed SB1070, the Tanton Network and how campuses around the country are finding ways to counter bigotry. 200 hundred students on four campuses came out last week to take a stand against the Tanton Network and anti-immigrant bigotry.

The recent “No More Arizonas: A Student Tour Against Bigotry” is a historical benchmark in a battle to uphold community, equality and democracy.

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