“This issue is so big, it’s affecting all people”
-Howard University NAACP member
Thursday night, in honor of the Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, Howard University’s NAACP chapter hosted a documentary screening and student panel on controversial Arizona law SB1070 and the rise of the anti-immigrant movement.
Howard University students have been central to a student movement dedicated to taking on the anti-immigrant movement. In August of 2010, Howard University students participated in a student delegation to Arizona in order to get a deeper perspective on SB1070. Upon returning, they organized a speaking tour at historically black colleges and universities on the east coast entitled, “No More Arizonas.”
The tour addressed SB1070 copycat laws being introduced in states across the country and the network of anti-immigrant organizations known as the John Tanton Network.
The Tanton Network is a constellation of anti-immigrant organizations all founded or funded by John Tanton. Back in 1979, Tanton founded the Federation for American Immigration Reform. Now the nation’s leading anti-immigrant organization, FAIR has taken credit for drafting SB1070. The Pioneer Fund, a foundation that has a history of promoting the genetic superiority of white, European-Americans, gave John Tanton $1.2 million to seed his modern day anti-immigrant empire.
Organizations such as Center for Immigration Studies and Numbers USA were founded or funded by Tanton. The Tanton network has been linked to the introduction of 300 pieces of anti-immigrant legislation in the last five years alone.
The majority of students who gathered at the Howard screening were not familiar with the Tanton Network, but had plenty to say about laws and practices that seek to divide and discriminate based on race.
One student said, “Arizona’s SB1070 is legalized hate.”
A different student agreed, remarking, “Racism is still alive and people aren’t concealing it in Arizona.”
Another student compared the legalized discrimination against immigrants to pre-civil rights struggles for African Americans.
Today, students will rally outside of the Federation for American Immigration Reform headquarters in DC. In recognition of the Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, we stand with students and others who continue to resist attacks on our civil rights. Their voices will be heard.
FAIR shares a building with several organizations and associations in Washington DC including the American Medical Association, the National Cable Telecommunications Association, General Motors, the National hydropower Association, the National Association of Countries and the Department of Justice.