During tonight’s GOP debate, viewers will be treated to a commercial produced by NumbersUSA, one of the top-tier organizations within the John Tanton Network of anti-immigrant groups.
NumbersUSA, essentially the grassroots-lobbying arm that the Network loves to paint as political centrists, perpetually argues that their unique brand of anti-immigrant nativism is anything but bigoted. Similarly, their ad purports the same.
Blank in it’s overall milieu, the group hired actors from a rainbow of ethnic backgrounds to deliver their messaging—nativism isn’t about racism, it’s about saving jobs. Despite the attempted disguise via multi-racial casting, NumbersUSA’s messaging is ground well-worn by a vast array of folks, from white nationalists to presidential candidates—that is, “I’m not a racist, my neighbors are black, but damn it these immigrants are being gifted hard-working Americans’ jobs.”
In a collective attempt to freshly inject their messaging back into debates that have been slim on immigration discourse, the bulk of the Tanton Network has been pushing this thinly-veiled jobs argument in unison: The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS), and most laughably Progressives for Immigration Reform (PFIR). PFIR, the Tanton’s arm that attempts to sway the political left, recently released its own report that focuses solely on jobs.
NumbersUSA’s own press release from yesterday reinforces their rhetorical tactics:
“The ad goes on to make the point that the immigration debate should not be about the color of people’s skin, their religion or nation of origin, but should be about the number of jobless Americans….”
In the past, the Tanton Network has orchestrated myriad front groups to prove this – Choose Black America and You Don’t Speak for Me – both now defunct. Indeed, as the female African-American actress in its ad promises, NumbersUSA truly believes that this debate “should not be about the color of people’s skin.” However, the backgrounds of NumbersUSA and its president, Roy Beck, are those of individuals who are, indeed, extremely focused on race, the white one in particular.
- NumbersUSA released a video in 2009, entitled “Immigration 103—American Trauma: Jobs and the Economy.” Featured in the video is Roan Garcia-Quintana, a board member of the Council of Conservative Citizens (CofCC), a white nationalist organization that has called blacks a “retrograde species of humanity.” During a presentation at a CofCC event, Garcia-Quintana once infamously stated, “there are three types of people in the world: Negroids, Mongroids, Caucasians.”
- Roy Beck himself is the former Washington editor of the white nationalist journal, The Social Contract, published by John Tanton.
- Beck spoke at the 1997 national conference of the CofCC.
- One of Beck’s books, Re-Charting America’s Future, was published by the white nationalist Social Contract Press.
- Beck edited a book titled The Immigration Invasion, a book so raw in its nativism that Canadian authorities banned it as hate literature.
- NumbersUSA published a list of state and local contacts in February, 2011. On this list was admitted Holocaust denier Jim Rizoli. After admonishment from a number of immigrant rights groups, NumbersUSA promptly deleted the entire list.
- Rosemary Jenks, vice-president of government relations for NumbersUSA, has also been published in The Social Contract.
- In 2010, Jenks spoke at an anti-immigrant rally in Phoenix, Arizona. The event was preceded by a parade organized by the White Boy Society, a white power biker gang.
With such a history, NumbersUSA and the Tanton Network as a whole are clearly interested in nothing more than bluffing and inculcating Americans until we see the “common sense” upheld by their bigoted brand of anti-immigrant nativism.