Professors Harrison & Lamm: More of the Tanton Network on Campus

Catharine Debelle • Nov 10, 2011

Concerned about immigration? Think that every immigrant “invading” the United States is lazy and/or is trying to destroy American values? Believe that policymakers are not actively addressing the immigration problem? Not yet an anti-immigrant activist who’s a member of the John Tanton Network?

If you answered yes to some or all of these questions, continue reading because you’ll want here what professors Lawrence Harrison and Richard Lamm have to say about their bold new plan to resolve the US’s immigration complications.

Immigration quotas, according these two, shouldn’t be reserved solely for the undocumented; nope, anyone who isn’t considered to be from a desirable country should be barred entry. Why? Well, according to Richard Lamm, they integrate into our society, simply put, too slowly:

“In my twelve years as governor of Colorado, high levels of immigration, predominantly from Mexico, made virtually every major problem more difficult to solve. At least 50 percent of immigrants today come from Latin America, and they are integrating much more slowly than prior immigration waves.”

Surprisingly, their plan does include amnesty for the undocumented. If you have worked or been a student in the last 5 years you may be eligible for their exclusive amnesty package. For just five miniscule payments of $10,000 you too can be eligible for amnesty. (Disclaimer: Family eligibility is limited to the immediate-nuclear family.)

All this in mind, who exactly are Harrison and Lamm, and why do they think anyone will ever listen them? Is each that well connected, that “credible?”

Well, Harrison is the Director of the Cultural Change Institute at the Fletcher School at Tufts University. Between 1965 and 1981, he directed USAID missions to the Caribbean and to Central America. He is the author of several books, as well, including The Central Liberal Truth, which links Haiti’s failures to develop as a country to the practice of voodoo. Harrison is no bigot, though. For example, in an article he wrote for the Christina Science Monitor back in May 2009, which focuses on the dangers that immigrants from Latin America supposedly pose, he painstakingly states:

“Do I sound like a right-wing “nativist”? I’m not. I’m a lifelong Democrat; an early and avid supporter of Obama […] and a member of the advisory boards of the Federation for American Immigration Reform and Pro English.”

Harrison is also a board member of Progressives for Immigration Reform. All three of these organizations are part of the Tanton Network of anti-immigrant groups that are actively working to stem immigration from non-European countries and to maintain a white majority in the US.

Richard Lamm is professor at the University of Denver and the former governor of Colorado. Like Harrison, he is also on the board of Progressives for Immigration Reform.

Their connections to the Tanton Network in mind, the last step in their “brilliant” immigration proposal is to end multiculturalism in America.

Of course, diversity and immigration in America have done nothing to benefit us—even though undocumented immigrants contribute significantly to economic sectors such as construction, agriculture, maintenance, hospitality, entrepreneurship, and are innovators of new technologies who also contribute as consumers, create jobs, and help to increase the supply and demand for many products and services. Furthermore, immigrants contribute billions as taxpayers, especially via sales tax, even though they receive disproportionately little in return. The average immigrant pays $1,800 more in taxes than she or he receives in public benefits, according to a landmark study by the National Research Council and National Academy of Sciences.

The presence of those who are part of the Tanton Network on our campuses is contentious at best. Together, we need to stand against their brand of nativist rhetoric, and deny them the ability to so easily carve social space wherever they please.

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