By Raoul Lowery Contreras
Predating myriad anti-immigrant and anti-Mexican groups fostered and nurtured by and through the Internet, there were groups founded by the USA’s most dangerous bigoted Mexican-hater of all time, Dr. John Tanton of Michigan, former Sierra Club big wig and former President of ultra-left Zero Population groups active in ending immigration to the U.S. based on a foundation of skin color and religion.
Some of the groups he founded – with money from the Pioneer Fund, a totally discredited pseudo-intellectual/scientific racist group – are the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), U.S. English (an English-only group), NumbersUSA (Roy Beck), the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) and the Social Contract Press, a quarterly “scholarly” publication.
These groups and the Press are characterized by the Southern Poverty Law Center:
As long ago as 1988, a set of his (Tanton) internal memoranda to the staffs of two groups he founded — FAIR and U.S. English — were leaked and showed Tanton warning of a coming “Latin onslaught,” questioning whether Latinos were as “educable” as others, and worrying that Latinos were outbreeding (sic) whites. A decade later, he told a reporter that whites would soon develop a racial consciousness, and the result would be “the war of all against all.” He (Tanton) hired and worked alongside Wayne Lutton, who has held leadership positions in four white supremacist hate groups. He published and endorsed a racist book on immigration, and he published numerous white supremacists. Tanton compared immigrants to bacteria that will continue growing until the population crashes, and sneered at immigrants’ “defecating and creating garbage and looking for jobs.
CIS and NumbersUSA have become relatively well-known Tanton groups that strive for “respectability” and do so with “research” and “reports” that purport to be scholarly and scientific but in reality are pure CRAP!
For example, of late CIS (and Ed Rubenstein of Vdare) has issued a number of memos claiming that immigrants (legal and illegal) have taken all new jobs created in the modest new Obama job market creeping slowly across the country in the era of higher-than-8-percent unemployment. Thus, they say, Americans are being shoved aside by immigrants who are taking/stealing those jobs from American citizens.
When experts on the labor market suggest that such is not the case, the CIS memo writers like Executive Director Mark Krikorian (a former head staffer at FAIR) react with bile and assault anyone that contradicts their shoddy and unsupported “studies” and “memos.”
An emotionally blinded Krikorian: “Tell that to the 23 million Americans who are unemployed, forced to settle for part-time work, or gave up looking for work altogether.”
Wow! Superficially, that sounds like a total indictment of immigrants getting jobs all together. In other words every time an immigrant gets a job, an American is either thrown out of work or must remain unemployed or underemployed because the immigrant gets a job.
That is not true for several reasons.
First, there is labor mobility. Immigrants tend to go to population centers where there are always jobs. And, because they travel light, they can move quickly because they are generally not tied down with mortgages, long-standing relationships and all the things that keep citizens emotionally/economically tied down.
Secondly, immigrants will do any job. They tend not to be prejudiced towards job categories many Americans used to do. Has anyone heard of Japanese gardeners lately? Their children have become doctors, dentists and scientists. Gardeners now almost all speak Spanish.
Here’s how points one and two merge. In Hurricane Katrina’s aftermath and its flood devastation in and around New Orleans and Mississippi, billions of government and insurance dollars flooded the devastated area. There were few New Orleans residents that wanted to clean up, to rebuild, nor did all the unemployed Rust Belt Americans drop everything and rush to New Orleans. Who did?
Mexicans, legal and illegal, flooded into New Orleans and Mississippi to clean up and rebuild.
The following year I met an FBI Special Agent from New Orleans at a conference. I asked about his post-Katrina experience. His house was destroyed by the flood. Working with architects and he quickly prepared plans for a new residence, got them approved by the various government agencies involved, then asked for construction bids. He dealt with bids for weeks; gave up the effort, took time off from the FBI, became his own General Contractor and hired Mexicans that were experienced carpenters, builders and construction workers and built his house and had it pass inspection within six weeks.
When I asked him if he, a federal-badge carrying high-ranking federal officer checked the workers for legal ability to be in and legally work in the United States, he laughed and said Hell No. “I wanted a house, not a year-long project.”
Mobility and a deep-seated desire to work; does that not define immigrants?
Editors note: as with all blog postings that appear with a by-line, the opinions presented are the author’s and not necessarily the positions of Cafe Con Leche Republicans.
Raoul Lowery Contreras (1941) was born in Mexico, raised in the USA. Former U.S. Marine, athlete, Dean’s List at San Diego State. Professional political consultant and California Republican Party official(1963-65)…Television news commentator, radio talk show host…published Op-Ed writer (1988 to present)…author of 12 books (as of 1-05-12). His books are available on Amazon.com.