Rachel Maddow drew the connection between Arizona's recent anti-immigrant legislation and the Immigration Reform Law Institute and the Federation of Americans for Immigration Reform (FAIR). I'd like to explain a bit more about FAIR and their racist ties. This is largely based on a letter I wrote back in 2002.
Years ago I went to a meeting held by the union (Washtech/CWA) on off-shoring and H1B Visa (guestworker program). I ran my mouth a lot at that meeting and picked some fights; and I've been generally trying to counter some of the anti-immigrant rhetoric around the periphery of the union (not union-members; the union has abut 300 members, but an email list of interested folks is 15,000 subscribers--techies).
Anyway, at this meeting a guy from FAIR (Federation of Americans for Immigration Reform) showed up. I argued with him at the meeting; and we ended up on the subway together; and we argued some more. Somewhere over the course of the conversation, I said, "You sound like the American Patrol" (a notorious anti-immigrant vigilante group in the southwest). His reply, "The American Patrol are misunderstood"... so then Mr. FAIR went from the "crazy right-winger" category to the "suit & tie fascist" category in Flint's brain.
In one 17-month period in 1999 and 2000, at least 30 incidents of vigilante violence were reported in a single section of the Arizona-Mexico border. One of the American Patrol's big projects was an unmanned surveillance drone.
Later on this Washtech+periphery email list someone posted a report from FAIR. So I decided to research these creeps. FAIR was one of the leading forces behidn California's infamous Proposition 187.
FAIR is one of a dozen organizations founded by John Tanton. They vary in the extremes of their policy, but all are essentially either anti-immigrant think tanks, or anti-immigrant activist groups. All their funding comes largely from less than a dozen sources (mostly individuals). Groups like US English, American Immigration Control Foundation (AICF), Center for Immigration Reform, US Inc, NumbersUSA, the 21st Century Fund, Population-Environment Balance, and the Immigration Reform Law Institute, and even the American Patrol (Voice of Citizens Together).
They are all tied together by a few people. US English and FAIR shared board members like Arnold Swarzenegger and Linda Chavez (who almost ended up as Secretary of Labor for the U.S., until it was revealed that she had an undocumented worker as her housekeeper that she irregularly paid). Chavez (and many other prominent Republicans, including congressmen) eventually quit from U.S. English's board when Tanton made several comments in a leaked memo that many thought was both racist and anti-Catholic.
Tanton also owns a publishing company The Social Contract Press, the sole U.S. publisher for the book, Camp of Saints -- 'a lurid, racist novel written by Jean Raspail that depicts an invasion of the white, Western world by a fleet of starving, dark-skinned refugees.' Some of FAIR's (and these other Tanton groups) money comes from the likes of Richard Mellon Scaife; founder of the Heritage Foundation. FAIR also has ties to the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC) and American Renaissance.
American Renaissance is the white supremacist academic conference held in Virginia until it was recently shutdown by anti-fascists. Glen Spencer, from American Patrol, also spoke at that AmRen conference. Also at past AmRens: Mark Weber, a principal of the Holocaust-denying Institute for Historical Review; White power web maven, former Klansman and ex-con Don Black; Gordon Lee Baum, "chief executive officer" of the CCC; and several members of the neo-Nazi National Alliance. FAIR representatives went to Cullman, Ala., for a CCC-organized protest against a swelling local population of Mexican workers.
The CCC also has a relationship with former Attorney General John Ashcroft. Some of the groups that endorsed Ashcroft for Attorney General: American Council For Immigration Reform, English First, and Council of Conservative Citizens. Ashcroft also did an interview Southern Partisan (a neo-confederate journal). Other Republicans with ties to the CCC: former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, and Georgia Rep. Bob Barr. Someone else involved with the CCC? White Supremacist David Duke. Cordia Strom, who was once FAIR's legal director, became a staffer for the House Immigration Subcommittee in 1996. Strom became counsel to the director and coordinator of congressional affairs for the Immigration and Naturalization Service.
Anyway, one of FAIR's major sources of funding is the Pioneer Fund, which also funds a number of anti-immigration and eugenisist studies. Pioneer Fund has been at many of the epic-center for race-based academic scandals. FAIR is pretty much the only "activist" group that the Pioneer Fund gives money, the rest of their money goes to providing grants that give academic justification to racism. Pioneer Fund also provided the money to found American Renaissance's parent foundation.
A bit of history of interest to wobblies and syndicalists... the Pioneer Fund was a setup in 1937 by Wickliffe Draper, a white supremacist textile factory capitalist who was in opposition to to Eastern and Southern Europeans migrating to the U.S.
Why did Draper set this up? In 1912, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) organized the Draper Company at Hopedale after a four month strike. Since that time, Draper was desperately trying to use science to prove that others were genetically inferior so that he could return to the "old order". Further that his anti-immigant ideas were because immigrants might be more open to subversive activities or to be communists. This entire twisted web of anti-immigrant propaganda, anti-immigant lobbying in congress, the funding of academic racism in the U.S. ... all things that have lead to 20,000 imprisoned immigrant "detainees", 148,000 people deported between September 11th 2001 and September of 2002, plans to deport 400,000 more, and the recent anti-immigrant law in Arizona --the money trail goes back to one white-supremacist capitalist who was bitter that he lost a strike to immigrant wobblies.