On Tuesday, supporters of the Senate legalization-first immigration bill are holding a press conference call to reveal the “history” behind several prominent organizations opposing the deal. The call promises to “explore the anti-Immigrant network and its nativist roots.” The “conservative leaders” engaging in this leftist tactic of guilt by association and veiled charges of racism should be ashamed. That it is occurring on the same day the Senate takes its first vote on the measure suggests a hint of desperation.
The press call is intended to smear groups like the Center for Immigration Studies, Numbers USA, and the Federation for American Immigration Reform, all vocal opponents of the “Gang of 8″ Senate bill. Apparently drawing heavily on research from the liberal Southern Poverty Law Center, the call will try to tag all opponents to the Senate bill as “nativists,” a slur that is tantamount to calling an opponent a racist.
The Southern Poverty Law Center is famous for finding racists and bigots everywhere they look. They labeled the Family Research Council a “hate group” because of its opposition to gay marriage. The listing led one young activist to attempt to force his way into FRC’s office with a handgun. SPLC regularly categorize opponents of immigration legislation as racists. Left-wing journalist Alexander Cockburn described the head of the organization as the “arch-salesman of hate mongering.” It is unfortunate that, in their zeal to support the Senate bill, some conservatives are pushing such biased “research.”
Leading the call are Mario Lopez, President of the Hispanic Leadership Fund, and Alfonso Aguilar, Executive Director of the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles. Earlier this year, The Washington Post reported on Lopez’s efforts to tie opponents of the Senate bill to controversial positions held by a leading immigration and population control activist.
Worrying about the number of humans on the planet may seem odd now, but it was once a widely held concern among the elite. For a period in the 1970s, the news media was obsessed with stories of impending doom due to a growing population. That a nearly octogenarian activist would hold similar views isn’t really surprising. That self-described conservatives would use this fact to smear an entire group of people certainly is, though.
This is a tactic of the left. Conservatives ought to debate the merits of a given position, not inpugn the motives of their opponents based on the views of someone else. A source close to the Gang of 8 told Breitbart News the information that a opponent of immigration also had an overall concern about a growing population was “interesting” and wasn’t meant to disparage all opponents of the Senate bill.
This isn’t an academic symposium. The call was scheduled to take place as the Senate was having its first floor vote on the Gang bill. The intent of the call is clear — tag anyone who opposes the bill or votes against proceeding to the bill a “nativist,” i.e. a racist.
I have noted often that there are many reasons to support immigration reform. The Senate bill, however, fails to reform the immigration system. It fails to ensure that the border is secure and that we have an enforcement system that prevents another future wave of illegal immigration. It makes an already broken system more complicated and more arbitrary. Worse, perhaps, the Senate bill causes some conservatives to act like leftists.
UPDATE: Breitbart News has learned that the conference call as been indefinitely postponed.