Radio host Laura Ingraham hosted the executive director of Progressives for Immigration Reform (PFIR), Leah Durant, to push the debunked myth that the immigration reform bill would hurt the African-American unemployment rate, despite studies which show the opposite is true.
On the June 4 edition of The Laura Ingraham Show, Ingraham introduced Durant as a "progressive" voice on the issue and not a "right-wing bomb thrower." Durant explained that her group is against the immigration bill because it would have "devastating consequences" on low-skilled workers, specifically in the black community:
However, Durant's organization is a pretty far cry from a "progressive" group. Progressives for Immigration Reform was set up as part of the John Tanton network of anti-immigrant nativists after they failed to take over the Sierra Club, which the Southern Poverty Law Center called "greenwashing" -- a tactic used by nativist groups to appeal to environmentalists in order to mainstream their nativist viewpoints in a more respectable venue. In another attempt at "greenwashing" right-wing groups established Progressives for Immigration Reform "as a purported group of 'liberals' " in the latest attempt "by nativist forces to appear as something they are not."
Imagine 2050, an organization that promotes a multiracial democracy, highlighted some of PFIR's links to the anti-immigrant movement, including the fact that nativist Roy Beck, head of NumbersUSA, helped recruit the executive director of PFIR. In addition, several of the group's members, including Durant, have close ties to Tanton's other groups such as the Federation for American Immigration Reform and the Center for Immigration Studies -- groups labeled nativist by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
In fact, as the Anti-Defamation League pointed out, at a recent conference run by PFIR, several notable anti-immigrant nativists were in attendance, including VDARE's Peter Brimelow, Wayne Lutton, editor of The Social Contract, an anti-immigrant pro-white publication, and K.C. McAlpin, president of U.S., Inc. who once defended banning Muslim immigrants as similar to banning communists or Nazis in the past.
While the group's ties are problematic enough, the claim that immigration would hurt African-Americans' job prospects is also false and has been called a "pernicious myth" by Daniel Griswold of the Cato Institute. Several comprehensive studies have shown that there is no evidence to support the claim. In fact, wages for native-born Americans tend to increase as a result of immigration -- including one estimate which found that due to immigration native-born African-American workers saw a wage increase of .4 percent from 1994 to 2007.
Peter Brimelow, a columnist for News Corp.'s MarketWatch, has been announced as one of three speakers at a press conference discussing "Why the GOP Must Win White America for Victory in 2012."
The press release explains:
On September 9, The National Policy Institute will present a comprehensive, yet simple, strategy for a Republican victory in 2012--Win the White vote. "The Majority Strategy" is based on the GOP expanding its traditional White voting base, as opposed to continuing its failed "outreach" programs to racial minorities.
Peter Brimelow of VDARE.com, radio host James Edwards, Jared Taylor of American Renaissance, and NPI's Richard Spencer will speak.
The conference will take place from 1:30 to 3 PM in The National Press Club's Holeman Lounge.
NPI will also release two detailed reports, the first of which summarizes the Majority Strategy and is available online for download.
The event is being presented by the National Policy Institute (NPI), which describes itself as "promot[ing] the American majority's unique historical, cultural, and biological inheritance--and advances policies that, without prejudicing the legitimate rights of others, fearlessly defends our rights... our heritage."
On the News Corp.-owned financial site MarketWatch, columnist Peter Brimelow is touted as a veteran financial editor offering the latest research from investment newsletters. But investing advice isn't Brimelow's only interest. He's also the founder and editor of VDARE.com, a website which argues against non-white immigrants and features the writings of white nationalists and supremacists.
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has identified Brimelow's VDARE as a "hate group," writing that the site publishes content "by prominent academic racists" and writers who "decry the demise of white America, blaming immigrants, multiculturalists, and members of the 'Treason Lobby' -- essentially groups concerned with protecting immigrants' human and civil rights -- for undermining the racial cohesion of the nation."
Brimelow -- who believes that "[d]iversity is not strength. It is, in important respects, repression" -- has warned that the country will face dire consequences if whites are no longer the ethnic majority. And Brimelow's fundraising efforts make clear what audience he's targeting. In a December 2010 appeal, Brimelow wrote that there's "one brutal reason you must support VDARE.com. Sometime in the next few months, the Census Bureau will announce that a majority of births in the U.S. are now non-white." A May 2007 fundraising appeal by Brimelow was headlined, "Coming White Minority? Help VDARE.COM Now!"
Brimelow has suggested a reason for the different focuses of his VDARE posts and MarketWatch investment columns, writing on VDARE that he tries "not to mix my political and financial journalism, partly because the former invariably causes tolerant and diversity-loving liberals to try to get me fired from the latter, which gets to be a bore." MarketWatch is a subsidiary of Dow Jones, which is owned by News Corp. (also the parent company of the Wall Street Journal and Fox News).
When asked for further info about Brimelow's role at MarketWatch, a spokesperson for Dow Jones told Media Matters that Brimelow has been a paid "non-staff contributor to MarketWatch for 10 years and writes exclusively on investment topics." The spokesperson declined to comment on criticisms of VDARE and Brimelow's views on race and immigration.