While reports have surfaced that Julie Kirchner, the former executive director of FAIR (the Federation for American Immigration Reform), which has been labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, could be nominated as head of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the group is quietly fundraising on Trump’s border security push.
“With your donation we can continue to fight for this and ensure immigration enforcement on our southern border. Can we count on your support?” FAIR states on its website under the headline “Support Border Security.”
The group, which Southern Poverty Law says spreads racist conspiracy theories and is “the hub of the American nativist movement,” is requesting donations from as low at $25 to help promote an agenda that seems clear out of the Trump and FAIR immigration playbook.
“Building a physical barrier on our southern border to end illegal entry!” and “Ending catch and release so that criminal aliens are not allowed to roam free in our country and harm innocent Americans” are some of the reasons listed as to why donors should support their “comprehensive border security” advocacy.
In the past two months alone the group’s website has focused on peddling the same lies Trump continues to spew. On April 10, it applauded The RAISE Act, introduced by Senators Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), David Perdue (R-Ga.), and Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), which calls for an end to “chain-migration,” the same migration that got the president’s in-laws into the U.S.
They have also been a supporter of closing the border, claiming the constitution “unequivocally grants the president the authority to ‘suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens’ whenever he finds that their entry would be ‘detrimental to the interests of the United States’” while on Feb. 3 one of its headlines screamed: “SCAAP Data Suggest Illegal Aliens Commit Crime at a Much Higher Rate Than Citizens and Lawful Immigrants.”
This is the organization, founded by John Tanton, a retired Michigan ophthalmologist who operates a racist publishing company and has written that to maintain American culture “a European-American majority” is required, which employed Kirchner from 2005 to 2015. Then in 2007, they promoted her to executive director, a post she served in until 2015.
Guess who else was part of FAIR? Attorney Kris Kobach, who worked for FAIR’s legal arm, the Immigration Reform Law Institute that helped to write the controversial Arizona Senate Bill 1070 of 2010 which forced police officers to detain individuals they suspect to be illegal immigrants and makes it a misdemeanor under state law for non-citizen immigrants to fail to carry their immigration papers.
Another FAIR initiative to end what they call birthright citizenship provisions of the 14th Amendment, a longtime goal of the group, was launched in January 2011.
Encouraged by then-candidate Donald Trump’s immigration plan, which proposed to “end birthright citizenship” because it is “the biggest magnet for illegal immigration,” FAIR published a report claiming the enforcement of birthright citizenship is based on a misinterpretation of the 14th Amendment.
In 2014, FAIR, with Kirscher in charge, turned its attention to the number of children fleeing violence in El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua and began to target organizations aiding these unaccompanied minors. They published a map on their website with the title, “Is the Border Crisis Coming to a Town Near You?”
It named locales where minors were being resettled and the organizations helping in that effort. Protests organized by anti-immigrant activists took place in a number of locations, most infamously in Murrieta, California, where activists blocked a bus full of women and children on their way to an immigration-processing center. In Michigan, anti-Muslim activist Tamyra Murray, a state adviser for FAIR, organized a protest against the relocation of minors in Vassar.
In 2015, Kirchner acted as an immigration adviser to the Trump campaign, where anti-immigration and racist rhetoric became the cornerstone of the Trump agenda for the White House.
On May 2, 2017, Kirchnerwas made Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman within the Department of Homeland Security by Donald Trump.
Now Trump wants to make her head of the U.S. government agency that “administers the nation’s lawful immigration system, safeguarding its integrity and promise by efficiently and fairly adjudicating requests for immigration benefits while protecting Americans, securing the homeland and honoring our values.”
Trump’s fascist anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim agenda is in full swing and with “adjutants” like Stephen Miller, Kirchner, Kobach and right-wing xenophobes and believers of the Tanton model of “American culture” empowered, we must double down and call our senators to make sure if Kirchner is nominated, she is never confirmed.
The writer is publisher of News Americas Now (www.newsamericasnow.com).