The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) announced that it will hold its “10th annual Hold Their Feet to the Fire radio row broadcast in Washington,” on June 22 and 23. In previous years FAIR has hosted speakers at the event who have used their own radio shows to push anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim sentiment. In addition, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has designated FAIR as a hate group whose founder “has expressed his wish that America remain a majority-white population.”
Federation For American Immigration Reform To Hold 10th Annual “Hold Their Feet To The Fire” Radio Row
FAIR: “Over 50 Talk Radio Hosts From Across The Country Will Broadcast Live” At Annual “Hold Their Feet To The Fire” Event. On May 17, FAIR announced it would hold its “10th annual Hold Their Feet to the Fire radio row broadcast in Washington,” on June 22 and 23. Executive Director of FAIR Bob Dane billed the event as a “yearly electronic town hall” that “is about holding our elected leaders accountable, recognizing those who support secure borders and enforcement of our laws, and educating the public.” FAIR has not announced which radio hosts will be present for this year’s event. From the May 17 announcement:
The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) announces June 22-23 as the dates for its 10th annual Hold Their Feet to the Fire radio row broadcast in Washington. Over 50 talk radio hosts from across the country will broadcast live both days, debating immigration policy and interviewing members of Congress, media figures, law enforcement officials, experts, activists, and those who live and work along the southern border.
Hold Their Feet to the Fire is scheduled after all the primaries and caucuses are finished, before the political conventions and during the time the Supreme Court is most likely to rule on Obama's unconstitutional amnesties. The event also occurs while both the House and Senate are in session to accommodate lawmakers who regularly attend the event.
“This yearly electronic town hall is about holding our elected leaders accountable, recognizing those who support secure borders and enforcement of our laws, and educating the public,” said Bob Dane, Executive Director of FAIR. “Those running for office — and those staying in office — need to know the immigration crisis is now front and center in voters' minds and the issue isn't going away until it's resolved. Now is the time for answers, solutions, and action.” [fairus.org, 5/17/16]
Past Attendees Have Included Radio Hosts Howie Carr, Lars Larson, Roger Hedgecock, And Armstrong Williams. Among the radio hosts at FAIR’s Hold Their Feet To The Fire events in 2012 and/or 2013 were Howie Carr, Lars Larson, Roger Hedgecock, and Armstrong Williams. [Media Matters, 5/8/12; 4/17/13]
FAIR Has Previously Hosted Anti-Muslim, Anti-Immigrant Speakers At Their Annual Event
Carr Attacked American Muslims After President Obama Gave A Speech From A Mosque. After President Obama spoke from the Islamic Society of Baltimore, Carr lashed out at American Muslims, saying “thank you for the Boston Marathon bombing, thank you for 9/11.” From the February 3 edition of WRKO's The Howie Carr Show:
HOWIE CARR (HOST): America remains a Christian -- remains? How about just is a Christian country. Remains? Like, you know with the -- you know, despite my best efforts to import all these people, now there's a new report out today saying -- again, another new report, not from the FBI which has said it before, that a lot of ISIS terrorists are going to be coming in with these un-vetted Muslim refugees coming in from the Mideast. And again, I repeat, 91 percent of them after five years or so on food stamps, thank you. Is that what I'm supposed to -- are we supposed to say “Thank you for taking our food stamps, thank you for taking our welfare payments, thank you for eating up all the Section 8 housing?” Thank you for getting a --
PRESIDENT OBAMA: First thing I want to say is two words that Muslim-Americans don't hear often enough, and that is “Thank you.”
CARR: Thank you, thank you for the Boston Marathon bombing, thank you for 9/11, thank you for chopping off the head of the woman in Oklahoma, thank you for shooting up the recruiting station in Chattanooga, thank you for Fort Hood, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. [WRKO, The Howie Carr Show, 2/3/16]
Carr Defended Trump’s Muslim Ban After Brussels Terror Attack. In a column following the March 22 terrorist attacks in Brussels, Belgium, Carr defended presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump's proposal to ban Muslim immigrants from entering the United States, writing that “30 civilized human beings in Brussels yesterday were permanently cured of their 'Islamophobia.’” From his March 23 column in the Boston Herald:
Donald Trump is still right about stopping Muslim immigration “until we can figure out what is going on.”
Anybody in Brussels care to argue the point?
It's not xenophobia to talk about a timeout for as long as necessary, and it's certainly not racism -- Islam is a religion, not a race. And by the way, any president has every right to halt the influx of these unvetted hordes, should he decide that the unwanted arrival of any group is “detrimental.”
Muslims make up 1 percent of the American population, but since 9/11 have committed 50 percent of the terrorist attacks in the United States. Which means a Muslim is 5,000 times more likely to be a terrorist than anybody else. That stat comes from National Review, hardly a Donald Trump fanzine.
Bottom line: More than 30 civilized human beings in Brussels yesterday were permanently cured of their “Islamophobia.” And the chattering classes still wonder why Donald Trump keeps winning primaries. [Boston Herald, 3/23/16]
Carr Echoed Trump’s Claim That “Islam Hates Us.” Carr endorsed Trump’s statement that “Islam hates us” by saying Trump gave the “perfect comeback” when he doubled down on the remark. From his March 11 column for the Boston Herald:
Talk about Deflategate -- after 11 nights of Texas death matches, suddenly they were pulling their punches. Donald Trump because he's won, and the other three because they've ... lost.
“All of a sudden I can't believe how civil it's been up here,” Trump said with a smile at 9:34 last night. Death has five stages, the final one is “acceptance.”
Ted Cruz can blame it on a cold, John Kasich can blame it on his strategy, which if you had to put it on a baseball cap would be, “Make America Boring Again.” As for Marco Rubio -- is it too late to drop back and run for his Senate seat again?
Little Marco had the whole crowd with him right there in Dade County, but he still couldn't bring his A-game, which left Trump to start spring training for the general-election debates. To use the consultant cliche, he's “pivoting.”
Trump is running out the clock. But if it's football, you still have to mix it up. You can't run off tackle every play, right? So when Jake Tapper asked him about his comment on CNN that “Islam hates us,” Trump has the perfect comeback.
“A lot of 'em do.”
Can anyone deny that? [Boston Herald, 3/11/16]
Carr: “It’s Time To Stop Immigration.” Carr responded to Trump's call to ban Muslim immigrants from the U.S. by calling for an end to all immigration. From his December 9 column for the Boston Herald:
For the record, this is what I tweeted out Sunday night after Obama's pathetic address from the Oval Office: “time to close the border. No racial profiling. Nobody NOBODY can come in. What could be fairer?”
So I'm not with Donald Trump on banning only - Muslims, never was. I want to turn off the immigration spigot the Constitutional way, the - doable way. (If you ask a terrorist flying in from Karachi if he's a Muslim, what do you think he's going to say?)
It's time to stop immigration, not just because of terrorism, but also to halt rampant lawbreaking and the multi-billion dollar abuse of the welfare system by undocumented Democrats. [Boston Herald, 12/9/16, via Nexis]
Williams: You Can Spot “Illegal Immigrants” Because “They Are The Only People Tending Your Lawn, Baby-Sitting Your Children And Running Your Restaurants On The Cheap.” From Armstrong Williams’ June 2011 column in The Washington Times:
Americans have become addicted to immigrant labor to fill jobs that Americans won't do (at the wages and under the working conditions immigrants are subjected to), while complaining about the side effects -- overburdened social services, crime and cultural dilution in the border states. But it's not hard to spot the illegal immigrants in any given neighborhood. In fact, it's quite simple. They are the only people tending your lawn, baby-sitting your children and running your restaurants on the cheap. [The Washington Times, 6/5/11]
Williams: Immigrants Don’t Want To Assimilate Because “Extremist Mexican Immigrant Groups” Believe Southwestern States “Belong To Them.” In an April 24, 2006, column on Townhall, Williams argued that Mexican immigrants don’t want to assimilate into American society because “they believe it’s their land”:
You know why immigration brings people to a boiling point, separates races, and creates classes in our society? It’s simple, really: OWNERSHIP. Hard line Mexican and Latin Americans coming across the border to Texas and California believe the states belong to them. Because of the United States’ contentious history with its southern neighbors, these extremist Mexican immigrant groups coming across the border couldn’t care less about assimilating with American society, and in fact prefer not to. For they believe that it’s their land and that Americans better leave or get used to their presence. [Townhall, 4/24/06]
Larson: Immigration Reform Advocate Just Wants Someone To “Mow Her Lawn.” In a discussion about immigration reform, Larson accused another guest of supporting immigration reform because she “needs somebody to come mow her lawn.” Larson also claimed that President Obama “has been begging for amnesty” for undocumented immigrants since 2009. From the March 31, 2014, edition of Fox News’ America’s Newsroom:
LARS LARSON: This president’s easy to figure out, in fact, he is the releaser in chief. Just understand, this man has been begging for amnesty since he came into office. He has an illegal alien aunt and uncle of his own in the United States, and I know Leslie needs somebody to come mow her lawn, but the fact is we can’t be releasing these people. [Fox News, America’s Newsroom, 3/31/14]
Larson Calls Undocumented Immigrants “Illegal Aliens, Or As We Call Them, Undocumented Democrats.” In December 2011, Larson labeled undocumented immigrants as “undocumented Democrats,” saying immigrants “are stealing the jobs of American citizens.” From the December 13, 2011, edition of Fox News’ America Live:
LARS LARSON: Allison let me help connect the dots for my liberal friend Leslie. Illegal aliens, or as we call them, undocumented Democrats, are stealing the jobs of American citizens. With 15 million people out of work, only a million of those 12 million illegals in the country work farm jobs. The rest of them work jobs that Americans are willing to do right now. [Fox News, America Live, 12/13/11]
Hedgecock: Obama Wanted Amnesty To Get “Undocumented Democrats To The Polls In 2012.” In July 2011, Hedgecock wrote at Human Events: “Large majorities of Americans in repeated polls want border security first, jobs for Americans first and 'path to citizenship' last. Obama wants amnesty first to get the undocumented Democrats to the polls in 2012, has bullied Republican employers with workplace raids to get their support for amnesty, and will never secure the border any more than his immediate predecessor did.” [Human Events, 7/1/11]
Hedgecock: Without “Illegal Alien Votes,” Democrats Can't Be Reelected. In January 2012, Hedgecock wrote at Human Events that “without illegal alien votes […] unpopular Democrats cannot be re-elected”:
Mindless propaganda twisting easily accessible scientific studies is a testament to the desperation of the Obama re-elect campaign and it's media acolytes. Without illegal alien votes (as Harry Reid proved in his 2010 campaign), unpopular Democrats cannot be re-elected. If it takes a phony campaign to “save the black bear” to insure that illegals continue to stream into the country, then so be it. Nobody really reads those studies anyway, do they? [Human Events, 1/6/12]
FAIR Is A Hate Group That “Has Ties To White Supremacist Groups, And Eugenicists”
SPLC: “FAIR Is A Hate Group.” The Southern Poverty Law Center has designated FAIR as an anti-immigrant hate group, explaining, “By defending racism, encouraging xenophobia and nativism, and giving its all to efforts to keep America white, FAIR has more than earned its place in the pantheon of hate groups.” From the Southern Poverty Law Center:
First, a quick factual correction. FAIR doesn’t “just” research “the facts” about immigration policy. It is a lobbying organization. This is no secret. On its own website, under “Our Objectives,” FAIR said it seeks “to influence public policy directly by lobbying (to the extent permitted by our tax status) and by protecting the citizens' rights in the courts.” Its “mission,” in part, is to “advocate immigration policies that will best serve American environmental, societal, and economic interests today and into the future.”
The bottom line is, FAIR doesn’t peddle facts; it peddles hate. Its lobbying and legal efforts – such as the campaign that led to Arizona’s SB 1070 and Alabama’s HB 56 – are based on fomenting fear, on exploiting racial tensions and economic anxieties to convince people that they had better not let any more “aliens” into their country.
By defending racism, encouraging xenophobia and nativism, and giving its all to efforts to keep America white, FAIR has more than earned its place in the pantheon of hate groups. That is where it belongs, and that is where it will stay. [Southern Poverty Law Center, 8/10/12]
SPLC: FAIR “Maintains A Veneer Of Legitimacy” But “This Veneer Hides Much Ugliness.” According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, FAIR has “ties to white supremacist groups and eugenicists,” adding that “FAIR’s founder, John Tanton, has expressed his wish that America remain a majority-white population: a goal to be achieved, presumably, by limiting the number of nonwhites who enter the country.” From The Southern Poverty Law Center:
The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) is a group with one mission: to severely limit immigration into the United States. Although FAIR maintains a veneer of legitimacy that has allowed its principals to testify in Congress and lobby the federal government, this veneer hides much ugliness.
FAIR leaders have ties to white supremacist groups and eugenicists and have made many racist statements. Its advertisements have been rejected because of racist content. FAIR’s founder, John Tanton, has expressed his wish that America remain a majority-white population: a goal to be achieved, presumably, by limiting the number of nonwhites who enter the country. One of the group’s main goals is upending the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, which ended a decades-long, racist quota system that limited immigration mostly to northern Europeans. FAIR President Dan Stein has called the Act a “mistake.” [Southern Poverty Law Center, accessed 6/16/16]
FAIR Founder John Tanton Helped Fund Anti-Immigrant Center For Immigration Studies And NumbersUSA. After founding FAIR in 1979, John Tanton went on to help create and fund the anti-immigrant groups Center for Immigration Studies and NumbersUSA. According to Mother Jones, “those three groups … have been among the strongest anti-immigration voices in Washington over the past two decades.” From Mother Jones’ March/April 2012 issue:
An eye surgeon and conservationist from northern Michigan whose concerns about overpopulation led him to take a stand against what he calls “mass immigration,” John Tanton started the Federation for American Immigration Reform in 1979 and later went on to help fund the creation of the Center for Immigration Studies and NumbersUSA. Those three groups, along with the FAIR-related Immigration Reform Law Institute, have been among the strongest anti-immigration voices in Washington over the past two decades. Even with the success of his groups and their various affiliates—fueled by millions of dollars worth of donations from the Scaife family foundations—Tanton's associations with white-supremacist and nativist groups (including FAIR's past financial support from the Pioneer Fund) have led some former colleagues to distance themselves from the septuagenarian retiree. [Mother Jones, March/April 2012]
NY Times: “A Member Of FAIR Wrote That Hispanic Immigrants Should Be Shot — Because They ‘Multiply Like A Bunch Of Rats.’” In an article titled “The Anti-Immigration Crusader,” The New York Times quoted a former aide to President Ronald Reagan who called FAIR founder John Tanton “the most influential unknown man in America.” The Times article highlighted FAIR’s history, including when “a member of FAIR wrote that Hispanic immigrants should be shot — because they “multiply like a bunch of rats.” The Times also noted that, in years past at their “annual gathering of talk radio hosts,” speakers referred to President Obama as “‘the undocumented worker’ in the White House.” From The New York Times’ April 17, 2011 article:
Rarely has one person done so much to structure a major cause, or done it so far from the public eye. Dr. Tanton has raised millions of dollars, groomed protégés and bequeathed institutions, all while running an ophthalmology practice nearly 800 miles from Capitol Hill.
“He is the most influential unknown man in America,” said Linda Chavez, a former aide to President Ronald Reagan who once led a Tanton group that promoted English-only laws.
Mindful that the early-20th-century fight to reduce immigration had been marred by bigotry, Dr. Tanton initially emphasized FAIR’s identity as a “centrist group” and made arguments aimed at liberals and minorities. He allowed few local FAIR chapters, warning that a stray demagogue might “go off half-cocked and spoil the whole effort.”
When a member of FAIR wrote that Hispanic immigrants should be shot — because they “multiply like a bunch of rats” — a staff member offered to refund his dues. Early supporters included Senator Eugene McCarthy of Minnesota and Warren E. Buffett.
Now FAIR’s signature event is an annual gathering of talk radio hosts, where earnest policy pitches share time with the kind of battle cries Dr. Tanton once feared. This year’s event mixed discussion of job losses among minorities with calls to use Tomahawk missiles on Tijuana drug lords, while a doubter of President Obama’s birth certificate referred to “the undocumented worker” in the White House. Leading allies include Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, whose sweeps of Latino neighborhoods around Phoenix have prompted a federal investigation.
Dr. Tanton, who remains on the FAIR board, denied charges of racial bias and donated his papers to the University of Michigan to show that he and colleagues “are not the unsavory types sometimes alleged.” They include hundreds of private letters, some outlining his interest in genetic differences between the races and concerns about the country’s changing ethnic mix. [The New York Times, 4/17/11]
FAIR Executive Director Bob Dane Suggested That Immigration Reform Would Lead To “Tyranny.” The current executive director for FAIR, Bob Dane, complained in 2014 that if Congress passed immigration reform, it will be “one step closer to tyranny” because it will mean the Republican Party has split. [RightWingWatch.org, 1/27/14]