Who Are Fox's Newest Experts On Immigration?
Research ››› ››› SOLANGE UWIMANA & SALVATORE COLLELUORI
Over the past three months, Fox has amplified the voices of two anti-immigrant guests, Michael Cutler and Dennis Michael Lynch, hosting them at least 13 times to rail against immigration reform and bash immigrants. Cutler, a former immigration officer, has an extensive history of associating with anti-immigrant, nativist organizations. Lynch is a documentary filmmaker whose expertise on immigration seems to stem only from directing two anti-immigrant films that have been heavily promoted by nativist organizations.
Fox Has Hosted Cutler At Least Five Times Since May 1
Fox Networks Have Hosted Michael Cutler At Least Five Times Since May 1. Cutler, a former immigration agent with the Immigration and Naturalization Service (the precursor to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) has been hosted at least five times on Fox News and Fox Business since May 1 to discuss immigration reform and border enforcement:
- In a July 16 appearance on America Live, Cutler used the arrest of Miguel Angel Trevino Morales, the leader of the Zetas drug cartel, to smear immigrants as criminals, even though immigrants commit crimes at lower rates than native-born Americans. [Fox News, America Live, 7/16/13; Media Matters, 6/18/13]
- In his July 15 appearance on Your World with Neil Cavuto, Cutler argued against immigration reform because once naturalized, immigrants "will no longer be willing to be exploited" and doing so will be against the law. He went on to warn that if immigration reform is passed, immigrants "will have the right to expect that they will be treated equally as Americans." [Fox News, Your World with Neil Cavuto, 7/15/13, via Media Matters]
- In a June 13 appearance on Your World with Neil Cavuto, Cutler equated young undocumented immigrants who would benefit from the Obama administration's deferred action program to criminals and terrorists, and reinforced the myth that immigration reform would harm African-Americans workers. [Fox News, Your World with Neil Cavuto, 6/13/13]
- In a May 2 appearance on America Live, Cutler used the Boston Marathon bombing investigation to attack the deferred action program. [Fox News, America Live, 5/3/13, via Media Matters]
- In a May 1 appearance on Cavuto discussing the Boston Marathon bombing, Cutler argued that every country in the world should be put on the United States terrorist watch list because "you have hundreds of thousands of naturalized British subjects who come here through the visa waiver program," suggesting any one of them could be a terrorist. [Fox Business, Cavuto, 5/1/13, via Nexis]
Cutler Writes For White Supremacist Journal, Has Ties To Nativist Groups
Cutler Is A Regular Contributor To The White Nationalist Social Contract Journal. Cutler is a regular contributor to The Social Contract -- the white nationalist quarterly journal established by notorious nativist John Tanton. A search of Cutler's name at the Social Contract Press shows that he has written at least six articles for the journal since 2009. His most recent article for the Winter 2013 issue is based on his notion that the victims of illegal immigration are American citizens and legal immigrants. He also blames undocumented immigrants for prostitution in immigrants' communities. [Social Contract Press, accessed 7/18/13]
Rocky Mountain News: The Social Contract Press Publishes White Supremacist Authors. The Social Contract Press publishes pieces "by authors who express white nationalist or separatist views," and its editor Wayne Lutton "has also been on the advisory board of the publication of the Council of Conservative Citizens," a white-supremacist group. [Rocky Mountain News, 7/15/06]
- The Council of Conservative Citizens' statement of principles states: "We also oppose all efforts to mix the races of mankind, to promote non-white races over the European-American people through so-called "affirmative action" and similar measures, to destroy or denigrate the European-American heritage, including the heritage of the Southern people, and to force the integration of the races." [Council of Conservative Citizens, accessed 7/19/13]
Cutler Is A Former Fellow For The Nativist Center For Immigration Studies. Cutler served as a fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) for at least five years. The Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled the group a nativist organization. [Center for Immigration Studies, accessed 7/17/13, Southern Poverty Law Center, February 2009]
CIS Is Part Of Tanton's Network Of Anti-Immigrant, Nativist Organizations. The group was founded by notorious nativist John Tanton, an anti-immigrant activist with ties to the Federation For American Immigration Reform (FAIR), an organization the Southern Poverty Law Center has designated a hate group. From SPLC:
Although you'd never know it to read its materials, CIS was started in 1985 by a Michigan ophthalmologist named John Tanton -- a man known for his racist statements about Latinos, his decades-long flirtation with white nationalists and Holocaust deniers, and his publication of ugly racist materials. CIS' creation was part of a carefully thought-out strategy aimed at creating a set of complementary institutions to cultivate the nativist cause -- groups including the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) and NumbersUSA. As is shown in Tanton's correspondence, lodged in the Bentley Historical Library at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Tanton came up with the idea in the early 1980s for "a small think tank" that would "wage the war of ideas." [Southern Poverty Law Center, February 2009]
Cutler Is A Senior Fellow For The Anti-Immigrant Californians For Population Stabilization. Cutler is a senior fellow for the anti-immigrant Californians For Population Stabilization (CAPS) and regularly posts to the organization's blog. He is also referred to as a "senior writing fellow" in the organization's 2012 annual report summary, released in Spring 2013. The report praises him for increasing CAPS' national profile, stating: "With the particular assistance of Joe Guzzardi and Michael W. Cutler, TV, radio, print and Internet exposure continued increasing, with coverage in more than 200 blogs." [Californians For Population Stabilization, 2012 Annual Report Summary, Spring 2013; accessed 7/18/12]
Center For New Community: CAPS Is "The Anti-Immigrant Hate-Group Masquerading As An Environmentalist Organization." In a post exposing CAPS as an "anti-immigrant hate-group masquerading as an environmentalist organization," the Center for New Community noted that the group receives funding from the white supremacist Pioneer Fund. SPLC lists the Pioneer Fund as a "hate group" and says the fund "has bankrolled many of the leading Anglo-American race scientists of the last several decades." [Center for New Community, 6/29/12; Media Matters, 9/8/11]
Cutler Has Appeared On A Radio Show Linked With The "White Nationalism Codifying" John Birch Society. According to the Center for New Community, Cutler has appeared on the Second Opinion radio show hosted by Donald R. Griffin. Griffin is a member of what CNC called the "white nationalism codifying, conspiracy-convinced John Birch Society":
Michael Cutler, a former fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) and retired INS agent -- who is presently a Senior Writing Fellow for Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) -, often assumes the role of a moderate "progressive" when speaking about the "evils " of undocumented immigrants, which he did last Wednesday, June 28, on a St. Louis radio show.
Problem is, the show he appeared on is called Second Opinion (KSJL), which is hosted by Donald R. Griffin, who is hardly moderate or progressive. Griffin is a member of the white nationalism codifying, conspiracy-convinced John Birch Society (JBS). Adapted from their book Right-Wing Populism in America: Too Close for Comfort, here's how co-authors Chip Berlet and Matthew Lyons succinctly lay bare the near 54 year existence of JBS:
"In a sense, the Birch society pioneered the encoding of implicit cultural forms of ethnocentric White racism and Christian nationalist antisemitism rather than relying on the White supremacist biological determinism and open loathing of Jews that had typified the old right prior to WWII. Throughout its existence, however, the Society has promoted open homophobia and sexism." [Center for New Community, 7/9/12]
Cutler Holds Extreme Views Of Immigrants
Cutler Has Suggested That A Significant Portion Of The Undocumented Population Has "Dangerous Communicable Diseases." In a July 3 op-ed for The Washington Times, Cutler wrote:
While the prospect of employment may have been the motivation for the great majority of illegal aliens to run our borders, a significant percentage of the illegal-alien population includes those who know they could not be lawfully admitted via the inspections process that is designed to prevent the entry of aliens who have dangerous communicable diseases, severe mental illness, serious criminal histories, are fugitives from justice in other countries or have committed war crimes or human rights violations, or are spies or terrorists. [The Washington Times, 7/3/13]
Cutler Has Likened Undocumented Immigrants To Burglars. Writing in the Social Contract, Cutler wrote:
If foreign workers are able to acquire jobs that should rightfully go to American or lawful immigrant workers, it would not be unreasonable to say that these foreign workers have stolen American jobs. It is interesting that the secondary definition of the term steal could be used to further describe how, through stealth and guile, aliens enter our country to do harm to our nation and our citizens when they either game the visa process and the immigration benefits program or circumvent the inspections process altogether.
This is why I have come to say the difference between an illegal alien and a lawful immigrant is comparable to the difference between a houseguest and a burglar! [The Social Contract, Spring 2012]
Cutler On "Illegal Alien" Term: "There Is Absolutely Nothing In That Definition That Insults Or Denigrates Anyone." In a post on the CAPS blog, Cutler argued against campaigns seeking to ban use of the term "illegal alien," writing that there "is absolutely nothing" in the word's definition "that insults or denigrates anyone":
For the purposes of immigration it is important to establish terms that provide clarity. The term "Alien" is defined in Section 101 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which contains a list of essential terms, as simply being "Any person not a citizen or national of the United States."
The term "alien" appears frequently throughout the Immigration and Nationality Act because those very laws deal with foreign nationals- (aliens)! The only time that the immigration laws are of relevance or concern to United States citizens is if and when a citizen of the United States hires an alien, marries and alien or is engaged to marry an alien or otherwise interacts with an alien.
There is absolutely nothing in that definition that insults or denigrates anyone. In point of fact, when Americans enter into other countries, they become "aliens" in those countries.
It is clearly a violation of law to evade the inspections process designed to protect American lives and jobs. Generally violations of laws are properly referred to as being illegal.
The first step in problem solving is to accurately identify the problem. That process has to begin with honesty -- honesty to be found in the use of clear, accurate and honest language. [Californians for Population Control, 10/16/12]
Dennis Michael Lynch
Fox Has Hosted Lynch At Least Eight Times Since May 1
Fox Networks Have Hosted Dennis Michael Lynch At Least Eight Times Since May 1. Lynch, a documentary filmmaker who has directed two anti-immigrant films, has been hosted at least eight times on Fox since May 1 to discuss immigration reform and border enforcement. He has also repeated misleading claims about immigration's effect on the United States economy:
- In a July 7 appearance on Fox News' Huckabee, Lynch claimed "an abundance of Chinese" are crossing the Mexican border claiming the Chinese could create a "cyber 9/11." Lynch also offered his opinion on how to secure the border, claiming the government needs to have will, the National Guard, and a "double fence" to successfully do so. [Fox News, Huckabee, 7/7/13]
- In a July 4 appearance on Fox News' Hannity, Lynch was hosted during an hour long special to discuss his documentary, They Come To America II. He made the misleading claim that the immigration bill is going to make unemployment worse for all Americans while saying that the biggest cost of immigration is that "the American spirit is broken." He also said that from what he's seen on the southern border, the United States will have "September 11's like you just saw in Boston." [Fox News, Hannity, 7/4/13; Media Matters, 6/20/13]
- In a June 22 appearance on Fox & Friends Saturday, Lynch discussed border enforcement and was asked by host Tucker Carlson, "How far are we from achieving border security?" He advocated for having the National Guard go to the border, claimed he has found Chinese passports on the southern border and warned of a "cyber 9/11." [Fox News, Fox & Friends Saturday, 6/22/13]
- In a June 19 appearance of Fox & Friends, Lynch discussed his second film, They Come To America II, and claimed that "terror at its worst level" is coming through the southern border. He also said he has found "Middle Eastern people" working alongside border patrol agents and said if the immigration bill passes "it's the end of America as you know it and I know it." [Fox & Friends, 6/19/13]
- In a June 13 appearance on Fox Business Network's Stossel, Lynch debated Cato Institute's Alex Nowrasteh over whether immigrants take jobs from Americans. Lynch recounts discussions he had with people on unemployment lines to falsely make the claim that immigrants take American jobs rather than benefit the economy as a whole and that immigrants will come here to use welfare. [Fox Business Network, Stossel, 6/13/13; Media Matters, 2/1/13]
- In a May 11 appearance on Fox News' America's News HQ, Lynch claims he's the only one going down to the southern border to film because "it's so dangerous down there." He also claims that "the Chinese are tapping into our computer systems from abroad and here at home every single day" and that he caught people from Hezbollah and the Middle East attempting to cross into the United States. [Fox News, America's News HQ, 5/11/13]
- In a May 5 appearance on Fox News' Fox & Friends Sunday, Lynch claimed that supporters of the immigration bill are "putting American's lives in jeopardy." He also claimed that "on a scale of one to ten" on current border enforcement efforts, "they are a one." [Fox News, Fox & Friends Sunday, 5/5/13]
- In a May 3 appearance on Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, Lynch hyped his film and repeated the claim that the border is not secure. [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 5/3/13]
Lynch Has Little Experience On Immigration
Lynch Is A Former Computer And Technology Entrepreneur. According to a profile in The New York Times, Lynch was a baseball player who turned into a technology and computer salesman:
Dennis M. Lynch used to beat up computer geeks when he was a jock in high school. Now his fortune rests on those geeks.
Mr. Lynch, 30, owns TechSmart .com, a company that manages excess assets, especially computers, for other companies and is making Mr. Lynch, a former baseball player, a multimillionaire.
TechSmart, with its $10 million inventory, sells computer and business technology that has been leased, returned or deemed excess or obsolete by larger businesses, financial institutions and leasing companies.
The items are restored by TechSmart and then sold or auctioned to mostly smaller and medium-sized companies (and consumers) directly and through uBid.com, the auction site. [The New York Times, 3/26/00]
Lynch's First Documentary Was About His Own Midlife Crisis And Trips To The Hamptons. According to the L.I. International Film Expo, Lynch's first documentary chronicled his midlife crisis where he left his pregnant wife and headed out to the Hamptons "to live the life he's only read about in magazines." [MoviesFilmedOnLongIsland.com, accessed 7/17/13]
Lynch Reportedly Decided To Take On Immigration "Even Though He Knew Next To Nothing On The Subject." According to an interview with Lynch on Breitbart.com, Lynch decided to pursue immigration for a documentary topic after talking to a local protester about immigration:
Dennis Michael Lynch recalls standing on stage at a Long Island film festival, doing his best to answer the question all filmmakers get at some point--what's your next project?
Lynch had nothing officially planned, but he understood he had to say something in grand movie publicity fashion. So he remembered a conversation he had earlier that day regarding illegal immigration and said that would be the focus of his next film, even though he knew next to nothing on the subject.
The film [King of the Hamptons, Lynch's first film] was set to premiere at the Hamptons International Film Festival when Lynch saw a protester railing against illegal immigration. The man was a fixture on the local scene, and Lynch impulsively decided to chat him up just hours before making his "next movie" public proclamation.
Prior to his experiences creating They Come to America and its sequel, Lynch says he would have had no problem hiring an illegal immigrant to do work for him. His views evolved after he started work on his documentaries, capturing footage (partially through special skydiver-style glasses with a hidden HD camera attached) that revealed the truth behind the immigration debate. [Breitbart.com, 5/6/13]
Lynch Has Repeatedly Smeared Immigrants As Criminals
Lynch: Not All Immigrants Are "Coming Here To Cut Your Lawn;" Some Are Coming To "Cut Your Throat." During an appearance on Fox News, documentary filmmaker Dennis Michael Lynch claimed not all immigrants are coming to the United States to work and support their families; some are coming "to cut your throat." [Fox News, Your World with Neil Cavuto, 9/18/12]
Lynch Claimed That He's Found "People From The Middle East" And Hezbollah Crossing The Southern Border. During an appearance on Fox News, Lynch claimed that he "caught people from the Middle East a hundred miles in Texas working with the Border Patrol." Lynch claimed these people are associated with the terrorist organization Hezbollah. [Fox News, America's News HQ, 5/11/13]
Lynch: "The Chinese Are Tapping Into Our Computer System From Abroad And Here At Home Every Single Day." During an appearance on Fox News, Lynch claimed that he has evidence that Chinese immigrants are illegally crossing the border and that they are "a super power that presents an unbelievable amount of danger to the American people." [Fox News, America's News HQ, 5/11/13]
Anti-Immigrant Groups Have Heavily Promoted Lynch's Documentary
Several Nativist Groups Have Hyped Lynch's Movie. As the Center for New Community pointed out, nativist group Remember 1986 (R86) has hyped Lynch's movie while anti-immigrant groups the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) and NumbersUSA have also promoted the movie:
R86 features numerous links to the nativist films They Come to America I & II - films so poorly made and offensive that not a single production company or film distributor in the U.S. or Canada would release it. Numerous FAIR state groups have held screenings of the film over the last year. NumbersUSA is now offering free copies with donations. [Center for New Community, 5/20/13]
ADL: Three FAIR Affiliates Have Hosted Screenings Of Lynch's Film. A post by the Anti-Defamation League highlights three groups that are local affiliates of the Southern Poverty Law Center-labeled hate group, FAIR, which held screenings of Lynch's film. In addition, the head of another FAIR affiliate hosted Lynch on her radio show:
Lynch has begun a tour to screen the film. Not unexpectedly, local anti-immigrant organizations are hosting the screenings. On July 17, two groups that FAIR lists as local affiliates, Texans for Immigration Reduction and Enforcement (TFIRE) and Immigration Reform Coalition of Texas (IRCOT), along with Stop the Magnet, a Houston-based group dedicated to getting anti-immigrant measures on the ballot in Houston, screened Lynch's film.
On July 12, Lynch was on "The Ruthie Report," a radio show hosted by Ruthie Hendrycks who runs the anti-immigrant group, Minnesotans Seeking Immigration Reform (MINNSIR). MINNSIR is also listed on FAIR's website as a local affiliate for Minnesota.
In Maryland, Lynch's film will be jointly hosted on August 8 by the anti-immigrant group Help Save Maryland (HSM). HSM is listed on FAIR's Web site as a local affiliate for Maryland. HSM has also worked closely with FAIR's legal arm, the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI). [Anti-Defamation League, 8/3/12]
Lynch's Film Was Screened At An Event Which Also Hosted Several Anti-Immigrant Activists. As the Anti-Defamation League noted in a post on an anti-immigrant conference hosted in North Carolina, Lynch's film was screened alongside speakers such as William Gheen, founder of Americans for Legal immigration PAC (ALIPAC), who "has a long history of hateful rhetoric towards immigrants," James Johnson, president of North Carolinians for Immigration Reform and Enforcement (NCIFRE), who has "circulated material from the racist Web site, VDARE.com and the white supremacist group, American Renaissance," and Ron Woodard, president of the group NC Listen, which is the local affiliate for FAIR. [Anti-Defamation League, 7/27/12]