Pretty soon we will need a scorecard to keep track
the charges of
against Americans who dare favor patriotic
immigration reform rather than amnesty.
As a Democrat, I have favored a rational debate on
immigration reform for many years. I was outraged when
Arizona`s SB1070 law was challenged by the US Justice
Department—on the narrow technical of
namely that Federal law always trumps state statutes.
thought a serious debate might be the silver lining.
It may still be. On Friday, the
put on its front page some questioning by the Federal
judge in Phoenix as to the merits of the Feds` case”
federal judge pushed back Thursday against a contention
by the Obama Justice Department that a tough new Arizona
immigration law set to take effect next week would cause
"irreparable harm" and intrude into federal immigration
can`t Arizona be as inhospitable as they wish to people
who have entered or remained in the United States?` U.S.
District Judge Susan Bolton asked in a pointed exchange
Deputy Solicitor General Edwin S. Kneedler.
Her comment came during a rare federal court hearing in
the Justice Department`s lawsuit against Arizona and
Gov. Jan Brewer (R).
“Bolton, a Democratic appointee, also questioned a core
part of the Justice Department`s argument that she
should declare the law unconstitutional: that it is
`preempted` by federal law because immigration
enforcement is an exclusive federal prerogative.
is there a preemption issue?` the judge asked. `I
understand there may be other issues, but you`re arguing
preemption. Where is the preemption if everybody who is
arrested for some crime has their immigration status
on Arizona immigration law begins,
By Jerry Markon, July 23, 2010
The judge said she is taking the case
advisement". The law is supposed to take effect July
But of course the real motif of the
attacks on Arizona`s law
from the Administration and others in Congress and the
MainStream Media was its alleged
And the level of these
charges has not reduced down one whit. Apparently,
anyone who believes that we should have less
immigration, legal (one million work visas were given
out to foreign workers this past 12 months, during our
current deep recession) and illegal (how does this
condition favor the alleged job creation priority of the
Administration?), is going to end up the victim of
racism charges—either publically or silently, by
I have just learned of one example of this silent
Executive Director of Progressives for Immigration
As its website (http://www.progressivesforimmigrationreform.org)
makes clear, PFIR`s four main principles are legitimate
main stream concerns which most Americans share. I
1. Due to unsustainable growth and high consumption
rates, the US must consider the impact that over
population has on the environment,
2. Concern that current policies which flood the market
with low-wage workers create unfair competition and
reduce wages for all workers,
3. To date the US has become the 3rd most populous
nation in the world and has the fastest growth rate of
any industrial nation;
4, Because the US is growing at an unsustainable rate,
US population growth and over consumption have enormous
implication for worldwide sustain ability.
Gee, these seem to be issues which deserve careful
consideration and urgent action, don`t they? The world`s
population has grown from just over 1 billion a hundred
years ago to almost 7 billion today, and may go over 10
billion by 2100—if the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
Since its founding, PFIR has pursued its goals by
publishing materials on these issues. But these
thoughtful intellectual forays immediately attracted
charges of racism.
By simply going to Goggle, one quickly finds two
articles attacking PFIR from several well known voices,
who are against any reasoned discussion of the
immigration reform issue.
What is So Progressive About `Progressives for Immigration Reform ... 23 Jun 2009 ... FAIR front group, Progressives for Immigration Reform (PFIR), is continuing to assert itself into mainstream discourse.
Right Wing Front Organizations Use Progressive Sounding
Names to Promote Anti ...
BuzzFlash (blog) -
Bill Berkowitz -
Jul 22, 2010
with other organizations such as the Federation for
American Immigration Reform (FAIR), NumbersUSA,
Progressives for Immigration Reform (PFIR), ...
Selling hate with a green message (Front Groups: Part
AMERICAblog (blog) -
Naomi Seligman -
Jul 7, 2010
As is the case with
Immigration Reform (PFIR),
an "organization" posing as an environmental group
trying to convince young hipsters that to
Anti-Immigrant Hard-liners Try to Co-Opt Environmental
David L. Ostendorf -
Jul 21, 2010
In this regard, they echo their first cousins at
Progressives for Immigration Reform(PFIR), the FAIR front group that disingenuously portrays itself as
(It is worth
mentioning that PFIR has
whatever with the Federation for American
Immigration Reform [FAIR]—except that
it and all other entities favoring patriotic immigration
have been dubbed racists by
like the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC—$PLC
to VDARE.COM. )The SPLC`s record has been recently well
documented in The
Social Contract magazine`s Spring 2010 Special Issue
"The Southern Poverty Law Center – A Special Report")
On Friday, PFIR`s Executive Director wrote
Stuart Whatley, the Associate Blog Editor
of The Huffington
Post, a letter which bears reproducing, as it
reveals the dangerous institutionalized soft
totalitarianism which has crept into this immigration
Mr. Stuart Whatley, or whomever it may concern:
name is Leah Durant. I am the Executive Director of
Progressives for Immigration Reform, a Washington-based
little over a month ago,
began publishing guest blog pieces written by me and
our staff twice per week. Our pieces were widely
accepted, and the comments following our posts indicated
that readers were genuinely eager to discuss the issues
a week ago, our staff was confronted
with a piece
by Stephen Piggott, a writer at
The piece announced that PFIR`s postings on Huffington
had been "pulled" due to PFIR`s
"connections to white nationalists".
several successful and immediate posts, we noticed that
Huffington had discontinued publishing our blogs, the
article was the first we learned of Huffington`s
decision to "cancel" our featured blog spot.
In my opinion, if this is in fact the case, it is not
only unethical for Huffington Post to pull our
commentary based on the accusations of a single interest
group like Imagine 2050, it is also highly disappointing
that no one at the
Huffington Post had the decency to inform us that our commentary
would be pulled, or to provide us with an explanation.
We also regret not having an opportunity to respond to
the false and slanderous allegations made by Image 2050.
2050 is diametrically opposed to the goals of PFIR,
progressives, liberals and people from all political
persuasions can have legitimate and thoughtful
disagreements on the nation`s immigration policy,
without harboring racist motives.
African American, (and clearly not a "white
nationalist"), I am highly offended by the tendency of
some media outlets to assume that anyone concerned with
limiting immigration is racist, while presenting no
evidence to that effect.
a liberal Democrat and the first African American woman
elected to Congress from Texas, led an
entire Congressional Commission
calling for reducing immigration to the US. Would this
logic dictate then, that Barbara Jordan be labeled as
As for Imagine 2050`s central allegation of PFIR`s having ties to white
nationalists, not only are these charges patently false,
they are almost certainly actionable. Imagine 2050 has
its own agenda concerning illegal immigration, one which
stands in stark contrast to Progressives for Immigration
Reform`s. This provides no basis, however, for anyone`s
willingness to silence a legitimate view point within
the liberal community.
Huffington can find anything in our previous posts that
indicates PFIR`s alleged racist or white nationalist
motives, I would be happy to discuss this with you. I
can assure you there will be no such references. I ask
that Huffington staff reconsider the pulling of PFIR`s
Progressives for Immigration Reform
16th Street NW, Suite 800
Washington DC, 20006
How disappointing that Huffington`s editorial staff
apparently did not look carefully into PFIR`s legitimate
role, but just accepted its opponent`s claims—despite
(or because of?) the popularity of its blog posts.
Did they buckle to calls from some on the other side to
cut out even moderate voices?
Are we talking about another
Shirley Sherrod debacle—only
this time one which is sub rosa, harder to argue against
as it is sotto
voce, possibly repeated against many others (such as
exist? Of course. And it is
But when we are discussing policy issues, legal issues,
constitutional issues, looking for the best way to
benefit our nation, we must focus on facts, fairness,
basic integrity—none of which are served by overt or
covert charges of racism.
As we have seen so often lately. the racist card is easy
to play and has enormous power to intimidate,
particularly when backed by huge political power.
I have watched the level of these
for years. But I know the basic fairness of American
people will in the end prevail. Those who use this
dangerous weapon indiscriminately will in the end be
unmasked for the thugs they are.
Donald A. Collins [email
him], is a freelance writer living in Washington DC and a former long time member of the board of FAIR, the Federation for American Immigration Reform. His views are his own.