When President Donald Trump was booed Tuesday after announcing a new immigration crime office during his State of the Union address, several groups were likely celebrating the news.
Trump, who signed the executive order last month, announced plans to establish a new office to help victims of violence committed by undocumented immigrants, saying, “The office is called VOICE: Victims Of Immigration Crime Engagement. We are providing a voice to those who have been ignored by our media, and silenced by special interests.”
While the announcement elicited boos that echoed throughout the House Chamber, the news likely elicited cheers from a cadre of folks who appear to be foes of immigration, including NumbersUSA, the Federation for American Immigration Reform and the Center for Immigration Studies.
The groups, which have worked with U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions in the past, “push for lower immigration levels, and Sessions has worked closely with them to stop legislation advancing a path to citizenship.”
But “the ideological foundation of these groups, dating from a different political era, was more about limiting population than securing the border,” Consider the words of Roy Beck, NumbersUSA Founder and president about the perils of immigration: “The key factor in immigration policy is choosing the right number of authorized immigrants for future years,” he says. “To choose a lower number does not imply anything negative about the immigrants who already are legally in this country. We’re talking about the future number that is best for both U.S.-born and foreign-born citizens.”
Although the group calls itself pro-immigrant, such language reeks of jingoisism and isolationism.
“Every government in the world has the obligation to decide what immigration number is right for the community in its care,” Beck states on the site. “My greatest concern is how the number that is chosen will affect our grandchildren’s grandchildren. Will we condemn them to live packed in a highly regimented country approaching a billion people? Or will we make it possible for them to enjoy the qualities of life we today hold the most dear?”
While most backers of these groups extol altruism, the rhetoric portends a darker message about exclusivity and membership.
The groups have deep pocketed supporters, which does not bode well for advocates of immigration, who usually represent the poor and voiceless.
The Los Angeles Times notes a major supporter of the cause is Fred Stanback Jr., a rich man from Salisbury, North Carolina, who has been a major donor to the Foundation For The Carolinas.
From 2005 to 2014, NumbersUSA, the Federation for American Immigration Reform and the Center for Immigration Studies received nearly $12 million from the Foundation For The Carolinas, a philanthropic group that is widely respected for its donations to church programs, homeless shelters, and museums, the newspaper reports. “Grants also went to other immigration restriction groups, like Californians for Population Stabilization, along with millions for population control and environmental groups,” the Times writes.
All of this is coming against the backdrop of President Trump’s immigration raids that are creating deep anxiety and concern in communities of color.
The question is, are deep-pocketed immigration foes hiding their intentions behind charitable donations? Let us know your thoughts in comments.