As the New York Times reported, Tanton also founded Planned Parenthood and Sierra Club chapters. He formed FAIR in 1979; the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), which can be expected to oppose immigration reform loudly, was established as a spin-off of FAIR in 1985.
FAIR is currently headed by Dan Stein, who has reportedly described China’s one-child policy using the benign terminology “international family planning program” (as opposed to, say, “forced abortion diktat”).
Roy Beck, the former editor of Dr. Tanton’s journal, founded NumbersUSA, reportedly with fundraising assistance from Tanton. Today Beck heads NumbersUSA, which can also be expected to criticize the bill. NumbersUSA’s YouTube page features a video of the founder of Earth Day touting Beck’s work on population matters, and this video linking environmental concerns to population and immigration restrictionism.
According to a recent report detailing the origins of the anti-immigration movement, other figures involved with FAIR — including Sarah Epstein, J. Bayard Boyle, Dorothy Blair and Janet Harte — have worked for or with Planned Parenthood. Epstein and other figures associated with FAIR have reportedly advocated for the use of quinacrine to sterilize women, even in cases where women don’t want to be sterilized. Epstein reportedly called China’s one-child policy “compassionate and fair” — a viewpoint that should automatically make her and the organizations to which she is linked suspect even to more socially moderate individuals, let alone strong social conservatives.
Yet, in the coming days we can expect to hear FAIR, CIS and NumbersUSA criticize the immigration reform bill on conservative grounds. Christian conservatives and pro-life leaders in elected office should beware. When we listen to these organizations, we should ask ourselves what value they actually place on human life and human dignity.
It is worth noting in this context that countless Christian conservative leaders and organizations in fact support immigration reform, including Dr. Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention, the National Association of Evangelicals and members of the Evangelical Immigration Table.
An estimated 300 evangelical leaders met this week in Washington, D.C., to urge Congress to reform America’s immigration laws.
These are leaders and organizations whose flocks man the phones and knock on doors to elect socially conservative Republicans when election time draws near. Hardcore environmentalists aren’t out there electing pro-life Republican congressmen.
People like Dr. Richard Land lean toward immigration reform on the basis of Matthew 25:35: “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and you invited me in.”
These are socially conservative Republicans’ best, and most natural, allies. The same can’t be said for organizations tainted by the stain of consistently siding against human life and human dignity and arguing that more life is itself a grave menace to creation. Coalitions are good, but some bedfellows should be resisted.
Soren Dayton is a senior vice president at Prism Public Affairs and worked on John McCain’s campaign.