DREAMers, DACA Recipients And The Propagandists Who Oppose Them

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Mario H. Lopez President, Hispanic Leadership Fund
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As Republicans celebrate a huge tax reform victory, focus in Washington now shifts towards the fate of DREAMers. Most recently, dozens of Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives sent a letter to Speaker Paul Ryan urging a fix for DACA recipients by the end of the year. Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo has signaled that he will not support a funding deal that does not constructively resolve the DREAMer situation.

It appears more likely that GOP leadership will seek to address the fate of DREAMers in stand-alone legislation — though that raises fears in some quarters that they will never get around to it, despite compelling and credible data in support of DREAMers. Over 70 percent of Republicans — including including President Donald Trump, for example — support protecting law-abiding DREAMers.

Despite the broad support for DREAMers overall — that is minors who were brought to the U.S. but have not themselves violated laws of their own volition — one cabal of anti-immigration organizations opposes protecting DREAMers altogether. In fact, it appears that one such group is even lobbying to allow the Department of Homeland Security to use information handed over by DACA applicants to create a “deportation list.”

This close-knit group of anti-immigration propaganda entities is primarily the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), NumbersUSA, and admitted FAIR offshoot the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS). According to its disclosures, FAIR spent $41,000 on lobbying by just one of its employees in the third quarter of 2017. Meanwhile, NumbersUSA dropped $30,000 with just a single lobbying firm opposing DREAMer protection during the same period.

A close look at these organizations makes clear that their core beliefs stand in fundamental hostility to basic conservative principles. FAIR, NumbersUSA and CIS appear to be in part the brainchildren of Michigan doctor John Tanton, who had a deep interest in population control, was a staunch advocate for both abortion on demand and a militantly authoritarian environmentalism that would make Tom Steyer look like a climate-change-denying Big Coal magnate.

Tanton founded and funded FAIR, soliciting like-minded, population-control environmentalist, big-money types like Cordelia Scaife May, heiress to the Mellon fortune, to set aside $400 million to support his anti-immigration efforts, which he saw as essential for reducing the U.S. population and protecting the environment.

In their zeal to spread falsehoods about immigrants,  some strenuously anti-immigrant groups not only continue keep questionable individuals with obvious leftist views involved in their day-to-day operations, but have also made common cause with reprehensible figures on the Alt-Right, whose expressly anti-immigrant (or perhaps more precisely, anti-nonwhite immigrant) stance is a key component of their general platform.

The most prominent example is probably that of Jason Richwine, the disgraced former policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation, who resigned after it was revealed that his dissertation included broad assertions that Latinos have lower IQs and, therefore, U.S. immigration policy should severely limit their entry en masse. In addition, Richwine had contributed to admitted white-nationalist Richard Spencer’s white nationalist website. So, it is only natural that Richwine went on to produce more of his shameful material for the Center for Immigration Studies.

But far from an isolated example, CIS has reportedly circulated other alt-right and white nationalist authors like Kevin MacDonald, who sits on the board of Spencer’s National Policy Institute, and NPI founder William Regnery II. And CIS fellow John Miano was a regular contributor to alt-right website Vdare.

Conservative writer Neil Stevens rightly concludes that “conservatives must stop pretending CIS and FAIR are groups we can work with, since the last thing we need is to poison our movement with the alt right.”

Dan Stein, president of CIS parent organization FAIR, apparently supports “voluntary infanticide” and an array of deeply anti-conservative policies. (Pause to ponder the utter lunacy of that notion: Determining consent from a newborn baby for its own killing). Stein also supports China’s anti-life and anti-human rights “One Child Policy” (that has now morphed into a still anti-life and anti-human rights “Two Child Policy”).

Stein also outwardly supports eugenics — a position that has long been discredited and far outside the mainstream of any coherent political belief system. Eugenics, to be clear, is succinctly defined as the notion that people are not equal. In this view, inferior individuals are certainly not, to borrow a phrase, “endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights.”

A lot of this was exposed by Tucker Carlson, now of Fox News, who wrote in The Wall Street Journal in 1997 that Garrett Hardin, a former member of FAIR’s board, aimed “‘to encourage the breeding of more intelligent people rather than the less intelligent.'” Carlson reported that when “asked to comment on Mr. Hardin’s statement, [FAIR President Dan] Stein doesn’t even pause. ‘Yeah, so what?’ he replies. ‘What is your problem with that? Should we be subsidizing people with low IQs to have as many children as possible, and not subsidizing those with high ones?’”

Other key FAIR personnel boast of extensive relationships with Planned Parenthood and the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, reportedly including FAIR’s chairman of the board (a not-insignificant figure) Donald Collinsboard secretary Sarah Epstein and former board member Janet Harte.

NumbersUSA head Roy Beck co-wrote a report a report about how population “stabilization” (read: control)  was essential to avoid “forsaking” environmental “fundamentals.” Beck has been involved in a long-running war with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, one of the strongest pro-life organizations in America, for opposing population control policies he supports.

It is little wonder, then, that NumbersUSA has bragged about the “endorsement” of David Brower, a former executive director of the Sierra Club, who stressed his agreement with the former group: “We feel you don’t have a conservation policy unless you have a population policy.”

Given their vile ideological roots and despicable agenda, it should be no surprise that these organizations have produced sloppy pseudo-research and pushed economically illiterate views about immigration in general, including DREAMers and DACA recipients — despite their disingenuous attempts to adopt Trump-ish slogans about “protecting workers.”

When 140 or so economists wrote in support of recent GOP tax reform efforts, it was justifiably a major talking point. Their letter opens by noting that such broad support is noteworthy. In that vein it is nothing short of extraordinary that 1,500 economists wrote a similar open letter earlier this year outlining why, in their words, “immigration is one of America’s significant competitive advantages in the global economy.”

Another recent coalition letter from, as Erick Erickson puts it, “a who’s who of the conservative movement,” highlights the economic reality that DREAMers are better educated that average immigrants. . . hold jobs, pay taxes, and many are pursuing advanced college degrees. . . ninety-seven percent are in school or in the workforce and five percent have started their own business. . . deporting the DREAMers could cost the American economy $721 billion over a decade as well as $21 billion in lost net revenue to the federal government.“

In the end this reality is why there has been such a strong and broad support for DREAMers in general, and for DACA recipients in particular. And it underscores what should really be the deciding factor for a legislative solution to this issue. Despite the propaganda from radical organizations, a rational legislative fix on DACA is in the interests of American citizens and the country at large.

Mario H. Lopez is president of the Hispanic Leadership Fund, an advocacy organization that promotes public policy that fosters liberty, opportunity, and prosperity for all Americans.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.