The gunman’s deranged demands brought to the fore tenets of a growing sector of the environmental movement that’s been co-opted by white nationalists and immigration restrictionists with extensive ties to anti-immigrant networks like the American Immigration Control Foundation, Californians for Population Stabilization, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (also known as FAIR) and its various offshoots like NumbersUSA and the Center for Immigration Studies.
And if FAIR sounds familiar to immigration rights watchers, they should. FAIR is the group, founded by anti-immigrant zealot John Tanton, that helped write Arizona’s SB 1070 and has been orchestrating the growingcopycat bill movement around the country.
In a political climate where immigrants make easy scapegoats for a host of social and economic ills in the country, it’s easy for these anti-immigrant groups to blame immigrants, too, for increased fossil fuel use, urban sprawl, the melting of the polar ice caps. Immigrants track their dirt and babies and poverty into the country, and threaten “America’s environmental stability,” so the anti-immigrant environmentalists say.
The “greenwashing” of the movement has been well-documented. This summer the Center for New Community released a report documenting the nefarious connections between the anti-immigrant movement’s faux-environmentalism that stretch back to the 1960’s. They made an unsuccessful attempt to derail the Sierra Club’s agenda; they’ve started websites called Progressives for Immigration Reform; they’ve run convincing ads in lefty magazines masking their anti-immigrant views behind concerns about the planet. But it’s not that immigration restrictionists care so much about the environment; they just care much more about ending people’s right to enter the country.
More analysis via Colorlines