Thursday, December 1, 2016

The Federation of American Immigration: abortion & population control merges with anti-immigration

In the early 20th century it was not unusual in both the United States and Western Europe for a naïve nationalism to mix with progressive views about abortion and population control. The ultimate mix layered all of this with anti-immigration views and, yes, racism. The layering continues into the 21st century. Today on ChurchandWorld, Hans Cornelder linked to an article at Polizette, “Southern Poverty Law Center Turns Leftist Bully: Once-important civil rights organization has become liberal propaganda machine, according to new lawsuit.” The article is about a lawsuit the Federation of American Immigration Reform is filing against a hate-watch group The Southern Poverty Law Center. The article caught my attention because in the past, starting more than twenty years ago, when writing about racism I traded information with the SPLC.

Although I disagree with SPLC’s stances on homosexuality, I applaud their articles on racism and anti-Semitism. They, in fact, posted several articles on the vile anti-Semitic Veterans Today after I alerted them to its content.  So I decided to explore the Federation of American Immigration Reform. I was surprised to say the least, although perhaps I should not have been. The organization was birthed not from some fundamentalist sect but rather from those who have embraced population control and abortion. And, of course, environmentalism figures in the mix.  In their early beginnings they had and in some cases still do, close ties to Planned Parenthood.

John H. Tanton was the founder and chair of the Federation of American Immigration Reform (FAIR). In a footnote to an appendix written by Tanton, he points to his involvement with Planned Parenthood and other organizations concerned with population control:

“In pursuit of his demographic and immigration policy interests, Tanton has served as organizer and president of Northern Michigan Planned Parenthood (1965-71); as chair of the National Sierra Club Population Committee (9171-74); as a member of the National Zero Population Growth Board (1973-75); as chair of its Immigration Study Committee (1973-75); as its national president (1975-79); as organizer (1979) of the Federation of American Immigration Reform (FAIR) and its chair (1979-87); and as a board member of Population/Environment Balance (190-80).[1]

Tanton’s wife, Mary Lou, who was involved with his various organizations was an advocate for abortion. Her essay on the subject was printed in the Charlevoix Courier in 1969.[2]

Dan Stein, now the president of FAIR, complains, according the Polizette article that “"The SPLC is deeply invested in promoting mass immigration, bullying political opponents into silence, and is nothing more than a daily smear machine uninterested in the free exchange of ideas. It uses the same ad hominem tactics year in and year out to try to manage political speech in the interests of its own agenda." But what about FAIR’s immigration ideas. On their site they are offering a comprehensive immigration reform plan they hope President elect Donald Trump and congress will buy into, “Fair Immigration Priorities for the 2017 Presidential Transition: A Special Report from the Federation for American Immigration Reform.

The report is long and needs a great deal of analysis. However, it should be noted that the plan calls for no amnesty at all. No medical attention or schooling for illegal alien children. In fact, it calls for greater limitations on legal immigration.  It is definitely an anti-immigration document. It has two core concerns. One that illegal aliens are causing horrific problems in the United States:

“Illegal immigration and unchecked legal immigration are detrimental to the quality of life in the United States. The American family is increasingly bearing the costs of urban sprawl, environmental degradation, traffic congestion, increased crime, overburdened health care, overwhelmed public schools and debt-ridden state and municipal governments—all results of uncontrolled immigration. The fiscal costs of immigration, legal and illegal, have always been substantial, but with the recent economic downturn, these costs have become even more burdensome. The social, cultural and political costs are being felt more acutely as we receive immigrants in numbers too large to be successfully incorporated into our way of life and assimilated into our communities.”

 And secondly that America’s immigration policies should be absolutely focused on the needs and desires of United States’ citizens and therefore only those offering exceptional skills should be admitted. On the introduction page of this paper FAIR states:

“The U.S. immigration system must be reformed to reflect broad national interest, not the narrow special interests that seek cheap labor and increased political influence. This means ending illegal immigration, reducing overall levels of immigration and only admitting immigrants who have the education and skills to succeed in 21st Century America.”

While true conservatives complain about the brutality of the late Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, FAIR complains about what is called the Mariel Boatlift when 125, 000 Cubans escaped from Cuba.  They write in their policy plan, “Stretching back to the Mariel boatlift and beyond, the United States has periodically been faced with mass migration events. The recent Unaccompanied Alien Minor crisis on the southern border clearly demonstrates that a comprehensive border control strategy requires a robust and sustainable capacity to confront and manage these migrant surges.”

While it is true that Castro released some criminals and convicts to make that journey, nonetheless many Cubans found freedom in the United States and were welcomed here by their families.

The Southern Poverty Law Center would of course not complain about FAIR’s connection to abortion advocacy but they do have important information including FAIR’s connections to racist ideals. Their article “Federation for American Immigration Reform” is important and factual.

In the Federation for American Immigration Reform one sees, as I have stated, a merging of progressive views of population control including abortion, and nationalism tinged with racism, supposedly for the sake of environmentalism. There are several groups connected to this organization all concerned with immigration and population control. Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) is one. Another is The Social Contract Press.
Psalm one tells the faithful that we are blessed when we do not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the path of sinners or sit in the seat of scoffers. Wickedness is growing ramped, may we be wise and discerning. And have mercy on the foreigner and the refugee.  


[1] Appendix B End of the Migration Epoch? Time for a New Paradigm by John H Tanton, in Mary Lon, John Tanton a Journey into American Conservatism by John F. Rohe,
[2] Appendix C Ibid. (A 1969 essay in the Charlevoix Courier by Mary Lou Tanton advocating for abortion. An appendix to Mary Lon, John Tanton a Journey into American Conservatism by John F. Rohe. )

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