On MLK Day, Romney Campaigning With Anti-Immigrant Official Tied to Hate Groups

Amanda Peterson Beadle
ThinkProgress / News Analysis
Published: Monday 16 January 2012
“Romney’s views on immigration are radical even in a field of candidates who appear to be competing to take the most radical views on this subject.”
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On a day set aside to honor civil rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr., Mitt Romney plans to tout his extreme immigration positions during a campaign stop in South Carolina today — with Kris Kobach, the author of Arizona’s and Alabama’s immigration laws, at his side. He will attack his competitors Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry for their softer immigration stances, which could resonate with South Carolina voters who support that state’s harmful immigration law.

“Mitt Romney stands apart from the others. He’s the only one who’s taken a strong across-the-board position on immigration,” Kobach said, and he told Fox News’ Neil Cavuto that Romney was much farther to the right on illegal immigration than his fellow presidential candidates.

Considering Kobach’s own opinions and associations, however, his endorsement may not be one Romney wants to tout.

Before he became Kansas’ secretary of state, Kobach worked for Immigration Reform Law Institute, the legal branch of Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), which the Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled as a “nativist hate group.” One of FAIR’s main goals is to overturn the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, which “ended a decades-long, racist quota system that limited immigration mostly to northern Europeans.” FAIR’s founder John Tanton has said that he wants the U.S. to remain a majority-white nation through limiting the number of non-whites who enter the U.S.

When Arizona’s SB 1070, Kobach, in emails to then-state Sen. Russell Pierce (R), pushed for the law to be used to cast a wide net against Latinos. He helped write an even more harmful immigration law for Alabama, which effectively made it illegal to live as an undocumented immigrant in the state. And when Kobach ran for Congress in 2004, he lost by an 11-point margin after his opponent accused him of having ties to white supremacists. (While campaigning, he was working on a FAIR lawsuit against Kansas’ law granting in-state tuition to the children of undocumented immigrants; the suit was dismissed.) Kobach even once wrote a book opposing the anti-Apartheid boycott of South Africa.

Romney proudly said he “look[ed] forward” to working with Kobach on stopping illegal immigration, and Kobach has been equally effusive of Romney, saying, “Mitt Romney is the candidate who will finally secure the borders and put a stop to the magnets,” when announcing his support. Again and again, Romney has proven how hardline he is on immigration, and Kobach’s support continues to reinforce it.

Romney’s views on immigration are radical even in a field of candidates who appear to be competing to take the most radical views on this subject. But as extreme as Romney’s immigration stances have been, campaigning with an anti-immigrant official with ties to a hate group on Martin Luther King Day is beyond the pale.



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34 comments on "On MLK Day, Romney Campaigning With Anti-Immigrant Official Tied to Hate Groups"

Vincentdail

July 25, 2013 1:22am

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Sharon Hart

January 16, 2012 8:38pm

Wow!!! The racists have really come out of the woodwork for this one. How do you folks live with yourselves?

It's not okay for Mexicans to be able to feed their families, but it's okay for American corporations to go into Mexico and steal so much from the people that they can't feed their families without coming here to find horrible jobs that pay little? And then they get to put up with the likes of you?

Oh, I understand, it's just like the Native American situation. We had to take their land and make it produce because they were such ignorant savages! Then we were really nice to them and sent them blankets laced with small pox, flour with worms, rotting meat etc.

Proud to be an Amerikan, are you?

American Bolshevik

January 16, 2012 7:51pm

If the Southern Poverty Law Center wanted to be completely accurate, they would label the entire Republican Party a "nativist hate group". Mitt clearly knows the Republican base. To most of them, Martin Luther King, Jr. was nothing more than a Communist sex fiend who stirred up "those" people. His associating with a known bigot can only help him with that base, especially in a place like South Carolina.

Don I
Washingon
January 16, 2012 7:38pm

- The Southern Poverty Law Center's labeling the legal branch of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), as a “nativist hate group.” is like the pot calling the kettle, cast iron.

- People who have anti illegal immigration views aren't the ones with the radical view. It's people who are against our countries enforcement of its immigration laws that are the radicals.

Don I
Washingon
January 16, 2012 7:23pm

What an asinine article Amanda. There's Nothing racist about the Arizona or Alabama Immigration laws (or the enforcement of either them), ... and NOTHING is anti-immigration about them either. You have to be brain dead to think they're racist. They're modeled after our own federal immigration laws, but allow the States to enforce laws our own Federal Government refuses to uphold, ... even though Federal officials (including our President) have sworn an oath to uphold. Our President and all other federal officials who refuse to enforce and uphold the immigration laws are derilect of their duty by ordering federal officials to NOT enforce the laws.

I'm no Romney fan, but think his willingness to confront our ILLEGAL ALIEN problem, and enforce our immigration laws has been needed for a very long time. I commend him for taking that stand.

Michael Marowitz

January 16, 2012 10:42pm

Don,

Conservatives like you ignore reality. Reiterating baseless claims repeated time and again by Faux News, Limbaugh, and the rest of the idiocracy is all you guys do. Disinformation seems inextricable from your natures.

First, what makes you believe that the federal government hasn't/won't enforce immigration laws? What evidence supports your belief? Check out recent deportation statistics from ICE; Obama has deported more undocumented aliens, especially those who commit crimes here, than Bush ever did: "The U.S. deported more people — nearly 400,000 — who were in the country illegally in fiscal 2011 than ever before, according to the latest numbers released Tuesday by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) bureau. . . . Of the 396,906 people removed from the U.S., more than half — 216,698 —had been previously convicted of felonies or misdemeanors, according to the ICE numbers, which represent a 90 percent increase in the number of criminals deported over those for fiscal 2008. The numbers mark a 10 percent increase over criminals removed in fiscal 2010 — about 195,000." http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/188241-ice-announces-record-b....

Moreover, the current state of constitutional law is that immigration law lies exclusively within the federal domain, whose authority may not be infringed by hick states whose representatives, like you, can't understand the impact of the Supremacy Clause. That's why Arizona and Georgia have been enjoined from enforcing their new laws. This is not a state's right issue, but I'm sure you'll convince yourself it is. Borrowing from Barry Goldwater, for conservatives, extremism in the defense of stupidity is no vice.

And, as to the racist nature of these laws as applied, do you believe that the cops in Arizona were going to ask undocumented aliens/illegal immigrants from Ireland or Sweden or England for their papers after each traffic stop? How silly can you be?

Michael L. Marowitz
J.D., J.S.M. (Master's Degree in Law, with emphasis on constitutional law, Stanford Law School, 1981)

life in the rea...

January 17, 2012 4:38am

I would hope you are not a Professor of Law sir. It would scare me to think of you ruining all those young minds with your dribble.

nakedsnake

January 16, 2012 6:52pm

Let me get this stright. The immigation problem is the fault of employers and countries not running their nations for the benefit of thier own citizens. Yeah, classic example of a revisionist practicing projection. First 90 percent of the illegal immigration comes from Mexico. The reason, the U.S. stole half the land and the country pluged into chaos and revolution. Opportunist abound. Second, prohibtion which gave rise to almost all modern crime in the U.S. and Mexico. You just don't get it do you, the drug money, guns are all flowing south and thousands of lives being lost because morons in the U.S. need their over-the-counter meds. Call them illegal if you must, I will call them refugess. Stop exporting responsibility. The U.S. is by far the largest instigator of narco-terror in the world!

M Munn

January 16, 2012 6:05pm

there wouldn't be an immigration problems if employers were cited as the law states.

But more importantly, there wouldn't be an illegal immigration problem if the immigrant's home countries were run for the benefit of their own citizens rather than, say, multinational inhumane CORPORATIONS.

we live on a finite planet & the corporations are running out of places to hide.

nakedsnake

January 16, 2012 6:52pm

Let me get this stright. The immigation problem is the fault of employers and countries not running their nations for the benefit of thier own citizens. Yeah, classic example of a revisionist practicing projection.
First 90 percent of the illegal immigration comes from Mexico. The reason, the U.S. stole half the land and the country pluged into chaos and revolution. Opportunist abound. Second, prohibtion which gave rise to almost all modern crime in the U.S. and Mexico. You just don't get it do you, the drug money, guns are all flowing south and thousands of lives being lost because morons in the U.S. need their over-the-counter meds. Call them illegal if you must, I will call them refugess. Stop exporting responsibility. The U.S. is by far the largest instigator of narco-terror in the world!

Richard Cottingham

January 16, 2012 4:53pm

It is quite clear that Romney will take any position, tell any lie, kiss any ass, hurt anyone to become president of the United States. What a whore.

Richard Avard

January 16, 2012 5:59pm

are not they all except Ron Paul?

life in the rea...

January 17, 2012 4:03am

Richard, they are ALL WHORES, except for Dr. Paul who is easily the most honest pubic figure I have see since the 1950's ! Ron Paul 2012!!

Richard Cottingham

January 16, 2012 4:50pm

Come on now Robert. Stop holding back and tell us how you really feel.

freedom7

January 16, 2012 3:51pm

@Richard Avard: Sieg Heil!

what now toons

January 16, 2012 3:49pm

Romney keeps showing us what he actually is, an insensitive selfish greedy monster that has, and will continue to destroy jobs in his insatiable quest for easy profits ( it's harder to build a company that will survive, than to wreck one and sell off the assets)! He would create an economy that only the 1% can survive in, while they kick people out of their homes with Romney's blessing, he did say he wanted the foreclosure process to be stepped up didn't he? Now we can ad that he pals around with racists!
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pitch1934

January 16, 2012 3:41pm

The main thrust of this issue is not, "illegal immigration" but rather the type of person that willard will associate with in order to win thenomination. How can anyone write a book supporting Apertheid? Let's face it, our forebearers went for broke by instituting slavery in the colonies and then importing cheap labor to build the railroads. They opened the door to all kinds of immigration. You can't shut it, just try to control it.

Richard Avard

January 16, 2012 5:57pm

oh yeah, it can be shut thut down completely Just suspend all immigration for at least 5 years Then enforce immiagraion laws ie emplyer sanctions then watch Wages rise as labor gets more scarce Law of Supply and Demand never fails. Let Mexico take care of their over populaton Not our problem unless we allow it to become our problem

Robert Birdwell

January 16, 2012 3:29pm

Morris Dees is a racist and his "Southern Poverty Law Center" is most definitely an anti-white, anti-American organization. (The name says quite a bit - it is certainly morally, ethically and intellectually impoverished)

First you chide a person for being "anti-illegal immigration" then use Morris Dees and his anthropomorphic chimeras to validate your insane position.

I subscribe to your "nation of change" rag to keep abreast of the number of kookies who've escaped from the jar. WOW, there’s a bunch.

Richard Cottingham

January 16, 2012 4:51pm

Come on Robert. Don't hold back like that. Tell us how you really feel.

freedom7

January 16, 2012 3:53pm

@Robert Birdwell - actually the SPLC investigates hate groups like nazis, white supremists, black supremists and other ignorant Neanderthals. The fact you call this an anti-American organization doesn't say much for America and certainly doesn't say much for you.

notmyrealname

January 16, 2012 3:29pm

@Richard Avard
Non-thinking conservative just used his real name... You are obviously an angry person who hates others who don't think like yourself. Ever try acceptance and understanding versus judging and condemning?

Richard Avard

January 16, 2012 5:53pm

Notmyrealname: try thinking beyond the Liberal nonsense such as "Diversity is our strength", "multi-culturalism" and other such liberal "Big Lies" YOu know what Lenin called Lliberals? "Useful Idiots"

life in the rea...

January 17, 2012 4:08am

Richard, Lenin was wrong. They're not useful at all.....

natnchng

January 16, 2012 9:00pm

Out-of-state tuition for illegals is one thing, being racist, Richard, is another!

life in the rea...

January 17, 2012 4:42am

Explain to me how you think that; not wanting to support anyone with tax dollars, a job, subsidized housing, food stamps, medicaid, free health care at your local ER, education...etc., who has entered this country illegally, ie; (blatantly disregarded our immigration laws, the sovereignty of our borders) makes you a racist?
I would consider it makes you a law abiding citizen that is deeply concerned about the future of their country!?

Richard Avard

January 16, 2012 3:15pm

If the desire to keep the culture of America European rather than letting it becoming a Tower of Bable disaster and disintegrate, then this writer is a so-called racist .... and Amanda, you are a fool, and a classical non-thinking Liberal who would destroy this nation on the alter of "Political Correctness" whatever that really is

life in the rea...

January 17, 2012 4:53am

Don't we all just LOVE to Hate, Hate Groups!? Hummm, guess that would make this a Liberal Based 'Hate the Hate Groups' Group. Quite the 'Catch 22' isn't it?! Someone get a towel! There's a big puddle of liberal dribble in here......

life in the rea...

January 17, 2012 4:29am

Thank you Richard, well put.

SaulT

January 16, 2012 4:40pm

Richard: the leftist Europeans' indoctrinating culture these days kow-tows to islam BECAUSE they are all racists, who believe that only white people are intelligent enough to be guilty of being truly evil; their "poor oppressed People Of Colour" pets simply aren't smart enough to be held accountable for their islamic us-versus-them, "THOU SHALT KILL!" creeds of barbarism, (the poor oppressed little dears)!

;-)

I think what you meant was "Civilized" culture (which was first defined in the Far East, in China, by Cong Fuzi aka Confucius, when he coined the Golden Rule in the negative: "Do Not Attack First")!

Agreeing to obey this one simple Rule has given us trust and progress - notably lacking under islam, where their creed is the exact opposite: they proclaim it's their "holy right and duty to allah to always attack The Others first, so there, nyah!" which easily explains why they have no trust - and so, no progress.

They are stagnant barbarians and we're doing them no favors by coddling them and pretending "all cultures are equal - the bad ones are diversely opposite equals of the good ones, so we must tolerate their evil!"

The lefties here, too, seem to operate on the critical-thinking logical fallacy that:
"Islam isnt' evil because we all do it too! Whee!"

Sorry, kids, but evil is evil, no matter who does it.

Pretending your People Of Colour pets are sub-humans who just can't help themselves - IS racist behaviour; islam IS evil! Time to look in that mirror?

;-)

bw1968

January 16, 2012 3:08pm

You report this as if it is something unusual, or surprising.

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SaulT

January 16, 2012 2:43pm

Why are you in FAVOR of ILLEGAL immigration? Are you willing to give some illegal immigrants your job, and let them live in your house, for free (while you keep paying the taxes on it)? Or is it just that you want everyone ELSE to do so?

;-)