Update: This memo is now being shared around Washington, alerting Republican leaders to the pattern of manipulation by the Tanton network. You can find it quoted in this Washington Post article.
by Bob Quasius
John Tanton is infamous for founding numerous anti-immigrant groups, such as FAIR, NumbersUSA, the Center for Immigration Studies, and Californians for Population Stabilization, which not only seek strict enforcement of immigration laws, but also drastic reductions in LEGAL immigration. Tanton also founded U.S. English and Pro-English, which decry changes in culture and misrepresent immigrants’ willingness to learn English and assimilate, and pursue “official English” policies designed to make America less welcoming to New Americans who are going through the process of assimilation.
Among the papers that John Tanton donated to the University of Michigan, is a 2001 ‘smoking gun’ memo that shows how Tanton has manipulated the Republican Party with the bogus argument that immigrants invariably become Democrats and so immigration is contrary to the interests of the Republican Party. Direct quote:
The goal is to change Republicans’ perception of immigration so that when they encounter the word “immigrant,” their reaction is “Democrat.”
Our plan is to hire a lobbyist who will carry the following message to Republicans on Capitol Hill and to business leaders: Continued massive immigration will soon cost you political control of the White House and Congress, given the current, even division of the electorate, and the massive infusion of voters about to be made to the Democratic side. We are about to replay the Democratic hegemony of 1933-53, fueled back then by the massive immigration of 1890-1924.
Tanton did indeed hire James Edwards, a lobbyist who had been a staffer for a member of the House Immigration Caucus, to persuade Republicans that “immigrant” is synomymous with “Democrat.” Tanton cites data from the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), without mentioning that Tanton founded CIS and a close colleague of Tanton is the head of research for CIS, which is well known for jazzed up statistics in support of Tanton’s anti-any-immigration agenda. Tanton founded in excess of 30 organizations, most of which are clearly intended to reduce all forms of immigration, and maintain a clear European-American majority. Here’s a list from Tanton’s own papers.
Tanton is infamous for numerous comments disparaging Latinos in particular, such as a statement in a 1993 memo, “I’ve come to the point of view that for European-American society and culture to persist requires a European-American majority, and a clear one at that.” Tanton is also a big fan of eugenics, for example this statement from a 1996 letter: “Do we leave it to individuals to decide that they are the intelligent ones who should have more kids? And more troublesome, what about the less intelligent, who logically should have less? Who is going to break the bad news [to less intelligent individuals], and how will it be implemented?”
The Federal of Americans for Immigration Reform accepted millions in funding from the Pioneer Fund, whose purpose is “…to advance the scientific study of heredity and human differences“, in other words the long discredited pseudo-science of eugenics and ‘scientific racism.’
Conservatives should take note that Tanton’s first attempts to co-opt other organizations for his radical population control agenda were of progressive organizations, such as Planned Parenthood and the Sierra Club. These groups eventually realized they were being co-opted and rejected Tanton’s agenda, and so too should conservative organizations. Tanton himself founded Planned Parenthood of Northern Michigan and served as president. His resume shows a long list of leadership roles, not in conservative groups but progressive organizations. The Tanton network can best be described as an unholy alliance of population control progressives, environmentalists, and white nationalists.