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Thursday, February 22, 2018

USA: anti-immigrant hate groups grew 57% in 2017

Por Feco

Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization that monitors hate in the United States, has registered the appearance of eight new organizations with ideologies that aim to reduce the presence of foreigners. If you find a connection between this news and the present US leader, you are not wrong. Mr. Trump has encouraged extremists to resurface.

Anti-immigrant hate groups in the United States grew 57% in 2017 and went from 14 to 22, according to the annual study The Year in Hate and Extremism published today by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), an organization that monitors hate crimes in the country. The total number climbed from 917 to 954. This organization links the growth of this type of organization, in large part, to the anti-immigrant rhetoric of the Donald Trump administration. "With the arrival of Trump, the (nativist) movement now has close allies in the White House, the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security", the study says.

Of course, Trump is to blame for the rising numbers of associations. The report highlights the influence in the White House of what he calls the "three big" nativist groups in the United States: the think tank Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), the lobby Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) and the grassroots organization Numbers USA, which considers that they have provided the government with the "action plan" for their nationalist agenda. SPLC considers FAIR and CIS, both as hate groups. However, some voices have criticized that the organization exceeds assigning the label of extremist to organizations of conservative ideology whose message intends to silence.

The SPLC study cites cases in which the Trump presidency has energized key figures in the anti-immigrant movement. For example, FAIR President, Dan Stein, said in an interview: "Getting out of bed these days is much more fun than it used to be" and "I'm having a better time than ever." Another activist who has cited Trump as inspiration is Joseph Turner, a member of several groups of anti-immigrant ideology and famous for xenophobic phrases such as: "Damn if I'm going to sit back and watch my state become a third world sewer" and "why would I want to make peace with illegal immigrants? Would you make peace with someone who is stealing your house? ". Rather offensive indeed. Turner created last year American Children First, which tries to prevent undocumented children from accessing public schools in San Bernardino County, California. He did so, as he told the Los Angeles Times, "strengthened" by Trump's plans at the federal level. If you ever doubt how dangerous the current president of the United States is, look at the influence he has managed to grow in the country.