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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Anti-Immigrant Message Not Welcome at Tea Parties

Today, Americans for Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC) sent out an email to members telling them that they are lending their support to the Tax Day Tea Party efforts nationally on April 15, 2009. They had this to say:

"We are notifying our supporters of the plan for pro immigration enforcement groups to lend our support to the Tax Day Tea Party efforts nationally on April 15, 2009."
There are currently two separate groups organizing their own nationwide tea parties: The Nationwide Tax Day Tea Party (www.taxdayteaparty.com) and the American Family Association's (AFA) Official Taxed Enough Already (TEA) Party www.teapartyday.com. We attempted to contact them both for comment.

Speaking by phone with Julia Nelson, spokesperson for the Nationwide Tax Day Tea Party, she explained that her organization was not aware of ALIPAC’s announcement. She also explained that although her group could not deny ALIPAC supporters the right to attend their event, ALIPAC’s message against undocumented immigrants is not welcome and will not be a part of the Tax Day Tea Party message.

According to the Anti-defamation League, Americans for Legal Immigration Political Action Committee (ALIPAC), led by William Gheen, is the “largest anti-immigrant group in the country”. The ADL says that ALIPAC led by Gheen is “a xenophobic anti-immigrant group…publicly branding undocumented immigrants as murderous criminals and disease carriers".

In a report from the Southern Poverty Law Center, William Gheen makes a habit of using “nativist aphorisms” like “Call me old fashioned, but people should be able to shop at Wal-Mart without worrying about catching [t]uberculosis.”

The first of the “Tea Parties” were organized in February after CNBC reporter Rick Santelli called for "tea party"-style protests over the Federal stimulus package and government bailout programs. Since then, right-wing activists have been mobilizing for April 15th to protest any plan of President Obama and the Congress to save the country’s ailing economy.

We attempted several times to get in touch with the American Family Association, however were unable to get a comment from them on ALIPAC’s announcement at the time of publication.

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2 comments:

Mary said...

Mary Elizabeth
Bridgewater

I'm so proud of our President Obama that he is taking a stand on Immigration in 2009. My grandfather came from Italy 2 generations ago. When Italians came here they were told the streets were paved with gold...little did they know they would be the ones to pave the streets. Our country is built on immigrants. Our immigrants today need the opportunity to come out of the shadows and have a path to their futures. They have many friends, family members and children...including many that are US born. Without Comprehensive Immigration Reform our country faces a crisis with situations that have separated familys. This is Un-American! We must remember what is most important in our country and that is the people our flag represent and we must always protect the main concept our country was built on. Freedom!....and that all people have the right to the pursuit of happiness.

Dave said...

Permit me to say that truth be told there really should be no concern about ALIPAC crashing tea parties. The ADL may say that ALIPAC is the largest anti-immigration group in the nation, but their membership count is taken by people registered for their online forums. Only a small fraction ever make contributions and even fewer show up for any rallies or protests.

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