Extreme anti-immigrant views are now part of the mainstream political debate

Meanwhile, white supremacist groups and other extremists, who share certain beliefs with those groups and often feed off of their rhetoric, have used anti-immigrant rhetoric to stir anti-Semitism by blaming Jews for encouraging non-white immigration to this country. These conspiracy theories can lead to deadly repercussions, the report says, pointing to the recent attack on a Pittsburgh synagogue by Robert Bowers, who had been exposed to these conspiracy theories and allegedly cited them shortly before carrying out his attack.

ADL’s report comes a decade after the organization released a report on the growing legitimacy of anti-immigrant groups. The new report details the mainstreaming of anti-immigrant rhetoric and how the demonization of immigrants has rapidly accelerated in the past decade, highlighting key events and figures.

“Heartened by politicians’ and political candidates’ attendance at political rallies … state and federal [immigration] policies and legitimized by invitations to testify before Congress, anti-immigrant activists and groups believe they are successfully transitioning into mainstream acceptable,” the report said.

To prevent extreme anti-immigrant ideas from taking hold, ADL urged elected officials and other leaders to forcefully denounce hatred and bigotry. Additionally, the report called on members of Congress to stop inviting known anti-immigrant groups to testify in hearings and forums.

In addition, ADL said the government, news media, and the public need to take a series of “intentional steps” to protect immigrants and refugees, including:

·  A pathway to citizenship for “Dreamers” and protection for refugees from Muslim majority countries;

·  Comprehensive immigration legislation that addresses the millions of undocumented individuals living in the U.S. and includes reforms to the current legal immigration system;

·  Improve reporting of hate crimes to the FBI and provide more anti-bias training to law enforcement;

·  Provide students with tools to combat hatred and bigotry and protect immigrant students;

·  Expand efforts between the government and social media and other technology platforms to counter extremism and bigotry online.

— Read more in Mainstreaming Hate: The Anti-Immigrant Movement in the U.S. (ADL, November 2018)