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Anti-Immigrant Vigilantes with Ties to White Supremacists Lobbying Senators

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The Interfaith Alliance of Idaho (TIA Idaho) joins with human rights groups to unmask the racism of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). FAIR announced on Tuesday that they will target members of the Senate Appropriations Committee which includes Senator Larry Craig of Idaho.

TIA Idaho is working with immigrant, civil, and human rights organizations, religious groups, labor, and community organizations across the nation to "hold FAIR's feet to the fire" by urging Senator Larry Craig to challenge FAIR's racism when its followers visit and call his Senate offices this week to lobby against immigrants. FAIR is pushing to include the extreme anti-immigrant measure the REAL ID act on a final Emergency Supplemental bill.

According to Pam Baldwin, the TIA Idaho executive director, "For too long FAIR has been an unchecked, rogue organization, pressing its hateful anti-immigrant agenda in states across the nation, hiding behind the mask of variously-named 'coalitions,' and flaunting decency and fairness."

"FAIR has not only received more than $1.2 million from white supremacist foundations, their staff also continue to court white supremacist members," added Baldwin.

"A FAIR staffer is even reported to be a member of the racist Council of Conservative Citizens," said Devin Burghart, research director at the Center for New Community. The Center has released a detailed report documenting FAIR's involvement with white supremacist and vigilante organizations. It is available online at http://www.buildingdemocracy.org/

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Baldwin noted that "Immigration continues to be one of the most critical issues facing the entire nation, and public debate about how to most effectively address it is an essential part of the democratic process. But neither democracy, decency, nor human dignity is served or respected when organizations like FAIR encourage racism and vigilantism to change immigration policy in ways that deny basic human rights and the very humanity of immigrants themselves. This is a critical opportunity for Senator Larry Craig to show that hate has no place in the halls of Congress.

We urge Senator Larry Craig to reject the politics of bigotry and hold FAIR's feet to the fire!"

Pam Baldwin is the Executive Director The Interfaith Alliance of Idaho