An Anti-Immigrant Group’s ‘Biblical Mandates’

by Dan Quinn

The Texas Freedom Network does not work on immigration issues. But we do monitor the deepening extremism — both in rhetoric and action — on the far right in Texas. So let’s take a closer look at an anti-immigrant group behind a Texas Capitol rally during which a speaker expressed her frustration over the fact that voters have elected Hispanics to the state Legislature. The Immigration and Reform Coalition of Texas (IRCOT) has some interesting policy positions and supporters.

IRCOT appears to base its anti-immigrant positions on what it calls a “Biblical mandate for secure borders.” A number of articles on the group’s website try to make a scriptural case against “illegal immigration” and “high immigration.”

Other articles offer some rather startling statements. In a 2007 essay, for example, the writer declares immigration to be the second most important issue in the United States (after the war in Iraq). Among the reasons listed:

“A dynamic increase in the number of Hispanic voters could shift the balance of power in U.S. politics.”

So is the writer more concerned with illegal immigration or the possibility that Hispanic Americans might gain more political influence? What about IRCOT?

Another article suggests that a solution to the problem of “foreign immigration” to the United States is for people in poorer countries to stop having so many children:

“There is no universal right to procreate. Those individuals and those nations that populate beyond their resources are not owed support by everyone else. Human procreation is not an unavoidable act of nature. It is a choice, and we, as an intelligent species capable of rational judgment, are responsible for our choices.

Those pursuing a direction of guilt along a trail of tears leading away from rationality, remind us that Americans consume far more resources per capita than any people on earth. That mathematical quotient, of course, becomes more pronounced as human populations in the impoverished and mismanaged nations of the world continue to increase. Are Americans expected to retreat to a less affluent lifestyle so that millions, even billions, of additional humans can share a finite planet? What is the benefit of continuing to add more people to an already overtaxed eco-system? And, if America’s higher consumption of resources is a concern, why then import millions of immigrants to America who will then consume more resources than they would have in their native lands?”

We also noted on IRCOT’s website a name TFN Insider readers might remember. One of the group’s financial supporters is Peter Morrison, a right-wing activist in Southeast Texas who sends out a periodic e-newsletter that often peddles racially incendiary rhetoric. Two years ago a State Board of Education member appointed Morrison to serve on a team helping draft new curriculum standards for social studies classes in Texas public schools. Then late last year Morrison helped organize a religious campaign among far-right activists to oust Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, as speaker of the Texas House. Straus is Jewish, and some of his opponents called for the election of a “Christian” and “conservative” speaker. (They failed to defeat Straus.) The Austin-based political news website Quorum Report noted during the anti-Straus campaign that the “white nationalist” hate website has published a number of Morrison’s screeds.

Among the “Texas partners” IRCOT lists on its website is the Texas Eagle Forum. TEF is one of the most intolerant right-wing groups in the state. It promotes extreme anti-Muslim rhetoric, airs arguments against “democracy” and even the direct election of U.S. senators, and appears to believe that the secession of Texas from the United States is something worth considering.

IRCOT, it seems clear, inhabits the fringes of extremist, right-wing politics in Texas. Check out the group’s website yourself.