House Republicans hold fake hearing on immigrants with hate group 'witness'

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The Center for Immigration Studies promotes the work of white supremacists.

On Thursday, Republicans on the House Committee on Natural Resources held a session, which Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona, running the event, said was "not an official hearing or meeting" of the committee, to interview so-called witnesses about immigration.

The "witnesses" included Katie Connor, a spokesperson for Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, and Andrew Arthur, listed as a resident fellow in law and policy on the website of the Center for Immigration Studies, which has been designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group.

Brnovich filed suit in April against the Biden administration over its changes to immigration policy that had been instituted by the Trump administration.

Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas pressed Connor on the current level of immigration from Mexico to the United States, asking, "Do the numbers appear to be what could be classified as an invasion?"

"That's a question I'd have to talk with our attorneys about," Connor responded.

The Center for Immigration Studies has repeatedly promoted the work of white supremacists. The Center used its newsletter to spread content from the white supremacist site VDARE and columns by former National Review columnist John Derbyshire, who once advised readers to plan beach trips based on "whether it is likely to be swamped with blacks on that date."

The American Prospect reported in 2011 that the Center published a so-called study in support of a false claim made by Gohmert that terrorists were smuggling pregnant women into the United States with plans to seed "terror babies" in the country.

Mark Krikorian, the Center's executive director, in 2016 accused "anti-deportation radicals" of "protecting" immigrants he characterized as "rapists & drug dealers." Jason Richwine, one of the Center's contributing writers, argued in a panel that IQ differences among races is a topic that had to be addressed "in our immigration discussions."

Gosar himself has been associated with white supremacy, including his appearance in March as a featured speaker at a conference with white supremacists.

Experts have said that the rise in apprehensions of people crossing the Mexico-U.S. border since the beginning of the year may largely be related to seasonal shifts in migration patterns.

Nonetheless, Republicans and hate groups that support them insist that a "crisis" is taking place.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.