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Border Patrol and Haters

Border Patrol and Haters

The Southern Poverty Law Center and the Center for New Community allege the union leaders have crossed an ethical line


Union leaders representing U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents have colluded with anti-immigrant hate groups to overstate the threat that illegal immigration poses to national security, according to a new report by two organizations that track hate groups.

The Southern Poverty Law Center and the Center for New Community allege the union leaders have crossed an ethical line from enforcing national immigration law to working to influence policy in concert with white supremacists and groups that want to stop all immigration. “Do we want law enforcement groups colluding with groups who want a European-American majority,” asked Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center in a conference call with reporters Tuesday.

“The Border Patrol should carry out policy set by elected representatives, not decide which laws are important and which are not,” he said.

In support of their premise, the CNC and SPLC cited an anti-immigrant protest last year in Murrieta, Calif., in which protesters had advance notice of the route of a convoy of buses carrying immigrants to a detention facility. In the media, anti-immigrant groups have repeatedly cited inside sources at the Border Protection Service as providing them leaked documents and photos. Additionally, in testimony before Congress, union leaders have presented proposals identical to those put forward by anti-immigration activists, according to the joint CNC and SPLC report.

“Instead of fulfilling organized labor’s traditional role of advocating for respectable wages and working conditions, leaders of these particular unions appear more focused on coordinating
with special interest groups in the Beltway to advance anti-immigrant policy goals,” according to the report.

The hate groups alleged to have colluded with the federal union leaders include the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which Potok said has received funding from the Pioneer Fund, a group founded in 1937 to preserve a European-American majority in the United States.

Calls to the two unions mentioned in the report, the National Border Patrol Council and the National ICE Council, were not returned. The NBPC represents 18,000 of the nation’s 21,000 Border Patrol agents. The National ICE Council, an AFL-CIO affiliate, represents 7,600 or the nation’s 20,000 Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agents.

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Dennis Domrzalski is managing editor of ABQ Free Press. Reach him at dennis@freeabq.com.

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