Conservative Uses Restrictionist Rhetoric to Raise Money
conservative associated with pro-immigration activism is relying
on restrictionist sentiment and rhetoric to raise money for
In a direct mail package to conservative donors nationwide,
David Keene, chairman of the right-wing American Conservative
Union, asks for money to fund the organization's campaign against
amnesty for illegal aliens.
"I urge you to join this pivotal fight to preserve America's
cultural identity," Keene says in his letter.
Keene was a consultant to the 1996 presidential campaign of
pro-immigraton former Sen. Bob Dole, who faced immigration
restrictionist Pat Buchanan in the GOP primaries. Keene denounced
Buchanan at the time as "anti-Hispanic" for advocating
limits on immigration.
Keene recently joined forces with immigration advocate Grover
Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform, to urge President
Bush to abandon a Justice Department's anti-terror plan that
would enlist the help of local police by enabling them to
arrest illegal aliens.
Under the plan, devised by Attorney General John Ashcroft,
the Immigration and Naturalization Service will begin issuing
arrest warrants for foreigners who pose a national security
threat or who violate the terms of their visas. The names
of those visitors will be listed in the national crime database
routinely checked by local law enforcement officials during
traffic stops. Local police who encounter listed foreigners
will be able to execute the warrant and apprehend the aliens.
More than 11 million illegal aliens reside in the U.S. - half
or more of whom are visa violators - but the INS has only
To protect illegals from police scrutiny, ethnic advocacy
groups such as the left-wing National Council of La Raza are
organizing opposition to the plan, calling on President George
Bush to abandon it. Keene and Norquist have followed suit,
telling Bush in a letter that encouraging police to arrest
lawbreaking foreigners was "bad policy."
Norquist is a member of ACU's board of directors. In the 1990's,
Norquist worked for the pro-immigration Microsoft Corp. on
Capitol Hill where he lobbied on the software giant's behalf
against immigration restrictions and sought to lift the limits
allowed on foreign workers admitted to the U.S.
Keene associate Stephen Moore, another member of ACU's board
of directors, is the former director of fiscal policy studies
at the pro-immigration libertarian Cato Institute in Washington,
D.C. Moore now runs a group called "The Club for Growth,"
which backs candidates for Congress thatare friendly to big
Moore has written articles in favor of increased immigration
to the U.S., and has debated against immigration restrictionists.
In one article, Moore favorably cited a speech at Cato by
Rep. Dick Armey, R-TX, who said he believes the U.S. "should
be thinking about increasing legal immigration." Moore
has also worked on studies for the influential left-wing immigration
advocacy group, the National Immigration Forum, which favors
amnesty for illegal aliens.
In his letter to conservative donors, Keene says the ACU intends
to survey 2 million voters by mail on their views of amnesty
for illegals, and asks for contributions to cover the costs.
Donors are also asked to sign a petition against amnesty to
be delivered to Congress. Keene does not say in the letter
whether the money raised will be used exclusively for the
purported anti-amnesty campaign, or used to fund general ACU
programs. By the time this issue went to press, a spokesman
for ACU had not returned telephone calls or responded to e-mail
inquiries from Middle American News.