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Big-name immigration hawk trying to shut down border deal gets called out for pimping VDARE on C-SPAN

by Resurgent Insider Read Profile arrow_right_alt

As America lurched toward a potential second government shutdown earlier this week over the issue of border security and “The Wall,” anti-immigration hawks with progressive ties were pushing President Trump to reject the deal just as prominent conservatives including Erick Erickson urged him to take it. (Update: CNN is reporting this morning that Trump will accept the compromise).

Perhaps most prominent among those urging Trump to “just say no” was the Center for Immigration Studies’ Mark Krikorian, who yesterday took that failing endeavor to C-SPAN, where he faced the usual array of crazy callers. One of those callers, amazingly, proved to actually nail him on something conservatives have called him out for before and which has been highlighted by prominent conservative media: CIS’ promotion of material from the Peter Brimelow-published VDARE.

For the uninitiated, VDARE is a site that has been legitimately called out for publishing a wide array of content touching on race, ethnicity and immigration from a shall we say not exactly diversity-minded standpoint. It is the publishing home for an array of authors with a demonstrated penchant for dabbling in honest-to-God nativism. 

VDARE is not only published by Brimelow, it’s also where Richard Spencer writes, Pat Buchanan now writes, and it publishes John Derbyshire, who was rightly canned by National Review for writing a piece about how white people just can’t trust African-Americans, and especially groups of African-Americans.

Back in April 2018, before several Trump-critical writers were given the boot from RedState, Neil Stevens, then an editor at the site spotted that CIS was sending around material from VDARE and other websites that could fairly be described as racist, even by conservatives who generally reject invocation of that term since it has been so continually overused by the Left

Fast forward almost a year, and it appears that story made a mark because yesterday, Krikorian had to answer for disseminating VDARE material as part of his campaigning against immigration compromises—presumably including the one currently on the table

Here’s the transcript:

Question: Hi there, thanks for having me on. I was just wondering– I get your newsletter, I was wondering why you continue to have VDARE, a white nationalists and anti-semitic website on your newsletter that you circulate? 

Mark Krikorian: We send out a weekly roundup of immigration commentary from all sides, including people we don’t agree with. I include the New York Times and their editorials on immigration are usually things we completely disagree with, and we include a pretty broad range, including some sites that publish other material that frankly i find kind of objectionable. But if they are important sites of immigration news, we include them because the whole point is, see the broad spectrums of views and judge for yourself. 

Krikorian’s argument is probably the best one he could make in the circumstances; a small problem for him is that staff from his organization’s sister non-profit, NumbersUSA, also personally writes for VDARE, which suggests CIS might just be doing more than casually passing along any and all immigration-related content it finds on the Internet in the context of its newsletters. Word is that the inclusion of VDARE content didn’t stop in April 2018, either.

In any event, depending on your views on immigration and border security policy and shutting the government down over it, Krikorian and CIS’ motivations for taking the policy stances they do—which apparently as of yesterday included opposing a fair deal to keep the government open—are worth bearing in mind as haggling over border security and immigration policy continues.

Also fun to note: While the claim was put out there after Salem Communications booted Stevens and others off of RedState’s platform that no one was reading them, a notion against which former managing editor Caleb Howe pushed back against hard, apparently that wasn’t quite true. Odds are, if someone noticed his writing enough to use it as the pretext for a C-SPAN call nearly a year later, his stuff was getting more traction than Salem wanted to admit at the time.

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