Let's Play the Guilt by Association Game!

By Mark Krikorian on April 19, 2012

The open-borders folks never tire of trying to tar immigration skeptics with the racist label by inquiring whom they had lunch with or who copied their material off the web. So, merely as an educational exercise for the other side, allow me to demonstrate where such smear tactics can lead.

The Migration Policy Institute is having its tenth anniversary banquet tonight at the Newseum. MPI is the Center for Immigration Studies' equivalent on the other side of the debate, though given the asymmetry in funding and elite approval, it's vastly larger and attracts all the right people. The banquet includes among its sponsors and host committee Walmart, Western Union, the SEIU, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, a former prime minister of Italy, a former president of Mexico, two former Bush cabinet secretaries, an honorary chair of the Democratic Socialists of America, Bush's INS commissioner, the head of Soros's foundation, and so on and on.

Among those on the host committee are two people whose presence should be troubling to right-thinking people. First is "Jihad Jeannie" Butterfield, former executive director of the Palestine Solidarity Committee, a Trotskyite mouthpiece for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. (She was subsequently head of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.) The Palestine Solidarity Committee was described by David Horowitz in a 1991 National Review article as "one of the few groups in the world supporting Saddam’s rape of Kuwait."

The other is Jerry Gonzalez, executive director of Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials (GALEO). While apparently not a Trotskyite exterminationist, he has appeared together at various forums and events with the leader of a Georgia-based hate group, a group so designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center, no less. That group, the Marietta chapter of the Nation of Islam, is listed on SPLC's "Hate Map" alongside the "International Keystone Knights of the Ku Klux Klan" and the "National Socialist American Labor Party". If I were ever within 100 feet of outfits like that (assuming they actually exist), I'd never hear the end of it, and rightly so.

MPI's embrace of people with ties to hate groups and terrorists is deeply troubling. But does that mean MPI shares their despicable views? Of course not. I know lots of current and former MPI employees, including the founders, and while they're all wet on immigration, of course, they're reputable professionals, not kooks. What's more, the association of Walmart and Western Union with people who have such troubling ties doesn't mean they share those views. Heck, I'm not sure even the Democratic Socialists of America do, though I'm open to contrary evidence.

And for even more irony, get this: Among the other sponsors of tonight’s MPI anniversary shindig is Geri Mannion of the Carnegie Corporation, the very foundation that paid for the post-2007 smear campaign against immigration critics.

Talk about double standards.