The president of the United States, one of the country’s major political parties and its most-watched news network have stoked a long-simmering anti-immigrant white nationalist movement, one of whose pledged adherents murdered 22 people at a grocery store this weekend in an attack explicitly meant to maim and kill immigrants and their families.
Anti-immigrant hatred is not new to this country. But the way the president, his political party and their cable news enablers have used it to gin up fear of immigrants based on malignant lies is unprecedented.
Anti-immigrant hatred is dangerous for all Americans, not just immigrants. The ongoing campaign of white nationalist violence and threatening rhetoric negatively impacts us all.
The body count increased dramatically with this weekend’s tragedy, making clear that the target on immigrants will always result in collateral damage.
Immigrants are part of every community, big and small. When immigrants are threatened, our schools are less enriching, our communities are less healthy and our economy suffers.
Immigrants are our family members, neighbors, teachers, doctors, nurses, entrepreneurs and community leaders.
The rhetoric used by white nationalist leaders, including the president, is meant to intimidate and discourage.
Only a grassroots, nationwide movement that is unabashedly pro-immigrant can keep our communities safe from the growing threat of white nationalist violence.
And yet, foundation funding for a pro-immigrant movement has not even come close to matching the threat.
Between 2011 and 2016, just 1.3% of grantmaking by U.S. foundations was for pro-immigrant work. In 2016 – the most recent year of data available – foundations gave more to leisure sports like badminton, sailing and golf than they did to support immigrant communities.