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September 7, 2011 - ADL Urges Governor Deal: Reexamine Appointment of Anti-Immigrant Activist to Georgia Immigration Enforcement Review Board

Date: September 7, 2011

The Anti-Defamation League today wrote a letter to Georgia Governor Nathan Deal urging him to reexamine his appointment of anti-immigrant activist Phil Kent to the state's new Immigration Enforcement Review Board. ADL called the governor's attention to Kent's record of making inflammatory and deeply disturbing comments about immigrants to the United States, both legal and illegal.

Bill Nigut, Southeast Regional Director of ADL, asked the Governor to consider whether Kent's presence on the board "will undermine its authority, suggesting that the board's agenda will not be simply to assure compliance with the new statute, but rather to pursue an anti-immigrant political agenda."

ADL directed the Governor to some of the columns posted on Kent's web site in which he suggests that citizens should fear that America is becoming a multi-cultural nation that will soon see minorities overtake "the white population." In one column, Kent asks: "What will be the values and ideas of a multicultural America? What will it mean to be white after 'whiteness' no longer defines the cultural mainstream?" Kent fears that whites will "flee into whiteness. They will move to where other fair-skinned brethren are to retain their identity – nostalgically yearning for an American authenticity where everyone speaks English." On other occasions, Kent has expressed similar distressing views about minorities. For instance, he tries to paint all illegal residents with the taint of criminality, perpetuating the dubious contention that "violent criminal aliens are now threatening our cities and suburbs."

In his letter to the Governor, Nigut writes: "Mr. Kent's fixation with maintaining white culture is deeply disturbing, and his resort to fear mongering about undocumented residents is equally abhorrent. Both make him an unsuitable candidate to serve on any state panel or board, much less one dedicated to enforcing immigration laws. Georgia's new immigration law has become a lightning rod for controversy. Mr. Kent's presence on the Immigration Enforcement Review Board will simply stir up even more controversy and bring possible discredit to the state’s efforts to control illegal immigration."

Download the full letter the Anti-Defamation League sent to Governor Deal. (PDF, 654KB)

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