Thursday, March 1, 2007

Klan Exploits Fear of Illegal Immigrants

The Ku Klux Klan is using anti-immigrant sentiments to boost its membership and increase its visibility in American politics.

That's the conclusion of a report by the Anti-Defamation League. The report, released last month, says that the Klan and other white supremacist groups have been growing and becoming more active in recent months. These groups, the ADL says, has been especially active in exploiting anti-immigrant feelings.

"Klan groups have witnessed a surprising and troubling resurgence by exploiting fears of an immigration explosion," Deborah M. Lauter, ADL Civil Rights director, told the Associated Press.

The report cited an anti-immigrant rally in Alabama last year that included slogans such as, "Let's get rid of the Mexicans!" Last September, the AP reported, a Kentucky family originally from El Salvador had a cross burned in its yard.

We cite these incidents not because we approve of illegal immigration. We don't. Immigrants should come to this country legally and American employers should hire legal immigrants, not illegals.

But the irrational and overheated fear of immigrants promoted by some anti-immigrant activists is unwise and harmful to the body politic, as the ADL discovered. The Klan and other white supremacist groups don't need any more help disseminating their hateful ideas. There's more than enough hate in the world already.

That's why we decline to join the anti-immigrant hysteria, either nationally or locally. Let's enforce the laws. Let's not promote hate and discrimination.

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