KHOW talk-show host Peter Boyles is in Washington this week taking part in an anti-illegal immigration “lobby days” hosted by Federation for Immigration Reform (F.A.I.R), a longstanding immigrant-restriction group with strong anti-Latino roots. FAIR has gathered supporters in D.C. to push hard-line immigration reform and to oppose health care reform, which it sees less as a benefit to Americans and more as a boon to illegal immigrants.
“You can drive trucks full of illegals through this legislation. And they can stand there with their face full of stoicism and say no health care for illegals,” Boyles said in a show airing live from D.C. Tuesday with guest Ira Mehlman, media director for F.A.I.R.
Analysts of the health-reform bills presently being debated in Congress have pointed out that illegal immigrants can already buy health insurance in the United States and receive care in emergency rooms from coast to coast, sometimes paying out of pocket and sometimes not, like many American citizens. Pulitzer Prize-winning factcheck organization Politifact reviewed the bills and says that whereas reform will mean more citizens are covered it, Politifact reports that, given all the evidence, “it seems that health reform leaves in place the status quo on illegal immigration, and certainly does not provide any new benefits particularly for illegal immigrants.”
Nevertheless Boyles and his guests this week will continue to paint health reform as primarily an illegal-immigrant issue. A F.A.I.R. press release carried by Reuters reports that this year the D.C. event will “have a special focus on Health Care Reform Benefits for Illegal Aliens.”
Boyles’ guest-list this week reads like a panel at a right-wing PR convention. The lineup includes Julie Hayden of FOX news Colorado; Peter Gadiel of 911 Families for a Secure America; Brian Zimmer, president of the Coalition for a Secure Drivers License; Dr. Jerry Corsi of World Net Daily; and K.C Mc Alpin, executive director of Pro English.
Boyles has cast about in his discussions on health-reform and illegal immigrants. He has previously stated that there is nothing in the health reform bills that prevented illegal aliens from receiving federal benefits. Yesterday Mehlman and Boyles acknowledged that the bill stops those in the country illegally from gaining federal affordability credits to purchase health care.
Later though, after chastising “blogs” for attacking him over his past statement concerning illegal immigration and the House health reform bill, Boyles changed his tune. He now says the bill does not provide a means of enforcing the prohibition.
Boyles pointed out, as an endorsement, that F.A.I.R’s organized opposition that immigration policy reform proposals have failed to pass.
In its assessment of the group, the SPLC describes F.A.I.R. as the “most important organization fueling the backlash against immigration.”
Founded in 1979, FAIR has long been marked by anti-Latino and anti-Catholic attitudes. It has mixed this bigotry with a fondness for eugenics, the idea of breeding better humans discredited by its Nazi associations. It has accepted $1.2 million from an infamous, racist eugenics foundation. It has employed officials in key positions who are also members of white supremacist groups. Recently, it has promoted racist conspiracy theories about Mexico’s secret designs on the American Southwest and an alternative theory alleging secret plans to merge the United States, Mexico and Canada. Just last February, a senior FAIR official sought “advice” from the leaders of a racist Belgian political party.