In a strategy conference call with supporters Monday, anti-illegal immigrant group NumbersUSA geared up to counter a large immigration reform rally planned for next week in Washington. Conference call participants suggested Mexican women in the States should be branded as “the new welfare queens” and that their children should not be referred to as “babies” but as “dependents.” “We have babies. They have dependents,” said one caller.
“We will make a note of that. Thank you very much. I appreciate that,” said NumbersUSA moderator Chad MacDonald in response to the suggested “new welfare queens” meme.
MacDonald emphasizing that the point was to create a perception of a broad and deeply felt grassroots movement opposing reform.
The call drew roughly 45 participants, mostly representatives of Tea Party groups, according to former Colorado Independent writer Erin Rosa, who called into the conference to report the story for Campus Progress.
Roy Beck, executive director of NumbersUSA and a man connected in the past to white supremacist groups, also attended the conference.
From Rosa’s notes:
CALLER 1: I would like to speak out on something. I feel the new welfare queen in America today is women coming from Mexico with a bunch of babies. So I feel they’re all coming over here and having all these babies, they are the new welfare queen in America….
New people in America today with a lot of babies, ’cause they coming from Mexico having a bunch of babies. And our tax dollars is taking care of them babies, ’cause the mothers are illegal. So to me, we need to speak out about letting them know they’re the new welfare queens in America.
CALLER 2: That was well said brother!
MACDONALD: We will make a note of that. Thank you very much. I appreciate that.
CALLER 3: One piece of information would be, they aren’t babies, they’re dependents. Don’t use babies. It’s emotional to them. They have dependents. We have babies.
Studying the perception that immigrants drain American tax revenues, the National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academy of Sciences concluded in
2008 1997 that immigrants generate more public revenue than they draw. According to a release summarizing the study, immigrants on average contribute roughly $80,000 more in taxes than they receive in federal and state and local benefits over the course of their lives.**
NumbersUSA plans to push the talking point that immigrants are welfare dependent and to flood federal lawmakers with calls and emails during the March 21 pro-immigration reform March for America. NumbersUSA will craft talking points for callers.
“It’s not about reality, it’s all about perception,” Beck told conference attendees, referring to the group’s successful push to halt reform efforts in 2007.
“What happened in 2007 is that we as a movement created the perception on Capitol Hill that most American’s did not want amnesty, they did not want comprehensive immigration reform, and that there was an intensity to the people who didn’t want it that could really cause political damage to the careers of members of Congress. That’s what moves Congress.”
Tea Partiers may be coming to NumbersUSA partly through the efforts of the intense “immigration restriction” group Americans for Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC), which is making a concerted effort to enlist Tea Party groups to its cause.
ALIPAC announced last week that it planned to direct thousands of calls to Senate Republicans to oppose any coming reform legislation and organize “Tea Party Against Amnesty” events to be held across the nation.
** Edit note: The accuracy of the summary release of the National Academy study has been disputed in some corners. The Colorado Independent is reviewing the study itself and will report on its findings in the coming days.