August 1, 2023
Dear Majority Leader Schumer, Minority Leader McConnell, Speaker McCarthy, and LeaderJeffries:
We the undersigned organizations, urge Congressional leadership to unequivocally denounce white supremacist, anti-immigrant rhetoric and its use by Members of Congress, and encourage Members of your caucuses to refrain from using this dangerous rhetoric. As we approach the fourth anniversary of the anti-immigrant terrorist attack in El Paso, Texas, that killed 23 people on August 3rd, 2019, we are reminded of the deadly impact of this rhetoric.
The perpetrator of the El Paso attack was motivated by the white supremacist “great replacement” conspiracy, which he believed was being facilitated by a “Hispanic invasion.” Four years later, this same “invasion” and “replacement” rhetoric is leveraged by Members of Congress to further political agendas related to immigration and national security. They echo white supremacist claims of a “white genocide” orchestrated by a “Jewish cabal”, who use immigrants and minority populations as pawns in a nefarious plot. This rhetoric, and its related dog whistles, dehumanize migrants and asylum seekers, posing them as an existential threat that must be met with violence.
Again and again, our country has experienced hate violence inspired by this conspiratorial rhetoric. We know this because terrorists tell us this in their screeds. Driven by fears of “replacement” and “invasion,” terrorists targeted the Latino community in El Paso, Texas, Black Americans in Buffalo, New York, and Jews in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and in Poway, California, among other communities.
Despite this repeated violence across the US, Members of Congress continue to invoke the antisemitic and anti-immigrant conspiracy theories that have inspired multiple violent attacks. Members have referred to peaceful migrants and asylum seekers as “invaders” or as an “invasion” 90 times in their official capacity in hearings, on the floor, or in official press releases. Immigration and border policy are important topics that demand Congressional discussion. We implore Senate and House leadership to not only condemn references to conspiratorial and bigoted rhetoric, including references to the “great replacement” and an “invasion,” but to encourage the Members of your caucus to refrain from using such rhetoric. We cannot allow prejudiced and inflammatory language to dominate critical policy conversations, nor to threaten the safety and liberty of our communities.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Anti-Defamation League, Advocates for Youth, African Communities Together, American Jewish Committee, Alianza Americas, America’s Voice, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC, ASISTA, Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project, Autistic Self-Advocacy Network, Autistic Women & Nonbinary Network, Avodah, Bend the Arc: Jewish Action, Bridges Faith Initiative, Bridging Divides Initiative, Cameroon American Council, CASA, Center for Security, Race and Rights, Center for Victims of Torture, Church World Service, Coalition on Human Needs, Communities United for Status and Protection, Community Change Action, Global Project Against Hate and Extremism, Grassroots Leadership, HIAS, Hispanic Federation, Hope Border Institute, Human Rights Campaign, Human Rights First, Immigrant Guide, Immigrant Legal Resource Center, Immigration Equality, Immigration Hub, Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti, Interfaith Alliance, Japanese American Citizen’s League, Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society, Jesuit Refugee Service/USA, Jewish Council for Public Affairs, Jewish Labor Committee, Justice Action Center, Keshet, Latin America Working Group, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, MANA, A National Latina Organization, March For Our Lives, Mi Familia Vota, MomsRising, MPower Change Action Fund, Muslim Advocates, Muslim Public Affairs Council, National Council of Jewish Women, National Disability Rights Network, National Education Association, National Employment Law Project, National Immigrant Justice Center, National Immigration Forum, National Immigration Law Center, National Immigration Project, National Network for Arab American Communities, National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, National Organization for Women, National Partnership for New Americans, National Urban League, NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice, Newtown Action Alliance, Nicaraguan American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Oasis Legal Services, Oxfam America, People Power United, Presente.org, Quixote Center, Shoulder to Shoulder Campaign, Sisters of Mercy of the Americas Justice Team, Society for Humanistic Judaism, Southern Border Communities Coalition, Southern Poverty Law Center, The Border Network for Human Rights, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, The Sikh Coalition, UndocuBlack Network, UnidosUS, Union for Reform Judaism, United We Dream, Veterans for American Ideals, Voto Latino, We Are All America, #WelcomeWithDignity, Western States Center, Witness at the Border, Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights, 22nd Century Initiative
Arizona- Coalición de Derechos Humanos, Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project, Tucson Jewish Museum and Holocaust Center
California- Al Otro Lado, Alliance San Diego, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights, Esperanza Immigrant Rights Project, Immigrant Defenders Law Center, Indivisible Media City Burbank, Program for Torture Victims, Services, Immigrant Rights and Education Network, Sisters of Mercy Solidarity Committee, Venice Resistance
Colorado- Jewish Community Relations Council Colorado
Florida- Family Action Network Movement, Florida Immigrant Coalition, Jewish Federation of Broward County
Georgia- Congregation Bet Haverim, GALEO Impact Fund, Georgia Interfaith Public Policy Center, Islamic Speakers Bureau of Atlanta, Jewish Community Relations Council of Atlanta
Idaho- United Vision for Idaho
Illinois- Jewish Federation of Greater Rockford
Indiana- Jewish Community Relations Council Indianapolis, Jewish Federation of Fort Wayne, Mariposa Legal
Louisiana- Immigration Services and Legal Advocacy
Maryland- Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Howard County
Massachusetts- Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action
Michigan- Strangers No Longer
Minnesota- Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota, Jewish Community Action, Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas
Nebraska- Jewish Community Relations Council Omaha
New Jersey- Bend the Arc Jewish Action: South Jersey, Wind of the Spirit Immigrant Resource Center
New Mexico- New Mexico Dream Team, Border Network for Human Rights
New York- Open Borders CoLAB at Cornell University, The National Federation for Just Communities of WNY Inc., Upper East Side for Change, Jewish Community Relations Council Buffalo, Jewish Community Relations Council of Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester, Levine Center to End Hate at Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester, Make the Road New York
North Carolina- Carolina Jews for Justice
Ohio- Bend the Arc: Jewish Action Pittsburgh, Cleveland Jobs with Justice, Jewish Community Relations Council of Cincinnati, Jewish Federation of Greater Toledo
Oregon- Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education, Oregon League of Conservative Voters, PCUN
Tennessee- Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Nashville
Texas- Asian Texans for Justice, Diocesan Migrant and Refugee Services Inc., El Paso Holocaust Museum, La Union del Pueblo Entero, Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center, Voces Unidas RGV, Woori Juntos
Washington- Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle, Manzanita House, Peace & Justice Action League of Spokane
Wisconsin- Jewish Community Relations Council Milwaukee.