North East White Pride (NEWP), a Massachusetts-based white supremacist group with a membership presence in seven states in the Northeast, has exploited the on-going debate over immigration in the United States by vilifying non-white, particularly Latino, immigrants and citizens in East Haven and New Haven, Connecticut. For years, other neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups have demonized non-white immigrants as a scourge on American society worthy of deportation, and even death. NEWP has distributed literature on this issue in other states and has held anti-immigration rallies in the Northeast.
On March 7, 2009, NEWP members left fliers at homes and Latino-run businesses in East Haven and at a church in New Haven. The church is an especially significant target because its priest, Father James Manship, had recently made public statements alleging or claiming racial profiling by police that targets Latinos in the town of East Haven.
The fliers use demonizing rhetoric to invoke classic anti-Latino, anti-immigrant stereotypes. They reportedly argued that undocumented immigrants carry out "organized crimes such as theft of prescription drugs from pharmacies, black market gun sales, assaults against police officers and witnesses, assassinations, and human trafficking." The fliers also reportedly claimed that unimmunized, undocumented immigrant school children and restaurant workers expose Americans to diseases including "whooping cough, tuberculosis, polio, and hepatitis."
Another flier, titled "Immigration or INVASION?" featured a map of the United States with its Southwestern states highlighted in red and arrows indicating that the red area will expand. This image symbolizes an anti-immigrant conspiracy theory known as the "Reconquista," an alleged plot by Mexicans in the United States to annex the Southwestern part of the country (also referred to as the Aztlan territory) for Mexico and eventually gain control over all of America. This flier also made a number of derogatory accusations that undocumented immigrants bring crime, disease, and drugs into the country and subsequently transform the United States into a "third-world slum."
NEWP's presence was not limited to the fliers. Individuals working in an East Haven grocery store alleged that NEWP members, dressed in army fatigues, pulled up in a van in front of the store and left bags of the fliers in front. A store employee reported that one of the white supremacists actually went inside, walked through the store, spoke to her in Spanish, and bought two lemons. Extremists have been known to use such tactics to intimidate their targets and to conjure an atmosphere of fear.
For years, neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups have demonized non-white immigrants as a scourge
on American society, worthy of deportation and even death.
One flier, which features an image of a soldier holding a rifle, includes the Web site address of NumbersUSA, an anti-immigrant think tank. White supremacist groups consistently attempt to legitimize their hateful, anti-Latino views by providing links to, or professing affiliations with, more mainstream anti-immigrant groups.
Founded in 2003, NEWP's members are mostly from Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont. NEWP members produce their own literature, solicit members, and conduct events and meetings. Many NEWP members have criminal backgrounds and/or have committed violent acts.
NEWP members periodically distribute literature that serves the dual purpose of promoting their organization and espousing their racist, anti-immigrant ideology.