Thursday, March 05, 2009

Help Save Maryland Named Nativist/Extremist Group

The Southern Poverty Law Center has named Help Save Maryland a “nativist/extremist group” – its only such designation in the Free State.

SPLC, a civil rights organization devoted to combating white supremacist and hate groups, defines nativist/extremist groups this way:

Organizations identified by the Intelligence Report as nativist extremist are groups that go after people, not policy. Rather than limiting themselves to advocating within the mainstream political process for tighter border security, stricter immigration controls or tougher enforcement of immigration laws already on the books, these fringe outfits target and confront immigrants as individuals.

Some conduct armed “citizen border patrols.” Others confront Latino immigrants congregated at day labor centers or informal roadside pick-up sites. Some conduct surveillance of apartment houses and private homes. Almost all of them disseminate vicious, immigrant-bashing propaganda.
In the past, Help Save Maryland has focused its efforts on cutting off public funding for day laborer centers and lobbying state lawmakers against drivers licenses and in-state tuition for illegal immigrants. But Help Save Maryland Frederick County coordinator Steve Berryman has admitted that his group worked “hand-in-hand” with the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), an organization that SPLC claims has worked closely with hate groups.

Help Save Maryland is offering thanks to guest speakers at its recent rally night in Annapolis. Those speakers include:

Senator Janet Greenip (R-33)
Senator Andy Harris (R-7)
Delegate Gail Bates (R-9A)
Delegate Ron George (R-30)
Delegate Rick Impallaria (R-7)
Delegate Patrick McDonough (R-7)
Delegate Warren Miller (R-9A)

Also appearing was Jack Martin from FAIR.

Now that Help Save Maryland has been branded a “nativist/extremist group,” will the above politicians continue to associate with it? Or will they abandon it as election time approaches?