KKK Picks New Target Every society produces certain phenomena which, because they never seem to die or go away, wheedle their way into our pantheon of institutions. Reference is made to commodities like Coca-Cola and apple pie, and organizations like the DAR and the Ku Klux Klan. Although Coke, pie, and the DAR have remained fairly constantly with us, the Klan is a little more elusiveit tends to raise its hooded head intermittently, depending in part on whether the socio-political climate is conducive to its health and well-being. Unfortunately, many of us are duped by those brief periods when the climate is not so good for the Klan. We let ourselves be misled into believing that the Klan’s hibernation represents a disappearance of the scar it has been on American history. Speculation abounds on how the evolutionary process swallows up things that outgrow their time. But the Klan will fool you. The proof is in its recent emergence as a force to be dealt with on the issue of illegal immigration from Mexico. David Duke, the Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan, arrived a few Sundays ago at the San Ysidro facility to take a tour under the guidance of Allen Clayton, the immigration agent in charge there. Relative to his tour, Duke went on to say that the Klan had become concerned about the large influx of illegal aliens into this country across our southern border, and that they intended to assist the Immigration Service in the patrol of that border from Brownsville, Tex., to San Diego, Calif. These statements, their attendant rationale, and the spirit behind what is presented as “responsible citizenship” were carried by the Head Dragon to other parts of the State of California and to Texas as he attempted to marshal his troops of Klansmen and sympathizers for new vigilante efforts. On October 25, 150 white citizens began a patrol of the remote and isolated portions of the border to block the passage of “untold millions.” The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, along with the Chicano community, has been appalled by these developments. Coalitions of concerned minority groups have formed around this issue in several communities in Texas and California. Here at MALDEF, our President and General Counsel, Vilma S. Martinez, has contacted the office of Commissioner Leonel Castillo, head of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, and asked for response to a series of very serious questions we think have been raised by Duke’s escorted tour of INS facilities and the present policing of the border by civilians who lack authority and responsibility to engage in these sorts of activities. In addition, we have informed Attorney General Griffin Bell in writing and in person of our position and the legal implications of Klan border activities. In our meeting with him, the Attorney General reaffirmed the policy directive emphasizing that there is no authority for anyone other than an immigration officer to arrest or detain aliens suspected of INA violations. He also agreed to involve the Justice Department’s Civil Division in the matter if that became necessary. We at MALDEF will be closely monitoring developments and remain prepared to take legal action to defend the rights of citizens and aliens in this situation. The Ku Klux Klan would appear to be an American institution that is as permanent as right-wing politics. The spirit with which they now interfere with immigration policy and procedurea federal government responsibility suggests activity that will fit quite nicely on an historical continuum that includes lynching, mob violence, intimidation, and harassment of minority communities. Help us stop them now. MALDEF 501 Petroleum Commerce Building 201 N. St. Mary’s Street San Antonio, Texas 78205 Enclosed is my contribution of $ Name Address City State Zip Make checks payable to MALDEF. Contributions are tax deductible. MEXICAN AMERICAN LEGAL DEFENSE AND EDUCATIONAL FUND, INC. A Public Service Message from the American Income Life Insurance Co.Executive Offices, Waco, TexasBernard Rapoport, Chairman of the Board NOVEMBER 18, 1977
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