I recently watched an advertisement on Tampa’s WFLA-TV warning me against this danger called “chain migration,” and the racist dogwhistle rang so loudly that my hearing aids picked it up. These advertisements are sponsored by a PAC called NumbersUSA.com, which is really just one guy, Roy Beck, and some anonymous, very rich donors. Beck, it turns out, has a long history of playing footsie with overtly-racist white supremacist organizations while at the same time pretending he is not one. 
Chain migration is nothing new. It simply means that the immigrants most likely to come to the U.S. already have family ties here. The President has also begun tweeting this dogwhistle term, because now it has the clear connotations of non-white immigration.
Back at the turn of the twentieth century, my forebears came to this country from lives of poverty in Scandinavia, but because they were “the right kind of immigrant,” (cough, cough, “white”) they were basically able to walk off the boat, and if they passed a literal six-second medical examination, a quick eye disease test, and a two-minute interview, they were now “legal” immigrants. 
But next came the “chain migration” part. Most had a relative, friend, or church-related organization that was helping them relocate, sometimes far inland. These “chains” provided shelter, help with language issues, and even a job connection to get them established in the U.S.
For “some strange reason,” chain migration is now something to be feared, when it reality, this how ties to America for “your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free,” have always worked.
These white-supremacist advertisements on WFLA-TV in Tampa earned a letter from me to the General Manager. I encourage you to send a link to this post to friends, your members of Congress and to any broadcast outlet that accepts this type of disguised-racist advertising.
- Colleluori, Salvatore. “U.S. News Ignores Racist Ties And History Of Nativist Group, NumbersUSA.” Media Matters for America, 21 Feb. 2013.
- “Medical Examination.” Ellis Island official site.