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Easy Prey

Domingo Lopez Vargas was an early casualty in the brutal Battle of 'Georgiafornia'



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King is a bit vague about the kind of "resistance" he aims to spread. He urges members to report illegal immigrants to the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement offices when they see them.

This September, when a rally supporting driver's licenses for immigrants took place at the state Capitol, about 50 American Resisters showed up to protest. They carried signs like "Gringos for America" and chanted such slogans as "You Cannot Have My Country!" and "Enforce the Law!"

King's white-victimhood theme was memorably expressed after he protested the Freedom Ride for Immigrant Workers when it rolled through the Atlanta suburb of Doraville in fall 2003.

Seeing upwards of 2,000 Hispanics marching through the formerly homogenous little town, King wrote on VDARE, "I got the sense that I had left the country of my birth and been transported to some Mexican village, completely taken over by an angry, barely restrained mob. ... My first act on a safe return home was to take a shower."

Asked what percentage of Georgia citizens agree with his sentiments, King doesn't hesitate. "Probably 95," he says.

Certainly, he has some powerful political allies. Three North Georgia congressmen, Republicans Charlie Norwood, Nathan Deal and Phil Gingrey, belong to the controversial Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus, led by anti-immigration rabble-rouser Tom Tancredo, a Colorado congressman.

In the Georgia General Assembly, Sens. Chip Rogers, Casey Cagle and others recently introduced several new bills that would bar undocumented immigrants from attending state universities or working for any contractor or subcontractor for a government in Georgia. In addition, the bills would mark the driver's licenses of certain immigrants as temporary.

"I consider these bills very anti-immigrant," says Jerry Gonzalez, executive director of the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials.

"It's surprising to see on the one hand Georgia and the city of Atlanta are competing vigorously to become the secretariat for the Free Trade Area of the Americas, and on the other hand allowing such legislation deemed anti-immgrant by most in the Latino community. They can't have it both ways - wanting to do business with Latin America yet moving forward anti-immigrant legislation."

Rogers has also sponsored legislation that would cut off all state services to illegal immigrants.

"I don't think these folks are coming to America so they can make use of our social services, our schools and hospitals," Rogers says. "They're coming for work. But we can't fail to recognize what it's doing to our health care system, our prisons and our schools. One study showed that the state of Georgia spent $260 million to educate illegal immigrants last year."

Rogers acknowledges that "some people are beginning to target people for hatred," but he lays the blame largely on the immigrants themselves. "I truly believe that if it weren't for the high levels of illegal immigration, we wouldn't have the targeting, the prejudice, even if there were still high numbers of Hispanic people in Georgia.

"With so many people illegal, people tend to assume they are all illegal, and it becomes, 'Yeah, I couldn't get into the emergency room because of all those illegals there.' It feeds the prejudice."

Rogers admires King's efforts with American Resistance, which he believes produces "great research." But he keeps a distance, he says, because "some of his associates are on the radical side."

Even though they're usually on opposite ends of legislative issues, Rogers wouldn't get any argument from state Sen. Sam Zamarripa, D-Atlanta, about that.

"If American Resistance was really genuine about immigration reduction, they'd be protesting the big employers in America," says Zamarripa, one of the state's most outspoken proponents of immigrants' rights.

"The big companies are the ones who want cheap labor, and real enforcement of immigration laws would have to start with workplace enforcement. But they won't call for that, because that's not what their issue is. Their issue is ethnic. Their issue is that they don't want America to have any more color. They represent the worst of this anti-immigration theme that outsiders destroy America."

Zamarripa has paid a price for talking back to anti-immigration activists, and for sponsoring bills like a drivers' license proposal in the state Senate. "I'm watched and I'm tracked," says Zamarripa, who indeed is the subject of a "Zamarripa Watch" on American Border Patrol, an anti-immigrant hate site that often runs King's dispatches from Georgia.

American Border Patrol has called Zamarripa a "Mexican agent" and "Reconquista" (meaning that he's a part of the Mexican government's supposed plot to "reconquer" parts of the U.S.). Every time he's featured on VDARE or American Border Patrol, Zamarripa says, he starts getting e-mail messages - "love letters," he calls them - from anti-immigration zealots.

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