A group of religious leaders and community organizers established the Center for New Community (CNC) in 1995 to address America’s “most intractable social, economic, and racial injustices” on the local, state, and national levels. Partnering with likeminded groups in more than twenty U.S. states, CNC uses “strategic research, education, training, and organizing” to combat what it terms the “nativist, anti-immigrant movement” that seeks to “undermine democratic community” by enforcing America’s existing immigration laws. This hateful movement, CNC charges, “evolved out of the eugenics programs [that were] widespread throughout the United States during the first half of the 20th century.”
In 2010, CNC condemned the Arizona legislature’s passage of SB 1070, a bill deputizing state police to check with federal authorities on the immigration status of criminal suspects whose behavior or circumstances seemed to suggest that they might be in the United States illegally. According to CNC’s national field director, Eric Ward, SB 1070 and similar laws enacted in other states “are meant as a strategy of attrition against immigrants—that makes life so unbearable that people start to self deport.”
In early 2013, CNC spokesman Aaron Flanagan characterized protests by groups opposing the hiring of illegal day laborers as heartless “attacks” that were part of a larger effort, on both the “legislative and grassroots” levels, “to limit the ability [of] all immigrants, both documented and undocumented, to seek work.” “It is a material manifestation of the doctrine of self-deportation, or attrition through enforcement,” said Flanagan.
The centerpiece of CNC’s immigration work is its “Defending Democracy” Program, which seeks to broadly disseminate condemnations of “the nativist movement”—as typified by laws like SB 1070—via print, radio, television, and electronic media. Among this program’s preferred media organs are Mother Jones magazine and The New York Times.
Other CNC programs include: