Part 1: Immigration Déjà Vu: Recent Raids & Deportations Merit Retrospective Look at Nationalist Activism in California

This will be a two-part retrospective look at the history of anti-illegal immigration activism in California. Please note that this is not an exhaustive and detailed examination but a short primer. ​

Recent reports of illegal immigration raids and deportation hearings reminded me of events that transpired more than a decade ago.

Up until 2004, the immigration issue had basically dropped from the radar.


After Californians overwhelmingly passed California Proposition 187 in 1994, the most hardline anti-illegal immigration measure ever attempted at the state level, the will of the people was subsequently subverted by now disgraced Governor Gray Davis and the activist 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The “Nutty Ninth” most recently reared its head when it ruled that President Trump did not have the authority to bar immigrants from entering the United States.

The next decade was rather quiet with the California immigration reform movement fairly demoralized. In what would go on to be a recurring theme, it did not matter if American patriots played by the rules and became active participants in their Democratic Republic.

The courts would invalidate propositions, policies and laws. Republican candidates would run for office promising to be immigration hawks and subsequently betray these promises. It is a very demoralizing process to seek out democratic reforms while playing within the rules of the game in a fair and non-violent manner.

Outside of California and maybe Arizona, the rest of the country did not really suffer much from illegal immigration in the 1990’s and thus the issue was seen as presumably being more of a local state issue and not one of national importance.

The rest of the nation was asleep or failed to heed the growing chorus of California canaries in the Golden State mine that trouble was brewing.

In 2004, things would change dramatically in California. Outside of a small group of people, most everybody will not recall what spurred the change.

From the San Diego Tribune:

“From June 4 to June 22, a total of 492 people were arrested in Escondido, Corona, Ontario and other areas north of the border by a squad of 12 Border Patrol officers, called the Mobile Patrol Group. The squad arrested people on street corners and outside supermarkets and swap meets.”

I honestly do not recall if these raids were anything out of the ordinary at the time or if they were an extraordinary measure relative to the times.

But for nationalists like myself, it seemed incredibly extraordinary. We were like John McClain in the movie Die Hard wondering where the hell they had been all this time: “Welcome to the party, pal!”

Rumors of raids hitting every major community of illegal immigrants spread like wildfire throughout communities with illegal alien populations. And Latino members of Congress voiced their disapproval calling for the cessation of raids. Though they appeared to be successful initially, as the raids did cease, it would turn out to be one of the biggest backfires of all time.

The formerly depressed contingent of anti-illegal immigration activists and the general public was re-awakened with what one could describe as incredulous anger and contempt. You mean government agents actually had the stones to do their job for once (it seemed) and the illegals and their sympathizers were bitching and moaning about it?

The unmitigated gall!

Law abiding, taxpaying Californians were pissed.

They were tired of their children being stuck in overcrowded classrooms where five different languages were spoken. They were tired of illegal alien crime and footing the bill for higher insurance costs because of uninsured illegal alien drivers and the Mexican chop shops where stolen cars disappeared forever. They were tired of overcrowded emergency rooms, and beyond tired of shelling out welfare benefits to illegal aliens and their anchor baby children.

Congressman Darrell Issa represented the City of Temecula in Riverside County and much of North San Diego County as I recall, one of the most conservative regions of Southern California. As the issue blew up, he wrote a letter to administration officials asking for the raids to commence once again and to be expanded.

He called a town hall meeting where more than 1,000 residents turned out fuming with anger and wanting to know why the raids had ceased and when they were starting again. One of the officials who attended the event was a clown by the name of Asa Hutchinson.

The former congressman and Arkansas governor was appointed by George Bush to be the Under Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. He was a classic wishy-washy Republican in bed with the big corporate donors who didn’t give a damn about the average American worker.

The town hall meeting would “go off the rails” with the angry crowd turning against Hutchinson, and Issa to a lesser degree.

Jaws dropped when Hutchinson stated that Temecula station acted "within its legal authority," but that the operations were not "pre-approved" by the agency's Washington, D.C., headquarters. He would also give noncommittal milquetoast answers about future raids. According to the Tribune, Hutchinson “told the crowd that enforcement operations would continue, but they deflected questions from the audience about when and where they would occur.”

One of the most popular talk radio shows in Southern California, The John and Ken Show, publicized the meeting in advance and whipped people up into a passionate frenzy. They would continuously fan the flames of anger and discontent throughout the rest of the year culminating with something called “The Political Human Sacrifice.”

Expressing the sentiment of their audience who already knew that the California Congressional Delegation was a lost cause, the talk show duo sought to zero in on a Republican member and encourage all the Republicans in their district to vote for their Democrat opponent in the November general election.

In fact, yours truly was spurred into action in large part by the show and the PHS campaign.

The reawakening of Californians and the activist community was so exciting and cathartic. You had individual activists using the internet to connect with each other for the first time and it would produce powerful results.

The Political Human Sacrifice would go on to target Congressman David Dreier, your typical all-talk, no action Republican squish of a career politician. "Fire Dreier" became the mantra.

Though he would eventually defeat the insurgent effort, the spectacle attracted national attention to the race, national focus on the immigration issue, and forced the candidate and his supporters to spend an exorbitant amount of money in what had always been a guaranteed safe seat.

However, the embers of the "Fire Dreier" campaign would carry over past the election and spread into an uncontrollable blaze of nationalist activism on the issue of illegal immigration after the election.​

​Follow this link to continue reading Part 2 of this series.

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Joseph Turner

Joseph Turner is the founder and executive director for American Children First. He is a nationalist hardliner on illegal immigration issues and considered one of the foremost visionary and strategic thinkers in the movement. Previously, he founded the California-based anti-illegal immigration group Save Our State in 2004. He also authored the Illegal Immigration Relief Act (IIRA) in 2005 which served as the model blueprint for dozens of other cities, most notably Hazleton (PA) and Farmers Branch (TX). The IIRA is believed to have represented the first ever attempt to use the local initiative process to combat illegal immigration in the United States.

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