John Tanton

John Tanton

John Tanton of Petosky, Michigan founded the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in 1978, the Center for Immigration Studies (a think-tank supporting the activism of FAIR), and Social Contract Press (a publishing company publishing anti-immigration and racist literature) and is connected to thirteen anti-immigrant groups by way of funding or active involvement at some point over the past thirty years. Of these groups, three—American Immigration Control Foundation (AICF), American Patrol/Voices of Citizens Together (a white nationalist, anti-immigrant organization), and the Social Contract Press—are listed as hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center and Tanton’s FAIR has a variety of connections to white supremacist organizations. Indeed Tanton himself declared in 1997 that unless the borders are closed the United States will be overrun by people “defecating and creating garbage and looking for jobs” and in the 1980s declared that “whites see their power and control over their lives declined” and asked if “the present majority peaceably hand over its political power to a group that is simply more fertile (source). Tanton also coauthored The Immigration Invasion with Wayne Lutton, who is on the advisory board for the Occident Quarterly, a publication produced by the white nationalist Council of Conservative Citizens.

Board / Leadership Positions

  • ProEnglish, Co-organizer, 1993-present
  • The Social Contract, Founder and Publisher, 1990-present; Editor 1990-1998
  • U.S., Inc., Founder and Chairman, 1982-present
  • Federation for American Immigration Reform, Organizer and Chairman, 1979-1987, Board, 1979-present
  • E Pluribus Unum, Co-organizer, 1992
  • The Emergency Committee on Puerto Rican Statehood and the Status of English in the United States, Co-organizer, 1990
  • American Alliance for Rights and Responsibilities, Co-founder, 1989
  • U.S. ENGLISH, Co-founder and Chairman, 1982-1988
  • Population/Environment Balance (formerly The Environmental Fund), Board Member, 1980-1990
  • Zero Population Growth, National President, 1975-1977
  • Zero Population Growth, member, National Executive Committee, 1973-1978
  • Zero Population Growth, Chairman, Immigration Study Committee, 1973-1975

Notable Statements

  • “When people say, `What about those jobs Americans won’t do?’, my favorite answer is the city of Petoskey… We have virtually no immigrant population around here and the garbage gets picked up, the streets are swept, we have all the functions of any city or urban area and they get taken care of just fine.” (source)