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Dangerous Liaisons: Congressmen to Join Nativist Hate Group Today

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Dangerous Liaisons: Congressmen to Join Nativist Hate Group Today

Posted in Anti-Immigrant by Heidi Beirich on November 6, 2009

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At noon today, five members of the U.S. House of Representatives will hold a press conference at the House Triangle with Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). FAIR has been listed as an anti-immigrant hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center since 2007.

Stein will discuss “loopholes” in pending health care legislation that he claims will allow benefits to go to “illegal aliens.”

All five House members meeting with FAIR — Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Nathan Deal (R-Ga.), Dean Heller (R-Nev.), Sam Johnson (R-Tex.) and Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) — are members of the hard-line House Immigration Reform Caucus (IRC). The IRC is headed by U.S. Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-Calif.), who is a former lobbyist for FAIR. In 2002, Bilbray told a group of anti-immigrant activists, “We are creating a slave class that criminal elements breed in.” He also warned, “We could have a terrorist coming in on a Latin name.”

FAIR has a decades-long history of anti-immigrant hatred. The group has employed key staff members with ties to white supremacist groups, accepted more than $1 million from a racist foundation dedicated to the study of racial differences in intelligence, and promoted racist conspiracy theories about Mexico’s secretly coveting the American Southwest. In 2006, a top official of FAIR in met with former members of a Belgian political party banned by that country’s highest court for “racism and xenophobia.” For more on FAIR’s long track record of hate, read here.

The group’s animus toward immigrants reaches all the way back to its founding in 1979. FAIR’s founder, current board member and intellectual leader, John Tanton, has repeatedly described contemporary immigrants as inferior. He has questioned the “educability” of Latinos and written that “for European-American society and culture to persist requires a European-American majority, and a clear one at that.” In a letter to Roy Beck, head of NumbersUSA, Tanton wondered “whether the minorities who are going to inherit California … can run an advanced society?”

Stein recently defended Tanton, telling The Washington Post that Tanton is a “Renaissance man” of wide-ranging “intellect.”

It is unclear whether these elected officials are aware of FAIR’s racist track record. In October, another Republican congressman, Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, came under fire by immigrants-rights advocates in his home district for participating in a September event put on by FAIR that featured live broadcasts by talk radio hosts. Ryan quickly issued a statement saying he did not endorse or support FAIR and had only granted a radio interview to discuss “health care reform and the Green Bay Packers.” According to Ryan’s statement, he had his name removed from FAIR’s website where it had been noted that Ryan took part in the FAIR’s event.

12 Responses to

'Dangerous Liaisons: Congressmen to Join Nativist Hate Group Today'

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mw said,

ON NOVEMBER 6TH, 2009 AT 11:44 AM

I am certain that Nathan Deal of Georgia is aware of FAIR’s background. Deal is also a birther.

Bowman said,

ON NOVEMBER 6TH, 2009 AT 12:34 PM

nauiocelotl (1 hour ago)

We want racist people to go? back to europe , plain and simple boy .

Bowman said,

ON NOVEMBER 6TH, 2009 AT 12:58 PM

VivaLARaza31 (3 days ago)

I say the brown take the coastal temperate zones? just inside the coast before the mountains and make whitey go out to the dessert and the blacks and asians maybe should get some boats/ships and get into the Pacific.

Daniel said,

ON NOVEMBER 6TH, 2009 AT 1:03 PM

It is astonishing how this organization still seems to be considered mainstream

mickey said,

ON NOVEMBER 6TH, 2009 AT 3:17 PM

Just because you call something a hate group doesn’t make it true.

beholder said,

ON NOVEMBER 6TH, 2009 AT 3:57 PM

Do not believe these crocodile tears.

When Tanton speaks of the woes of a “slave class”, he little addresses the root problem.

Oppression and fear go hand in hand. It is evident that our every effort to limit illegal immigration through stricter controls and procrustean penalties backfires by forcing a population at risk into even greater marginality. This unwinnable effort scrapes away at civil liberties for citizens and non-citizens alike, wastes scarce public resources, and diverts the public’s attention from the real problems facing our country by creating a scapegoat.

FAIR’s assiduously laid astroturf carpets the airwaves and tinctures policy discussion with outmoded shades of Malthusian fear, racialism, and an odd mix of militia/fringe groups who feed upon the nativist rhetoric like vampires, draining our nation’s political will to overcome centuries of bigotry and injustice.

At each passing generation, economic crisis stirs the popular ire. Today, as in the past, our leaders are being led to this extreme by nativists like Tanton who have waited literally decades to put this master plan into effect. Just as the Know-Nothings, just as the KKK, just as those who feared the successive waves of immigration from Eastern and Southern Europe, Asia and Latin America, the nativists of today have relied again and again upon the premise of fear and hate to motivate and angry public into action.

I have every confidence that the unified voice of academics, social critics, thinkers, activists, and our representatives in government will prevail in our effort toward reason.

The only sensible solution for our immigration problems is a massive overhaul of our “legal” route and recognition that it is in our best interests as a country to provide amnesty for a large number of undocumented residents, first and foremost, and not as a mere rider on a workforce crack-down law such as passed in 1986. Our harshest repressions should be reserved for the harshest crimes: and illegal immigration, my fellow thinkers, is not even a crime.

Our efforts will be rewarded and this struggle will go down in history as every bit as telling for civil rights in America as the emancipation of slavery, the creation of unions, universal suffrage, gender rights, racial equality, and same-sex marriage.

mickey said,

ON NOVEMBER 6TH, 2009 AT 7:45 PM

Marsha Blackburn Voted FOR:

Omnibus Appropriations, Special Education, Global AIDS Initiative, Job Training, Unemployment Benefits, Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations, Agriculture Appropriations, U.S.-Singapore Trade, U.S.-Chile Trade, Supplemental Spending for Iraq & Afghanistan, Prescription Drug Benefit, Child Nutrition Programs, Surface Transportation, Job Training and Worker Services, Agriculture Appropriations, Foreign Aid, Vocational/Technical Training, Supplemental Appropriations, UN “Reforms.” Patriot Act Reauthorization, CAFTA, Katrina Hurricane-relief Appropriations, Head Start Funding, Line-item Rescission, Oman Trade Agreement, Military Tribunals, Electronic Surveillance, Head Start Funding, COPS Funding, Funding the REAL ID Act (National ID), Foreign Intelligence Surveillance, Thought Crimes “Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act, Peru Free Trade Agreement, Economic Stimulus, Farm Bill (Veto Override), Warrantless Searches, Employee Verification Program, Body Imaging Screening.

Marsha Blackburn Voted AGAINST:

Ban on UN Contributions, eliminate Millennium Challenge Account, WTO Withdrawal, UN Dues Decrease, Defunding the NAIS, Iran Military Operations defunding Iraq Troop Withdrawal, congress authorization of Iran Military Operations.

Marsha Blackburn is my Congressman.

See her unconstitutional votes at :



John said,

ON NOVEMBER 6TH, 2009 AT 7:46 PM

After yesterdays disgusting display at the Capitol,the entire Republican party should be labeled a hate group.

Tezuka fan said,

ON NOVEMBER 7TH, 2009 AT 5:29 PM

@ beholder

Not that I don’t agree with most of what you’re saying, because I do, but illegal immigration (or entry) is a crime (US Code 18,Part 1,Chapters 69 and 75 and the Immigration and Nationality Act), though these mostly deal with visas. But, overstaying a visa is illegal and would mean that you’re in the US illegally (That almost happened with my aunt until she married my uncle).

But, yes. We do need to refor… er, greatly change the way we allow people in the country. But, don’t look to me for methods, I’m not knowledgeable enough for these things.

Snorlax said,

ON NOVEMBER 9TH, 2009 AT 8:01 AM

“Just because you call something a hate group doesn’t make it true.

by mickey”

When SPLC has documented their reasons for calling FAIR a hate group…it IS a hate group.

mickey is obviously illiterate, since he cannot read the documentation.

mw said,

ON NOVEMBER 9TH, 2009 AT 11:52 AM


While I can’t agree that GOP should be labeled a hate group, I most certainly and emphatically believe that the “Tea Party” movement exhibits the extreme characteristics of such a group.

Tezuka fan said,

ON NOVEMBER 9TH, 2009 AT 1:42 PM

“Just because you call something a hate group doesn’t make it true.”

Unless, you know, it is.

Jim Davidson said,

Your comment is awaiting moderation.

ON NOVEMBER 10TH, 2009 AT 3:33 PM

Which racist foundation are you referring to here? Could it be The Pioneer Fund of Wickliffe Draper (1891-1972) who funded both The Mississippi Sovereignty Commission and The Draper Immigration Committee run by Rep. Francis E. Walters (D-PA) and the Draper Genetics (Eugenics) Committee run by Senator James O. Easland of Mississippi? Why of course it is. Draper was very active in his persecution of both Sacco and Vanzetti and he also funded The Johnson (Anti-) Immigration Act of 1924 which shut the door on immigration into the USA just before Hitler’s rise to power. And Draper also provided the fodder for The Nuremberg Laws with the Buck vs. Bell Supreme Court Decision leading to the Involuntary Sterilization of over 75,000 Americans whose only ‘crime’ was the fact that they resided in institutions for the mentally retarded.

“FAIR has a decades-long history of anti-immigrant hatred. The group has employed key staff members with ties to white supremacist groups, accepted more than $1 million from a racist foundation dedicated to the study of racial differences in intelligence, and promoted racist conspiracy theories about Mexico’s secretly coveting the American Southwest.”


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Neo-Nazi Rallies Provoke 'Anger, Fear'


EnlargeDavid McNew/Getty Images

Erika Paz yells at members of the white supremacist group, the National Socialist Movement, during the group's anti-illegal immigration rally last month.

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EnlargeDavid McNew/Getty Images

Members of the National Socialist Movement hold swastika flags at the group's anti-illegal immigration rally last month.

text sizeAAANovember 7, 2009 from SCPR

The National Socialist Movement, a neo-Nazi group, is holding two rallies in Arizona and Minnesota on Saturday to demonstrate against illegal immigration. Similar rallies in Riverside, Calif., near Los Angeles, have led to violent clashes with counter-protesters.

Late last month, a rally near a day-laborer site in Riverside attracted about two dozen members of the National Socialist Movement (NSM), who wore World War II-era Nazi garb. They were outmatched by about 700 counter-protesters.

The two sides were separated by dozens of police officers in riot gear. NSM members taunted counter-protesters with racist epithets. Fights broke out and several counter-protesters hurled rocks and bottles. The neo-Nazis left 3 hours later, under police escort.

Counter-demonstration organizer Kevin Akin helped mobilize over 50 community and religious organizations against the NSM.

"The broader the resistance is to the Nazis, the more difficult it is for them to find specific targets. We're hearing only irritation, anger and fear from the community," Akin says. "The fact is, when the come to Riverside, their enemy is the whole community."

The National Socialist Movement is known for provocative confrontations.

The group's Web site called counter-protesters an unruly mob of "Mexicans, Jews and homosexuals."

NSM members, meanwhile, are depicted in strictly heroic terms.

"They're proud of who they are, tired of white guilt being shoved on their kids and multiculturalism. They can't see any reason for it," Jeff Hall, the National Socialist Movement's state president, tells NPR.

Hall is a burly skinhead with a German military Iron Cross tattooed on the back of his skull. He set up the group's California headquarters in Riverside last year. He led the recent street rallies in a predominantly Latino neighborhood already battling gang violence, home foreclosures and high unemployment.

"I think Riverside was waiting for something like this. I'd like to see it cleaned up. And I see on so many street corners groups of Hispanics, most of whom you can easily assume came here illegally," Hall says. "In times when we've been hit so hard with the recession and job losses, we're standing up for the American workers."

It's white American workers he's talking about. The National Socialist Movement's guiding principles — which are posted on its Web site and are founded on the Nazi Party's "25 Points" — are clear: only those of "pure White blood may be members of the nation."

Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, says illegal immigration is simply a Trojan horse the NSM can use to deliver its broader message of white supremacy.

EnlargeDavid McNew/Getty Images

Members of the National Socialist Movement (left) and counter-protesters exchanged punches at the rally after counter-protesters knocked over a temporary barricade the police set up to separate the two groups.

"The immigration issue allows racist white nationalists a plank to reach out into the mainstream. And you can attract everyone from people of good will, who would never hurt a fly, all the way to Nazis!"

The National Socialist Movement claims to be the nation's largest neo-Nazi group. The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups, says the group probably has fewer than 100 members in California.

But Mark Potok, spokesman for the center, says membership in the NSM and other white supremacist groups is growing — fueled by the recession, illegal immigration and the election of the country's first black president.

"We really are seeing a lot of rage out there connected very directly to the changing demographics of the country," Potok says. "There was a real attempt to exploit the economy and hang it around the necks of people of color. "

The Southern Poverty Law Center has documented a rise in what it calls "domestic terror plots" linked to white supremacist groups. None of those plots have direct ties to the NSM. But Potok says the NSM does its best to provoke violence and outrage, as evidenced by its raucous street rallies.

In Riverside, it has also antagonized the Jewish community.

Members of Temple Beth El, the city's largest synagogue, helped organize recent counter-demonstrations against NSM. The NSM responded by marching on the synagogue during Friday services waving swastika flags.

Rabbi Suzanne Singer says she's "torn" between the desire to "not make a huge deal out of this" and the realization that the local economy's woes could breed real danger.

"Not that it's like Nazi Germany, but in this community where unemployment is — what, 14 percent? — people are hurting and they're vulnerable to trying to find a scapegoat," Singer says.

Riverside city leaders condemned the NSM's recent actions, while at the same time promising to protect the neo-Nazis' right to stage street demonstrations in the future. The group promises to do just that, here in Riverside and in other cities across the country.

Related NPR Stories

Inside Access: Photographer Captures the Taboo June 23, 2008

Obama's Candidacy Angers, Excites Hate Groups Oct. 28, 2008

Assessing White Supremacist Groups In The U.S. Oct. 30, 2008

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Man Killed in FBI Shootout Said to Lead Terror Cell

Posted in Muslim Extremism by Sonia Scherr on November 6, 2009

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A Detroit man fatally shot last week by FBI agents was a high-ranking leader of a nationwide separatist group that advocated violence and denigrated Christians, Jews and other non-Muslims, according to an FBI complaint.

Luqman Ameen Abdullah (also known as Christopher Thomas), 53, was killed during a government raid on Oct. 28 when he refused to surrender and fired his weapon, according to an FBI news release. A convicted felon, Abdullah helped lead what the FBI characterized as a “radical fundamentalist Sunni group” called Ummah (“the brotherhood”). The group consists mostly of African Americans, some of whom converted to Islam while in prison. Its main goal is to create a sovereign state within America’s borders that would be governed by Islamic law and ruled by Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin (the former H. Rapp Brown), who’s serving a life sentence for murdering two police officers in Georgia. Abdullah was among 11 men linked to Ummah who were charged with conspiracy to commit an array of federal crimes, including theft from interstate shipments and illegal possession and sale of firearms.

Last week’s raid followed the eviction in January of Ummah members from their former mosque after they failed to pay property taxes. Inside that building, Detroit police found two firearms, roughly 40 knives and martial arts weapons, empty shell casings, and a concrete wall that had served as a shooting range.

Abdullah’s death led to criticism from several Muslim groups who say he was not the violent extremist that the FBI claimed. More than 1,000 people attended Abdullah’s funeral on Saturday at Detroit’s Muslim Center, where some speakers demanded an investigation into the shooting. Abdullah was imam (leader) of the Masjid Al-Haqq mosque in Detroit, which called the FBI allegations “utterly preposterous,” according to The Associated Press.

Though Abdullah was not charged with terrorism, the 43-page complaint filed in federal court stated that he routinely preached against the federal government and law enforcement. Abdullah’s adherents often carried firearms and received training in their use, even though many were convicted felons. Confidential sources recorded statements by Abdullah indicating that “[he] and his followers view themselves as soldiers at war against the United States government, and against non-Muslims,” the complaint said. Among the alleged statements:

• In February 2008, Abdullah said his followers must oppose the federal government, even if they die. He also praised Muslim suicide bombers.

• During an August 2008 conversation with an FBI source, Abdullah stated the U.S. government controls everything. “We got to take out the U.S. government,” he said. “The U.S. government is nothing but Kuffars” — a derogatory term for non-Muslims. He added: “You cannot have a nonviolent revolution.”

• While praying at the mosque in October 2008, Abdullah said Muslims needed to “cut the ties” with Christians, Jews and Kuffars. “The worst Muslim is better than the best Kafir,” he said (Kafir is the singular form of Kuffar). “We should be trying to figure out how to fight the Kuffar.”

• In November 2008, Abdullah said he believed that the FBI perpetrated the Oklahoma City and the first World Trade Center bombings with the aim of blaming Muslims for the attacks.

• In February 2009, Abdullah asked an FBI source to teach him how to make Trinitrotoluene (an explosive). In March, Abdullah gave the source a CD that the source characterized as “pro-Taliban propaganda.”

• In May 2009, Abdullah preached that the group “hates the Jews and that God hates the Jews,” the complaint said.

Abdullah met with followers in other cities, including Montgomery, Ala., and Gainesville, Ga. His longtime associate, Mohammad Abdul Bassir (also known as Franklin D. Roosevelt Williams), often served as Abdullah’s bodyguard during these trips, carrying a weapon even though he was a convicted felon, according to the complaint. Bassir, 50, blamed the U.S. government, President Bush and Jews for mistreating Muslims and discussed Sept. 11 conspiracy theories. “Bassir said brothers need to stick together and be willing to die for the cause, and blood needs to be shed in order to change things,” the complaint said. He’s currently serving a two-year prison sentence in Michigan.

An FBI source also saw Abdullah’s oldest son, 30-year-old Mujahid Carswell (also known as Mujahid Abdullah), beat young children with a stick while teaching them martial arts, the complaint said. Another source observed Luqman Abdullah “discipline children inside the mosque by beating them with sticks on their hands, knees and legs, until they were covered with bruises, including a boy Abdullah beat so badly with sticks that he was unable to walk for several days.”

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'Man Killed in FBI Shootout Said to Lead Terror Cell'

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texasgomer said,

ON NOVEMBER 6TH, 2009 AT 10:23 AM

Speaking about what happened at Fort Hood, it is irrelevant that the guy was a Muslim. He could have been any faith and still broken. I think it says more about our lack of confidence in our wars than anything about any particular group, ethnic or otherwise.

White Avocado said,

ON NOVEMBER 6TH, 2009 AT 10:58 AM

I am curious to see how SPLC reacts to this incident in comparison to how they reacted to the Holocaust Museum shooting. Both cases seem very similar: deeply alienated and violent people.

texasgomer said,

ON NOVEMBER 6TH, 2009 AT 11:58 AM

I don’t see the similarity at all.

Chris said,

ON NOVEMBER 6TH, 2009 AT 12:42 PM

texasgoober, real great Liberal logic there, lefty. Yeah, him being a Muslim had NOTHING whatsoever to do with it! Even though he was screaming Allah O Akbar as he shot up the place. And also lets make sure and overlook the fact he was posting crap on the internet about justification for suicide bombings.

You liberals are brilliant. Absolutely freakin’ brilliant.

texasgomer said,

ON NOVEMBER 7TH, 2009 AT 4:31 AM

At this point, we know little about Dr. Hasan’s motives, but they have been put forth by Kay Bailey Hutchinson, a Texas Senator, as his being upset over his deployment. I would not call this a hate crime for that reason. The incident at the Museum was most definitely a hate crime.

Carter said,

ON NOVEMBER 7TH, 2009 AT 3:23 PM

Frankly I think this has less to do with politics per se’ than it does the West’s desire (all to often) to find reason for pathological actions. What’s more it doesn’t matter who commits such actions, they should be stopped from ever repeating them!

Young men were excused from murders in the past and served as little as five to seven years of prison time due to age. When released, they murdered again and again. We continued to “try and find the reason” for such behavior; while innocent people died!

All these things are secondary to protecting the innocent. It only become apparent when the tragedy hits home that murdering psychopaths need to be stopped as a primary goal.

Trying to “understand them” puts undue emphasis on excuses & surety of protection as an after-thought.

The unbelievable assertion that this individual “suffered from PTSD” is ludicrous as any reason or excuse for his behavior. But it demonstrates society’s failure to protect the innocent at the cost of a continuation of obscene violence.

This jackass could have every emotional disorder imaginable & it wouldn’t matter a bit. The end result is what he does. And if what he does is a threat to those who are innocent, he needs to be removed from contact with society; better sooner than later!

Tezuka fan said,

ON NOVEMBER 7TH, 2009 AT 5:09 PM


I think he yelled out Allahu Akbar (Arabic for “God is great”) because he felt for sure that he was going to be killed there on the spot, sort of like a self-administered last rites. Like when people say the Lord’s Prayer when they’re about to do something that may get them killed (suicide mission).

I have no idea where I’m going with this…


Ruslan Amirkhanov said,

ON NOVEMBER 9TH, 2009 AT 12:27 AM

Hey there Chris, were you aware that the vast majority of American domestic terrorists are not Muslim? Rather their beliefs are described as conservative, Christian, libertarian, etc.?

GENO said,

ON NOVEMBER 9TH, 2009 AT 9:16 AM

Its very very unlikely that such an egregiously created “Islamic State” will ever be surface “within the borders of the U.S.” Its never gonna happen. Not in my lifetime, anyway. One has to be a dwelleth in La-La Land to assume this.

Snarla said,

ON NOVEMBER 9TH, 2009 AT 4:39 PM

Not that this is even slightly important, but “ummah” does not mean “brotherhood.” It means “nation,” and refers to the body of Muslims all over the world.

BTW, the only witness to claim that Hasan shouted “allahu akbar” now says he doesn’t know if that actually happened.

“I was sitting in about the second row back when the assailant stood up and yelled ‘Allahu akbar’ in Arabic and he opened fire,” Foster said Monday on CNN’s “American Morning.”

Foster, 21, said he wasn’t clear about whether the gunman said those exact words, noting that “with that much adrenaline, you tend to forget things.”


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After immigrant killed in NY, others tell of abuse

By FRANK ELTMAN (AP) – 3 days ago

PATCHOGUE, N.Y. — The high school buddies who trolled the streets looking for Hispanics to attack called it "beaner hopping."

"Jose, Kevin and I started popping and Jose punched him so hard he knocked him out," Anthony Harfford told police.

Harfford said he didn't do it often: "Maybe only once a week."

There had been other high-profile attacks on a growing Hispanic population on eastern Long Island before Ecuadorean immigrant Marcelo Lucero was stabbed to death a year ago Sunday on a street corner.

But it wasn't until the seven teens accused in the killing told police of the attacks — and Hispanic residents who had been long silent about hate crimes came forward to confirm the stories — that officials began to realize what they were dealing with.

The year since the Lucero slaying has put a national spotlight on race relations here has seen the U.S. Justice Department launch a probe of hate crimes and police response to them. A national civil rights group released a study that found "a pervasive climate of fear in the Latino community" in Suffolk County.

Many victims said they had always been reluctant to contact police, fearing they would be asked about their immigration status. Just weeks after presiding at a funeral for Lucero, a preacher invited Hispanic crime victims to share their experiences. Dozens came forward.

"It was a bunch of people relieved that someone was listening," the Rev. Dwight Lee Wolter said. "They just wanted some sort of witness that their story was worth telling."

Many were unable to identify attackers, but prosecutors gleaned enough evidence to file charges in eight other attacks against the teens accused in the Lucero killing.

Not all were crime victims. One man came to the church with his telephone answering machine wrapped in plastic, Wolter said. He had received threatening phone calls from his landlord, peppered with anti-Hispanic slurs, and wanted advice on making it stop.

Wolter is hosting an interfaith service Saturday night, after a candlelight vigil organized by Lucero's family at the spot where he died.

Foster Maer, an attorney for Manhattan-based LatinoJustice, which called for the Justice Deaprtment investigation, said the Lucero killing "raised everybody's awareness of how bad it is."

Suffolk County Police Commissioner Richard Dormer said officers don't ask victims whether they're illegal immigrants and said the probe would exonerate the department.

Dormer assigned a Hispanic officer to command a local precinct after the killing.

Lucero, 37, came to the United States when he was 21 and worked at a dry cleaner. He was walking with a friend shortly before midnight near the Patchogue train station when they were confronted by a mob of teens. His friend ran away, but Lucero was surrounded, prosecutors say.

He tried to fight back, flailing at the assailants with his belt. At some point, 18-year-old Jeffrey Conroy plunged a knife into Lucero's chest before running away, prosecutors said.

They strengthened their case against the teens this week when one pleaded guilty to conspiracy and hate crime charges and agreed to testify against the others.

Nicholas Hausch also admitted participating in other attacks on Hispanics, confessing he and his cohorts frequently used racial epithets when confronting victims. In one attack, Hausch said, they shot a BB gun at a Hispanic man.

Conroy attorney William Keahon told Newsday of Hausch, "I guarantee the jury will not believe a word that comes out of his mouth." Keahon did not return a call from The Associated Press.

Suffolk County has seen thousands of Hispanics settle there in recent years. U.S. Census figures show the number of Hispanics more than doubled from 7.1 percent of the population in 1990 to or 13.7 percent in 2008.

The Southern Poverty Law Center report titled "Climate of Fear; Latino Immigrants in Suffolk County," catalogued a litany of anti-immigrant attacks dating back a decade.

Two men are serving long prison terms for attempted murder after luring two Mexican laborers to a warehouse in 2000 with the promise of work, only to pummel them with shovels.

Last August, three young men were charged with hate crimes in the robbery and beating of an Ecuadorean man near the spot where Lucero was killed. Police said one man punched 22-year-old day labor Milton Balbuca in the face while the others kicked and punched him, yelling anti-Mexican slurs.

Margarita Espada, a playwright who emigrated from Puerto Rico, has written "What Killed Marcelo Lucero" for a local theater. The production features vignettes about the experiences of whites and Hispanics on Long Island.

"People will have the opportunity to see what happened," she explained. "It's a long-term issue because there is no trust. There's no hope."

Obdulio deLeon, a cast member who arrived from Guatemala 23 years ago, says even now, newcomers live in fear. The volunteer EMT said some are even afraid to call for a doctor when they're sick.

"They don't want to call 911," he said. "They don't want to call the ambulance or call police for anything. If they get beat up or they get picked on, they just let it be."

Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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