Photo: Glenn Spencer, chairman of a civilian border watch group American Border Patrol
A man described as a “vitriolic Mexican-basher” who looks for white supremacists to join his group was invited by an Arizona lawmaker to speak to a state Senate’s border security committee about his assessment of the Arizona-Mexico border.
Glenn Spencer, chairman of the American Border Patrol was asked to address the panel, and the Southern Poverty Law Center, which keeps an eye on hate groups, has an online profile of Spencer. A three-page profile to be exact, which states that he “may have done more than anyone to spread the myth of a secret Mexican conspiracy to reconquer the Southwest.”
The center’s director of research, Heidi Belrich said “it’s completely shocking” that Spencer would be the one addressing the state Senate panel because he “is so far out of the mainstream because of these racist views that he shouldn’t be invited in the public debate about immigration,” she said. “There have got to be more legitimate sources about border security — professors, specialists in the field, Border Patrol agents. Something.”
Spencer has said he is not racist and has never solicited white supremacists to join the American Border Patrol. He claims he uses his own money to conduct surveillance along the border, and that the ABP is a nonprofit that serves a government watchdog that primarily monitors the border by air.
Despite his claims that ABP is not a hate group, it has been on SPLC’s watch list since 2001.