State Sens. Steve Gallardo and Robert Meza, both of Phoenix, walked out of an Arizona Senate hearing March 1 to protest a presentation by Glenn Spencer, a border activist who the Anti-Defamation League calls “an anti-Hispanic, anti-Semitic bigot.” Sen. Sylvia Allen invited Spencer to speak to the Arizona Senate Border Security, Federalism and States’ Sovereignty Committee. A Sierra Vista resident, Spencer is the president of American Border Patrol, which he describes as a border watch group.
According to ADL, Spencer has attended white supremacist events in the past and has posted articles on V-Dare, a racist website. In a statement March 1, ADL Arizona Regional Board Chair Miriam Weisman and Regional Director Bill Straus said, “It is outrageous that rather than seek out unbiased and legitimate experts, our legislators have chosen the leader of a hate group to present in front of that committee … The fact that Senator Allen and some in our Senate regard this man as an ‘expert’ on border security is appalling. And the invitation they extended to him only gives further legitimacy to someone who has a long record of demonizing Hispanics and immigrants.”