Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) backed out of a speaking appearance alongside controversial Muslim progressive Linda Sarsour this week after a scheduling conflict, the Washington Free Beacon reported.
The Beacon had previously reported that Warren was scheduled to speak at the conference, which began on Sunday and ended Tuesday. Her image and biographical information was later taken down from the conference’s website.
Warren cancels appearance
The annual National Immigrant Integration Conference claims to be the largest on immigration in the United States and facilitates discussions between “policymakers, academics, corporate and community leaders, researchers and practitioners, faith and labor leaders and funders from across the country” to discuss strategies to promote “immigrant and refugee rights.”
In its description, the site uses vague, feel-good jargon to describe its goal of promoting a left-wing immigration agenda.
“At the NIIC, the many different spokes of this field gather to develop relationships, build campaigns, amplify shared values, be inspired, build relationships, and share ideas, strategies, lessons learned and new information and innovations. It is an important space for leaders and organizations, and strengthens collaborations and partnerships that power work at the local, regional and national level,” the site’s About section reads.
The conference’s schedule is more revealing, including events like “Refugee Resettlement 2.0: What’s Next for the US Refugee Resettlement Program,” “LGBTQIA Immigrants Fighting for Representation & Liberation,” “Sanctuary Policies & Beyond: Local Strategies to Undermine Federal Attacks,” and “Together We Win: Intersectionality, Alliance Building & the Path to Building Lasting Political Power.”
A spokesperson for the conference told the Beacon that Warren was not able to attend because of a “scheduling conflict,” but did not specify beyond that.
Warren associating with anti-Semites?
While Warren did not speak at the conference, her views on immigration are well-known. She is one of a few lawmakers who have echoed calls from New York Representative-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D) to abolish ICE.
Sarsour has also endorsed the abolish ICE movement. The progressive Muslim activist has attracted controversy for her anti-Israel politics and affiliation with anti-Semitic Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, which included a 2015 speech at a Nation of Islam event, and she came to Farrakhan’s defense instead of condemning him after the Tree of Life synagogue shooting. Sarsour has also been accused of downplaying the seriousness of anti-Semitism, saying, “While anti-Semitism is something that impacts Jewish Americans, it’s different than anti-black racism or Islamophobia because it’s not systemic.”
Critics have also noted Sarsour’s seemingly paradoxical support of progressive feminist causes in the West and simultaneous willingness to ignore sexism in rigidly patriarchal Muslim-majority countries. Despite Sarsour’s troubling politics, NIIC published a biography describing her as “widely recognized for her transformative intersectional organizing work and movement building.”
Warren stood next to Sarsour at an anti-Kavanaugh protest in October as the bruising battle to confirm the Supreme Court Justice was nearing a climax. Sarsour later launched a racist broadside against Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) after the senator announced she would vote to confirm Kavanaugh, attacking the senator and other white women who aren’t on the left and accusing Collins, who she called “the mother and grandmother of white women who gave us a Donald Trump presidency,” of white supremacy.
House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and Democratic Reps. Luis Gutiérrez (IL), Pramila Jayapal (WA), Don Beyer (VA), and Grace Meng (NY) were all scheduled to speak at the conference along with Sen. Bob Menendez (D- NJ).