The Horseshoe Virus
From former Arizona state senator Bob Worsley comes a groundbreaking book that sheds disturbing light on the history of anti-immigration movements in America.
Arizona’s Senate Bill 1070—known to be one of the most sweeping and strict anti-immigration state laws passed in the United States—caused tremendous upheaval in Bob Worsley’s religious community in Mesa, Arizona. Deeply troubled by the blatantly racist and anti-immigrant rhetoric swirling in public political discourse, Worsley ran for state senator in 2012 against the previous Senate president and author of SB 1070, and won.
A three-term state senator, Worsley approached much of his political career with a commonsense approach to conservative leadership, balancing justice and compassion with every decision he made.
Unspooling three fascinating storylines, The Horseshoe Virus recounts Worsley’s unlikely political run, unpacks the political targeting immigrants throughout American history have faced, and draws surprising anti-immigration links between key players on both sides of the aisle, including nineteenth and twentieth century eugenicists, liberal reformers, actual racists, and wealthy power brokers.
Worsley focuses on John Tanton, the mastermind of the modern anti-immigration movement. Worsley tracks Tanton’s transformation from a radical, pro-abortion environmentalist to a white nationalist whose network of anti-immigration organizations dominates the Trump administration’s policies and leadership.
Worsley’s exploration of Tanton’s persuasions demonstrates how far left activists shape strategies of the far-right’s immigration positions. It’s the virulent spread of these ideas that Worsley calls the Horseshoe Virus—a plague of nationalism, racism, and hate that is shared by subgroups on both ends of the political spectrum.
Exploring various political vaccines for the virus, including the SANE policy for immigration reform, and, ultimately, political change that must occur at the ballot box, Worsley outlines a new path forward that will inspire hope and unity between new and old Americans.