The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

Answering Our Critics: SPLC ‘Smear’ Dissected

By Heidi Beirich on March 16, 2010 - 3:04 pm, Posted in Anti-Immigrant, Anti-Latino

This Thursday, the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) — a Washington, D.C., think tank that describes itself as “pro-immigrant” but pumps out an endless stream of papers claiming that immigration is hurting America in a myriad of ways — plans to issue a “report” attacking the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).

According to CIS’ press announcement, the report will claim the SPLC “joined with the National Council of La Raza [a Latino civil rights organization] and others to launch a campaign to smear” three anti-immigration groups: CIS, NumbersUSA, and the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). The press release charged that the key to this “smear” was SPLC’s listing of FAIR as a hate group. (The SPLC annually publishes a list of hate groups and a map with their locations.) The CIS and NumbersUSA were not listed, but CIS says SPLC intended to “taint” them, too.

The suggestion that the SPLC worked surreptitiously with La Raza and others to designate FAIR a hate group is false; the decision to list the organization was made by the SPLC alone, based on almost a decade of SPLC research. We make no apologies for sharing that research with others in the human rights community, including La Raza, which we consider an important ally.

FAIR, an organization that has been dominated for much of its life by its racist founder John Tanton, has probably done more to inject fear and bigotry into the national immigration debate than any other modern organization. Its demonizing propaganda, aimed primarily at Latinos, comes at a time when the number of hate groups continues a decade-long rise, fueled by anti-Latino hatred. At the same time, the FBI reported a 40% rise in anti-Latino hate crimes between 2003 and 2007. Those crimes decreased slightly in 2008, the latest year for which statistics are available.

What follows is a list of factors that resulted in the listing of FAIR as a hate group. More detailed information on FAIR and its founder may be found here and here.

•    The racism of FAIR’s founder. John Tanton, who founded FAIR in 1979 and remains a central player on its board today, has a decades-long history of making racist statements and pursuing his interest in eugenics (he once asked Michigan officials if forced sterilization was illegal, citing the case of “a local pair of sisters who have nine illegitimate children between them”). Tanton has said that unless U.S. borders are sealed, America will be overrun by people “defecating and creating garbage and looking for jobs.” He has warned of a “Latin onslaught,” complained of Latinos’ allegedly low “educability,” and said Latinos “bring with them the tradition of the mordida [bribe]].” He has a long record of friendly correspondence with Holocaust deniers, former Klan lawyers, and leading white nationalist thinkers, including Jared Taylor. He wrote a major FAIR funder to suggest she read the work of a radical anti-Semitic professor — to “give you a new understanding of the Jewish outlook on life” — and suggested that the entire FAIR board discuss his theories about the Jews. At one point, Tanton wrote that “for European-American society and culture to persist requires a European-American majority, and a clear one at that.” In a letter to FAIR board member Donald Collins, Tanton enthused over the work of John Trevor Sr. — a key architect of the racially restrictive Immigration Act of 1924 and a man who distributed pro-Nazi propaganda and warned shrilly of “diabolical Jewish control” of America — and said it should serve FAIR as “a guidepost to what we must follow again this time.”
•    Taking money from racists. FAIR solicited and accepted a total of $1.2 million from the Pioneer Fund, a notorious organization set up by Nazi sympathizers in 1937 to fund studies of eugenics (selective breeding of humans to produce a “better” race) and race and intelligence. Saying it didn’t know about the fund’s background, FAIR stopped publicly seeking Pioneer money in 1994 after a barrage of embarrassing publicity. But that didn’t stop three FAIR board members from meeting privately three years later with the Pioneer Fund’s then-chairman, Harry Weyher, to discuss fundraising. Moreover, FAIR has apparently lost its shame about the Pioneer Fund, and now devotes two pages of its website to defending the foundation.
•    Views of FAIR’s president. Dan Stein, once the group’s executive director and now its president, has warned that immigrants are engaged in “competitive breeding” aimed at diminishing white power. He led efforts to win funding from the racist Pioneer Fund, saying in 1993 that his “job [was] to get every dime of Pioneer’s money.” Stein also served as editorial adviser to Tanton’s hate journal, The Social Contract, at a time when it ran its ugliest edition ever, “Europhobia: The Hostility Toward European-Descended Americans.” The issue’s lead article argued that multiculturalism was replacing “successful Euro-American culture” with “dysfunctional Third World cultures.” Stein has declined to offer any criticism of FAIR’s founder, instead characterizing Tanton last September as a “Renaissance man.”
•    Leading FAIR officials’ participation in racist groups. Rick Oltman, who for much of the 1990s was FAIR’s Western Regional Coordinator, spoke as part of a 1997 immigration panel put on by the Council of Conservative Citizens, a hate group that has described black people as a “retrograde species of humanity.” Council publications at the time listed Oltman as a member. Jim Staudenraus, FAIR’s Eastern Regional Coordinator, participated in an anti-immigration conference in 2002 with Jared Taylor, a “white nationalist” publisher who recently wrote, “When blacks are left entirely to their own devices, Western civilization — any kind of civilization — disappears.” In 2007, a senior FAIR official met with leaders of Vlaams Belang, a Belgian political party that officials outlawed in a previous incarnation (Vlaams Blok) as a “criminal organization” because of its racist anti-immigrant views.
•    Bigotry on the board. FAIR board member Donald Collins writes frequently for the VDARE.com website, named after Virginia Dare, said to have been the first English child born in the New World. The site is dedicated to bashing immigrants and has published the work of a broad array of white nationalists and anti-Semites. Collins’ articles have focused on attacking the Catholic Church over its stance on immigration, one of them accusing Los Angeles Archbishop Roger Mahony of selling out his country “in exchange for more temporal power and glory.” In another, Collins said bishops were “infiltrating and manipulating the American political process” to attack the separation of church and state. Another FAIR board member, Richard Lamm, once said that “new cultures” in America were “diluting what we are and who we are.”
•    FAIR programming. FAIR has produced television programming under the title “Borderline” that featured interviews with white nationalists like Jared Taylor, who later launched the racist American Renaissance magazine, according to the anti-racist Center for New Community. FAIR’s “Borderline” program also featured a televised interview with Sam Francis, who went on to become editor of the publication of the Council of Conservative Citizens, a group prone to gutter racism like posting on its website photo comparisons of the late black pop singer Michael Jackson and a chimpanzee.

In its press announcement, CIS alleges that the SPLC is attempting to “taint” both CIS and NumbersUSA by their close associations with Tanton, which are described in the SPLC’s 2009 report, “The Nativist Lobby: Three Faces of Intolerance.” Here are some facts about CIS:

•    Bigotry of the director. CIS Executive Director Mark Krikorian, who is moderating the panel of speakers CIS has organized for the release of its anti-SPLC report, has made several ugly statements about minorities. Most recently, writing in National Review Online, he responded to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Haitians in a major earthquake by saying, “Haiti’s so screwed up because it wasn’t colonized long enough.” The solution, he added, “would be to resume colonialism.” In 2008, shortly after the failure of Washington Mutual Bank, Krikorian found a press release recently issued by the bank that celebrated its inclusion on a list of “Business Diversity Elites.” He posted the news release at National Review Online with the headline “Cause and Effect?” — a clear suggestion that Washington Mutual’s commitment to opening its ranks to Latinos had caused its financial collapse.
•    Ties to John Tanton. Krikorian claims to have no “personal relationship” with Tanton, who has become an embarrassment to CIS. But the reality is that Tanton originated the idea for CIS and installed his close friend, Otis Graham, as its first director. (Graham has written that the civil rights movement falsely depicted America as a “nation of immigrants”; he also described the racist Immigration Act of 1924 as merely an honest attempt to preserve “a working American nationality.”) For his part, and despite his statement about not being close to Tanton, Krikorian worked at FAIR before coming to CIS, has participated in Tanton’s writers workshops, and has received letters from Tanton, including copies of correspondence with white nationalists and suggestions for various organizing tactics. Krikorian has generally avoided criticizing Tanton until earlier this month, when, in response to a question, Krikorian conceded that his colleague has “kind of a big tent policy, and his big tent is too big.”
•    Circulating of white nationalist material. CIS regularly circulates articles to its members that come from the white nationalist VDARE.com website.

In the case of NumbersUSA, executive director Roy Beck has downplayed his relationship with Tanton for the same reasons that CIS has. In a 2004 congressional hearing, Beck was especially cagey in response to questions from a congressman about that relationship. Here are some other facts about NumbersUSA and its leader:

•    Ties to John Tanton. NumbersUSA began life as a program of Tanton’s foundation, U.S. Inc., only becoming independent in 2002 — a fact that goes unmentioned in the group’s literature. Beck, in other words, was an employee of Tanton’s for a decade. During that period, he helped edit an anti-immigrant book by Tanton and another U.S. Inc. employee, white supremacist Wayne Lutton, that was banned as hate literature by Canadian border officials. Tanton often wrote Beck, including a letter in which he asked “whether the minorities who are going to inherit California … can run an advanced society.” Beck was also one of the editors of Tanton’s immigrant-bashing The Social Contract. Beck and his wife have vacationed with the Tantons, once joining them on a visit to the home of a member of the board of the Pioneer Fund. At one point, Tanton named Beck his “heir apparent,” which Beck says was an honor. Tax forms show that NumbersUSA still receives funding from U.S. Inc.
•    Associations with bigoted groups. Beck spoke in 1996 to a conference of the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens, though he says he did not understand the group’s racism until he arrived. (He still gave his speech.) In 2008, he spoke at a conference hosted by Tanton’s Social Contract Press.

  • http://ernie1241.googlepages.com/home ernie1241

    This article would be more effective and credible if it incorporated proper footnotes. For example, when this statement is made:

    “…by the Council of Conservative Citizens, a hate group that has described black people as a ‘retrograde species of humanity.’ ” -

    there is no documentation which would permit anyone to verify that the Council actually made such a statement.

    Other pertinent information which should be considered:

    The founder of the Pioneer Fund, Wycliffe Draper, also donated at least $215,000 to the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission which was founded to perpetuate racial segregation in that state. He also funded the start-up of the Coordinating Committee For Fundamental American Freedoms which was organized in 1963 to defeat the civil rights bills of 1964.

    Among the major financial contributors to the Coordinating Committee were the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission. Senior officers of the Coordinating Committee included prominent segregationists such as its Director (John J. Synon–Richmond VA), and its Secretary-Treasurer (John C. Satterfield–Yazoo City MS) and its Vice-Chairman (James J. Kilpatrick–Richmond VA – who was editor of the Richmond VA News-Leader newspaper).

    You can see more about the work of the Coordinating Committee here:
    http://mdah.state.ms.us/arrec/.....herstuff=6|70|0|1|1|1|1|50190|

    And details regarding its principals may be searched in various articles and correspondence on the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission website here:
    http://mdah.state.ms.us/arrec/.....es/sovcom/

  • chris

    “People like those like themselves, another aspect of human nature lefties refuse to acknowledge.”

    Wrong. The far right just doesn’t realize that the rest of us actually USE our brains and don’t let our emotions, instincts, and “human nature” to override good decision making. It’s also “human nature” for men to try to mate with as many females as possible but the right loves marriage, well as long as you’re straight.

  • BSR

    “The SPLC does advocate for amnesty, it did so in one of its recent publications concerning guest workers.”

    Yet you can’t provide a link, because it didn’t happen. you are 100% full of shit.

  • beholder

    Lee the fact that you think anyone who disagrees has all the same view is a sign of your ignorance.

    The fact is that there is a lot more self criticism and critical thinking in general among the left.

    How much brain power does it take to goose step?

  • beholder

    Jack said,

    on March 26th, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    Yep Beholder, I earned my degree by not reading books.

    Try again.
    ———–

    You can get a degree in welding?

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    Yes Jack, I can easily explode your fallacy with dozens of historical examples. Probably the easiest is that of the largest empire in history- that of the Mongols. Mongols originally lived for centuries in tribal confederations along with non-Mongol peoples, usually Turks. The language barrier did not prevent these people from entering into confederations. When the Mongols attacked westward, they incorporated conquered peoples, especially Turks, into their ranks. They were always tolerant of individual religious beliefs as well. They totally crushed the homogenous Rus- easily.

    As for the question of amnesty and guest workers- if you people are so concerned with people following the law(and not committing what amounts to a federal misdemeanor), why wouldn’t you advocate a path to legal immigration? It is the most logical and efficient solution.

  • RKA

    Michael,

    In a report about guestworkers (workers who are here legally), the SPLC advocates for amnesty for illegal aliens? Do you have a quote or link?

  • Michael

    The SPLC does advocate for amnesty, it did so in one of its recent publications concerning guest workers. Not to mention, anyone with an organized opposition to illegal immigration is branded as “nativist”.

  • Lee

    “The study simply establishes what statistical fact is, so that you have something to work with besides gutteral race hatred and xenophobia.” – beholder

    Beholder, do you understand that “extremists” like Jack and myself are aware that people – other people, not us despite your claims – are indeed xenophobic and racist and this is why we oppose diversity. We do not wish to see people suffer from this byproduct of diversity and the best way for this to happen is through separation.

    On the contrary, you and the academic left wants people to mix with one another then constantly complains about racism and other social ills which result. If you want diversity, acknowledge that racism can in fact only occur in racially diverse communities. Effectively you complain about the results of the very system you encourage.

  • Jack

    Yep Beholder, I earned my degree by not reading books.

    Try again.

  • beholder

    You don’t need a study to guide you, Jack. The study simply establishes what statistical fact is, so that you have something to work with besides gutteral race hatred and xenophobia.

    You might try books for a while. You could learn something.

  • Lee

    “People like those like themselves, another aspect of human nature lefties refuse to acknowledge.” – Jack

    The funny thing is, leftists refuse to acknowledge this as proving it to be true by their very own behavior. Notice on here as all the leftists who have roughly the same moral beliefs all get along far better with themselves than with those opposing them, thus proving that homogeneity in any form is in fact a benefit and not a weakness.

  • Jack

    Common refrain “Diversity is our strength.”

    When historically diversity is the exact opposite.

    People like those like themselves, another aspect of human nature lefties refuse to acknowledge.

    Now I am sure Ruslan will reply with some gibberish about it being a fallacy, even though we see it in operation every day without a Harvard study to guide us.

  • Lee

    “Intolerance is not really part of the diversity thing.” – beholder

    Yes, it IS part of the “diversity thing”. What dreamworld do you live in? In your world are you honestly naive enough to believe that when you start mixing people on the basis of things such as race and religion at a massive level that all of world history will not repeat itself as ethnic conflict and violence occurs? No wonder everyone here wants diversity – you believe that diversity is as the SPLC claims it is. You ignore the reality of the racial tensions that diversity causes where spending all of your time complaining about exactly that!

  • beholder

    Intolerance is not really part of the diversity thing.

  • SPQR

    “We call things racism just to get attention. We reduce complicated problems to racism, not because it is racism, but because it works.”

    — Alfredo Gutierrez, political consultant, as quoted by Richard de Uriarte, The Phoenix Gazette, March 14, 1992 (quoted in The ProEnglish Advocate, 1st quarter, 2002).

    Sounds like a SPLC tactic.

  • Lee

    Ruslan Amirkhanov – you have proven my point exactly. “Diversity of people” is NOT diversity. Diversity of opinion, i.e., the opinions you are criticizing, IS an example of true diversity and it is abundantly clear that the SPLC has absolutely no interest in true diversity. What the SPLC wants is for everyone to look different (that is, not look white) while they all follow the same leftist agenda and think exactly the same.

    Once again, that is NOT diversity.

  • beholder

    One thing that distinguishes left is the rational ability and willingness to be self-critical.

    The weird visage of the medusa-faced nativist is terrible to witness awrithe in a spasm of hate, thus they avoid looking in the mirror, as much as it is held up to them.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    The SPLC supports diversity as in diversity of people. They merely report on people with various far-right views. You people need to remember that though you have free speech, other people have the freedom to criticize you when you exercise it.

  • Lee

    Do the leftists, SPLC members, and others who post on here grasp the fact that the very thing the SPLC is constantly complaining about IS diversity? The group claims to want diversity and anyone with a view even slightly divergent from theirs is labeled a hate group! Even if it can be argued that the SPLC does not loosely use that label, the fact is, everything the SPLC is complaining about is exactly what happens when a population is diverse.

    Yet this group claims to enjoy and embrace diversity? Get real.

  • beholder

    Ruslan,

    Good point. Where will they turn their hatred when it costs $20 to get a hamburger in this country once all the hard working immigrants are gone.

    The truth is that businesses will shut down. And I am not talking just about the labor supply, which is hugely dependent on immigrants for agriculture, food services, domestic services, and construction.

    I am also talking about what deporting 12 million consumers and taxpayers (yes even if they pay no income tax they still pay state sales tax and property taxes) will mean to our economy. Suddenly all the grocery stores, clothing retailers, gas stations, etc will lose 12 million paying customers. Who will fill that void?

    And I keep hearing how hospitals shut down because immigrants use the emergency room without paying. Uh huh. Except for one thing. Medicare fraud by hospitals is about ten times the financial drain on our country. Oh those poor starving hospitals and their $600 q-tips.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    It’s always hilarious seeing die-hard defenders of capitalism get upset over lax immigration policies and whine about “their” jobs being taken.

  • beholder

    A border does not separate countries. It joins them together.

  • Pamala

    libertarian said,

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    Who cares what you said. You are a liar.

    Keep up the good work SPLC of unmasking these maggot right-wingers.

  • BSR

    “It’s such common knowledge that SPLC is a politically driven, open borders, leftist organization no examples are necessary to illustrate the point;”

    That’s because you cannot provide any examples, because you are 100% full of shit.

    Please provide an example of SPLC advocating open borders, or admit you are just another ignorant fool that cannot back up anything he says. Thank you come again.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    Hey there Libertarian, did you know that in American history, far more terrorist incidents and attempted incidents on American soil were carried out NOT by Islamic terrorists but by home-grown domestic terrorists with ideologies similar to your own? Tax protesters, sovereign citizens, secessionists, white nationalists, and what not- all of them homegrown terrorists who have been responsible for plenty of destruction in their own right. Prior to 9-11, the deadliest terrorist attack was carried out by such a homegrown nutcase.

    The SPLC is clearly dedicated to the study of extremist groups from America; that being said, you can find examples of the SPLC condemning various radical or anti-Semitic Islamic movements in the States.

    Somebody has to highlight these local terrorists(some of them are just common street criminals of course), because for one thing understanding this phenomenon is relevant to understand American culture and preserving its society. Secondly, the mainstream media will always give terrorists with foreign ties all the coverage they need.

  • skinnyminny

    Adrian Butterworth,

    LOL! Really? I truly believe the SPLC puts the blame where it belongs!

    I guess if you guys don’t know how to love, nor know what it is, you can’t express it. Everything I hear from your groups is about hate. Hate!Hate!Hate!

    It makes me wonder if you’ve never had love from anything or anyone in your lives! Wow! Talk about dysfunctional families! Let’s use a repeated accusation lodged against minority groups, “bad upbringing and bad parenting!” There’s no way, that all of a sudden a person can start hating every non-white person. It had to be in you all along! And I am willing to bet, all those years of wanting something you never had and felt you deserved, you are now striking out with a vengence.

    But make no mistake in the matter, every time one of you step out of line, there’s someone to either witness it, or one of your own through revenge. Once you say something or do something ‘out-of-line,’ it’s out there, and the excuse/lie that you didn’t say/do it is always captured somewhere, by someone.

    Example, this one guy, allegedly running for city council, I’m not sure if the minutes/newspaper quoted him correctly, but I haven’t seen any correction – “Menifee City County Meeting – March 3, 2009~Menifee 24/7 http://www.menifee247.com/2009.....rch-3.html under Public Comments – Chuck Reutter – “….He went on to say that our country was founded on taking a stand to oppose government.” Again, this is what the newspaper wrote, and stated it was minutes from the city council meeting.

    So, to say that SPLC smears! I doubt it! There’s always a paper trail, it not, audio/video, to back it up. Besides, if your groups learn how to mind their manners, you’d have nothing to worry about!

  • beholder

    Well, libertarian, maybe if you had been listening a bit more to the SPLC long ago, things wouldn’t have gotten to this point in the first place.

  • libertarian

    It’s such common knowledge that SPLC is a politically driven, open borders, leftist organization no examples are necessary to illustrate the point; however, let me just point out the following.

    The SPLC calls militias and the tea party groups elements to watch out for, but have you EVER known it to condemn the MANY jihadist incidents that occur in this country from Home grown terrorists that are not Christians?

    Of course not, and you won’t. Just take a look atr the following article as an example of what I’m referring to. Keep in mind that there are mosques in the US that preach jihad against America but they don’t evern make the SPLC hate watch. Only white Christian groups do, because they are hated by them.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/201....._jihadists

    By EILEEN SULLIVAN and DEVLIN BARRETT, Associated Press Writers Eileen Sullivan And Devlin Barrett, Associated Press Writers – 17 mins ago
    WASHINGTON – The growing front in the war on terrorism may be no farther than Main Street.

    The terror cases that have emerged in the past week have one common characteristic: The suspects are all Americans.

    One is a woman who looked after the elderly in suburban Pennsylvania. Another a security guard from New Jersey.

    Altogether more than a dozen Americans have been captured or pursued for allegedly supporting jihad, or holy war, over the past two years. The cases demonstrate with increasing clarity what authorities have long known: The terrorist threat does not just come from the skies, far away, but from Hometown, U.S.A.

  • beholder

    Adrian Butterworth said,

    on March 17th, 2010 at 10:20 am

    Hardly a remarkable statement .. except for maybe the SPLC who can’t understand why anyone would disagree with open borders.

    —–
    Hold on there Butterball. Fact check.

    The SPLC recently clarified that it is NOT an open borders advocacy group, but merely seeks to curtail the rise of hate crimes against immigrants of all kinds.

  • Alan Aardman

    It is a common tactic for hate organizations such as FAIR to resort to attacking individuals or groups when they are conclusively unable to counter the arguments their opponents make.

    Given that most hate group arguments are illogical or easily debunked, this tactic occurs quite frequently.

  • Adrian Butterworth

    “We make no apologies for sharing that research with others in the human rights community, including La Raza, which we consider an important ally.”

    Translation: We make no apology for working with racial nationalists we approve of to attack racial nationalists with dissaprove of.

    “Richard Lamm, once said that “new cultures” in America were “diluting what we are and who we are.”

    Moreorless the view of Sam Huntington. Hardly a remarkable statement .. except for maybe the SPLC who can’t understand why anyone would disagree with open borders.

    “In 2007, a senior FAIR official met with leaders of Vlaams Belang, a Belgian political party that officials outlawed in a previous incarnation (Vlaams Blok) as a “criminal organization” because of its racist anti-immigrant views.”

    Yeah, I mean if a court in Belgium says so then it must be true. Except that this “criminal organisation” happened also to be a party that threatened the vested interests of the European Union and was in the habit of receiving the largest number of votes in Parliamentary elections. The Belgian elites couldn’t destroy it through democratic means so they destroyed it through the courts instead. No doubt something the SPLC would very much love to do to anyone that disagrees with them on immigration. Have any of the editors of this website considered that maybe the SPLC could be a “hate group”?

  • beholder

    Recently the GOP has been mobilizing around this issue as well — they are starting to sense that this is a solid, well organized and articulated movement with terrific potential to transform our country into a more humane and pluralistic society. In my view there are a lot of the same issues at play as with same gender marriage, the civil rights movement, and women’s right to vote. It’s the next step up the ladder of social progress. However Tanton’s astroturf has so peppered the landscape with half-truths and fear, that it is difficult to seek qualified information on immigration facts without stumbling over the astroturf. But let’s not let this dissuade us: Tanton’s organizations are based on a false premise and no matter how angry Americans get because of it, the simple truth is that the political left is much better able to transform perception into policy than the right wing. We are better organized, better informed, and are far more motivated. Just in one example here in Texas there were rumors of a crack down by ICE at a Walmart — within literally minutes an entire network had been mobilized, a kind of “underground railroad” of immigrants and their supporters, ready to push back. Within a very short time it was on major newspaper and broadcast media, and Walmart itself issued a statement denying the rumors. This shows the power of our movement. The angry right wing has always ranted and blustered, but look at the teabaggers. That movement is rapidly becoming more and more of a joke. Why? Because grabby individualists and disaffected right wingers can’t form a policy consensus. Even the GOP is fractured and in disarray and still having a hard time coming up with any other message than block any and all things Obama. Eventually I predict this kind of knee-jerk opposition will lose its shine. We must continue to press the message of tolerance, calm review of fact (for example that undocumented immigrants commit statistically fewer crimes than citizens and are net contributors to tax rolls), and well organized mobilization. We can defeat the astroturf, and the CIS slam job underway is just a symptom of desperation. We are winning. We shall overcome!

  • Tom Winthrop

    Why does the Law Center feel compelled to even respond to this group? CIS may present a pseudo-intellectual facade and a veneer of respectability to the uninformed but this group has zero credibility among policy makers, politicians or ordinary people grappling with the complex issue of immigration reform.

    The Law Center has long-ago pointed out that under CIS’s “think tank” veneer is the cheap old particle board of fear and resentment emblematic of the increasingly profitable business of tie-and-jacket white supremacy in this country.

    FAIR, NumbersUSA, VDARE and a handful of other fringe organizations generate money in the anti-immigration movement by dehumanizing non-white poor people and questioning their character and intellect in scholarly tomes intended to reinforce and comfort the bigotry of their donors.

    They are angry at the Law Center for interfering with their business model. Big surprise.

    Keep up the good work. But don’t waste too much time criticizing the color of the lipstick these lunatics are putting on their pigs.