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

Once Again, FAIR Reveals Its Black Heart of Hate

By Mark Potok on February 3, 2012 - 9:29 am, Posted in Anti-Immigrant

The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) has never been a pleasant organization. Its top leaders have warned shrilly of a “Latin onslaught,” defended a racist 1924 quota system, insisted that America needs a “European-American majority,” and fretted that Latinos are “outbreeding” white people. Its founder has sought ways to sterilize unmarried mothers, corresponded with white supremacists and Holocaust deniers, and suggested, among other things, that it might be a good thing to prohibit less intelligent citizens from having children.

But FAIR, the nation’s leading nativist organization and one that is frequently quoted in the press, has insisted it is not about hatred, that some unfortunate remarks of its founder are ancient history and have nothing to do with the group today.

Two events this week once again gave the lie to those claims.

In California, news broke that a man named Jose Navarro, who had been on a kidney transplant list for six years, was refused the transplant just days before the operation was to be scheduled because UC San Francisco officials discovered that he was an undocumented immigrant. Even when Navarro’s wife stepped in and offered to donate her own compatible kidney, doctors refused the life-saving surgery. The fact that Navarro had private insurance didn’t sway hospital officials either.

None of this bothered the generous humanitarians at FAIR. Such care, FAIR’s top spokesman, Ira Mehlman, told ABC News, “should be the responsibility of the home country,” adding that “in a situation like this, where there is an opportunity for someone to leave the country and get care, they need to do so.”

And in Missouri, a Guatemalan mother who was jailed for two years after an immigration raid at the poultry plant where she worked prepared to go to court in an attempt to regain custody of the 5-year-old boy who was given to a white couple while she was behind bars. Circuit Court Judge David C. Dally ended her parental rights because her “lifestyle” included crossing the border illegally and using fake identity papers, even while ignoring the criminal background of the adoptive father.

As with the hospital officials in the California case, the actions of the judge were loathsome enough — according to ABC News, Encarnacion Bail Romero wasn’t even assigned a lawyer until two months after losing custody. But it took FAIR to put that special, heartless spin on the case for which it is known.

FAIR President Dan Stein, who has said that many Central Americans “hate America,” told ABC the mother was to blame: “When parents break the law, they undertake a certain amount of risk that there are going to be consequences.”

The black-hearted ideologues at FAIR couldn’t care less that Bail Romero, whose son was just seven months old when officials stole him away, was jailed on on aggravated identity theft charges — charges that the U.S. Supreme Court has since rejected in cases like hers, according to ABC News. They don’t give a fig that she was unable to attend the custody hearings, or that she said from the start that she didn’t want her son adopted out. They had no problem with Dally’s ruling that she had willfully abandoned her son, or with the fact that the adoptive father had served almost a year in jail after pleading guilty to a felony charge of possession of stolen property.

Not everyone is so blindly cruel.

In California, Oakland City Council President Ignacio de la Fuente and many others are trying to find a way to get Navarro the surgery that experts say would probably not be available if he were deported to Mexico. A man named Donald Kagan, a citizen who received a kidney transplant last year from an undocumented immigrant, told ABC that UC San Francisco officials never asked him about his immigration status. “A person … had absolutely nothing and was willing to give his kidney to me,” he said of his benefactor. “What they’re saying is that only people who have money should get transplants, and it shouldn’t be that way.”

And in Missouri, the Bail Romero case has drawn attention to what Guatemalan Consulate attorney John DeLeon described as a “massive national problem.” ABC quoted a report from the Applied Research Center, “Shattered Families,” that found that as of last summer some 5,100 children were placed in foster care after their parents were deported or detained. A smaller but unknown number of those children have been put up for adoption by American families.

Today, according to ABC, Encarnacion Bail Romero, who has not seen her son in more than four years, has only a tiny passport photo of the boy she still calls Carlito and weeps when she speaks of him. For his part, Navarro thanks those who are supporting him and said he hopes to live for his 3-year-old daughter’s sake.

But don’t expect any tears from the people at FAIR. As they’ve made abundantly clear over the decades, humanitarian sympathy or even simple concern for their fellow human beings has no part at all in their heartless ideology.

  • Julio

    In the case of Encarnacion Bail Romero, biological parents should never fear the legal system terminating their parental rights, regardless of legal status or socioeconomic level, unless it can be proven that leaving the children with them would place the children in true danger. If the justice system begins to allow the illegal termination of parental rights and using questionable definitions of what it means “the best interest of the child,” we all should be concerned. Period.

    Read this article:

    This is the shortened url:

  • Aron

    Door Gunner,

    Good luck with that. I’ll be right behind you.

  • Door Gunner

    Did you know that they burned Millions of women at the stake during the Middle Ages… Millions. Humans are inherently cruel… and must be governed, the only problem is… by who? Soon our computers will be powerful enough to decipher the complexities of human behavior… and will preside over us all… that is, until someone walks by and accidentally kicks the plug out of the wall. Let’s face it, mankind is doomed… that is unless we do away with the Currency System, it’s all owned by only 3 families anyway. Let’s cut their heads off, and do away with this “reward system” it’s childish, only children need a “reward” true Adults are motivated BY THE MISSION, the gratification comes from the completion of the Task… not the compensation… we have been fooled into believing the opposite. Food and shelter at a cost, is what is dangled in front of your face as a motivator… don’t you see… that’s called Manipulation. Let’s free-up mankinds time from a life of performing nothing bit repetitive task… we now have the techknowlogy… let’s do it, it’s our planet, not just the 3 families who are Ruleing it through the implementation and use of a “Currency System”… just think… if we all could spend all of time thinking and researching… what do you suppose we could accomplish “collectively” as the Human Race.!?

  • http://pending Beverly Kurtin

    FAIR? FAIR? My mind boggles at the thought of such a cold-hearted hate group would use that name. I’ve just been diagnosed with liver and pancreatic disease, either or both potentially fatal. Just because I’m white I might not have any problem in getting a liver transplant (even though I don’t want one). But the color of my skin or my nation of origin shouldn’t be important, my NEED should be the important thing.
    I am not particularly upset or worrying; I trust God to do whatever he decides. As a Jew, I know that whatever happens is in his hands, so why should I worry?
    Tonight, I made two new friends. One is African American, the other white. The three of us hit it off immediately and are already planning on getting together this weekend. Just thinking that a few decades ago that would probably not happened. We’re getting a bit better…but we need to get MUCH better faster to save that man’s life.

  • Curtis Rivers

    And while reading this this morning, Eric Cantor and crew in the House passed a modified STOCK act which leaves loopholes for manipulation and continued abuse by GOP members. You see, money is important. Poor people aren’t important, nor are immigrants, etc. Jesus wept!

  • celiene

    “Vile Heart Of Hate.”

  • Reynardine

    I’d likely have called it the lightless heart of hate, myself. Meanwhile, I agree with sterilizing the stupid. Let’s order a bunch of Elastrators and go over to FAIR right away.

  • mamawolfe

    What is wrong with our world? Why are human rights and human hearts being denied in such heinous fashion because of finance and power? The divide between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’ is beginning to swallow us alive.

  • ModerateMike

    “None of this bothered the generous humanitarians at FAIR. Such care, FAIR’s top spokesman, Ira Mehlman, told ABC News, “’should be the responsibility of the home country,’” adding that “’in a situation like this, where there is an opportunity for someone to leave the country and get care, they need to do so.’”

    Does FAIR know whether or not this opportunity actually existed for Mr. Navarro? As usual, FAIR has many answers, but never asks questions.

  • Kiwiwriter

    I think I would have used “foul” heart of hate, myself.

  • Sam Molloy

    I agree. “Cold Heart of Hate” would be a better choice in this case. That lady left the warm climate but lousy economy of Guatemala to work at a very hard job where it gets cold in the winter, and gets treated like that…

  • Shadow Wolf

    I actually agree with Ann O’s assertion on the use of the word–“black” in this context. Which is taken out of it’s place. When the topic is about race, which is always the case in these threads. “Black” is a general reference to African-Americans. Unless of course, if we’re discussing Satanism, Occult, Witchcraft etc. There are other proper words to describe “evil” besides using “black” when discussing racial matters.

  • Aron


    I don’t think ‘black’ as used in the title, has anything to do with skin color. It is merely a phrase, and to be perfectly honest, what you are requesting sounds a lot like political correctness for its own sake.

    ‘Dark’ has always been synonymous with evil, since long before it was associated with race relations.

    That being said, I don’t feel like getting into an argument over semantics, so I’ll end my thought here.

  • A.D.M.

    I agree with Anne O. Nymous. Language has power and using the word “black” in this context is not right. Mark Potok, please remove the word “black” from the headline.

  • Anne O. Nymous

    America, America’s justice system, and America’s people all claim to be better than this, and it’s time we prove it. Racist, xenophobic ugliness has no place in the ideals upon which this country is founded.

    I am concerned with the use of “black,” both in the article and the headline, to mean “evil” and “hateful.” Language has power, and although the conflation of darkness with profoundly negative morality does not make people racist, I am concerned that it does reinforce racist ideas.

    The name of FAIR was purposely created to indicate both justice and being light-skinned; I would like to see the SPLC not use “black” as any sort of insult.

    —a teacher who loves justice and words and the SPLC

  • Matthew Bright

    The two stories recounted in the above article are so appallingly awful they’re scarcely believable for their blatant unfairness and cruelty. And what the hell is the Guatemalan embassy doing on Ms. Romero’s behalf?

    I doubt the American people would respond in too kindly a fashion if American children were taken by Guatemalan authorities and handed over to convicted felons.

    Can’t this atrocious decision be appealed? And has anyone considered legal means to get this terrible judge off the bench?