New Publication Exposes Tactics Used by Southern Poverty Law Center to Discredit Immigration Reform Groups

Oct 02, 2009, 14:04 ET from Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)

Guide Examines How and Why the SPLC Engages in Widespread Media Disinformation and Slanderous Allegations

WASHINGTON, Oct. 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Federation for American Immigration Reform today released a Guide to Understanding the Tactics of the Southern Poverty Law Center in the Immigration Debate. The publication is designed to help journalists differentiate fact from fiction, and politics from policy in order to improve the accuracy of immigration reporting and foster more meaningful, temperate debate. The guide reveals the unscrupulous methods the SPLC uses to discredit organizations advocating enforcement of U.S. immigration laws. In particular, it examines why the SPLC's financial motives fuel their increasing use of ad hominem attacks.

Among the key conclusions of the report:

  • The SPLC has no self-avowed immigration policy expertise yet they exploit the current national debate to increase fundraising. Their inflammatory charges against FAIR and others are politically driven, factually distorted, and wildly exaggerated for the purpose of making their mission more urgent in order to raise vast sums of money.
  • Third party analysis by The Nation, Harpers, and even the SPLC's hometown newspaper, the Montgomery Advertiser, all came to the same conclusion; the SPLC is a self-propagating fundraising machine with little regard for the truth.
  • SPLC offers no objective criteria for their "hate group" designations nor is there any basis in fact to their claim that hate crimes are rising due to the immigration debate.
  • When writing about the immigration issue, journalists have an obligation to test the accuracy of the SPLC's information, question their motives, seek out responses to their allegations, and clearly distinguish between advocacy and news reporting.

"While once a constructive voice in society, the SPLC is now a deconstructive drone of hearsay and baseless allegations designed to shut down debate. The SPLC is an opportunistic outfit, seeking to raise money by smearing mainstream groups and moderate Americans who simply want order restored to our nation's dysfunctional immigration system," charged Dan Stein, President of FAIR. "Fabricating labels like "hate group" based on their own set of criteria, playing fast and loose with the facts, and attempting to tarnish reputations is truly the new era McCarthyism. There must be standards and consequences for public debate and public conduct."

"The SPLC has no record of offering constructive solutions to our immigration problems. FAIR hopes that the Guide to Understanding the Tactics of the Southern Poverty Law Center in the Immigration Debate will encourage journalists, legislators, students and others researching the immigration issue to judge independently, claims made by the SPLC. FAIR proudly stands by its 30-year record of advocating for reforms to our immigration policy that are supported by the majority of the American people," Stein concluded.

About FAIR

Founded in 1979, FAIR is the country's largest immigration reform group. With over 250,000 members nationwide, FAIR fights for immigration policies that serve national interests, not special interests. FAIR believes that immigration reform must enhance national security, improve the economy, protect jobs, preserve our environment, and establish a rule of law that is recognized and enforced.

A Guide to Understanding the Tactics of the Southern Poverty Law Center can be located at Hard copies can be ordered upon request.

SOURCE Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)