Wednesday, November 5, 2008

FAIR's Family Tree

The Federation for American Immigration Reform has its own family tree.
The country's oldest restrictionist institute has created two major spinoffs that pursue its restrictionist agenda on the legislative and legal fronts.
The FAIR Congressional Task Force is a 501(c)4 organization that desribes itself as a "non-profit, public interest organization whose purpose is to serve the public welfare by developing and promoting immigration policies which are consistent with the economic, social and demographic interest of the United States; to restrict illegal immigration to the United States; and to limit legal admissions to reasonable levels.” FAIR's Congressional Task Force is the annual sponsor of the "Hold Their Feet to the Fire" campaign to bring restrictionist pressure on congressional representatives and staff.
Another FAIR family member is the Immigration Reform Law Institute. IRLI says it is “America's only public interest law organization working exclusively to protect the legal rights, privileges, and property of U.S. citizens and their communities from injuries and damages caused by unlawful immigration.”
It describes itself as “a nonprofit public interest law firm dedicated to controlling illegal immigration and reducing legal immigration to levels consistent with the national interest of the United States.” In other words, FAIR’s ILRI works not just against illegal immigration but also against most instances of legal immigration.
Typical of well-funded, well-established right-wing policy institutes, IRLI benefits from clear messaging. Central to its anti-immigrant messaging is its focus on U.S. citizens and its claim to be defending the “rule of law.” The “rule of law” framework for its activities routinely appears in statements by its principals and is regularly echoed by the state and local governments that work with the institute to design anti-immigrant laws.
On its homepage, ILRI warns: “The injuries caused by illegal aliens in your community have become a growing crisis in communities nationwide.” Another FAIR offshoot is the Center for Immigration Studies, which was established in 1985 as an anti-immigration think tank to complement the grassroots and policy work of FAIR. CIS says it is dedicated “to expand the base of public knowledge and understanding of the need for an immigration policy that gives first concern to the broad national interest.” Like FAIR and its affiliates, CIS has counted on funding from a funding umbrella, U.S. Inc, created by John Tanton for its financial support. Mark Krikorian, CIS executive director, formerly worked as a FAIR staff member.

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