Fox News’ Leland Vittert acknowledged in passing that a report by the anti-immigrant Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) that the president cited has been “widely criticized.” Ironically, Fox News has repeatedly cited the nativist group -- and this very study -- despite its reputation for providing discredited research meant to demonize immigrants.
During his report on President Donald Trump’s announcement that he would restrict federal funds for immigrant families seeking public assistance, Vittert pointed out that the president was citing a “study from the Center for [Immigration] Studies showing that 51 percent of households headed by an immigrant are using some form of public assistance, compared to 30 percent among non-immigrant families.” He briefly noted that the “study is widely criticized for missing some of the nuances of immigrant families” and later praised Trump’s announcement as “popular.”
Vittert’s acknowledgment is ironic given that Fox has repeatedly pushed that very study, along with a number of other discredited CIS reports, in its attempts to paint a negative picture of immigrants and immigration. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has designated CIS an anti-immigrant “hate group” for its ties to white nationalists.
From the June 22 edition of Fox News’ America’s Newsroom:
LELAND VITTERT: Good morning to you, Shannon. On this Friday, add this to the controversial list of to-do for Congress by this White House. And certainly, things have moved through Congress much slower and a much higher political price than this White House ever wanted. Here's a look at the to-do list as it stands right now. This year, Obamacare repeal and replace, tax reform, infrastructure, all while dealing with the budget and the debt ceiling some time in the next few months. Unclear where this latest proposal to restrict federal funds for immigrant families would end up. The White House had originally thought about doing this as an executive order but now says they want to go to Congress. In their budget proposal a couple of weeks ago, the White House cited this study from the Center for [Immigration] Studies showing that 51 percent of households headed by an immigrant are using some form of public assistance, compared to 30 percent among non-immigrant families. Essentially, the White House is saying their proposal would be a beefier version of a 1996 law enacted by President Clinton and then rolled back by the Obama and Bush administrations. That study is widely criticized for missing some of the nuances of immigrant families. Now comes the issue of Congress, Shannon. Are they willing to spend political capital on a proposal like this when they already have so much to do from this White House and clearly have faced so many challenges in getting it done no matter how popular it was when President Trump announced it yesterday.