Hate Group's Explanation For Why It's Not A Hate Group Exemplifies Why It's A Hate Group

Hate Group's Explanation For Why It's Not A Hate Group Exemplifies Why It's A Hate Group

››› ››› DINA RADTKE

After the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) added the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) to its annual “Year in Hate and Extremism” report, CIS executive director Mark Krikorian responded in a Washington Post op-ed downplaying the extremism of white nationalism and the white nationalists connected to CIS, including its founder. CIS has a long record of publishing anti-immigrant reports with deeply flawed methodologies, and Krikorian -- who is now saying that labeling his group marginalizes it and thus diminishes public debate -- has in the past assigned his own negative labels to other groups.

CIS’ Mark Krikorian Defended His Group After It Was Designated A “Hate Group” By The SPLC

In Wash. Post Op-Ed, Mark Krikorian Responded To CIS Being Designated An Anti-Immigrant “Hate Group.” After The New Yorker and other media outlets reported on the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) designating the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) as an anti-immigrant “hate group” -- a designation reflecting a higher degree of extremism than the group's previous “nativist group” label -- CIS executive director Mark Krikorian published an op-ed in The Washington Post where he attacked the SPLC’s labeling method and any media organization that reported on the designation. [The Washington Post, 3/17/17; Southern Poverty Law Center, accessed 3/23/17; Media Matters, 3/16/17]

CIS Casts Itself As “Pro-Immigrant” But Publishes Skewed Research That Denigrates Immigrants

Krikorian: “Harsh Rhetoric On Immigration Turns People Off.” Krikorian and others in the anti-immigrant movement have cast themselves as legitimate resources for immigration analysis by employing diplomatic language that thinly veils their bigoted arguments, while their actions reveal an inherent hostility to immigrants and immigration itself. Krikorian wrote a National Review column on November 8, 2012, that shines a light on this tactic; he suggested that “harsh rhetoric on immigration turns people off,” citing the fact that “people generally like immigrants,” but simultaneously described immigrants as people who “pay less in taxes” and “use more in government services.” [National Review, 11/8/12]

CIS: “All Net Employment Growth Has Gone To Immigrants.” A December 2014 CIS study claimed that data from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) revealed that "all net employment growth has gone to immigrants" since November 2007. Experts from the American Immigration Council and the Brookings Institution, however, have concluded that immigration and unemployment are not directly correlated and that immigrants “generally do not compete for the same jobs” as native-born Americans. President Donald Trump has repeated the claim CIS made at least once, in a campaign speech in Phoenix, AZ, in August. [Media Matters, 12/22/14, 12/28/16]

CIS: “Immigrant Households Use Welfare At Significantly Higher Rates Than Native Households.” A September 2015 CIS report distorted the findings of the Census Bureau's Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) to claim that “in 2012, 51 percent of households headed by an immigrant (legal or illegal) reported that they used at least one welfare program during the year, compared to 30 percent of native households.” This claim contradicts most other credible research, but Trump used this data to bolster his anti-immigrant campaign. [Media Matters, 9/3/15, 12/28/16]

Krikorian Used Faulty Welfare Research To Declare That “The Only Answer Is To Stop Admitting So Many Poor Immigrants." In a September 2, 2015, column published by National Review, Krikorian used the flawed CIS 2015 study to push anti-immigrant falsehoods, claiming that “immigrant households are about 60 percent more likely to use welfare than natives” and “they’re less educated,” and that therefore, “The only answer is to stop admitting so many poor immigrants." [Media Matters, 9/3/15]

In A Deeply Flawed Report, CIS Claimed That “The Fiscal Savings From Having Fewer Illegal Immigrants In The Country Would Be Sufficient To Cover The Cost Of” A Border Wall With Mexico. CIS published a blatantly flawed report to rationalize Trump’s proposed wall along the U.S. southern border, claiming, “If a border wall stopped a small fraction of the illegal immigrants who are expected to come in the next decade, the fiscal savings from having fewer illegal immigrants in the country would be sufficient to cover the costs of the wall.” The report vastly underestimated the cost of the wall, overestimated its projected effectiveness in impeding immigration, and distorted data about immigrants’ education levels and effect on the economy. [Media Matters, 2/23/17]

The Op-Ed Downplayed The Extremism Of Those Associated With CIS And Whitewashed Its Anti-Immigrant Agenda

Krikorian Downplayed The Bigotry Of CIS Founder John Tanton And Distanced CIS From His Beliefs

Krikorian Complained That SPLC “Made A Hate Figure Of John Tanton.” From the Post op-ed:

The rationale offered for CIS’s inclusion on the blacklist is implausible even for those predisposed to support blacklists. The SPLC long ago made a hate figure of John Tanton, a controversial Michigan eye doctor it breathlessly describes as the “puppeteer” of various groups skeptical of current immigration policy, including CIS. [The Washington Post, 3/17/17]

Tanton’s Overtly Racist Writings Fearmongered About Immigrants Bringing Disease, And His Organizations Were Largely Funded By A Millionaire Who Believed That “For Genetic Reasons, Blacks Are Intellectually Inferior To Whites.” A New York Times profile of Tanton detailed how his groups suffered as a result of his overt racism and that of a major funder. According to the Times, The Arizona Republic revealed the contents of an memorandum from Tanton in which he wrote, “Will Latin-American migrants bring with them the tradition of the mordida (bribe)?” In the memo, Tanton also raised an alarm over Latino fertility rates and asked whether “whites [would] see their power and control over their lives declining” and “simply go quietly into the night?” The Republic also reported that his organization the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) “had received grants from the Pioneer Fund, whose most famous grantee was William B. Shockley, the Nobel-winning physicist who argued that for genetic reasons, blacks are intellectually inferior to whites.” Tanton’s explicit bigotry caused members and supporters of his groups to resign and distance themselves in order to avoid being connected to him. From an April 17, 2011, New York Times report:

FAIR was founded on complaints about the immigrants’ numbers, not their culture. But Dr. Tanton feared that they were failing to assimilate. He formed a new group, U.S. English, to oppose bilingual education and demand that government agencies use English alone. By 1988, Dr. Tanton had a high-profile director in Ms. Chavez and ballot measures pending in three states.

Then The Arizona Republic revealed the contents of a memorandum he had sent to friends before a brainstorming session. “Will Latin-American migrants bring with them the tradition of the mordida (bribe)?” he asked. “As whites see their power and control over their lives declining, will they simply go quietly into the night? Or will there be an explosion?”

Latino fertility rates caused him special alarm: “those with their pants up are going to get caught by those with their pants down!”

Soon followed the news that FAIR had received grants from the Pioneer Fund, whose most famous grantee was William B. Shockley, the Nobel-winning physicist who argued that for genetic reasons, blacks are intellectually inferior to whites.

Ms. Chavez resigned, Mr. Buffett stopped supporting FAIR, and any hope of significant liberal support vanished.

Some colleagues never forgave him. [The New York Times, 4/17/11]

Krikorian Claimed That Tanton’s “Vices And Virtues” Are “Irrelevant” To CIS. From the Post op-ed (emphasis added):

The SPLC long ago made a hate figure of John Tanton, a controversial Michigan eye doctor it breathlessly describes as the “puppeteer” of various groups skeptical of current immigration policy, including CIS. But whatever his vices and virtues, they are irrelevant to CIS; as he himself has written, “I also helped raise a grant in 1985 for the Center for Immigration Studies, but I have played no role in the Center’s growth or development.” [The Washington Post, 3/17/17]

Tanton Founded CIS For The Purpose Of Boosting The Work Of His Other Nativist Organizations. Tanton helped found CIS in order “‘to make the restriction of immigration a legitimate position for thinking people,’” as he put it. Its creation came after FAIR -- a blatantly nativist organization that has also been dubbed a “hate group” -- failed to convince liberals to join its anti-immigration movement. Since its inception, CIS has “churned out studies” meant to empower FAIR and other Tanton groups. Mobilization by Tanton’s groups has torpedoed various attempts at comprehensive immigration reform. [The New York Times, 4/17/11]

As Of 2013, CIS Was Getting “Half Its Funding” From A Group Whose “Philanthropy Director Is A Longtime Tanton Collaborator” Who Has Funded White Nationalists. A 2013 Washington Post profile of Krikorian revealed that under Krikorian’s leadership, CIS was getting “about half its funding from the Colcom Foundation, a group whose philanthropy director is a longtime Tanton collaborator.” The Colcom Foundation’s mission is “‘to foster a sustainable environment to ensure quality of life for all Americans by addressing major causes and consequences of overpopulation and its adverse effects on natural resources.’” The foundation has a record of granting funds to other white nationalists. [The Washington Post, 6/17/13; Southern Poverty Law Center, 7/14/09]

Krikorian’s Op-Ed Cast Openly Racist CIS Contributor Jason Richwine As A Reputable Source For Immigration Information

Krikorian Called Richwine’s Racist Dissertation On IQ Scores “Contentious.” From the Post op-ed:

Why CIS should only now qualify for the blacklist is something the SPLC offered no explanation for. Only in a blog post by America’s Voice, an allied group, were SPLC spokesmen quoted explaining how CIS meets their “rigorous criteria for designating organizations as hate groups.” Judge the rigor for yourself. Reason one: CIS has published work by independent researcher Jason Richwine, who wrote a contentious Harvard University dissertation on IQ a decade ago. (His work since has been on other subjects.) If this is evidence of “hate,” then the SPLC is going to need a bigger blacklist; other places that have published Richwine’s work include Forbes, Politico, RealClearPolicy and National Review, and his co-authors have included fellows at the American Enterprise Institute and New America. [The Washington Post, 3/17/17]

Richwine’s Dissertation Asserted That Hispanic Immigrants May Never “Reach IQ Parity With Whites." Richwine was widely condemned for his Harvard University dissertation which asserted that “evidence suggests a genetic component to group differences in IQ" and his subsequent conclusion that “no one knows whether Hispanics will ever reach IQ parity with whites, but the prediction that new Hispanic immigrants will have low-IQ children and grandchildren is difficult to argue against." Richwine’s dissertation was highlighted after he co-authored a report for the Heritage Foundation that suggested that immigration reform would cost the public $5.3 trillion. The staunchly conservative Heritage Foundation later distanced itself from the dissertation. [The Washington Post, 5/6/13; Media Matters, 5/8/13]

Richwine Has Used His Platform At CIS To Misrepresent Credible Data And Publish Flawed Research. Richwine helped boost the false claim that the National Academies of Science (NAS), a well-respected, nonpartisan research organization, found that immigration “depresses wages,” even though the NAS’ study abstract itself states that immigration produced “little to no negative effects on overall wages and employment of native-born workers in the longer term.” Additionally, CIS has relied on Richwine’s debunked study that claimed that immigrant-headed households receive more welfare than households headed by native-borns, using it to make other baseless assertions. [Center for Immigration Studies, 10/6/16; The New York Times, 9/21/16; Media Matters, 5/13/16, 2/23/17]

Krikorian Trivialized VDare -- An “Alt-Right” Hate Platform -- As “A Group SPLC Dislikes” And Downplayed Other Extremists As "Cranks"

Krikorian Downplayed CIS Circulating Articles From Extremists As “Cranks.” From the Post op-ed:

Reasons two and three are almost too trivial to believe: CIS’s weekly email roundup of immigration commentary (from all sides) has occasionally included pieces by writers who turned out to be cranks; and a nonresident CIS fellow attended the Christmas party of a group the SPLC dislikes. Seriously, that’s it. [The Washington Post, 3/17/17]

VDare President: VDare “Warns Against The Polluting Of America By Non-Whites, Catholics, And Spanish-Speaking Immigrants.” The nonresident CIS fellow to whom Krikorian referred was John Miano, and the group whose Christmas party Miano attended is VDare, which operates a nonprofit, the VDare Foundation, and a website, VDare.com, both founded by Peter Brimlow. According to the SPLC, VDare.com “regularly publishes articles by prominent white nationalists, race scientists and anti-Semites.” Brimelow has argued that his contributors are “not white supremacists,” but people who simply “aim to defend the interests of American whites.” He also is the president of the VDare Foundation, “a nonprofit that warns against the polluting of America by non-whites, Catholics, and Spanish-speaking immigrants.” [Media Matters, 8/25/16, 3/15/17; America’s Voice, 2/15/17]

CIS -- And Krikorian Himself -- Have Cited VDare Contributors And Other White Nationalists. CIS included Brimelow’s “A Prescription for Immigration” in its March 2001 report, “Blueprints for an Ideal Immigration Policy.” Previously, Krikorian had tenuously critiqued Brimelow’s blatant racism, referring to him as “a flawed jewel,” but cited him anyway. Krikorian has cited other white nationalists, including Steve Sailer and Sam Francis. [Southern Poverty Law Center, 1/23/17, 2/10/14; Center for Immigration Studies, March 2001, July 1995, 3/25/13; National Review, 9/23/14]

In The Past, Krikorian Himself Has Tried To Delegitimize His Opponents With Negative Labels

Krikorian Advocated Labeling Chuck Schumer And Democrats As “Reds.” Krikorian proposed in a July 26, 2012, National Review column that “we ... get back to referring to leftists as Reds, like ‘the Reds in the White House’ or ‘Chuck Schumer and his fellow Reds.’” [Imagine 2050, 2/23/15; National Review, 7/26/12]

Krikorian: 2013 Gang Of Eight Immigration Bill Would Give Out Millions To “Alinskyite Community Organizing Groups.” Krikorian smeared immigrant advocacy groups as “Alinskyite community organizing groups,” referring to the late community organizer Saul Alinsky, who wrote a primer on radical activism. He also fearmongered that they, and the proposed 2013 comprehensive immigration reform bill, were promoting “multiculturalism” and “anti-assimilation.” [Imagine 2050, 2/23/15; Right Wing Watch, 5/5/13]

Krikorian: Univision’s Jorge Ramos Is A “White-Hispanic Ethnic Hustler.” Krikorian dedicated a piece in National Review to smearing Univision anchor and Fusion contributor Jorge Ramos as a liar and a “white-Hispanic ethnic hustler.” [Imagine 2050, 2/23/15; National Review, 1/2/13]

Krikorian Attacked Google For Honoring Frida Kahlo, Whom He Considers To Be A “Loathsome Communist.” In a September 7, 2012, National Review column, Krikorian proudly stated, “Here at NRO, we’ve rightly criticized Google in the past for its doodles — promoting gay marriage and featuring loathsome Communist Frida Kahlo.” [Imagine 2050, 2/23/15; National Review, 9/7/12]

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