Sunday, October 04, 2009

Illegal Immigration and the Southern Poverty Law Center: Sending the Wrong Message?

Here’s a really interesting article I received from FAIR, the Federation for Immigration Reform folks. I’m sure most of you are familiar with the Southern Poverty Law Center. If not, let me give you a brief history lesson. The SPLC came out of the civil rights movement as way to locate, monitor, and when possible, prosecute so-called hate groups. Over the decades they have been very successful in going after the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis, and a host of other groups of similar nature. They have been hailed as heroes and vilified as a front group for Leftists or Communists (whichever is in vogue at the time). Personally, I have no time for hate or hate groups, and if you’re a regular reader of this blog, I’m sure you don’t either. However, what this article says about SPLC concerns me a great deal in that it sends the wrong message about border security and enforcement of immigration policy (not to mention national sovereignty or the rights of US taxpayers).

Somehow the Southern Poverty Law Center is now trying to equate anti-illegal movement in this country as being a hate oriented? The SPLC seems to believe that US Citizens wanting secure borders and enforcement of immigration laws is in some way a violation of their “rights”. First off, if you’re here illegally, you don’t have the same rights as US citizens. Their only rights are whatever is covered under the United Nations Provision for Human Rights (humane treatment, etc.). Secondly, a nation has as its most basic sovereign right, safe and secure borders. I don’t care if it’s the United States, Israel, or the Sudan. Third, they’re here illegally for Pete’s Sake! Those that encourage, support, protect, and hire them are in violation of federal law and should be punished accordingly. Lastly, and most importantly, strong and secure borders as well as the enforcement of US immigration policy is in no way racist any more than being American is racist.

New Publication Exposes Tactics Used by Southern Poverty
Law Center to Discredit Immigration Reform Groups
Guide Examines How and Why the SPLC Engages in Widespread Media Disinformation and Slanderous Allegations


October 2, 2009

(Washington, D.C) 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 heresy 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 http://www.fairus.org/site/DocServer/SPLC_Jounalists_Guide.pdf?docID=3541. Hard copies can be ordered upon request.

Fun Facts

According to the Department of Homeland Security’s own Annual Performance Report, of the 8,607 mile border we share with Mexico and Canada, we have only 894 mile under “effective control” with no plans to extend that in the 2010 fiscal year. Makes you feel all safe and sound doesn’t it? And just how many years and how much has been spent dealing with this?

If you live in the Keystone State of Pennsylvania, it’s costing you $660 million dollars to educate the children of an estimated 48,500 illegal residents, including 150 million on English language courses according to a Pittsburg Tribune-Review article by Craig Smith dated August 14, 2009 (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/state/s_638187.html#). You’re also paying an estimated $50 million dollars annually on unreimbursed health care (meaning that Pennsylvanians are picking up the full tab) and another $17.5 million dollars for prison upkeep. Who’s picking up the tap for your school kids? Is anyone paying your medical bills?

If you want to read more about the costs to you and me of supporting illegal immigrants in this country, I recommend you check out read the following article from the Center for Immigration Studies, then go back and reread the article about how the Department of Homeland Security intends to do nothing further through FY2010 to secure our borders. Here’s the link: http://www.cis.org/IllegalsAndHealthCareHR3200.

Poll Results

Our last poll asked if you thought we should focus on America’s problems first. There were three choices. The first was to address our problems first. The second was to continue our current role as the world’s rich uncle and policeman. The last choice was to do a little of both. Well, the results are in and we have a tie! In a 50/50 split, you said that that America should take care of America first and we should continue to do a little for the world too (choices one and three). There were no votes for the second option to continue down our current path. I think the poll results are pretty reflective of America in general. We are an incredibly kind and generous nation (perhaps to a fault), but we can’t continue bailing out nation after nation. Global problems require global solutions and equal partnerships.
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