MALDEF

More Truth-Stretching from FAIR

From our friends at the Immigration Policy Center:
This week FAIR – an anti-immigration hate group1 – issued another new report based on dubious facts and assertions. “Immigration Lobbying: A Window Into the World of Special Interests” ultimately shows that the vast majority of groups lobbying on immigration legislation are not “pro-enforcement-only,” but rather support a comprehensive approach to immigration reform-including enforcement. Of course, this was not FAIR’s intention - they wanted to show that these groups only support immigration reform because it is in their own self-interest and are not looking out for the majority of the “American people.” Apparently the American people are only represented by FAIR and the rest of the 2.1% of lobbying groups that are “pro-enforcement-only.”

FAIR insists that polls show that the American people want greater enforcement of immigration laws. However, the report fails to mention that poll
2 after poll3 also demonstrates that the majority of Americans believe that a comprehensive solution that includes legalization in addition to enforcement is necessary.
The report, of course, has no real data. The financial numbers FAIR cites are of the company's or organization’s total lobbying budget, not the amount used to lobby for specific immigration bills. Even their press release to the report is fraught with misinformation. The first sentence reads:
Immigration policy consistently ranks near the top of the list of issues that concern Americans.4
This is undeniably false. Although immigration is often a threshold issue for many Latinos, it rarely makes it to the top three issues important to the American public. A December poll by CNN showed immigration ranked 5th in importance, and a Fox News poll in November showed it trailing “abortion” and “energy” in 9th place. Immigration failed to even place in two separate polls conducted by the AP and USA Today shortly after the Nov 4 election.5

Regardless, the Immigration Policy Center notes that FAIR tries to smear organizations that advocate for immigration reform as unrepresentative of the American public.
Basically FAIR is saying that groups that represent Catholics, Jews, Latinos, union members, business owners, and school administrators don’t represent any Americans. Apparently Catholics, Jews, Latinos, Asians, union members, business owners, and school administrators are not Americans, or at least not real Americans.
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1. Heidi Beirich, "The Teflon Nativists: FAIR Marked by Ties to White Supremacy," SPLC Intelligence Report, Winter 2007
2. "While Debate Rages, Public Continues to Support Realistic Immigration Solutions." National Immigration Forum, December 10, 2007
3. "America's Voice: Immigration 2008," Benenson Strategy Group and Lake Research Partners, November 13, 2008
4. "Immigration Lobbying: A Window Into the World of Special Interests," Federation for American Immigration Reform, Jan 2009
5. "Problems and Priorities," PollingReport.com, accessed Jan 12, 2009

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