Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)

-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger

FAIR and its legal arm, Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI), have been busy. FAIR and IRLI have been hopping state-to-state helping local governments craft anti-immigration ordinances, like  Arizona’s infamous SB 1070. Arizona’s legal fees have already exceeded $1 million.

Desperately needed tax payer funds are being used by local governments to fight legal challenges to the ordinances drafted with the assistance of IRLI.

By the time the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had ruled its ordinance unconstitutional, Hazelton, PA had spend $2.4 million in legal fees. Riverside NJ owes $82,000 in legal fees even after rescinding their ordinance. Farmers Branch TX is looking at a $5 million legal bill to appeal an injunction issued by the district court. Fremont, NE is raising taxes to pay for the expected $750,000 bill to cover its legal expenses.

In each of the jurisdictions that have been sued, they’ve hired IRLI attorneys to defend the ordinances. What a racket. You get the local idiots to pass ordinances and then bleed the tax payers to defend it. It’s a no-lose scheme for IRLI. Even if the ordinance is invalidated, IRLI still gets its fees. It’s brilliant, in a perverse way.

The next target is Utah, where IRLI is providing assistance for Rep. Stephen Sandstrom’s enforcement-only Arizona-style immigration bill. However, the Mormon Church is supporting an alternative to Sandstrom’s proposal, so IRLI shouldn’t count on any fees from Utah.

FAIR has been labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) based on the writings and quotes of its founder and board member John Tanton. The Anti-Defamation League, in a report on FAIR, said:

Unfortunately, however, there are today, as in the past, some individuals and organizations whose anti-immigration position is marked by mean-spirited distortions, nativist bias, anti-foreigner fear-mongering, and even overt racism. These groups foment an atmosphere chilling to the notion of an open, tolerant America that respects all persons, regardless of origin.

H/T: SPLC, The Salt Lake Tribune, ADL (pdf).

29 thoughts on “Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)”

  1. As I cannot find the specific statute, searching every U.S. Government site I could imagine searching, which granted lawful immigration status to the “first peoples” of North America in crossing from Asia to North America, many thousands of years ago, as some would have it, I surely must assume that there are no people found in North America who are not illegal immigrants (and also illegal emigrants?)?

  2. This is a good piece on SPLC from the moderate-liberal magazine Harper’s a few years back:

    http://harpers.org/media/slideshow/annot/2000-11/

    Sounds like they see SPLC as a borderline scam run to enrich its top administrators. Quoting from the article, “A National Journal survey of salaries paid to the top officers of advocacy groups shows that [SPLC Director] Dees earned more in 1998 than nearly all of the 78 listed, tens of thousands more than the heads of such groups as the ACLU, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educ Fund, and the Children’s Defense Fund.”

    SPLC currently has an pretty marginal rating on CharityNavigator.org which examines the books of charities to see which ones are working for the cause and which ones are scamming the donors.

    http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=4482

  3. No, no, Tootie. The Southern Poverty Law Center TRACKS hate groups, they don’t create or participate in them.

    There should be a moratorium on and a reform of immigration, but until the borders are secure, they shouldn’t be tried.

  4. The Southern Poverty Law Center is a leftist hate group so I don’t think they are anything to write home about or refer to when judging others.

    There should be a moratorium on immigration.

    Amnesty (in reference to the invaders) is genocide (as is our entire current immigration policy).

  5. “I am not…any kind of zealot on this issue, but I just browsed their website…” (Shelly Weiss)

    http://www.anchoragepress.com/articles/2010/12/15/news/doc4d094387a3eb2257907208.txt

    Shelly Weiss wrote on Dec 15, 2010 4:13 PM:

    ” How interesting that you are an immigration attorney. So you basically have a conflict of interest here. If this law passes, you will be able to earn lots more money helping clients use the various loopholes in immigration law created by this amnesty provision. Eg you can help the kids legalize the parents, rewarding them for breaking our laws. You can file specious claims that the parents were victims of political persecution in their home countries. You can create bogus claims that the DREAM recipient can’t have his parents deported out from under him, because he has some sort of emotional problem. Blaah blaah blaah, whine whine whine, it will never end–and your meter will be running, won’t it?

    I won’t say the phrase that really occurs to me when I read a lawyer like you pretend to be concerned about the US military, when you are really trying to grease up your business, and reward lawbreakers. It’s not a nice phrase and this is a family website, I guess. ” (end of comment)

    =====

    I’m guessing that it’s the same person, but I’m not sure, yet. If so, I’d say that she’s pretty much sittin’ on one side of the fence. As for being “any kind of zealot on this issue”, well… the readers should decide…

  6. eniobob,

    And it may not be the same Shelly Weiss…, so she should have the opportunity to say that it’s her comment or it isn’t…

  7. eniobob,

    It’s hard to know sometimes, but her comment just doesn’t have the ring of truth to it…

    Intended to tell you that I read the first link that you posted earlier today. Thanks. I never would have seen it, otherwise.

    Also, on another thread you posted a poem about strength. Thanks for that, as well. Hope you’re doing all right… These are tough times… As it’s been said, “Sometimes all one can do is just keep moving.”

  8. Shelly Weiss:

    If Fair is using Arizona statistics you may be interested in this:

    Private Prison Lobby Behind Arizona’s Immigration Law
    by Charles Davis October 28, 2010 09:24 AM (PT) Topics: Criminal Justice in the Media, Private Prison.
    Bigotry. Xenophobia. Demagoguery. All help explain the origins of Arizona’s draconian immigration law, which allows law enforcement in the state to harass and lock up anyone they suspect may be in the country illegally. But an investigation by NPR reveals what just might be the true driving force behind Arizona’s authoritarianism: greed.

    http://criminaljustice.change.org/blog/view/private_prison_lobby_behind_arizonas_immigration_law

  9. Shelly Weiss:

    ‘They contend that the level of immigration we have now, and especially the level of illegal immigration, is not healthy for our economy or our environment.”

    I’m not quite sure which “they” and who “they ” are.
    Please elaborate.

    anon nurse,you and LK are on a roll,Nothing getting past the two of you lately.

    Blouise:

    Drift caught.

  10. “Shame on you Jonathan Turley for letting this come out on your site.” (Shelly Weiss)

    “I am not…any kind of zealot on this issue, but I just browsed their website…” (Shelly Weiss)

    ======================

    I’m wondering if this is the same Shelly Weiss who posted the following comment to an article on the DREAM Act?

    http://blog.reidreport.com/2010/12/the-one-we-didnt-win-dream-acts-failure-dooms-immigration-reform/comment-page-1/#comment-16053

    “The one we didn’t win: DREAM Act’s failure dooms immigration reform”

    Shelly Weiss on December 19th, 2010 3:24 pm

    The funniest part of this piece is “These are the kind of young people we want in the country: kids who want to be doctors, researchers and engineers”

    Uhhhh, these are not Caltech or MIT honors students… this would have been any kid who gets a GED degree and does 2 years of online community college. That’s about the typical credential of an entry level employee at In-n-Out Burger these days! Sure there would have been a few doctors, researchers, and engineers, but precious few.

    But that’s just one of the many tricks that the DREAM bill–may it rest in peace–contained.

    Anyway, you will see new moves for immigration reform coming from congress now–they just won’t be immigration AMNESTY type reform–they will be “let’s get control of our borders” amnesty.

    By the way, have you noticed that the old “jobs americans won’t do” crap has been refuted by the facts on the ground?

    Same Shelly Weiss? Just wonderin’…

  11. Buckeye wrote:

    “The SPLC has a good record for exposing real “hate” sites and I believe they have made a correct interpretatation of FAIR. JMHO”

    ======================

    I agree with both points.

    (I’ve heard rumblings about The Family Research Council “taking on” the Southern Poverty Law Center… Something to keep in mind.)

  12. “I used to be a liberal but now I am appalled at how much the stock and trade of so-called liberals is labeling and smearing.

    Shame on you Jonathan Turley for letting this come out on your site.” (Shelly Weiss)

    *******************************************************
    “I also took a look at the FAIR website, and it seems to be a site that uses Arizona statistics to indicate a big problem with illegal immigrants.

    In looking at just two of the statistics cited – kidnapping and home invasion – compared to total U.S. statistics, Arizona seems to be a pretty safe place. I can only surmise that FAIR has an agenda and uses deceptive practices to further that agenda.

    The SPLC has a good record for exposing real “hate” sites and I believe they have mad a correct interpretatation of FAIR. JMHO” (Buckeye)

    ===============================================================

    No matter what whether one calls oneself a liberal or a used to be liberal that was an effective “right back atcha buddy”.

  13. I also took a look at the FAIR website, and it seems to be a site that uses Arizona statistics to indicate a big problem with illegal immigrants.

    In looking at just two of the statistics cited – kidnapping and home invasion – compared to total U.S. statistics, Arizona seems to be a pretty safe place. I can only surmise that FAIR has an agenda and uses deceptive practices to further that agenda.

    The SPLC has a good record for exposing real “hate” sites and I believe they have mad a correct interpretatation of FAIR. JMHO

  14. I am not a member of FAIR or any kind of zealot on this issue, but I just browsed their website and it is obvious that, unlike you, they at least seem to argue with facts and numbers rather than innuendo and ad hominem.

    They contend that the level of immigration we have now, and especially the level of illegal immigration, is not healthy for our economy or our environment. I don’t know if that’s right or not. But unlike you, I don’t start writing blog entries about it. So, did you do any homework on the substance? Do you have any rational response to their points, or just some boring effort to smear with labels like “hate” (yawn)?

    I used to be a liberal but now I am appalled at how much the stock and trade of so-called liberals is labeling and smearing.

    Shame on you Jonathan Turley for letting this come out on your site.

  15. eniobob,

    Great story … how the “free” market really works, if you catch my drift …

  16. This happened in a town pretty close to me and The person who posted this in the local paper pretty well hit it on the head,this is the classic example of cutting off your nose to spite your face:

    “brosoldier January 03, 2010 at 10:48AM
    Follow

    “MISMANAGEMENT TO THE EXTREME”

    The mismanagement of Bloomfield’s affairs by their Municipal Government should serve as an example to other Townships and Cities as what not to do when you have a thriving business district but backdoor deals, pure greed and complete disregard for your fellow citizens (even of the same race) destroys what was once a profitable economy.

    This whole affair started years ago when the Government Officials of Bloomfield decided to move the “Bus Stops” at least two blocks in either direction from the center of the Bloomfield Business District. It was done, as the official lie stated, to remove the “CONGESTION” of traffic in that immediate area. What the “Township Idiots” fail to realize was that the “congestion” was the shoppers who frequented the stores in the business district, using the convenience of the NJT Buses that stopped directly in the business center.

    At that time Bloomfield Center was nice. You had an assortment of stores that you could shop from and you could take care of most of your shopping needs without going to the malls. From clothing stores to household goods, it was all there in the immediate area.

    The “unofficial” reasoning among the shoppers for the removal of the bus stops was because of “race”. A very large percentage of the shoppers whom took advantage of the convenience of public transportation to shop in Bloomfield center were of “color”. You move the bus shops two blocks away from the center in all all directions and it’s no longer “congested” because it’s no longer convenient.

    Store owners after store owners had to start closing their doors because the people that wanted the “congestion” removed, didn’t shop in Bloomfield Center, they shopped at the malls. So what was once a thriving business district is now in shambles because of stupidity and greed.

    All of the property owners want to sell but they want “fair market value” for their properties. This story of how greed, stupidity and racism destroyed this towns economy is a story that need to be written as an example for other politicians of other cities and towns not to follow.

    SOLDIER “

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