Immigration & the SPLC: Stopping ‘Hate’ Is Really about Stopping Debate

By Jerry Kammer
March 2010

Contact: Jerry Kammer, 202-466-8185,

WASHINGTON (March 10, 2010) – After the collapse of the Senate amnesty bill in 2007, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) joined with the National Council of La Raza and others to launch a campaign to smear the three largest mainstream groups making a case for tighter enforcement and lower immigration. At the center of this campaign was the designation of the Federation for American Immigration Reform as a “hate group” and the spread of that taint to Numbers USA and the Center for Immigration Studies. The announced goal was to pressure journalists and policymakers not to meet or speak with these organizations. Touted as an effort to “stop the hate,” it was a thinly disguised move to stifle debate.

CIS will release a report next week examining the SPLC and its role in this campaign. “Immigration and the SPLC: How the Southern Poverty Law Center Invented a Smear, Served La Raza, Manipulated the Press, and Duped its Donors,” authored by Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Jerry Kammer, will be released at a panel discussion on Thursday, March 18, at 9:30 a.m. at the Murrow Room of the National Press Club, 14th & F streets NW. The report will be online at

The panel will include:

  • Jerry Kammer, author of “Immigration and the SPLC” and Senior Research Fellow at CIS. Prior to joining CIS, he was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 2006 for his work in helping uncover the Duke Cunningham congressional bribery scandal. He received the Robert F. Kennedy Award for humanitarian journalism for his work in Mexico for the Arizona Republic.
  • Ken Silverstein, Washington Editor for Harper’s Magazine and author of “The Church of Morris Dees” in the November 2000 issue of the magazine.
  • Carol Swain, Professor of Political Science and Professor of Law at Vanderbilt University and author of The New White Nationalism in America (Cambridge University Press, 2002) and editor of Debating Immigration (Cambridge University Press, 2007).
  • Moderator: Mark Krikorian, Executive Director of CIS.

RSVP for the panel to For information about the report, contact the author at

Published by CIS:


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