The Center for Immigration Studies, one of the most prominent groups advocating for stricter immigration, went to court Wednesday to try and get its "hate" label revoked.
The group demanded a judge order the Southern Poverty Law Center to stop labeling it a "hate group."
CIS says the SPLC’s accusations of “racist” and “anti-immigrant” are not only wrong, but they have cost the nonprofit support and financial backing by scaring people away from doing business with the center, the Washington Times reports.
Mark Krikorian, CIS’s executive director, says his organization doesn’t meet the SPLC’s own definition of a hate group and the SPLC President Richard Cohen and Heidi Beirich, who runs the group’s Hatewatch blog, knows it, but persists anyway.
“SPLC and its leaders have every right to oppose our work on immigration, but they do not have the right to label us a hate group and suggest we are racists,” Krikorian said. “The Center for Immigration Studies is fighting back against the SPLCsmear campaign and its attempt to stifle debate through intimidation and name-calling.”
SPLC defines hate groups as organizations whose official statements or activities “attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics.”
Krikorian says that definition doesn’t match his group, whose motto is “pro immigrant, low immigration.” He says in practice that motto means CIS makes the case for “fewer immigrants but a warmer welcome for those admitted.”
Mark Krikorian will join the show at 3:30 p.m. with more info on the civil complaint.
Read more here.
Photo: Getty Images