Anti-immigrant ringleader Mark Krikorian expressed some serious sads earlier this year when the Southern Poverty Law Center designated his anti-immigrant organization, the Center for Immigration Studies, a hate group. Krikorian spent the next few weeks in a virtual fit, complaining in a Washington Post op-ed that he was being silenced and that one of SPLC’s reasons as to why CIS was labeled a hate group—“their shocking circulation of an article from one of America’s most prominent white nationalist websites and another written by a fringe Holocaust-denier in their weekly newsletter,” according to SPLC—was unfounded. From Krikorian’s op-ed (emphasis mine):
CIS’s weekly email roundup of immigration commentary (from all sides) has occasionally included pieces by writers who turned out to be cranks; and a nonresident CIS fellow attended the Christmas party of a group the SPLC dislikes. Seriously, that’s it.
Here’s the thing—SPLC doesn’t just hand out “hate group” designations for fun or without merit, because they use rigorous criteria in their research, designating groups for “beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics.” Unlike CIS, SPLC actually engages in some serious business. So when Krikorian decided to double down on his claim during a radio show earlier this month about SPLC’s findings not “[passing] the laugh test,” the organization’s researchers came back with receipts. And once again, Krikorian stepped on the rake.
SPLC decided to conduct a more thorough investigation into CIS’s weekly immigration commentary email roundup, with the help of the civil rights group Center for New Community (CNC). Our findings reveal that on far more than a few occasions CIS has circulated materials from white nationalists and anti-Semites, prominent racist thinkers whose “crank” status is well known (in many cases for decades). Rather than reflecting an interest in a range of debatable viewpoints, as Krikorian also likes to point out that CIS circulates New York Times articles, CIS’ newsletter reveals an organization with a sophisticated grasp of the nativist extremist and white nationalist movement. The evidence, from the ideology of CIS’ founder to its publishing of [anti-immigrant activist Jason] Richwine, shows that this fluency is because the group is cut from the same cloth.
SPLC and CNC examined approximately 450 of CIS’s weekly emails dating back almost 10 years and found that CIS circulated over 1,700 articles from VDARE.com, an average of over three VDARE articles in every weekly immigration roundup it sends out.
VDARE is a blatantly racist website and a hub for white nationalists and anti-Semites who are opposed to non-white immigration. VDARE’s founder is Peter Brimelow, one of the high priests of the “Alt-Right,” the latest rebranding of white nationalism. Krikorian is quite familiar with Brimelow, and wrote a review of Brimelow’s infamous anti-immigrant book Alien Nation, calling it a “flawed jewel.” CIS also published Brimelow in a 1998 colloquy titled “What , Then, Is the American, This New Man?”
In total, CIS has circulated 51 articles penned by Brimelow, the majority of them republished from VDARE.
Among the many, many, many other bigot-penned articles sent out “occasionally” by CIS, SPLC found that Krikorian’s group circulated eight pieces from a white nationalist who pled guilty to assaulting a black woman a decade ago, as well as another six written by “the notorious Norwegian anti-Muslim blogger Peder Are Nøstvold Jensen,” who “was cited over 100 times in the manifesto of racist mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 77 people in Norway in 2011.” Yes, some actual “bad hombres.” Or “cranks,” as Kirkorian might call them.
SPLC also found that “CIS also sent out a piece from Iran’s notoriously anti-Semitic Press TV. Holocaust-deniers and anti-Semites including David Duke are regular guests on the Tehran based TV channel.” And according to recent information, CIS is one of the groups that has a direct line to the White House. But MAGA, right? SPLC’s full list on SPLC-designated hate group Center for Immigration Studies is here and is well worth the read. You should also read it because it really bugs CIS.