New York Times Big Story on Immigration Reform Movement Misses Big Picture
FAIR Responds to Unfair Portrayal of Motives
(Washington, D.C. April 18, 2011)
Dan Stein, President of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) made the following statement:
This past weekend, the New York Times ran an article purporting to examine the "evolution of the modern day immigration reform movement." Unfortunately, the article did not chronicle the early grassroots work of many individuals who enabled FAIR to begin a balanced, much-needed discussion of immigration policy reform. Instead, the piece merely chronicles the evolving string of attacks designed to shut down meaningful debate in this country. By recycling decade’s old baseless allegations, quoting out-of-context statements, and implying guilt by association, The New York Times has demonstrated it thinks nothing of using its position to belittle one individual in pursuit of indicting the entire immigration reform movement.
Even more disappointing is that The New York Times missed a golden opportunity to engage its readers in the real questions of today’s immigration debate. For example, how does immigration advance our national interests? For most Americans, these interests include balancing the supply and demand for labor, protecting our national security, ensuring that our tax dollars are not depleted by excessive immigration, and preserving our natural resources and energy supplies. Perhaps the most important question is how do the true stakeholders of our immigration policies — the American public — get a say in a process that is dominated by big business, political parties and immigrant special interests? The fact that FAIR exists to empower Americans in this policy process appears completely lost on the New York Times.
Meanwhile, FAIR’s 32-year history is a David and Goliath saga of public service dedicated to debating these issues and developing meaningful solutions that serve all Americans, not just a select few. Our mission is to examine immigration trends and effects, educate American citizens on the impact of sustained high-volume immigration, and offer practical, bipartisan solutions that will best serve American environmental, societal, and economic interests today and into the future. Our mission is guided by a longstanding abiding policy of never advocating immigration policies that discriminate for or against anyone based on race, creed, color, religion, gender or sexual orientation. Equal justice under the law is the law of FAIR.
Throughout the battle for sensible immigration reform, FAIR has evolved and grown dramatically, attracting respect and support by diverse groups of individuals across the political spectrum for its support of the American worker, for our national security, our environment — and for our rule of law. The contemporary movement reflects the opinions and concerns, not of one individual, but of millions of Americans worried about the impact and costs of uncontrolled illegal immigration and excessive levels of legal immigration.
FAIR is proud of its long history of achievement in this very emotional and very human debate. The morality of the subject is challenging: people from all sides have very different views. But we have built a bipartisan organization with a highly respected Board of Directors and National Advisory Board composed of nationally known Republicans and Democrats — supported by a broad based membership, a range of foundations, a diversified funding base, and a strong, professional staff. FAIR is one of only a few immigration policy organizations — indeed one of the very few charities in the United States — certified by the Better Business Bureau as meeting all giving standards for a charitable organization.
We stand by our record and invite scrutiny by the media and scholars interested in writing unbiased stories and conducting serious research.