Vail Daily letter: Hidden agenda |

Vail Daily letter: Hidden agenda

Christopher Griffin
Vail, CO Colorado

Recently the Center for Immigration Studies was inaccurately portrayed in the article “Vail Valley Rep. Polis pushes for ‘start-up’ immigrant visas,” by Alicia Wallace. CIS identifies itself as pro-immigrant while simultaneously advocating for policies that both limit access to legal avenues of migration and that limit the rights of migrants without documentation.

In addition, the group’s messaging has continuously argued or implied that immigration (both documented and undocumented) has an overall negative impact on the U.S. in order to advance its goals to reduce immigration in America. This is an inherent contradiction that illustrates the agenda of this group to falsely maintain an independent and impartial stance that is actually a mask concealing a partisan, anti-immigrant agenda, and this is putting it politely.

As we dig into the history and network of people tied to CIS, we uncover a group with strong nativist ties that has never really deviated from stances or messaging that align with those very same interests. As a 2009 report by the Southern Poverty Law Center identifies, “CIS’s creation was part of a carefully thought-out strategy aimed at creating a set of complementary institutions to cultivate the nativist cause – groups including the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) and Numbers USA” (Heidi Beirich).

Allowing this group to continue to mislead the public about its politics and agenda is detrimental to our overall ability to reach honest and accurate conclusions about CIS and the arguments they make. This is why I request that as long as we use CIS as a source, that we not allow this ruse to continue. CIS is a controversial, anti-immigrant group whose arguments must be reflected in this context in order for them to have any honest participation in the overall immigration debate.

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