Influencing the Media

It is common practice for journalists to refrain from citing people and organizations with similar documented intentions, such as the KKK, Neo-Nazis, or Alt-Right leaders. 

However, this precedent is ignored by most mainstream news publications when it comes to anti-immigrant hate groups. Define American’s research of The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, and USA Today coverage indicates that citations of CIS, FAIR, and NumbersUSA increased by over 600% between six month periods in 2016 and 2018. The Washington Post was the most egregious of the four publications, citing the three hate groups nine times in the first half of 2016, and 50 times in the first half of 2018.

Source: Define American

Source: Define American

Times That The Washington Post Cited Tanton Network Anti-Immigrant Hate Groups

Citations researched through LexisNexis. A citation was counted if it 1) Named the Tanton Network Group (CIS, FAIR, NumbersUSA) 2) Used a quote from Tanton Network staff member, 3) Was an op-ed from Tanton Network group. If the group was cited in one article with several updates, it only counted as one citation. If a group was cited in international edition, but was the same article as in the national edition, it was only one citation. Citations that correctly identified the source as coming from hate group, or explained their relationship to administration were not counted.

Direct Ties to the Trump Administration 

Jon Feere, Julie Kirchner, and Robert Law – former leadership from FAIR and CIS – all now work for immigration agencies within the federal government. Yet journalists cite these organizations for comment and context on immigration policies without disclosing that these organizations have close ties to the administration that created the policies. 

"Chain Migration" is a term that anti-immigration groups use to refer to the well-established legal process of issuing "Family-Based Immigrant Visas." This is how lawful permanent residents or U.S. citizens apply for their relatives to become lawful permanent residents.