NY Dem Smears Immigration Think Tank As ‘Hate Group’ In Letter To ICE Chief

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Will Racke Immigration and Foreign Policy Reporter
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New York Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley admonished acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director Thomas Homan for his plans to speak Tuesday at an event hosted by an influential immigration think tank, saying he was lending credibility to a “hate group.”

Homan is set to be the featured guest at a moderated discussion with the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), a research group that advocates lower levels of immigration.

Crowley ripped the ICE chief for appearing at the CIS event because the group supposedly spreads hateful ideas, in a letter sent to Homan on Monday.

“It is highly inappropriate for a senior official of a federal agency to engage with a group that spreads such abhorrent viewpoints, including white supremacism and anti-Semitism,” Crowley wrote, according to The Hill, and urged Homan to “immediately retract” his plans to speak.

The event in question is part of CIS’s “Immigration Newsmakers Series,” a recurring event featuring a moderated discussion between immigration policymakers and a member of the research group’s staff. Tuesday’s program will be held at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., and live-streamed through C-SPAN and Facebook.

Crowley’s characterization of CIS as a “hate group” mirrors that of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a liberal fundraising organization known for applying that label to mainstream conservative organizations that don’t share its political views. (RELATED: The Left-Wing SPLC Is Now Policing What Music You Can Listen To On Spotify)

The organization put CIS on its annual list of “hate groups” in 2016, citing the think tank’s publication of writings by Jason Richwine, an independent policy analyst. Richwine had previously been forced to resign from The Heritage Foundation for publishing research indicating that some immigrant groups have a lower average IQ than the native white population.

CIS Executive Director Mark Krikorian said SPLC was attempting to “delegitimize and suppress” views on immigration that are held by a large portion of the American public in a response published in The Washington Post.

“The wickedness of the SPLC’s blacklist lies in the fact that it conflates groups that really do preach hatred, such as the Ku Klux Klan and Nation of Islam, with ones that simply do not share the SPLC’s political preferences,” he wrote.

Crowley’s letter to Homan came on the same day the SPLC again labeled CIS as a hate group, this time in a news release denouncing the ICE director for “lending further credibility” to a group with a history of “demonizing immigrants.”

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