IRLI Releases Obama Justice Department Reprimand of the Southern Poverty Law Center over its “Deroga

Press Releases

May 8, 2017

Shining a Light on Anti-Free Speech, Anti-Borders, Anti-American Conspiracists

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) announces the first-time release of an official letter of reprimand signed by the Obama-era Justice Department (DOJ) against the controversial tax-exempt “hate-watch” organization, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) (letter found here). In the letter, DOJ states that the SPLC attorney violated professional ethics, among other things, by making personal and baseless attacks against IRLI, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) and their staff during official immigration court proceedings.

In recognition of its expertise in the field of immigration law, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), DOJ’s highest immigration court, has for decades asked FAIR to submit friend-of-the-court briefs in difficult and complex immigration cases. As FAIR’s legal affiliate, IRLI drafts the briefs on FAIR’s behalf. But in 2015, along with other anti-borders, globalist organizations, the SPLC filed a motion with the BIA to participate in a case in which FAIR’s legal opinion had been requested solely to ask the BIA to terminate its relationship with FAIR, attacking and defaming the decades-old advocacy group as “white supremacist”, “eugenicist”, “anti-Semitic”, and “anti-Catholic.”

Thankfully, even the Obama DOJ saw the move as a shameful and discreditable attack. DOJ’s disciplinary counsel fulsomely reprimanded the SPLC attorney, as well as attorneys from its partner-organizations, sending them a letter calling their attacks on FAIR “frivolous behavior,” “derogatory name-calling,” and generally showing “a lack of professionalism.” DOJ also stated that the involved attorneys abused the briefing process and failed to aid the administration of justice.

Although the SPLC’s utter lack of ethics was thoroughly condemned by the DOJ, the agency inexplicably requested that FAIR keep their conclusions confidential. FAIR and IRLI have complied with the request for more than a year; however, in that time, the SPLC has continued and escalated its attacks on both FAIR and IRLI, likely in part in retaliation for FAIR and IRLI filing a complaint with DOJ regarding its conduct. At this time, IRLI has decided it must release the letter to defend itself and protect its charitable purposes.

Dale Wilcox, IRLI’s Executive Director and General Counsel, commented, “The SPLC’s latest tactic in its never-ending witch-hunt and the federal government’s resulting reprimand should send the following message to the mainstream media: Stop using the SPLC as a legitimate “hate-watch source” in your news coverage. That a cabal of biased list-keepers can play such an important role in distorting the immigration debate in this country is testament to the utter failure of much of the mainstream media which frequently publishes their inflammatory commentary and refuses to question their baseless methods or financial motivations. Wilcox continued, “By dropping the organization from its list of ‘objective’ sources, they can still vindicate themselves.” Wilcox concluded: “IRLI and FAIR will keep fighting for immigration policies that put America first and will keep fighting for the interests of the American people.”

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