The Center for Immigration Studies never seems to let the facts get in the way of attacking immigrants and those who advocate for them. Most recently, Jessica Vaughan, CIS Director of Policy Studies, criticized Immigration Daily for holding a training on gang-based asylum claims. Instead of discussing the actual subject of the training, which is not particularly controversial, Ms. Vaughan simply made up her own version of the event in order to attack Immigration Daily. Of the training, she writes:
Learn how to establish that your gangster clients are “members of a particular social group,” that they deserve humanitarian protection due to their “political opinions” or “religion” (such as La Familia, the murderous Mexican cult-like cartel), and what the UN guidelines are on these oppressed individuals. This e-learning session was preceded by one on how to help your client get a waiver if they are denied a green card or refugee status because of their links to terrorist groups. No, this wasn’t in The Onion, it was in Immigration Daily, the leading e-newsletter of the immigration bar.
Ms. Vaughan did not find this description on the Immigration Daily website. Rather, she made it up. Gang-based asylum does not involve helping gang members enter the U.S. Rather, it is about helping people who have been threatened by gangs. But, Ms. Vaughan’s goal apparently is not to engage in intelligent debate or education; it is simply to denigrate and discredit those who advocate for people fleeing persecution.
The Southern Poverty Law Center says of CIS: “it has always been part of a broad-based and well-planned effort to attack immigration in all forms.” By making up phony arguments to influence the uninformed, Ms. Vaughan seems to be making their point for them. If CIS wants to be taken seriously, maybe it should demonstrate a little integrity. It can start by telling the truth.