The four most prominent organizations in the contemporary anti-immigrant movement are the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), NumbersUSA, and the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI). These four groups receive millions in funding from the Colcom Foundation, established by the anti-immigrant heiress Cordelia Scaife May. While Colcom Foundation has funded these groups for many years, its support for anti-immigrant groups swelled after Trump’s election. With former staff members and allies inside the White House and working externally to support the Administration’s agenda, FAIR, CIS, NumbersUSA, and IRLI wield enormous sway.
Anti-immigrant groups have been a driving force behind many of the Administration’s cruelest policies, including “zero tolerance” and family separation, dramatic cuts to refugee resettlement, an effective shuttering of the asylum system, repeals to DACA and ending Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for many countries, ramping up interior enforcement and conducting wide-scale workplace raids, deporting some immigrants to life-threatening circumstances in their home countries, and attempts to cut legal immigration avenues in half. Anti-immigrant groups also endorsed and defended Trump’s Muslim ban.
We believe the facts laid out here can help policymakers, journalists, and community members better understand the origins of the modern anti-immigrant movement and its impact on individuals, families, communities, and policies — both here in the U.S. and abroad. Exposing anti-immigrant groups’ ties to white nationalism and discriminatory policy-making is key to building a people-centered, accountable, and transparent democracy.