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Members of Congress’ Connections to the
Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)
Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee
Sessions is One of FAIR’s Top Leaders in Congress. FAIR calls Ranking Member Sessions a “true immigration reformer” and catalogs his every legislative move on its web site. For example, in February 2009 FAIR touted Sessions’ actions to include an e-verify amendment to the stimulus bill, but lamented that “Senator Sessions has been prevented from securing a vote on his amendment.” A July 2009 FAIR action alert posted on resistnet.com, “home of the patriotic resistance,” and Facebook asked activists to call Congress to support a Sessions amendment and thank Senator Sessions for “standing up for the American Worker.” Throughout the Senate immigration reform debates in 2006 and 2007, FAIR frequently singled out Sessions for “his critical role” in advocating against the legislation (see FAIR Press Release, 7/2/07; FAIR Press Release, 4/19/06; FAIR Press Release, 5/23/06).
Sessions Accepted FAIR’s Franklin Society Award in 2007. According to FAIR, the Franklin Society award “honor[s] rare individuals who have made a real difference in representing the interest of the nation and the American people in immigration policy.” In addition to receiving the award, Sessions was also the keynote speaker at the organization’s board of advisors meeting, where he “publicly thanked the organization for the important role that [it] played in educating the American public” about the legislation opposed by FAIR and Sessions.
Sessions Also Has Strong Ties to the Rest of the Anti-Immigrant Network. The Center for New Community has documented the clear connections between FAIR, the Center for Immigration Studies, NumbersUSA, and other anti-immigrant groups. Sessions has been a vocal advocate for these groups’ research and agendas in the media and in Congress, and has appeared at a number of their events.
Representative Steve King (R-IA), Ranking Member, House Immigration Subcommittee
FAIR Leaders Testified Before King and the House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Immigration Four Times in 2007 and 2008. At Ranking Member King’s invitation, FAIR President Dan Stein testified before the House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law on February 13, 2008; FAIR Executive Director Julie Kirchner testified before the Subcommittee on November 8, 2007 and September 6, 2007; and FAIR Special Projects Director Jack Martin testified before the Subcommittee on March 30, 2007.
King Participated in Release of FAIR Study that Detailed “Growing Burdens” of Illegal Immigration in Iowa. Rep. King participated in the release of a report with FAIR Executive Director Julie Kirchner and FAIR Special Projects Director Jack Martin in 2007.
King is One of FAIR’s Top Leaders in Congress. At the start of the 110th Congress, FAIR’s website stated the organization’s strong support of King: “King is a three-term congressman who has been one of the most active and vocal proponents of immigration enforcement. He has also been an unwavering and outspoken critic of amnesty and guest worker proposals.”
Representative Brian Bilbray (R-CA), Former FAIR Lobbyist
Bilbray was Co-Chairman of the National Board of Advisors for the Federation for American Immigration Reform. After Bilbray lost his Congressional seat in 2000, he became the co-chairman of the National Board of Advisors for FAIR. He returned to Congress following the 2006 special election, and is now the head of the House Immigration Reform Caucus, a Congressional group that consistently uses FAIR talking points to advance their message. In 2009, Bilbray was still listed as a member of the National Board of Advisors for FAIR.
Bilbray is a Former Lobbyist for FAIR. In 2002, FAIR paid Brian P. Bilbray $72,000 to lobby for the group, according to its 990 form (see 2002 FEC report, guidestar.com, accessed 9/19/08). The Hotline described Bilbray as “a former lobbyist for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, and . . . a virtual poster-child for the Tom Tancredo wing of the GOP.”
Bilbray Attended 2007 and 2008 FAIR “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” Conferences. In 2008, Bilbray attended the FAIR “Hold Their Feet to the Fire: A National Drive for Immigration Reform” and spoke at the event’s news conference. In 2007, Bilbray attended the same FAIR event and news conference at the Cannon House Office Building.