Federation for American Immigration Reform

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The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) is an anti-immigration group that has been branded a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).[1] FAIR calls itself an "organization of concerned citizens who share a common belief that our nation's immigration policies must be reformed to serve the national interest."[2] It was formed in 1979 by population control advocate and nativist John Tanton, who believes that immigration is a significant part of the US population "problem," and is part of the anti-immigrant John Tanton Network.[3][4]

In 2011, FAIR reported $6,202,879 in total revenue, $6,130,583 in total expenses, and $10,142,838 in net assets.[5]

Role in Arizona's Anti-Immigrant Law

FAIR played a significant role in drafting Arizona's controversial SB1070 anti-immigrant law, which has been successfully challenged by the US Department of Justice.[6][7] According to the FAIR website, "FAIR's legal affiliate, the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI)[,] assisted [Arizona] Senator Pearce in drafting the language of SB1070."[8]

Designation as a Hate Group

In 2007, the SPLC branded FAIR a hate group, stating that:

"The founder, chief ideologue and long-time funder of FAIR [ John Tanton ] is a racist. Key staff members have ties to white supremacist groups, some are members, and some have spoken at hate group functions. FAIR has accepted more than $1 million from a racist foundation devoted to studies of race and IQ, and to eugenics -- the pseudo-science of breeding a better human race that was utterly discredited by the Nazi euthanasia program. It spreads racist conspiracy theories."[1]

Lobbying Against the 2013 Immigration Reform Bill

In 2013, FAIR has played a major role in fighting the immigration reform bill, part of a proposal introduced by a bipartisan group of senators in January.[9] FAIR has received nearly $15 million in donations from the Colcom Foundation, started by Cordelia Scaife May, a close friend of John Tanton and sister to Richard Scaife of the right-wing Scaife Foundations.[9] FAIR has provided "studies" linking immigration reform to income inequality and crime, and its president, Dan Stein, published an op-ed in Politico in opposition to the immigration bill.[9] However, the evidence Stein cited to support the idea that immigration reform is harmful to the United States was called "wildly misleading, unsubstantiated, or flat-out wrong" by Media Matters for America.[10]


In 2011, FAIR reported $6,202,879 in total revenue, $6,130,583 in total expenses, and $10,142,838 in net assets.[11]

Funders (from 1986-2007) included:[12]

Front Groups

Groups that FAIR has created or funded include "You Don't Speak for Me!", Choose Black America,[13] and Coalition for the Future American Worker.[14]



As of June 2013:[15]

Board of Directors

As of June 2013:[16]

Former directors include:[17][18]

National Board of Advisors

As of June 2013:[19]

  • Hon.Brian Bilbray (Co-Chair)
  • Donald Collins, Sr. (Co-Chair)
  • Hon. Louis Barletta
  • Gwat Bhattacharjie
  • Gerda Bikales
  • J. Bayard Boyle
  • Hugh Brien
  • John Brock
  • Torrey Brown, M.D.
  • Frances Burke, Ph.D.
  • William Collard, Esq
  • Clifford Colwell, M.D.
  • Thomas A. Connolly
  • James R. Dorcy
  • Alfred P. Doyle, M.D.
  • Dino Drudi
  • Paul Egan
  • Bonnie Erbé
  • Robert Gillespie
  • Otis W. Graham, Jr., Ph.D.
  • Joseph R. Guzzardi
  • Robert E. Hannay
  • Lawrence E. Harrison
  • Marilyn Hempel
  • Dale M. Herder, Ph.D.
  • Diana Hull, Ph.D.
  • Hon. Walter D. Huddleston
  • Diana Hull, Ph.D.
  • Glenn Jackson
  • Mrs. T.N. Jordan
  • Carol Joyal
  • Hon.Richard Lamm
  • Roy C. Lierman
  • Donald Mann
  • K.C. Mcalpin
  • Joel McCleary
  • Scott McConnell
  • James G. McDonald, Esq.
  • Mrs. Carlos G. Morrison
  • Peter Nunez
  • Robert D. Park
  • Fred Pinkham, Ed.D.
  • Bruce S. Reid
  • Teela Roche
  • David M. Schippers, Esq.
  • John Philip Sousa, Iv
  • John Tanton, M.D.
  • Max Thelen, Jr.
  • Hon. Curtin Winsor, Jr.
  • Frosty Wooldridge
  • Robert Zaitlin, M.D.

Former Advisors include:[20]

  • Duke Austin
  • Dorothy R. Blair
  • Cleveland Chandler, Ph.D.
  • William W. Chip, Esq.
  • Jane S. DeLung
  • Carol Dubois
  • Don Feder
  • Frederick W. Guardabassi
  • Edward H. Harte
  • Bonnie Hawley
  • Hon. Fred C. Ikle
  • Alan Kuper, Ph.D.
  • Yeh Ling Ling
  • Henry Luce III
  • Henry Mayer M.D.
  • Helen Milliken
  • Frank Morris, Ph.D.
  • Nita Norman
  • Roy Porter
  • Thor Ramsing
  • Colonel Albert F. Rodriguez, Ret.
  • Charles T. Roth
  • Monica Bell Steensma
  • Joyce Tarnow

Contact Information

Federation for American Immigration Reform
25 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Suite 330
Washington, DC 20001
Phone: 202-328-7004
Fax: 202-387-3447
Web: http://www.fairus.org
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FAIRImmigration

Articles and Resources

Related SourceWatch Articles

External Resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 Southern Poverty Law Center, "FAIR Crossing the Rubicon of Hate," organizational "Hatewatch" profile, December 11, 2007, accessed September 2, 2010.
  2. Federation for American Immigration Reform, About, organizational website, accessed September 14, 2008.
  3. Institute for Policy Studies, "FAIR Profile", RightWeb organizational website, accessed 2008.
  4. Jason DeParle, "The Anti-Immigration Crusader", New York Times, April 17, 2011.
  5. Federation for American Immigration Reform, 2011 Form 990, organizational annual IRS filing, August 14, 2012.
  6. Andrew Cohen, "Razing Arizona: Supreme Court Sides With Feds on Immigration", The Atlantic, June 25, 2012.
  7. Andrea Nill Sanchez, "The Group Behind The Harshest Immigration Bill In America", Think Progress, April 22, 2010.
  8. Federation for Immigration Reform, "If Washington Won't, Arizona Will", organizational press release, April 14, 2010, accessed September 2, 2010.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Katie Lorenze, "Scaife-Funded Network Works Hard to Kill Immigration Reform," PRWatch.org, May 31, 2013.
  10. Simon Maloy, FAIR President's Anti-Immigration Reform Op-Ed Gets Almost Everything Wrong, Media Matters for America organizational article, April 11, 2013.
  11. Federation for American Immigration Reform, 2011 Form 990, organizational annual IRS filing, August 14, 2012.
  12. Funding - all years (1986-2007) - Federation for American Immigration Reform. Media Matters Action Network. Retrieved on 2010-01-28.
  13. Teresa Watanabe (2007-12-31). Activist gaining little ground among blacks. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved on 2010-01-15. “Since last year, the 56-year-old lean and lanky activist has tried to rouse blacks against illegal immigration with fiery appearances on national TV, protest marches, civil disobedience and leadership of Choose Black America, an anti-illegal immigration organization launched and financially supported by the Federation for American Immigration Reform.”
  14. Duke Falconer (2007-02-05). Anti - Immigration Groups and the Masks of False Diversity. E Pluribus Media. Retrieved on 2010-01-28. “other FAIR sponsored groups such as the Coalition for the Future of the American Worker, which claims to be a coalition of blue-collar groups”
  15. FAIR, "Staff", organizational website, accessed June 2013.
  16. FAIR, "Board of Directors", organizational website, accessed June 2013
  17. Federation for American Immigration Reform, Board, organizational website, accessed September 13, 2010.
  18. Federation for American Immigration Reform, Directors, organizational website, accessed September 14, 2008.
  19. FAIR, "National Board of Advisors", organizational website, accessed June 2013
  20. Federation for American Immigration Reform, Directors, organizational website, accessed September 14, 2008.