In its latest newsletter, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) took much credit for last month’s referendum result upholding an anti-immigrant housing ordinance in Fremont, Nebraska. The local effort to preserve the ordinance was led by the Our Vote Should Count (OVSC) committee. The election outcome, FAIR’s newsletter states, “validates the important work that FAIR and the Immigration Reform Law Institute [FAIR’s own legal project] have invested in this effort.”
FAIR invested more than mere “work” in the effort.
A review of Nebraska campaign finance disclosures by Imagine 2050 editors reveals that a substantial portion of OVSC’s finances came directly from FAIR. Of the approximately $10,500 OVSC collected since forming in January, FAIR contributed $3,000. According to OVSC’s disclosures, no other individual or committee provided more monetary support than FAIR. This monetary donation is in addition to the multiple research resources FAIR provided for OVSC website and marketing materials.
FAIR’s role in drafting the anti-immigrant ordinance – in addition to providing considerable grassroots support – should not overlooked. Fremont’s ordinance was drafted by FAIR’s legal arm, the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI). Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is an IRLI employee and regularly left his home state defend the IRLI-drafted ordinance in court–he claimed he was also donating his time “pro bono.”
FAIR National Field Director Susan Tully also personally contributed $250 to OVSC. Tully, a Wisconsin resident, is no stranger to demonizing Nebraska’s immigrant communities. Last September, she claimed that the sole purpose of a FAIR event held in Omaha was to paint a vicious murderer “as the poster child for both the DREAM Act and amnesty.”