Immigration Group Sues SPLC Over ‘Hate’ Label

A prominent group advocating for stricter immigration is taking the Southern Poverty Law Center to court for labeling it a “hate group,” accusing the watchdog of running an illegal racket to silence political opponents.

The Center for Immigration Studies filed a civil complaint Wednesday in federal district court in Washington, D.C. under the RICO act against SPLC President Richard Cohen and Heidi Beirich, who runs the group’s Hatewatch blog. CIS says the SPLC’s accusations have cost the nonprofit financial support.

“SPLC and its leaders have every right to oppose our work on immigration, but they do not have the right to label us a hate group and suggest we are racists,” said Mark Krikorian, CIS’s executive director.