Anti-Immigration Group Files RICO Suit Against Southern Poverty Law Center Over 'Hate Group' Label - 2019-01-16
The Center for Immigration Studies, one of the country's most visible anti-immigration groups, has taken its feud with a nonprofit civil rights organization to court, alleging that its inclusion on the Southern Poverty Law Center's list of known hate groups violates a federal law originally passed to target the mob.
"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, executive director of Center for Immigration Studies. "The Center for Immigration Studies is fighting back against the SPLC smear campaign and its attempt to stifle debate through intimidation and name-calling."
In the complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the Center for Immigration Studies alleges that the group's inclusion on SPLC's list amounts to wire fraud, and that it has cost CIS at least $10,000 in material damages. The complaint also alleges that the purported fraud violates the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, commonly known as RICO, a federal law originally written to target organized crime but now most frequently used to sue businesses over false statements transmitted through the mail or electronically.