President Donald Trump has, once again, been called out for tweeting statistics collected by a hate group.
The topic of the tweet was, of course, immigration.
“According to the Center for Immigration Studies, the $18 billion wall will pay for itself by curbing the importation of crime, drugs and illegal immigrants who tend to go on the federal dole...” https://t.co/NdLC6jZwWE— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 13, 2018
Trump wrote: “According to the Center for Immigration Studies, the $18 billion wall will pay for itself by curbing the importation of crime, drugs and illegal immigrants who tend to go on the federal dole…”
While the claims in Trump's tweet about immigrants going on "the federal dole" have previously been debunked by the Center for Law and Social Policy, there is a much bigger problem with his post.
The Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), which Trump cites at the very beginning of his tweet, was officially designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center back in 2017.
Vox Media’s Carlos Maza called attention to the problematic source in a tweet of his own, noting several instances in which CIS promoted anti-Semitic and xenophobic rhetoric.
One such example is from January 2017 when CIS supported an article written by Kevin MacDonald that asked why “Jewish organizations” are promoting “the refugee invasion of Europe.”
Before that, in June 2016, CIS also backed an article from John Friend — a contributing editor of the anti-Semitic publication The Barnes Review — which claimed that “so-called refugees are committing rape and other horrific crimes against European women and men in increasing numbers.”
Although CIS has reportedly rejected its designation as a hate group, its track record of publicizing white nationalist and anti-Semitic views indicates that the SPLC has labeled them correctly.
The issues with Trump's affinity for sharing information from these types of groups are obvious. His tweets, whether intentional or not, indicate an endorsement of the group and its agenda. Furthermore, it is abundantly clear that Trump isn't fact-checking the statistics he's distributing, which is incredibly dangerous.
As the president of the United States, the reach of his platform is tremendous, and there are many people blindly following his lead, taking everything he says as truth without bothering to do research for themselves.
Trump's reckless tweets give legs to false narratives that exist, specifically, to demonize immigrants, Jews, and other minorities, which is morally wrong and completely unbefitting a world leader.