From left: Sens. Jeff Sessions, Chuck Grassley and David Vitter attend an event on border security, where a group handed out a report that included a fundraising appeal.
If a violation occurred, it was not immediately clear who would or could be held responsible.
A spokeswoman for FAIR said the group typically hands the report out to supporters, with the solicitation, and that what the group handed out at the press conference was the standard version.
“All of our reports are printed that way,” the spokeswoman said.
FAIR has been pegged as an anti-immigration group by the Southern Poverty Law Center and is listed on the civil rights group’s “Hatewatch.”
“Although FAIR maintains a veneer of legitimacy that has allowed its principals to testify in Congress and lobby the federal government, this veneer hides much ugliness,” according to the SPLC website. “FAIR leaders have ties to white supremacist groups and eugenicists and have made many racist statements.”
An editorial in the Saturday Burlington, N.C., Times News raised concerns that 30 sheriff’s departments in the United States, including the Alamance County, N.C., Sheriff’s Office, have decided to take a training course offered by the group.
“There should be no hint of association with organizations that espouse hatred or an eradication of rights for any group over which a law enforcement agency has authority. To do otherwise calls into question the agency’s integrity should questions about mistreatment of criminal suspects arise in the future,” the editorial said.
The Republicans’ press conference came as a response to the White House’s announcement last month that immigration officials would refrain from deporting some people who were brought illegally to the United States as children younger than 16.
But critics argue that the policy is an encumbrance for law enforcement to do its job.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.