Feb. 14, 2016 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Stein: We All Need Roll Call to Defend Free Speech and Free Ideas

The fact is, the report is critical of the policies pursued by the Obama administration. It details dozens of incremental steps taken by the Obama administration to weaken and restrict immigration enforcement, weekly acts of raw intimidation against state and local governments that have attempted to partner in the enforcement of immigration laws, and a campaign of misrepresentation designed to convince the American people that immigration laws are, in fact, actually being respected and enforced. The report explains the “nullification” strategy that is going on in this administration.

It seems to me this is the stuff of public policy analysis that is at the core of our democratic and congressional system.

So was Roll Call’s objection really about the substance? Or does it just reflect some particularized bias? The article fails to discuss the report. Instead it collapses into a repetition of ridiculous old smears from a discredited organization that shrieks epithets and other silliness. These negative labels are unrelated to the substance of anything FAIR has said or done; they are merely efforts to try to marginalize the organization and the views of hundreds of thousands of Americans associated with it.

This is truly bizarre, in my view. But I didn’t just fall off the turnip truck. One has to wonder — how often have public policy organizations in this town distributed similar material at news conferences, and how often has Roll Call (or any other media outlet) written about it in this vein? I would wager rarely, if ever.

It is a shame that Roll Call, long viewed by all of us as a citadel of free speech and ideas, should allow its storied reputation to be hijacked by reporters and editors who cannot separate their political views from their journalistic ethics.

Dan Stein is president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform.

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