Non-profit

Center for Immigration Studies

Website:

cis.org/

Location:

WASHINGTON, DC

Tax ID:

52-1449368

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2018):

Revenue: $3,437,004
Expenses: $3,416,896
Assets: $3,809,572

Formation:

1985

Founder:

Otis Graham Jr.

Director:

Mark Krikorian

The Center for Immigration Studies is a non-profit organization that seeks to reduce the level of immigration into the United States. It provides research to policymakers, the media, and educational institutions.

The organization does not give details on its funding, however, it is known that it has been funded by private foundations including the Colcom Foundation, the Maytag Family Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the Foundation for the Carolinas. [1][2][3][4]

Founding

The Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) is a non-profit organization that seeks to reduce the amount of immigration into the United States. CIS focuses its resources to research the impact of legal and illegal immigration and shares its findings with policymakers, media, educational institutions, and American citizens.

The organization was founded in 1985 by Otis Graham Jr., a professor emeritus of History at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a visiting scholar at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Graham authored or edited nineteen books on the history of the United States, mainly on immigration, and the political economy. He received the Robert Kelley Memorial Award from the National Council on Public History and was named a Guggenheim Fellow, a Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Center for Advanced Study and Behavioral Sciences. [5]

The Center for Immigration Studies created the Eugene Katz Award for Excellence in the Coverage of Immigration in 1997. The award, which promotes reporting on the issue of immigration from a restrictionist perspective, has been conferred to multiple people since its inception including television host Lou Dobbs and author Michelle Malkin. [6]

CIS has received bipartisan praise for its work from individuals including former Democratic Party Governor of Colorado Richard D. Lamm, Democratic Party Secretary of State for Wisconsin Doug La Follette, former vice president of the national American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) and National President of AFL-CIO’s Labor Council for Latin American Advancement Joaquin Otero, member of the United States Commission on Civil Rights Peter Kirsanow, and former Senator and chairman of the Immigration Subcommittee Alan Simpson (R-WY). [7]

Funding

The Center for Immigration Studies reported total revenue of just over $2 million in 2011, $3 million in 2012, $2.4 million in 2013, $2.7 million in 2014, $2.9 million in 2015 and 2016, and just under $3 million in 2017. Of these amounts, 99% of the total income came from contributions. [8]

CIS had total revenue of $3,437,004 in 2018 and $3,408,903 of that amount was donated to the organizations via grants and contributions. The organization’s total functional expenses amounted to $3,416,896 of which $1,801,642 was spent on salaries and wages, and $241,498 was spent on compensation for its officers, directors, or trustees. At the end of the year, the Center for Immigration Studies owned assets worth a total of $3,809,572 with a total liability amount of $316,527. [9]The organization’s largest funder is the Colcom Foundation, a private foundation based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, that supports environmentalist, abortion-rights, and immigration-restrictionist organizations. [10]

The Maytag Family Foundation, a California-based private foundation that had total revenue of just under $5 million in 2018, provided the Center for Immigration Studies with multiple grants. [11]

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation (also known as the Hewlett Foundation) contributed to the Center for Immigration Studies. The left-of-center private foundation, which according to 2014 statistics has assets over $9 billion and was the sixth-wealthiest grantmaking foundation, provided CIS with $450,000 in 2015 for “general support.” The Hewlett Foundation primarily focuses on education, environmentalist, global development, and population issues. [12][13][14]

The F.M. Kirby Foundation, a family foundation run by the great-grandchildren of founder Fred Morgan Kirby (1861-1940), an entrepreneur whose five- and ten-cent store chain was merged into the F.M. Woolworth Company, provided the Center for Immigration Studies with grants between 2005 and 2019. [15]

The Center for Immigration Studies has also received a substantial amount of money from the Foundation for the Carolinas (FFTC), a donor-advised fund provider established in 1958 that manages funds for 2,700 separate charitable individuals, families, and organizations. One of FFTC’s largest known account holders is North Carolina billionaire Fred Stanback, who was characterized in an April 2018 Knoxville News report as a “known proponent of anti-humanist environmentalism [. . .] the belief that protecting the environment hinges on population control.” [16][17][18]

Although it is not known exactly how much the FFTC or Stanbahas provided the Center for Immigration Studies, it has contributed around $11 million between 2014 and 2017 to organizations like it. [19] CIS has at least received approximately $4,265,000 from FFTC between 2004 and 2017, and according to its 990 tax return form, the Foundation for the Carolinas provided CIS with $300,000 in 2018 as a “charitable gift.” [20][21]

Hate Group Accusation

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a controversial watchdog of extremist groups that has been criticized for its financial practices and for characterizing non-violent conventional conservative organizations as equivalent to violent extremists, placed the Center for Immigration Studies on its annual “hate” list in 2016.

The SPLC’s Hatewatch blog, Hate Map, and Extremist Files have been criticized for tracking and exposing people and groups that hold positions and engage in political activities SPLC opposes rather than focusing on legitimate extremist organizations. The organization apologized for placing Former United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson on its list of extremists in 2015. [22]

After SPLC targeted the Center for Immigration Studies, CIS executive director Mark Krikorian criticized the SPLC by noting its hate list “conflates groups that really do preach hatred” including the Klu Klux Klan with groups that “simply do not share the SPLC’s political preferences.” [23]

In 2019, the Center for Immigration Studies filed a civil action lawsuit against Richard Cohen and Heidi Beirich, two individuals associated with the Southern Poverty Law Center, by “alleging a violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). The lawsuit was dismissed by the court due to the fact CIS was unable to “plead a predicate offense and a pattern of racketeering activity.” [24]

References

  1. “Colcom Foundation, Rooted in Environmentalism, Increasingly Focuses on Anti-Immigration Groups,” Gazette, July 3, 2019, https://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2019/06/24/colcom-foundation-anti-immigration-grants-scaife-pittsburgh-trump-SPLC-hate-group/stories/201906230015. ^
  2. Rekha Basu, “Did Maytag Family Foundation Deliberately Support a White Supremacist Outfit for 17 Years?,” Des Moines Register (Des Moines Register, March 12, 2020), https://eu.desmoinesregister.com/story/opinion/columnists/rekha-basu/2020/03/12/maytag-family-foundation-funds-center-immigration-studies-splc-hate-group/5028409002/. ^
  3. “Grants,” Hewlett Foundation, April 27, 2021, https://hewlett.org/grants/?keyword=center+for+immigration+studies&sort=relevance¤t_page=1. ^
  4. “FFTC 990 Form – 2018,” fftc.org, accessed June 7, 2021, https://www.fftc.org/sites/default/files/2019-11/2018_FFTC_Form_990_public.pdf. ^
  5. Otis L. Graham Jr.on June 8, “Author: Otis L. Graham Jr.,” CIS.org, accessed June 7, 2021, https://cis.org/Graham. ^
  6. “The Eugene Katz Award for Excellence in the Coverage of Immigration,” CIS.org, accessed June 7, 2021, https://cis.org/Eugene-Katz-Award-Excellence-Coverage-Immigration. ^
  7. “Center for Immigration Studies Background,” CIS.org, accessed June 7, 2021, https://cis.org/Center-For-Immigration-Studies-Background. ^
  8. Sisi Wei Mike Tigas, “Center For Immigration Studies Inc – Nonprofit Explorer,” ProPublica, May 9, 2013, https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/521449368. ^
  9. Sisi Wei Mike Tigas, “CENTER FOR IMMIGRATION STUDIES INC – Form Form 990 for Period Ending Dec 2018 – Nonprofit Explorer,” ProPublica, May 9, 2013, https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/521449368/02_2020_prefixes_47-52%2F521449368_201812_990_2020021017133954. ^
  10. “Colcom Foundation, Rooted in Environmentalism, Increasingly Focuses on Anti-Immigration Groups,” Gazette, July 3, 2019, https://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2019/06/24/colcom-foundation-anti-immigration-grants-scaife-pittsburgh-trump-SPLC-hate-group/stories/201906230015. ^
  11. Rekha Basu, “Did Maytag Family Foundation Deliberately Support a White Supremacist Outfit for 17 Years?,” Des Moines Register (Des Moines Register, March 12, 2020), https://eu.desmoinesregister.com/story/opinion/columnists/rekha-basu/2020/03/12/maytag-family-foundation-funds-center-immigration-studies-splc-hate-group/5028409002/. ^
  12. “Grants,” Hewlett Foundation, April 27, 2021, https://hewlett.org/grants/?keyword=center+for+immigration+studies&sort=relevance¤t_page=1. ^
  13. “Foundation Stats: Guide to the Foundation Center’s Research Database – Foundation Center,” Foundation Stats: Guide to the Foundation Center’s Research Database – Foundation Center, accessed June 7, 2021, http://data.foundationcenter.org/#/foundations/independent/nationwide/top:assets/list/2014. ^
  14. “Our Programs,” Hewlett Foundation, December 8, 2020, https://hewlett.org/about-us/our-programs/. ^
  15. “Grant Map – F.M. Kirby Foundation – Center for Immigration Studies,” Foundation Maps, accessed June 7, 2021, shorturl.at/egxM3. ^
  16. “What Is FFTC?: Foundation For The Carolinas,” What is FFTC? | Foundation For The Carolinas, accessed June 7, 2021, https://www.fftc.org/what_fftc. ^
  17. “President Trump Announces Neil Gorsuch as His Nominee for Supreme Court,” Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles Times), accessed June 7, 2021, https://www.latimes.com/politics/washington/la-na-trailguide-updates-201701-htmlstory.html#sessions-allies-on-opposition-to-immigration-have-their-roots-in-population-control-efforts. ^
  18. Brittany Crocker, “Headache Powder Billionaire Donates Big to Small Group Creating Migraines for TVA,” Knoxville News Sentinel (Knoxville, April 11, 2018), https://eu.knoxnews.com/story/news/2018/04/06/tva-target-group-funded-headache-powder-billionaire-fred-stanback/461636002/. ^
  19. “Foundation for the Carolinas Pressed Over Controversial Donations,” philanthropynewsdigest.org, January 8, 2020, https://philanthropynewsdigest.org/news/foundation-for-the-carolinas-pressed-over-controversial-donations. ^
  20. “FFTC 990 Form – 2018,” fftc.org, accessed June 7, 2021, https://www.fftc.org/sites/default/files/2019-11/2018_FFTC_Form_990_public.pdf. ^
  21. “Foundation for the Carolinas (FFTC),” Foundation for the Carolinas (FFTC), accessed June 7, 2021, https://www.influencewatch.org/non-profit/foundation-for-the-carolinas-fftc/. ^
  22. “’There’s a Virus in Our Country’: The ‘Trump Effect’ and Rise of Hate Groups, Explained,” Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles Times, November 20, 2017), https://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-southern-poverty-law-center-05312017-htmlstory.html. ^
  23. Politifact and Southern Poverty Law Center organization, “PolitiFact – Is the Center for Immigration Studies a Hate Group, as the Southern Poverty Law Center Says?,” @politifact, February 15, 2017, https://www.politifact.com/article/2017/mar/22/center-immigration-studies-hate-group-southern-pov/. ^
  24. “Center for Immigration Studies v. Cohen,” CourtListener, accessed June 7, 2021, https://www.courtlistener.com/opinion/4661013/center-for-immigration-studies-v-cohen/. ^
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: June 1, 1986

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2018 Dec Form 990 $3,437,004 $3,416,896 $3,809,572 $316,527 Y $3,408,903 $101 $30,996 $241,498 PDF
    2017 Dec Form 990 $2,993,617 $3,020,942 $3,860,628 $316,963 N $2,971,988 $106 $22,264 $228,609 PDF
    2016 Dec Form 990 $2,902,940 $2,816,435 $3,688,831 $263,630 N $2,882,057 $102 $20,895 $214,888 PDF
    2015 Dec Form 990 $2,907,224 $2,670,635 $3,486,275 $219,224 N $2,888,021 $447 $18,960 $199,480 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990 $2,772,885 $2,361,993 $3,182,063 $181,740 N $2,756,377 $136 $15,181 $188,110 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990 $2,441,897 $2,486,183 $2,707,614 $167,077 N $2,421,030 $1,377 $13,655 $177,989 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990 $3,005,303 $2,308,274 $2,649,757 $163,461 N $2,992,315 $2,539 $10,835 $165,982 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990 $2,052,961 $2,064,336 $1,850,105 $98,327 N $2,034,506 $4,013 $14,442 $167,511 PDF
    2010 Dec Form 990 $2,192,185 $2,068,666 $1,934,524 $167,611 N $2,171,952 $5,650 $15,160 $156,852 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Center for Immigration Studies

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    WASHINGTON, DC 20006-1635