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Center for Immigration Studies

The Center for Immigration Studies [CIS] was founded in 1985 and is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit, research organization. The single mission of the Center for Immigration Studies is to provide reliable and accurate information to concerned citizens, policymakers, news media, and the academic community concerning the fiscal, security, social, environmental, and economic consequences of illegal and legal immigration into the United States.

The Center for Immigration Studies supports a "low-immigration, pro-immigrant" vision of the United States that admits fewer immigrants but affords a warmer welcome for those who are admitted. Thus, CIS differs from many immigration research institutions since most non-partisan think tanks presenting research on immigration - like the Pew Hispanic Center and the Migration Policy Institute - are generally in favor of higher levels of immigration. Different research institutions like the libertarian Cato Institute and the liberal Center for American Progress are also in favor of high immigration and legalizing illegal immigrants, based upon their ideological perspectives.

The Center for Immigration Studies is the nation's only think tank focused solely on research related to U.S. immigration policy.

A Nexus search shows that the Center for Immigration Studies is one of the organizations most often quoted in the media. Its research has been featured on the front pages of USA Today, Washington Post and the New York Times. Over the last decade the Center for Immigration Studies has received about half a million dollars in research grants from the Justice Department and the Census Bureau.

Staff from the Center for Immigration Studies have testified before Congress on immigration more than any other non-governmental organization. George Borjas of Harvard, the nation's top immigration economist, has described the Center's work as "credible" and "reliable."

The diverse board of directors for the Center for Immigration Studies includes former government officials, active and retired university professors, and civil rights leaders. The board includes:

  • CIS board Chairman Peter Nunez, former US Attorney for San Diego and the first Hispanic appointed to that position.
  • Vernon M. Briggs, Jr., Emeritus Professor of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University.
  • Frank Morris, former Dean of Graduate Studies at Morgan State University and former Executive Director of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation.
  • T. Willard Fair: President of the Urban League of Greater Miami (Congressional Testimony: Mass Immigration vs. Black America).

CIS staff includes:

  • Executive Director Mark Krikorian, author of the book The New Case Against Immigration: Both Legal and Illegal.
  • Director of Research Steven A. Camarota who was the lead researcher for more than five years on a project for the U.S. Census Bureau evaluating the quality of its immigrant data.
  • Senior Research Fellow Jerry Kammer, winner of a Pulitzer Prize in 2006 for national reporting.
  • Senior Policy Analyst Stephen Steinlight, former Director of Education at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council, Director of National Affairs at the American Jewish Committee, and Vice President of the National Conference of Christians and Jews.
  • Director of Policy StudiesJessica Vaughan, lead author of report on gangs and immigration policy commissioned by the U.S. Department of Justice, and former Foreign Service Officer.
  • Director of National Security Policy Janice Kephart, formerly counsel to the 9/11 Commission.

Learn more at the Center for Immigration Studies website.

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