Tag Archives: Southern Poverty Law Center

10 things you need to know today: April 14, 2014

Overland Park chief of police John Douglass speaks to reporters after the shooting.  

Overland Park chief of police John Douglass speaks to reporters after the shooting. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

The Week

1. Three die in shootings at Jewish community centers in Kansas
Three people, including 14-year-old Reat Griffin Underwood and his grandfather William Lewis Corporon, were shot to death at two Jewish community facilities outside Kansas City on Sunday. The suspect — Frazier Glenn Cross, also known as Frazier Glenn Miller — shouted, “Heil, Hitler!” as he was arrested. The Southern Poverty Law Center described him as a “raging anti-Semite” with past ties in the Klu Klux Klan and other white supremacist groups. [CNN]

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2. Bubba Watson takes his second Masters title
Bubba Watson won the Masters golf championship on Sunday, surging to a three-shot victory on the final day of the tournament. It was Watson’s second Masters win. He won his first green jacket two years ago in his first major tournament victory. He started the day even with Jordan Spieth, a 20-year-old Texan who was playing in his first Masters and trying to become the storied tournament’s youngest winner ever. [Los Angeles Times]

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3. U.N. climate report suggests ways to halt warming
World leaders must take action by 2020 to stop the most severe effects of rising global temperatures, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said in a report released Sunday. The mitigation report includes 1,200 scenarios in which damage from global warming could be contained by 2100 through such measures as growing forests to pull carbon out of the air and painting roofs so they absorb less heat. [National Geographic]

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4. Ukraine threatens military action against separatists
Ukrainian President Oleksander Turchinov on Monday threatened military action to thwart pro-Russian separatists who ignored an ultimatum to leave occupied local government buildings. Another group of about 100 separatists attacked a police headquarters in the city of Horlivka on Monday. The tensions and weekend violence dropped Russia’s currency, the ruble, to its lowest level in three weeks. [ReutersBloomberg Businessweek]

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5. Robotic sub dispatched to hunt for missing plane
The six-week search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 enters a new phase Monday, as an underwater drone is deployed to scour the bottom of the southern Indian Ocean. The Bluefin 21 autonomous underwater vehicle will search the area where four signals were detected from the plane’s black-box recorders, which have since probably run out of battery power. “It is time to go underwater,” said Angus Houston, head of the search effort. [ReutersNBC News]

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6. Sebelius concedes date for launching HealthCare.gov was “flat-out wrong”
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius defended ObamaCare on Sunday in her first interview since announcing her resignation, saying that President Obama’s signature health-care law gave millions of Americans their first “competitive choices” in the insurance market. She repeated admissions that the ObamaCare website’s rollout was “terribly flawed,” saying the judgment that it was ready to launch on Oct. 1 was “flat-out wrong.”

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7. Woman arrested after babies bodies found in her former home
A woman was arrested over the weekend in Utah after police found the bodies of seven infants packed in cardboard boxes in a Utah home where she used to live. The suspect, Megan Huntsman, was charged with six counts of murder. Authorities said they believed Huntsman gave birth to the babies between 1996 and 2006 and killed them. A family member called police after discovering the first body while cleaning out the garage. [ABC News]

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8. Death toll rises in Chile fire
The death toll from a massive fire in the Chilean port city of Valparaiso rose to 12 on Sunday. The blaze, fanned by Pacific coast winds, destroyed 2,000 houses as it consumed 1,700 acres of forest and residential neighborhoods. Crews battled the fire on Sunday, a day after it started, by dropping water from planes and helicopters. “We are looking for something to remember our home by,” one resident said, “but there’s nothing.” [Reuters]

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9. Libyan prime minister quits days after being picked
Libya’s newly appointed interim prime minister, Abdullah al-Thinni, abruptly stepped down on Sunday, less than a week after being named to the post. Al-Thinni said he and his family had been victims of a “cowardly” shooting on Saturday that “terrified people in a residential area and endangered the lives of some.” He said he couldn’t “accept a single drop of Libyan blood be shed” over him, and apologized for leaving the job. [CNN]

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10. Hunger Games takes top prizes at MTV Movie Awards
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire took the top award — movie of the year — at the MTV Movie Awards on Sunday night. The film’s stars, Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcheson, also won the prizes for top female and male performers. Jared Leto won for best on-screen transformation in his Oscar-winning Dallas Buyers Club role, and Mila Kunis, the wicked witch in Oz the Great and Powerful, took home the golden popcorn trophy for best villain. [USA Today]

 

 

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Washington Legislator Calls For Tea Party To Stockpile Ammunition For Dystopic Future

This guy sounds like he has total disregard for the oath of office that he took…

Think Progress

At a Tea Party “Self Reliance Rally” in Idaho, organized by the Oath Keepers, Washington State Rep. Matt Shea (R) reportedly warned survivalist attendees to stockpile ammo, practice shooting, and learn defense tactics to prepare for a massive economic collapse.

According to the Coeur d’Alene Press, Shea — an Assistant Republican Floor Leader — told the crowd to be ready for an impending government takeover after the U.S. economy falls apart:

We need to prepare for theinevitable collapse that is going to happen. You know it’s going to happen. That’s right, I am a politician and I am standing up here and saying that. … When it happens, we need to look at this as a opportunity, not a crisis. Who’s job is liberty? That’s our job.

Shea proposed a bill last February to ban the U.S. dollarheaded one of his state’s anti-marriage equality organizations, and has claimed that the Federal Emergency Management Agency operates concentration camps in the U.S.

According to the Spokane Spokesman Review, he was cited for two violations of Washington’s firearms law after he “pulled a gun during a confrontation with another motorist last November in what police reports describe as a road rage incident.”

The Southern Poverty Law Center has identified the Oath Keepers, a group that encourages military and public safety officials to refuse to obey any order they deem unconstitutional, as part of a new wave of militias.

 

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Racist Hate Group To Conduct Nighttime Patrols On College Campus

Think Progress

White Student Union founder Matthew “Commander” Heimbach

A racist hate group at Towson University has announced plans to conduct its own nighttime police patrols on campus.

Founded last year, the White Student Union has stirred significant controversy already. The organization has been labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. In addition, its founder, Matthew Heimbach (who goes by the title “Commander Heimbach”), and fellow organizer Scott Terry interrupted a minority outreach panel at the Conservative Political Action Conference this month in order to defend slavery, noting that slaveholders provided blacks with food and shelter. Terry later told ThinkProgress that African-Americans “should be allowed to vote in Africa” and he’d be “fine” living in a society where blacks are permanently subservient to whites.

The Towerlight has more on the vigilante plan:

The controversial White Student Union has resurfaced on Towson’s campus with plans to conduct random nighttime patrols, which members say are for students’ protection.

Some members of the group, equipped with flashlights, will conduct on-campus safety walks, and female members will carry pepper spray in an attempt to protect students from various crimes like sexual assaults and robberies, WSU President Matthew Heimbach said. [...]

Heimbach said female members have also been enrolling in self-defense classes, and members have been going to local gun ranges as a group, but not in a “military way,” Heimbach said.

He said group members would carry no weapons on the nighttime walks.

One need look no further than the White Student Union’s blog to see why their vigilante operations could turn problematic. In a blog post last month entitled “Black Crime Wave Continues!“, the group writes:

The frequent robberies, sexual assaults, and acts of vandalism at Towson University are not often reported in the local media. For those who are not Towson students it seems hard to fathom that every single day black predators prey upon the majority white Towson University student body. White Southern men have long been called to defend their communities when law enforcement and the State seem unwilling to protect our people.

As a result, the post reads, “The WSU executive board has unanimously approved to make it mandatory for all female WSU members to begin taking some form of unarmed self defense training over the next month.”

Though no Towson faculty would sign on as a sponsor for the WSU, the administration allows the group to use university resources. As the group bragged in September 2012, it is “excited to report that it has taken one step closer toward becoming recognized by Towson University,” pointing to its profile on a university website.

 

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Gun Appreciation Day Sponsored By American Third Position, White Supremacist Group

Gun Appreciation Day

The Huffington Post

Firearms enthusiasts around the country are being encouraged to head down to their local gun shops on Saturday, constitutions and American flags in hand, to send a message to President Barack Obama about Second Amendment rights — and, of course, to buy more guns.

The event is being billed as Gun Appreciation Day and has backing from white supremacist group American Third Position (A3P), Media Matters reported on Friday.

A3P, which is listed on the Gun Appreciation Day website as a sponsor, does little through its own content to veil the fact that the political movement is dedicated to white supremacy.

In its mission statement, A3P writes that it “believes that government policy in the United States discriminates against white Americans, the majority population, and that white Americans need their own political party to fight this discrimination.”

It goes on, saying that the group aims to “stop the immigrant invasion” in order to put “America first!”

A3P has been listed as a white nationalist hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

In an email to The Huffington Post last year, A3P’s chairman candidly admitted to his white nationalism, saying that he found it a “just and proper position for all white people to hold.”

(For more on A3P’s controversial history, click over to Media Matters)

Gun Appreciation Day has raised some eyebrows for reasons apart from its questionable ties. The event’s founder, Larry Ward has rejected claims that he’s an extremist, but earlier this week he sparked outrage when he suggested that slavery could have been prevented in the United States if African Americans were allowed to carry guns.

“I think Martin Luther King, Jr. would agree with me if he were alive today that if African Americans had been given the right to keep and bear arms from day one of the country’s founding, perhaps slavery might not have been a chapter in our history,” Ward said.

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Is Hate On The Agenda At This Weekend’s Values Voter Summit? (VIDEO)

 

Uh, yes, it is…

Addicting Info

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), along with other signatories, sent a letter asking several prominent speakers, including vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, to reconsider attending the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C. this weekend because of defamatory comments against the LGBT community made by the host of the conference, the Family Research Council (FRC) and one of its co-sponsors, the American Family Association (AFA). Both of these organizations are classified as hate groups by the SPLC and they cite specific examples of why they are designated as such in their letter:

Here is what Bryan Fischer, the AFA’s Director of Issue Analysis, wrote in 2010: “Homosexuality gave us Adolph Hitler, and homosexuals in the military gave us the Brown Shirts, the Nazi war machine and 6 million dead Jews.” He once said that welfare rewards black people who “rut like rabbits.”The FRC’s extremism is also illustrated by its recent hiring of retired Lt. Gen. William “Jerry” Boykin, a radical anti-Muslim propagandist and conspiracy theorist, as its executive vice president. Last year, Mr. Boykin stated that “Islam is not a religion and does not deserve First Amendment protections”— a statement that is antithetical to American ideals. In the Affordable Care Act, he literally sees a plot to create a shadow police force that he compares to Hitler’s “Brownshirts.” Yet, the FRC has not only hired Mr. Boykin, it has given him a prominent speaking slot at the Summit.

Here’s a short video displayed the rabid hate that will be on display this weekend:

Really?! These are the values that Republicans and their Christian supporters want us to vote for? The breakout sessions scheduled for Saturday on the Values Voter Summit site sound innocuous enough when you read the titles but I think they are masking their real agenda so I’ve provided my own translation of the actual topics being addressed:

  • Economic Inequality: Reconciling Capitalism And Compassion (Screw The Poor)
  • Israel, Iran And The Future Of Western Civilization (Bring On The Rapture)
  • Speechless? Silencing The Christians (Adopt Our Beliefs or Get the Hell Out)
  • Understanding Radical Islam 101 (Converting The Heathens)
  • One Life: 40 Years Of Roe V. Wade, Ending Abortion Today (Every Egg is Sacred)
  • Repealing Obamacare (Screw the Sick)
  • Can You Protect Your Children From The Commercial Sex Industry? (Okay, No One Is Pro Child Sex Trafficking)
  • Preparing For The Coming Economic Earthquake (President Mitt Romney)
  • Grassroots Activism Get-Out-The Vote (GOTV) Workshop (Voter Suppression 101)
  • Vertical Vote Campaign For Life, Marriage and Religious Liberties (God Hates Fags)
  • Millennial And The Future Of Political Engagement (Homeschoolers Unite)
  • Debunking The Myth Of Separation…Why Pastors Must Engage In Politics (America, Christian Theocracy)

Three days of anger, fear and hate in the name of God. Just like Jesus would have wanted!

 

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Misinformation, Fear, And Hate In America

More right-wing fear and loathing of the POTUS.  This is a stirring critique…

Democratic Underground ~ proud2BlibKansan

The GOP and the Right Wing Media, Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, et al, have been propagating a campaign of irrational fear and hate against President Barak Obama since 2007. These devious and dishonest attacks are designed to delegitimize the Presidency of Barak Obama, and to characterize him as; the other, foreign, un-American, non-Christian, and alien.

He has been called socialist, communist, fascist, The New Hitler, Marxist, Stalinist, Muslim, African Anti- Colonialist, Anti-Christ, baby killer, gay lover, uppity, The Food Stamp President, and n!@@&r. The base of the GOP is clearly without any morality, their claim to Jesus and God rings hallow as they practice Anti-Christ in the name of Jesus.

Their base constituency has been duped with fear, into a position of unfounded distrust and hate. In their fevered zealotry, they express a fanatical willingness to vote against their own self-interest. The Conservatives have been conquered, their party has taken over by the Corporatist, in a pact with the Theocrats, and the Objectivist. Watch this video in its entirety, and then tell me how anyone with a modicum of intelligence, or any degree of honesty, could vote for a Republican.

“I don’t agree with all the people who support me, and my guess is they don’t all agree with everything I believe in, but I need to get 50.1 percent or more and I’m appreciative to have the help of a lot of good people.” – Mitt Romney 

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Tea Party Nation Declares Liberals ‘Deranged’ Bloodthirsty Maniacs After FRC Attack

Addicting Info

It’s almost like I can see the future! Recently, I predicted that the right would be outraged, OUTRAGED, by the botched attack on the DC headquarters of the anti-gay hate group, The Family Research Council, by what is presumably a liberal. I also said that, magically, this one incident would overshadow the decades long pattern of right-wing violence.

Here’s Judson Phillips, founder of Tea Party Nation and hate/fear-monger in charge to prove me right,

Yesterday was a day we in the conservative movement will need to remember for a very long time.  It represents something we had better learn about and learn to deal with quickly.

What is it?

It was the shooting at the Family Research Council in DC.

It was left on right violence.

It is soon to be the new norm.

BE AFRAID! THE LIBERALS ARE COMING! Judson blathers on for a bit and finally gets to the part where conservatives are the true victims and liberals are out of control monsters:

Conservatives have been the victims of left-wing violence.  In 2009, Kenneth Gladney was beaten by leftist thugs in a St. Louis Tea Party event.   More recently we have seen violence committed by the Occupy mobs.

Ah. Kenneth Gladney? THIS Kenneth Gladney? I wonder if Judson thinks a man getting into a scuffle with two other men is the same as a liberal woman being thrown to the ground and stomped on by Rand Paul supporters? Probably not. She had it coming, after all. Just a heads up, the Gladney case ended in an acquittal for the “union thugs” while the manly stomper of women plead out for probation and paying for his victim’s medical bills. Also, notice that Judson can’t be bothered to say what KIND of violence has occurred at the Occupy protests? Probably because it’s hard to spin smashed windows and graffiti into a credible attack on conservatives.

Judson wraps it up with a textbook case of projection in which he transfers the sins of the right to the “radical left”:

Left wing media outlets and radical far left groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center are creating the hysteria that is the catalyst for violence.  The blood is on their hands. (be afraid - FLS)

I wish I could say the shooting at the FRC yesterday was an isolated incident.  It is not.  It is an example of growing violence against conservatives in this nation. (be afraid – FLS)

Fortunately yesterday, no one died.   Unfortunately, I fear it is only a matter of time before that happens. (be afraid – FLS)

The left is getting more desperate.  They are seeing their power fade and the left must have power.  They know they will lose the Senate and the White House in the election this fall and they are becoming more and more desperate. (Be. Afraid. – FLS)

For conservatives, the message is simple.  We must be on our guard. (BE. AFRAID. – FLS)

These are dangerous times for conservatives.  Before this is all over, I fear there will not only be more violence against conservatives, I fear conservatives will be killed by some of these deranged far left wing activists. (BE AFRAID! – FLS)

In most cases, I like to be right in my predictions.  In this one case, I pray I am very wrong. (OH MY GOD ARE YOU TERRIFIED YET?! – FLS)

The message here is clear: “Go out and get more guns to protect yourself and if you happen to blow away a few liberals, they probably had it coming.” This is precisely the kind of “hysteria” the left DOESN’T create but the right specializes in. Oh? he didn’t mention guns so I’m exaggerating? What, pray tell, does the right festishize for self-defense? Guns, pepper spray, tasers or martial arts? That’s right, guns. Let’s move on.

Conservatives love the idea that they are under siege and Republicans love the idea of their base being terrified of their neighbors. It makes them easier to control. It’s nice to see Judson running plays right out of the GOP handbook: “How To Keep’em Dumb & Scared – Your Guide To Winning Elections.” He’s definitely earned his Koch money this week.

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O’Reilly uses hate group shooting to exonerate himself in abortion doctor’s murder

Bill O'Reilly talks about Dr. George Tiller

Bill O’Reilly always claimed that he had nothing to do with “brainwashing”  the killer of  the late Dr. Tiller, and now he goes further…

The Raw Story

During a Thursday interview where Tony Perkins blamed the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) for the recent shooting of a Family Research Council (FRC) employee, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly took the opportunity to insist he did not “exacerbate” the situation that led to the murder of abortion doctor George Tiller by calling him a “baby killer.”

“Now you may remember back in 2009, some in the liberal press accused me encouraging the assassination of late-term abortionist George Tiller in Kansas,” O’Reilly said.

As PBS’ Now noted, O’Reilly had mentioned Tiller’s name on 27 episodes of his Fox News show, often calling him “Tiller the Baby Killer” without attributing the label to anyone.  He also said  Tiller had “blood on his hands,” was guilty of “Nazi stuff” and was “operating death mills.”

“I never called him a killer,” O’Reilly insisted on Thursday, even though PolitiFact found that the Fox News host had used the term “baby killer” to describe Tiller at least 24 times.

“I simply referred to what Tiller was doing in detail and the press hounded me for it,” O’Reilly continued, bringing on Family Research Council President Tony Perkins to talk about the most recent shooting.

“I believe that the Southern Poverty Law Center is responsible for creating an environment that led to this,” Perkins explained. “[Your critics are] saying you are using hate speech — well, the Southern Poverty Law Center — because they disagree with our position on marriage and certain religious issues — have labeled us a hate group, and that gives license to lunatics like this that come in and shoot innocent people.”

“It’s a shocking situation,” O’Reilly agreed. “And as we said in the Tiller situation, there’s no excuse for it. I didn’t exacerbate that situation.”

“And I don’t know about the Southern Poverty Law Center,” the self-proclaimed culture warrior added. “We will check that out. Absolutely.”

In a statement released on Thursday, Southern Poverty Law Center senior fellow Mark Potok said that his organization “deplores all violence” and Perkins was just using the tragedy to “score points.”

“Perkins’ accusation is outrageous,” Potok wrote. “The SPLC has listed the FRC as a hate group since 2010 because it has knowingly spread false and denigrating propaganda about LGBT people — not, as some claim, because it opposes same-sex marriage. The FRC and its allies on the religious right are saying, in effect, that offering legitimate and fact-based criticism in a democratic society is tantamount to suggesting that the objects of criticism should be the targets of criminal violence.”

Potok pointed out that Perkins had claimed that that pedophilia is “a homosexual problem” and another official at the Family Research Council had said he wanted to “export homosexuals from the United States.”

“Perkins and his allies, seeing an opportunity to score points, are using the attack on their offices to pose a false equivalency between the SPLC’s criticisms of the FRC and the FRC’s criticisms of LGBT people,” Potok Concluded. “The FRC routinely pushes out demonizing claims that gay people are child molesters and worse — claims that are provably false. It should stop the demonization and affirm the dignity of all people.”

ED note: (Emphasis are mine)

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Armed neo-Nazis patrol the streets of Sanford, looking for race riots

NSM rally in 2009 in California via Flickr

The original issue in the Martin-Zimmerman kerfuffle is simple, why is George Zimmerman not in jail?

For armed “neo-nazis” to incite a “race riot” is absurd…

The Raw Story

Heavily armed neo-Nazis are said to be patrolling the streets of Sanford, Florida to protect “white citizens in the area” in case of race riots.

According to a blog at the Miami New Times, the patrols were initiated by Jeff Schoep of the Detroit-based National Socialist Movement in response to the shooting of African-American teen Trayvon Martin by self-appointed neighborhood vigilante George Zimmerman.

“We are not advocating any type of violence or attacks on anybody,” Schoep insists, “but we are prepared for it,. We are not the type of white people who are going to be walked all over.”

“Because nothing diffuses racial tension,” blogger Michael Miller comments wryly, “like gun-toting racial separatists patrolling an already on-edge commnity.”

Schoep is described by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors extremist hate groups, as “a neo-Nazi true believer since age 10 who has managed, largely by luck, to end up heading one of the largest explicitly Hitlerite groups in America. Schoep’s group is known for the crudeness of its propaganda, the violence it works hard to provoke, and the faux SS outfits that have caused many other neo-Nazis to deride NSM members as ‘Hollywood Nazis.’”

Schoep’s group is best known for the rally it staged against “black crime” in an inner-city neighborhood of Toledo, Ohio in 2005. NSM members had to be rescued from an angry crowd by the police, and the day ended with some local residents attacking police and 100 being arrested. The NSM considered this outcome a great success.

Schoep asserts that he and the Florida residents he has recruited are acting “totally within the law” and that their patrols “wouldn’t intimidate anybody” and are simply meant as a “show of solidarity with the white community down there.”

He says he decided to launch the Sanford patrols following an offer by the New Black Panther Party to pay a $10,000 bounty for a citizen’s arrest of Zimmerman, which he took as proof that “the possibility of further racial violence… is brimming over like a powder keg ready to explode into the streets.”

“We are a white civil rights organization,” Schoep said of the National Socialist Movement, describing himself as a while equivalent of Reverend Al Sharpton. He added that he wasn’t even taking sides on the shooting because Zimmerman is “half Hispanic or Cuban or something. He certainly doesn’t look white to me.”

Photo of NSM rally by Josh LaClair via Flickr

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American kids of immigrants denied food stamps in Alabama

Apparently the term compassionate conservatism died the moment it was “invented”…

The Raw Story

A civil rights law firm based in Alabama says that children who are U.S. citizens from at least five families have been denied food stamps because their parents are undocumented immigrants.

Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) Legal Director Mary Bauer confirmed to Raw Story that Alabama’s Department of Human Services had cited the state’s anti-immigration HB 56 law, which makes it illegal to conduct “business transactions” with undocumented workers, as a reason they were denied food stamps.

“We have heard from a number of people that several localities in Alabama have adopted the policy that they’re required to verify the status of parents who are trying to help their kids apply for food stamps — even if they themselves are not applying for food stamps,” Bauer explained. “Of course, that is illegal under federal law.”

“The localities are essentially saying that they are required to do this by Alabama’s immigration law,” she added. “What that means is that we have hungry U.S. citizen kids who are unable to get the benefits to which they are legally entitled.”

Yahoo News’ Liz Goodwin first revealed earlier this week that at least five people had called into SPLC’s immigration hotline to make a report.

Department of Human Services spokesman Barry Spear has insisted that the agency had no policy requiring proof of citizenship for services.

“We are unaware of any violations of the policy,” he said.

But Bauer was skeptical of that claim.

“That may be — that he is not aware of it,” she told Raw Story. “But this is the way that it’s playing out in the field and in the real world. And we will bring specifics to the department’s attention and insist that they come into compliance with federal law.”

While federal law prohibits undocumented immigrants from obtaining food stamps and many other welfare benefits, U.S. citizen children are entitled to all benefits regardless of the status of their parents. A recent study  from the Pew Research Center estimated that there were at least 4.5 million born in the U.S. with at least one undocumented parent.

Alabama state Senator Scott Beason, who authored HB 56, told WBRC that SPLC’s claims were “not necessarily factual.”

Update (5:30 p.m. ET): The SPLC tells Raw Story that they have not ruled out taking legal action if Alabama’s Department of Human Services does not come in compliance with the law.

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