|Imagery: A series of black and white still
Background: This ad provoked considerable controversy and several
stations refused to run it. A spokesman for FAIR noted that, "While
the ad itself was criticized, our assertions never were." The spot
was part of a television, radio and print campaign run by a coalition of
five organizations: the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR);
Numbers USA; Negative Population Growth (NPG); Population Environment Balance
(PEB); and Americans for Immigration Control (AIC), each of which produced
and placed its own ads. The objective of the campaign was "to get candidates
for national office to discuss one of the most important public policy
issues facing the United States."
Here are the sources of the assertions in the FAIR ad.
FAIR chose to run its ad campaign in Iowa because it wanted to draw attention
to the situation of mass immigration in the Midwest. FAIR settled on Storm
Lake because it is one of the more well-documented cases; before the ad
went up a FAIR staffer visited Storm Lake and talked to people to make
sure it presented a fair picture.
Native Iowans have been systematically replaced by foreign workers in an
industry where they once made up the vast majority of the workforce.
(Anyway You Cut It: Meatprocessing and small-town America, Donald D. Stull,
et al., University Press of Kansas, 1995 Pages 109-127).
Wages in the meatpacking industry are half what they used to be.
Medicaid costs have increased by 62% in just six years. (Anyway You
Cut It: Meatprocessing and small-town America, Donald D. Stull, et al.,
University Press of Kansas, 1995 Pages 109-127).
Medicaid costs have increased by 63% in just 6 years. (Omaha World-Herald,
Sept. 20, 1999).
Four in Ten Children in Storm Lake public schools have limited English
fluency. (Bill Krupe, Storm Lake School District Superintendent,
Dec. 16, 1999)
Jail costs have risen by 62% in just four years. (Buena Vista County
Budget, Adult Incarceration Costs, 1995-1999).
More than one million immigrants, both legal and illegal, enter the United
States every year. (Census Bureau estimates--middle range: Legal
immigration 815,000 per year and illegal immigration 225,000 per year).
Local officials reacted strongly to the campaign.
In a letter dated Jan. 6 Gov. Tom Vilsack and Lt. Gov. Sally J. Pederson
wrote, "We deplore this propaganda campaign, and doubt that it will have
Storm Lake Mayor Jon F. Kruse, in a prepared statement focused on the assertion
that "quality of life is but a memory," and demanded "a public apology
to our community from the inconsiderate, uninformed, out-of-state political
special interest group..."
The Storm Lake Chamber of Commerce weighed in with a letter stating that,
"...The quality of life here has never been better." Among other
advances, the Chamber cited "21 new business ribbon cuttings in 1999."