The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) published reports in 2002 and 2009 claiming to connect CIS to John Tanton, who helped found various other organizations, including the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) and NumbersUSA, and alleging that he has ties to white supremacy groups and a eugenics foundation.
The SPLC's 2009 report charged: 
FAIR, CIS and NumbersUSA are all part of a network of restrictionist organizations conceived and created by John Tanton, the "puppeteer" of the nativist movement and a man with deep racist roots ... CIS was conceived by Tanton and began life as a program of FAIR. CIS presents itself as a scholarly think tank that produces serious immigration studies meant to serve "the broad national interest." But the reality is that CIS has never found any aspect of immigration that it liked, and it has frequently manipulated data to achieve the results it seeks
2007: Stephen Dinan, the Washington Times author received an award from the Center for Immigration Studies.