Our VoiceImmigration

Negative Population Growth (NPG) Continues Its Campaign to Court “Environmentalists”


Stephen Piggott • Mar 23, 2011

Last year, Negative Population Growth (NPG), a group with ties to anti-immigrant groups, announced that it would begin encouraging environmentalists to promote the idea that population growth was strongly linked to environmental problems. In an open letter to environmentalists, NPG states,

“The goal of this effort is to help reinforce the critical tie-in between population growth and protecting our environment.  We all know that there are countless millions of environmentalists throughout America and it is important that we stand united and speak as one if we are going to rescue and preserve our nation’s environmental treasures and create a decent quality of life for future generations.  NPG will create the National Population Policy ads and list the other organizations as co-sponsors in the ad copy if they approve the text.   We expect to run the ads in respected national publications including E-Magazine, The Washington Times Weekly, and The Hill newspaper.”

It’s important to note that efforts to tie population growth to environmental problems is a primary strategy employed by the anti-immigrant movement to scapegoat immigrants for environmental degradation. In recent weeks, NPG appears to have followed through on its announcement by recruiting Jessica Vaughan, a staffer for the anti-immigrant group Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) to write its latest report.

CIS is part of the John Tanton Network, a web of controversial anti-immigrant organizations orchestrated by John Tanton, the founder of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). With a network populated by individuals with ties to political extremists, including white nationalists, CIS was created to establish credibility for FAIR. Tanton himself described the objective of CIS as an attempt “(t)o expand our fund-raising machine…We need to get CIS fully-funded and entrenched as a major Washington think-tank, one that can venture into issues which FAIR is not yet ready to raise.”

At a Q and A session during the 2010 Conservative Political Action Committee in Washington DC, a young man asked Mark Krikorian, executive director of CIS, why the group published articles on its website that support the theory of global warming. The man also asked Krikorian to explain his and CIS’ connections to John Tanton, whom he referred to as a man that “favors population control.”

Krikorian nonchalantly answered the first question by stating that CIS publishes articles that acknowledge global warming to force a wedge between different people on the Left. Krikorian argued that people on the left cannot be in favor of both open borders and taking care of the environment.

A staffer of CIS like Jessica Vaughan writing a report for NPG hurts the group in two major ways. First, it further ties NPG to anti-immigrant groups affiliated with John Tanton and by extension white nationalism. Donald Mann, head of NPG, already sits on the board of advisors for the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) a group founded by white nationalist John Tanton. Tanton continues to serve on FAIR’s board of directors.

A Center for Immigration Studies staffer writing a report for NPG is also damaging because it delegitimizes NPG’s attempts to gain support from environmentalists. The fact that CIS has suggested that it is only using the environmental issue to split the left, completely discredits the group as a legitimate voice on environmental issues.

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