Nativist ‘Environmentalists’ Enraged at Exclusion from Conference

Anti-immigrant extremists are furious over a decision by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) to exclude Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS), a nativist organization masquerading as an environmental group, from its annual meeting.

In a press release this week, CAPS board member Stuart Hurlbert, an emeritus professor of biology of San Diego State University, raged that AAAS was “openly censor[ing] speech and access to information” and asked why the group “fears any discussion of stabilizing U.S. population by lowering immigration.”

AAAS “fears” nothing of the sort. Spokeswoman Ginger Pinholster told Hatewatch that the group welcomes any “science-focused” entity to apply for exhibit space at its conference. AAAS declined CAPS’ application because “upon investigation, we concluded they were more focused on political issues like immigration than on evidence-based scientific issues,” Pinholster said.

Hurlbert’s press release, which says that 100 U.S. and Canadian scientists and “other scholars” are protesting the AAAS event, was issued not by CAPS but by The Social Contract Press (TSCP), a race-baiting hate group with a special animus toward immigrants. Like CAPS, TSCP gets its cash from U.S. Inc., the funding conduit for an entire network of anti-immigrant organizations, including hate groups like the Federation for American Immigration Reform and think tanks like the Center for Immigration Studies, founded and/or funded by John Tanton, architect of the modern anti-immigration movement.

Yesterday’s press release wasn’t the only vent for CAPS’ spleen. Hurlbert’s tale of woe also made the cover of the winter edition of TSCP’s quarterly journal, The Social Contract, which once dedicated an entire issue to arguing that no Muslim immigrants should be allowed into the U.S. and has claimed that multiculturalists are trying to replace “successful Euro-American culture” with “dysfunctional Third World cultures.” In a screed co-authored with representatives of the Population Institute of Canada (PIC) – an anti-immigrant group that lost its space at the conference after AAAS learned it planned to have CAPS co-staff its booth – Hurlbert detailed the “saga,” bemoaning the presence within the scientific community of “censors and axers of truth.”

But PIC wasn’t “censored.” It violated AAAS rules about who can staff presentations at its conferences. “There is no bait-and-switch; one organization cannot be a front for another,” Pinholster told Hatewatch.

What’s more, she said, AAAS does “speak out” – but only on issues “at the intersection of science and society.” Questions about the consequences of population growth – a subject to which the AAAS last year devoted an entire issue of its magazine – are “not something we shy away from,” Pinholster said. But “we do make a distinction between evidence-based scientific discourse and political agendas.”

Hurlbert doesn’t. In addition to serving on the board of CAPS, he coordinates Americans United to Halt Tourism in Mexico. Last year, he helped run the Support Arizona/Boycott San Diego Coalition, which so favored Arizona’s draconian anti-immigrant law that it threatened to boycott San Diego, its own city, because of a city council resolution condemning the Arizona law. (Calls for a boycott were rescinded when the coalition realized that unlike some California cities, San Diego wasn’t actually boycotting Arizona.) Standing with Hurlbert in both coalitions are the San Diego Minutemen, a hot-tempered nativist extremist group headed by Jeff Schwilk, and Barbara Coe’s vicious California Coalition for Immigration Reform.

Last month, Hurlbert and the president of the Population Institute of Canada launched a miniature crusade against the authors of Too Many People? Population, Immigration, and the Environmental Crisis, a book condemning attempts to link immigration to environmental concerns.

“Support for immigration controls strengthens the most regressive forces in our societies and weakens our ability to deal with the real causes of environmental problems,” the book warns. “Immigrants are not pollution. Anti-immigration policies divide the environmental movement along race, class, and gender lines, at a time when the broadest possible unity is essential.”