CAPS quickly tried to distance themselves from Wilson and his beliefs, first emailing the paper to tell them they were firing him while imploring that, “Our organization is absolutely, positively, unequivocally committed to fair immigration policy that benefits ALL Americans, regardless of religion, race or socioeconomic status.” CAPS has since attempted to scrub Wilson’s name from their website, but the relationship between Wilson and the organization dates back almost five years, to when Wilson received an award from CAPS during its 2012 “California Population Awareness Awards” competition. CAPS’ newsletter from the time is still available on its website, but Wilson’s name has now disappeared, but remains in an earlier pdf version. CAPS’ most recent newsletter indicates that Wilson served as director of public affairs for the group. Again, CAPS tried to scrub this from its site but it is still available in a cached version.
Well before 2012, Wilson was active in the neo-Nazi scene. In 2007, while in his mid-teens, Wilson bought a subscription to National Vanguard, the publication of the National Alliance (NA), a group that during its heyday in the 1990s was the most dangerous and best-organized neo-Nazi organization in America. Explicitly genocidal in its ideology, NA materials call for the eradication of the Jews and other races and the creation of an all-white homeland. Wilson’s receipt, showing an address in Dublin, California, ended with a thank you from the Alliance “for your support and for contributing to a brighter future for our people!” Wilson, using a Twitter account un the pseudonym SunsetKing90 recently tweeted a picture of multiple copies of National Vanguard with the words, “Blasts from the past. Cleaning out my closet.”
While CAPS may not have been aware that Wilson was a National Vanguard subscriber or a regular poster of the neo-Nazi hate site Stormfront, his arrest record would have raised multiple red flags. As El Tecolote reports, “On Feb. 11, 2011 Wilson, at age 20, was arrested after hitting someone with brass knuckles in a Safeway parking lot in Dublin. According to court records obtained by El Tecolote, Dublin police officer Mitchell Mensinger arrived at Wilson’s house after speaking with eyewitnesses at the scene, Wilson was arrested after he admitted to fighting with brass knuckles. Police searched his residence and found “numerous White Pride paraphernalia, firearms, ammunition and components to make a pipe bomb.”
A year earlier, in 2010, the San Francisco Chronicle and a local ABC station quoted Wilson and named him as a member of Bay Area National Anarchists (BANA). Wilson and other BANA members were allegedly attacked by antifascists following an immigration rally.
According to Spencer Sunshine, a fellow with the think tank Political Research Associates (PRA), “For the National-Anarchists, this “ultranationalism” is also their main ideological innovation: a desire to create a stateless (and hence “anarchist”) system of ethnically pure villages.”
When you look at CAPS’ track record however, you can see why working at this group would be attractive to a neo-Nazi like Wilson. CAPS’ co-founder is white nationalist Garret Hardin, a visionary nativist who, along with white nationalist John Tanton, helped to build the well-established organized nativist movement in the U.S. that we see today. In a 1997 interview, Hardin stated, “My position is that this idea of a multiethnic society is a disaster. That's what we've got in Central Europe, and in Central Africa. A multiethnic society is insanity. I think we should restrict immigration for that reason.”
CAPS has close ties with the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) an organization founded by Tanton. For decades, Hardin served on FAIR’s board. Like FAIR, CAPS received funding from the Pioneer Fund, a now defunct organization whose original mandate was to pursue "race betterment" by promoting the genetic stock of those "deemed to be descended predominantly from white persons who settled in the original thirteen states prior to the adoption of the Constitution." Before its insolvency, it funded studies of race and intelligence, as well as eugenics, the "science" of breeding superior human beings that was discredited by various Nazi atrocities and supported by many of the leading Anglo-American race scientists of the last several decades.
CAPS has also made more than a few questionable hires in recent memory. In 2013, the organization hired white nationalist John Vinson as a senior writing fellow. Vinson is a founding member of the openly racist neo-Confederate group League of the South, and, according to the Anti-Defamation League was credited with drafting the “Kinism Statement,” a set of guiding principles for a modern white supremacist interpretation of Christianity. Another white nationalist who writes frequently for CAPS is Frosty Wooldridge, a former FAIR advisory board member who has written countless anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant screeds including once writing “In order to be faithful to the Islamic religion, Muslims ultimately must degrade and kill all other people who follow any other religions.” He has granted interviews to anti-Semites and Holocaust deniers on multiple occasions.
CAPS is far from the only anti-immigrant group to hire blatant racists as staff members. Up until 2016, the anti-immigrant group ProEnglish had Robert Vandervoort as its executive director. Vandervoort ran a chapter of the white nationalist group American Renaissance when he lived in Chicago. White separatist Joseph Turner worked for the anti-immigrant group Save our State and then FAIR in the 2000s. In 2005 Turner wrote, “I can make the argument that just because one believes in white separatism that that does not make them a racist.”