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December 26, 2012

New “Environmentalist” Book, Life on the Brink, Features Anti-Immigrant Writers

Phil Cafaro

Life on the Brink: Environmentalists Confront Overpopulation, a book released in December 2012, features essayists that have strong ties to the anti-immigrant movement, a detail that is missing from the authors’ bios.

Phil Cafaro, president of the DC-based anti-immigrant group Progressives for Immigration Reform (PFIR), and Eileen Crist, an environmental sciences professor at Virginia Tech, co-edited the book. It contains many essays that argue for reducing immigration for environmental reasons. This argument is one of the key themes promoted by the anti-immigrant movement in the United States.

Essayists in the book include:

Phil Cafaro – co-editor of the book and president of PFIR. Cafaro is a former fellow for the DC-based anti-immigrant group Center for Immigration Studies (CIS). In 2010, Cafaro wrote two blogs for the Virginia based anti-immigrant group NumbersUSA.

Al Bartlett – a University of Colorado emeritus professor and friend of John Tanton, the racist founder of the modern day anti-immigrant movement. To date, Bartlett has published ten articles, dating back to 1995, in Tanton’s quarterly journal, The Social Contract (TSC). TSC has published the writings of known white supremacists such as Sam Francis and Jared Taylor.

Don Weeden –head of the Weeden Foundation, a group that has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to anti-immigrant groups throughout the years. Weeden is also an “independent advisor” for NumbersUSA. CIS has invited Weeden to speak on many panel discussions organized by the group over the years.

Leon Kolankiewicz – a senior writing fellow for the Santa Barbara-based anti-immigrant group Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS). Over a half dozen articles by Kolankiewicz appear in issues of TSC, dating back to 2001. He has published numerous reports for both CIS and NumbersUSA in the past. Kolankiewicz sits on the advisory boards of CAPS and PFIR and is also the former vice-president of the anti-immigrant group Carrying Capacity Network, based in San Francisco.

Richard Lamm– the former governor of Colorado and a former member of Federation for American Immigration (FAIR)’s board. He currently sits on   FAIR’s advisory board as well as the advisory boards of CAPS and PFIR. Lamm also co-edited a report for CIS in 2001 and is published in two issues of TSC. He is also a close friend of Tanton’s.

William Ryerson – former president of PFIR and former advisory board member of CAPS. He currently heads two population awareness groups, the Vermont-based Population Media Center and the DC-based Population Institute. Ryerson is also a contributor to TSC.

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August 17, 2012

Progressives for Immigration Reform Announces Conference and New Project

The president of Progressives for Immigration Reform, Phil Cafaro

The anti-immigrant group Progressives for Immigration Reform (PFIR) has announced its third annual conference in Washington, D.C. scheduled for October 2012. In addition, the group is promoting their new project–a statement on the environmental impact of U.S. immigration policy.

PFIR was founded in 2009 claiming to “educate the public about the unintended consequences of mass migration.” In reality, PFIR is made up of a host of anti-immigrant figures, many of whom approach the issue of immigration from an environmental standpoint. PFIR’s use of the term “progressives” is an attempt to attract environmentalists and to coax them to view immigration as the cause of environmental problems.

Though the group has not yet announced the speakers at this year’s event, speakers in the past have included a host of figures from anti-immigrant groups , including Roy Beck from NumbersUSA and Steven Camarota from the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS). Also in attendance last year was Mike Hethmon from the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI), the legal arm of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).

The aim of PFIR’s new project is to determine the number of immigrants Congress should allow into the United States. For years, anti-immigrant groups have argued that not only should all undocumented immigration be prevented but that Congress should also dramatically decrease the number of legal immigrants entering the country each year. Extreme anti-immigrant groups such as FAIR have gone as far as to call for a temporary moratorium on all immigration to the United States.

The two principal investigators of PFIR’s new project are PFIR president Phil Cafaro and advisory board member Leon Kolankiewicz. Both have ties to other anti-immigrant groups.

Kolankiewicz has written reports for CIS primarily addressing the alleged environmental impact of immigration. He also co-authored a report with Beck, which blamed immigrants for America’s environmental problems. Kolankiewicz is a senior writing fellow for the California-based anti-immigrant group Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS).  In addition, he has written over a half dozen articles for The Social Contract, an anti-immigrant journal published by racist John Tanton.

Cafaro was formerly a fellow at CIS and wrote a number of reports for the organization that attempted to blame immigrants for environmental degradation.

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