Our VoiceImmigration

Writer on Environment and Population Topics has Racist Undertones


Rebecca Poswolsky • Aug 02, 2011

Trying to control immigration numbers in the name of population stabilization can have dangerous consequences. Take, for example, Leon Kolankiewicz, a senior writing fellow with anti-immigrant group Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS), who claims to focus on the census and population as an environmental issue, but whose writing is primarily concerned with U.S. population stabilization and immigration. He was featured in the CAPS July 2011 newsletter with an article titled, “Analysis of 2010 Census Misses the Mark: Impact of Population Growth Ignored.”

Kolankiewicz’s comments in the CAPS newsletter were in response to an article at CNN.com that asks: “Is the U.S. entering a population slump?” with the underlining header, “U.S. population growth last decade was slowest since the Great Depression.”

He describes the CNN story as “applauding the nation’s ever more diverse ethnic/racial composition.  In particular, Hispanic commenters, [sic] politicians, and business leaders by and large reveled in the fact that more than half of the 2000–2010 growth was from Hispanics (from a combination of immigration and higher fertility rates), assuring them greater political, economic and cultural clout in the country. Other commentors [sic] thought this was the most important story in the 2010 Census results, not the implications of continuing aggregate population increase with no end in sight.”

Clearly there are racial elements to Kolankiewicz’s views.

Unfortunately, his influence extends beyond the realm of CAPS. He is also an advisory board member for Progressives for Immigration Reform (PFIR) and has written reports for NumbersUSA and Center for Immigration Studies (CIS). All three are part of the Tanton Network – a web of organizations created by white nationalist John Tanton.

Just last week it came to light that Center for Immigration Studies’ data was cited by Anders Behring Breivik, the Norwegian terrorist who confessed to massacring 77 people in Norway.  In a document that is reported to be Behring Breivik’s manifesto, he refers to a report from the Center for Immigration Studies. Behring Breivik writes, “A new study by the Center for Immigration Studies found that illegal’s [sic] cost the taxpayer $10 billion dollars more than they contribute, [sic] each year.”

Kolankiewicz may claim to focus arbitrarily on population growth, but his connections and leadership in anti-immigrant groups proves otherwise.  He says, “From an environmental impact perspective, what counts of course is not percentage change, but absolute numbers.”

Regrettably, the groups Kolankiewicz is connected to, including CIS and other Tanton Network groups have gained traction in both mainstream media and far beyond the mainstream, as with Anders Behring Breivik.

Groups like Center for Immigration Studies, NumbersUSA, Progressives for Immigration Reform and CAPS, focus on both immigration and population growth for a reason. To package a fringe ideology seeped in xenophobia for mainstream audiences.

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