Local “Population Stabilization” Organization Labeled as “Hate Group”
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The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has released a report on rightwing extremism that labeled Santa Barbara’s Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) a “hate group.” The label reflects concerns over CAPS’ recent hires, including two white nationalists and a (since fired) neo-Nazi according to the Santa Barbara Independent.
The SPLC has a history of publicly identifying organizations that denigrate certain people groups, though they have received criticism in the past for being potentially overzealous. The New York Times notes that the group had to issue an apology to Ben Carson for labeling him an “extremist.”
The group has had success in general however, with reports released on the groups such as the Golden State Skinheads and other pro-discrimination groups.
The SPLC’s website describes them as “the premier U.S. organization monitoring the activities of domestic hate groups.” The group publishes an annual list of hate groups in America and claims credit for taking down several of the “most notorious hate groups...by suing them for murder and other violent acts committed by members or by exposing their activities.”
CAPS has decried the “hate group” label. The group’s president, a UCLA astronomy professor named Benjamin Zuckerman, told The New York Times : “We just have a view that too many people for a given environmental carrying capacity is just not good.”
CAPS’ website declares, “We are pro-immigrant... for people who wants [sic] to come to the US through legal channels in numbers that our environment and resources can reasonably accommodate (approximately 300,000 a year).”
Their website goes on to place the blame on the government’s antiquated policies and call for immigration’s return to “the positive force in America it once was.”
In an interview with The Santa Barbara Independent, a CAPS spokesperson argued that the goal of immigration law reform should be to turn the system into an economically beneficial one that admits immigrants who can contribute with their skills. These reforms include no birthright citizenship (similar to Japan and most other countries) and sanctuary cities.