Activists involved with the Santa Barbara-based anti-immigrant group Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) have recently established a new group, Scientists and Environmentalists for Population Stabilization (SEPS). SEPS, which emerged in late 2012/early 2013, says its mission is “to improve understanding within the U.S. scientific, educational, and environmental communities,” of the “consequences” of “overpopulation.” In reality, SEPS is the latest in a long line of anti-immigrant groups attempting to coax environmentalists and others into taking an anti-immigrant stance.
SEPS lists ten principles on its website that convey its anti-immigrant views. SEPS calls for undocumented immigrants in the country to be deported and an end to birthright citizenship. SEPS also calls for a drastic reduction to legal immigration, claiming that “unlimited economic and population growth” is a path to “ecological ruin and civilizational collapse.” To become a member of SEPS, you must agree with its anti-immigrant principles.
In 2011, the CAPS board initiated a new campaign, which involved attending major scientific conferences and running exhibitor’s booths at the conferences in order to “educate” attendees on the issues of population control and immigration.
CAPS and a Canadian-based population control group, Population Institute Canada (PIC), both applied to attend and run an exhibitor’s booth at the February 2012 meeting of the American Association of the Advancement of Science (AAAS). AAAS did not give approval to either organization, which prompted CAPS and other anti-immigrant activists to object. Numerous anti-immigrant activists signed onto a letter sent to the AAAS president and board of directors protesting the AAAS’s decision to reject the application by CAPS. A number of articles about the CAPS/AAAS situation appeared in The Social Contract (TSC), an anti-immigrant journal, as did a copy of the letter and its signatories. Racist John Tanton, the architect of the modern day anti-immigrant movement, publishes TSC.
CAPS did manage to get an exhibitor’s booths at two other scientific/environmental conferences in 2012. When CAPS could no longer afford funding or logistics for the exhibitor’s booth campaign, the need for a new organization arose that would continue this initiative. The activists associated with CAPS founded SEPS, which then attended major scientific and environmental conferences throughout 2013.
SEPS’s leadership, based in both the U.S. and Canada, is made up of a number of long-time anti-immigrant activists, some with ties to extremism. Many of the SEPS leaders have contributed to TSC, which often features racist writers.
Stuart Hurlbert is the president of SEPS. Hurlbert is a former CAPS board secretary who left his position with the organization sometime in late 2012/early 2013, presumably to take up the position as president of SEPS. Hurlbert contributed ten articles to TSC between 2011 and 2012. In 2007, he presented at the Social Contract Press Writers Workshop event. The Social Contract Press (TSCP) is a publishing house also founded by John Tanton. This annual workshop often features racist speakers, such as Wayne Lutton, the editor of TSC.
Leon Kolankiewicz is the vice-president of SEPS. Kolankiewicz is a CAPS advisory board member and senior writing fellow. He is a contributor to TSC dating as far back as 2001. Kolankiewicz spoke at the 2012 Writers Workshop event in Washington, D.C. Other speakers at the event included racist Peter Brimelow, the founder of the extreme anti-immigrant and racist website VDARE, and Jason Richwine, the disgraced former Heritage Foundation employee whose racist writings and ties surfaced in May, 2013 after he co-authored a major report on immigration for Heritage. Kolankiewicz has also authored reports for the anti-immigrant groups NumbersUSA and the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS).
Another SEPS board member is the Montana-based Paul Nachman. He contributed three articles to TSC between 2005 and 2009. Nachman is also a regular contributor to VDARE, penning well over 100 articles for the site dating back to 2006. Nachman is a contributor to the CAPS blog, as well. In the past, NumbersUSA also listed him as a statistical oversight advisor.
Joyce Tarnow, a fourth SEPS board member, is president of the Cross City-based anti-immigrant group Floridians for a Sustainable Population (FSP). Tarnow is a former advisory board member of the extreme anti-immigrant group Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). In a 2004 interview with the Broward Palm Beach New Times, Tarnow stated, "We need to help nations that can subsist and let others wither on the vine." Tarnow also claimed Haiti “has denuded the whole land” and advised Haitians to “stew in [their] own juices” for doing so.
Madeline Weld of PIC is a SEPS advisory board member. Weld contributed five articles to TSC between 2011 and 2013. She has also made a number of anti-Muslim statements. In the autumn 2013 issue of the journal Human Perspectives, Weld wrote, “Multiculturalism may be an invitation to abuse, but none have been more diligent in making the most of this invitation than Muslims, because Islam alone among the religions and cultures brought to the West has a supremacist politico-religious agenda whose ultimate goal is world domination.” In June of 2013, Weld purportedly signed a petition calling for anti-Muslim bigots Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer to be allowed entry into the UK after the British government banned the pair for making statements which could “foster hatred” and cause “inter-community violence.”