Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS), a Santa Barbara-based anti-immigrant group, launched a TV ad campaign that manipulates Martin Luther King, Jr.’s words in order to rail against President Obama’s executive action on immigration. The Santa Barbara-based group began airing the ads on January 13 on national cable networks and local TV stations in Los Angeles.
In the press release announcing the 2015 ads, Joe Guzzardi, CAPS national media director, claims that President Obama’s policies disproportionately harm minority Americans. Guzzardi’s expressed concern for minorities is questionable. Guzzardi was an editor and writer at the racist, anti-immigrant website VDARE until 2010. In addition, in 2012, Guzzardi presented at The Social Contract Press (TSCP) Writers Workshop, which often features racist speakers. Racist John Tanton, the architect of the modern anti-immigrant movement founded TSCP and white supremacist Wayne Lutton edits TSCP’s journal, The Social Contract. In addition, CAPS appointed another racist, John Vinson, as a senior writing fellow in 2013.
The CAPS ads imply that President Obama’s efforts to provide some undocumented immigrants with work permits runs counter to Dr. King’s vision of racial equality in America. In reality, CAPS is exploiting the occasion of King’s birthday to promote intolerance towards immigrants who work and live in this country. The ads stress that undocumented immigrants are taking away jobs from African-Americans and Hispanics in the United States. CAPS ran similar ads around Martin Luther King Day last year, as well.
Since 2013, CAPS has gone beyond promoting its anti-immigrant agenda in California and has moved on to the national stage. It has been one of the most active organizations attempting to derail immigration reform. In addition to ads mentioned earlier, the group has run ads targeting politicians for their support of immigration reform.