Hit piece on Colcom Foundation backfires beautifully

This week, the Pittsburgh City Paper published a hit piece on Colcom Foundation: How Pittsburgh’s Colcom Foundation is 'greenwashing' its anti-immigrant message, by Ryan Deto. The Colcom Foundation funds environmental and immigration sanity projects across America. Deto think's that's racist. From the article:

In 2017, the foundation gave more than $34 million to anti-immigrant groups, which was more than 80 percent of their total giving that year.

Oops, Deto, that's $34 million to immigration reduction groups. No one around Colcom hates immigrants.The article continues:

Immigrant-rights advocate Guillermo Perez has urged those local nonprofits to reject donations from Colcom because he believes associating with them only helps the foundation with its “greenwashing,” by using environmental advocacy to distract from Colcom's true mission of immigration restriction.

Uh-ooh. I think Deto means to say that Guillermo Perez champions illegal alien rights. These is a difference, you know. The article continues with a few facts, filtered through the slander filter:

Colcom was started by Mellon bank heiress Cordelia Scaife May in 1996. Before starting her foundation, May had forged several close relationships with anti-immigrant white nationalists, the most prominent being John Tanton. In 1978, May helped Tanton create the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) with $50,000 in seed money. In a 1995 correspondence between Tanton and May’s family foundation obtained by CP, Tanton requested that May pay $20,000 to fund a book on the “evils of multiculturalism.” Through her personal giving and foundations, May has donated more than $180 million to anti-immigrant groups, according to the New York Times. 

Golly. Let's help tidy up Deto's tormented thinking. John Tanton (1934-2019) was white. Check out his photo - and his accomplishments - at JohnTanton.org. He was also a nationalist, believing in the importance of the sovereign nation-state. But does that make him a white superiorist and a white separatist? By implication, demented Deto thinks it does. That's an implied ad homenim attack. Not cool, but if that's the best you've got, Deto, go for it. Deto continues his disinformative rant, stating:

Anti-immigrant groups that have received large sums from Colcom include FAIR and the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS). Both have been deemed hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).

Deto references the fully discredited hateful Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) hate group. That's what you get from disinformation dabblers.

And now, read what immigration sanity experts have to say in the comments section of the article:

Posted by rfireovid on 03/13/2020:

In my long lifetime, I have lost many beautiful, indeed magical, places to population-growth-driven real estate development. I escaped to a cold, rural part of the country, hoping that my heart won't be broken again. I adopted my son from Guatemala. My son-in-law, whom I love dearly, is a DREAMER. And I support stabilizing the U.S. population. Are you calling me a racist, too?

Posted by wgberger on 03/13/2020:

The idea that Colcom is "anti-immigrant " is as absurd as libeling Planned Parenthood as "anti-child." Only children, economists and cancer cells believe in infinite growth - and now open borders advocates like Seor Guillermo Perez.

Every country has a duty to limits its numbers to assure a quality life for its citizens and prevent paving over the whole country from sea to shining sea to accommodate a bloating population.

Far from joining this attack on the Foundation, I applaud Colcom for its wisdom and generosity. I hope that the non-profit groups who have benefitted from their funding in the past don't succumb to this smear campaign.

Posted by Lorna Salzman on 03/13/2020:

Overpopulation and overconsumption in the developed world are facts. Both contribute to climate change by accelerating economic growth, resource extraction, reliance on fossil fuels and globalized industry. Poor immigrants eventually become middle class, have families (often three or more children), leading to higher consumption and demand on energy and resources for homes, vehicles and a higher level of consumption. Turning these undeniable scientific facts into a supposedly racist campaign is like denying climate change. The wealthy developed world needs to REDUCE its consumption and its environmental impact, not sustain or increase it. Those who slander those who oppose overpopulation and overconsumption appear ignorant of our climate crisis. The fact is that our present day way of life with no constraints on consumption is unsustainable. Controlling immigration is the same as controlling the number of births. Only the business community benefits by having cheap labor. This is a desperate last-minute attempt to rescue a system that is on the verge of collapse, i.e. the system of global industrial capitalism.

The only alternative is to control births and immigration, and develop local self sustaining communities where most needs are filled at the local level rather than through imports from other countries. Immigrants and their advocates need to educate themselves on these issues. They are being manipulated and lied to.

Posted by Paul137 on 03/13/2020:

"In a letter the coalition sent to Colcom president John Barsotti, Perez wrote that the biggest threat to environmental sustainability is climate change ..."

That's a claim of doubtful validity. But if we assume it's true, then immigration to the United States certainly exacerbates the problem. Why? Because most people who want to immigrate to the U.S. are driven by the desire to be better off economically, i.e. to consume more. And the emissions of "greenhouse" gases are proportional to such economic activity.

The people who run environmental groups like the Sierra Club (of which I'm a 43-year member, so I know well that those running the groups don't qualify to be called "leaders") always make the excuse that 'overpopulation is a global problem, requiring a global solution.'

But there's no global authority to take charge, and we can be confident that the governments of, e.g., Nigeria, Bangladesh, and China aren't breathlessly waiting for advice and guidance about overpopulation from the Sierra Club and its brethren. All we in the U.S. have the power to do is run our society in a rational way and, thus, provide a good example for the rest of the world.

Fundamentally, our immigration laws exist to protect the lives and life prospects of us American citizens, just as the country itself exists for our benefit (as the Constitution's preamble says: "... secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity .."). If immigration is bad for us citizens -- economically, socially, **and environmentally** -- it's completely rational to restrict it, reduce it, or even end it. And, on the whole, today's mass immigration is indeed very bad for most of us citizens.

Posted by: James Bowen on 03/13/2020:

Colcom is not giving money to anti-immigrant groups. It is giving money to groups that support a reduction in immigration numbers. That is not at all the same thing, and it is disingenuous to suggest it is. The most crucial and fundamental environmental issue facing both the United States and the world is overpopulation. Climate change is merely one of many ugly symptoms of overpopulation. In the United States and Canada, population growth is being driven almost wholly by immigration. U.S. native-born total fertility has been below replacement level since 1972. There is no hope for an ecologically healthy future in the U.S. unless we stabilize our population, and we cannot do that unless we reduce immigration.

Anybody who claims that we can have a healthy environment without addressing population growth and the immigration that drives it in the U.S. does not know what they are talking about. That includes the author of this column. To dismissively write that the U.S. is a "sparsely populated" country of 327 million flies straight in the face of the conclusion of the 1972 Rockefeller Commission. This commission stated that any further growth of U.S. population, which was then about 206 million, would cause more ecological and social problems than it would solve. The 1996 Jordan Commission and President Clinton's Council on Sustainable Development echoed the concerns of the Jordan Commission, and recommended steep reductions in immigration to that end.

I will end by noting that last year, non other than Former Energy Secretary and Nobel Prize-winning physicist Dr. Steven Chu said that the idea that population growth can go on forever, let alone provide unending economic benefit, is a Ponzi scheme.

Posted by: Stuart Hurlbert on 03/13/2020:

This article is nothing but an ad hominem smear attack by a journalist and a lawyer without much deep knowledge of immigration issues in the U.S. Neither Colcom nor any of the organizations it supports are "white nationalist" or "anti-immigrant" just because they support, as do most Americans, a return to more moderate immigration levels and firm enforcement of immigration laws.

Here's and excerpt from my March 5, 2020 letter in the Wall Street Journal, titled "GDP Growth, Per Capita Growth and Immigration":


"Where does this myth that Trump’s immigration policies have been “restrictive” come from? Trump is still admitting about 1 million persons per year. That is greatly in conflict with what has been recommended for decades. In 1972 the Rockefeller Commission recommended immigration not exceed 400,00 per year. In 1994 Sen. Harry Reid drafted unsuccessful legislation to get it cut to 325,000. In 1995 Rep. Barbara Jordan’s Commission on Immigration Reform recommended not more than 550,000 per year. In 1996, President Bill Clinton’s Council on Sustainable Development recommended we move toward US population stabilization -- that would require immigration levels of less than 300,000 per year. Many environment-focused NGOs have long supported the same. The reputable Harvard-Harris polling organization found in 2018 that 72% of voters wanted less than 1 million per year, and 54% less than 500,000 per year.

"A continuously growing human population is tremendously environmentally destructive. The Old World did that “experiment” long before the modern era. That is why large parts of it, from Spain and Morocco, south into the Sahel and east to the South China Sea, are such environmental “basket cases” for which there are no short term remedies."

[The last two sentences were deleted by the WSJ without explanation.]

Perhaps Deto, Perez and Ahmad should do their homework before further embarassisng themselves and the organizations they work for. They should read the reports of those commissions and the detailed rationales given for their recommendations.

Posted by: Dave Gorak on 03/12/2020:

Memo to immigration lawyer Hassan Ahmad: A conversation that should be had "in perpetuity" but is being totally ignored is that Americans are a sovereign people born with the unalienable right to determine who and how many foreign-born should be given the privilege - not the right - of living in this country. What we have instead are those like you who benefit from high levels of immigration demonizing those of us who want to protect the natural beauty of a country that allows you to live as well as you do and to speak as freely as you do. Midwest Coalition To Reduce Immigration