Advertisement Accused of Blaming California’s Drought on Immigrants

Published on June 4th, 2015

Marin Austin
June 4, 2015
As seen in:
FOX 40 Sacramento



An advertisement paid for by Californians for Population Stabilization is accused of blaming California’s severe drought on our state’s growing population — specifically, immigrants.

The ad, which first ran Monday and will continue to air over the next three weeks in Sacramento, poses the question: “If population isn’t growing, why isn’t there enough water?”

The answer from the narrator is, “Virtually all of California’s population growth is from immigration.”

Joe Guzzardi, a CAPS spokesperson, tells FOX40 the nonprofit paid over $100,000 to air the commercial. He added that the purpose of the ad is to help Californians become more aware of population growth and its effect on natural resources.

“We are not blaming immigrants,” Guzzardi said. “Absolutely not.”

State Sen. Ricardo Lara didn’t see it that way.

“The notion of blaming a certain group is ridiculous. What are we going to blame tourists and people visiting California, as well?” Lara said.

The advertisement claims that 98 percent of California’s population growth comes from immigrants.

Guzzardi said CAPS obtained that statistic from the State Department of Finance. But department spokesperson HD Palmer said the stats in the ad are wrong.

“We don’t know where they got the 98 percent number,” Palmer said. “Maybe they were assuming children of non-U.S. citizens are not citizens. If they’re born in the U.S.A., they are.

He added that the department’s statistics show the population increase has remained steady over the past 10 years.

“Mother Nature caused this drought. Immigration didn’t,” Palmer said.

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