The New York Times published a fascinating story about the heiress who became obsessed with stopping immigration and limiting population, especially in poor countries.

Reporters Nicholas Kulish and Mike McIntire rely on the personal letters and writings of Cordelia Scaife May, the most significant funder of anti-immigration groups, to examine her views.

Cordelia Scaife May, an heiress to the Mellon family’s banking and industrial fortune, was far and away the most important donor to the modern anti-immigration movement during her lifetime. Now, more than a decade after her death, her money still funds the leading organizations fighting to reduce migration.

Her Colcom Foundation has poured $180 million into groups that spent decades agitating for policies now pursued by President Trump: militarizing the border, capping legal immigration and prioritizing skills over family ties for entry. And language she used — about the threat of an “immigrant invasion,” for instance, and environmental strain — echoes in today’s anti-immigration rhetoric, most recently in the words of the killer in the El Paso mass shooting.

May funded not only anti-immigration groups but Planned Parenthood and other groups devoted to population control.

Mrs. May’s efforts on immigration grew out of a progressive interest in protecting the environment and reducing the population through birth control. Long before her views became more radical and took root in the Trump administration, Mrs. May was a nature-loving Roosevelt Republican, and a friend and admirer of the Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger.

In time, however, she became a radical proponent of racist views and stopping immigration became her all-consuming passion. She advocated sealing the border with Mexico.

Mrs. May’s confidence in birth control would give way to abortion advocacy. And she would be among the first, and most financially influential, to set her sights on immigration as an alarming source of population growth in the United States…

In her writings, Mrs. May contended that the country was being “invaded on all fronts by immigrants.” Complaining about the Cubans who arrived in 1980 as part of the Mariel boatlift, she cited their “criminal habits, radical political thought, exotic diseases, neighborhood disruption,” but said their “most dangerous contribution” was their high birthrate, “far higher than that of our native population.”

“They breed like hamsters,” she wrote…

The anti-immigration movement funded by Mrs. May’s money extends far beyond the three best-known groups, the Federation for American Immigration Reform, the Center for Immigration Studies and NumbersUSA. Her fortune has nurtured an entire ecosystem, including more oblique efforts like a movement to make English the nation’s official language, and a publishing house and television productions that advocate limiting immigration.

The sheer number of these groups helped the anti-immigration movement succeed by giving it the appearance of broad-based support.

Since Mr. Trump’s election, former staff members from groups like FAIR and the Center for Immigration Studies have assumed key roles in the administration’s immigration apparatus, working with Stephen Miller, the architect of the president’s immigration agenda…