In November 2005, Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich - a very strong supporter of illegal immigration - created the "New Americans Immigrant Policy Council" (press release link) to come up with ways to deal with immigrants in his state. The report from the NAIPC has been released, as has a report from a similar panel. Blago has endorsed their findings, but has not committed any money. And, whether any money will be found is still to be determined.
As even the WaPo discloses ("Ill. Governor To Announce New Benefits For Immigrants" by Kari Lydersen), these benefits would be for both legal and illegal immigrants:
Key points of the New Americans program include increasing the number of dual-language schools, English-as-a-second-language programs and bilingual staff members at state agencies, as well as providing job training for skilled and unskilled immigrants. The program is described as the first of its kind nationwide.
Tom Vilsack and Mike Huckabee might beg to differ; the "welcoming centers" proposed in one of the reports matches those offered in Iowa. There are only two points worth noting in the WaPo coverage: that one of the members of one of the panels is "former Immigration and Naturalization Service commissioner Doris Meissner", and this:
Susan Tully, national field director of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, said the program will put Blagojevich in violation of U.S. immigration law... "He does not have the right under the Constitution, even as governor of Illinois, to grant benefits to people who haven't been cleared by immigration and customs agents," she said.
Now, let's look at the seamy underbelly of Blago's scheme.
The 11/2005 press release doesn't differentiate between illegal and legal immigrants. And:
The Governor shall appoint a 15-person New Americans Immigrant Policy Council comprised of the chairs of the Joint Legislative Immigrant and Refugee Policy Task Force, a representative of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, and other appropriate parties.
Like Blago, the ICIRR is a strong supporter of illegal immigration. They were involved in the Jim Oberweis smear. And, they helped organize some of the Chicago illegal immigration marches; Blago spoke at at least one of those. Not only that, but after the first march their president Juan Salgado spoke at Los Pinos, the Mexican White House. And, their president is Josh Hoyt.
I look forward to the WaPo and the Chicago Tribune disclosing who Blago is affiliated with.
Immigration · Wed, 12/13/2006 - 10:08 · Importance: 4