fair immigration reform movement

Fair Immigration Reform Movement

Per fairimmigration.org/about/index.php is "a project of the Center for Community Change".

Standing FIRM Summit Pushes for Immigration Reform

The Members of the Organizing Committee are:

Last modified Feb 15, 2011
Discussed in (click each link for the full post):

DHS makes Secure Communities nationwide, no opt-out (so far). Lofgren, ACLU, NAKASEC, FIRM, CHIRLA, ICIRR, MIRA, Frank Sharry, NIF outraged. - 08/08/11

From this comes some good news for a change:

The Department of Homeland Security notified 39 governors Friday that the fingerprint-sharing program did not need their approval to operate in their states, and said it had voided agreements they had signed to authorize their states' participation, according to a copy of the letter.

FIRM wants civil disobedience to get amnesty? (CCC, Casa de Maryland, NYIC, OneAmerica) - 05/20/10

Per this unconfirmed report, a conference call was held on the 18th in which various pro-illegal immigration groups called for civil disobedience in an attempt to get comprehensive immigration reform (aka amnesty).

The groups named are: Fair Immigration Reform Movement, Center for Community Change, New York Immigration Coalition, Casa de Maryland, Churches United to Save and Heal, and OneAmerica:

On the call they said:

"We've marched, called and faxed. We've shown time and again that there's no bigger movement than ours. Still, our elected officials haven't delivered satisfactory progress on immigration reform. We won't be appeased with token gestures. We're stepping up the pressure. On this call we're going to go over the next steps, including civil disobedience, non-compliance and other acts of non-violent resistance in Los Angeles, New York, Seattle, Milwaukee, Washington, Baltimore and many more cities."

They specifically want a moratorium on the Secure Communities program.

RNC's Michael Steele supports amnesty at meeting with far-left, Mexico-linked groups - 04/01/10

Two days ago I posted a notice that Michael Steele of the RNC was going to meet with extremist and Mexico-linked illegal immigration supporters and urged others to contact him suggesting that he handle the meeting in the correct way [1]. Not surprisingly, Steele handled the meeting in the completely incorrect way (link):

According to a news release put out by the activists [2], he said he would try and recruit Republican support for comprehensive immigration legislation.

The RNC says he made no such commitment. The immigration activist who led the meeting said he did, but then [Steele] backpedaled after being signaled by a staffer that he may have gone too far...

...Pramila Jayapal, executive director of OneAmerica, the largest immigrant rights coalition in Washington state, said that Steele committed himself to a “holistic bipartisan consensus on immigration reform” and said he believes the Republican party should be “reaching out.” She said he said he would call Graham and work with the party leadership to “determine where things are in immigration reform.” But she said he stopped short of promising to recruit other Republicans.

But the second activist said he did in fact make that offer. (Josh Hoyt), executive director of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, said Steele went through a list of possible Republicans in the Senate who might sign on to the effort, said he would try to recruit another sponsor and agreed with the activists on their goal of getting legislation introduced by April 30.

But Hoyt said that midway through the meeting, an RNC staffer signaled to Steele that he should “walk back what he had said.” After that, Hoyt said, Steele said he emphasized that he could not “get ahead” of Republican Senate leaders.

Julia Preston of the New York Times says (link):

Mr. Steele stressed that border security was the primary goal for Republicans in the immigration debate, several participants said. He seemed unfamiliar with the details of the proposal by Mr. Graham and Mr. Schumer, they said... But he “committed to looking at the Schumer-Graham bill to see how they can move forward with this bill,” said Tony Asion, executive director of (El Pueblo North Carolina), an immigrant organization in North Carolina, who is a Republican.

That underlines how in some cases those who harp on secure the border are just using it to mask how weak they are on amnesty.

[1] I posted that to FreeRepublic (and got the expected unhelpful responses: freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2483320/posts), Reddit (+2, -2), and a couple blogs. Needless to say, this is yet another example of how it's difficult to get people to do things that are effective. If I'd suggested waving loopy signs and throwing tantrums my postings would have probably received wide acclaim and maybe a link from Glenn Reynolds.

[2] communitychange.org/press-room/press-releases/
immigrant-leaders-get-commitment-from-rnc-chairman

Far-left wants John Morton fired over immigration quotas memo (also want little or no enforcement) - 03/31/10

Yesterday, Frank Sharry of America's Voice offered "ICE Out of Control: Time to Rein in Rogue Agency and Pass Immigration Reform" [1], showing once again how little use those who support comprehensive immigration reform have for immigration enforcement. One of the selling features of "reform" is increased enforcement, yet "reform" would give even more power to those like Sharry who advocate against enforcement:

Today, a group of grassroots leaders are demanding that the Obama Administration fire John Morton, the head of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) within the Department of Homeland Security.

Deepak Bhargava of the (Center for Community Change), a lead organizer of the immigration rally in Washington, D.C. on March 21st and a leader of FIRM (Fair Immigration Reform Movement), had this to say at today’s press conference:

"This agency has gone rogue and is operating in clear opposition to the direction President Obama has set."

What gives? It seems the stated priorities of President Obama may not be in sync with the cowboy tactics of ICE agents in the field.

Bear in mind that he said that based on a memo that ICE frantically walked back.

Sharry also states, "Look, we’re not against enforcing immigration laws" when his record and that of other "reform" supporters say otherwise.

[1] huffingtonpost.com/frank-sharry/ice-out-of-control-time-t_b_519201.html

Michael Steele, extremist and Mexico-linked illegal immigration supporters to meet March 31 (after sit-in) - 03/30/10

RNC chairman Michael Steele will be meeting with a group of far-left illegal immigration supporters on March 31, 2010; the details on who's involved and the backstory is below. Most importantly of all, please take a few moments and try to contact him, his staff, or someone who can get a message to him and suggest that he handles this meeting in the right way.

Note: the only two contacts I've found are info *at* gop.com and on Twitter: @ChairmanMSteele but I don't know if the second is really his.

The wrong way, of course, would be for the chairman of the Republican Party to agree with far-left racial power supporters who have little or no use for our immigration laws. Another wrong way would be to simply disagree with them without showing how they're wrong. A mostly wrong way to handle it would be to simply nod along.

The best way to handle the meeting - and the way least likely to occur given his past statements [1] - would be for Steele to video the proceedings and show how they're wrong. Because the GOP is run by those who have little competence beyond cashing checks, don't expect that to occur. But, if by some miracle they get some sense they could easily devastate the arguments that the other side provides since those arguments are full of holes.

For instance, if they bring up the DREAM Act, Steele could point out that what they support would let illegal aliens take college educations from U.S. citizens. Or, he could point out all the many downsides of comprehensive immigration reform. Or, he could ask those attending about their interesting positions and links.

Per [2], this is who'll be there:

* Josh Hoyt of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR's president serves on an advisory council to the Mexican government and clearly has divided loyalties; they're also linked into the Illinois power structure, such as by having been appointed to a state council by Rod Blagojevich)...

* Xiomara Corpeno of CHIRLA, a group that has allegedly collaborated with the Mexican government...

* Christine Neumann-Ortiz of Wisconsin's Voces de la Frontera (intimidated a politician by surrounding their house; opposed an immigration raid that no doubt freed up jobs for Americans; said a citizenship test is like a poll tax)...

* Tony Asion of El Pueblo North Carolina (group co-founded by Andrea Bazan of the National Council of La Raza; supported drivers licenses for illegal aliens and AgJobs in a letter signed by many other groups)...

* Eun Sook Lee of the National Korean American Service and Education Consortium (opposes immigration enforcement)...

* Julien Ross of the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition (wants that state to accept the Matricula Consular card, an ID practically guaranteeing that the bearer is here illegally)...

Others at the meeting:
* Tim O'Harrow, of the Council of Rural Initiatives and the Dairy Business Association...
* Pramila Jayapal of OneAmerica...
* Ricardo Perez of the Hispanic Affairs Pastoral Project...
* a student who supports the DREAM Act...
* Sergio Suarez, "successful businessman and entrepreneur (Chicago)".

Note that ICIRR, CIRA, and El Pueblo among many others signed a letter opposing immigration raids.

The meeting was initiated after a group of around forty pro-illegal immigration activists affiliated with the Fair Immigration Reform Movement engaged in a sit-in at the offices of the RNC and demanded a meeting with Steele. This was in conjunction with their big march, and video is at peekURL.com/v9kwtkq

[1] wonkroom.thinkprogress.org/2010/03/22/sit-in-rnc-immigration
[2] dailykos.com/storyonly/2010/3/30/852398/-untitled-diary

2009 immigration marches get tea party-level turnout (actually even less) - 05/01/09

The 2009 marches in support of illegal immigration are getting a turn-out roughly equivalent to that of the tea parties or less. For the high side of figures, turn to the Fair Immigration Reform Movement at fairimmigration.wordpress.com

Dream Act re-introduced: you need to organize local efforts to block it - 03/27/09

The anti-American DREAM Act was re-introduced yesterday in the House and the Senate. The bill is an amnesty for a potentially large number of younger illegal aliens, and it would allow those covered under the bill to take college discounts from U.S. citizens. In other words, because of this bill, some U.S. citizens will have their college educations taken away from them by former illegal aliens.

Considering that, it's incredibly easy to block the bill and discredit those who support it. The way to do that is to ask a politician who supports the bill the question at the link above, and then upload video of their response to video sharing sites. What I need you to do is to organize local efforts to go out and do that as described here. Even if you can't start a local group, you can still urge others to form such a group in your area.

The text of the bills isn't at thomas.loc.gov yet, but there's a probably accurate stock description here; those meeting the following qualifications would be temporarily legalized:

* They arrived in the United States before age 16.
* They have been otherwise law-abiding citizens for at least five consecutive years since the date of arrival and have registered for the Selective Service in case the military needs them.
* They must be older than 12 years old but younger than 30 when the bill becomes law.
* They have either graduated from a U.S. high school or obtained a general equivalency diploma.
* They have "good moral character."

...those immigrants who satisfy these criteria would get conditional legalization and would have to either complete study at a community college, complete at least two years toward a bachelor’s degree or serve two years in the U.S. military to get their permanent residency.

The House version is H.R.1751 from Howard Berman, currently co-sponsored by Lincoln Diaz Balart, Mario Diaz Balart, Zoe Lofgren, Joseph Cao, John Conyers, Devin Nunes, Jared Polis, Ileana Ros Lehtinen, and Lucille Roybal Allard.

The Senate version is S.729 from Dick Durbin, currently co-sponsored by Richard Lugar, Russ Feingold, Ted Kennedy, Pat Leahy, Joe Lieberman, Mel Martinez, and Harry Reid.

Those quoted at the description link above in support of the bill include Harry Reid, the Fair Immigration Reform Movement, the National Council of La Raza, and the National Immigration Forum.

Obama meets with Congressional Hispanic Caucus over immigration "reform"; trip to Mexico; public forum - 03/18/09

Earlier today, Barack Obama met with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to discuss comprehensive immigration reform. The White House statement is at [1]; an AFP report is here; content-free statements from Luis Gutierrez and Deepak Bhargava of the Center for Community Change are at [2].

So far nothing that shocking or newsworthy has emerged; both Obama and the CHC are strong supporters of giving an amnesty and other benefits to illegal aliens. The only question is how much Obama is willing to push it and when. The two points below indicate that a push might begin in April although whether he'd put much capital behind it remains to be seen.

1. He'll be making a trip to Mexico in April; per the White House the agenda will include discussing how "the United States and Mexico can... work toward effective, comprehensive immigration reform".

2. Don't worry, citizens will get to give their input at a no-doubt complete setup public forum to be conducted in a couple months (per Bob Menendez at the AFP link).

3. Per Gutierrez: "The president said more than any of us expected him to say... He was clear, eloquent and determined in letting us know that we're all together on the route to comprehensive immigration reform... [the CHC] made it absolutely clear that this is a civil rights issue of our community."

4. CHC Chair Nydia Velazquez: "We believe that we are moving forward this year, we are going to work with the president".

[1] From whitehouse.gov/blog/09/03/18/ President-Obama-Meets-with-the-Congressional-Hispanic-Caucus :
Readout on the President’s Meeting with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus

The President had a robust and strategic meeting with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus today on the topic of immigration. The meeting lasted approximately one hour. The President discussed how the administration will work with the CHC to address immigration concerns in both the short and long term. During the meeting, the President announced that he will travel to Mexico next month to meet with President Calderon to discuss the deep and comprehensive US-Mexico relationship, including how the United States and Mexico can work together to support Mexico’s fight against drug-related violence and work toward effective, comprehensive immigration reform. Since their meeting in January, the President has repeatedly praised President Calderon for his extraordinary work to solve these challenges, which are important to communities and families on both sides of the border.
[2] fairimmigration.wordpress.com/2009/03/18/ update-obama-meets-with-congressional-hispanic-caucus

FIRM, CHIRLA, NYIC demand Obama stops raids, grants amnesty; will march in DC on January 21, 2009 - 11/12/08

A group of illegal immigration supporting groups held a press conference in DC yesterday, demanding that as president Obama grants amnesty and halts workplace raids. They also announced that they'll be marching for the same demands in DC on January 21, 2009.

Mexico linked groups complain about "hate group" FAIR (FIRM, SEIU, America's Voice, NCLR) - 09/11/08

The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) is currently conducting the "Hold Their Feet to the Fire" rally in Washington DC where radio hosts from across the country and their listeners lobby their representatives to support pro-borders causes. Needless to say, the other side doesn't like that too much, and four such groups have joined together to place a scurrilous advertisement in the Politico and Roll Call. You can see the ad linked from seiu.org/media/pressreleases.cfm?pr_id=1753, which says:
Today the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), America's Voice, Center for New Community, and the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) launched a print ad denouncing known hate group, FAIR (the Federation for American Immigration Reform), for poisoning the immigration debate with bigoted, xenophobic hate speech. In support of the ad, SEIU Executive Vice President Eliseo Medina issued the following statement:

"It's time that everyone learns who FAIR's founders, leaders and followers truly are. They are not reformers, but a group of extremists whose leaders are fostering a bigoted, anti-immigrant, anti-American agenda that we must stop... ...By continuing to fan the flames of hate and fear, FAIR has contributed to rising levels of hate crimes and discrimination... ...Crude attempts to shut down our border and round up anyone who looks a certain way do not begin to solve our broken immigration system..."
There is, of course, more ranting at the SEIU page. You can read FAIR's response here. The ad juxtaposes supposedly inflammatory comments from FAIR-related persons with pictures of Angry White Men, none of whom are presumably those being quoted. For instance, I don't believe that Dan Stein from FAIR is a skinhead. The comments also deserve a grown-up discussion, something that the SEIU and their friends don't want to have. In fact, as the quote above makes clear, they want to silence FAIR and others who oppose them by calling them names. The ad including a headline noting that the SPLC has designated FAIR as a "hate group". The ad also includes a link to the National Council of La Raza's WeCanStopTheHate.org.

What the ad doesn't note is that FIRM includes one member group that's allegedly collaborated with the Mexican government and another group headed by someone who serves on an advisory council to that government. The SEIU paid someone to organize immigration marches, and that person serves on that same advisory council to the Mexican government. In addition to occasionally attempting to mislead and being the subject of at least two exposes, the Southern Poverty Law Center has an indirect link to that government. And, of course, the NCLR funds extremists and gave an award to a vile racist among many other things.

Christine Neumann-Ortiz' monument to low wages, illegal activity - 08/08/07

From [1]:
On August 8, a first anniversary commemoration of the raid at Star Packaging will unveil a mock Wisconsin Historical Marker at the site and formally declare the factory's empty shell "a monument to the nation's broken immigration system".

Wednesday's 10am press conference, to be held outside the factory, will begin with the unveiling and be followed by brief addresses from speakers including Executive Director of Voces de la Frontera, Christine Neumann-Ortiz, Jorge Islas, Vice President of Sigma America, and workers affected by the raid.

[Newman-Ortiz says:] "One year later, Whitewater is still hurting. A good local business is all but closed, 90 local jobs have gone, families have been scarred by deportations, others continue to fight... The empty shell of the factory has come to represent everything that is wrong with our broken immigration system. We need the federal government to step up and deliver on comprehensive reform so there are no more tragedies like this."
It certainly looks like a tragedy, if you read between the lines of July 18's hugely sympathetic report "Whitewater factory struggles to stay open after worker raid" (by Pat Schneider, link). Since that's an older article, I can let the commenters speak for me:
[Tired of the hand wringing:] ...Why would any hispanic in Whitewater feel afraid? If they're here legally, they've got no worries. They should be even more outraged over this than anyone else - they're the ones getting scapegoated for the actions of the criminals here illegally (yes, they're all criminals the second they sneak over the border)...

[Toaster:] I would say this story belongs in the "Opinion" section. It reads like if you don't support illegal immigrants, you are heartless shit. Yeah, they throw in the token "other side of the argument" at the end. :roll:

[supportamericans:] I have no sympathy for this business owner or anyone else locally that hires ILLEGAL immigrants. The only fear this has cast in our community is a fear that other business owners that hire illegal immigrants and violate federal laws will get caught. They should be afraid.
[1] fairimmigration.wordpress.com/2007/08/08/ unveiling-monument-to-nations-broken-immigration-system
Note that that's from the Fair Immigration Reform Movement, which has Voces as a member. One other member has a link to the Mexican government, another has an indirect link, and a third has an alleged direct link.

Christine Newman-Ortiz: citizenship test is like the poll tax - 02/09/07

Last week the group Fair Immigration Reform Movement held a convention (link), and one of the attendees was Christine Newman-Ortiz, executive director of Voces de la Frontera of Milwaukee. In addition to surrounding someone's house in an act of intimidation, that group is a member of FIRM, as is the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, whose executive director Josh Hoyt also attended. Another attendee was the Reverend James Lawson.

Now for the quote you've been waiting for:

Newman-Ortiz, who also attended the 'Black Brown and Beyond' sessions said immigrants face similar struggles to African Americans shortly after slavery. "The proposed entry tests for immigrants are similar to the poll tax and literacy tests that kept African Americans from getting voting rights," she said. "We want to make a statement that we oppose making these tests more difficult. We want to encourage more people to get involved."

I do too. If you're in Milwaukee, do your best to expose Voces for what they are.

Standing FIRM Summit Pushes for Immigration Reform - 02/08/07

New America Media/Naomi Briley[[February 8, 2007]]/ link

WASHINGTON--Last week over 200 immigrant rights leaders from across the country joined together, building strategies for immigration reform. The three-day conference, hosted by the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM), was held at the Galludet University in Washington, D.C.