john conyers: Page 1
Stephen Colbert shills for growers, supports bad policy in Congressional appearance (+rightwinger fail) - 09/24/10
Stephen Colbert testified before Congress earlier today and shilled for Big Agriculture and promoted bad, anti-American and anti-Mexican policy. And, the wider issue is also yet another example of failure by the rightwing commentariat, tea parties, and similar groups.
2. Colbert is working with the United Farmworkers of America to promote their anti-American, pro-abuse TakeOurJobs effort. I've already written three posts about that effort, the latest was on Wednesday at that link. The two previous are here and here.
3. From his remarks:
This brief experience [of working on an upstate New York farm for a day] gave me some small understanding of why so few Americans are clamoring to begin an exciting career as seasonal migrant field worker. So what’s the answer? I’m a free market guy. Normally I would leave this to the invisible hand of the market, but the invisible hand of the market has already moved over 84,000 acres of production and over 22,000 farm jobs over to Mexico and shut down over a million acres of U.S. farm land due to lack of available labor because apparently even the invisible hand doesn’t want to pick beans.
...Maybe we could give more visas to the immigrants, who - let’s face it - will probably be doing these jobs anyway. And this improved legal status might allow legal immigrants recourse if they’re abused. And it justs stands to reason to me if your coworker can’t be exploited, then you’re less likely to be exploited yourself. And that itself might improve pay and working conditions on these farms and eventually Americans may consider taking these jobs again.
a. A small number of growers with even more questionable loyalty to the U.S. than usual have indeed moved offshore.
b. The solution to that is to reduce labor costs in socially-acceptable ways; Colbert's solution is the opposite. Labor costs can be reduced through mechanization and the like; Colbert isn't promoting that. Instead, what he's promoting would initially *raise* labor costs (legalization). However, what would happen is that growers would collude with politicians to continue allowing illegal immigration in order to reduce labor costs to their current levels. And, some or many of those newly-legalized laborers would leave the farms for other lines of working, competing with, for instance, American construction workers (unless they were held in a form of indentured servitude). Colbert doesn't realize that growers and the political power they have are a major sticking point to solving the situation. See the immigration wage floor page for a related discussion.
c. In the first paragraph, Colbert's comments seem to suggest that only Mexicans and those from Central America are genetically predisposed to doing farm work. However, that conflicts with the second paragraph in which he says Americans might take those jobs. Why isn't Colbert working to help Americans do those jobs right now? The way to do that is to enforce our immigration laws and reduce the numbers of illegal aliens doing farm work. Colbert himself is admitting that the presence of illegal labor has reduced wages and lowered safety standards. His response is to reward the very people - growers, the politicians they influence, and groups like the UFW - who are responsible for the current situation instead of letting them know who's the boss.
d. The pro-American solution is to support citizen or at least legal labor working for acceptable wages in safe conditions. The bottom line is that Colbert is not supporting that. He's supporting something that would simply lead to a repeat of the current situation.
4. This issue is yet another example of failure by the rightwing commentariat, tea parties, and similar groups. I tried to make Colbert look bad before his appearance, and I got very little help with it; see the links in #2 above. Among other things, I started an online petition which got all of three (3) signatures: act.ly/2f5 I also posted here: freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2595102/posts Note the might-as-well-be-helping-Colbert comments. Colbert's appearance is very establishment-friendly pro-grower propaganda, similar to the crops rotting in the fields propaganda efforts stretching back decades. Those groups showed themselves incapable of striking back against such propaganda. And, most of Colbert's fans appear unable to recognize just whose side Colbert is on.
5. I added the "who are responsible for the current situation" above; hopefully that was clear before.
6. Another place I posted about this before the event was alipac.us/ftopict-213281.html That's the same as the Freerepublic post.
7. The failure by many opponents of illegal immigration who are commenting on this issue continues. See if you can find anyone in this long list who is attempting to show how Colbert is wrong. To compound the problem and as an illustration of how they aren't really serious about blocking amnesty, they're also unwilling to link to this post. Instead, they're engaging in wild conspiracy theories (such as that Colbert's appearance was designed to distract from the contemporaneous DOJ/New Black Panthers hearings) or only discussing the meta of Colbert's appearance.
John McCain not invited to Obama immigration "reform" confab on June 17; Obama not serious about "reform"? - 06/04/09
The White House has kept the guest list private, but invitees include, Sen. Chuck Schumer, who may introduce an immigration reform bill by the end of this year, as well as Reps. Xavier Becerra, the vice chairman of the Democratic Caucus, and John Conyers, the House Judiciary Committee chairman. Not invited: Sen. John McCain, who introduced an immigration bill with Sen. Edward Kennedy and played a central role in the debate in recent years...
[One senior GOP aide, whose boss had been involved in recent immigration debates] suggested the White House might be using the meeting as a "smokescreen to cover Obama’s campaign promise," giving proponents of immigration reform a symbolic victory, but not necessarily making a good-faith push to pass legislation.
"This is a show," the aide continued. “There’s neither the time nor the inclination to deal with immigration later this year and going into next year. It’s a political football. Why not highlight the perceived divide between Hispanics and Republicans? What better wedge issue than immigration?"
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.
DOJ investigating Sheriff Joe Arpaio over supposed racial profiling (Lofgren, Conyers, Nadler, Robert Scott, ACORN) - 03/12/09
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has launched an investigation of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office in Arizona following requests by congressional Democrats and allegations by liberal activists that the department has violated the civil rights of illegal aliens.
Reps. John Conyers (D-Mich.), Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), and Robert Scott (D-Va.) requested the investigation, and activists groups such as (National Day Laborer Organizing Network, NDLON) and ACORN launched petition drives and rallies in support of the probe.
The investigation focuses on Sheriff Joe Arpaio and dozens of officers under his command who were trained through the Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Agreements of Cooperation in Communities to Enhance Safety and Security (ACCESS), which partners federal and local law enforcement to enforce immigration laws...
Heartless Obama throws poor, illegal alien aunt under bus; will return illegal donations; lies about not knowing? - 11/01/08
Barack Obama's Kenyan aunt Zeituni Onyango - called "Auntie Zeituni" in his memoirs - turns out to be an illegal alien living in a Boston slum who illegally donated part of her meager income to his campaign.
And, now she joins a host of other former Obama associates under his bus. After it was discovered yesterday that she's an illegal alien, the Obama campaign has today released the following statement:
"Senator Obama has no knowledge of her status but obviously believes that any and all appropriate laws be followed."
Now, let's parse that out, Clinton-like.
1. He's not offering to get her an immigration lawyer to see whether her case is salvageable. Instead, he's just throwing her under the bus, in effect daring the Bush administration to go deport her. He truly is Mr. Wonderful, isn't he?
2. The statement puts his supposed lack of knowledge of her status in the present tense. What about past knowledge? Wouldn't a statement like this normally say that he "had" no knowledge?
3. Does this contradict his past implications that immigration raids and associated deportations should be stopped until "immigration reform" passes? Is he more "humane" to millions of other illegal aliens than his own aunt? (See Barack details practical, progressive, and humane federal policy that fundamentally addresses issues of immigration, link)
4. Isn't this yet another in the long line of support for illegal activity that follows him around everywhere he goes? His former bagman has been convicted; he's linked to others under investigation or suspected of being involved in illegal activity; his illegal alien aunt gave him illegal campaign donations; he supports illegal immigration and would allow it to continue; and, he's received potentially tens of millions of dollars in illegal campaign contributions.
5. The campaign says they'll return her donations (link). What about all the potential millions from others?
6. Let's look at the timeline the AP provides and see if it could be possible - shocking as it may be - that Obama is lying about having knowledge of her status:
~1988: [Obama] first met his father's side of the family when he traveled to Africa 20 years ago. He referred to Onyango as "Auntie Zeituni" when describing the trip in his memoir, saying she was "a proud woman."
~1992: returns to Kenya with Michelle, sees her again
~1999: Onyango visited the family in Chicago on a tourist visa at Obama's invitation about nine years ago, the campaign said, stopping to visit friends on the East Coast before returning to Kenya.
2005: She attended Obama's swearing-in to the U.S. Senate in 2004 [note: actually 2005], but campaign officials said Obama provided no assistance in getting her a tourist visa and doesn't know the details of her stay.
2006: The campaign said he last heard from her about two years ago when she called saying she was in Boston, but he did not see her there.
Does anyone in their right mind think that the hyper-ruthless and -efficient Obama campaign wouldn't have immediately have done a background check - "vetted" her - to make sure she wasn't going to be a liability? He knew she came here on a tourist visa in 2004. Did she apply for asylum on that visit? Isn't that something she would have mentioned to him? Perhaps not, but wouldn't he expect that she would have returned home? Then, when she called back in 2006 wouldn't he immediately wonder under what status she'd come back? If she'd mentioned that she'd applied for regular legal immigration (rather than seeking asylum), wouldn't he wonder about the timing? Clearly she wants to live in the U.S.; wouldn't he have inquired about what she was doing to further that goal?
And, she previously told at least two reporters that she couldn't comment on anything until after the election. Did she think up that on her own? What role if any do those in Obama friend Deval Patrick's administration have in any of this? Were any of those people "minding" her?
Everyone reading this - not MSM reporters - needs to go out and try to ask Obama some questions about this. We need to find out exactly what Obama knew about this (and when he knew it). And, we need to find out exactly what else he's hiding away until after the election.
UPDATE: Rep. John Conyers has sent a letter to Michael Chertoff, saying in part: "I was startled to read in today’s Associated Press that a 'federal law enforcement official' has leaked information about an immigration case involving a relative of Senator Obama." However, is what the official did illegal, or are they just worried about reprisal in case BHO wins? If the former, the comments here concerning the JTP case apply. What part of her case is not a part of the public record?
UPDATE 2: His swearing-in was actually in 2005, not 2004 as the AP report says. I changed that above. That also means that she was here illegally while attending his swearing-in ceremony.
Bennie Thompson, Dingell, Conyers, Reyes, Ortiz, other Democrats support Sierra Club lawsuit over border fence (DHS, environmental waiver) - 04/08/08
A cast of Congressional characters (all Democrats; listed below) intends to file an Amicus Curiae brief in the case where the Sierra Club and the Defenders of Wildlife are suing the Department of Homeland Security to prevent them from using apparently congressionally-mandated waivers that would let the DHS bypass environmental and related rules in order to build sections of the border fence.
Bennie Thompson, chairman of the Homeland Security Committee attempts to portray this as a Constitutional matter:
this waiver by the Secretary of Homeland Security is a direct challenge to Congress’s Constitutional role. The American people entrust Congress to ensure that the laws of this land are faithfully executed not excused by the Executive Branch
However, the plaintiffs and a quote from John Conyers, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, makes the intent clear:
our responsibility to be stewards of the earth cannot be thrown aside for the sake of an ill-conceived border fence
The others involved are: John Dingell, James Oberstar, George Miller, Louise Slaughter, Bob Filner, Silvestre Reyes, Solomon Ortiz, Zoe Lofgren, Sheila Jackson Lee, Susan Davis, Raul Grijalva, and Yvette Clarke.
That must have been the (so-called) thought process behind a recent letter sent to Fox News by, among other luminaries, Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich. and Rep. Pete Stark, D-Calif. This is a UPI report on the letter, but I could only find it at this site (menafn.com/qn_news_story.asp?StoryId=Cqq8nWeidDxmTzM94):