national immigration forum
National Immigration Forum
Current Executive Director is Ali Noorani, formerly with the Massachusetts Immigration and Refugee Advocacy Coalition.
Frank Sharry, now with America's Voice, was previously the NIF's Executive Director for several years.
[The National Immigration Forum is] the umbrella organization for high-immigration political advocacy, which works closely with sympathetic Republicans. But NIF is not like the conventional lobbying coalitions that exist on numerous issues. It was cofounded by the National Lawyers Guild in the 1980s, back when the Guild was a Soviet front group. The group's first head was Rick Swartz, a leftist attorney who cut his teeth advocating for Haitian illegal aliens and who, during a 1981 Senate hearing, likened the United States to Nazi Germany.
"Bibles, Badges and Business for Immigration Reform" ("BBB") describes itself as "a national network of faith, law enforcement and business leaders working together to educate and support members of Congress as they consider reforms to our immigration system".
Evangelical Immigration Table supports bad personal and public policy (Sojourners, Focus on the Family, Richard Land) - 06/12/12
A group of evangelical leaders have formed the "Evangelical Immigration Table" (evangelicalimmigrationtable.com) to support, among other things, legalizing millions of illegal aliens. A list of those involved is here.
Their policies are an example of false compassion: some might think their ideas would make things better, but they'd wind up making things worse for most people. They want a "bipartisan solution" that:
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.
Group circulates list of 1300 supposed illegal aliens in Utah, a problematic, counter-productive waste of time - 07/13/10
An anonymous group [note: using the name Concerned Citizens of the United States] says it quietly watched Hispanics in their neighborhoods, schools, churches and "public welfare buildings" to compile a list of 1,300 people it says are illegal immigrants living in Utah. The group sent the list to law enforcement agencies and news media demanding that those named "be deported immediately." ...It is not known who produced the list, although Gov. Gary Herbert has called for an investigation to see if the list was compiled by someone with access to state databases containing personal information. The list contains birthdates, workplaces, addresses, phone numbers and social security numbers. Names of children are included. Several pregnant women have their exact due dates listed. All the names seem to be Hispanic.
1. This is highly counter-productive because it puts illegal aliens in the position where their advocates want them: as teary victims of racist oppressors.
2. Not all of those on the list might be here illegally; this raises the specter of other lists that have been used throughout history.
3. No one should expect officials to start deporting people just because they're on the list; in fact, the opposite might happen with politicians rushing to their defense.
4. It'd be surprising if they got all the information on the list legally, and state officials aren't going to give them a pass where they would give a pass in the opposite situation.
5. All the time spent on the list could have been spent on legitimate and highly-effective plans like question authority.
UPDATE: From this:
on Friday morning [July 16], Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff stood side-by-side with Paul Mero, of the Sutherland Institute, Catholic Bishop John Wester, state Sen. Ruz Robles, and representatives of the National Council of La Raza and the National Immigration Forum.
This site tries to discredit the last two groups; those who leaked the list helped them. Some of the fault of this lies with various political leaders; instead of promoting plans like question authority, they promote ineffective or low-wattage activities.
7/31/10 UPDATE: "The List" continues to help far-left supporters of illegal immigration. On Friday, 121 groups sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security asking them to denounce the list and refuse to use it (link). Those behind the letter include the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Council of La Raza, Human Rights Watch, FamiliesUSA, Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, and other religious groups.
Roy Beck of Numbers USA attended yesterday's pro-illegal immigration march, and you can watch the reception he received on the video at peekURL.com/v41a4yc which is also attached right or below. On the video, persons dressed as mimes surrounded him as he attempted to speak to the camera and blew whistles at him in an attempt to shut him up. Not only that, but from their posting about the day's events (link):
After threatening Roy, the mimes were ordered by Park Police to remain between 7th and 14th streets. Then they huddled and one ran to Park Police claiming one of Roy's African American bodyguards had assaulted her. Park Police were forced to investigate and arrest the bodyguard pending investigation. You have seen the videos folks, the same ones we will provide to the police to clear this situation. Both Chad and Roy have been shoved, bumped, whistled and screamed at, etc. yet have not pushed back.
While at least one of those involved was wearing a Service Employees International Union shirt, the bit with the mimes was organized by the Center for New Community. In the video, Beck holds up a card from the CNC's far-left, anti-white "Imagine2050" campaign; the card says:
"Bigots are here to debate immigration/make like a mime/don't debate anti-immigrant trolls"
The mimes and their handlers are, not to put too fine a point on it, fascists. They don't support the American system of debate but instead seek to silence those who disagree. Needless to say, this is how the far-left operates throughout the U.S., whether they're disrupting public meetings, seeking to criminalize speech, or relatively minor things like referring to mainstream rightwing radio as "hate radio". And, of course, many bloggers on both the right and the left have a war against "trolls", where they too seek to silence those who disagree.
While it's good that Beck showed up for their event and may have shown some who aren't familiar with this issue who the other side is, attending street protests is largely a worthless endeavor. The much more effective way to do things is - of course - outlined on the question authority page.
UPDATE: Andrea Nill of ThinkProgress has the mimes' side of things at
thinkprogress.org/2010/03/22/roy-beck-numbersusa. One of the mimes who pressed charges is Lena Graber, who may be the same person who's a policy associate at the National Immigration Forum, a considered-mainstream group (http://www.immigrationforum.org/about/staff). While some of the things she says might cause a finder of fact to assume the bodyguard is in the wrong, other things cast a great deal of doubt on her statements. Namely, Nill says: "Graber explains that she and four other mimes followed Beck and his crew around for four hours in an effort to prevent Beck from picking a fight with demonstrators..." Obviously, Beck wasn't going to "pick a fight" with anyone; he's not a thug like they are.
Then, Nill says:
Another witness who did not want to be named confirmed Graber’s account and described the mimes’ behavior as “completely whimsical in nature — never threatening.” Both Graber and the witness confirmed that the "hateful whistles" were actually just small plastic whistles in the shape of a soccer ball.
What they were doing is trying to intimidate Beck and silence him; watch the video. They're little fascists, just like all the other little fascists throughout history in spirit if not in deed. The others, of course, went well beyond whistles, but it's not hard at all to see those like Lena Graber going further if given the chance. And, Andrea Nill is enabling their behavior.
If "immigration equality" - the ability for same-sex (gay or lesbian) couples to have the same immigration privileges as straight couples - is important to you, then the article at this link about the Reform Immigration for America group not supporting "immigration equality" should be your first and last stop for the day. They aren't on your side.
Source: press release located here. See the first item in the history for the full text.
SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Tides (www.tides.org) hasawarded a total of $22,500 to the 2009 recipients of the JBL Awards forExcellence in Public Advocacy. Tides' JBL Awards honor policy activists andadvocates by recognizing work that demonstrates innovative approaches tosocial change and a deep commitment to the public interest.
Napolitano immigration meeting: you weren't represented (vast # of loose borders groups, Obama/Janet anti-287g) - 08/20/09
Earlier today, Janet Napolitano of the Department of Homeland Security held a closed-door meeting with a group of what she calls "stakeholders" (dhs.gov/ynews/releases/pr_1250792978709.shtm) but was actually a vast pantheon (see below) of far-left, racial power, corrupt business, and in general loose borders groups all of which want some form of comprehensive immigration reform, aka amnesty. There were at least 98 participants in the meeting, and none of them represent your interests or the interests of the great majority of American citizens. Why exactly they'd hold the meeting isn't clear; aside from guest workers and minor details they're all pretty much on the same page. Perhaps it was a strategy session to see how they could fool as many people as possible whenever they decide to push for amnesty.
The President said specifically that when it comes to the local police charged with enforcing federal immigration law under 287(g) agreements that he wants these local law enforcement agencies held accountable.
Noorani’s other question concerned the 287g program, which gives local law enforcement the authority to enforce immigration law. Noorani asked Napolitano to revoke the authority of agencies who have clearly violated the spirit of the agreement, and that the immigration reform community looked forward to seeing that happen. Napolitano responded, “Me, too.”
Other statements from those attending the meeting are here. Here's the intro to the DHS's press release:
"Today’s meeting on comprehensive immigration reform was an important opportunity to hear from stakeholders and build on the significant time I’ve spent on the Hill meeting with members of Congress on this critical subject. I look forward to working with President Obama, my colleagues in Congress and representatives from law enforcement, business, labor organizations, the interfaith community, advocacy groups and others as we work on this important issue.”
UPDATE: Griswold of CATO weighs in with a slab of Policy-As-Highschool (cato-at-liberty.org/2009/08/21/the-president-drops-by-to-tout-immigration-reform). After Napolitano gave her "opening remarks we broke up into smaller roundtable discussions of about 15 people each moderated by DHS officials". They then reconvened and Napolitano discussed what they'd learned. Then, Obama entered the building and made his speech "about 20 feet from where I was sitting". Griswold also refers to himself as a "small fish"; he's much too modest since he was some kind of inspiration for Bush's 2004 anti- and un-American guest workers plan.
And, there are so many groups that I've split the list into two parts. The religious, union, city/police, and miscellaneous groups are here. The following has the major groups, the business groups, and the single libertarian:
"Reform Immigration For America": business, labor, CAP, NCLR, CHIRLA begin new push; summit, townhall meeting; John Quigley - 06/01/09
A new group called "Reform Immigration For America" recently launched in order to push for comprehensive immigration reform, aka amnesty. They're a coalition of business, labor, and far-left/racial power groups; see their slick site here: reformimmigrationforamerica.org.
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.
A government report questions the effectiveness of a federal program, long criticized by immigrant advocacy groups, that deputizes police officers as immigration agents.As he later says, who exactly they're supposed to go after isn't spelled out in the law, although the internal Department of Homeland Security policies are to go after smugglers, violent criminals, and so on. The GAO says the DHS didn't make that policy clear, and their report includes a reply from DHS saying that they're making changes. Archibold's report also references Joe Arpaio's efforts and the report from Justice Strategies; he calls the latter George Soros-linked group "a nonpartisan research foundation".
The report, to be released Wednesday by the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, says the government has failed to determine how many of the thousands of people deported under the program were the kind of violent felons it was devised to root out...
Rep. Bennie Thompson will be holding a hearing today. More as it becomes available.
UPDATE: The report is available here; if anyone reads it leave notes in comments. Stock comments from Ali Noorani of the National Immigration Forum and Angela Kelley of the Immigration Policy Center are at: lawprofessors.typepad.com/immigration/2009/03/congressional-h.html
Rights Working Group wants immigration enforcement moratorium and much more (ACLU, NCLR, 248 others) - 01/09/09
The Asian American Justice Center runs the Rights Working Group, a coalition of over 250 leftwing groups, and they have a petition calling on Barack Obama to in effect not do immigration enforcement. They want a "moratorium" while the subject of raids and the like is "studied", but everyone knows what that means.
Cardinal Mahony, Janet Murguia, Unite Here, Frank Sharry, Ali Noorani pretend immigration "reform" would be good for the economy - 01/08/09
The preeminent moral voice supporting just and comprehensive immigration reform joins the President of one of America's leading pro-immigrant unions, the head of the largest Latino civil rights organization, and national pro-reform leaders to discuss the prospects for comprehensive immigration reform as the 44th President and 111th Congress take office.Anna Gorman of the Los Angeles Times listened in, and offers this:
"I don’t think it's possible to fix the American economy without comprehensive immigration reform," John Wilhelm, president of Unite Here, said during a media call.This is the second time I've noticed that line, and I'm calling it a trend. The previous comments apply in this case. Apparently whoever writes the lines for these people thought it up in response to complaints that "reform" wasn't possible during a recession, and it would be great to know who thought it up originally.
Wilhelm said legislation would improve the economy by placing workers and employers on an even playing field, eliminating exploitation and increasing wages and tax compliance.
Cardinal Mahoney opposed the sustenance of an underclass; he's partially responsible for that due to his support for illegal activity. If he really wanted to avoid that, he'd work to discourage illegal immigration and demand that Mexico fixes their own country rather than sending their people north.
It would be fairly easy to show just how corrupt and illogical the "preeminent moral voice" is if anyone would try to ask him tough questions about this issue. Discrediting Mahoney or others who use a religious justification to support illegal activity would take a great deal of wind out of the sails of the "reform" movement.
UPDATE: From this other recounting of the call:
[Sharry said:] "We are confident and very optimistic that there's likely to be a big window of opportunity between September 2009 and March 2010 [in order to pass 'reform']"...
[Mahony said:] "I think that would be a good time simply because there are no federal elections going on, and beyond that, it is really important for us to get this really done at a time when we do not have huge immigration rhetoric going on around the nation"...
While an economic crisis is not the best time to present a substantial immigration reform package, Sharry said, "legalizing workers will increase wages, increase the tax compliance of the workers and the employers who hire them and it would restore the rule of law."
USCIS Task Force on New Americans releases "Building an Americanization Movement for the Twenty-first Century" - 12/21/08
In 2006, George W Bush tasked the USCIS with creating a Task Force on New Americans to spend a lot of time and effort looking into assimilation of immigrants and related topics. Now, they're released their final report, "Building an Americanization Movement for the Twenty-first Century" (summary link, PDF available in the sidebar at that page).
It's 65 pages, so a full treatment won't be offered. However:
1. Page 6 says:
The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that America will be a nation of minorities without a dominant racial or ethnic group by 2042. By mid-century, whites, 67 percent of the population in 2005, will comprise roughly 47 percent, with Hispanics at 29 percent, blacks at 13 percent, and Asians at 9 percent... Recognizing the early trends, the bipartisan U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform in 1997 called for a modern-day Americanization movement that would uphold American unity through a shared understanding and practice of the values enshrined in the U.S. Constitution, as well as emphasis on communication in a common language.
In other words, they came up with a quite possibly ineffective solution to a side-effect of their policies.
2. While some of the "Participating Individuals and Organizations" include those on our side, others are not and include Tamar Jacoby of ImmigrationWorks USA, various people from the Migration Policy Institute, someone from the National Immigration Forum, and someone from the Mexican government-linked NALEO.
"while (a Lamar Alexander report relating to amnesty) doesn't overtly mention assimilation, it is very strong on the patriotism and traditional american [sic] values language in a way which is potentially dangerous to our communities."
3. Another ironic participant was Jose Luis Gutierrez from the State of Illinois Office of New Americans Policy and Advocacy. He's an aide to Rod Blagojevich, and that office (immigrants.illinois.gov/NewAmericans.htm) was started in cooperation with the Mexican government-linked Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights.
4. The report uses various weasly left-wing phrases along the lines of diversity being strength and so forth.
If anyone sees anything worthy of greater discussion in the report, leave a comment.
UPDATE: Eunice Moscoso offers this:
(Alfonso Aguilar, head of the U.S. Office of Citizenship) said the report is not recommending "an ugly, English-only approach," but "a friendly, pro-active literary effort." ...The task force also recommends that every state create a "state integration counsel" comprised of state and local government officials, businesses, faith-based organizations, civic organizations, and nonprofit groups that work with immigrant communities...
In practice, that means groups that are far-left, interested in little more than racial power, linked to the Mexican government, or some combination thereof.
UPDATE 2: Stephen Wall of the San Bernardino Sun has a report here, including an uncharacteristicly non-extremist quote from Armando Navarro where he simply praises multiculturalism and demographic change. However:
"It's total nonsense," (Elsa Valdez, a sociology professor at Cal State San Bernardino) said. "We have had immigrants coming for over 200 years. America as a country has never become Balkanized, and we haven't had a civil war with different groups fighting each other. The only reason you have enclaves or segregated communities is we haven't done a very good job integrating the different immigrant groups economically and socially in terms of jobs, health care and education."
Freelance writer and Vanity Fair contributor Judy Bachrach offers a smear of Lou Dobbs in "Lou Doubts" (poder360.com/article_detail.php?id_article=549). It's yet another example of the illegal activity-supporting establishment trying to reduce his influence in order to profit from illegal activity in one way or another.
Massive immigration supporter Frank Sharry - formerly of the National Immigration Forum and now with America's Voice - stopped by FireDogLake earlier today for a chat with their readers: firedoglake.com/2008/05/04/fdl-welcomes-frank-sharry-of-americas-voice
While he answered questions from others, he failed to answer a few I posed despite the fact that few others asked him anything and he had over 20 minutes to think up a good response; more below.
He also gave what will hopefully turn out to be spectacularly bad advice:
On the one hand, I do think it will matter hugely if progressive forces -- if labor, and immigrant advocates, and Latinos, and African Americans, -- if we close ranks, and Democrats get on offense [against "nativist sentiment"], that's going to matter hugely. ...the way to deal with the right-wing echo chamber is to marginalize them through a combination of political power and winning the argument over who has the better solution... We increasingly are and will take them on. There's an anti-hate approach that's part of the strategy. But from my point of view, the real key is to have the netroots take this on as an issue. I think we pretty much have the upper hand in the mainstream print press. And I think eventually we want to make cartoon figures out of TV talkers like who are cartoon characters.
There really isn't much of an argument in favor of massive and/or illegal immigration; the only way some make that argument is through being misleading in one way or another. And, many bloggers do post in support of illegal immigration, then get comments on those threads pointing out how they're wrong. While some new voices might join in, they'll soon leave as they see their credibility fall. And, it's good to see that Sharry at least partially agrees with me on the biases of the "print press".
Here's the comment I left, in case Sharry drops by and wants to leave a comment or something. Comments can be left 24/7, no waiting. Alternatively, those who attend his public appearances should try to ask him these or the many other questions he should answer (links added):
1. Approximately how much did your former group (the NIF) obtain from companies that profit from illegal immigration? I know they got at least $40,000 from Western Union, a company that illegal aliens use to send money to their home countries. Can you give us a ballpark figure on any other money received from other companies that profit from illegal immigration?
2. Would you agree that illegal immigration is an indicator of government corruption, and that anyone who supports illegal immigration through things like discouraging enforcement of our laws is supporting government corruption?
3. The ACLU is working directly with the Mexican government, and other non-profits have direct or indirect links as well. And, Calderon recently stated that they’re going to be using U.S. non-profits to push their agenda inside the U.S. Will you denounce such meddling in our internal politics?
Andres Oppenheimer of the Miami Herald - previously featured here for warning about a "Latino Intifada" unless we give millions of illegal aliens an amnesty - now offers "Five myths of anti-immigration talk", such as:
Myth No. 1: ''We are only against illegal immigration. Undocumented immigrants should get in line for visas.'' That's deceptive because you can't demand that people get into line when, for the most part, there is no line to get into... While the U.S. labor market is demanding 1.5 million mostly low-skilled immigrants a year -- and will demand many more in coming years, as the U.S. population becomes increasingly educated -- the current immigration system allows into the U.S. an average of one million legal immigrants a year, and most of them are already here... ''There is a huge mismatch between what the U.S. labor market needs and the supply of immigration visas,'' says Frank Sharry, head of the National Immigration Forum, which advocates both secure borders and a path to legal residence for many of the 12 million undocumented immigrants in the United States.
Perhaps there's a reason why there isn't a line for massive numbers of low-skilled workers and/or massive immigration from Mexico, yet AO doesn't go into that. And the "market" demands are based on a crooked market, where employers have been able to obtain labor thanks to corrupt politicians who refuse to enforce our laws or try to subvert them. Perhaps it's bad public policy to import massive amounts of low-skilled workers while the rest of us sit on our verandas watching them toil in the fields. And, Sharry isn't exactly as moderate a voice as AO tries to portray him. In another "myth", AO references "studies" from the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center. Both "studies" are riddled with holes and the second group has an indirect link to the Mexican government.
He also quotes Michelle Waslin, previously with the National Council of La Raza and now with the Immigration Policy Center.
"Anybody who is Hispanic-looking or has an Hispanic last name is being treated as an undocumented immigrant."
To the extent that that's true, those groups and pundits who support illegal immigration are partially responsible. They've helped to racialize illegal immigration, turning it from an issue of law into an issue of ethnic identity. And, they've continally tried to blur the lines between legal and illegal immigration.
The other "myths" could be taken apart, but it's not really worth it.
Republican presidential hopeful John McCain on Thursday backed a scaled-down proposal that imposes strict rules to end illegal immigration but doesn't include a path to citizenship.
The move away from a comprehensive measure is an about-face for the Arizona senator, who had been a leading GOP champion of a bill that included a guest worker program and would have legalized many of the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants living in the U.S.
When Sen. Edward M.
The unremarkable and as-could-be-expected-biased "Top GOP Hopefuls Keep Distance on Immigration" by Michael Shear discusses how John McCain, Mitt Romney, and Rudy Giuliani are backing off from "comprehensive immigration reform", aka amnesty.
However, it does contain this:
A CBS News producer was fired and the network apologized after last night's Katie Couric broadcast was found to be plagiarized from The Wall Street Journal and other sources.
The complete broadcast was removed from the CBS Web site and an editor's note was posted saying the segments should have credited to Jeffrey Zaslow of the Journal, Nancy Pelosi's office, George Bush's office, the CFR, ANSWER, Code Pink for Peace, the National Lawyers Guild, the National Immigration Fo
Several synod bishops of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) urged their members of Congress and key congressional staff March 22 to enact comprehensive immigration reform in 2007 that is "humane and for the common good."
...Key components that the bishops believe help to fulfill these principles include: elimination of the family visa backlogs; fair and humane enforcement provisions and the elimination of the unnecessary detention of families and children; earned legalization of the n
Not only does it make no sense, it's dangerous. One of the provisions involves a national ID card for we citizens:
Initial implementation of secure identification tools for all Americans and aliens seeking employment... Legal U.S. residents seeking work will use a high-security proof of identity and citizenship... To avoid fraud, racial profiling, and failure of EEVS system, it will also be necessary for Americans seeking work in the future to use secure IDsIt also has a vague indentured servitude flavor to it:
Seasonal workers would contract with their employers, guaranteeing that the laborer will be available for the duration of the seasonAnd, it contains provisions oddly similar to remarks Mitt Romney has made, such as the "probationary registration of aliens" and "universe of illegals seeking adjustment will be known".
- A seasonal worker may leave a contracted job, but if so he will have to leave the country and go through a one-year cooling off period out of the U.S.
And, I was right in my assumption that its "triggers" for the amnesty would be based on spending and planning and such rather than a reduction in the number of illegal aliens; see the end of this post.
There are two visas involved: the "Y Visa" for a new "guest" worker scheme, and the "Z Visa" for current illegal aliens, giving them legal working permission.
* The Y Visa is further broken down into a "main program" ("In U.S. 2 years, then 6 months at home, 2 renewals") and a "seasonal program" ("9 months in U.S./3 months at home, indefinitely renewable").
* The Z Visa (which I'll call the "legal permanent underclass" visa) is indefinitely renewable, and requires a fine of $2000 at every three-year renewal mark, together with a payment of $1500 for a total of $3500 every three years.
From the U.S. News report:
[U.S. News reporter Angie C. Marek] says the new plan has made a lot of the White House's former allies in the immigrant-advocacy community mighty unhappy. Temporary guest workers in this plan would have a tough time getting any sort of citizenship. Under the visa program outlined by the White House, workers can stay in the United States for two years, at which point they'll have to return home for six months, a process that can be repeated two times.And, from this:
The fee to gain citizenship for immigrants currently in the country illegally would also jump from a proposed $2,000 to about $10,000.
Tom Snyder, national political director of the union UNITE Here, compared the measure with a "21st-century version of the Bracero program" in a conference call with reporters today. And Laura Reiff, cochair of the Essential Worker Immigration Coalition, a business group that worked with the White House last year on the guest-worker proposals, called the measure "entirely unworkable."
"For us it's a no go," said Angela Kelley, deputy director of the advocacy group National Immigration Forum...I guess the people the White House was trying to impress don't want to reciprocate the Bush administration's affection.
"President Bush said family values don't stop at the Rio Grande. Evidently they do," said Kevin Appleby, director of Migration and Refugee Policy for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops...
Family unification, said [Teddy Kennedy], "has been an essential aspect of immigration policy since the history of this country" and letting immigrants work their way toward legalization is a framework for previous immigration bills that has received substantial support.
"You don't compromise on the morality of these issues," Kennedy said. "We're not going to."
UPDATE: More unhappy campers don't reciprocate their affection (seiu.org/media/pressreleases.cfm?pr_id=1384):
"SEIU is alarmed by the White House's proposed immigration reform plan which fails to address any of the key elements needed to pass practical, humane solutions to the current broken system. Taking a major step away from our nation's values and our history as a nation of immigrants, the White House plan would make inequality – rather than opportunity – the centerpiece of our immigration system and deny basic rights to our hardest workers."
Illegal immigrants would within the next six years have to leave the United States for either Mexico or Canada, go to a processing center and re-enter the U.S. legally. Lawmakers were vague about exactly how long they would have to stay outside the country under what is being called the touchback provision. But staff members said they could stay as little as one day.Despite what is clearly a sham and a very bad joke on American citizens, not everyone is happy. From this:
...Alicia Acosta, an undocumented immigrant living in Montana Vista for the past 14 years, said it would be a hardship on families like hers to have to live [sic] her home.Others realize how much of a giveaway this is:
"We would have to take the kids out of school. And if we live the kids here, how to support them here from over there (Mexico)?" she said.
"This is going to energize our community in a very positive way," said Fernando Garcia [a Mexican citizen], the executive director of the Border Network for Human Rights [a group indirectly linked to the Mexican government].From this:
Garcia led a lobbying trip of El Paso immigrants to Washington, D.C., this month and is organizing a march in support of pro-immigrant legislation at UTEP April 10.
..."It's a light version of touchback. You don't have to go back to your country. You don't have to go back to Colombia, you can go to Mexico or Canada. It means you could go to Juarez and come back," he said.
...Rep. Flake explained that the touchback provision was important because it would create a record of legal entry for immigrants.
"We applaud the Congress for introducing a bipartisan and comprehensive immigration reform bill," said Jennifer Allen, director of the Tucson-based Border Action Network, devoted to promoting rights of immigrants of all stripes and border communities. "If something doesn't get passed this year, our communities will continue to struggle and suffer."From this:
However, she and representatives of the like-minded Derechos Humanos oppose forcing illegal immigrants to leave the country. The groups also want to see more oversight of border security authorities to prevent abuses.
They also question how many people may be denied a ruling of "good moral character" based on vague language defining it.
"We have questions about the operational viability and the political viability of [the touchback provision]," said Frank Sharry, leader of the National Immigration Forum...From this:
..."I think it's unrealistic, though, to expect these people to leave," said Ana Maria Patina, a lawyer and Hispanic activist in Santa Ana. Patina was skeptical that the government could create a program that would let illegal immigrants leave the country and return quickly.
And Amin David, leader of Los Amigos of Orange County, said even a short stay outside the country would worry fearful illegal immigrants.
He said the proposed $2,000 fine – $500 to apply for legal status initially and $1,500 to get on the path to citizenship – will also be difficult for many immigrants to afford...
Christy Porter, executive director of Hidden Harvest, a produce-recovery program that has helped farm workers laid off following January's freeze in the Coachella Valley, isn't sure the new immigration plan will work.
"Once they hit the promise land, nobody's going back the other way," Porter said. "I just don't see people lining up on this side of the border taking their suitcases over."
Trouble in paradise: AFL-CIO, ACLU, NIF, AFSC not fully happy with Flake-Gutierrez; Teamsters, Democrat Lampson - 03/24/07
The American Civil Liberties Union - a group indirectly linked to the Mexican government - has a nit with the Flake-Gutierrez amnesty :
"Drafting comprehensive immigration reform is no easy task... [praise some provisions] ...Sadly, Title III of the bill attacks privacy by creating a national ID card. Creating a national ID card under the guise of a 'secured' Social Security card is not only financially and logistically daunting, it creates the possibility that we will become a society where 'your papers' will need to be presented at every turn. We urge Congress to strike this provision and build upon the hard work of Congressmen Gutierrez and Flake to keep constitutional problems out of this legislation."
Whether it will be struck - and if it is whether that will make the position of the bill's supporters weaker - remains to be seen.
For their part, the AFL-CIO says :
AFL-CIO President John J. Sweeney says the approach to immigration in the 110th Congress "stands in stark contrast to the mean-spirited path that the House of Representatives took under Republican control in the last Congress." ...Milton Rosado, president of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA), an AFL-CIO constituency group, welcomed the legislation...
However, they also indicate several problems they have with "guest" worker programs; the STRIVE Act contains one such program.
"We have questions about the operational viability and the political viability of [the touchback provision]," said Frank Sharry, leader of the National Immigration Forum.
[The STRIVE Act] fails to protect the fundamental human rights of immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers in this country, according to the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), a Quaker social justice organization... [it] offers little to address the root causes of undocumented migration and contains several troubling provisions... One such provision is "Touchback," which requires an applicant to leave the U.S. and re-enter the country to receive legal immigration status. This is not a practical starting point for the estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants now living in the U.S...
And, from this:
On the House side, Several Democratic freshmen campaigned against so-called amnesty to help their party win control of Congress... Among them was Rep. Nick Lampson, D-Texas, who won the conservative Republican district once held by former Majority Leader Tom DeLay... "He would not support a bill that has a road to legal residency for illegal and undocumented workers who are already here," said Lampson spokesman Bobby Zafarnia... Democrats also are facing opposition from unions. Many AFL-CIO member unions and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters are concerned that employers will choose to hire foreigners over more expensive American workers... They want limits on work visas for foreigners, but also full labor protections that would let them join unions... "The ideal immigration reform bill would not contain a guest worker program," said Yvette Pena Lopes, a Teamsters lobbyist. If one is created, the Teamsters and other unions want it to expire in three to five years, Lopes said.
4/5/07 UPDATE: John Sweeney of the AFL-CIO says:
...under the Bush plan, the 12 million undocumented workers in this nation will continue to labor in second-class status as newly defined "temporary" workers. This plan will only perpetuate the dire situation of these workers and their families, and will lower standards for all of America's workers. Our nation should instead provide a path to citizenship for these immigrants who are already working here, paying their taxes and enriching our communities. The key to raising standards for all workers is to ensure that all workers are able to enforce their rights. As long as there are workers who are unable to exercise their basic rights to the minimum wage, to a safe workplace, or to join a union, we will continue to have a second tier of workers... The theme of the Bush plan is inequality. It guarantees inequality now, for 12 million undocumented workers, and it guarantees inequality for those immigrants who come to our shores legally in the future. A two-tier society is not the America we want and is not the America that workers deserve.
According to a Gannett study, $3.3 million was spent in that period, and most of that was the pro side. They also mention the Center for Responsive Politics. Their raw data is here, but it looks like some of the dollar figures might include all lobbying an organization does, not just that related to immigration.
A sidebar shows some of those lobbying for and against the Senate amnesty. On the against side were NumbersUSA, National Border Patrol Council, U.S. Border Control, and Federation for American Immigration Reform with almost a million total.
On the for side were:
E. & J. Gallo Winery: $20,000
American Immigration Lawyers Association: $85,000
National Association of Manufacturers: $60,000
Coalition for Comprehensive Immigration Reform: $430,000 (members included National Council of La Raza, Service Employees International Union, UNITE Here, National Immigration Forum)
Essential Worker Immigration Coalition: $180,000
Chicago Celts for Immigration Reform: less than $10,000