us chamber of commerce
us chamber of commerce: Page 1
Unions join with bosses in reckless disregard of workers (Chamber of Commerce, SEIU, AFL-CIO, Trumka) - 01/16/13
For years now, unions - caring more about gaining power than helping American workers - have joined with business groups to support massive and illegal immigration. So, while this might be news to some, it's more just a recent, ratcheted-up version of something that's been happening for a while:
A group of House members  have introduce the "Legal Workforce Act" ("LFA"), which would require the use of eVerify by most workers nationwide. That would presumably make it difficult for companies to employ illegal aliens.
Supreme Court upholds 2007 Arizona immigration enforcement law; eVerify; losing: US Chamber, DOJ, Berman, NCLR, ADL, SPLC, AILA, SEIU, LULAC - 05/26/11
In a major victory for states that want to reduce illegal immigration, the US Supreme Court has upheld Arizona's 2007 "Legal Arizona Workers Act" employer enforcement law that requires the use of eVerify and that allows Arizona to pull the business licenses of companies that knowingly hire illegal aliens. Note that the 2007 law and the decision have no relation to Arizona's more recent immigration law. A Los Angeles Times article is here, and links to legal documents are here. Sonia Sotomayor voted in dissent; see her name's link.
Others who filed briefs in the case and who lost today include (see each link for more on that group):
* Rep. Howard Berman
* National Council of La Raza
* Anti Defamation League
* American Immigration Lawyers Association
* PRLDEF (a former associated group of Sotomayor)
* Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (a former associated group of Barack Obama)
* Southern Poverty Law Center
* Service Employees International Union
* National Day Laborer Organizing Network(NDLON)
* National Immigrant Justice Center
* American Immigration Council
* Asian American Justice Center
* Asian American Institute
* Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund
* Asian Law Caucus
* Asian Pacific American Legal Center of Southern California
* League of United Latin American Citizens
* Legal Aid Society
* Los Abogados Hispanic Bar Association
* National Employment Law Project
Others on the losing side were former senator Arlen Specter and Ron Mazzoli (of the 1986 Simpson-Mazzoli amnesty fame).
UPDATE: Thomas Saenz of MALDEF (which doesn't appear to have been involved in the suit) weighs in. He got one thing right: just because the 2007 law was upheld doesn't mean SB 1070 will prevail. In my opinion, states should just simply copy Arizona's 2007 law for now.
In any case, here's what Saenz says (maldef.org/news/releases/az_evrfy):
"Today's regrettable decision in Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting is a tortured product of judicial activism responding to perceived political views of the moment. The majority proclaims itself unable to find implied preemption of an Arizona law that plainly impedes a federal scheme of exclusive enforcement of longstanding immigration-related employment law, and then, with a facile shift, easily finds an implied permission for Arizona to mandate E-verify, a power that Congress denied the federal government itself. All of this is accomplished through providing talismanic significance to the word 'licensing' even though Arizona's use of the term violates any plain-language or historical understanding of the term."
"Despite this egregious outcome, today's decision provides little predictive value as to the constitutional issue of preemption with respect to Arizona's SB 1070 and similar laws recently enacted in other states. Laws that encroach on exclusive federal immigration enforcement by mandating or permitting untrained local police officers to engage in racial profiling will find little refuge in today's decision. Wise state and local lawmakers must continue to tread carefully in areas touching on immigration. As has been the case for well over 200 years, federal action remains the sole legitimate avenue to address immigration issues."
UPDATE 2: The ADL weighs in with a bit of a muted press release (adl.org/PresRele/SupremeCourt_33/6050_33.htm). They're "disappointed":
The law increases the legal risks for businesses that employ undocumented workers but fails to provide sufficient \safeguards to protect those workers against unlawful treatment. It undermines federal efforts to balance discrimination concerns with control of illegal immigration.
The Arizona law also requires state use of E-Verify – a federal pilot program that allows employers to verify the eligibility of newly-hired employees – even though the program relies on records that are prone to error. That is one reason Congress has decided to hold off on making participation in the program mandatory.
Although the Court has upheld Arizona's law, we hope other states will show greater concern for the potentially discriminatory impact such laws can have, and choose not to follow Arizona's lead.
And, I hope they do follow Arizona's lead. We'll see how that works out; I tend to think several will.
Massey Energy "profoundly reckless" in mine disaster; Tea Party as useful idiots; Soros, U.S. Chamber - 05/22/11
In April 2010, an explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia claimed 40 lives. An independent investigation initiated by that state has found that the mine's operator - Massey Energy - was to blame for the tragedy and was "profoundly reckless"  .
There are also major political components to the tragedy:
1. Massey - led by their former CEO Don Blankenship - played a major role in West Virginia politics .
2. In September 2009, Massey sponsored the ""Friends of America Rally" which featured Ted Nugent, Hank Williams Jr, and Sean Hannity. The site friendsofamericarally.com is no longer available, but an archive of their main page is here and a copy of the sponsors page here. While it only appears to have been referred to by that name and not a "Labor Day Tea Party" as some would have it , it was a tea party in all but name. This illustrates for about the millionth time that those in the tea parties movement are useful idiots: villains like Don Blankenship hide behind red white and blue banners in order to push a money-making agenda. See some of the responses here. The teaparty mind (such as it is) is unable and unwilling to realize that perhaps *both* the Nancy Pelosi types *and* the Don Blankenship types aren't on their side. Those like Blankenship are consistently able to pull the wool over their eyes, presenting themselves as the only thing standing between Pelosi, Barack Obama, Harry Reid, and WORLD COMMUNISM. Nuanced, balanced thinking is not an option for teapartiers. (If you're in the teaparty movement and the foregoing isn't clear, don't just engage in the Jump, Smear, and Lie technique like you want to do (or have been trained to do). Instead, control yourself and start at Glenn Beck encouraging his fans to donate to the illegal immigration-supporting U.S. Chamber of Commerce and then work your way up.)
4. Speaking of the US Chamber of Commerce, Blankenship formerly served on their board until either his term was up or he was pushed out for being a liability. And, unlike others, he's been disappeared from the Chamber's website .
5. Never fear: Massey Energy has been sold to Alpha Natural Resources, which might clean up their practices. Except - unbelievably - Alpha is retaining some Massey executives, including Massey's COO as the head of Alpha's main safety program . And, on a note which may or may not be ironic, George Soros has or had a nearly $5 million stake in Alpha . He increased his stake in Massey Energy to nearly $60 million in the second quarter of 2010 ; what if any stake he had in them before the tragedy isn't known. And, the report at  is from Pro Publica, a group funded in part by Soros.
 From this:
Massey Energy Co. (MEE) is to blame for the fatal explosion at its Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia last year, the deadliest U.S. mining disaster in 40 years, an investigator for the state said.
“A company that was a towering presence in the Appalachian coalfields operated its mines in a profoundly reckless manner, and 29 coal miners paid with their lives for the corporate risk- taking,” according to a report released today. “The company broke faith with its workers by frequently and knowingly violating the law and blatantly disregarding known safety practices.”
The report by former federal mine administrator J. Davitt McAteer, named in 2010 by West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin to examine the blast, is among three government investigations of the disaster. Federal and state mining agencies have yet to issue reports...
...McAteer’s investigation found that the disaster was man- made and preventable had Massey followed “basic, well-tested” safety procedures. The report cited failures to maintain a functioning ventilation system, comply with federal and state rock-dusting standards and properly maintain the safety features on mine machinery.
..."Our experts continue to study the UBB explosion and our goal is to find answers and technologies that ultimately make mining safer," [Massey General Counsel Shane Harvey] said in an e-mail...
 From ProPublica (link):
The report, which was commissioned by West Virginia's former governor, noted that 18 current and former executives invoked their Fifth Amendment right to avoid self-incrimination and refused to cooperate with investigators...
...“It is only in the context of a culture bent on production at the expense of safety that these obvious deviations from decades of known safety practices make sense,” the report said. It also noted that the company’s practices haven’t improved much—if at all—since the disaster occurred.
“More than a year after 29 men died in the Upper Big Branch mine, there is strong evidence that Massey has not changed the manner in which it operates its mines,” the report said.
Investigators said the coal giant had “used the leverage of jobs it provided to attempt to control West Virginia’s political system,” casting inspectors, regulators, and even politicians and community residents as enemies. According to the report, the company’s former CEO, Don Blankenship instilled fear in local politicians by spending “vast amounts of money to influence elections.”
 crooksandliars . com/karoli/
Mining that for facts is left as an exercise; note that I've been banned from Crooks and Liars.
 From July 14, 2010, workinprogress.firedoglake . com/2010/07/14/
As recently as June 29, Massey was listed as a member of the Chamber’s Board. But now, his name doesn’t appear on the list of current board members, and his specific profile page has been deleted from the website.
"June 29" is a link to Google's cache, and his former page is at uschamber.com/about/board/directory/blankenship.htm. The Chamber tells them that Blankenship had simply served three two-year terms, which they claim is the limit under their by-laws. That doesn't explain why they'd delete his profile page.
Note that his profile page now resolves to uschamber.com/node/9159. The page uschamber.com/node/9158 still exists and is for Mary Birch, who apparently used to serve on their board. Likewise with uschamber.com/node/9157 for James Berges. It appears that Blankenship has been sent down the memory hole.
 From this:
The miners' union blasted coal company Alpha Natural Resources (ANR.N) for giving senior management positions to executives of Massey Energy (MEE.N) when Alpha takes over the company blamed for the worst U.S. mine disaster in 40 years.
"The wisdom of putting these people into critical slots in Alpha must be called into serious question," United Mine Workers of America (UMW) International President Cecil Roberts said in a statement on Friday...
...[Roberts] singled out Chris Adkins, Massey's Chief Operating Officer, noting he was in charge when two miners died in a previous mine fire and that he had not testified at the Upper Big Branch investigation.
"Yet Chris Adkins is slated to be one of the people who Alpha said will 'spearhead the implementation,' of its safety program. That's frankly incomprehensible to me. Chris Adkins doesn't belong in Alpha's executive offices."
 From this:
Soros Fund Management LLC reported owning 82,800 Alpha shares, valued at about $4.9 million, as of March 31, up from 5,500 shares as of Dec. 31, 2010.
 From this:
Soros Fund Management LLC, which oversees $25 billion, purchased 1.7 million shares of Massey during the [second quarter of 2010], according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday. The New York-based fund’s position was valued at $59.4 million at the end of June.
Koch family, U.S. Chamber, businesses met to plan strategy (+Glenn Beck, tea parties, "mobilize citizens for November") - 10/20/10
Twice each year, the Koch family conducts strategy meetings with corporate and thought leaders to plan how to advance their "free market" ideology. ThinkProgress has the guest list and program for their June 2010 meeting (in Aspen), and, while immigration isn't mentioned, many of the known attendees are on the wrong side.
I don't normally recommend anything at ThinkProgress, but in this case I'll suggest taking a look at their post and downloading the PDF.
The participants in Aspen dined under the stars at the top of the gondola run on Aspen Mountain, and listened to Glenn Beck of Fox News in a session titled, “Is America on the Road to Serfdom?” (The title refers to a classic of Austrian economic thought that informs libertarian ideology, popularized by Mr. Beck on his show.)The participants included some of the nation’s wealthiest families and biggest names in finance: private equity and hedge fund executives like John Childs, Cliff Asness, Steve Schwarzman and Ken Griffin; Phil Anschutz, the entertainment and media mogul ranked by Forbes as the 34th-richest person in the country; Rich DeVos, the co-founder of Amway; Steve Bechtel of the giant construction firm; and Kenneth Langone of Home Depot... The group also included longtime Republican donors and officials, including Foster Friess, Fred Malek and former Attorney General Edwin Meese III... Participants listened to presentations from the (US Chamber of Commerce), as well as people who played leading roles in John McCain’s presidential campaign in 2008, like Nancy Pfotenhauer and Annie Dickerson, who also runs a foundation for Paul Singer, a hedge fund executive who like the Kochs is active in promoting libertarian causes.
Malek currently raises funds for Karl Rove.
There's also a tea parties link: one of the June sessions was called "Mobilizing Citizens for November" ("Is there a chance this fall to elect leaders who are more strongly committed to liberty and prosperity? This session will further assess the landscape and offer a strategic plan to educate voters on the importance of economic freedom.") The hosts were Sean Noble (@snoble37), Karl Crow of Themis, Mark Mix of National Right to Work, and Tim Phillips of Americans for Prosperity. AFP has been a very active "facilitator" of the teaparty movement.
Those who spoke at the June meeting include Peter Schiff (bad on immigration), Stephen Moore (ditto}, and Michael Barone (ditto). Others are: Ramesh Ponnuru; Phil Kerpen and Jeff Crank of AFP; Peter Wallison and Arthur Brooks of the American Enterprise Institute, Russ Roberts and Veronique de Rugy of the Mercatus Center (associated with George Mason University; see the link); Gretchen Hamel; Charles Krauthammer; and Tim Carney of the Washington Examiner.
Those listed as attending past meetings include Haley Barbour (bad on immigration), John Stossel (ditto), Mike Pence (ditto), Bobby Jindal, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, Rush Limbaugh, Jim DeMint, Tom Coburn, Paul Ryan, and Tom Price.
Obviously, there's nothing wrong or that sinister about the Kochs holding meetings like these. And, George Soros and associates no doubt hold similar meetings with those on their side. However, just as Soros' loose borders policies no doubt "informs" the immigration policies that those who receive his money offer, the same is probably true of the Kochs' loose borders policies. Aside from DeMint, there are few above who might be considered "border hawks", and some of those listed are quite bad on that issue.
And, of course, this provides yet more evidence of how those in the supposedly grassroots tea parties movement are doing the bidding of the very rich, even if the teapartiers have been bamboozled into thinking otherwise.
Labor Dep't "We Can Help" wants tips from third-party activist groups (in addition to helping illegal labor) - 04/06/10
A few days ago we discussed how the Department of Labor is actively supporting illegal immigration with their new "We Can Help" program. Now comes this:
[The DOL] is also relying on tips from worker advocacy groups [as part of the "We Can Help" program], widening efforts by the Obama administration to enlist activist groups to help with enforcement in a range of sectors from toy safety to distracted driving...
...The agency and independent groups, including labor federation AFL-CIO, will also distribute posters, fact sheets and booklets on pay and how to report complaints...
...Bill Lurye, associate general counsel for the AFL-CIO, said the group's affiliates would disseminate material to workers, arrange meetings between workers and wage and hour staff, and hold forums at union halls where workers can watch videos about minimum wage and how to track their hours worked...
...(Randel Johnson, senior vice president of labor for the US Chamber of Commerce) also questioned the appropriateness of the agency's partnerships. "Deputizing people outside the government who may have their own agendas is troublesome," he said.
What will most likely happen is that the third-party complaints will come from far-left racial power groups that support massive illegal activity - such as the National Council of La Raza, MALDEF, and so on as well as smaller groups like Casa de Maryland. And, that is indeed troublesome. Some of those groups might do that with federal or state funding. On the bright side, the Chamber isn't happy, when in the past they've been more than willing to join with such groups to support comprehensive immigration reform. Anything that serves as a wedge between far-left racial power groups and corrupt business interests is generally a good thing.
Appeals court mixed on Oklahoma illegal immigration control law; may jeopardize other states' laws - 02/03/10
A federal appeals court panel ruled Tuesday that a portion of Oklahoma’s anti-illegal immigration law is enforceable now, while other provisions of the law are not.
In a divided opinion, a three-judge panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver said that though the plaintiffs would likely triumph with most of their claims, Oklahoma can force employers to check employees names against a federal database of workers eligible to work in this country...
...Saying the provisions are likely to be held unconstitutional, the panel unanimously upheld the preliminary court orders barring enforcement of these provisions:
*A prohibition against firing workers legally in the country while retaining workers illegally in the country.
*A requirement that businesses working with private contractors obtain documentation that workers are legal or, without documentation, withhold taxes at the top rate.
The lead organization involved on the pro-illegal immigration side is the US Chamber of Commerce, with other chambers and business groups also involved. Oklahoma can ask for a full appeal or can take it to the US Supreme Court. Greg Siskind says (link):
"This is a major blow to legislators around the country that have been trying to pass state laws regulating immigration... This presumably puts many laws around the country in jeopardy."
Later today, one or two million (maybe less) extreme fiscal conservatives will be marching on Washington DC demanding that the government listens to them and their Randroid concerns. And, we'll be there - virtually speaking - offering coverage of this momentous event featuring millions of people throughout the day. Literally thousands of busloads of true patriots - as opposed to the other, non-patriotic Americans - will be bussed in (at their own expense) by FreedomWorks (run by the corporate lobbyist Dick Armey). Hopefully many will be wearing period costumes and playing fifes, since we know that playing dress-up games is in their DNA.
Will there be a blimp? Wait and see!
To prepare yourself for the
Ron Pa Patriotic March By The Only True Patriots In The United States, watch this video of corporate lobbyist Dick Armey supporting illegal immigration, see our coverage of Citizen Journalist Glenn Reynolds, and make sure and see our extensive tea parties coverage. Also, ask yourself why your leaders encouraged you to go to townhall meetings unarmed (intellectually speaking). They just wanted you to act out in public and throw a tantrum; they didn't encourage you to ask questions like these despite how really pressing a politician on that could have quashed Obamacare.
UPDATE: OK, maybe the estimates were a bit high. You can see a traffic cam here and here. CNN has a live feed of the speakers at cnn.com/live, and a live feed looking at the crowd is here. For your dress-up games entertainment, see this.
UPDATE 2: This official page has a list of speakers: 912dc.org/agenda. They include at least three people from FreedomWorks (supports massive immigration), at least one from the Cato Institute (ditto), and Rep. Mike Pence (ditto). The "star" power is provided by a Baldwin brother: Stephen (apparently Mickey Dolenz wasn't available). And, from the libertarian side of things, they've got speakers from Ron Paul's "Campaign for Liberty", the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights, and the Free State Project. They've also got speakers from two race-based groups: Mario Lopez of the Hispanic Leadership Fund and Hector Barreto of the Latino Coalition. The latter was a signatory to an infamous letter demanding amnesty for illegal aliens. That and all the rest illustrates the stupidity of these people: they're supporting race-based power and massive immigration and think that by doing that they're going to lower their taxes.
UPDATE 4: Glenn Beck is now ranting about corruption and encouraging his audience to think of the country first instead of thinking of themselves as Democrats and Republicans. The latter I strongly support. Unfortunately, what he appears to want to fill the partisan gap is some pretty extreme libertarian concepts; see the first link in this post and note the speakers from libertarian groups. And, regarding corruption, who exactly does Glenn Beck think he's palling around with? Many of his fellow "patriots", as discussed above, support massive immigration and do so because they're paid off or because they want race-based power.
UPDATE 5: If you aren't sick of this already, Pajamas Media has pictures at pajamasmedia.com/vodkapundit/2009/09/12/they-will-be-heard. Meanwhile, from the George Soros-funded side of things, there are pictures here and here.
UPDATE 6: In a few days, Glenn Beck will be the dinner speaker at a Michigan Chamber of Commerce gathering: michamber.com/mx/futureforum. The opening speaker will be Tom Donohue of the US Chamber of Commerce. The latter group is such a strong supporter of amnesty and massive immigration of any kind that back in 2006, Rep. James Sensenbrenner suggested that they should register as a Registered Foreign Agent. If Beck wants to oppose corruption, the US CofC would be a great place to start.
UPDATE 8: The page alan.com/2009/09/12/the-gop-corporate-push-behind-the-912-teabaggers reminds us that, in addition to several others who appear to have a "dog in the hunt" as they say, the "Bronze Co-Sponsors" of FreedomWorks' 912dc.com include the Club for Growth (doesn't care about or supports massive immigration), Grover Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform (whoa nelly: see this and this), and at least two groups linked to the Koch family (the "Kochtopus"): Heartland Institute and Competitive Enterprise Institute. If you oppose corruption and support our immigration laws, few of the people and groups listed anywhere in this post are your friends.
UPDATE 9 (9/13/09): The video here shows a group supposedly from ACORN being ejected from the DC rally. They were selling "Don't tread on me flags" and if the description is accurate, they were told to leave by the police. They didn't and someone from the rally followed them and encouraged them to leave, with someone from the supposed ACORN group swiping the tea partier with a flag and pushing his wife. Obviously, they shouldn't have done that, but it would also be interesting to know whether there are rules against vending or what was the original reason they were asked to leave (if they were asked to leave).
And, the tea partiers have a message for the millions of Americans who are unemployed: FU. Glenn Reynolds approvingly links (pajamasmedia.com/instapundit/85089) to chicagoboyz.net/archives/9188.html which is happy to point out that - unlike millions of those with whom they supposedly share citizenship - the tea partiers are employed:
Getting hundreds of thousands of kids, the professionally unemployed and government workers to show up isn’t that hard (especially if someone buys the bus tickets). Getting two million middle-class, middle-aged people with jobs, careers, children and businesses is way, way more impressive.
When it comes right down to it, the great majority of tea partiers seem to have little or no concern for their (fellow?) American citizens: they only care about themselves. If anyone disagrees, provide some evidence of tea partiers making proposals that acknowledge there are people other than themselves living here. Even easier: find a non-Southern California tea partier who gives a whoop that what Dick Armey and the rest want would make Southern California's situation even worse. Coming up with "comprehensive" solutions isn't something they're interested in, with the "going Galt" types thinking it's the height of patriotism to turn their backs on the U.S. and run away.
UPDATE 10: ABC News calls out FreedomWorks president Matt Kibbe by name (link) for falsely saying on stage at the rally that ABC News was reporting that 1 million to 1.5 million people were in attendance. I don't think even FreedomWorks would do something like that intentionally, and I don't think that ABC would have called a Dem-friendly organizer out by name, but that's now a bit of a story instead of the flowering of Randrian principles that the organizers would have wanted.
UPDATE 11: In reply to the ninth update, in comments Ann says:
This seems to be based on a simple assumption: if you care about other people, you must therefore believe that more government involvement is the best way to help... Most of the tea partiers do not believe in that premise, and would point to a lot of disasterous government programs to back up their point.
Let me put it this way. The Dem solution to U.S. problems would be massive government programs that would - just as a coincidence - give more power to the Dems. The GOP solution would be slightly smaller programs that would - just as a coincidence - give contracts to their contributors. The solution offered by the tea party followers - those who aren't in on the game - is some combination of "what, me worry?", "I've got mine, Jack", and "get bent".
We've got two wars going on, millions of Americans are out of work, millions of foreign citizens are squatting here contrary to our laws taking jobs that Americans could be doing, and the tea partiers are consorting with those who support amnesty and massive guest worker programs and - ultimately - whining about completely self-centered financial matters.
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:
U.S. Chamber of Commerce: $10 million for lobbying in 1Q 2009, including twelve lobbyists on immigration - 05/15/09
The government's $700 billion financial rescue package and Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, were among the high-profile issues the Chamber lobbied on during the first quarter... The group also lobbied on: union organizing, wage discrimination, the children's health insurance program, transportation and port infrastructure, travel restrictions to Cuba, pension security, medical liability reform, greenhouse gas standards, health care and immigration reform... Other issues included attorney-client privilege, cross-border trucking, cargo screening, intellectual property rights enforcement, medical product safety, environmental permitting and visas for temporary workers.
How much they spent on each issue doesn't appear to be available, but the reports they filed with the government are at this page. They don't appear to have spent anything on the Essential Worker Immigration Coalition, but they had no less than twelve lobbyists listed as handling immigration including their president Tom Donohue and executive VP Bruce Josten. In addition to just general lobbying for comprehensive immigration reform, they also list the following bills from the 110th Congress that haven't yet been re-introduced in the 111th as well as various rules. Looking into their positions on the more obscure ones is left as an exercise:
According to Peter Wallsten of the Los Angeles Times, unspecified immigration groups will be making a push for comprehensive immigration reform this fall that would see the Democrats try to get it on their own without bringing business interests into their big, crooked tent: link (See also last month's "Hilda Solis to prefer labor enforcement to immigration enforcement?")
Under their scheme, there'd be a massive amnesty, following by:
an independent commission that would assess labor and industry data to decide how many foreign workers should be allowed into the country. The system, designed by Ray Marshall, a Labor secretary under President Carter, would replace a maze of special temporary worker visas that are granted each year to high-tech specialists, agriculture workers and other foreigners brought into the U.S. by foreign and domestic firms.
To bolster their cause, advocates are planning an $18-million media and grass-roots campaign for the fall. The funding is coming primarily from liberal foundations, including one founded by billionaire activist George Soros.
Since there are several of those it's difficult to know which it could be.
At yesterday's Barack Obama town hall meeting, some of those who asked questions live at the event - as distinguished from those who submitted questions online - were plants with connections to the White House or other Beltway establishments. Garance Franke Ruta of the Washington Post says:
the five fully identified questioners called on randomly by the president in the East Room were anything but a diverse lot. They included: a member of the pro-Obama Service Employees International Union, a member of the Democratic National Committee who campaigned for Obama among Hispanics during the primary; a former Democratic candidate for Virginia state delegate who endorsed Obama last fall in an op-ed in the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star; and a Virginia businessman who was a donor to Obama's campaign in 2008.
Those involved were: Sergio Salmeron, Tom Sawner, Carlos Del Toro, Linda Bock, and Bonnee Breese. Bock was invited through the Nurse Alliance Leadership Council, and Breese through the American Federation of Teachers.
He said he was invited to the White House town hall through the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Executive Council.
Del Toro also has unspecified ties to that Council.
The above shouldn't come as much of a surprise; at the recent Obama townhall in Orange County, one of those called on was - chance of all chances - a union official. And, this is similar to the plants at a CNN debate in November 2007.
Tyche Hendricks of the San Francisco Chronicle offers "Obama's labor secretary pick backs enforcement" (link); the title isn't as misleading as one might first think since Hendricks is referring to Hilda Solis's position on labor enforcement and not on immigration enforcement; Solis is especially weak on the latter. However, the goal of the article seems to be to try to sell us a new way for the Democrats to have their cake and eat it too:
President Obama's pick for secretary of labor, Rep. Hilda Solis, could help shape a new approach to immigration control that emphasizes the robust enforcement of labor laws... Immigrant advocates hope that strengthening compliance with workplace health and safety laws and wage and hour standards - which Solis promised in her hearing before the labor committee in January - will protect workers in general and could reduce the likelihood that some employers will seek to profit by hiring undocumented workers...
And, that probably wouldn't work. As I said over three years ago:
Of course, all the millions of illegal aliens who'd come here to take advantage of this would then either: reduce many more jobs to near minimum wage, or they'd end up unemployed and obtaining welfare benefits, or they'd end up working illegally. Or, all three at various stages.
The only way to reduce illegal immigration and its impacts is to actually enforce the immigration laws. Anything else is just a scam.
On the bright side, Randel Johnson of the US Chamber of Commerce is quoted opposing any scheme like this, and if it were pushed that might cause a rift in the sleazy alliance between far-left illegal immigration supporters and business interests. University of Illinois economics Professor Barry Chiswick says the scheme probably won't work to reduce illegal immigration, instead suggesting the use of eVerify.
"Hilda Solis understands these issues... Most complaints come from workers. If you want employers afraid to exploit workers, you don't want the kind of ICE enforcement that keeps workers scared to come forward. ... Labor law enforcement is the one (approach) that can make sure people aren't being pulled into this country by low wages."
With the lax control over immigration that Newman et al want, it's difficult to see how their plan wouldn't end in a disaster of most low-skill jobs falling to the minimum wage. Whose interests would such a plan serve?
U.S. Chamber of Commerce collaborating with Mexican government on trucks? (Thomas Donohue) - 09/23/08
The House has made it veto-proof clear: The controversial pilot program allowing big Mexican trucks to cross the U.S. border and travel into the country must end.I'd like more information on to what extent the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is collaborating with the Mexican government.
The Senate has yet to act, though. And Mexico and its U.S. big-business allies are ramping up their efforts to block the repeal, including a renewed warning by Mexican officials to retaliate against U.S. exports if the program is abolished.
Mexican Embassy officials say the year-old pilot program has been a positive development for both countries...
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is bolstering Mexico’s efforts to save the program, arguing that the Mexican trucks are tightly regulated and offer unique business opportunities to the U.S. economy. And to highlight the issue, Chamber President Thomas Donohue recently traveled to Mexico to confer about the program with key officials.
"This whole issue is much more wrapped up in immigration and anti-Mexican sentiment that you see across the board," said Chamber lobbyist Janet Kavinoky, who leads the Americans for Transportation Mobility [fasterbettersafer.org]...
The fourth annual "North American Leaders Summit" - part of the Security and Prosperity Partnership started by George Bush - will be held Monday and Tuesday in New Orleans and will be attended by Bush, Felipe Calderon of Mexico, and Stephen Harper of Canada. Expect the news reports about the event to be credulous. Speaking of which, Norma Greenaway of the Canwest News Service/Ottawa Citizen offers this:
The annual leaders' gathering, popularly referred to as the Amigos Summit, is being held against the backdrop of a gripping race for the U.S. presidency where the North American Free Trade Agreement has become a favourite punching bag of Democratic contenders Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama... The two have promised to kill or rewrite the pact if elected president as they compete for the support of voters, many of whom blame NAFTA for job losses, especially in the manufacturing sector.
Well, not exactly. Obama recently spoke in code, indicating his support for the SPP process, and of course there's GoolsbeeGate to consider. Her paper was given ("obtained") a warning to the leaders from the "North American Competitiveness Council", a group of major businesses such as Home Depot:
Among other things, [the warning] expressed frustration over "serious roadblocks" that have hampered efforts to make borders within North America more efficient and secure... "Our most critical request to the leaders is for them to ensure that the SPP remains a dynamic and effective path forward for trilateral and bilateral co-operation," says the report, urging the leaders to make clear "sustained progress on the SPP agenda is a strategic priority."... "To the extent NAFTA itself continues to be a target, efforts to "deepen NAFTA" will be largely unsuccessful," [a draft version of the warning] said... A senior U.S. official, briefing American reporters on the leaders' summit, said Friday the pact is a winner for all three countries. Dan Fisk said the value of trade among the three countries had grown to almost $1 trillion from $290 billion in 1994, the year NAFTA took effect... "We want to find ways to, frankly, convince the American people from our perspective, first and foremost that this is an arrangement that has worked for us, and it's also worked for our neighbours," said Fisk, [Senior Director in the National Security Council for the Western Hemisphere].
An earlier meeting with Condoleezza Rice resulted in Mexican Foreign Minister Patricia Espinosa saying this:
"We have also discussed that we should strengthen and make a permanent commitment with the continuity of this high-level dialogue in North America at all levels and particularly at the level of heads of state and government."
Becky Bohrer of the Associated Press red baits here, following this paragraph with a quote from one of the "People's Summit" protesters with a quote from someone from the U.S. Marxist-Leninist Organization:
One target of protesters is expected to be the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America. They say the pact, which aims to share information between the three governments and smooth out regulatory differences, is a threat to national sovereignty and an attempt to create a military partnership to enforce the North American Free Trade Agreement.
This quotes Fisk:
"We think NAFTA works... We think the record of its past 14 years shows that it works. There's nothing broken. Why fix a success?"
This lets something slip:
It is more like a progress report on how the three countries are integrating... Bush's agenda will start today with the reopening of the Mexican Consulate in New Orleans...
Greg Flakus of the publicly-funded Voice of America - a source not intended to spread disinformation inside America - leads with the thoughts of someone from the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau here, offering not just one but two pictures of her.
Ben Feller of the Associated Press offers this:
Tom Donohue, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said the three countries benefit by working together against competition from China and India. "North America needs to maintain its economic unity," said Donohue, who is taking part in the summit.
A federal judge barred the Bush administration today from launching a planned crackdown on U.S. firms that hire illegal immigrants, warning of the plan's potentially "staggering" impact on law-abiding workers and companies.It's not that "unusual": such groups have been allied in their support for illegal activity for a long time. Note of course that this is being portrayed as a defeat for Bush, when he, the WaPo, and those who brought the suit are on the same side.
Issuing a firm rebuke of the White House, U.S. District Judge Charles R. Breyer of San Francisco granted a preliminary injunction against the government's plan to pressure employers to fire up to 8.7 million workers with suspect Social Security numbers starting this fall.
...Breyer said the plaintiffs, an unusual coalition that included the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the AFL-CIO and the American Civil Liberties Union, had raised such serious questions about the plan to mail Social Security "no-match" letters to 140,000 U.S. employers that it should be blocked from proceeding.
..."The government's proposal to disseminate no-match letters affecting more than eight million workers will, under the mandated time line, result in the termination of employment to lawfully employed workers," the judge wrote. "Moreover the threat of criminal prosecution . . . reflects a major change in DHS [Department of Homeland Security] policy."The previous "policy" was to refuse to enforce the laws on the books. When they make a half-hearted attempt at enforcing the laws, corrupt businesses and far-left "civil rights" groups - together with a Clinton-appointed judge (fjc.gov/servlet/tGetInfo?jid=2719) - can't even let that happen. This will apparently be appealed, but if you'd like to do something more effective in the meantime, I suggest discrediting those who support illegal immigration.
"You know, when you come to immigration and trade -- I've sort of come to the point that I don't blame the politicians as much as I blame their constituents."
Per the link, this was in an August 31, 2007 Federal News Service article called "Remarks by Thomas Donohue, President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce; Topic: The Chamber of Commerce's Trade Priorities for This Fall".
...a lawsuit filed against the Department of Homeland Security this week contends that the new rules are discriminatory and will lead to mass firings of legal workers. Even United States citizens will face discrimination if they look or sound foreign, according to the suit.And, from this:
Filed in a San Francisco federal court this week, the 17-page complaint [link] also names the Social Security Administration as a defendant because it says letters informing businesses of discrepancies between employee records and the agency's database would violate worker’s rights and impose burdensome obligations on employers.
But leaders of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and a coalition of trade groups representing the politically influential construction, lodging, farming, meatpacking, restaurant, retail and service industries appealed on Monday to the Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration to postpone the plan's implementation for six months.DHS spokeshole Russ Knocke says they'll fight the lawsuit "vigorously", something I tend to doubt since Chertoff and Bush are on the same side as EWIC, the ACLU, and the AFL-CIO in supporting illegal immigration.
Raising the possibility of plant closings, autumn-harvest interruptions and other destabilizing consequences for the U.S. economy, 50 business organization members of the Essential Worker Immigration Coalition signed a letter warning of "uncertainties, disruptions, and dislocations throughout broad swaths of the workforce," as well as discrimination against Hispanic and immigrant workers.
White House listening to pork producers, La Raza, Mexico-linked NALEO, NRA... just not you - 06/21/07
The White House offers a PDF entitled "What They're Saying: Border Security And Immigration Reform Agreement" and subtitled 'Business And Agriculture Groups Say "It Is Critical That The Process Moves Forward"' (PDF) . It's just a collection of quotes from press releases from those few groups that support the Bush/Senate massive illegal immigration amnesty, and it contains no accompaning text other than the titles.
As simply a collection of quotes, it's not that shocking. However, it's interesting that these are the special interest groups that the White House chooses to use to bolster their bill, rather than acknowledging the other 99.99% of Americans. And, at least two of the groups are certainly interesting. Let's lead with those two:
* National Association Of Latino Elected And Appointed Officials (has a link to the Mexican government)
* National Council Of La Raza President And CEO Janet Murguia (funds extremists)
* The U.S. Chamber Of Commerce
* National Restaurant Association
* Business Roundtable
* National Association Of Manufacturers
* National Federation Of Independent Business
* Essential Worker Immigration Coalition
* American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman
* Associated Builders And Contractors Chairman David Meyer
* National Milk Producers Federation President And CEO Jerry Kozak
* National Pork Producers Council President Jill Appell
* American Subcontractors Association President Stephen Rohrbach
* Agriculture Coalition For Immigration Reform
* American Health Care Association President And CEO Bruce Yarwood
* Poultry Federation President Marvin Childers
* Georgia Farm Bureau
* Tyson Foods, Inc.
* Western Growers President And CEO Tom Nassif
* Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano
* California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
* National League Of Cities President And Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson
* Boston Mayor Thomas Menino
* MANA President And CEO Alma Morales Riojas
* U.S. Hispanic Chamber Of Commerce Board Of Directors Chairman David Lizarraga
* Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society
* Esperanza USA President Rev. Luis Cortes
 The PDF is described here: freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1854324/posts. It was posted to RedState by Robert Bluey, so it's probably for real. However, I've cached it locally to avoid linking to that site.
Outside a number of Senators, there aren't too many who support the Senate's immigration amnesty/"guest" worker plan. This post will keep track of them, and I urge everyone to hold those below accountable whether the bill passes or not. I also urge everyone to keep calling Congress, but, even more importantly, follow the steps previously outlined to help stop amnesty.
* Of course: president Bush, Sens. John McCain and Ted Kennedy
* From "Few senators support the illegals bill" (link):
Sen. Arlen Specter, one of the Republicans who helped craft the deal, said it's the best they could do... "It will treat the 12 million undocumented immigrants in a constructive way. It is not amnesty. They'll have to pay a fine. They'll have to earn their way to citizenship," he said on CBS' "Face the Nation." "It's better than what we have now." ...in Georgia, Sen. Saxby Chambliss, one of the secret negotiators, was also booed [like Lindsey Graham] at that state's Republican convention... ...Meanwhile, Republicans' chief negotiator in the closed-door sessions, Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona, wrote a column for the Arizona Republic newspaper yesterday saying he won't support the bill if major changes are made during the floor debate... "If the consensus we reach is not accurately reflected in the final legislative language, or is seriously undercut by amendments in the Senate or House, it will lose support, including from me," he wrote... ...Seven Republicans, including the party's chairman, Sen. Mel Martinez of Florida, Mr. Chambliss and Mr. Kyl, the Senate Republican Conference chairman, were at the press conference announcing the bill...
* DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff meanwhile challenged critics to offer alternative solutions instead of simply saying "this isn't good enough." (link; the obvious answer is, of course, that he should do his job)
* [Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez says] "I have the impression that perhaps for some people, the only thing that would not be amnesty is mass deportation... We don't think that's practical, we don't think that's logical, we don't think that's humane and that would hurt our economy. So it's not amnesty."
* [Sen. Lindsey Graham says (ibid)] "To my colleagues who have come on the floor to tear this bill down with no alternative, you're not doing this country a service and I will push back... If you’ve got a better idea and you can lead us to a better solution, I'm all for it. But if all you're going to do is embrace the status quo, I’m going to be your biggest critic.
* The Wall Street Journal editorial board offered "Immigration Opening" on Saturday (link), which was followed by several reader letters almost all denouncing the bill (link). Today, John Fund offers "Don't Run for the Border - America needs immigration reform, but not a law enacted in haste" (link), perhaps as an indirect acknowledgement of the bill's failings.
Last week after a deal was reached in the Senate, Jacoby held a conference call with 20 business owners Friday to explain the politics of the overhaul... [She's praised by] Randel Johnson, a vice president at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce... ...Jacoby sat at a table in the Senate Chef last week surrounded by two Texas bankers, a cattle rancher and a guy who represents Rio Grande Valley orange growers, all of whom had flown in to put a last-minute press on their congressional representatives... "The most important thing is the temporary-worker program," Jacoby told them. Lawmakers "are going to go all out to cut it in half and unless business goes all out, like D-Day, they will surely win." ...She is willing to work with religious and civil rights groups, including the Roman Catholic Church and the National Council of La Raza, a Hispanic advocacy group, to achieve the goal... ...the leader of a Latino civil rights group tapped Jacoby on the shoulder. Brent A. Wilkes, national executive director of the League of United Latin American Citizens...
* Safely outside the compound, Michael Barone phones in to say that he supports the bill, despite not having read it.
* In the basement of the compound, Captain Ed decides to be even more like Hugh Hewitt than Hugh Hewitt, saying today  that
"Conceptually, I think it could work -- but the bill doesn't quite match the concepts outlined in the announcement, either."
In a previous post , he offered this stock talking point:
Everyone agrees that the system is broken; in fact, that's about the only agreement to be found.
* In the subbasement, Dafydd ab Hugh shows how little he knows about this issue and continues to support some form of "regularization" (the same word the Mexican government uses) 
the bi-partisan Senate bill makes a point of rewarding only good behavior... ...And speaking of rewarding good behavior, and punishing the bad: those courageous conservatives (Senators Kyl, Graham, Isakson and, yes, McCain) who have worked constructively and seriously on immigration reform deserve our support, not our rage, while those politicians and media figures who have demagogued this issue in a way that only makes it worse, in no way merit our encouragement.
UPDATE 2: I knew this would come sooner or later. Instapundit says :
WHY PEOPLE WHO HATE THE IMMIGRATION BILL SHOULD BACK THE IMMIGRATION BILL: Okay, I had this thought last night as I was drifting off to sleep. But the Nyquil wore off and I still think it may make sense. Lots of people think that the immigration bill stinks, and want to punish the GOP by staying home in 2008. Fair enough. But if you plan to punish the GOP in 2008, then you might want to support the immigration bill now. Why? Because if the Democrats win the White House and Congress in 2008, you'll get a bill that you like a whole lot less! So if you plan to punish the Republicans later, you should encourage them to pass their bill now... There's got to be something wrong with this analysis, I just can't figure out what it is. Anyone? Kaus? Anyone?
UPDATE 3: Here's another Chertoff quote:
"You know, Wolf [Blitzer], first, I understand there's some people who expect anything other than capital punishment is an amnesty. The reality is the proposal here requires people who came in illegally who want to stay to pay a penalty. Like a fine. That's a punishment. That's not an amnesty."
UPDATE 6: Sen. Trent Lott says:
"Is the current situation in America with legal and illegal immigration intolerable and unacceptable? Yes. Everybody would agree. Is this bill better than the current law? Without a doubt, yes. Are we going to have another opportunity to do this better next year or the next year? The answer is no. We've got to do it. We've got to do it as good as we can. We've got to do it right now."
UPDATE 7: Sen. Mitch McConnell says he'll support the bill, and also says:
"This is a divisive issue... I don't think there's a single member of either party next year who is going to fail to be re-elected over this issue."
SPECIAL HACK UPDATE: Hacks - not all of whom specifically support the Senate bill - have started their rampage of smears against those who oppose massive illegal immigration: Linda Chavez, Michael Gerson, and Robert Novak.
SPECIAL "LIBERAL" HACK UPDATE: Eleanor Clift offers "Bush Is Right—On Immigration, Anyway". She and the preceding hacks aren't that much different. Let's count the lies:
Just as [Pete Wilson]'s anti-immigrant [lie] policies turned California into the bluest of Blue States [misleading if not wrong], the angry, racist and xenophobic rhetoric emanating from the Republican right [smear and largely false] is turning the fastest-growing voting bloc in America against the GOP... Seeing a way to rally the base and respond to the growing anti-immigrant sentiment [lie], House Republicans pushed and passed legislation that was racially divisive and punitive [lie], cracking down on those who aided illegal immigrants - even church groups [lie]. The bill sparked massive rallies across the country against the Republican Congress [some of the organizers of those rallies were Mexican political parties and those linked to the Mexican government]. Rosenberg's New Democrat Network monitored ads in 25 states picturing a Mexican immigrant side by side with an Islamist terrorist. [Chuck Schumer created a similar TV ad]
Senators and lobbyists are putting the final touches on a comprehensive immigration-reform bill that includes an easier citizenship path for illegal aliens and weaker enforcement provisions than were in the highly criticized legislation that the Senate approved last year.Those lobbyists include the Essential Worker Immigration Coalition (EWIC) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, the Massachusetts Democrat who ardently supports citizenship rights for illegals, will introduce the bill as early as next week, according to Senate sources knowledgeable about the negotiations. If the Senate Judiciary Committee can make quick work of the bill, it could be ready for floor action in April.
Mr. Kennedy drafted this year's bill with help from Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, and outside lobbyists...
In particular, EWIC and the chamber have taken a leading role in drafting the section of the bill dealing with work-site enforcement, Senate staffers say. Lobbyists in both organizations have shuttled around Capitol Hill drafts of those provisions, which are supposed to impose sanctions on businesses that hire illegal aliens, according to internal e-mails obtained by The Washington Times.The ACLU is indirectly linked to the Mexican government. The NCLR funded one or more MEChA chapters (link,link) and funds a racial separatist charter school in Los Angeles. The SEIU paid one Artemio Arreola to organize immigration marches, and he also serves on an advisory council to Mexico's president. The SEIU, their locals, and various members have extensive links to last year's immigration marches.
"That's putting the fox in charge of the henhouse," one Senate lawyer said about the pro-business chamber's involvement in drafting the punishment of employers.
One of those e-mails obtained by The Times invited Democratic immigration staffers to a briefing in early January with "key stakeholders" to discuss workplace-enforcement provisions. The invitation listed six such "stakeholders," including the chamber and EWIC. The other groups attending the meeting, according to the e-mail, were the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Immigration Law Center, the National Council of La Raza and the Service Employees International Union.
Sens. Brownback and Specter were apparently shut out of helping to write this year's monstrosity, and they together with Lindsey Graham, Chuck Hagel, and Mel Martinez only were invited to a meeting after the bill had almost been completed.
Representatives of the Essential Workers [Immigration] Coalition (see their member roster: [[Essential Workers [Immigration] Coalition]]) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have asserted that they have successfully sabotaged implementation of a proposed DHS regulation which would require employers who receive 'no-match' letters from the Social Security Administration to correct the discrepancy, or be considered to have "constructive knowledge" of unlawful hiring of illegal aliens at their business.More at both links.
On a January 11, 2006 teleconference for immigration lawyers sponsored by the American Bar Association, Laura Reiff, a former INS attorney representing low-wage employers who hire large numbers of illegal aliens, said that the Chief Counsel of Customs and Border Protection (CBP)* Alfonso Robles, told her at a meeting at U.S. Department of Homeland Security headquarters in late December that his office was giving low-wage employers "a little Christmas present" by not sending the proposed regulation to the Office of Management and Budget at the White House. Failure to send a regulation to OMB effectively kills the proposed reform bureaucratically, out of the public eye...
Employers who hire illegal immigrants to depress wages have something new to fear: Employees who use racketeering laws to take them to court.
A law originally conceived to hammer the Mafia – the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations statute – is now being swung against employers at chicken-plucking plants, apple orchards and janitorial firms.
In April, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to hear a Georgia racketeering case involving carpet giant Mohawk Industries Inc., its employment practices and allegations that it used labor recruiters in Brownsville.
The case is being closely watched by many employment law specialists – particularly in areas such as North Texas with large illegal immigrant populations – because it could trigger a rash of costly suits against businesses that depend on illegal labor.
A handful of similar suits have already been filed under RICO, and last month a judge approved a $1.3 million settlement in one of them...
Because so many of the RICO suits are brought in areas that hire large numbers of Hispanics, [Mohawk attorney Juan Morillo] said the issue should be of concern to the Hispanic community as a whole...
...The U.S. Chamber of Commerce filed a brief in support of Mohawk. So did Associated Builders & Contractors, a powerful trade group.
"This case is about RICO, which was initially used to go after the mob, and now it is being expanded by smart plaintiff lawyers to go after employers who have nothing to do with the mob," said Amar Sarwal, general counsel of the National Chamber Litigation Center, the public policy law firm of the U.S. Chamber...
Sensenbrenner: no amnesty; perhaps U.S. Chamber of Commerce should register as foreign agent - 01/26/06
Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner Jr., the House point man on immigration, yesterday said that a guest-worker program like the one proposed by President Bush is amnesty and that he cannot accept it in a final immigration bill...
A U.S. coalition of business, labor unions and religious groups launched a campaign on Thursday to defeat a bill backed by Republicans that would turn some 11 million illegal immigrants into felons.So far I haven't been able to find out the name or URL of this organization, but if you know please leave a comment.
The coalition of 24 organizations, many of which rarely agree on politics or economics, denounced the bill passed by the House of Representatives last month and called on the Senate to enact legislation to include a guest worker program and a path for illegal aliens to gain legal status.
..."We are extremely disappointed with the proposal that passed the House last month," said Thomas Donohue, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce which represents some 3 million businesses...
...Andy Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union, which has 1.8 million members, called for comprehensive reform to take control of the border and provided a way for illegal aliens to gain legal status...
...Other groups joining the coalition include associations representing builders and contractors, health care providers, the hotel and restaurant industries, Latino organizations, farm workers, the American Jewish Committee and Catholic bishops...
And, see this remarkably similar page... from April 21, 2004:
Today, a remarkable alliance of business, labor, religious, ethnic, and immigrant advocacy groups ran a full-page ad in Roll Call, the newspaper of Congress, signaling their support for comprehensive immigration reform... [the groups were:]
*Business: American Health Care Association; American Hotel and Lodging Association; American Nursery and Landscape Association; International Franchise Association; National Council of Chain Restaurants; National Restaurant Association; and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
*Labor: American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFL-CIO); Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union; Laborers’ International Union of North America; Service Employees International Union; UNITE! (Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees); United Farmworkers of America; and the United Food and Commercial Workers.
*Religious: American Jewish Committee; Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service; and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
*Ethnic: Hispanic Alliance for Progress; The Latino Coalition; League of United Latin American Citizens; Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund; and the National Council of La Raza.
*Immigrant Advocacy: American Immigration Lawyers Association and the National Immigration Forum.
Believe it or not, Morton wants Bush to co-opt Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Hugh Hewitt and Laura Ingraham, so that those fine hosts can then turn around and explain the wisdom of Bush's plans to the great unwashed out there beyond the beltway. Unfortunately, Kondracke doesn't discuss what those hosts would do when their ratings started to plummet.
And, he can't even tell his amnesty schemes apart:
...Bush tilted right himself... declaring opposition to "amnesty" for illegals... ...but business and pro-immigrant groups are concerned that the bill will contain a provision sponsored by Sens. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) and John Cornyn (R-Texas) that would require workers to return to their home countries after their six-year work visas expire... That would disrupt employment patterns and family life and discourage illegals from reporting for work permits in the first place.Actually, the Cornyn/Kyl scheme requires the workers to go back to their countries and then register. It's Bush's "temporary" worker scheme that says they have to leave after six years. Therefore, Morton just called into question Bush's scheme.
Immigration restrictionists denounce the McCain-Kennedy provision as "amnesty," but it's really a recognition of reality: There are 11 million illegal immigrants in the U.S., and it would be far more efficient to concentrate law enforcement resources on finding and expelling criminals among them than trying to corral them all...Now, for the truth, see "GAO: ICE all but ignores workplace enforcement".
...It's up to Bush to avoid stalemate - and there are lots of good arguments he can use to pull his party together. On the merits, he can show that enforcement-only immigration policy simply doesn't work. According to the Migration Policy Institute, overall spending on immigration enforcement increased from $1 billion in 1985 to $4.9 billion in 2002. Appropriations for the border patrol went up tenfold, and the number of agents rose eightfold. Yet, according to the Pew Hispanic Center, the number of illegal immigrants entering the U.S. has averaged from 480,000 to 660,000 and a total of 9 million have entered since 1990.
Kondracke goes on to quote the National Immigration Forum and suggest that Bush should work with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. And, he plays the "Hispanic Vote" card.
But, wait, there's more work for me to do:
...Anti-immigrant campaigns don't win. In Southern California, Jim Gilchrist, co-founder of the much-publicized Minutemen Project, a civilian border-control group, got only 25 percent of the vote and finished third...The Kilgore race appears to have hinged on something else. As for Gilchrist, Mort completely distorts the significance of that 25%. For instance, on election day, Gilchrist seems to have gotten more votes than Campbell.
And former Virginia Attorney Gen. Jerry Kilgore (R) lost to Lt. Gov. Tim Kaine (D) despite ads that attacked Kaine's support for a day-labor site in suburban Herndon and education for immigrant children. The ad concluded, "What part of illegal doesn't Kaine understand?"
Then, he says:
Currently, the 2006 favorite [for prez of Mexico] is former Mexico City Mayor Andres Lopez Obrador of the left-wing PRD party - someone who's likely to get financial assistance from Venezuela's radical President Hugo Chavez and, if elected, could pursue economic policies that cause a surge in illegal immigration.Even more than Bush and Fox have managed to do? While I'm sure he would drive MX even further down, he might also shake things up a bit. And, he certainly wouldn't be as chummy with our "American" president as Fox has been. Plus, we'd probably see Mexico's plans a bit more clearly with someone else at the helm. I'm not in favor of Obrador, but if he won it would have some advantages that another Pepsi executive type would not have.
Then, Mort trots out the poll discussed in "FAIR Responds to Sham Immigration Poll" and Immigration "news" from the Wall Street Journal. And, he ends with this:
Doing the right thing is win-win for Republicans, if only Bush can convince Sean Hannity.Hannity might be an idiot, but I'm sure he isn't stupid. I'm sure he doesn't want to be reduced to being the night jock on a Fargo Oldies station. Perhaps Bush should learn from him, instead of the other way around? After all, Hannity actually knows what most of the public wants, unlike the Bush administration and Beltway hacks.
We the undersigned applaud the introduction today of Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act... [etc. etc...]The signatories include:
Lee Culpepper (last mentioned here; works for the National Restaurant Association and is Chairman of the National Immigration Forum)
And then there's the National Immigration Forum, 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.You'll note that the signatories are almost the same group as those who signed the "Conservative" Statement of Principles on Immigration from over a year ago.
Like many lobbying coalitions, the NIF board includes representatives of Republican stalwarts like the National Association of Manufacturers, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the National Restaurant Association, and used to include Stephen Moore of the Cato Institute, now head of the Club for Growth. Whatever his libertarian views on immigration, I imagine Steve hightailed it out of there after he realized what he'd gotten into, because the people sitting around the conference table at NIF board meetings include some decidedly unsavory characters. In addition to the usual leftist suspects — the ACLU, the Service Employees Union, Jim Zogby of the Arab American Institute — the NIF board includes the head of the immigration lawyers' association, one Jeanne Butterfield, who used to be executive director of the Palestine Solidarity Committee, identified by the Anti-Defamation League as an alliance between members of the Popular Front for Liberation of Palestine and the Workers World party (the Trotskyites behind the Iraq War protests)...
Previously: More straw, Tamar?
From the WashTimes:
An immigration initiative in Arizona that would require secure identification to vote in elections and to receive public benefits was endorsed yesterday by more than two dozen Republican state legislators and candidates at a rally outside the statehouse in Phoenix.