Democratic House member from California, representing an area starting in San Jose and stretching south along the 101. Current or former immigration lawyer who strongly supports illegal immigration and who attempts to block immigration enforcement.
Immigrants' List are immigration lawyers; Daniel Strauss and Huffington Post don't reveal that (Immigration Heroes List) - 01/17/12
Immigrants List is a pro-massive immigration PAC that recently named their list of top 10 immigration heroes , i.e., those who support massive and/or illegal immigration. One man's hero is another man's villain, and in the case of their Heroes all are villains to most Americans who oppose massive and/or illegal immigration.
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.
[IMPORTANT UPDATE BELOW]
Stephen Colbert shills for growers, supports bad policy in Congressional appearance (+rightwinger fail) - 09/24/10
Stephen Colbert testified before Congress earlier today and shilled for Big Agriculture and promoted bad, anti-American and anti-Mexican policy. And, the wider issue is also yet another example of failure by the rightwing commentariat, tea parties, and similar groups.
2. Colbert is working with the United Farmworkers of America to promote their anti-American, pro-abuse TakeOurJobs effort. I've already written three posts about that effort, the latest was on Wednesday at that link. The two previous are here and here.
3. From his remarks:
This brief experience [of working on an upstate New York farm for a day] gave me some small understanding of why so few Americans are clamoring to begin an exciting career as seasonal migrant field worker. So what’s the answer? I’m a free market guy. Normally I would leave this to the invisible hand of the market, but the invisible hand of the market has already moved over 84,000 acres of production and over 22,000 farm jobs over to Mexico and shut down over a million acres of U.S. farm land due to lack of available labor because apparently even the invisible hand doesn’t want to pick beans.
...Maybe we could give more visas to the immigrants, who - let’s face it - will probably be doing these jobs anyway. And this improved legal status might allow legal immigrants recourse if they’re abused. And it justs stands to reason to me if your coworker can’t be exploited, then you’re less likely to be exploited yourself. And that itself might improve pay and working conditions on these farms and eventually Americans may consider taking these jobs again.
a. A small number of growers with even more questionable loyalty to the U.S. than usual have indeed moved offshore.
b. The solution to that is to reduce labor costs in socially-acceptable ways; Colbert's solution is the opposite. Labor costs can be reduced through mechanization and the like; Colbert isn't promoting that. Instead, what he's promoting would initially *raise* labor costs (legalization). However, what would happen is that growers would collude with politicians to continue allowing illegal immigration in order to reduce labor costs to their current levels. And, some or many of those newly-legalized laborers would leave the farms for other lines of working, competing with, for instance, American construction workers (unless they were held in a form of indentured servitude). Colbert doesn't realize that growers and the political power they have are a major sticking point to solving the situation. See the immigration wage floor page for a related discussion.
c. In the first paragraph, Colbert's comments seem to suggest that only Mexicans and those from Central America are genetically predisposed to doing farm work. However, that conflicts with the second paragraph in which he says Americans might take those jobs. Why isn't Colbert working to help Americans do those jobs right now? The way to do that is to enforce our immigration laws and reduce the numbers of illegal aliens doing farm work. Colbert himself is admitting that the presence of illegal labor has reduced wages and lowered safety standards. His response is to reward the very people - growers, the politicians they influence, and groups like the UFW - who are responsible for the current situation instead of letting them know who's the boss.
d. The pro-American solution is to support citizen or at least legal labor working for acceptable wages in safe conditions. The bottom line is that Colbert is not supporting that. He's supporting something that would simply lead to a repeat of the current situation.
4. This issue is yet another example of failure by the rightwing commentariat, tea parties, and similar groups. I tried to make Colbert look bad before his appearance, and I got very little help with it; see the links in #2 above. Among other things, I started an online petition which got all of three (3) signatures: act.ly/2f5 I also posted here: freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2595102/posts Note the might-as-well-be-helping-Colbert comments. Colbert's appearance is very establishment-friendly pro-grower propaganda, similar to the crops rotting in the fields propaganda efforts stretching back decades. Those groups showed themselves incapable of striking back against such propaganda. And, most of Colbert's fans appear unable to recognize just whose side Colbert is on.
5. I added the "who are responsible for the current situation" above; hopefully that was clear before.
6. Another place I posted about this before the event was alipac.us/ftopict-213281.html That's the same as the Freerepublic post.
7. The failure by many opponents of illegal immigration who are commenting on this issue continues. See if you can find anyone in this long list who is attempting to show how Colbert is wrong. To compound the problem and as an illustration of how they aren't really serious about blocking amnesty, they're also unwilling to link to this post. Instead, they're engaging in wild conspiracy theories (such as that Colbert's appearance was designed to distract from the contemporaneous DOJ/New Black Panthers hearings) or only discussing the meta of Colbert's appearance.
Ask Stephen Colbert to oppose worker abuse, support American workers (testify before Congress) - 09/22/10
On Friday, TV comedian Stephen Colbert will be testifying before Congress and supporting a plan that runs down American workers and supports worker abuse. Please read the following and then contact him using the means below, asking him to support American workers and oppose worker abuse.
The plan Colbert will be promoting is "TakeOurJobs.com", at which the United Farmworkers of America pretend to seek Americans to take farmworker jobs.
* Colbert's plan is anti-American:
The Colbert/UFW plan is anti-American: it falsely implies that Americans are unwilling and unable to take farmworker jobs. The UFW and Colbert are in effect calling the American worker soft, falsely pretending that only immigrants - specifically, illegal aliens from Mexico and Latin America - are willing to do farm work. In fact, somewhere between one-fourth and one-half of U.S. farmworkers are either citizens or legal workers. America sent a man to the moon and won World War II, but according to Stephen Colbert, we're too soft to get some dirt under our fingernails.
Further, millions of Americans are out of work, and Colbert is supporting illegal aliens taking jobs that Americans could and should be doing. Illegal labor depresses wages and reduces workplace conditions; with less illegal labor in the marketplace, more Americans would do farm work.
* Colbert's plan is pro-abuse:
The Colbert/UFW plan also supports worker abuse. Colbert will be testifying with UFW president Arturo Rodriguez who acknowledged that farmworkers "work in often unbearable situations." Why would Stephen Colbert support people working in "unbearable situations"? The reason why growers are able to get away with abusing their workers is due in large part to the fact that they're illegal aliens. If we reduced the number of illegal aliens working in the fields, both wages and working conditions would improve. Legalization isn't the answer because that will just encourage more illegal immigration and growers - addicted to cheap, malleable illegal labor - will push politicians to allow illegal immigration just as they now do.
For longer arguments against the Colbert/UFW plan, see this and this. If you aren't convinced that Stephen Colbert's plan is anti-American and pro-abuse, read those links or leave a comment below and I'll try to change your mind.
* What to do:
Here are some of the things you can do:
1. Send a tweet to @StephenAtHome and let him know you support American workers and oppose worker abuse.
2. Do a search at Twitter for those promoting Colbert's plan, unwittingly or not. Send them a link to this post and suggest they support American workers.
3. Post about this at Facebook.
4. Post about this at forums that are generally supportive of Colbert.
5. Leave a comment on this post I just created at his forum.
6. Sign the Twitter petition here.
7. Tell your friends about this post and encourage them to get involved.
9/23/10 UPDATE: The UFW promotes his appearance (action.ufw.org/page/speakout/Colbert910):
Remember when UFW President Arturo Rodriguez was on the Colbert Show on July 7? Stephen Colbert committed to come work in the fields and take a farm worker’s job. Well he did! And his "Take Our Jobs" episodes will be airing this week... The first episode, where he will interview Congresswoman (Zoe Lofgren, Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Immigration) on the need to reform our nation’s broken immigration system is scheduled to air on Wednesday... Then the next day, Thursday, Sept 23, you can see Stephen Colbert as he works in the fields... On Friday... Lofgren... will be holding a Congressional hearing which UFW President Arturo Rodriguez, Stephen Colbert, Phil Glaize, an apple grower from Winchester, VA, will be testifying at entitled "Protecting America’s Harvest."
9/24/10 UPDATE: Here's why Colbert's testimony is wrong.
Two House subcommittees will be holding a joint hearing tomorrow (judiciary.house.gov/hearings/hear_090402.html) in an attempt to block the 287g program that allows local police to cooperate with the Department of Homeland Security to locate illegal aliens. The most famous use of 287(g) involves Sheriff Joe Arpaio; he isn't scheduled to testify, but two of those who are will be opposing his efforts specifically.
In advance of the hearing, today the American Civil Liberties Union - a group that's directly collaborating with the Mexican government - called on the Obama administration to end the program (aclu.org/immigrants/gen/39244prs20090401.html, link):
The ACLU is calling for an end to all partnerships under the 287(g) program, which trains and allows local and county police forces to enforce immigration statutes. The group also is pushing for a federal law that would require police to document all contacts with the public to better track racial and ethnic profiling.
There's a press release and some information on those testifying at . The co-chairs are Zoe Lofgren and Jerrold Nadler. One person testifying against it is Mesa police chief George Gascon (link). Another appeared at a Casa de Maryland rally, but whether he's linked to that group isn't known (link). Another is Deborah Weissman of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law; she collaborated with the ACLU of NC to produce an anti-287g report (link). From the American side, one of those testifying for the program is described here.
The anti-American DREAM Act was re-introduced yesterday in the House and the Senate. The bill is an amnesty for a potentially large number of younger illegal aliens, and it would allow those covered under the bill to take college discounts from U.S. citizens. In other words, because of this bill, some U.S. citizens will have their college educations taken away from them by former illegal aliens.
Considering that, it's incredibly easy to block the bill and discredit those who support it. The way to do that is to ask a politician who supports the bill the question at the link above, and then upload video of their response to video sharing sites. What I need you to do is to organize local efforts to go out and do that as described here. Even if you can't start a local group, you can still urge others to form such a group in your area.
The text of the bills isn't at thomas.loc.gov yet, but there's a probably accurate stock description here; those meeting the following qualifications would be temporarily legalized:
* They arrived in the United States before age 16.
* They have been otherwise law-abiding citizens for at least five consecutive years since the date of arrival and have registered for the Selective Service in case the military needs them.
* They must be older than 12 years old but younger than 30 when the bill becomes law.
* They have either graduated from a U.S. high school or obtained a general equivalency diploma.
* They have "good moral character."
...those immigrants who satisfy these criteria would get conditional legalization and would have to either complete study at a community college, complete at least two years toward a bachelor’s degree or serve two years in the U.S. military to get their permanent residency.
The House version is H.R.1751 from Howard Berman, currently co-sponsored by Lincoln Diaz Balart, Mario Diaz Balart, Zoe Lofgren, Joseph Cao, John Conyers, Devin Nunes, Jared Polis, Ileana Ros Lehtinen, and Lucille Roybal Allard.
DOJ investigating Sheriff Joe Arpaio over supposed racial profiling (Lofgren, Conyers, Nadler, Robert Scott, ACORN) - 03/12/09
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has launched an investigation of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office in Arizona following requests by congressional Democrats and allegations by liberal activists that the department has violated the civil rights of illegal aliens.
Reps. John Conyers (D-Mich.), Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), and Robert Scott (D-Va.) requested the investigation, and activists groups such as (National Day Laborer Organizing Network, NDLON) and ACORN launched petition drives and rallies in support of the probe.
The investigation focuses on Sheriff Joe Arpaio and dozens of officers under his command who were trained through the Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Agreements of Cooperation in Communities to Enhance Safety and Security (ACCESS), which partners federal and local law enforcement to enforce immigration laws...
New York Times: if the "nativists" weren't really "anti-immigration", they'd support massive immigration - 10/03/08
The New York Times editorial board is back with yet another very special editorial (link):
One of the false pieties uttered by anti-immigration politicians is that they love immigrants. If that were true, Congress would not be having so much trouble passing a simple law to smooth out a serious kink in the legal immigration pipeline.
Seriously, does anyone - even those in their target market - buy this? One doesn't have to support all types and all levels of immigration in order to "love immigrants". That should have been obvious to even the writers of their screed.
What they're advocating for is "visa recapture", where visas that weren't used for one reason or other can be applied to the current year's limit. If this were a video they'd have a Harry Shearer-narrated animation of their sales job:
Every year thousands of potential green cards vanish, like unused cellphone minutes.
The visas they're discussing are green cards, although I haven't checked whether H1Bs and the like would be covered as well. The two bills they mention are sponsored by immigration lawyer Zoe Lofgren and Robert Menendez, so there's probably a lot more they aren't mentioning; see also this.
Bennie Thompson, Dingell, Conyers, Reyes, Ortiz, other Democrats support Sierra Club lawsuit over border fence (DHS, environmental waiver) - 04/08/08
A cast of Congressional characters (all Democrats; listed below) intends to file an Amicus Curiae brief in the case where the Sierra Club and the Defenders of Wildlife are suing the Department of Homeland Security to prevent them from using apparently congressionally-mandated waivers that would let the DHS bypass environmental and related rules in order to build sections of the border fence.
Bennie Thompson, chairman of the Homeland Security Committee attempts to portray this as a Constitutional matter:
this waiver by the Secretary of Homeland Security is a direct challenge to Congress’s Constitutional role. The American people entrust Congress to ensure that the laws of this land are faithfully executed not excused by the Executive Branch
However, the plaintiffs and a quote from John Conyers, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, makes the intent clear:
our responsibility to be stewards of the earth cannot be thrown aside for the sake of an ill-conceived border fence
The others involved are: John Dingell, James Oberstar, George Miller, Louise Slaughter, Bob Filner, Silvestre Reyes, Solomon Ortiz, Zoe Lofgren, Sheila Jackson Lee, Susan Davis, Raul Grijalva, and Yvette Clarke.
Capitol Hill news sources have been buzzing for the past 48 hours about backroom negotiations in the House of Representatives that may bring comprehensive immigration reform "lite" to the floor.
Congressional Quarterly reports that Congressman Joe Baca (D-CA), Chairman of the Hispanic Caucus, is leading the fight for legislation that would provide a five-year amnesty visa to illegal aliens currently in the U.S.
Mark Kleiman - someone who is shockingly a UCLA professor - writes :
The Bush Administration plans to steal hundreds of thousands of votes, most of them Democratic votes, in the 2008 elections by the simple expedient of sitting on new citizenship applications until after the elections.
He links to his site, which mostly just links to the WaPo article "Immigrant Paperwork Backs Up At DHS" (li
A few days ago, Google's entertainment channel (?) at current.tv had an episode with a lightweight mocking (in both senses) of Lou Dobbs: current.tv/pods/google/GC03275 . This was contemporaneous with the David Leonhardt smear.
A small, perfect storm of illegal immigration supporters attempting to block enforcement of our immigration laws is forming :
The ACLU and Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights will soon announce a suit in the case of Kevin Reyes, a U.S. citizen who was swept up with his father during an ICE raid early one morning in San Rafael, California.
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
The official summary of the Security Through Regularized Immigration and a Vibrant Economy ("STRIVE Act", aka HR1645, aka H.R. 1645, aka HR 1645, aka the "Flake-Gutierrez Massive Illegal Alien Amnesty of 2007") is here. The full text and other details are available here.
Sen. Ted Kennedy vowed Monday that immigration reform - including citizenship for illegal workers - will hit the Senate floor by June, despite attempts by the White House and other opponents to massage the bill.
With California Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez by his side, the Massachusetts Democrat said he and presidential contender Sen.
As an immigration lawyer in Northern California, Zoe Lofgren helped struggling immigrant farmworkers keep their families together and stay in the United States...
Last year's chairman of the House immigration subcommittee, Indiana Republican John Hostetler, staunchly opposed guest-worker bills. He was not re-elected in November.
In an interview with KCBS radio that probably had little journalistic content whatsoever, Democratic Congressperson Zoe Lofgren of San Jose expressed the hope that immigration "reform" could be passed.