On August 21 DHS head Napolitano met with some 100+ amnesty pushing immigration groups. I posted a list that the DHS reported attended the event. It was a who's who of pro-amnesty groups and businesses that are - or are looking - to exploit them. Suprising the list only mentioned nearly 100, however press reports are saying that there were actually 130 there. I'm wondering who the other 30 were that were not released by the DHS in their press report.
Also surprisingly the press release from the DHS failed to mention that President Obama showed up to address the Latino leaders and ensure them that some form of amnesty was coming. He has been catching some flak from pro-amnesty groups who are saying that he's not doing enough to push through an amnesty quickly.
Anyone who thinks that Obama showed up because he "had a few minutes" is a fool. I contend that this whole meeting and event was set up as an Obama campaign meeting with these groups and that it was put down as a DHS meeting simply to defer questions ahead of time. It was a planned political event on the taxpayer's dime in order to ensure that pro-illegals continue to support him through the next election in 2012. It was no more than any candidate campaigning, however they have to actually foot the bill.
I cover a host of commentary and reports from those who attended the event below and what it tells us about the Obama Administration, DHS and pro-illegal groups' plans.
The most hilarious comment that I saw on this whole event though were those of Frank Sharry of the pro-amnesty, anti-American group America's Voice. He rails on their blog that the same day of the conference coverage, that the Washington Post ran a front page story on illegal aliens who were being held for ransom.
Aside from news on the White House meeting, there’s an enraging, front-page Sunday story in the Washington Post on smugglers holding those crossing for ransom from US-based families, with a number of DC-based families saying that the deportation of loved ones is better than death at the hands of criminals.
The story Sharry was talking about is "'Better to Be Deported Alive Than to Be Dead'". That headline is a quote from an illegal alien.
Sharry shows that he could care less about these illegal aliens and how they are being exploited. He is enraged at the fact that the truth is being told. Things like exploitation, according to Sharry, should be kept out of the press. He probably considers the illegal aliens interviewed for the Post story to be traitors.
Those in favor of immigration enforcement were not invited to the closed door meeting where cameras were not present. The Heritage Foundation has posted a response that they were not invited even though they claim they have done the most research of any think tank on immigration.
... in case you were wondering…no one from the Heritage Foundation was asked to be at the table. It is not clear why Heritage did not rate an invitation.
No think tank in Washington has written more and more comprehensively on immigration and border security reform issues. Heritage studies and statistics are frequently cited by Congressional members during floor debates.
Of course this current DHS head, nor the president, would want any dissenting views expressed to their friends in the pro-amnesty community, so it's best not to invite them. It could cause a ruckus and some of these groups are prone to physically attack anyone opposed to a full and massive amnesty as has been documented in videos so many times. In short many are thugs dressed up in suits and dresses.
Obama's showing at the event was a "surprise" to all at the event as the Center for Immigration Studies reports. Anyone who thinks this was a surprise visit by Obama needs to think twice.
President Obama made a brief appearance, to the surprise of such advocates as Frank Sharry of America's Voice.
The president said he is committed to a reform during this Congress, that we can do it, and that he will need the support of the entire community of activists and of the immigrants, Sharry told Univision's Martin Berlanga.
Obama played cheerleader for the groups and told him that the entire pro-illegal aliens community and the illegal aliens need to get involved in order for there to be an amnesty. Expect a "full court press" coming soon.
Some of the groups bought into Obama's statements and others are not happy with him. Many thought that amnesty would already be on the books - against the wishes of the American people - with such a friend to illegal aliens as Obama in the White House.
And yes, these groups still play the "poor, suffering illegal aliens" card as they keep hopping the border and using taxpayer funded services and infrastructure such as schools and hospitals. From the LA Times
"We've heard all of the beautiful oratory about immigration reform, but we have yet to see concrete actions to stop the suffering," said Angelica Salas, director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles.
The article continues that not only did the administration reiterate their support of amnesty, but these groups then broke down and started putting together how they would want illegal aliens to benefit from any legislation. I'm assuming these are the teams that are working on the immigration draft bill Obama mentioned in Mexico a few days ago. Just as some of these groups were involved in writing Bush's immigration amnesty bill a few years back. It was all done behind closed doors as this is being done behind closed doors.
both Obama and Napolitano reaffirmed their support for immigration reform to more than 100 representatives from labor, business, law enforcement, religious organizations and immigrant rights groups. The assembly broke into smaller groups to share ideas about how to address the main pieces of a comprehensive reform package: enforcement, guest workers, family visas and legalization of the nation's estimated 11 million illegal immigrants.
I know many of you have let your guard down. You may be following the immigration issue, but you may have stopped being as active. I don't believe this is the time to remain inactive. These groups are gearing up, they have the backing of this administration and some of them are well funded, don't be caught flat footed.
Frank Sharry of America's Voice said the meeting "stopped the bleeding".
President of the pro-amnesty group, William C. Velasquez Institute, Antonio Gonzalez, said that the tactic that most of the groups have agreed to is to pass amnesty in small doses until the big amnesty comes. Bills like those that would give amnesty to illegal alien students heading to college.
Gonzalez called this a "down payment" from the administration that amnesty was coming.
"That logic is becoming more and more appealing," Gonzalez said. "People are going to get real nervous about going into an election cycle with nothing to show for immigration reform."
Mary Giovagnoli, director of the pro-amnesty Immigration Policy Center, appears a little more positive as well.
"Secretary Napolitano strongly supported the need to bring all undocumented immigrants out of the shadows, streamline naturalization procedures, improve immigration processes that allow immigrants to live and work legally in the U.S., and create smart immigration enforcement mechanisms. Both the president and Secretary Napolitano acknowledged the importance of immigration to our country as well as the need to create a sustainable legal immigration system for the 21st century. We must all remain committed to following through on the dialogue that began today."
Gotta love their fancy wordage they use to avoid saying "amnesty for illegal aliens". "Smart immigration enforcement mechanisms" is a new one on me.
The Latin American Heritage Tribune seemed pretty positive reporting on the meeting. Their headline was "Obama Tells Groups He Will Push for Immigration Reform". Apparently simply the types of groups invited to the event, all pro-amnesty, was a good sign to some that Obama and Napolitano were committed to amnesty.
Obama attended the conclusion of the meeting, an occasion which he took advantage of to tell the participants that he understands that the country’s immigration system “doesn’t work and needs to be adjusted,” the White House spokesman for Hispanic affairs, Luis Miranda, said.
The Thursday meeting was characterized by different members of the groups invited to it as a “good sign,” but they insisted that it is necessary for the government to move from rhetoric to action.
It still boggles the mind that in this day and age we actually have a White House spokesman for an individual ethnic group. Imagine the outcry if there was a White House spokesman for White affairs...
The agenda of the groups was also clear when it comes to already existing laws on the books. They railed against E-verify and the 287(g) program for instance. Two programs that crack down on illegal immigration.
The participants were especially critical of the controversial E-Verify program, which demands that companies verify the immigration status of their employees, and the 287(g) program, under which local police departments are authorized to enforce immigration law.
And then there's Napolitano's comments. Read this carefully and tell me where the real "stakeholders" - the American people, who are expected to pay for all of this - are present in any of this.
“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.”
Now here are a few videos from the pro-amnesty side on what they thought of the President's meeting and his commitment to amnesty.
Clarissa Martinez of La Raza
Frank Sharry of America's Voice
Art Venegas of the subversively named Law Enforcement Engagement Initiative
Arturo Rodriguez of the United Farm Workers