Thoughts on Immigration Reform Awareness Week
IRAW Photo Album
Immigration Reform Awareness Week consisted of two days of
walking the halls of Congress, bracketed by morning and evening
sessions of pep talks and lectures organized by the Federation
of American Immigration Reform (FAIR). A third and final
day involved a lecture on immigration numbers, media relations
and grassroots strategies.
This year IRAW included a hearing by the House immigration
subcommittee where witnesses such as Ezola Foster, Terry Anderson,
Dan Morris, Angie Morfin, Carol Joyal, Roger Barnett and Tobin
Armstrong performed admirably [see testimony
links below]. The hearing was aired on C-SPAN, although
press coverage was sparse at best.
VCT delivered copies of "Bonds
of Our Union" to a number of Representatives and
Senators. Glenn Spencer spent about ten minutes with Rep. Tom
Tancredo (R-Co), briefing him on "Bonds and the link between
Kosovo to the ethnic cleansing of California. Following this
exchange, Tancredo spoke to IRAW and addressed the implications
Spencer also spoke briefly with Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-CA).
Rosemary Jenks, former researcher for the Center for Immigration
Studies (now at Harvard Law School), reported that upon visiting
the offices of the House immigration subcommittee, she observed
the entire staff watching "Bonds of Our Union.
VCT had delivered a copy of "Bonds"
to each and every member of the immigration subcommittee, include
Sheila Jackson-Lee. The staff of the committee is now well aware
of its contents and its message. If our goal was to warn Congress,
we were successful.
On Friday, June 12, Glenn Spencer was interviewed by phone
by Spanish language television station channel 52 (Telemundo).
Asked about a vote in the House of Representatives to authorize
the use of the U.S. military on the border, Spencer said he didn't
think the U.S. Senate would support the move, but it might. If
the Senate passed the legislation, Spencer said, Clinton would
veto it. This, he said, might make relations with Mexico an issue
of the upcoming presidential campaign, as it should be. Spencer said
that NAFTA and the "phony Maquiladoras plants should be
debated as well. The interview aired in Los Angeles that
The testimony before the House immigration subcommittee was
clearly the highlight of IRAW. It was aired on C-SPAN and there
are reports that this prompted many Americans to call members
of congress, including Senator Spencer Abraham.
There was a general impression that FAIR's "fire in the
belly was more like smoldering embers. Dan Stein suggested that
immigration reform may depend on an economic downturn. The emphasis
was on the effects of overpopulation. There didn't appear to
be any real concern over cultural issues or Mexican Reconquista.
I want to thank Carol Keeler, Traci Murray and Bettina McCann
[above, right] for getting "Bonds
of Our Union" in the hands of the immigration subcommittee.
They did a great job of representing VCT.