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 of Kosovo.

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 evening.

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.

Testimony Transcripts

 Terry Anderson

Larry Vance 

Lamar Smith

Angie Morfin

 LULAC's Selena Walsh

 Carol Joyal

Tobin Armstrong

Dan Morris

 Roger Barnett

Other Testimony  | IRAW Photo Album | San Antonio Express News Article