Histrionic Response to A Candidate Pledge

Open borders self-styled conservatives have been provoked into action by the FAIR Congressional Task Force pledge for political candidates calling on them to foreswear amnesty for illegal aliens and increases in immigration and guest workers. One of the first to attack the pledge was Grover Norquist, who apparently thinks he holds a patent on pledges because of his anti-tax increase pledge. Another salvo was aimed at the Task Force pledge on May 14 by Alex Nowrasteh.

The desperation of opponents to discredit of the pledge is obvious in this latest attack. Rather than arguing the pledge on its merit, the attack is an effort to confuse the issue by deliberately mischaracterizing it. Nowrasteh writes, “The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) has sponsored a pledge for political candidates to oppose legal immigration as well as amnesty for unauthorized immigrants.” That is false. You do not have to be a rocket scientist to understand the difference between opposing legal immigration and opposing an increase to legal immigration, which currently is at a level of more than one million new immigrants per year.

Having mischaracterized the pledge, Nowrasteh, rambles on about U.S. immigration history. But all of his rambling is meaningless because it is based on his mischaracterization of the pledge against an increase.

Anyone who wants to understand better the issue of the level of immigration should revisit the recommendations of the U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform led by the distinguished legislator and law school professor, Barbara Jordan. The USCIR recommended near unanimously that legal immigration should be restructured and reduced to a base level of 550,000 per year. No one at the time of that recommendation had the temerity to use that recommendation to challenge Jordan’s adherence to the nation’s openness to immigration the way that FAIR Congressional Task Force’s more modest pledge is being attacked.

Tuesday’s Elections Show The Power Of Money, Not The Appeal Of Amnesty

Ellmers Rescued by Pro-Amnesty Zuckerberg GroupWhile open borders lobby groups like Bibles, Badges and Business, are rushing to claim that Tuesday’s primary results show that amnesty is a “winning” issue, in truth the results show only that amnesty is well funded, not popular. Which we already knew! While these amnesty proponents brag that incumbents like pro-amnesty Rep. Renee Ellmers “won decisively while running on a pro-immigration stance,” in fact wins like hers, given the context, were neither decisively won nor based on an honest portrayal of her real stance on immigration. Rep. Ellmers, with all the power of incumbency and a campaign chest of $1 million, proved unable to get 60% of the vote against her challenger Frank Roche, who ran against her with a mere $23,000. With a financial advantage of over 43 to 1, such results do not constitute a decisive win.

Furthermore, Rep. Ellmers did not run on her actual position on immigration. The supposedly “conservative” arm of amnesty proponent Mark Zuckerberg’s Fwd.us, “Americans for a Conservative Direction” also spent at least $150,000 airing ads on television claiming that Rep. Ellmers is “working hard to secure the border and fix our broken immigration system once and for all.  No amnesty, period.” Unfortunately, for unsuspecting voters who just haven’t heard how to decode amnesty speak, the words “No amnesty, period,” often do convey the false but understandable idea that the candidate does not intend to reward virtually all illegal aliens with legalization.

Open borders lobbyists perpetually claim that Americans widely support amnesty.  But for years, going back at least to President George W. Bush, they have refused to call amnesty by its name. If amnesty were actually popular, there’d be no need for code words.

Libertarian Advocacy for Eliminating Penalties Against Illegal Aliens

Writing for the libertarian CATO institute, Alex Nowrasteh wrote on April 23, “Removing the 3/10 Year Bars Is Not Amnesty.” He advocated the elimination of the penalty adopted in 1996 that required an alien who stayed illegally in the U.S. to remain outside the country for a period of three to ten years – the greater penalty for illegal residents for more than one year – before being eligible to legally return.

His argument for eliminating the penalty was that it has led to a major drop in the voluntary departure of illegal aliens, and, he adds, is one reason the number of illegal alien residents soared. He reasons that the adoption of an enhanced enforcement measure had the effect of increasing the illegal alien population.

That argument is not credible if it is put in context. That context is a major strengthening of enforcement against illegal immigration on the southern border. This resulted from a major increase in Border Patrol staffing, fencing, technological upgrades, and other measures. The resulting difficulty in successfully entering the country across that border resulted in an increased reliance upon alien smugglers to guide illegal entrants. And, that meant smuggling fees that increased with the increasing difficulty in breaching he border.

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For that reason, illegal residents became increasingly loathe to return to their home countries for visits. That was not the only reason, however. At the same time, the network of formerly illegal aliens granted amnesty in 1986 and subsequent measures tended to spread out from traditional rural agricultural jobs to find new jobs in construction and services away from the border. From there they sent messages to their friends and relatives abroad that jobs were easy to find with inexpensive fake identity cards. When coming to those new job opportunities, the illegal aliens were more inclined to bring family members with them.

These two factors are sufficient to explain the rise in the illegal alien population without any recourse to the contrived argument that the rise was due to the three to ten year penalty for illegal residence. Of course, the CATO Institute is a champion of amnesty for illegal aliens, so it is not surprising that it would endorse measures that chip away at enforcement measures and would result in a greater ability for illegal aliens to take advantage of a backdoor route to legal residence.

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Listen Online to FAIR’s Talk Radio Event

Hold Their Feet to the Fire 2014This morning, FAIR kicked off the 8th annual Hold Their Feet to the Fire radio row from Capitol Hill. Around 50 talk radio hosts from throughout the country are in town urging Congress to support true immigration reform on April 9-10.

Want to listen to the broadcasts and participate in the 8th annual Hold Their Feet to the Fire? Here’s how to listen online to several of the participating radio hosts.

The Jon Justice Show: 6-10 a.m. MDT

Jon is from KQTH in Tucson, Ariz. He’s live in the mornings from 6-10 a.m. MDT/3-7 a.m. EDT. Jon will also be broadcasting his show from Capitol Hill on Friday morning.
Listen live on KQTH’s website.
Visit Jon’s website

The Cindy Graves Show: Noon-2 p.m. EDT

Cindy is from AM600 WBOB in Jacksonville, Fla. Her show airs weekdays from noon-2 p.m.

Listen live on WBOB’s website.
Visit her website

Joyce Kaufman: Noon-3 p.m. EDT

Joyce is from WFTL from West Palm Beach, Fla. and broadcasts from noon – 3 p.m. EDT.

Listen online via WFTL’s website
Visit Joyce’s website

The Lars Larson Show: 3-6 p.m. PST

Lars is from FM News 101 KXL in Portland, Ore. He broadcasts a show in the Northwest from Noon-3 p.m. PST and is syndicated nationally from 3-6 p.m. PST/Noon-3 p.m. EDT.

How to listen:
Tune in on LarsLarson.com
Listen live on iHeartRadio
Find a radio station near you syndicating the Lars Larson Show.
Hear a recording of Lars’ show on Soundcloud.

Chris Baker: 2-6 p.m. CDT

Chris is from Newsradio 1110 KFAB in Omaha, Neb. He broadcasts during each work day from  2-6 p.m. CDT/1-5 p.m. EDT

Listen live on iHeartRadio
Visit Chris’ website

The Phil Valentine Show: 3-7 p.m. CDT

Phil is from Super Talk 99.7 WTN in Nashville, Tenn. And is syndicated nationally through Cumulus Radio Networks.  His show airs from 3-7 p.m. CDT/2-6 p.m. EDT, Monday through Friday.

How to listen:
Listen live on iHeartRadio
Find an affiliate station near you
Visit Phil’s website

Talk Radio Hosts Go to DC to Send a Wake Up Call on Immigration

Hold Their Feet to the Fire 2014Hold Their Feet to the Fire 2014, an annual radio row organized by FAIR may be one of this year’s best indicators for the future of immigration reform. The event occurs on April 9-10 on Capitol Hill and features the largest gathering ever of talk radio hosts gathered on a single issue.

Dozens of hosts from across the country will spend two days discussing immigration policy with listeners, lawmakers, law enforcement, immigration experts, activists and members of the media live from radio row while broadcasting their shows back to their home markets.

In a Townhall.com op-ed in February, Joyce Kaufman, talk radio host for WFTL in West Palm Beach, Fla. explained the goal of these radio hosts:

In short, do what the law says and what the public wants. It’s not too much to ask and we’ll be pressuring our lawmakers to do it while we’re in Washington.

Hear us, fear us, and join us. We’re talk radio – America’s Electronic Town Hall – and we’re proud of speaking the truth and holding our public officials accountable for the one basic thing we’ve elected them to do; serving our broad national interests.

The radio event occurs while the Department of Homeland Security reviews their deportation practices with a goal of expanding the categories of illegal aliens who will be exempted from removal. (See FAIR’s series on Administrative Amnesty.)

The national radio row will also coincide with – and attempt to blunt – a massive lobbying effort by special interests to resurrect S.744, the Gang of Eight amnesty bill. This occurs with an even more aggressive push by corporate interests to convince House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to enact legislation that grants them greater access to low-wage foreign labor, even as some 20 million of Americans are unemployed or underemployed.

Hold Their Feet to the Fire 2014 punctuates the increasing GOP divide over the immigration issue. Days after releasing a set of “immigration principles“ Boehner backpedaled due to public disapproval and announced that legislation is unlikely in 2014. The Wall Street Journal directly credited talk radio for that decision, a sentiment echoed by NPR:

The truth is, the wind had shifted; and it had taken only a weekend. Within hours of leadership bringing forth its principles on Jan. 30, they were being denounced by conservative activists, bloggers and radio talk shows. The central objection: the idea that those now in the country illegally should have a path, albeit a difficult one, to legal status.

However, Dan Stein, the president of FAIR, warns activists and talk radio that the threat isn’t over:

 But the moment the pressure is off, Boehner may proceed. Thus, our goal, and the goal of the hosts participating in Hold Their Feet to the Fire 2014, is to make sure that the House leadership continues to hear the voices of the American people and is reminded that it is their interests that our immigration laws are supposed to serve.

Boehner has already proven this warning to be true. Just 20 days after downplaying any Republican attempts to take up immigration this year, Boehner had a “healthy conversation“ with President Obama on the issue. Jay Carney, White House Press Secretary, corroborated Boehner’s report, “I can certainly confirm that immigration was one of the topics they discussed. I can certainly confirm that there is broad agreement that this is an issue that needs to be addressed.”

Since some House Republicans are currently working to sneak a form of amnesty through the National Defense Authorization Act, Hold Their Feet to the Fire 2014 comes at the perfect time to send another wake-up call to Congress.