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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Does the LV Care About Immigration Reform?

Att'y Jose Campos is hopeful that the Senate will finally act
If the audience at Lehigh University's Zoellner Arts Center is any indication, the Lehigh Valley does care about immigration reform. Pennsylvania may be no border state, but 16.1% of this area's 650,000 population is now Hispanic. So on a hot Summer night, over forty people attended a June 24 screening of Davis Guggenheim's emotional The Dream is Now documentary, which advocates for what is called the Dream Act. Following this 30-minute movie, prominent immigration attorneys Jose Campos, Ray Lahoud and Kevin Santos shared some local war stories of what they see daily.

Their consensus? The system is broken.

This event was sponsored by Organizing For Action (OFA). That's a nonpartisan nonprofit, but is closely connected to President Obama's political agenda. Audience members were asked to contact Senators Pat Toomey and Bob Casey about the importance of fixing "America's broken immigration system."

Att'y Ray Lahoud is himself the son of Lebanese immigrants
Filmmaker Guggenheim has played a role before in making documentaries that help shape public opinion. The Inconvenient Truth, about global warming, and Waiting for Superman, about failures in public education, are two of his more controversial films.

The Dream is Now follows the lives of several young people who excelled in high school, only to learn that their own dreams were becoming nightmares because they are the children of undocumented aliens. Under our current immigration system, the sins of the parents are visited upon the children. Without citizenship or a social security number, "they are stuck in limbo."

As a result, a young man named Jose, who has a degree in Mechanical Engineering, spends his days as a stucco mason. His diploma collects dust despite a shortage in his profession..

Another high school overachiever committed suicide.

The remedy to this tragedy is the DREAM Act, first introduced in 2001. It provides a citizenship path for the children of undocumented aliens. Senators Ted Kennedy and John McCain, who sponsored the original bill, fell a few votes short in 2005. Renewed efforts in 2010 were still five votes shy in the U.S. Senate, despite a CBO report showing that it would reduce the deficit by $2.2 billion over the next ten years.

After the Senate vote, talking head Glenn Beck taunted, "No way, Jose."

As Guggenheim poetically explains,
When we get close, voices on the fringe get louder and the same images come. It's nothing new for us. Pick a moment in history, and you can always find an invading race. The Chinese, the Jews, the Irish, the Italians. There is always a new Other we are told to fear. And consistent throughout the struggle, is the battle between our very worst instincts, and our very best. That this Other has become Us. And they've always made Us better.
President Obama reacted to Congress' failure, in June 2012, with "DACA" (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). This provides work permits for undocumented young people who came to this country as children, pose no threat to national security, and have pursued education or military service.

Att'y Kevin Santos worries about 40,000 Border Patrol Agents  
In addition to President Obama's Executive Order, the nation's growing Hispanic population responded forcefully in the presidential election. They made up ten per cent of the turnout, and 71% of them voted for Obama.

As a result, political winds are shifting. "Believe it or not, I see some glimmer of bipartisanship out there," notes Senator McCain.

A new Dream Act is scheduled for vote in the Senate, possibly as soon as this week. As a prelude, a new border security law just cleared the Senate. It provides for 20,000 new border patrol agents, the completion of a 700 mile fence next to Mexico, as well as the expanded use of radar and drones.  

While that political weathervane changes direction, deportations are actually increasing. They are 50% higher under President Obama than they were under President Bush. Part of the documentary chronicles the plight of two children whose mothers were torn away from them. Public sentiment against Immigration became so overwhelming that federal authorities were embarrassed into changing course, in one case stopping a bus that was deporting a mother to Mexico.

"The whole country mobilized and stopped the bus," claimed Erika Andiola, daughter of one of these mothers.

Erika's dream is medical school. Will it come true? That depends on her ... and Congress.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

The current proposed law intends to codify the present system, where immigration from Mexico remains uncontrolled, and the souls who come here are never permanently assimilated and invested in the American dream.

Lefties think their being humanitarians, and they don't mind all those dependency class votes, either. The US chamber of Commerce wants an unrestricted flow of slave labor to clean pools and pick oranges.

Let's face it. This country has always relied upon slave or slave-type labor. From blacks and cotton, to Irish in the mines, to Chinese and the railroads, the engine of capitalism requires cheap fuel.

If we can call these slaves a nice name and feel better about slave life here than regular life in Mexico, it's a win-win.

In reality, it's twisted and sick and both political sides are responsible.

Anonymous said...

Both sides are responsible? That's a stretch, don't you think?

What Democrats are opposing this? Yes, there are Republicans who are willing to go along with this, but there are far more Republicans who oppose it.

I will offer this in the spirit of bipartisanship - those who support this version of national suicide should be voted out of office, and party doesn't matter for that effort.

Anonymous said...

ship them all off to Idaho, nothing there but sage brush and indians

Guy Williams said...

Both sides are responsible? That's a stretch don't ya think ? Yes I do think that. Democrats want them for their votes and since they have high birth rate require more social services which mean more government jobs. Republicans want them for cheap labor including domestics yet don't wanna pay for their health care.How are they gonna raise all the kids and pay for health care on 8 bucks an hour.Too many American citizens don't want the cheap jobs and would rather collect welfare which what makes the need for immigration in the first place.Viscious cycle and draws blame to both political parties for their lack of common sense solutions.

Anonymous said...

When Ronald Reagan signed Amnesty in the 80's, he PROMISED that: The Federal Gov't would NEVER do this again.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I don't know that he did that. But if he did, he can't make promises binding future presidents or Congresses.

What are you afraid of? Some high school kid who simply wants to be able to work legally in this country, like everyone else?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

We can not even afford all the Entitlement Spending NOW ... WHO is going to pay for an extra 11 million people (or whatever the real number is)?

"National suicide" is about right.

Bernie O'Hare said...

You are factually mistaken. Not only will this increase revenues into federal coffers, it will reduce the deficit, according to the nonpartisan CBO. In other words, it makes us money.

Anonymous said...

So we have sold our principle of Rule-of-Law, for Money. Illegal means illegal. Apparently a "Double Standard" exist's in Politic's.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, is thatthe same non partisan CBO that said revised the Obabacare cost from $940 billion to $1,76 trillion? oops!
This time they'll get it right, I'm sure

Bernie O'Hare said...

It is nonpartisan, and both sides use their reports when it suits their agenda.

Anonymous said...

we doesn't needs no stinkin welfare sucking em-e-grates

Trish said...

Who cares about this, you useless pig kicking rapist

Anonymous said...

How can we spend more government money on these people. We already spend most of pour money on Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and all those fine enlightened self-supporting states.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, have you seen the latest WEF posts? Is that Gregory posting or Trish? If you read it, your head will explode. It reads like a collection of poems from an insane asylum.

Anonymous said...

Rs think they're getting votes. They're not. Reagan learned this in the 80s. He picked up anti-communist Cuban votes in FL, but they quickly went the way of Santa Claus politics and now vote for the party promising handouts.

Ds will have to endure the wrath of Blacks, who will see their already high unemployment increase. But Ds know Blacks are automatic votes and will let time heal for a group that never ever ever votes R.

Those who first act on American soil is to break US laws are not the same timber as previous generations of immigrants who came here legally. That should concern us all. But those who mention this initial law-breaking are tarred as heartless racists.

Chalk one up for occupy crowd. They don't care about higher unemployment because they aren't looking to perform actual work anytime soon.

Bernie O'Hare said...

3:58, i think they are both nutz.

Anonymous said...

This entire issue is an easy fix. Simple...You give every illegal 30days to leave. If they are found to be in the US illegally after that time, they are shot dead. Anyone attempting to cross the border illegally will be shot dead where they stand.

Problem solved, money saved, time to be spent on bigger issues.

We do have a process for coming hear legally. Follow it or don't come.

Bernie O'Hare said...

What a ridiculously stupid idea! You would mostly be shooting mothers and fathers whose only crime is wanting to improve their lives. Your final solution is disgusting.

Anonymous said...

They are not going to improve their lives on my dime.

And the "issue" would no longer be an issue.

Anonymous said...

So if these illegals get a free pass for violating our laws, what type of signal are we sending them? It is ok to break the law in the US because they will let you off the hook, especially if you are poor. My grandparents came here with nothing, legally, and worked hard and had pride in America. They made an effort to speak English and have their kids speak it as well. Today, we have to change our ways and speak spanish to benifit them so they can collect unempoyment and SSI. This is a joke but people like Mr. Ohare wants this and they are in the majority right now.

Guy Williams said...

Heres some facts for you to chew on.Immigration reform is needed.Mexican nationals generally speaking are a hard working bunch usually working the lower paying unskilled jobs in factories,agriculture,domestics,construction and landscaping.Many live below the poverty line.Many of the buisnesses mentioned need them to fill void left by American citizens who wont work for such low pay.You stop immigration and these buisnesses fail.Yes they affect our health care and social service system.Solution is needed.But get one thing straight.The crime rate among Mexican nationals is lower than that of Puerto Ricans and African Americans below the poverty line by more than half. The latter being American citizens.Of course border states statistics are offset by lower rates elsewhere.Reagan only gave lip service to the immigration dilemma.He never secured the border turning his back on the endless stream of illegal crossers so his wealthy buddies had cheap labor domestics and landscape maintenance workers.

Anonymous said...

A federal appeals panel says an eastern Nebraska city ordinance that discourages employing or renting property to people who aren't in the U.S. legally is valid, opening the door for the city to begin enforcing its law.

In 2010, Fremont voters easily approved the measure, which bans hiring or renting to people who couldn't prove they are in the country legally. The ordinance also required businesses to use federal E-verify software to check on potential employees.