The Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform were in DC this morning to attend the stall and delay hearing set up by the House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security, and Claims Oversight.
As you may know, the House passed an unenforceable-enforcement only bill (HR 4437) on border security back in December 2005. The House Bill does nothing about the 12 million (50,000 Irish) undocumented already living in the United States. In May 2006, the Senate passed a Bill (2611) that provides for border security and comprehensive immigration reform.
House Know-Nothings refused to enter conference committee with the Senate and anounced hearings to stall and delay immigration reform and give themselves a forum for one-sided debate.
The title of today's hearing, subtle as a sledgehammer, makes clear that these hearings are nothing more than a chance to talk tough about border security without really doing anything.
The stacked witness list describes grass roots organizations and neutral bi-partisan think tanks, but the folks who show up to testify are anti-immigration advocacy groups with grassroots as real as astroturf.
Congressman Sylvestre Reyes (D-TX), stood up and said there was a need for LESS TALK and MORE ACTION. Among other things, he saids, "In the nearly five years since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, there have been countless investigations, hearings, and reports about how to secure our borders and curb illegal immigration, but far too little in the way of meaningful measures to keep America safe. The time for talk about these issues has long since passed and the moment for action is now. Instead of numerous hearings that may make good politics but do little to advance sound policy, Congress needs to reach a compromise agreement on comprehensive border security and immigration reform legislation."
The Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform will not be deterred by harsh rhetoric and delay tactics.
At the end of summer, House Know-Nothings will know one thing: Irish-America, the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform, and the 50,000 undocumented Irish in this country are not going away. However, we ar going to the hearings.
ILIR delegates will continue to attend each House and Senate hearing this summer to demonstrate the strength of our community's resolve and determination to bring about comprehensive immigration reform legislation that provides a chance for the undocumented Irish to earn their way to legalized status.