After celebrating Independence Day, members of the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform visited Philadelphia this morning for the Senate Judiciary Committee's first "field hearing" on comprehensive immigration reform.
The Senate Judiciary Committee's Field Hearing was called in response to the House decision to stall and delay real progress on immigration reform by holding sham summer hearings that some have called a dog and pony show.
New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg testified, "we need to get real about the people who are now living in this country illegally - in many cases raising families and paying taxes. The idea of deporting these 11 or 12 million people - about as many as live in the entire state of Pennsylvania - is pure fantasy. Even if we wanted to, it would be physically impossible to carry out. If we attempted it - and it would be perhaps the largest round-up and deportation in world history - the social and economic consequences would be devastating."
The Irish presence was felt during the Senate hearing. There were several references to the numerous green-lettered white "Legalize the Irish" tee shirts throughout the audience. The message was clear. The Irish want comprehensive immigration reform legislation passed this year.
Meanwhile, President Bush said, "I'm strongly for comprehensive immigration policy," during a visit to a Dunkin Donuts in Alexandria, Virginia.