Thursday, August 31, 2006

9th Annual Newport (Rhode Ireland) Waterfront Irish Festival

A group of Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform supporters and volunteers will be celebrating their Labor Day Weekend (click here to read about the Irish-American origin of the holiday) at the 9th Annual Newport Waterfront Irish Festival in Newport, Rhode "Ireland."

The group is looking forward to a relaxing weekend of Irish music, dance, and culture before focusing all efforts again lobbying Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform legislation that will give the 50,000 undocumented Irish who have made this country their home a chance to earn their way to legal status.

Although the weather forecast is a bit wet, but the craic forecast is assured to range from mighty to ninety.

If you plan to attend the two-day Irish Fesitival in Newport, look sharp.

Wear your Legalize the Irish tee shirt with pride.

Legalize the Irish!

immigration "listening"

Lawmakers and members of the public said today that it is important that the focus of immigration laws not be limited to border security.

"The balanced nature of the three issues, which are border security, a guest-worker ... program and thirdly, a path to legalization, these must all three be in a final legislation in order for it to be comprehensive and true reform," said Henry Cisneros, a former four-term San Antonio mayor and a former Housing and Urban Development secretary.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Marie Claire profiles Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform volunteer

A report by Sarah Garland in the current September 2006 issue (page 124) of Marie Claire profiles an Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform volunteer and undocumented Irish immigrant Samantha in an article titled "Immigrant Nation."

Here is an excerpt:

"After I graduated from college in '97, I came to New York to visit for a couple of months. I found a job bartending and made some good friends. Months quickly turned into years. I moved back to Ireland for a while, but I was miserable. There was nothing for me there, so I returned to the U.S. If someone had told me then that in 2006 I would still be undocumented and working as a bartender, I'd have said, "Are you crazy?" And yet, here I am.

For five years, I waited and hoped. I was sure that any day, Congress would pass a law allowing immigrants with steady jobs to stay here. In the meantime, I got married (to an undocumented Irishman), went back to school [where she is currently working on a Master's Degree in Psychology], and tried to live life as normally as possible. But I can't travel home to see my family. I miss funerals and weddings, and I can't move ahead with my career because I have to take jobs that pay cash. I haven't had children because what if I'm deported? It's like somebody pressed pause on my life plans.

From the outside, it probably sounds crazy that anyone would want to live like this, but when you're on the inside, you just get on with it. You're always thinking, I'm going to get the visa, I can't live like this forever, something is definitely going to happen.

Then I realized nothing would happen if I didn't get involved. I joined the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform and began speaking out at marches and meeting with members of Congress. The goal of the group is comprehensive immigration reform, not just for Irish people, but for every immigrant group in America.

I turned 31 in July, and there are so many things I want to do in life - set up my own counseling program, start a family - but I can't do them without a visa. So I'm focused on getting Congress to pass this bill. Without it, I lose everything I've dreamed about.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

House Sham Immigration "hearing" sheduled for Don Mattingly's hometown

Today's sham House "hearing" is scheduled for Evansville, Indiana, hometown of baseball legend Don Mattingly. Of course, Donnie Baseball is above politics.

Unfortunately, House Representative John Hostetler is not above playing politcis with the real lives of the Irish undocumented and the Irish-American community.

Hostetler and the modern day Know-Nothing House leadership passed an unworkable enforcement-only bill (HR 4437) in December 2005.

In May 2006, the Senate passed a comprehensive immigration reform bill that provides for border security and a path to earned legal staus for the 50,000 undocumented Irish living and working in America today.

Instead of working a compromise with the Senate and doing something about immigration, Hostetler and the modern day Know-Nothing House leadership decided to hold unprecedented stall and delay hearings to bash the Senate Bill and blame immigrants for our broken immigration system they refuse to take action to fix.

The modern day Know-Nothings are playing the politics of delay.

Instead of real action, they fly the same group of witnesses around the country so they can read the same prepared testimony to the same members of the House.

One of today's scheduled witnesses has testified at these modern day Know-Nothing junkets at least three times just this summer.

Before today's hearing, the Kentucky's Roman Catholic bishops, Louisville Archbishop Thomas C. Kelly, Covington Bishop Roger J. Foys, Lexington Bishop Ronald W. Gainer and Owensboro Bishop John J. McRaith, issued a statement calling for humane treatment of immigrants and policies that would allow them to gain legal status.

The statement, calls for:

Support the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform. Legalize the Irish (and put Donnie in Cooperstown, already).

North American Gaelic Athletic Association 2006 Playoffs

The North American Gaelic Athletic Association 2006 Playoffs will be held in Philadelphia this week and the Labor Day Weekend.

If you are attending, wear your Legalize the Irish tee shirt.

Keep the GAA alive in North America.

Legalize the Irish.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Hamilton, Montana (town founded by Irish immigrant) hosts House anti-immigrant hearing

In 1890, Cavan-born Irish immigrant Marcus Daly founded the town on Hamilton, Montana.

Today, over 115 years later, this town, founded by an Irish-immigrant, will host an anti-immigrant sham "hearing" run by modern day Know-Nothings/Do-Nothings.

The hearings delay real action on immigration reform. They provide a forum for House Know-Nothings to bash the comprehensive immigration reform bill passed by a bi-partisan Senate in May.

The Senate Bill (S2 2611) provides a path for the 50,000 undocumented Irish living in the country to earn their way to legal status. No other bill or proposal would help the Irish undocumented.

House Know-Nothings continue to play politics with immigration instead of getting something done. Hamilton, founded by an Irish immigrant, in a state with a rich history of Irish immigration was an interesting choice of location for the anti-immigration "hearing."

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Guvs to House Know-Nothings: Legalize the Irish!

"Instead of holding dozens of field hearings that do little but stir the pot of discontent, we urge you to get back to work and pass legislation that puts the interest of taxpayers first and solves this crisis once and for all," said the governors' letter to House Speaker Dennis Hastert and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. "We ask that you pass comprehensive reform and address this critical issue before Congress adjourns for the year."

Irish Lobby for Immmigration Reform Volunteers in Concord, New Hampshire

Houston Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform volunteers:

Great work.

Thank you for supporting the 50,000 undocumented Irish in their struggle for legislation that gives them a chance at EARNED legal status.

Steve reports from Hunter Mountain Celtic Festival:

Last weekend, six of us from the ILIR Queens Committee spent 2 great days at the Hunter Mountain Celtic festival and had a brilliant time!

We went with a simple goal - to talk to as many people as we could and to spread the word that the current immigration debate includes approximately 50,000 undocumented Irish immigrants. We also hoped to get people to log onto theILIR website and get involved.

Wearing our infamous tshirts and armed with green LEGALIZE THEIRISH.ORG balloons, we were so busy!!

What a big hit those balloons turned out to be!

We must have distributed well over 500 - no kid, no matter what age they are, can resist a balloon!!

By the end of the first day, all you could see were those green balloons everywhere!
The balloons were also a great way to start the conversation with the adults - we must have been asked a thousand times "so what is Legalizethe Irish then?"

A number of the people we spoke with were genuinely surprised that the Irish had any problems getting visas to come live in the US.

We explained the situation to them and the vast majority of them went away determined to call their senators and congress people, to checkout the ILIR website and make their voices heard in this debate.

We also met a good number who were very well informed and were obviously keeping up with the immigration debate as much as were are!!!

The Reagan Kennedy flyers we had with us were good too, driving home the message to a lot of the first and second generation Irish Americans.

We also met some great bands who were playing at the festival.

Worthy of a special mention is MacTalla Mor, a great young and energetic band, who wore the LEGALIZE THE IRISH tee-shirts proudly and got everyone jumping around - thanks again guys for your support!

After the festival closed for the night, the party moved to a great pub, O'Neills in Tannersville, the next town over from Hunter.

Black47 were headlining and of course wore their LEGALIZE THE IRISH tee-shirts! There were LEGALIZE THE IRISH tshirts as far as the eye could see that night with all the brilliant bar staff doing their part too by wearing our very distinctive shirts.

Next day we were back on the job bright and early, balloons at the ready again!

Once again the response we got was fabulous - very supportive and everyone eager to do what they could to help. Even as we sat eating lunch, a couple of members of the AOH from PA pulled up some chairs and joined us, eager to hear each of our stories. They soon explained that they were 100% behind us!

We also met great people from CT, NJ, DE and MA, some who had already emailed us for more information before we had even left Hunter!!

We would encourage everyone in the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform to find out if there are anyIrish festivals happening in their area.

It is a great way to spread the word, get people interested and involved. Not to mention, it is a great way to get to know your local ILIR volunteers better and have a great time while you're at it!!!

Doesn't get much better than that really!

Friday, August 25, 2006

excerpts from article in the Concord Monitor:

A federal hearing on immigration law held at the State House yesterday focused as much on political fingerpointing as it did on border security and immigrant status.Five members of the House Judiciary Committee came to New Hampshire as part of a national tour to debate differing immigration bills in the House and Senate.

The House bill focuses almost entirely on beefing up border security and classifying undocumented immigrants as felons, while the Senate bill calls for changes at the border and a plan to give illegal immigrants now in the United States a path to legal work and citizenship.

The hearing was open to the public, but no one from the audience was allowed to speak. Brief testimony was given from five predetermined witnesses.

Throughout the the hearing and in press conferences that followed, Democratic committee members blasted Republican leadership for delaying negotiations on the issue by taking the committee on a "political road show," with a stop in a state where two Republican congressman are fighting for their seats. Republicans tried to dispel the accusations and blame senators for the delays.

Chairman James Sensenbrenner, a Republican from Wisconsin who sponsored the House bill, said the hearings were meant as an opportunity "to get input from local people." But only one of three speakers chosen by the Republican majority, Rep. Andrew Renzullo, a Hudson Republican, was from New Hampshire.


Before the hearing, a few dozen protestors against the House bill organized outside. Among them was Paul Ladd, who wore a t-shirt that read ""

Ladd overstayed a holiday visa in 1995 and runs a construction company in Boston that employs 15 people seasonally. He was arrested last week when he could only show an Irish license when stopped at a commercial checkpoint. He must go to a hearing in December and could be deported within weeks of that meeting.

"It's been the toughest thing I've ever had to deal with," Ladd said. "I don't know where I'd ever start in Ireland."






Thursday, August 24, 2006

Sham house hearings winding down...

The House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing today in Concord, N.H., on a Senate immigration reform bill that would provide a path to citizenship for most of the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the country.

``It's a taxpayer-funded road show," said Representative Marty Meehan, a Judiciary Committee member who will be driving from his hometown of Lowell to the hearing this morning. ``House Republicans are staging theatrical hearings instead of rolling up their sleeves and sitting down with the Senate to work on a compromise."

At least two of the witneses chosen to read aloud from prepared anti-immigrant testimony have already testified before the House Judiciary Committee in Washington DC and elsewhere this summer.

Are they running out of hand-picked and pre-scripted witnesses?

If these "hearings" were really about gathering information, why call the same witnesses over and over again to read from the same anti-immigrant script?

The sham hearing scheduled for tomorrow, Friday August 25 in Glen Falls, NY was cancelled.

Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform volunteers who arranged to take time off from work to attend the hearing will use instead spend the day calling members of the Judiciary Committee to urge them to stop the charade and pass ccomprehensive immigration reform legislation this year that will give the 50,000 undocumented Irish immigrants the opportunity to earn their way to legal status.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Fighting Irish hometown hosts Know-Nothing sham hearing

South Bend, Indiana, home of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, played host to a modern day Know-Nothing House member sham immigration hearing yesterday, August 22nd.

Their aim was to blame immigrants for our nation's health care problems. They failed.

Maybe now they will go back to work in Washington and pass comprehensive immigration reform legislation that will give the undocumented Fighting Irish a chance to earn their way to legal status.

Know-Nothing House members, including United States Representatives Chris Chocola and Steve Buyer from Indiana and Representative Jim McCrery from Louisiana were administered a healthy dose of the truth when Dr. Randy Thompson, medical director of emergency medicine at St. Anthony Memorial Hospital in Michigan City, Indiana, told them the problems facing the health care system go beyond immigration.

"We have to keep our doors open," he said. "We don't care if (patients) have money or insurance."

Dr. Thompson drew applause from the audience when he told the congressmen that he did not believe emergency rooms should screen patients to determine their legal status.

"My job as a physician is that I'm here to take care of a patient," Thompson said. "I don't care what color they are, or if they're legal or illegal."

Contact these representatives.

Let them know you oppose their plan to brand the Irish undocumented as felons. Branding the Irish as felons does not secure our borders. The future of Irish-America is at stake.

Let's show Washington DC that the Irish still have fight in them.

Legalize the Irish.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg in Sligo today:

“The histories of New York and Ireland have been so intertwined, I would expect that our economic relationships will continue to grow in the future even more so.

“For that to happen, we need to convince the US Congress to adopt a federal immigration policy that makes sense.

“It means significantly increasing the number of visas that we give to those who want to come to America and ensuring that those who are already in America have an opportunity to stay.“I know there are many Irish-born New Yorkers who are caught in the trap of our federal immigration policies.

“If we’re going to continue to attract the brightest and the best to the United States, and Ireland has more than its fair share, we need to inject some common sense to our immigration laws and I’m doing my best to make that case.”

The Mayor flew to Ireland to mark the Irish contribution to the birth of the United States and to unveil a monument to the “69th Fighting Irish” regiment.

DES BISHOP in New York!

This September, the Aisling Irish Community Center in conjunction with the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform proudly present two local appearances by comedian Des Bishop:

Friday, September 22nd at 8:00pm
Rory Dolan's
890 McLean Avenue (Yonkers)

Saturday, September 23rd at 8:00pm
The Breffni Inn Bar
43-45 40th Street (Sunnyside)

Tickets ($40.00 each) can be purchased at the Aisling Community Center in Yonkers or at the Breffni Inn Bar in Sunnyside.

For further details please call 914-237-5121 or 914-476-7452.

Look Sharp. Dress to impress. Wear your Legalize the Irish tee-shirt.

Monday, August 21, 2006


Special thanks to Lisa, Dermot, and the other Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform volunteers from Florida who took time off work to attend the House immigration "hearing" in Lake Worth, Florida on Thursday, August 17, 2006. The hearing was hosted by Representatives E. Clay Shaw (R-FL) and Phil English (R-PA).


Throughout the summer volunteers from the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform have made efforts to attend each of the so-called hearings set up by modern day Know-Nothings in the House. The message was clear - delay will not make us go away.

Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform volunteers attended hearings from Washington DC to Washington State without incident.

ILIR volunteers new to politics were perplexed as to how the House could refuse to enter conference committee on the immigration bills that were passed in the House and Senate and instead hold hearings on the bills that could not be voted on again.

ILIR volunteers understood that these "hearings" were artificial forums arranged by modern day Know-Nothing Do-Nothings in the House to blame immigrants for all types of social ills and for the failings of our broken immigration system as if the immigrants and not the House were the ones who set up the broken system.

ILIR volunteers became familiar with the sight of cherry-picked witnesses reading aloud from prepared statements.

ILIR volunteers quickly learned that these hearings were nothing more than political show trials with immigrants as defendants.

But ILIR volunteers were shocked to discover last Thursday how closely the House Know-Nothings were copying the Stalin's show trial model.

Until now, the so-called hearings were at least open to the public.

On Thursday, August 17, House Know-Nothings closed the door on Irish-Americans who sought nothing more than an opportunity to hear what was being said about immigration at a hearing that they took off from work and changed vacation plans to attend.

Irish-America was shut out of the "hearing" and told that the half-empty hall was full.

A sympathetic member of Mr. Shaw's staff sheepishly admitted that she would be unable to arrange for the Irish Lobby volunteers to gain entrance into the half-empty hall.

The volunteers resolved to remain outside the half-empty hall until the "hearing" was over in order to get coies of the prepared testimony and speak with House Representatives as they left the hearing.

The wait was not long. The hearing ended much earlier than scheduled.

Does that mean the House (especially Representatives Shaw and English) has heard enough? Are they finally ready to stop stalling and give us the bi-partisan comprehensive immigration reform legislation passed by the Senate (S. 2611) in May and supported by President Bush?

We sure hope so.

Representative Shaw, we need you to help us Legalize the Irish.

Please, do not shut us out again.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

ILIR report from Houston

Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform Volunteers Jay Dooling and Ann Daly arrived at 8:45 AM for the 9:30AM House Know-Nothing hearing in Houston. Here is their report:

There was a large group (100-125) of immigrants supporting the Senate bill for comprehensive imigration refrorm outside the hearing.

There were about 25 demonstrators supporting the House bill. There were lots of police, but no problems occurred. We didn't even yell nasty things at each other.

The majority of people supporting the Senate bill were from The Metropolitan Organization (TMO). I (Jay) spoke to a leader of the group on the phone before the rally and again the morning before the hearing.

Representative Sheila Jackson Lee spoke to the crowd right before the hearing. She did a very good job.

I spoke with her as we were both going through security at the same time. I thanked her for coming out to the St Patrick's Parade in Houston a couple of years ago. She was there the same year, Sila de Valera was our guest minister.

We got on the same elevator with Representative Jackson Lee and started politicking on the way up. I told her that the Irish community was concerned about the fate of the 50,000 undocumented Irish in America. The Congresswoman told me she had hosted some of 'my people' (ILIR volunteers) in her office in Washington and that she understood how deportation would effect Irish American families. She asked me again about how many were undocumented.
We were fortunate to get into the hearing. Many who were outside did not get in. But then that could have been their choice, because they did not pack us in that tight.

When Representative Jackson-Lee began her opening remarks, she explained that immigration was a wide-ranging issue and used our conversation as an example. She said she was recently reminded of the 50,000 undocumented Irish workers in the United States today. She later listed Ireland as one of those countries that would be affected by whatever law is passed.

The testimony of the witnesses (all law enforcement personnel) appeared scripted to support the argument that law enforcement agencies need money to police the border. It was clearly designed to blame immigrants as the source of a lot of crime.

Representative Jackson-Lee did a good job of pointing out that drugs, organized crime & gangs were the major cause of crime on the border and that most (99+%) undocumented immigrants came here to work and make an honest living, not to commit crimes.

Pictures to follow.

Jay Dooling

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Paddy Wagon, Montauk, NY

Out in Montauk there is a hot dog/snack truck called the Paddy Wagon.

The sign reads "Founded 9,000 BC." The proprietor claims the van originated in Dublin and was sailed across the sea to the spot on the bay side of Montauk where it now stands. If true, then America was discovered by the Irish (not by St. Brendan, but by a Dub in a chipper van).

Legalize the Irish!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Patrick Taylor, AOH, Akron, Ohio

Step Forward

Once again this year the emotional rollercoaster is riding high for me. In April , my brother and his girlfriend died tragically in a car accident in Co.Kerry.I did not go home for the funerals for fear I would not get back to my home that I have made for myself over 15 years in the US.

Well, this weekend my sister’s hen party is on in Kerry as she is getting married in September. This is the third family wedding I am going to miss over my undocumented status. I have tried to block it out and not think about it but I just received a text message from another sister and was told how much they are missing me and would love if I was there. They say they understand but I know that deep down they are saying why does she live there, she has no life, she can’t even travel home.

We need to keep up the momentum that we had for the last few months and work together and finish the job and legalize the Irish. No more missed funerals, wedding or family occasions.
The Congressional elections are coming in Nov and we need to be as vocal as we have been, the Elections candidates need to know that we are serious about comprehensive Immigration Reform.

So get involved in Irish Lobby Immigration for ImmigrationReform, attend the weekly meetings in your areas. We are going to succeed and legalize the 50,000 Irish here. The dog days of summer are nearly over so no more excuses not to get involved. So check the website “” See you all at the weekly meetings.

ILIR Volunteer,

Friday, August 11, 2006

Report from the Dublin Irish Festival in Ohio

Dia Duit,

Spending most of Saturday, August 5th with "the Great Dogs of Ireland", perhaps 3,000 visitors came to our area, at the Dublin Ohio Irish Festival.

It is the second largest Irish festival in the USA.

To see one wolfhound for the first time is something to behold, to see seven together is quite a scene. The majestic power of these Irish natives is evident, as well as their gentleness and friendliness to complete strangers. Offering their heads for accepted petting and willingness to accomodate all with aplomb, and just be part of the crowd.

Doesn't it reflect in the Irish immigrants as well?

Wearing the "Legalize The Irish .ORG" shirt with them stirred questions. I gladly educated enquirers as to the plight of immigrants today coming from Eire.

I asked what county your ancestors came from and explained, they couldn't do that now! Were they terrorists back then? Were they hopeful to come to America to prosper and raise their families, and become part of the great quilt of America?

I explained that that has not changed in 2006, and handed them the congressional contacts and flyer with Presidents Kennedy and Reagan and explained their families would not be welcomed TODAY.

Hopefully they will follow through with calls and faxes to their representatives.

Also at the festival, our hurling club was giving demonstrations of that grandest of Irish sports. Perhaps 1000 came to ask questions, and give the sliotar a good whack into the net. Noticing my and a fellow hurlers shirts, questions were again raised.

I called over 3 native Irish lads, and asked , "do you think they represent a threat to America ?"

Prior to this the lads were explaining the art of swinging the hurley at the sliotar(ball) with that great brogue of Wexford and Tipperary . Point made, and explained the need to contact their reresentatives to work at this cause.

The night before the festival, I met with our Ancient Order of Hibernians president Mike McKenzie, Mark Heffernan Div.2 Akron, Ohio. The next day he was departing for Ireland. His stop at Kennedy airport would have a layover for 2 hours before departing. He assured me of wearing the "Legalize the Irish" at the airport during this time, and would follow up with our members upon his return to the actions we must all do.

Past Chair, Freedom for all Ireland
Ancient Order of Hibernians
Mark Heffernan Div 2, Akron, Ohio

Past Chairman, GAA Akron Celtic Guards Hurling Club
Paddy Taylor

Up Donegal! Up Ballyshannon! Up Mary O'Mahoney!

You are all doing great work.

I can read it all on the internet.

I have a son and daughter in law out there.

Hope to see all soon

From Mary O Mahoney, Ballyshannon Co. Donegal, Ireland

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Bellingham, WA: Rep. Loretta Sanchez greets ILIR volunteers

Copied from the website of the Committee on Energy and Commerce

The House Committee on Energy and Commerce (Subcommittee on Health) scheduled a sham Know-Nothing hearing today in Brentwood, Tennessee.

As a supporter of the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform, I logged into the committee's website to learn more about the hearing today (almost a full hour after the hearing was scheduled to start).

The only correct information made available at the committee site is the time of the hearing and the conclusory hearing title (date and location are incorrect; no other information was available).

Here's a copy of the information made available as posted today on the committee's website:

Examining the Impact of Illegal Immigration on the Medicaid Program and Our Healthcare Delivery System, Field Hearing, Day 2
Subcommittee on Health
August 15, 2006 [WRONG]
Lecture Hall at the Northwest Georgia Trade and Convention Center [WRONG]
2211 Dug Gap Battle Road [WRONG]
Dalton, Georgia 30720 [WRONG]
10:00 AM [CORRECT!]

Hearing Webcast: Pending [I.E., NOT AVAILABLE]
The hearing will begin at approximately 10:00 AM. The link to the broadcast will become active 10 minutes prior to the start of the hearing. Refresh your browser for the latest information.

Witness List & Prepared Testimony

Hearing Transcript: Not Available
The transcript of this hearing should be available within 60-90 days of the conclusion of the hearing. Click here for the latest list of available hearing transcripts. [60-90 DAYS? GATHERING INFORMATION OR BURYING IT?]

Available Member Statements
There are no prepared Member Statements currently available.

Related Documents
[none were listed].

In any event, I loearned that the hearing takes place at 10 a.m. on Thursday, at Brentwood City Hall, 5211 Maryland Way.

Head on down in your "Legalize the Irish" shirt.

After the hearing, please be sure to contact these House members and urge them to stop grandstanding and stalling and pass comprehensive immigration reform that provides the undocumented Irish with a path to earned legal status:

• U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Brentwood, member of the Committee on Energy and Commerce
Mail: 509 Cannon House Office Building
Washington D.C. 20515
Phone: 202-225-2811

• U.S. Rep. Bart Gordon, D-Murfreesboro, member of the Committee on Energy and Commerce
Mail: 2304 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington D.C. 20515
Phone: 202-225-4231

• U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal, R-Gainesville, Ga., chairman of the Subcommittee on Health of the Committee on Energy and Commerce and chairman of the Tennessee hearing
Mail: 2133 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington D.C. 20515
Phone: 202-225-5211

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

From today's NY Times:

August 9, 2006

He Who Draws First (1 Letter)

To the Editor:Re “Critics Say Politics Is Driving Hearings on Immigration” (news article, Aug. 7):

Critics may rightly point out that the hearings on immigration policy scheduled to be held around the country are really politically motivated by Republicans to win elections in closely contested districts in November.

Instead of wringing their hands over this, Democrats should be out front holding hearings that define the arguments in a way to promote their cause.

In the Old West, he who drew first and aimed well won.

In politics, those who first define the opposition will live.

Those who come later and aim poorly will be destroyed.

Sadly, the Democrats have yet to show they can be quick on the draw.

Emery Roth II
Washington Depot, Conn.
Aug. 7, 2006

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Legalise the Irish? BRILLIANT!

Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform in the Evergreen State, Washington

Many thanks to the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform volunteers who took time off work today to attend today's House Know-Nothing "hearing" on border security in Bellingham, Washington.

Washington is the only state with a green state flag. However, Washington is similar to many other states that share a rich history of Irish immigration.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

San Diego hosts Sham Hearing

"These hearings are a con job on the American people," said Rep. Howard Berman, D-North Hollywood, who accused Republicans of avoiding a fight within the party ahead of elections. President Bush supports a guest-worker program and a path to citizenship for many illegal immigrants, provisions that were included in Senate legislation passed in May.

Before the hearing, Catholic leaders including the Rev. Gilbert Chavez, auxiliary bishop of San Diego, gathered on the steps of downtown's St. Joseph Cathedral to denounce the hearings.

"It's time to put an end to these hearings that are asking all the wrong questions," said Rosemary Johnston, a board member of the Interfaith Coalition for Immigrant Rights.

In Miami, President Bush urges comprehensive immigration reform

"Of all the places in our country, Miami understands the importance of the contribution that the newly arrived can make to a society," President Bush said to applause. "Rational immigration policy is possible, and it's important for members of the United States Congress to work toward a comprehensive immigration plan."

In other news, Congressman Jeff Cornyn (R-TX) called for the House to negotiate a compromise with the Senate, saying, "It is time for some adult supervision and for somebody to say, 'OK, this isn't productive' and have everybody sit down and talk to each other."

House hearings are scheduled not only in states struggling with immigration, such as California, but also in states like Indiana, where several Republican House members are struggling to get re-elected.

From today's Los Angeles Times:
"...House Republicans continue to wield language like a weapon. They call the Senate measure the "Reid-Kennedy bill," referring to Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), ignoring the major roles that GOP Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Mel Martinez of Florida played in crafting the legislation and the support it won from Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.).

The House has held more than a dozen hearings on the Senate bill, prompting complaints even from some Republicans."They ought to be called faux hearings," said Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who sponsored a bill, which was defeated, that would have offered citizenship to illegal immigrants.

Several of the upcoming hearings revisit topics covered in the earlier round."

Tuesday, August 01, 2006