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).
THE PUBLIC WAS KEPT OUT.
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.