Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Should an LDS Bishop Be Using His Title to Endorse Amnesty?

Should an LDS bishop be using his title to endorse amnesty? The citations below are from a link posted by Mark Shurtleff (board member of the National Immigration Forum) on his facebook page to an article at (the website of the operation, "Bibles, Badges and Business," of the National Immigration Forum). Notice his last sentence - how he wants Republicans in the House to push amnesty even though he knows it is not supported:

"Furthermore, I work as an immigration attorney. My professional and ecclesiastical work involves documented and undocumented individuals. All of these experiences have shaped my views on immigration laws and immigration reform."

"As a bishop in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I feel strongly the need for families to be together. "

"I participated in the Americans for Reform Day of Action because, as a Republican voter, I wanted to encourage our Republican leadership to debate the issues surrounding immigration laws and their reform. I wanted to encourage them to get these issues on the floor of the House and not wait for the rank and file to feel at ease with the issue."

The article is available at:

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Will Women "Buy" Amnesty? - Leftist Immigration Messaging

Key Points:

- Immigration messaging is a key feature in the battle to sell amnesty to America.

- A recent professional memo outlines examples of messaging directed at obtaining women's support for amnesty.  

- By primarily focusing on values, rather than on amnesty, the values become a substitute for amnesty in the sales pitch.

- The process is manipulative and deceptive.

- The two companies that wrote the messaging memo are linked strongly to the political left.

- The organization for which the research was done is also linked to the political left.  

- The leftist penchant for moving debate to a set of values, removed from the realities of illegal immigration and its consequences, makes good immigration policy unlikely. 

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at

Immigration messaging is a key feature in the battle to sell amnesty to America.

Messaging includes seeking words, phrases, and statements that will influence the middle - those who are undecided about amnesty - to support amnesty and other immigration policies.  

At the same time, the idea of "messaging" itself is not talked about much.

I recently came across an example of a professional effort at messaging pushing for amnesty.

This example, a memo, is specifically oriented towards women and how to influence "persuadable women voters,"  The memo, prepared by Lake Research Partners and ASOCommunications, can be found at:

It makes some fascinating reading.

The Lake/ASO memo outlines examples of messaging directed at obtaining women's support for amnesty.

The memo tells us, for instance:

"Our goal for this project has been to find language and frames that speak to women voters—that engage and persuade them on immigration..."

They believe they have found messaging elements that will influence women's perceptions of the amnesty issue.

One such element is to use a woman's voice:

"These messages were also delivered with a woman’s voice, which we found persuades women voters more than a male voice."

The approach includes appealing to the following ideals:

"Women have very positive responses to values of community, commitment, contribution to our culture, responsibility to others, and protecting families. Language about strengthening communities is powerful and shifts attitudes in a positive direction toward immigrants."

However, there is another side to this process of seeking widely supported values and then coding amnesty appeals in those terms.  

The messaging being used to sell amnesty to women is a careful evasion of anything that may not appeal to undecided women on this issue.

Amnesty is being sold at a step removed from debate about the facts of illegal immigration and the implications for our society of a large-scale amnesty.

What is being sold are the values themselves that appeal to undecided women.  

For example, as part of the memo's message #3 ("Equality and Opportunity"), the memo states:

"Americans are at our best when we help one another. Women especially know the importance of coming together and wouldn't be where we are today without the help and support of the women in our lives – [our mothers, sisters, daughters, and friends]. As Americans, we honor and celebrate our unique commitment to protecting families, and giving equal opportunities and respect to women and girls, and many immigrants come here to share in this commitment." [emphasis in original]

The message ends with this euphemistic appeal to amnesty:

"That’s why we need an immigration process that reflects this commitment and provides freedom and opportunity to everyone, especially mothers, daughters and families." [emphasis in original]

The message has subtly transformed "amnesty" into "an immigration process" that represents commitment to a set of values that appeals to "persuadable" women. 

What is now being sold are the values rather than amnesty itself.  

The messaging is manipulative and deceptive.

It is manipulative because the messages carefully lead people to avoid any type of debate about illegal immigration by reframing amnesty as an expression of positive values and pushing the focus of attention onto the values rather than the facts of amnesty. 

It is manipulative because it pushes amnesty advocates to use the same tactic in public debate - thus quashing debate that tries to discuss issues outside of the values.

It is deceptive because the memo seeks to influence the public by using evasive and misleading euphemisms to garner support for amnesty.

For example, on page four of the memo, the authors present a list of phrases commonly used in the amnesty debate.  They also present what many people think when hearing the phrases and suggest substitutions to use.

When the phrase "Immigrants do pay taxes" is used by an amnesty advocate, for instance, the memo claims that many will think:

"I should assess source of your facts; issue not about values but what immigrants can do for us."

Notice the memo specifically asks amnesty advocates to avoid language that pulls the debate away from the values being promoted by the messaging memo.

The phrase below is suggested in place of the claim that immigrants pay taxes:

"New Americans realize the value of participating in our communities"

The claim that "Immigrants pay taxes" has now been turned into the above fuzzy and vague statement.

Any debate over the taxes issue has been sidestepped and pushed away.

In this same hazy statement, illegal aliens have been also been framed as "New Americans."  

This euphemism, which avoids any discussion of legal status or how illegal aliens came to enter the United States, subtly calls on us to see our laws as the problem and not the behavior of the illegal aliens themselves.  

Both ASOCommunications and Lake Research Partners are linked strongly to the political left.

ASOCommunications, one of the organizations responsible for the memo, is run by Anat Shenker-Osorio.  Her short bio at lists a variety of her clients:

"Anat’s current and previous consulting clients include the Ford Foundation, America’s Voice, Opportunity Agenda, Ms Foundation, We Belong Together, the Roosevelt Institute, Congressional Progressive Caucus, Caring Across Generations and CoreAlign, to name a few. Her writing and research has appeared in The Altantic, Salon, Huffington Post, Colorlines and the Christian Science Monitor."

The political left, as seen in this list of clients, forms a significant part of her clientele.

The same is true of Lake Research Partners.  

Their webpage includes an "Outstanding Clients" page which has links to several client lists.  The lists outline a very impressive collection of clients - a tremendous number on the left.  On the "Issue Advocacy Groups" page, for instance, the National Council of La Raza, National Immigration Forum, America's Voice, and the National Immigration Law Center are listed.  These are leftist pro-amnesty groups.  

It should be no surprise, therefore, that this memo was created for an organization which also has strong ties to the political left.

That organization is the group called "We Belong Together."

Pramila Jayapal is a key figure in We Belong Together, serving as co-chair of the organization.  

She was also founder and executive director of the pro-amnesty leftist group OneAmerica until 2011.  

Some of her accomplishments at OneAmerica include:

"Under her leadership, OneAmerica has achieved significant policy change in Washington State, leading efforts to win numerous victories for immigrants including: a New Americans Executive Order signed by Washington Governor Chris Gregoire, a comprehensive plan to address the needs of immigrant communities in Seattle, an ordinance preventing City of Seattle employees from inquiring about immigration status, and numerous resolutions at the city and county level upholding the human rights and dignity of immigrants and affirming the need for comprehensive immigration reform."

In 2012, Representative Adam Smith (D-Washington) honored her accomplishments.  This was her focus and work just following 9/11:

"In the days immediately following the attacks of September 11, 2001, Pramila began the Hate Free Zone Campaign of Washington as an entirely volunteer-run organization to combat discrimination against immigrants, especially from communities of color--primarily Muslim, Arab American, East African and South Asian--and to work against stereotypes in a post 9/11 world. At first, the mission was to advocate for the rights of those who were likely to be victims of hate crimes."

In 2010, Ms. Jayapal and others were arrested for blocking a road in Seattle to promote amnesty.  See the links below for coverage of this incident.  The video is particularly interesting as it shows Ms. Jayapal being led away singing while oblivious to the chaos her group's actions created for those trapped in the traffic snarls resulting from their illegally blocking the intersection:

In a similar action just a few days ago, Ms. Jayapal was arrested again.

We Belong Together cites Ms. Jayapal in a press release about a protest for amnesty in Washington, D.C. on 9/12/13 in which 100 women, including Ms. Jayapal, were arrested:

“Each one of us here today understands what incredibly high stakes we are talking about—immigration reform is not just a piece of legislation but the ability for us to take care of our families,” said Pramila Jayapal, co-chair of We Belong Together: Women for Common-Sense Immigration Campaign. “Women contribute every day to our families, our economy and our country. Immigration reform is about being able to live, breathe free, and remember the values that brought us all here in the first place: democracy, freedom, and justice.”

Notice Ms. Jayapal's careful amnesty messaging.

The leftist penchant for moving public debate to a set of values removed from the realities of illegal immigration and its consequences makes good immigration policy unlikely.

Immigration is a very complex issue.  Illegal immigration forms part of this larger issue.  There are many angles to consider.

With all the left-wing think tanks, pro-amnesty organizations, and foundations pouring resources and money into the amnesty movement (along with the additional ones being heaped on the sizable resource pile by the cheap-labor business interests and groups pandering for political or other advantage), amnesty advocates can certainly engage the full range of immigration issues.  And they do - in certain contexts (although I would argue inadequately and in a wrong-headed fashion).

And yet we are confronted by a left-wing memo which suggests that the way to persuade undecided women is to sell a small set of values rather than amnesty itself.  

But, consequences of bad policy cannot be ignored.  Wishing them away will not make them go away and using euphemisms to push the real debate about real issues into the shadows only serves to fool the public, not enlighten it.

Policy built on a foundation of pro-amnesty wishful thinking will give us the pretense of having solved something now, but will lead to another situation down the road where we will be discussing how to legalize millions and millions more illegal aliens.  

Illegal immigration poses a considerable number of serious issues.  They need to be confronted openly and thoroughly.

The government must adequately enforce our reasonable immigration laws and demonstrate the political will to continue to do so before any talk of any exceptions.   

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Video: D.A. King Interviewed by Jorge Ramos of Univision

Below is a great video of D.A. King being interviewed by Jorge Ramos on Univision (August 2013).

Ramos tries everything he can think of to try and paint King into a corner. It doesn't work.

If Ramos, as he says many times, is seeking a solution to the 11 million illegal aliens, why does that solution always mean amnesty?

Ramos is not seeking a solution to 11 million illegal aliens, he is seeking to aid them in their demand for amnesty.

He is not a journalist, he is an advocate.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Mark Shurtleff's Fellow National Immigration Board Member Arrested

Mark Shurtleff's fellow National Immigration Forum board member, Angelica Salas, was arrested on Thursday in Washington during a mob action to push for amnesty. 

Along with Angelica Salas, Frank Sharry was also arrested. Mr. Sharry is the former Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum. From his bio at America's Voice:

"Up until recently Mr. Sharry served as the Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum. The Forum, based in Washington D.C., is one of the nation’s premier immigration policy organizations, and has been at the center of every major legislative and policy debate related to immigration over the past 25 years."

The left is finding it harder and harder to not act like a mob and try to force amnesty through street action. 

It would be interesting to hear Mark Shurtleff's thoughts about the radical amnesty thugs that seem to permeate the amnesty movement - including the board of the National Immigration Forum.

The arrested:

"Those arrested in the morning action include church leaders, advocates and union representatives, people such as Angelica Salas, the executive director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, and Frank Sharry of America’s Voice. They were charged with blocking passage and held for several hours before being released in the afternoon."

The article about the arrest is available at:

The National Immigration Forum's board:

Frank Sharry's bio:

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Libertarian Guest Worker Mania

How fanatical are some libertarians on immigration issues?  This will give you some idea:

Alex Nowrasteh, an immigration policy analyst at the Cato Institute, made some curious comments in a recent Cato's Letter

The Cato Institute is, of course, the premier libertarian think tank in America.  Even so, it is hard to not argue with just about everything that Mr. Nowrasteh said in his interview.  For instance, Mr. Nowrasteh's comments on guest workers seem both fanatical and myopic: 

"A guest worker visa program must be large and cheap enough to channel the vast majority of would-be unauthorized immigrant workers into the legal market."

Large enough and cheap enough?  

It may not be fair to read too much into his brief comments, but Mr. Nowrasteh's view,  that the number of foreign "guest" workers ought to include the "vast majority" of "would-be unauthorized immigrant workers" (i.e., illegal aliens), seems boundless. 

Is there a limit to such channeling of foreign workers into the legal workforce? 

Would creating a greatly expanded legal "guest worker" labor force invite an ever increasing number of foreign workers to try for the same deal? 

What would the impact be on American workers and legal immigrants of such a system? 

It would be devastating.  On the other hand, however, it would be a dream come true for certain employers as Mr. Nowrasteh makes clear.  

He continues:

"Furthermore, the program must be dynamic and allow the widest possible variety of businesses from all sectors of the economy to hire guest workers in the numbers they deem fit."

In addition, Mr. Nowrasteh believes that guest workers should be free to change their employment in order to keep employers from abusing them.

One can admire his concern for the well-being of foreign workers, but why does he not express the same concern for American workers, who would surely be cast aside in such a scheme of unlimited "guest" workers?  

And, would they truly be "guest" workers? 

Mr. Nowrasteh also proposes that the system have "unlimited renewals of visas"  - in other words, permanent "guest worker" residency.  

Another idea in Mr. Nowrateh's interview is that immigrants are complementary to the American workforce - not competitors with Americans.  According to him, immigrants are "more likely to be higher skilled or lower skilled than most Americans."   We could spend a lot of time arguing strongly against this idea and the damaging impact such a view would have on America if not carefully examined and limited to a small number of very specific temporary situations.  

Briefly, however, let's consider what this idea of worker complementarity means if applied to Mr. Nowrasteh's views of guest workers.

When Mr. Nowrasteh says that "the widest possible variety of businesses" in "all sectors of the economy" must be allowed to "hire guest workers in the numbers they deem fit," we need to be concerned that the idea of complementarity of worker populations, even if accurate in some limited circumstances, will be quickly thrown out the window in favor of pushing Americans and legal immigrants out the door in favor of cheap labor "guest" workers.

Temporary foreign labor in America might make sense in certain very limited circumstances - such as some agricultural work.  But, opening the door to a never-ending flood of foreign labor would be ill-advised and counterproductive to the well-being of the nation on many levels.   

Friday, May 31, 2013

The Immigration View from a Globalist Perch

Big-Time Globalist Pushes Immigration

Peter Sutherland is a big-time globalist.  

He's also a big-time immigration pusher.  

In the current Gang of Eight Amnesty debate, it is important to consider the issue from the globalist perspective.  


Because globalist influences on the debate are out of view, but may be a powerful force pushing for U.S. amnesty and other immigration changes.  

The Globalist View of Immigration

In a 2012 BBC article, "EU should 'undermine national homogeneity' says UN migration chief," Mr Sutherland made some interesting comments.  Among them are his claim that individuals, not the receiving nations, should be the ones with the right to determine what country they live in.  Mr. Sutherland, for instance:  

"...called on EU states to stop targeting "highly skilled" migrants, arguing that "at the most basic level individuals should have a freedom of choice" about whether to come and study or work in another country."

The European problem, according to Mr. Sutherland, seems to be that European countries don't see themselves as "migrant societies."  They need to give up this notion, embrace multiculturalism, and abandon the idea of population homogeneity:

"He told the committee: "The United States, or Australia and New Zealand, are migrant societies and therefore they accommodate more readily those from other backgrounds than we do ourselves, who still nurse a sense of our homogeneity and difference from others."

The article then adds this zinger from Mr. Sutherland:

"And that's precisely what the European Union, in my view, should be doing its best to undermine."

Notice that he didn't say France should decide for itself if it wishes to flood its nation with immigrants.  Nor did he declare that Germany, Italy, Sweden, or any other European Union member, should decide what it wants to do regarding immigration.  He said the European Union, as a supranational entity and as a matter of policy, should be undermining the idea of homogeneity of its member nations in order to promote immigration.  

The Globalist Attack on National Sovereignty

It's not an easy thing to analyze globalist writings and statements - as they tend to be a mix of truth and propaganda.  Sifting through the information in order to get a sense of what the real goals are, i.e., the ones that are central to the globalist fixation with supranational governing structures, is a difficult process.  But, it seems clear that promoting mass immigration into certain nations is one such goal.  Couple this with the globalist view of national sovereignty as an impediment to their project and we can surmise that immigration is being used as one mechanism to attack national sovereignty. 

In fact, in a 2008 article of an interview with Mr. Sutherland, the author refers to Mr. Sutherland as "a champion of a border-lite world."  

How many immigrants does Mr. Sutherland have in mind?

In the same 2008 interview with Mr. Sutherland, he gives us a view of the masses he is talking about:

"There's an inevitable need for many hundreds of millions of people to move from one part of the world to another, sometimes incited not merely by poverty but by poverty which itself could be the result of climate change. It is also realistic to expect that there will be huge movements of people because of the differences in GDP per capita. While globalization has lifted some parts of the world, there are others where it has had little or no impact."

An inevitable need for many hundreds of millions of people to migrate around the globe?

Mr. Sutherland did not specify how many "hundreds of millions" he meant or where exactly they might be headed - but it seems reasonable to conclude that many of this large non-specific number will be heading to the U.S.

Mr. Sutherland doesn't see this as a problem, because he has "never seen immigration and the multiculturalism of a society as a threat to the identity or values of the host community."

On the contrary, globalist insiders must know that these levels of immigration will certainly impact the nations that undergo such levels of mass migration - that's the point in the globalist worldview.  Supranational power structures can't grow sufficiently in strength when people have a strong sense of attachment to their nations and resist internationalist encroachments on their sovereignty.  Changing the demographics of a nation is one way to change the political perspective of that nation and to suppress and diminish the political role of those who oppose the increasing stranglehold of supranational governance over their nation.  

Directly addressing problems around the world, which are put forth as reasons for migration, seems a more reasonable and effective avenue than having people moving all over the place in such large numbers.  An approach that seeks to aid nations in solving their problems, while preserving their sovereignty, is one that is oriented towards finding effective solutions.  However, when creating supranational governing structures is the goal, then actually finding solutions to problems becomes secondary to the power project.  Aggregating more and more power into a handful of international organizations leads to a place far from the political roots of our nation - the roots designed to discourage tyranny.  If one truly cares about people and their well-being, about cultures, about history, about nations, and about finding solutions to the world's problems, one must reject the globalist power drive.  

Each nation should be free to determine what immigration policies are congruent with its national goals and interests

Who is Peter Sutherland?

But who is Peter Sutherland and should we take him seriously?

According to the two articles already referenced, Mr. Sutherland is or has been:

- special representative on migration for the United Nations

- director-general of the World Trade Organization

- a European Union commissioner

- chairman of British Petroleum

- chairman of the London School of Economics

- non-executive chairman of Goldman Sachs International

- head of the Global Forum on Migration and Development

- attended meetings of the Bilderberg group

- former Attorney General of Ireland

To this impressive list, we should add that Mr. Sutherland is also a prestigious member of the Trilateral Commission - where he is also listed as having received 15 honorary degrees and an honorary knighthood in the United Kingdom.  The Trilateral Commission's short biography also tells us that Mr. Sutherland "was presented with the Robert Schuman Medal for his work on European integration."  That's an interesting award.  He has also been honored by the Trilateral Commission with its David Rockefeller Award.  Within the Trilateral organization, he is a former European Chairman and currently an Honorary European Chairman.  

I would say that we should take Mr. Sutherland very seriously.  

We should also take the globalist approach to the world and immigration seriously.  

Doing so will add a dimension not generally considered publicly in our immigration debates. 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Tribune's Empty Immigration Argument

The Salt Lake Tribune recently published an editorial promoting amnesty  ("Hatch leads the way").  If you are looking for reasons, backed up by evidence, for supporting amnesty, you are out of luck.  There aren't any.  It is an empty appeal.

We are told by the Tribune, for instance, that Senator Hatch knows how to read writing on walls, polls and letters from campaign contributors.  

These remarkable abilities, developed over 36 years, apparently make Hatch a "savvy" politician.  When this savvy is combined with his expertise on immigration, Hatch is also able to discern that now is the time for amnesty and we need to act before the current window of opportunity closes.

But this is not an argument for amnesty.  It merely assumes that amnesty is good policy.  

The key to Hatch's new realization:

"And now, Hatch says he sees what many others have seen. There are an estimated 11 million human beings who are living, working, going to school, buying things and paying taxes who continue to live lives completely or partially in the shadows. It would be neither humane nor practical to send them home, especially when a great many of them came here as children and truly have no home other than the U.S.A."

We are not told why it would not be humane to send them "home."  We are not told why it would be impractical.  Again, the editorial merely assumes the truth of these statements.  

Any debate about exceptions should follow adequate border and interior enforcement - not grant amnesty now with empty promises for future enforcement.  

Regarding the path to citizenship for illegal aliens and its proposed 13-year wait:  

"Hatch rightly notes that such a long wait hardly gives anyone an unfair advantage over those who have entered, or sought to enter, the United States legally."

This incredible statement wants us to believe an absurdity:  that someone who entered the nation illegally, not with the permission of the United States (but on his or her own whim) and has remained here for years, is the same situation as someone patiently waiting for years to enter the nation legally and is willing to abide by our laws even if it means they are never permitted to reside in the United States.  One is here, the other is not.  One is rewarded while one patiently waits.  Are these equivalent?  

Yes, Mr. Hatch, it does give illegal aliens an unfair advantage and invites others to do likewise.  

There are other problems with this editorial.  

The editorial ends by telling us that leading the way on immigration reform is right for Hatch.  Embedded in this idea is the interesting notion that Hatch is providing "political cover" for other senators:    

"Leading the way toward reform — and providing inspiration and political cover for other senators to follow — is something that is both the right thing for Hatch..."

Presumably, the earlier mentioned polls were telling Hatch that the public wants amnesty.  Why do senators need "political cover" if this is true?  

The actual situation is more in line with "writing on the walls" and letters from campaign contributors.  In other words, special interests are pushing this bill, not public opinion, and they know it - thereby creating the need for the mental gymnastics on the part of the Tribune in this editorial and by other other amnesty promoters (such as Senator Hatch).  

We should expect a lot of assumptions to be presented as established facts by the amnesty crowd and by their political spokesmen.  It is the only way they can create enough confusion in the public to pass the Gang of Eight amnesty. 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Is Amnesty a Conservative Position?

Politico recently ran an article about conservative groups pushing for amnesty.  This is how they put it: 

"High-profile conservative groups are taking on an unexpected cause: passing immigration reform."

The article continues:

"A diverse mix of the Washington consultant class is cutting TV ads, revving up the grassroots and advising lawmakers on messaging and strategy in hopes of getting a bill across the finish line this year."

Sounds like this "diverse mix" of the "consultant class" can really move amnesty along.  But, why should they have to work so hard if amnesty really is a conservative issue?  Wouldn't it be an easy sell if it is an obvious conservative position?

The answer is that it is not conservative.

Conservatives tend to oppose amnesty.  Conservative opposition creates the need for extraordinary measures to convince congressmen and senators that this opposition doesn't really exist.  Even so, opposing amnesty is a position that cuts across political lines.  Many from all political persuasions oppose amnesty.

Grover Norquist, a leader in the effort, adds this as his motive: 

“We’re doing it to make sure…that Republican congressman and senators feel comfortable,” said American for Tax Reform’s Grover Norquist in an interview. “They look out and hear the guys on talk radio, and they go ‘Oh my goodness, everybody out there thinks this. That’s not necessarily where I was, but I guess if everybody thinks that way, I’ll either be quiet or go along, or I’ll listen to them so they can convince me.’ They’re now hearing the other side of the issue.”

Making congressmen and senators feel "comfortable" may be an admirable goal, but Norquist's comment betrays the true mood of much of the country - one doesn't have to make congressmen and senators "comfortable" if they are respecting the will of the citizens.  In this case, that means refusing to go along with amnesty.

Furthermore, those talk radio "guys" opposing amnesty are giving a public voice to millions of Americans - a voice that the mainstream media generally ignores in favor of the point of view being promoted by Mr. Norquist.  Our elected representatives are not hearing "the other side of the issue" from the "Washington consultant class."  They are hearing the other side from talk radio, their constituents, and those organizations that oppose amnesty.

Norquist is sticking to this theme of telling us that a "handful" of talk show hosts are the block to amnesty while working hard to push conservatives in Congress into the amnesty camp.  In another recent article we are told about Norquist's Friday meetings devoted solely to amnesty strategy and coordinating activities.

These meetings include powerful organizations devoted to amnesty along with "staffers from some of the offices of members of the Senate's Gang of Eight."  The group coordinates "strategy" and "messaging."

Sounds like a very cozy bunch.

But, who is Grover Norquist that we should listen to him? 

Mr. Norquist participated in a secret amnesty strategy session in 2009.  He has recently participated in left-wing National Immigration Forum conferences as a featured speaker in October 2012 and again in February of this year.

In addition, the Washington Post has mentioned Mr. Norquist in connection with a campaign against the three main anti-amnesty groups. labels the effort a "smear campaign."  Other responses to the smear can be found at the Center for Immigration Studies, National Review Online,, and Immigration Utah.

Even more troubling are Mr. Norquist's connections to and work on behalf of Islamic radicals in promoting their influence in conservative circles.  For more on this issue, see articles by Pamela Geller, Brian Fitzpatrick, Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.,, and Michelle Malkin.

If Grover Norquist and other Republican insider elites give Obama and the left an amnesty victory, what will be the ultimate outcome for conservatives? 

In stark political terms, amnesty would create a large pool of new Democratic voters and make it increasingly difficult for a Republican to ever be elected president in the future. 

The Democrats understand this and are anxious to get the GOP to go for amnesty - they know it will benefit them in increasing and maintaining liberal power in America. 

Conservative columnist Ann Coulter understands the stakes.  In a recent column titled, "Rubio's Amnesty: A Path to Oblivion for the GOP," she says:

"Strangely, some Republicans seem determined to create more Democratic voters, too. That will be the primary result of Sen. Marco Rubio’s amnesty plan."

Later in the essay, she lays out the political reality of amnesty:

"...With Hispanics on track to become the largest ethnic group in California this year, the state that gave us Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan is incapable of electing any Republican statewide anymore. Taxes keep going up, and there’s no one left to pay the bill.

That will be our entire country if Republicans fall for Rubio’s phony “Enforcement First!” plan. Perplexingly, some Republicans seem determined to turn the whole nation into California, in the foolish hope of winning one last election."

Given this reality, it is hard to understand why many Republican insiders are pushing so hard for amnesty. 

Amnesty is not a conservative position and an amnesty would do serious damage to the conservative movement. 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Did Utah State Senator Luz Robles Receive Free Travel to and From Mexico?

Did Luz Robles receive free travel to and from Mexico while serving as the Director of the Utah Office of Ethnic Affairs?

The quote below is from a previous post on this issue:

"It appears, therefore, that Luz Robles was likely reimbursed for her travel to Mexico City to serve the Mexican government at a time in which she served as an appointed official of the Utah state government."

More information has been found that supports the above point.

From an article by Carlos Gonzales Gutierrez ("The Institute of Mexicans Abroad"), we are told:

"The IME Consultative Council is made up of 128 consejeros or council members.  The council members are independent community leaders who reside either in the United States or in Canada and are elected by the communities they represent.  The position of consejero is unsalaried; the government of Mexico covers only their travel expenses to two plenary sessions every year.  They serve for a term of three years; reelection is not permitted."

Recall that these are conferences where the President of Mexico is frequently present - as well as other high level Mexican officials.

The complete source for the above quote is:

Carlos Gonzales Gutierrez, 2009, “The Institute of Mexicans Abroad” in Dovelyn Rannveig Agunias, ed., Closing the Distance: How Governments Strengthen Ties with Their Diasporas, Washington, DC: Migration Policy Institute, pp. 87-98. (the citation above is on p.89)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Senator Hatch Preaches Amnesty!

Utah Senator Orrin Hatch, according to a recent Salt Lake Tribune article,  holds the following position on the Gang of Eight amnesty bill:

"Sen. Orrin Hatch says now is the time to reform the immigration system for the economy, for his Mormon faith and for the people here illegally."

Hatch is not yet ready to endorse the Gang of Eight bill, but is planning to make some "tweaks" to it. 

While amnesty clearly would benefit illegal aliens, Hatch's support for immigration reform for the "economy" and for his "Mormon faith" are especially curious.

Since Hatch sees his Mormon faith as central, it would seem a foregone conclusion that he had discussed it with LDS leaders.  But, we have this astonishing admission:
"The senator said LDS officials haven’t talked to him about the proposal but "they know I know how they feel." 

Is Hatch saying that he should subordinate his position to whatever he thinks the LDS Church's view is? 

Most Utahns would find that problematic - especially non-LDS citizens.  The LDS position, as that of any large and important institution in the state, ought to be carefully considered as part of a larger social dialogue.

However, it is doubtful that Hatch is merely adopting what he claims is the LDS position.

Why then is Hatch bringing his "Mormon faith" into the discussion?

This brings us to the economy.  The Tribune article also cites Arturo Morales-Llan, a voice for immigration sanity:

"He [Morales-Llan] said in a rough economy Washington should be looking out for U.S. citizens, not illegal immigrants, and he said the nation should not take actions to legalize anyone until the border is locked down and employers are checking the immigration status of each worker." 

Is Hatch's appeal to his "Mormon faith" meant to divert attention and criticism away from what the Tribune calls Hatch's "work on business-friendly portions" of the Gang of Eight monstrosity?

Morales-Llan is right.  Washington should be "looking out for U.S. citizens, not illegal immigrants."

Amnesty and other components of this bill do not do this. 

Another odd issue presents itself in this article:

"He [Hatch] believes some of the opponents in his party and some of the supporters among Democrats are motivated by electoral politics. Obama received 71 percent of the Latino vote in 2012 and many expect newly minted citizens to follow a similar pattern."

What is Hatch's response to the fact that most amnestied Latinos will ultimately vote Democratic?  Hatch says: 

"There’s no doubt most of them will," Hatch said "Republicans have a job ahead of us to try to win them over, but I think we are up to the challenge."

Hatch and other Republicans seem to be following an electoral suicide pact to curry the favor of the cheap-labor interests influencing the Gang of Eight bill:  amnesty now - figure out how to make them Republicans later and hope the Republican Party is not destroyed in the process. 

If Hatch and others who support the Gang of Eight bill are  truly serving the national interest, and not the more narrow interests of the cheap-labor lobby and others, they would reject the bill.   

Thursday, March 28, 2013

More on the "Call Them Racist" Strategy - The Amnesty Movement Gets Nasty:

Former Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff recently joined the board of the National Immigration Forum (NIF) - a leftist organization pushing for amnesty.  In fact, the forum is one of the key organizations in the current amnesty-push.  It was also a central partner in the shadowy Utah Compact operation that led to Utah's state amnesty bill, HB116. 

Ali Noorani is the Executive Director of the organization.

In July of 2009, Mr. Noorani outlined a three part strategy to push for amnesty that consists of:

- Mobilize the base

- Persuade the middle

- Marginalize the opposition

Regarding the third of these areas, Mr. Noorani included this as an acceptable tactic:  

"How do we make sure that the opposition is seen as driven by racist elements?"
How this strategy may be related to the shadowy Utah Compact operation is described in a recent post on this blog.

The astonishing idea that opponents to amnesty should be labelled racists is not a fluke. 

Further evidence of this strategy comes from a secret amnesty strategy session held just a few weeks prior to the July 9, 2009 speech by Mr. Noorani.

This is how NumbersUSA's Jim Robb described the setting:

"The setting? The Marriott convention hotel in the fashionable Dupont Circle district of Washington, D.C. Date? June 15, 2009. Participants? A coalition of big-business oriented, pro-Open Borders dedicated groups, corporations, and lobbyists. Organizer? Tamar Jacoby and her newly-formed ImmigrationWorksUSA lobbying group.
The doors were closed. Reporters and members of the public barred. Confidence that their words were private and their plans secret loosened the tongues of most speakers. Embarrassing admissions were made. Several preposterous claims were forwarded. Numerous shameful methods and motivations admitted to"

An attorney who attended took detailed notes, which NumbersUSA published along with some commentary by Jim Robb. 

The notes include a section for Ali Noorani of the National Immigration Forum, which attributes to him the following:

"We need 279 votes and that means we need Republicans. New immigrant voters affected 20-25 house races where voted pro-immigration. Talks about 20% are with us, 60 % are undecided or inactive, and 20% are against us. We need to work on those 60%. We will handle the 20% against by marginalizing them. CIS and NumbersUSA are funded by racists—so we constantly make them deal with that question, that they are funded by racists. Now the 60% we need to convince that CIR is in their best interests."

It is not completely clear who Mr. Noorani is referring to here - whether he means Americans in general or those serving in Congress.  But from the context of the other statements, it seems he had Congress in mind.

The strategy, when applied to Congress, is to marginalize the 20% in Congress who oppose amnesty from the start.

How will that 20% be marginalized?

Part of the strategy outlined by Mr. Noorani, Mark Shurtleff's good friend and ally, appears to be to run around Congress tainting two of the largest and best respected anti-amnesty groups (CIS and NumbersUSA) with "racism" so that those in Congress who use information from these groups will be on the defensive and not be listened to by those in the middle 60%.

Two other participants in this secret strategy conference are worth noting.

One is Craig Regelbrugge of the American Nursery & Landscape Association. Mr. Regelbrugge is listed as a National Immigration Forum board member on the 2009 Impact Report of that organization.

The other is Grover Norquist.

Was the "racism" smear used in Utah?: 

Read the following, which is the first paragraph of a Salt Lake Tribune story from December 2010 about Rep. Sandstrom's immigration enforcement bill:

"The legal affiliate of a designated "hate group" provided assistance for Rep. Stephen Sandstrom's enforcement-only Arizona-style immigration bill — a partnership that has raised a red flag for those who see the measure as racist."

The story appeared just weeks before the bill was to be considered by the Utah legislature.

I do not wish to leave the impression that David Montero, the author of the story, was colluding with anyone to write this story and I cannot say that Mr. Montero's article was meant to smear Rep. Sandstrom as part of any pre-conceived plan.

 Even so, it is a harsh story that seems designed to drive support away from the bill through a similar mechanism as the tactic described by Ali Noorani of the National Immigration Forum.    

Fast-forward to the current amnesty push:

The "call them racist" strategy has mutated. 

It has become the "they're not really conservatives and they're trying to sneak in a radical philosophy" strategy.

From the Washington Post (2/13/13)

"A new battle has flared inside the Republican Party in recent days as supporters of more-liberal immigration laws wage a behind-the-scenes campaign to discredit the influential advocacy groups that have long powered the GOP’s hard-line stance on the issue."

Notice that the strategy is not to engage the arguments of those who oppose amnesty, but to "discredit" them.

Sound familiar?

Replacing "racism" with other ways to discredit has led some Republican heavy hitters to use the following:

"Now, Republicans pushing the party to rethink its approach to the issue are accusing those groups — Numbers USA, the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), and the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) — of masquerading as conservative. Critics say the groups and some of their supporters are pressing an un­or­tho­dox agenda of strict population control that also has included backing for abortion, sterilization and other policies at odds with conservative ideology."

From the Washington Post article, it is difficult to determine what role, if any, is being played by Grover Norquist in this operation , but the following is suggestive:

"Another testy moment occurred recently at the weekly conservative strategy session hosted by Norquist when Lopez stood to present his arguments. Hans von Spakovsky, a former Justice Department official in the George W. Bush administration who now works at the conservative Heritage Foundation, spoke up to defend the credibility of the Center for Immigration Studies.

“I haven’t heard folks take on the substantive arguments CIS is making and saying why they’re wrong,” said von Spakovsky, who declined to discuss details of what happened in the off-the-record meeting. “Instead you just get these scurrilous attacks.”

The movement for amnesty in 2009 was promoting a smear strategy and it appears that the amnesty movement of 2013 is willing to smear as well.  

The beginning point of the smear was a recently published article in the Human Life Review, in which Mr. Lopez, mentioned above, smeared the anti-amnesty groups.  This was one National Review commentator's reaction:

"The HLR article concludes, “Organizations that would limit population growth through abortion, drugs, sterilization, and other methods are pursuing a radical anti-life agenda that undermines our country, freedom, prosperity, and morality” and calls for pro-lifers to denounce CIS and other groups. It presents zero evidence that CIS has promoted any of the methods mentioned."

Additional suggestive information about the potential connection between Grover Norquist and the smear is that Mr. Norquist sits on the board of the group that Mr. Lopez represents.  The quote below is from a response to the attack by Mark Krikorian, who is the Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies:

"Both the SPLC and the current smear campaign started with the publication of a report that served as the focal point for other groups. The SPLC published a report designating FAIR a “hate group” (as it did later with the Family Research Council), just as Human Life Review published the above-mentioned article, written by one Mario Lopez of the Hispanic Leadership Fund (whose board includes Norquist, Chavez, Cardenas, the governor of Puerto Rico, former senator Mel Martinez, and others). Other organizations then pointed to the reports in follow-up op-eds, press releases, panel discussions, and closed-door meetings. The SPLC report was key to the National Council of La Raza’s “We Can Stop the Hate” campaign and to the establishment of America’s Voice as a “war room” for the open-borders Left. The Human Life Review article has served the same purpose at Norquist’s Wednesday Meeting and for presentations by Alfonso Aguilar of the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles."

Notice how the strategy works: a key article or item is placed in the media and then follow-up commentary and reports build on it as the information begins to permeate into the public sphere. 

Is Grover Norquist one of the driving forces behind this strategy?

That is not an easy question to answer.  But other signals regarding Mr. Norquist are not reassuring.  For example, his connections to Islamists is troubling - as is the fact that Pamela Geller, a well-known writer on the dangers of Islamism, was kept out of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) this year and the conditions placed on Robert Spencer (not to criticize Norquist and another American Conservative Union board member for their Islamist ties) that led him to not appear this year to accept an award for his blog,, is also concerning.  CPAC is a project of the American Conservative Union - on whose board sits Grover Norquist.   

Mr. Norquist also participated in a conference in 2011 sponsored by the Arab American Institute - a conference where Ali Noorani, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum, also participated.  Mr. Noorani was part of a workshop about defeating "hate" legislation.  From the conference schedule:

"Defeating Hate Legislation: From Arizona Copycats to Sharia
In this workshop we will discuss the rampant emergence of hate legislation, including the Arizona copycat laws and Sharia bans now in nearly two dozen states across the country. We will examine why it is important for the Arab American community to be an integral partner and voice in the campaigns against these dangerous initiatives."

Mr. Noorani's organization also had Mr. Norquist participate in the October 2012 pro-amnesty conference: "Midwest Summit: Forging a New Consensus on Immigrants and America."

Mr. Norquist was the featured keynote speaker and was introduced by Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff. 

Apparently, he did a good enough job to be invited back this past February to speak at the Texas Summit of the "Bibles, Badges and Business" amnesty campaign (the National Immigration Forum's latest name for its amnesty push).  A video of his somewhat rambling and disjointed speech is available at:

Indeed, the National Immigration Forum must really like Mr. Norquist as they posted another short video interview with him just a few days ago on their facebook page.

All this points to a good working relationship between the National Immigration Forum and Mr. Norquist. 
But, going back to the February Texas speech for a moment: 

In the video of his Texas speech, Mr. Norquist points to those he thinks halted immigration reform over the years.  He begins by pointing to labor unions.  At about 9:00 in the video, he makes the following statements:

"...the zero-population growth people, the guys who just don't like people at all,  the population control folks, these are the guys who all live on the left, who set up some organizations, front groups, pretending to be on the right. But we're gonna need to have a united center-right to come up with reasonable pro-immigration policy because the heart and soul of the modern left is hostile to that."

It seems that this reference is to the smear initiated by the Human Life Review article.  It has the same elements: population control people who don't want immigration and who set up front groups to masquerade as conservative groups.  We only have two choices here.

This may have nothing to do with the smear strategy being employed - but it was Ali Noorani of the NIF, after all, who brought up the idea of smearing opponents on at least two different occasions in 2009 - one of which Mr. Norquist was present for.

So, I will leave it an open question as to whether or not Mr. Noorani or Mr. Norquist is part of a smear campaign against the principal organizations which believe that amnesty would not be good for the United States.

The many perspectives of those opposed to amnesty:

The strategy of smearing those who want immigration enforcement goes back a few years now. 

The latest expression of it is to target, yet again, those groups which provide good information about immigration issues to both Congress and the public.  This time with a new line of attack: that they are only front groups for a message inimical to conservative political philosophy.

The immigration issue itself cannot be said to be either a left or right one, but crosses all types of political boundaries and pulls concerned citizens into alliances to work for the best interests of the nation as a whole.

For example, in another response to the smear, James R. Edwards, Jr., of the Center for Immigration Studies, had this to say: 

"As it happens, immigration is one of those issues on which individuals from all political persuasions and walks of life find themselves allied with people with whom they may not agree on much else.

The immigration control movement draws supporters motivated by fiscal concerns, economic concerns, environmental concerns, cultural concerns, security concerns, patriotic concerns, population concerns, and religious concerns, to name a few. Hence, one can marshal an argument and interpret the facts from all of these perspectives." 

The problem with the current smear tactics is that the goal is to ensure that these diverse perspectives are not heard from, not considered, and are kept out of the public debate so as to produce a pro-amnesty consensus by working to make sure that those who raise objections are marginalized. 

If immigration policies are to be created that serve the national interest, and not the more narrow interests of advocacy groups, then these voices, indeed the voice of the American people, need to be heard. 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Utah Compact Problem Points:

1.  The Utah Compact was created by a group of people who were already in agreement, for the most part, on how to address illegal immigration issues.  The general public and those holding opposing views were not heard from in its creation.   Therefore, it is one-sided in its approach to illegal immigration, but attempts to mask that fact by pointing to the diverse areas of public life it's creators represent.

2.  The Utah Compact uses manipulative language and text structure in an attempt to bring the reader into agreement with it and buy into amnesty.

3.  The actual workings of the group that created the Utah Compact are shrouded in mystery - as if the public had no right to have a clear statement about the process, who was involved, and whether or not any outside group, such as the left-wing pro-amnesty National Immigration Forum, was pushing the process to achieve a political agenda that most Utahns might object to.

4.  The Utah Compact was designed to be a way to sell the idea of amnesty to conservatives.  It is part of a national campaign to lead to amnesty.  Part of the campaign is to create a "conservative" face for amnesty and draw in conservative supporters that the left-wing amnesty and cheap-labor groups know are necessary to achieve a national amnesty. 

5.  The Utah Compact embodies a concept of the rule of law that stands it on its head.  It attempts to place the perceived needs of those who should not be in the United States above the law by implying that the law, when it comes to illegal immigrants, should be ignored and illegal immigrants accommodated.  The Compact promotes no mechanism for assisting the federal government in discouraging increased numbers of illegal immigrants from moving to Utah in the future - who, according to the Compact, should be welcomed.

6.  The Utah Compact has been used to work against enforcement legislation and played a role in the recall election that removed Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce from office.  The support for the Compact by the LDS Church has been used by amnesty proponents in a manipulative way to create a "no-win" trap for LDS politicians to either support amnesty or be seen as going against the Church.  This "trap" leads to an unacceptable religious-test for public service.

7.  The Utah Compact sets up a false "no-win" choice for people who want to enforce our immigration laws.  Either you are for the Utah Compact and its set of values in addressing illegal immigration or you are outside of the realm of responsible options and are, therefore, an extremist.  This is a ploy to limit the debate, not enlighten it.  By screening out everything that isn't part of the Utah Compact's model for addressing illegal immigration, the debate becomes limited, simplistic, and directed towards the specific policy agendas of those who created the Compact.  Such reductionism cannot adequately deal with the complexity of the immigration issue.

8.  The Utah Compact falsely implies that states have no role in immigration enforcement.  In the face of federal inaction in enforcing our very reasonable immigration laws, states do have room to work to restore integrity to our immigration laws.

9.  One goal of the Utah Compact is to provide political cover so that reluctant legislators/politicians can be pulled toward supporting amnesty.

10.  The Utah Compact was the end point of one deceptive process (creating the Utah Compact) and part of another (creating and passing HB116).

11.  Those behind and promoting the Utah Compact may have ulterior motives for pushing it,  yet it is sold as a collection of noble principles.  These motives may include financial interests, promoting cheap-labor flows into Utah, and leftist political power goals.

12.  The uses to which the Utah Compact has been put and the types of laws created are indicators of the purpose for which it was created. 

13.  The Utah Compact makes no distinction between legal and illegal immigrants.

14.  The Utah Compact was signed and subsequently celebrated on Veterans Day - subtly implying, although perhaps not intentionally, that the call to legalize illegal immigrants is more significant to the Utah Compact backers than honoring the nation's veterans.

15.  The Utah Compact implies that a humane approach to illegal immigration means ignore the law and grant amnesty.  Welcoming the "stranger," however, does not mean accepting illegal immigration.  Christian charity should be granted to those in need, but such charity does not mandate ignoring immigration laws. 

16.  The National Immigration Forum (NIF) was a central force in the creation of the Utah Compact.  The NIF finds its home among leftist amnesty groups that are funded to a large extent by left-wing sources.  The Utah Compact is part of  a national amnesty campaign to benefit the leftist amnesty movement and their cheap-labor allies.  The NIF's ties to radical leftist organizations cannot be ignored.

17.  The Utah Compact mixes general principles with statements indicating specific policies.  This mix is unjustified if the Utah Compact intends to be a guide to an open and free discussion about how to respond to illegal immigration.    By incorporating specific policy guidelines into itself, the Utah Compact lays bare that it is a document in service of a particular approach to illegal immigration and that the principles are window dressing to sell the policy points of the Compact.