Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Utah Compact and the NIF's Question: "How do we make sure that the opposition is seen as driven by racist elements?"

Were the Utah Compact and HB116 part of a national campaign to create a "conservative" middle in favor of amnesty? 

The National Immigration Forum (NIF) was a key player in the shadowy work that led to the Utah Compact in 2010. 

Other players included the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce, the Sutherland Institute, and Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff.

Image courtesy of stockimages at

Ali Noorani is the Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum and is a strong ally of Mark Shurtleff. 

For instance, he had the blusterous AG participate in a number of events sponsored by the NIF. 

Mark Shurtleff is now a board member of the organization, in addition to his new role as Obama's  "Amnesty Emissary" to the LDS Church.

The groups involved in creating the Utah Compact seem to have hit if off and had a reunion of sorts at the NIF's "National Strategy Session" this past December.   The event featured a variety of individuals which included Natalie Gochnour of the Chamber, Paul Mero of the Sutherland Institute, Chief Burbank of the Salt Lake City Police Department, Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff and, of course, Ali Noorani of the NIF as host and sponsor. 

But, let's back up a bit - to 2009 - and examine an amnesty-strategy laid out by Ali Noorani at that time. 

In 2009, amnesty groups were gearing up for an amnesty push and Ali Noorani, of the National Immigration Forum, outlined a three-part strategy for achieving it.

The three parts are: 

- Mobilize the base

- Persuade the middle

- Marginalize the opposition

Two transcribed segments from the video of a speech by Mr. Noorani are below and illustrate what he had in mind with these three points. 

Mobilizing the base, for instance, could consist of ensuring ethnic media is "moving a message."

Persuading the middle might include putting up someone with a badge and a gun to help sway the middle into believing amnesty is a good thing.

Marginalizing the opposition, for Noorani, seems to include making sure that the opposition is "seen as driven by racist elements."

While Mr. Noorani was speaking for his organization (NIF) in outlining these three points, he was delivering his speech to another large amnesty group, OneAmerica. 

Let's expand or reinterpret the three points a bit as follows:

1.  Mobilize the base = get those who already want amnesty involved in pressuring leaders for amnesty.

2.  Persuade the middle = use respected symbols and ideals as a way to manipulate the middle into seeing amnesty in a positive light and, perhaps, get conservatives and Republicans on board as an additional "middle" group that is necessary to get an amnesty through Congress. 

3.  Marginalize the opposition = push them out of the discussion, keep them out, and demonize any person or idea that challenges amnesty.

Mr. Ali Noorani from the video

Starting at about 08:43 -

"So there's three things that we need to do.  We need to mobilize the base.  The base could be the immigrant community.  The base could be the churches.  But, in essence, it's the people are with us.  We need to persuade the middle.  We need to understand that there's a large part of America that says, "you know what? I wanna, I wanna, I wanna help here, but I, I don't know what to do.  This is a big confusing topic."  So what do we do to persuade the middle?  And then third, we need to marginalize the opposition. 
When the opposition starts calling in to talk-radio and says, "blah, such and, you know, the, the" - I can't even make this up.  Earlier this week, the opposition said that immigration to the U.S. leads to global warming.  Perhaps they forgot to see that it's called, "global warming."  That means it's kind of beyond any one border.  But, the opposition is just nutty and we have to call them nutty for what they are.  So those three things - and we each can take a different role and a different responsibility.  Some of us are good at organizing and mobilizing the base.  Some of us are good at persuading the middle.  Some of us are good at marginalizing the opposition - you know - When OneAmerica organized the, the letter from the chief, the Seattle chief, or the president of police, the chiefs' association, the sheriffs' association, sorry, just two weeks ago, in the last two weeks, that persuaded the middle - because when you stand somebody up with a badge and a gun and who says, "you know what, we need to fix our immigration system," the middle listens.  It's those kinds of things."

Starting at about 12:40 -

"The other reason we need to do it now is because the President has made that commitment.  Within the last, late last month, he pulled together this meeting and he said in the meeting, "I want to do this - this fall - by the end of 2009, I want to start moving a bill and I think we can get it done early in 2010" - and it's gonna take, and when Rahm Emmanuel and David Axelrod sit around a table at some point in this fall and say, "you know what, are we gonna do it?"  They're gonna look at the number of calls that the White House gets, the number of calls that members of Congress get, and the, our ability to push a message through the media at a local and national level.  And let's bring it back.  That message needs to do three things.  It needs to mobilize the base - so that's -  ethnic media, how can we make sure that the Spanish language and Asian language, uh, and Asian community media are understanding and moving a message.  Persuading the middle - different messengers, local elected law enforcement, etc., speaking to the need for immigration reform.  Marginalizing the opposition - How do we make sure that the opposition is seen as driven by racist elements?  We drive that message through the media locally and nationally, we put phone calls into the White House and Congress, David Axelrod and Rahm Emmanuel will go into the Oval Office and say, "Mr. President, we can do this.  We can win this."  - because  the President wants to do it - now it's just up to us to make it happen.  Thank you."

Is there a Utah connection for this type of an operation? 

Read the following passage from the National Immigration Forum's report, "The Utah Compact: One State’s Conservative Approach to Immigration Reform":

"The Utah Compact was effective in gaining national attention because it came from leadership that had not usually supported comprehensive immigration reform. The power of the Compact came from the unlikely allies who signed it and their participation sent a message to other conservatives and moderates who have become necessary allies for immigration reform. By including conservative elected, faith, business and civic leadership, the Compact changed the debate in Utah – and created a national story. Simply put, the Compact is a vehicle around which to organize conservative and moderate leadership of a state." 

When this statement is matched up with Ali Noorani's three-point amnesty strategy, it sure seems like the Utah Compact was intentionally created to be a tool for bringing on board "the middle."

When the statements made by Ali Noorani are compared with the types of events they have been running since the Utah Compact came out, it becomes even a more likely that the National Immigration Forum has been running a "middle" campaign for some time. 

More evidence comes from an article that appeared just a few weeks before the Utah Compact was signed:  "States Step Into the Void on Immigration."  The article says this about Utah:   

"In Utah, immigrant advocates, typically liberal Democrats, are trying to find common cause with conservatives, because they know that if they don't they'll be left out of the debate." 

Certainly, those advocates might have come to this conclusion on their own.  But, just in case they didn't, look who shows up to make sure they do - Carter Livingston from the National Immigration Forum:

"Carter Livingston, an organizer for the National Immigration Forum in the state, spends much of his time coordinating with the Sutherland Institute and other conservative players." 

The article, just a moment later, tells us: 

"He [Livingston] says that it has been a boon to the immigrant-rights movement to have conservative leaders talk about legitimizing undocumented foreigners."

Then Mr. Livingston of the National Immigration Forum, one of the biggest pro-amnesty groups in America, tells us:

"You have to change where the message is coming from," Livingston contends.  "You have to communicate in a way that legislators will hear, that conservatives will hear." 

The "conservative" spin-campaign for the middle becomes all  the more obvious when we see the name of the report selected by the National Immigration Forum for their 2012 operations:

"Voices of the New Consensus: Bibles, Badges and Business."

From the report:

"Over the last 18 months, the National Immigration Forum’s Forging a New Consensus on Immigrants and America campaign brought together hundreds who hold a Bible, wear a badge or own a business. Once we left Washington, DC, we found common ground between these new allies on the need for an immigration process that works for our economy, our families and our communities."

The campaign for the "middle," being built by the National Immigration Forum, is a carefully crafted campaign to put a symbolic face of respected authority (by using key figures in religion, law enforcement, and business) in front of the "middle" to subtly manipulate them into supporting what they would not otherwise support: amnesty. 

From the information presented above, it would be reasonable to conclude that the Utah Compact and the principle law that was passed under its influence, Utah's HB116 (state guest worker amnesty law), were meant to be a test case for a much larger national operation that we are now facing. 

The "middle" is the battleground for the National Immigration Forum.

The NIF Utah Compact report reads as if it a blueprint for creating other compacts.  Indeed, the report tells us as much: 

"This report provides a closer look at the process that led to the Utah Compact, and what factors could make similar efforts in other states successful. If you would like to work on a Compact in your state, please the National Immigration Forum

As we have seen, that process is one of secrecy and deception and of manipulation of the electorate by creating a fog of noble sounding principles to provide cover for amnesty. 

But, is the battle really for the "middle"? 

Illegal immigration seems to be an issue that people have strong feelings about from all over the political spectrum.  Many liberals, progressives, environmentalists, etc. (i.e., people from the left), seem to also have a desire to reduce illegal immigration and want enforcement of our laws.  It is not a left-right split.  Middle of the road people want enforcement.  Conservatives want enforcement.  America wants enforcement. 

It is at the national level of counting congressional votes that the battle for the middle - or just enough Republicans - to go along with amnesty is the focus.  The public campaign for the middle is to generate enough congressional support for amnesty from Republicans. 

That campaign may turn ugly, if Mr. Noorani's speech is any indication. 

The focus will not just be on the middle, but also on creating an enemy to attach the "wrong" immigration views to and marginalize so that "correct" immigration views will be seen as the only "reasonable" option. 

Remember, the man who heads the National Immigration Forum, which was instrumental in the process of creating the Utah Compact, believes in marginalizing the opposition and asked the question, "How do we make sure that the opposition is seen as driven by racist elements?"

For more information on the Utah Compact, please see:

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