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Behind Closed Doors: The Open Borders Lobby
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 welcome is by Deborah Marriott Harrison, who is granddaughter of the Marriott Hotels founder and V.P. Government Relations for the chain.
She announced that her dad is willing to speak on behalf of Comprehensive Immigration Reform. [CIR, big-business style, is defined later in this report.] She repeats the mantra that the "system is broken."
Tamar Jacoby, recognized as organizer of the conference and head of new business-backed "ImmigrationWorksUSA" group. Her remarks:
We are having the conference because we failed last time [to pass amnesty in 2007] and we must change. We did none of the things the opposition did. Opponents sent over a million faxes. We need to learn to leverage grass roots power. The basic goal is to promote the free flow of labor into the USA. This issue, immigration, is the top of the second tier of issues. Politicians are asking themselves if there will be public support.
Mentions Lou Dobbs and NumbersUSA shutting down the switchboard. We do not need to be even in faxes and phone calls because we have great lobbyists. But we need more faxes and phone calls than we have been getting.
Marshall Fitz, American Immigration Lawyers Association, made these remarks:
We have a chance this year. The election of Obama was a game changer. The Latino electoral power is a sleeping giant that is now awake. The 2008 election reflected 3 million more Latino voters than in 2004. Latinos went 67 to 31, Obama to McCain. Other minorities were strong for Obama.
Craig Regelbrugge, American Nursery and Landscape Association Government Affairs Director, gave these remarks:
The contacts to most offices are staggeringly in favor of anti-immigration. We want to build a communication apparatus to balance out the anti-immigrants. Our side will never have the passion level. NumbersUSA has had twenty years to organize.
Grover Norquist, Americans for Tax Reform: Immigration is the USA’s competitive advantage.
Competitve advantage against what? China? India? Do we have to keep the number of poor people up and wages down so we can compete in the global marketplace producing cheap stuff? If we don't keep those starvation-wage jobs plentiful, where will we be?