Summer Recess is over and Congress is now gearing up for a busy fall schedule. During the Congressional break, NumbersUSA activists attended over 400 town halls with almost 150 lawmakers! Even though we dampened the momentum for amnesty during August, we still have a lot of work ahead of us.
Just last week, multiple politicians stated that the next 40 days would make or break the fate of an amnesty bill passing the House. Senator John McCain of Arizona even said the next few weeks will be a critical time "in the life or death" of a comprehensive amnesty bill.
We are noticing some interesting statements coming from open borders activist groups. One group sent around a message yesterday urging their foot soldiers to not be discouraged and then went on to promote a "plan B."
The other side is worried, as they should be. But that does not mean we can let up on our grassroots efforts. We need to have activists talking about the dangers of amnesty at every single town hall-style event this fall. Don't let your Congress Member use the excuse "no one talked about immigration at my town hall" to rationalize a vote for amnesty!
I wanted to share with you more stories from town hall meetings and some special events that were organized entirely at the grassroots level in August. Unlike the other side that is busing in activists from other Congressional Districts, NumbersUSA is helping constituents lobby their own Member of Congress on immigration issues. The stories below are great examples of the pressure we need to continue applying to all Members in the House of Representatives until the Senate’s amnesty bill is killed.
The groups Ohio Citizens for Sensible Immigration, Grassroots Rally Team of Ohio, and Southwest Ohio Patriots organized this event. Photo Credit: FAIRus.org Facebook Page
Pro-enforcement activists gathered in West Chester, Ohio on September 7th to send a public message to Speaker John Boehner in his own Congressional District at the "Rally for America." Boehner's constituents also delivered petitions to the Speaker’s office demanding he say no to amnesty.
The Richmond Tea Party organized a rally and town hall on September 4th.
Many of Eric Cantor’s constituents attended a rally in front of the Majority Leader’s office in Richmond, VA. The “Cantor Encounter” Rally demanded that Rep. Cantor stop amnesty and start listening to the people he works for – his constituents – and not special interests.
We the People California Crusaders organized the event on August 14th.
While pro-amnesty forces were using their deep pockets to stage a “rally” in front of Deputy Whip Kevin McCarthy’s Bakersfield, CA office, McCarthy’s actual constituents organized a counter-rally and office visit to the Congressman. We’re not sure how many of Rep. McCarthy’s constituents attended the open borders event, since many admitted to being bused in from cities across California.
This event was hosted by The Black American Leadership Alliance.
Also on September 7th, the We are America Tour made a stop in Phoenix to make the pro-enforcement calls loud and clear to Arizona politicians. This event emphasized how amnesty and increases in legal immigration would further hurt struggling Americans.
Caption: Greg Aprahamian, McKeon constituent and citizen activist, organized the event on August 27th in Santa Clarita, CA.
After Congressman Buck McKeon made some rather startling statements in August hinting that he would support a blanket amnesty, constituents organized a petition drop off and met with Rep. McKeon’s staff. By the end of the meeting, Rep. McKeon’s staffer insisted that the Congressman simply “misspoke.”
Rallies and office visits can be very helpful if your Member of Congress refuses to hold a town hall meeting. But nothing tops a tough question asked directly to your Member of Congress in front of a room full of voters!
Rep. Patrick Murphy, FL- Town Hall
I asked him where he stood on the immigration legislation and he said unabashedly that he supported Comprehensive Immigration Reform. I asked him what that meant. He replied that the 11 million illegal immigrants were here working and they weren't going anywhere unless we wanted to take buses and round them up. He also said they have jobs, pay taxes, and we needed to find out who they were and bring them out of the shadows. He also said we needed to strengthen the border and implement an entry exit system that worked. I reminded him that one had been enacted in 1996 and was supposed to be in place in 98. Had Congress implemented it, 9/11 may not have taken place. He continued to parrot comments that Rubio had made like doing nothing is de facto amnesty. I said that doing nothing was a false choice- we could enforce existing laws. On that note the conversation ended. I thanked him for sharing his views and we shook hands. - Jack
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, WA - Town Hall
I asked her if she thought the House would pass any bill similar to the hideous bill passed by the Gang of Eight in the Senate. She played dumb and asked what bill was that? I responded it was the immigration bill S744. There was a loud reaction from the audience at the mention of that horrible bill. Cathy was again talking about needing workers for jobs. I raised my hand (the gal with the mic wouldn't let me have it) and Cathy was stuck recognizing me since it was my question. I said: "Our 20 million unemployed and underemployed citizens need those jobs, not illegal aliens." The crowd loved it and apparently agreed with it. They were calling out “good job” to me as I walked back to my seat. - Virginia
Rep. Mike Coffman, CO - Constituent Meetings
I was not impressed. He stated his backing of blanket amnesty is based on "Keeping Families Together." I pointed out to him that is the primary reason to abandon "Anchor Babies." He nodded in agreement and said that also was a "concern." I asked him if he was more concerned with illegal families than mine, since I have not been able to find real work in 2 years, and that I am on brink of homelessness. He tried to be concerned, but lacked, I my opinion, any concerns about the State of the Union and the high unemployment rates. - Chris
Rep. Renee Ellmers, NC - Q&A Session
I gave her a hard time about amnesty/legalization/path to citizenship. I stated that legalization was amnesty. She made a face and obviously did not agree. I asked her if she thought that the Democrats would not push for path to citizenship once legalization was passed, and she responded by saying that only some illegals want citizenship. I responded by pointing out that’s why the lobbyists and advocates are insisting on citizenship. I also asked her why she thought Obama would actually enforce any new laws when he hasn’t been enforcing existing laws. Finally, I asked her if a House bill goes to conference with the Senate bill, would Boehner bring the product of the conference to the floor for a vote if it contains amnesty? She said “I don’t think so.” - Kathleen
Thanks to everyone who made this Summer Recess such a success!
MELANIE OUBRE is the Local Activism Coordinator for NumbersUSA.