Thursday, July 30, 2009
In an op/ed in the Buffalo News last week, Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) states that "Daniel Stein, head of an extremist group called FAIR [the Federation for American Immigration Reform], distort[ed] my position on immigration in order to scare the American people using false and distorting arguments. My view on immigration is direct and simple. I believe that the vast majority of the American people are both anti-illegal immigration and pro-legal immigration. That’s why I intend to introduce comprehensive immigration reform legislation by Labor Day that secures our border, stops the flow of illegal aliens to the United States and requires all illegal aliens present in the United States to quickly register their presence with the U. S. government and start paying taxes or face imminent deportation." (bold added).
There are several things interesting about Senator Schumer's statement, especially because he is the Democratic Senator taking the lead on immigration reform.
First, he refers to FAIR -- a misnomer of an acronym if there ever was one -- as an "extremist group," a fact of which those familiar with the U.S. immigration debate are well aware (see, e.g., here and here) but which the popular press and the general public appear unaware. Given its advocacy of more and more enforcement and tighter immigration admissions (if not an outright moratorium on immigration -- an "immigration time out"), FAIR can be expected to oppose almost any comprehensive reform proposal introduced.
Second, Senator Schumer in the op/ed continues to promise to introduce immigration reform legislation by Labor Day, which is just arround the corner. We will see what the holiday weekend brings and what kind of immigration reform will be on the table. Senator Schumer's trial balloon on a national identification card for workers does not appear to have gotten any traction. It should be a very interesting fall!