Immigration? Yeah, that's the big issue everyone's forgotten about, considering that the U.S. Senate bill on immigration is swimming about as fast as as a flounder in the mud toward realization.
The hope is that the U.S. House will take another stab at offering up its version, or versions, next year sometime. And who knows, with Republicans and Democrats getting together on the budget recently, maybe the Rs will ease up on the undocumented for a change and agree to a deal.
Or, not. Either way, the issue ain't going anywhere anytime soon, which is one reason why the group Arizona Employers for Immigration Reform is holding an "Oxford-style" debate this Saturday at Rio Salado Community College between those who want something like the Gang of Eight's bill, and those who do not.
On hand representing the forces of darkness will be Mark Krikorian, executive director of the restrictionist Center for Immigration Studies, which is part of the dreaded "Tanton network," a web of organizations devoted to nativism, devised by retired ophthalmologist John Tanton.
The Southern Poverty Law Center refers to Tanton as "a man known for his racist statements about Latinos, his decades-long flirtation with white nationalists and Holocaust deniers, and his publication of ugly racist materials."
Of CIS itself, the SPLC states the following:
CIS makes much of its mainstream credentials, saying it seeks "to expand the base of public knowledge" in an effort to show the need for immigration policies that serve "the broad national interest." And indeed, CIS' website shows that it has testified to Congress close to 100 times since Krikorian took over in 1995.
But the history of CIS make clear that it has always been part of a broad-based and well-planned effort to attack immigration in all forms. CIS Senior Policy Analyst Stephen Steinlight pretty much captured CIS' brand of "independent" analysis when he told the Inter Press Service News Agency in 2005 that immigration threatens "the American people as a whole and the future of Western civilization."
Krikorian will be going toe-to-toe with such pro-immigration folks as Phoenix's Danny Ortega, Phoenix Bishop Eduardo Nevares, and Tamar Jacoby of ImmigrationWorks USA.Watch Penn and Teller eviscerate Krikorian, accused pedophile Chris Simcox and others in this old edition of P&T's cable show, which is devoted to immigration
The list of panelists also includes:
Mark Krikorian, Center for Immigration Studies Alex Nowrasteh, Cato Institute Clint Bolick, Goldwater Institute Derrick Morgan, Heritage Foundation Eddie Aldrete, International Commerce Bank David Selden, Cavanagh Law Firm Dr. Raul Hinojosa, UCLA Brent Wilkes, LULAC Jan Ting, Temple University Mickey Kaus, The Daily Caller
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The moderators are Brahm Resnik of Channel 12, former Univision anchor Mary Ragabo, and James Garcia of the Real Arizona Coalition.
You have to pre-register, and today's the last day for that. So get on it, if you want to attend, as space is limited to 200 souls. The cost is $10. Which includes parking.