AFIIG Immigration Forum: Decent

I’ll have more to say about the AFIIG Immigration Forum on the show tomorrow, but I want to get a few thoughts down before I crash for the night.

1) Lubbock Bishop Placido Rodriguez had the words of wisdom to guide us through our immigration reform discussion: remember to put a face on it. Recognizing human dignity is essential to the process, and as we remember our shared humanity, it will enhance — not harm — our security as well. I admire the Catholic Church’s position on immigration; it’s humane, ethical, and within the law of the land.

2) Immigration is a very complex issue. The following issues are all caught up in the immigration mix as well as being complex issues in their own right: border security, employers who habitually hire illegal immigrants, family splitting/uniting, birthright citizenship, economic and social conditions in Mexico, cartel violence, U.S. drug demand, U.S. gun exports into Mexico, NAFTA, detention/deportation of illegal immigrants, immigration legal complexity (e.g. quotas and categories), judicial discretion (lack of, really) in the immigration courts, jurisdictional/constitutional boundaries, taxes and who pays them (illegal immigrants pay more taxes than people generally think, especially in Texas), immigration policy history, and the question of what is US culture.

3) Todd Klein should be commended for filling in at the last minute for Alberto Gonzales, who backed out of being on the panel to moderate it instead. I don’t agree with everything Todd said on the panel, but he took on the tough audience questions that other panel members were silent about.

The event as a whole had an OK turnout, but it’s hard to get a lot of people to turn out for a public forum (especially on the first day of TTU classes). I sympathize with the organizers in that regard. However, I think the immigration debate as a whole is a distraction intended to keep us from focusing on other, more pressing issues. But hey, public forums are a tried-and-true way to do issue advocacy, and AFIIG clearly wants to push that issue.

Also, did anyone go to the Randy Neugebauer town hall this morning? I couldn’t attend, so I’d love to hear how it went. I sure hope someone asked him about that damn yacht and how he got $7 million richer while in Congress.

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