Last week the anti-immigrant group Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) announced that it will host a panel discussion on Monday, January 14 at 9:30 am ET at the National Press Club (NPC) in Washington, DC. The group has titled its panel, “Amnesties: Past, Present, Future.”
It is no coincidence that CIS picked this date.
At an already sold-out event later that same day at the NPC, City of Los Angeles, CA, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is slated to make an appearance. According to NPC’s website, Mayor Villaraigosa will address a luncheon at 12:30 pm that afternoon. Mayor Villaraigosa’s event has been booked for some time, but last week CIS apparently began to get itchy, deciding to book its “preemptive” event. Villaraigosa has a national reputation within the national immigration debate as a staunch defender and advocate for immigrant rights, openly supporting such federal bills as the DREAM Act.
The mayor’s speech, “Immigration Reform: Now is the Time,” will be delivered at a time when anti-immigrant groups like CIS and its sister groups in the established anti-immigrant movement–like the Federation for American Immigration Reform, NumbersUSA, Progressives for Immigration Reform, and others–are frankly and openly expressing their collective fear of impending comprehensive immigration reform, which many political pundits and experts are predicting we’ll see Congress tackle in 2013.
Mark Krikorian himself tried recently to throw water on that idea when he spoke to OneNewsNow.com back on January 4, saying, “There’s no question that basic legislative changes in immigration are not going to be happening anytime soon.” Krikorian betrays his own portrayal of assuredness, however, by then admitting the following:
“Or frankly, if they do, it would be in a bad way, because the Republicans have a significant faction that actually wants both amnesty and huge increases in future unskilled immigration. So it’s not even a guarantee that the Republicans would stop that.”
This is a fine example of the aforementioned collective fear that’s presently ricocheting through the anti-immigrant movement–Krikorian is afraid that Mayor Villaraigosa may be right, that perhaps “Now is the Time” for such reform.
In opposition CIS has turned out House Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, who will deliver the opening remarks at the group’s panel. As a member of the Federation for American Immigration Reform backed House Immigration Reform Caucus, Rep. Smith has long commanded a position of prominence within the anti-immigrant movement, working hard to advance the common goals of that movement and to extend it a credibility that neither they nor he should command when the issue of immigration is up for discussion.
The CIS staffers who will sit on the panel are as follows: Jessica Vaughan, Director of Policy Studies; Jon Feere, Legal Policy Analyst; and David North, Fellow. Mark Krikorian will moderate.