Former Ranking Member of the Senate Immigration Subcommittee, Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), recognized the 15th anniversary of NumbersUSA on Monday by adding a statement to the Congressional Record. NumbersUSA was founded in 1996 by Roy Beck with the production and release of his original Gumballs video and the launching of NumbersUSA.com in December of 1996.
Sen. Sessions added the following statement into Monday's Congressional Record:
Mr. SESSIONS. Mr. President, I wish to recognize the 15th anniversary of NumbersUSA, a national grassroots organization that advocates for immigration policies that seek to serve the national interest.
NumbersUSA was formed in 1997 [sic] by Roy Beck, a former journalist who has been recognized by the Houston Chronicle as ``one of the five leading thinkers in the national immigration debate.'' Under his leadership, NumbersUSA has grown from a mostly Internet-based organization of about 2,000 grassroots members to nearly 1.3 million activists, giving a voice to American citizens on the important issue of immigration and securing our border.
Those who were in Congress during the 2006 and 2007 debates on comprehensive immigration reform will confirm just how effective NumbersUSA is. NumbersUSA was an active leader in an outgunned coalition that stood up to virtually all the elites in Washington. The big lobbies pulled out all the stops, spent millions of dollars, and bore down hard in their push for mass amnesty. But Goliath fell to the grassroots David, whose faxes, e-mails, rallies, visits to our offices, and phone calls registered the clear message that the American people would not accept Washington rewarding lawbreaking. The overwhelming grassroots response actuated by the NumbersUSA coalition was most evident when citizens called Capitol Hill in such volume that it shut down the Senate's telephone system.
NumbersUSA approaches the important and sensitive issue of immigration by emphasizing the number of immigrants that are lawfully admitted to the United States. Their approach is captured in a statement prominently placed on their website: ``To talk about changing immigration numbers is to say nothing against the individual immigrants in this country. Rather, it is about deciding how many foreign citizens living in their own countries right now should be allowed to immigrate in the future'' and ``about protecting and enhancing the United States' unique experiment in democracy for all Americans, including recent immigrants, regardless of their particular ethnicity.''
I commend NumbersUSA for speaking out effectively on these important issues for America. Their voice has added a valuable perspective to the discussion. I congratulate them on a successful first 15 years and wish them even greater success over its next 15 years.
Sen. Sessions has served in the Senate since 1997 and has earned a career A-plus grade from NumbersUSA.