Today marks the 19th day of August Congressional Recess in which the open-borders forces were supposed to have been able to change enough Republican Representatives' minds to get a full-scale amnesty and doubling of legal immigration to the floor of the House.
I'm pleased to say that thus far there has been almost no sign of changed minds thanks in good measure to NumbersUSA activists who have attended more than 200 town hall meetings. These are constituents seeing their own Congressman and not a case of busing people in from the outside or staging political theatre as the other side has done so often.
NumbersUSA activists around the country have been packing town halls, constituent coffee events and office open houses in record numbers.
With 18 days remaining until the House of Representatives goes back into session on Monday, September 9th and 169 more events on our calendar that are happening today and through the first week of September, I cannot reiterate enough how extremely important this Recess is to killing the atrocious Senate bill that passed in June. Please keep up the pressure on your Member of Congress. Thanks to everyone asking the tough questions and demanding no amnesty and no increases in work visas!
Here’s some feedback I have gotten from activists about events during the first half of August Recess 2013...
Illinois - Congressman Aaron Schock & Senator Mark Kirk - Veterans Job Fair
I passed out about 75 fliers to people going into the event and to people leaving, mostly to Veterans and Military and to some vendors. I got about 95% positive reactions, some irate at the situation of what was going with the immigration issue and most all very courteous and respectful of what I was doing. Several thanked me for being there as they left and expressed disgust with Senator Kirk for his actions, so my message had gotten through to the Veterans. I did enjoy this activism task and feel it did help to get the word out to the public and to the politician. I would do it again if the chance arises. - Illinois Activist
Kansas – Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins – Listening Session
Believe me she understands what a lot of her voters think about immigration. She had a packed house in that room. All but a couple of people there were against amnesty. She got the message loud and clear. Lets hope she does the right thing by her voters. - Bonnie
Texas - Congressman Kevin Brady – Town Hall
Rep. Brady did finally get to the topic of immigration when one audience member used her question time to speak to the danger of a house bill going into a conference meeting before S744 was blue slipped and therefore allowing the Senate bill provisions to go forward. The Representative said they were very aware of that and it wasn't going to happen. He spoke to the provisions of S744 and said that he did not support them.
He then said 'how many in this audience believe that we can deport 11 million?' Clearly inviting the audience to agree that it was not going to happen. He misjudged his audience if he thought he would get agreement on this issue. I was sitting in the back of the large church and a voice near me yelled out 'We don't have to - stop the jobs and they'll leave.' Others (including myself) said 'Enforce the law!'
I made my way up front and when I got my moment to speak said that I was against amnesty in any form. I said that the USA allowed in 20 million people from all over the world in the last 20 years and that if this amnesty was to go through we'd allow 10 million illegal aliens in all at once - was that logical or sensible? Rep. Brady said no that wasn't. I was pleased I had actually made a point. The small crowd left over seemed to be listening and agreed. I think there were a several NumberUSA people there.
I said that I was a person with a college degree and 20 years of experience as a computer programmer and that I couldn't find a job while big business owners are saying they need to import programmers. I told him hat I had worked at companies that hired these H1B people and they weren't geniuses- they were simply people who would work for a lower wage. Rep. Brady asked if I was still looking for a job. We discussed my personal situation for a moment or two and he said it would be helpful if I would send him my resume' so he could say to companies who importuned him to for more H1b visas - look here is someone who is looking and can't find a job.
As far as I could tell there were no 'immigration activists' who were agitating for their 'rights'. - Linda
Idaho - Congressman Raul Labrador - Town Hall
I attended Rep. Labrador town hall meeting and told him the one reason why I voted for him was because he ran on a platform that stated "undocumented immigrants must return to their country of origin and then reapply to legally come to the U.S." This statement was still on his website on August 6, 2013. I then said to him that I had never heard him reference this position in any news articles, interviews, or statements and in fact had heard him say he wants to legalize illegal aliens. I asked him to explain this apparent contradiction.
He answered that he had changed his mind, that he had advocated that position for 2 years and couldn't get anyone to agree with him. Two local papers referred to this discussion, indicating that one town hall participant 'took Labrador to task for changing his position.' Several other attendees were appreciative of my comments. Rep. Labrador was very personable and likeable; however, his stance on legalizing 11-20 million illegals, bringing in twice as many low-skill foreign workers, and relying on surveillance rather than a fence are not solutions to fixing our immigration problems and I would give him a low grade on his immigration stance. - Janice
Florida - Congressman Steve Southerland - Town Hall
I attended Representative Steve Southerland's town hall meeting this morning. It was well attended and Rep. Southerland did a good job; I liked what he said. He is NOT for rushing things on the immigration issue. He is aware that most of those who would receive amnesty would be then voting almost entirely for Democrats from then on, and that would endanger the Republican party.
In response to a question from a young man who said he was brought to this country when he was 4 years old, Rep. Southerland included in his answer that those illegal aliens who might be legalized should not get ahead of those who are in line to gain citizenship through the regular procedure. He did not 'wilt' and endorse amnesty. He stated that laws had been broken and a penalty was due. I am opposed to amnesty, by whatever clever means it is granted - or whatever cute misleading label it is given. And I thought Rep. Southerland stood up pretty well to that young man (who was polite) and to another young woman who was not so polite. He was good. - William
Texas - Congressmen Michael Burgess and Kenny Marchant - Town Hall
I attended two Town Halls, one with Rep. Burgess in Denton, Tx and another in Souhlake, Tx with Reps. Burgess and Marchant who were receptive and willing to answer questions. The Town Halls were well attended and very revealing as to what Americans are thinking and feeling vs. what is written by the media and what some in Congress are saying. People are angry and frightened because they believe Congress is not listening to them. They do not believe that adding 11 million more illegal aliens is going to increase growth for the economy. Just the opposite, they believe that this will add to the jobless roles, the welfare roles and bankrupt our country. - Nancy
Texas - Congressman Randy Weber - Town Hall
At this meeting there were 25 or 30 Dreamers. We were asked to write our questions down and then a moderator chose which questions were given to the Congressmen. Only one question regarding amnesty was asked and it came from one of the Dreamers. “Would you support a Path to citizenship in the immigration bill?” Rep. Weber stated that there was already a path, the legal path and that he said the bill was DOA. After the meeting I was able to hand Rep. Weber a copy of the letter from the President of the Immigration & Customs labor Union to Congress explaining their positions on this amnesty even for the Dreamers. I asked him if he could please read it and he said he would. Then the whole group of dreamers surrounded him as he was walking out of the building shouting their demands. Thank goodness he had a rather large body guard to get him away! - Tricia
Texas - Congressman Mike Conaway - Town Hall
I did attend a town hall meeting with Rep. Mike Conaway here in Mineral Wells last Friday. I told him I had read that Rep. Boehner was going to pass amnesty. He said it would never happen, that the Gang of Eight bill was unconstitutional because it levies taxes, and that all such bills must originate in the House. He said that he does not believe illegal aliens should get a path to citizenship, nor should they get government benefits. I was very encouraged by his positions on these topics. - Mary
Illinois - Congressman Aaron Schock- Listening Session
I wanted to let you know that I attended the Heyworth session with Aaron Schock, and I was very glad that I was there because a local Factory Farm of 3,000 hogs was represented with about 30 immigrant workers of which some indicated that they were undocumented workers! Of course they were concerned about how Rep. Schock would handle amnesty.
I was given an opportunity to speak and shared my story of experiences looking for a position as a RDN where those with green cards and other nationalities took priority over hiring me. In one situation, the interview was totally about diversity- no one even cared if I was qualified for the position. I also have a background in farming, and it frustrates me that factory farms are using the so called seasonal labor and hire workers year round. I discussed that maybe this was cheap labor for the business that hires these workers, but it was costing the American taxpayer between $18-20,000/year/individual because these people collect food stamps and they get a free ride in the healthcare and education system.
My comments were very well received by approximately 50 or more that were in attendance and my comments were supported with a very strong reception of applause several times while I was speaking. While Rep. Schock made no commitments to exactly what he would be doing, he did state that it was important to secure the borders first and to get everyone to come forward who was in the country illegally. - Donna
Pennsylvania - Congressman Patrick Meehan - Open Office Hours
We were able to meet with Rep. Patrick Meehan this morning, thanks to the Meeting Alert from Melanie at NumbersUSA. Meehan's meeting was listed as a Town Hall Meeting; but when we were signing in, we were told that it was actually a one-on-one meeting. We waited in a room to be called. I would say there were about 10-15 people there, most wanting to address illegal immigration.
Since immigration seemed to be the priority topic, Rep. Meehan decided to see two or three of us at a time. He mentioned that the illegal aliens would have to pay back taxes, etc. We shook our heads in disgust and replied that this is just a feel good, smoke screen to placate the masses and that the government is too inept to ever accomplish this, or anything else they are proposing. We also told him about our taxes going to fund La Raza and how these amnesty advocates get the ear of Congress but it is very hard for us to have our voices heard.
He spent about 15 minutes with us and was very courteous. We can only hope and pray that these meetings will have some effect on our misinformed politicians. – Marge
Indiana - Congresswoman Susan Brooks - "Connect with Your Congresswoman" Event
Many of us read Rep. Brooks' E-Newsletter. We were invited to visit her "Open Houses" throughout US District 5 and, visit with Congresswoman Brooks and her staff one-on-one in an open house format. Constituents entered the room, registered, had a cookie or two, then realized we were not going to sit in school-room fashion, but would stand in line and wait for our turn to talk, one-on-one, for two or three minutes. When my turn came to speak to Rep. Brooks, I told her my concern was that the House would pass one, or more, immigration bills before the Gang of Eight's Amnesty Bill, S.744 was dead. Both House and Senate would have to go to a Conference Committee, then the unacceptable amnesty component of S. 744 would probably emerge as the "compromised bill." I think she got my point, and I was ushered into the main library room. Even though all of you may not find Town Halls to be what you expect, and I was certainly surprised, I felt it was worth my time and energy. - Helen
Texas - Congressman Michael Burgess - Town Hall
Just thought I would let you know that we had a huge turn out last night. I know one thing for sure...People are angry, really angry! We are fortunate to have Rep. Burgess on our side. Everyone there wanted the amnesty stopped. Rep. Burgess is pretty sure his fellow Reps are being confronted all over the country. - Teresa
Oklahoma - Congressman Markwayne Mullin - Town Hall
I asked him about amnesty, and told him we were against it. It was a great town hall meeting. Thank you so much for telling me about this event before it happened. I took off ½ day of work so I could attend the event. - Beverly
Idaho - Congressman Raul Labrador - Town Hall
I estimate there were about 70-80 people there. Rep. Labrador mentioned at the outset how surprised he was at the size of the turnout (large). When it came to our table, I had honed things down so I could quickly present my question and not get cut off, and told Rep. Labrador I liked most of what he had to say, but was still puzzled by some things. Naturally, he jumped at that.
I told him I had been reading about how he and Congressman Ted Poe of TX had been collaborating on development of a proposal for the immigration bill to increase the number of low skill visas from a max of 240,000 per year as proposed by the Senate, up to 400,000 by he and Rep. Poe's plan. I said, since we already have about 23 million of our own people who can't find work, or adequate work, why would you guys try to increase the number of low skilled workers by the hundreds of thousands to compete with these folks, many of whom would also classify as "low skill workers?"
He ended by saying that it was apparent he and I would just have to disagree on the need for the Labrador-Poe bill. He was still very congenial, but it was apparent this discussion was a bit troubling to him. Judging from this, I would say the Poe-Labrador endeavor would be a good topic to pursue with Labrador by someone at the remaining town hall meetings in Idaho. Someone needs to pressure Rep. Ted Poe too! - Doug
Florida - Congressman Daniel Webster - Town Hall
Just left his Town Hall meeting in Polk City. He went around the room asking everyone what issues were important each of us. I was the first one to talk about illegal immigration. I told him I was there representing his constituents that could not be there because they were work and could not take off from work to be there. I brought up why we do not need the Crazy 8 Gangs bill. With 20 million unemployed and another 20 million under employed. I also said we need to blue slip the C8G Senate bill. We also need to carry through with securing our borders and implement a National E-Verify program. Two from the open borders/amnesty thanked him for taking a stand for amnesty. When it came time for him to speak he did say we need to secure our borders. But he also said in the same breath we need a pathway to citizenship. So I am hopping to get the chance to get a one on one meeting with him. Could use some backup. I think if we was to put the pressure on him we might be able to push him back the other way. - Bill
Texas - Congressman Randy Neugebauer - Town Hall
Great meeting, covered many important subjects. This is the first time I have attended one of the meetings and was very impressed. I knew I supported the Congressman and found that I agree with his thoughts on every subject covered. Thanks for the opportunity to attend the meeting. - Donald
Arizona - Congressman Matt Salmon - Town Hall
I attended Rep. Matt Salmon’s Town Hall on August 13, at Sun Lakes Country Club, Sun Lakes, Arizona, sponsored by the Republican Club and came away much impressed. I am a life-long Republican, and for the first time in a long time I felt a spark of hope. Rep. Salmon is, I think, an honest and dedicated Representative who really has taken the country’s best interest to heart. The meeting was so positive, with much applause as he stated his views on many subjects dealing with the future. Unlike our two senators, McCain and Flake, whom I do not trust anymore. Matt spoke about patriotism, dedication to the Constitution and reliance on prayer to return us to a nation without fear and negativity. God bless him and those like him who want what is best for all. - Janet
NumbersUSA is now on www.MeetUp.com. This website allows you to be able to see who else is planning to attend an event in your area. You can also communicate and coordinate with other activists prior to a meeting in order to get the best results.
Do you have a recess activism story to share with us? Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your feedback. Once again, a big thank you to all of the amazing, hardworking activists out there helping to stop amnesty in August! Keep up the great work. We're only half-way done!
Melanie Oubre is the Local Activism Coordinator for NumbersUSA.
Updated: Wed, Jul 5th 2017 @ 4:16pm EDT