Immigration Debate At The New School
April 24, 2009, 09:00 PM
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Mike Berman (email him)reports from the New School, which has been much plagued with riots and demonstrations of late:
There was not much of a debate between the "Intelligent Immigration Reform" panelists last night. Since Mark Krikorian [executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, ] called in sick, it became more of a lovefest between the "compassionate" and "humane" participants.

Attendees were first greeted on the sidewalk outside by a ragtag group of 13 community activist communists billing themselves as the May 1st Coalition. Their leaflets contain the usual list of demands and promote their May Day parade.They were watched by a similarly numbered contingent of Community Affairs NYPD.

Without the presence of Mr. Krikorian, the panelists were in general agreement as to the scope of the problem and the need for what they called "comprehensive immigration reform." The only major difference of opinion to crop up between them concerned their outlook on the prospects for near-term legislative success. Tamar Jacoby was of the view that the damaged economy will prevent Big Labor and other powerful groups from supporting reform while unemployment remains high. Marshall Fitz [Director of Advocacy. American Immigration Lawyers Association—email him ] countered that the election of Barack Hussein Obama, and increased Democrat control of Congress coupled with a Latino vote which doubled since 2000, opened up space and was a game-changer. He predicted that the prognosis for reform was much improved. Mr. Fitz also cited polls which indicate American`s favor some form of legalization over deportation by a margin of two to one.

Ms. Jacoby exhorted the attendees who packed the auditorium to get active. She told them that immigration reform is not a spectator sport. Bemoaning the fact that their opponents were better organized, she urged those present to write letters and make calls to their representatives. Ms. Jacoby mentioned that she specialized in working with Republicans and conservatives on this issue but that the attendees should do whatever they feel comfortable with.

I hope Mark Krikorian gets well soon (you have to be really sick to cancel that kind of engagement) but apparently because he wasn`t there, the local loony leftists canceled a riot:

Stephen Kimmerling [Email him] the Wolfson Director of Public Programming sent an email that said:

We received word that two organizations unrelated to The New School are holding a press conference outside tonight`s venue from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. (before our program begins). The activities are slated to be held outside the 66 West 12th entrance.

The organizations, the Bail Out the People Movement and the May 1 Coalition For Workers and Immigrant Rights, seem mainly concerned about Mark Krikorian`s participation. Mark cancelled this morning due to illness, however.

Please know that the press conference/picket line organizers are now aware of Mr. Krikorian`s cancellation. We anticipate no hindrances to the evening`s proceedings.

This may mean that the SPLC`s propaganda against Krikorian and CIS [The Nativist Lobby (PDF)]is working and his efforts at triangulation haven`t helped.