Attend First Data's Meetings–Put Shoe On Other Fote!

[See also Western DisUnion: CEO Charlie Fote Betrays America]

I got a lot of email last week when I wrote about Charles Fote, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Colorado's First Data Corporation, and sugar daddy to his very own little Treason Lobby, the First Data Empowerment Fund.

Here's more, with suggestions on how you can attend First Data's meetings - and put the shoe on the other Fote!

Fote, on behalf of First Data, personally oversees so-called forums under the heading "Immigration: What Reform Will Bring to Our Nation." Meetings have been held in Los Angeles, Chicago and (most recently) Denver.

In effect, under the guise of "immigration reform" Fote and the First Data Corporation is conspiring with open-borders advocates to break up America. Out of convenience, Fote calls the undermining of America "Empowerment." (For Hispanics, that is,)

Stripped to their bare bones, the gatherings are brazen lobbying for unchecked immigration by Fote and his Hispanic ethnic identity allies.

In March, at the National Press Club in Washington D.C., Fote (e-mail Charlie.fote@firstdatacorp.com or telephone 303-488-8000) kicked off his "forums."

Here are some tired immigration-enthusiast clichés from Fote's opening remarks, recycled for the umpteenth time:

  • "Immigrants strengthen the U.S. economy and diversify the social fabric of our society.

  • "The [immigration] policy must contain a mechanism to reduce the backlog of families seeking to immigrate to the U.S."

  • "There must be a fundamental reassessment of U.S. immigration and migrant worker policies, practices and laws as a means of living up to our democratic values."

And at the Washington kick-off, Fote announced that First Data would establish a:

"…$10 million commitment to the communities we serve here and abroad. By creating the First Data Empowerment Fund, we are announcing our intention to act as a long-term and active participant in the dialogue relating to critical issues such as immigration reform and economic empowerment."

The first three Empowerment advisory board members are Raul Yzaguirre, president, National Council of La Raza; Salvador Gomez, chairman, Denver Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; and Robert de Posada, president, Latino Coalition (e-mail him: info@thelatinocoalition.com).

Fred Neihaus, First Data Senior Vice President, Public Affairs, will direct the advisory board. (e-mail him: fred.neihouse@firstdatacorp.com).

To the uninitiated, Fote's grand scheme may sound compassionate. And within the hushed environs of the National Press Club, Fote was no doubt persuasive.

But when in July the venue shifted to North High School in a Hispanic enclave of Denver, the brutal reality of Reconquista was on arrogant display.

Here follows, as chronicled by Fred Elbel and Mike McGarry of the Colorado Alliance for Immigration Reform, Bill Herron of Defend Colorado Now, and Marty Lich, a local educator and activist, are some of the comments made by Fote's handpicked henchmen:


  • Lisa Duran, Executive Director, "Derechos Por Todos" ("Rights for All People"), e-mail: meduran@ouray.cudenver.edu

    "…immigration policy that ceded to an enforcement approach that results in the criminalization of fundamentally human activities such as working, driving a car and moving to keep families together. The enforcement of American immigration policy is also tied to racist and nativist sentiments. [referring to Colorado's Matricula Consular ban]... the words immigrant and illegal, a complete and fundamental misnomer."


  • Thomas Saenz, Vice President, Litigation, Mexican American Legal Defense Fund:

    "We need to have a legalization program to reflect our values, including the centrality of family unification... We need to have national enforcement priorities for immigration systems. Currently in California, thousands and thousands of people live in fear because of widespread Border Patrol sweeps. I believe this kind of enforcement activity is not consistent with our values... I believe it is critical that comprehensive immigration reform includes a national principle of non-discrimination against people on the basis of immigration status."

    First Data Immigration Reform panel in Denver, July 22, 2004

Fote's motive for supporting these Reconquistas is equally brutal. First Data's core business is money transfer through its Western Union subsidiary. The company (and Fote) profit from more illegal immigration.

The simple formula: More Aliens= More Remittances = Higher First Data Profits= Higher Salary for Fote.

Fote lives differently than us. His $5 million annual salary is much higher than ours. Money, it appears, is important to Fote.

Power and money, however, aren't the most important differences between Fote and VDARE.COM readers. Unlike Fote, you and I care about what happens to America. We recognize the rule of law. And we recognize that for our nation and society to survive, laws must be obeyed.

Fote, raised by Italian-American parents who doubtless had the same virtues as mine, knows that too. Lately, though, Fote has chosen to ignore the common good in the interest of personal gain.

If it is true that you can tell a lot about a man's character by the company he keeps, then Fote and I will not be having dinner any time soon.

While reading my column, you no doubt have formed your own opinions about Fote's agenda. If so, you'll have an opportunity to express them.

More Empowerment meetings are scheduled for Nebraska and Texas. The company hasn't returned my calls asking for details, but I expect I'll find out. I can read the Spanish-language press! (If any VDARE.COM reader has information, let us know.)

And on September 8th, First Data is holding an investor and analyst conference at the St. Regis Hotel in New York. The formal presentation will begin at 8:00 AM, preceded by breakfast at 7:00 AM. If you can attend, e-mail investor.relations@firstdata.com

For those who live outside the New York area, the slide presentation will be available via web cast at www.firstdata.com. To participate in the conference via phone, call 1-888-831-9087.

Speak up.  Ask if it's really good business to sell out America.

I intend to say that in more than fifteen years of covering immigration, I have never seen greed so naked.

Joe Guzzardi [email him], an instructor in English at the Lodi Adult School, has been writing a weekly newspaper column since 1988. This column is exclusive to VDARE.COM.