Hardball Questions On Immigration To Ask Your [Feckless] Rep Or Senator(s) At Townhalls

On Radio Derb a month ago, His Excellency John Derbyshire recounted his quizzing of visiting Repub presidential wannabees about immigration policy when these exalted beings showed up at the National Review offices to strut their stuff before the assembled staff:

It was eye-opening, just how little these supposed masters of policy knew about U.S. immigration and how obviously unwilling they were even to begin thinking about it. I might as well have been asking them about conjugation of verbs in ancient Sanskrit.

If you ever find yourself falling into the way of thinking that these people we trudge out to vote for every four years are philosopher kings, let me tell you: Just sit at a table with one of them and ask him about immigration policy. That’ll cure you.

Similarly, with a few honorable exceptions (Senator Jeff Sessions and Representatives Lou Barletta, Steve King, Marsha Blackburn, Lamar Smith, Ed Royce, and Dana Rohrabacher come immediately to mind), gibbering inanities are the most likely responses if you ask a question about immigration at a townhall meeting of your congressman/woman or either of your senators.

Nevertheless, it’s worthwhile to attend and — if you can muscle your way to the microphone — ask pointed questions on immigration for which the usual pap (“We’re a nation of immigrants!!”) clearly isn’t responsive.  Besides putting your target on notice that such mindless pap actually falls quite short when dealing with knowledgeable questioners, your appearance can also educate the rest of the audience and encourage them to “look beyond the pap” in thinking about immigration.

It’s now late in the current season of townhall meetings held by congresspeople and senators during this “district work period,” but more than twenty are still to happen before Congress returns to our imperial capital, the week after Labor Day.  The remaining ones, from August 21 on, are listed at the end of this note, taken from a compendium assembled by the proprietor of the immigration-focused and information-packed website 24ahead.com.

Importantly, that anonymous website proprietor has also assembled lists of dandy questions to use at such townhalls, both now and at any future opportunities.  Further, these questions can also be the basis for letters-to-the-editor and can be used in customizing the faxes you send via NumbersUSA.  (For the latter, the postscript is a great place to use a pointed question, as it’s more likely, when inserted there, to have an impact on a congressional staffer’s consciousness.)

The set of questions for use with Republican big-shots is here [on the left; scroll down].  Questions primarily targeting Democrat pooh-bahs are here.  And immediately below, I list a subset of each.   I’ve modified the wording of some questions,  mixed up their order, and added my own numbering.  (Below the two subsets of questions is that list or remaining townhall dates and places.)

Questions for Republicans

R1. After mass legalization, will some ex-illegal aliens move up in the job market and compete with Americans they couldn’t compete with before?

R2. After mass legalization, if some ex-illegal aliens move up in the job market, will there be fewer crop-pickers, etc.?

R3. Because of that, won’t growers take steps to enable future illegal immigration, as they do now?

R4. Please give at least two specific downsides to comprehensive immigration “reform.”

R5. Would “comprehensive immigration reform” be a massive amnesty for businesses that knowingly hired illegal aliens—yes or no?

R6. Pretend for a second that you’re Obama, Reid, or Pelosi. Why do you want immigration “reform” so much? What’s your motive?

R7. You want to legalize millions of illegal aliens. Will that give more power to the far-left—yes or no?

R8. Why do the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Walmart, McDonald’s, et al. want immigration “reform” so much? What’s their motive?

R9. You want higher STEM [science, technology, engineering, mathematics] immigration. Are STEM wages increasing at a rate that would indicate that there’s a shortage of STEM workers?

R10. You based your stance for more STEM-worker immigration on what hi-tech executives say. Could they be lying?

R11. Can you think of any downsides to increased STEM-worker immigration?

R12. Would many unemployed Americans do farm or similar labor if they were paid enough?

R13. An illegal alien and a similar U.S. citizen apply for one college slot. Whom do you give it to? (So, will you oppose the DREAM Act?)

R14. Besides “comprehensive immigration reform” and mass deportations, can you think of any alternatives, or is it just those two? (One alternative is attrition. If you disagree with attrition, please explain why.)

R15. At current rates, it’d take 5-10 years for the FBI to do background checks on 10 million illegal aliens. Is that acceptable?

R16. Would less-than-FBI-quality background checks be a acceptable?

R17. If you legalized illegal aliens but allowed them no chance at citizenship, how would the ACLU, NCLR [la Raza], LULAC, SPLC, etc. respond?

R18. About how many people worldwide have lower incomes than the average Mexican?  (An answer within +/– one billion is OK.)

R19. Sheldon Adelson claimed today’s immigration is just like that of yesteryear.  He’s wrong.  What are some  differences between then and now?

R20. Is it accurate to call the USA a “nation of immigrants”?  What about the vast majority of us who were born here?  Shouldn’t the phrase be a “nation of citizens”?

R21. Is farm labor heavily subsidized?  e.g. Does an illegal-alien-farmworker couple who have two kids in school pay sufficient taxes to cover the public benefits their family receives?

Questions for Democrats

D1. What impact will former illegal aliens moving up in the job market have on U.S. citizens in those jobs now?

D2. In 2006, then-senator Joe Biden supported punishing illegal aliens’ employers. How many criminal prosecutions of such scofflaws have there been since Biden became vice-president in 2009?

D3. Pretend you’re a small town Wal-Mart cashier. Will immigration reform create new competitors for your job –yes or no?

D4. Some number of illegal aliens won’t take part in “reform”. Should we search for and deport them — or what?

D5. If, after “reform,” you’ll find and deport potentially hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens, why won’t you do that now?

D6. Has there been a spike in inflation-adjusted farm labor wages that would indicate a shortage of farmworkers?

D7. If politicians had really wanted to enforce our immigration laws, would there be so many illegal aliens in the U.S.—yes or no?

D8. Vice-President Biden said that after immigration reform, “pay levels will go up”. Is that why Big Business wants it so much?

D9. Do you and the Koch brothers generally agree on the need for increased immigration?

D10. Assume that “comprehensive immigration reform” includes big increases in “guest workers.”  Will you send back to their own countries termed-out “guests” who’ve had kids here?

D11. Does any immigration bill that you know of punish businesses that knowingly employ illegal aliens?

D12. Isn’t immigration reform “amnesty” in the sense that businesses that have knowingly employed illegal aliens won’t be fined?

D13. If immigration “reform” that includes more enforcement passes, will you then urge ACLU/SPLC/NCLR/etc. to fully support it?

D14. If those who’ve died crossing the border had known they couldn’t get a job here, would fewer of them have tried to cross?

D15. AFL-CIO chief Richard Trumka said “Wages are not going up, which indicates there is no shortage.” Is he right or wrong?

D16. Citizenship for illegal aliens will give them political power. Who will lose political power as a result?  

List of remaining townhall meetings

(There’s also a NumbersUSA page that places remaining townhall meetings on a map.  You can zoom in using the magnification control in the map’s lower-right corner.  As there isn’t 100 percent agreement between the map and the list below, it makes sense to check both.)

8/21/2014

Time: 6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Politician: Rep. Gene Green (Democrat)
State: TX
City: Houston
Address: High Meadows Branch Library (Meeting Room) 4500 Aldine Mail Route Houston, Texas 77039
==
Time: 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Politician: Rep. John Shimkus (Republican)
State: IL
City: Salem
Address: State Representative John Cavaletto’s office 1370 West Main Street, Suite A, Salem, IL
==
Time: 5 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Politician: Rep. David Valadao (Republican)
State: CA
City: Hanford
Address: Congressman Valadao’s Hanford Office 101 North Irwin Street, Suite 110B Hanford, California 93230
==
Time: 7 p.m.
Politician: Sen. Mike Lee (Republican)
State: UT
City: Draper
Address: 1225 East 13200 South, Draper, UT
==
Time: 4 p.m.
Politician: Rep. Peter DeFazio (Democrat)
State: OR
City: Veneta
Address: 88184 8th St., Veneta, OR
==
Time: 11 a.m.
Politician: Rep. Peter DeFazio (Democrat)
State: OR
City: Florence
Address: 1460 9th St.. Florence, OR

8/23/2014

Time: 3 p.m.
Politician: Sen. Johnny Isakson (Republican)
State: GA
City: Forsyth
Address: 68 North Lee Street, Forsyth, GA 31029
==
Time: 9 a.m. – 10 a.m.
Politician: Rep. Donna Edwards (Democrat)
State: MD
City: Hyattsville
Address: Shortcake Bakery 4700 Rhode Island Ave Hyattsville, MD 20781

8/24/2014

Time: 3 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Politician: Rep. Brad Sherman (Democrat)
State: CA
City: Lake Balboa
Address: Birmingham High School 17000 Haynes St., Lake Balboa

8/25/2014

Time: 7 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Politician: Rep. Rob Woodall (Republican)
State: GA
City: Lawrenceville
Address: Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center, 75 Langley Drive, Lawrenceville, Georgia 30046
==
Time: 6 p.m.
Politician: Rep. Tom McClintock (Republican)
State: TX
City: Rocklin
Address: Rocklin Event Center 2650 Sunset Boulevard, Rocklin, TX
==
Time: 2:30
Politician: Sen. Johnny Isakson (Republican)
State: GA
City: Covington
Address: 239 Cedar Lane, Covington, GA 30014
==
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Politician: Rep. Peter DeFazio (Democrat)
State: OR
City: Eugene
Address: 2580 Hilyard St, Eugene, OR

8/26/2014

Time: 6:30 p.m.
Politician: Rep. Bill Pascrell (Democrat)
State: NJ
City: Clifton
Address: City of Clifton Municipal Building – Council Chambers 900 Clifton Avenue Clifton, NJ 07013
==
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Politician: Rep. Tom Cole (Republican)
State: OK
City: Newcastle
Address: Newcastle Community Center 705 NW 10th Street Newcastle, OK 73065
==
Time: 6 p.m.
Politician: Rep. Sam Farr (Democrat)
State: CA
City: Hollister
Address: 481 4th Street, 1st Floor Hollister, CA
==
Time: 7 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Politician: Rep. Rob Woodall (Republican)
State: GA
City: Cumming
Address: University of North Georgia-Cumming Campus, 300 Aquatic Circle, Room 125, Cumming, Georgia 30040
==
Time: 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Politician: Rep. Gene Green (Democrat)
State: TX
City: Houston
Address: Reveille/Park Place Civic Club Charlton Park Community Center 8200 Park Place Blvd. Houston, Texas 77017

8/27/2014

Time: 7 p.m.
Politician: Sen. Mike Lee (Republican)
State: UT
City: Ephraim
Address: 150 East College Ave, Ephraim, UT
==
Time: 4 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Politician: Rep. Jared Polis (Democrat)
State: CO
City: Berthoud
Address: Berthoud Area Community Center 248 Welch Ave. Berthoud, CO 80513
==
Time: 12 p.m.
Politician: Rep. Tom Cole (Republican)
State: OK
City: Purcell
Address: McClain County Community Center 1721 Hardcastle Boulevard Purcell, OK 73080
==
Time: 1 p.m.
Politician: Sen. Johnny Isakson (Republican)
State: GA
City: Young Harris
Address: 1 College Street, Young Harris, GA 30582
==
Time: 2:30 p.m.
Politician: Sen. Johnny Isakson (Republican)
State: GA
City: Griffin
Address: 1109 Experiment Street, Griffin, GA 30223

8/28/2014

Time: 6:30 p.m.
Politician: Rep. Sam Farr (Democrat)
State: CA
City: Santa Cruz
Address: 900 High Street Santa Cruz, CA
==
Time: 7 p.m.
Politician: Sen. Mike Lee (Republican)
State: UT
City: St. George
Address: 224 South 700 East, St. George, UT
==
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Politician: Rep. Doug Collins (Republican)
State: GA
City: Lavonia
Address: 1269 E. Main Street, Lavonia, GA 30553

9/4/2014

Time: 2:30 p.m.
Politician: Sen. Johnny Isakson (Republican)
State: GA
City: Brunswick
Address: College of Coastal Georgia 1 College Drive, Brunswick, GA 31520

9/6/2014

Time: 9 a.m. – 10 a.m.

Politician: Rep. David Valadao (Republican)

State: CA

City: Kerman

Address: Kerman Senior Center 720 South 8th Street Kerman, California 93630

More information