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9/11 Families Get No Respect in Washington
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August 06, 2004, 05:00 AM
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In July, two members of 9/11 Families for a Secure America—Bruce De Cell, father-in-law of Mark Petrocelli  and Joan Molinaro, mother of New York firefighter Carl Molinaro  both murdered at the World Trade Center on 9/11 — lobbied 20 U.S. Senators about the threats amnesty poses to national security.

De Cell and Molinaro came away from Washington shaking their heads in dismay over the shallow, callous behavior shown to them.

"Most Senators seemed uninformed and generally not interested in any specifics," De Cell told me. "The message we got was that our concerns are off-point from what the Senate wants to do. We wanted to focus on the loopholes in pending legislation that terrorists can take advantage of. They want to promote more illegal immigration."

De Cell and Molinaro specifically argued against S. 1645, the AgJOBS guest worker amnesty and S.1545, the DREAM Act, a student amnesty.  And De Cell and Molinaro wanted to encourage Senate support for Senator Jeff Sessions` bill, S. 1906, the Homeland Security Enhancement Act 1603563 which would give state and local enforcement the authority to detain criminal illegal aliens.

Bruce and Joan did not get very far.

Here are notes and observations made by Molinaro regarding some of the low points of their visit:

  • Senator John Kerry (D-MA.), co-sponsor of S.1645, "We met with Legislative Correspondent Kate Joyce who was rude and condescending. Joyce never took notes but simply said that the Senator knew what he was doing. She lost my vote for Kerry."

  • Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), co-sponsor of S.1645, "Wyden told me, `you will never get me to change my mind. We grow wonderful strawberries and we need the workers. You should come to see our strawberry fields and then you will understand.` I shot back, `so it is more important to protect strawberries than human lives? You should come to New York to visit my son`s cemetery.` I couldn`t believe it. I am talking about my murdered son and he is talking about strawberries!"

  • Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), co-sponsor of S.1645, "The Senator did not show up even though she had confirmed the appointment. Her Legislative Assistant, Todd Wooten, never even looked at us. He did not take notes and did not seem interested."

  • Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), co-sponsor, S.1645 and S.1545, "The Senator was very abrupt. She was on the run and said `you don`t have to tell me your stories. We lost a lot of Californians since the planes were coming to Los Angeles.` According to the Senator, she is tough on security and law enforcement. But she believes that illegal aliens should earn amnesty."

Among the few high points was a visit with Senator Trent Lott (R-MS) – ironic, in view of Lott`s lynching for alleged insensitivity in 2002. Molinaro wrote in her diary:

"The Senator really wanted to meet with us. He looked at the pictures of Mark and John. And he asked us a lot of questions that seemed to show he understood our point of view. About immigration, Senator Lott said, `every time we have a reform, we make it worse.` I felt this was the only meeting we had where someone cared."

I asked Molinaro to summarize her feelings about her time on the Hill. She replied:

"I kept asking myself over and over, `why did they agree to meet with us only to be rude? They knew what we wanted to talk about.` But they just don`t seem to have a clue. They want all these things for illegal aliens like amnesty and driver`s licenses. I guess they don`t know or don`t care that the 19 hijackers had 63 different licenses among them. And they certainly didn`t care about the losses Bruce and I suffered."

Molinaro continued,

"What do these people in Washington DC care about? I asked them repeatedly how they would feel if the fourth plane had hit the Senate Building and they had lost loved ones. Would things be different then? I could not get a straight answer."

Questioned about President Bush, Molinaro said,

"I`m no fan of his. I have written to him many times without an answer. I have said, `Mr. President, I want to sit down with you just like you sit down with the Saudi families that you have invited to the White House. I want you to treat me with the same decency and respect you treat the Saudi princes.` Of course, I get no reply."

As for her most private emotions, Joan told me:

"Sometimes when I go to bed at night I ask the Lord not to let me wake up. I just want to be with my son. But the next day I go on anyway and not for myself.  I go on so that others will never have to experience what my family did. But I am sure it will happen again. At least when I am finally with my son, I know he will say to me, `Mom, you did all you could.`

"I have a granddaughter Sabrina and a grandson Thomas who was not even a month old when Carl was killed. I am keeping a scrapbook of all the articles that will tell the truth about how and why 9/11 happened. My grandchildren will study this whole chapter in their history classes. But they will never learn the true version in a classroom. I`m keeping the clippings so that they will know how America`s leaders betrayed the country."

Before I said good-bye to Bruce and Joan, I reminded them that most Americans are squarely in their corner. As VDARE.COM reported last week, S. 1645 and S.1545 are stalled in Congress. This is a huge triumph for all activists.

One day at a time, we`re moving closer to true reform. 

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.