Friday, May 18, 2012

Border Legislative Conference

The Border Legislative Conference began in 2002 and is comprised of legislative representatives from states along the US/Mexico border.  Members meet regularly to discuss issues relating to the border.

In 2003, the BLC declared:

Whereas, the goal of the Border Legislative Conference is to empower border state legislators to engage in the binational agenda and provide input and direction in the development of policy between both countries;

On the subject of  IMMIGRATION:  (pay attention to the number of immigration buzz words)

The members of the Border Legislative Conference conducted an open and passionate discussion on the topic of immigration. Participating legislators strongly reaffirmed their call on the federal governments of the United States and Mexico to work towards the implementation of a comprehensive immigration accord that addresses the United States’ demand for workers and the border security needs of both countries.

Some of the concepts which were adopted at the conference included:

    • Limited state resources should not be diverted to support policies and initiatives that tolerate or result in racial profiling in border communities;

    • It is the United States government’s obligation to fund and oversee a well-trained Border Patrol acting consciously of basic human rights of immigrants;

    • Legislation, or any acts that violate the human rights of immigrants, documented or undocumented, should be condemned. Law enforcement agencies, both federal and state, must treat all immigrants with respect and dignity and adhere to the legal rights they are entitled under state, federal or international treaties, especially the rights of minors through the utilization of procedures and programs that protect them;

    Legislation that focuses solely on enforcement will be ineffective. Border legislators support fair and comprehensive immigration legislation that balances border security concerns with recognition of the U.S. demand for workers in the numerous sectors of the U.S. labor force, including agriculture, construction, and the service economy;

    • Border legislators support laws that offer a path to citizenship, under clearly defined guidelines, to immigrants who have demonstrated citizenship, paid taxes, and birthed children and grandchildren;

    • A temporary worker program that allows employers to sponsor low-skilled immigrant workers to obtain residence status should be supported. Undocumented students under the age of 21 should be able to satisfy the requirements under such a program by attending an institution of higher education or a secondary school full-time;

    • Border legislators support legislation that provides a larger number of employment and family-based residency cards to promote family unification and reduce backlogs in application processing;

    • The ongoing implementation of the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America between the U.S., Canada and Mexico, aimed at establishing a common security strategy, competitiveness, quality of life, and to promote economic growth by streamlining the secure movement of low-risk traffic across our shared borders, should be supported;

    • Border legislators support legislation that authorizes additional federal funds to states and local governments for reimbursement of the indirect costs relation to the incarceration of undocumented immigrants should be supported; as well as for the health and educational needs of immigrant populations;

  • Discourage state legislation aimed at taxing immigrants' remittances; and border legislators recognize and respect signed international immigration agreements between United States and Mexico.

  • Remember 2003?  Jeff Flake, John McCain and Jim Kolbe were trying to push through their idea of "Comprehensive Immigration Reform".  It was so much to the liking of immigration activist, Frank Sherry, that his response was,

    Fast Forward to 2008:

  • Legislators from the State of Sonora presented members of the Border Legislative Conference a resolution expressing strong concerns regarding the adoption and implementation of an employer sanctions law in the State of Arizona. The law imposes penalties on employers that knowingly or intentionally hire undocumented immigrants in Arizona. The resolution was unanimously supported by Mexico members of the Border Legislative Conference. Mexico members requested the Chair and Vice Chair of the Border Legislative Conference that the document be included in the meeting minutes to ensure the expressions and concerns of the Mexico delegation regarding this law are recorded.

  • So, we are not allowed to pass laws and create policy unless they are first approved by other nations?  Sounds like one of the excuses the US attorney used when he argued recently in front of the Supreme Court over portions of SB1070.  What happened to sovereignty?  What are we even doing agreeing to resolutions with other countries that are not in our nation's best interest?

    The Mexican BLC representatives were upset by the E-Verify bill which passed the Arizona legislature in 2007.  The same bill which sparked a lawsuit against the state of Arizona and which one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit was  Maricopa County Board of Supervisors candidate, Steve Chucri.

    (Chucri, President of the Arizona Restaurant Association, is seen standing on the far right, next to Jason LeVecke, Carl's Jr. franchise owner, and Mac Magruder who owns several McDonalds franchises in the valley.  Businesses that depend on cheap labor).

    There was another BLC conference held in San Diego around the same week in April 2008.  According to the minutes, they also discussed immigration:

    The members of the Border Legislative Conference unanimously adopted Resolution 2005-
    01 urging the federal governments of the United States and Mexico to accelerate discussions
    on the topic of immigration. The resolution also expresses concerns over the current impasse
    in the United States Congress on immigration reform, as well as a lack of progress on
    practical and comprehensive legislative solutions to address this important matter.

    They also appointed then Representative, Amanda Aguirre to the BLC Health Committee.  She certainly knows all about how to take advantage of   utilize healthcare resources at the border.

    Jeff Flake was again trying to push through comprehensive immigration reform around the same time.

    In 2011, the BLC claimed they supported immigration policy that included:

    • ...fair and comprehensive immigration legislation that balances border security concerns with recognition of the U.S. need for workers in certain sectors, and that does not preclude them from consideration from eventual citizenship;

    • A comprehensive, bipartisan immigration approach that is endorsed by immigrant advocates, and other important stakeholders such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Service Employees International Union, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and the Western Growers Association, as well as their counterparts in Mexico. Additionally, the Utah Compact, which was recently adopted, should be seriously considered by the U.S. Western States.

    • ...supports a more humane and appropriate family-friendly system aimed at the legal residency of young people who were involuntarily taken to the U.S. when they were children, who attended school, and who are currently attending an institution of higher education in the U.S.;

    • Increase the quotas of employment and increase family based green cards to promote family unification and reduce waiting times for the consideration of their application;

    US Chamber of Commerce? 

    (Director of US Chamber of Commerce in 2007 giving Flake an award at the Arizona Employers for Immigration Reform conference)


    (Eliseo Medina is a representative of the SEIU seen here at the Supreme Court Hearing on Arizona's immigration bill)

    US Conference of Catholic Bishops?  The same group who has ties to radical organizations such as the Center for Community Change who promotes abortion and gay marriage?  (Jerry Lewis should be familiar with CCC.  They donated at least $9000 of "in kind" donations to Promise Arizona during the recall election and who then canvassed on Lewis' behalf. They also were represented at the Supreme Court hearing.)

    Western Growers Association?
    The same group who signed off on the Arizona Accord along with groups like Chicanos por la Causa, IAF affiliated organizations, and Jerry Lewis?  The group that bemoans any kind of enforcement legislation to combat illegal immigration?

    Did we mention that Rep Russ Jones is one of the members of the BLC appointed to represent Arizona?
    Stay tuned for more connections....