Q & A with Immigration Reform Advocate Frank Sharry

Frank Sharry discusses with TIME how the momentum for immigration reform can be stopped, and how the President and Gang of Eight differ in their plans for reform.

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REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Ana Castro, a member of Service Employees International Union (SEIU) United Service Workers West, chants after President Barack Obama's speech on immigration inside La Plaza United Methodist Church in Los Angeles, California January 29, 2013.

Frank Sharry is the founder and executive director of America’s Voice, a group which seeks a path to citizenship for immigrants and their families.   Before America’s Voice, Sharry served as the executive director of the National Immigration Forum  for 17 years.
The Senate’s Gang of Eight put forth a framework for immigration reform.  Are you pleased by what was introduced? What else should have been included?

The bipartisan Senate framework represents centrist, common sense approach to immigration reform.  It combines three key, interactive elements: a roadmap to citizenship for the nation’s 11 million undocumented immigrants; enforcement aimed at reducing illegal entry and illegal hiring; and reforms to our legal immigration system so that in the future immigrants go through the system rather than around it.  Done well and done together, these elements will result in an immigration system that is orderly and humane.  Immigrants settled here will be legally here and able to work their way towards citizenship; employers will be compelled to hire only those here legally; and immigrants arriving in the future will only be able to get work if they are here legally.  While there are questions how some of these elements will be detailed in legislation, the key aspects of workable and humane reform are present and have drawn strong bipartisan support.  That gives considerable momentum to the legislative process and gives rise to considerable optimism that it can get done in 2013.

How much daylight is there between the Gang of Eight framework and the President’s plan espoused in Las Vegas?

Not much.  Both share the same elements and both are premised on the idea that the combination of a path to citizenship, improvements to the legal immigration system and targeted enforcement efforts will turn a dysfunctional system into a legal and orderly one.  The President’s plan, however, is more detailed and better on some issues.  For example, he is clear that the path to citizenship for those who qualify should not be easy, but it should be clear, timely and straightforward.  This is in response to concerns regarding that the Senate plan conditions the path to citizenship in ways that might lead to delays of many decades for those aspiring to be citizens.

President Obama said that the “The differences are dwindling,” between the right and left on immigration, and Rush Limbaugh called Sen. Rubio’s efforts to enact reform “admirable and noteworthy.” What can now prevent an immigration bill from being signed into law?

We are thrilled by the momentum and support immigration reform is gaining from across the country and across the political spectrum.  Polling shows the American people support it.  The 2012 elections showed that Republicans need it.  The President’s speech today shows that Democrats want it.  But we shouldn’t underestimate the controversial nature of the immigration debate.  It tends to generate a lot of heat (and more heat than light) and hard line opponents in the GOP will undoubtedly try to demagogue and defeat reform.  The good news, from my perspective, is that these voices are increasingly marginalized.  It seems the American people are ready for a solution and both parties, for their respective reasons, seem poised to deliver it.

6 comments
DanielGenseric
DanielGenseric

"AFRICA FOR AFRICANS. ASIA FOR ASIANS. WHITE COUNTRIES FOR EVERYBODY!"

No one is asking whether or not China is ready for massive immigration of non-Chinese or that the Race problem will be solved when millions of non-Mexicans scramble across the border to Mexico. 

They only DEMAND every White country bring in MILLIONS of third world immigrants and assimilate with them. They say they are anti-racist. What they are is anti-white.

anti-racist is a code word for anti-white

DaveFrancis
DaveFrancis like.author.displayName 1 Like

Soon, very soon the hundreds of thousands of illegal alien hordes will descend upon us, encouraged after hearing the chatter from President Obama? Just as it was in 1986 with the Amnesty that brought even more pitiable, desperate, uneducated and criminal migrants and immigrants either through a spotty fencing or telling passport control that they were here as visitors after arriving at the terminal. I have always been convinced that was no real effort to either seal our borders or even set up a tracking system for airline arrivals. It’s inconceivable that if such laws had been enacted, this ongoing illegal alien invasion should never have reached this height of this foreign population. In addition--if these people had been facing a FELONY and the fact was broadcast, the numbers of welfare invaders would have been minimal. If a real fence had been build comparable to the one constructed in Israel to stop murdering terrorists, we would NOT be confronted by this financial ordeal.

AMERICAN TAXPAYERS MUST DEMAND THE 2006 SECURE FENCE ACT LAW, WHICH JUST SPUTTERED OUT, BECAUSE OF DEMOCRATS CUTTING AWAY AT THE FUNDING. THIS WAS A DOUBLE TALL LAYER FENCING, WITH A NO-MANS TRACK IN BETWEEN FOR HIGH SPEEDING ICE VEHICLES FOR INTERVENTION OF DRUGS, ILLEGAL ALIENS AND OTHER CRIMINAL ACTIVITY. AMERICAN TAXPAYERS MUST DEMAND THAT ALL AIRLINE PASSENGERS ARE TRACKED SO THEY CANNOT OVERSTAY THEIR VISA. Instead we have miles of open areas, with nothing but a drooping cattle fencing or nothing at all. Just open land where the landowners live in peril for their lives, after time and again their homes have been burglarized.

In the last few day Senators from both political parties have potentially sealed the fate of 23 million out-of-work Americans, because of the intention of giving working visas to 11 million illegal aliens, who would be able to join the job marketplace. Then we have President Obama delivering a provocation dirge in the rampant illegal alien hive in Nevada. Next to the mostly Liberal population of California illegal alien families have amassed in the Silver state. Why do you think Nevada had the highest number of home foreclosures, because real estate entities, sold subprime (also known as Ninja loans) properties to people who could not afford them; the majority being low income and many being foreign nationals.

Sen. Harry Reid, a real piece of ugly Socialism, refused to enact the “LEGAL WORKFORCE BILL, he and his group of cronies wouldn’t even pass a federal budget and in those same 4 previous years he has been instrumental in not passing any new bills. Then again, in those same four years when the Liberal Democrats held supreme power in the Senate and House they could have easily have passed any Comprehensive Immigration Reform, but failed to do so.Years of chaos has brought upon us CHAIN FAMILY MIGRATION and now the DREAM ACT controversy. Now we are faced with some form of blanket amnesty and unknown numbers of illegal aliens already here, and with no doubt in my mind thousand on the way after hearing Obama’s the same Path to Citizenship call. There is no voice of reason in this, no restrictions in giving illegal aliens a reward for breaking our poorly enforced laws. I have already heard thousands of times of voices, that Obama’s decision would mean a larger part of the illegal minorities, once gaining citizenship would vote for this Liberal-Socialist agenda, whether immigration or anything that comes along.

All we are doing is importing more poverty, which may do the dirty jobs, but as a larger percentage uses public welfare problems. This may be good for the companies, who sell products or services, but overall it should be an overwhelming concern to everybody who legally lives here. If you don’t already know THE DREAM ACT policy of Obama, are the consequences of smuggled infants and the unborn into America. The “Anchor Baby” enigma is the effect of foreign nationals arriving here and having as many children as they can, as a foothold. It guarantees under the present law that illegal aliens with a four to six babies will not be deported, although the law states they are still liable. That’s why the Birthright Citizenship law must be amended, to stop this racket. Each year hundreds of billions of dollars go into the pockets of newly minted child citizens for the parents and the whole financial burden is felt by Americans taxpayers.

It don’t matter what side of the political spectrum anybody is in, this issues affect us all, in taxes and in the future energy and water availability. To make yourself known to your Senator or Congressional person, call central government phone service at (202) 224-3121. A switchboard operator will connect you directly with the Senate office or the Congressional House Representatives. FIND THE TIME AS IT’S YOUR TAXES THEY ARE SPENDING TO AUGMENT THE IMPOVERISHED PEOPLE’S OF FOREIGN COUNTRIES.

Forums4Justice
Forums4Justice

The 1986 Reagan Amnesty was projected to provide citizenship to between, 1.1, and 1.3, million illegal aliens.....

3.4 million illegal aliens received citizenship

What makes anyone think the ratio will be any different this time around? 

the fools in Congress?

IF, we, the people, choose to help illegal immigrants, we will do so in their own countries, not in ours

Forums4Justice
Forums4Justice

There are currently 8 million illegal immigrants working in, non-agriculture, on-the-books, American jobs, by using false, or stolen, SS numbers. Only 7% of employers are presently using E-Verify. ...Mandate, and ENFORCE, E-Verify, for ALL jobs, for ALL employees, and for any entitlement. DHS receives continuing employer/employee SS number mismatch lists from the SSA. The SSA also sends out millions of mismatch letters to employers, but due to the lack of any real enforcement, by DHS, in this area, these notices are largely ignored. Make the SSA employer/employee mismatch list available to the public, and allow the public to address the problem.

24AheadDotCom
24AheadDotCom like.author.displayName 1 Like

This post starts with a lie. Sharry's group doesn't want a "path to citizenship for immigrants". Immigrants already have a "path", Sharry wants a "path" for illegal aliens.

This post's questions could have been written by Sharry himself. Any amnesty would be a huge effort with huge downsides, yet this post doesn't ask Sharry about any of that. We're talking about legislation that would impact hundreds of millions of people, and Alex Rogers approaches the subject like a write of Tiger Beat would.

We know Sharry's former group got money from corporations (that profit from increased immigration), but so far I haven't been able to determine who's funded AmericasVoice (aside from Soros). A real reporter would ask Sharry that question: is he getting money from growers, chicken processors, big banks, and others who'd profit from more illegal immigration and from an amnesty?

For the facts about Sharry, see my coverage: http://24ahead.com/s/frank-sharry

Compare that to Alex Rogers' questions.

wgberger
wgberger

Washington is working hard to drive the U.S. population to one BILLION people by increasing immigration. This will allow us to pave over the country and impoverish the Middle Class.

Thank you Frank Sharry and the phalanx of people working overtime to destroy the country.