Residents of Illinois' 16th congressional district have a message for Republican congressman Adam Kinzinger, stop supporting amnesty and work to secure the border.
That was the overwhelming thought behind Saturday's immigration town hall meeting at the Ottawa American Legion hall.
Before the start of the August recess Kinzinger was one of eleven GOP lawmakers to vote against a bill put forth by Tennessee congresswoman Marsha Blackburn and Texas Senator Ted Cruz that seeks to block President Obama from expanding his deferred deportation program, known as DACA, or from instituting any additional amnesty via executive order. That bill along with another to fund increased border security passed the House at the end of July, at present Senate majority leader Harry Reid has yet to call back the Senate to consider either of those bills.
Kinzinger's spokesman told Illinois Review after the vote that the congressman voted against the anti-DACA bill because it would only make the immigration situation more confusing and inefficient.
With Illinois Democrat congressman Lois Gutierrez saying that he expects President Obama to issue a new executive amnesty order within the next few weeks granting work or legal status to at least 5 million illegal immigrants the people of Kinzinger's district are upset at his lack of leadership on the issue.
From mandating universal compliance with E-verify to increasing the fines on employers who hire illegals, to fixing the anchor baby issue, those in attendance want Washington to take measures to stop the influx of illegal immigrants along the southern border.
Federation for American Immigration Reform's Susan Tully explained to attendees the situation on the border as she and several sheriffs from across the country experienced on a recent trip to border.
Among the thing Tully pointed out that could help the immigration problem was something as simple as mowing the grass along the US side of the Rio Grande river in Texas which is under federal control. Per the Environmental Protection Agency, the Border Patrol and others are prevented from cutting the grass and shrubbery along the river because of concerns over some small animal. This tall grass and other vegetation allows illegals to easily hide after they have crossed the Rio Grande, and provides cartel members excellent cover from which to fire upon Border agents.
Tully also pointed out that during her recent visit to Texas Border Patrol agents where not along the border protecting it, leaving that up to the Texas Department of Public Safety, but instead where at their field offices processing hundreds of illegal immigrants who turned themselves in the day prior.
Over the last several months a massive influx of immigrants from Central American countries have been flooding the Rio Grande valley with an estimated 60,000 of them being children to go along with approximately 100,000 adults. Currently the Obama administration has let nearly 40,000 of the "unaccompanied minors" stay with a sponsor(parent, relative, family friend) across the country with these illegal immigrant children being sent as far way as Hawaii, Alaska, and the Virgin Islands.
As I've been reporting the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement has sent 377 illegals to stay with sponsors in Illinois(175 of which are in either Cook, Lake, or DuPage counties), while Senator Mark Kirk has reported that nearly 750 more are being cared for by in and around the Chicagoland area by the Heartland Alliance.
The solution to the immigration problem, from the stand point of those who came to Saturday's town hall, is simple; enforce the immigration laws on the books, punish employers who hire illegals, cut them off from welfare, and the problem will almost completely fix itself. To get some of those solutions implemented one gentleman talked to folks about using an Article V Convention of States if not to fix immigration outright to at least impose term limits on career politicians and thus rid Congress of certain amnesty supporters like Arizona Senator John McCain.
For many the problem comes in how to get members of Congress like Adam Kinzinger to respond to the demands of the people instead of the wants of the likes of the US Chamber of Commerce who badly wants amnesty.
More than one attendee told of how they have called Kinzinger's office to give him a piece of their minds only to get a voicemail or a staffer who promptly ignores their concerns.
Naturally the first choice to fix someone like Kinzinger would be to vote them out of office in the primary; sadly Kinzinger easily defeated his Tea Party challenger David Hale back in March.
Any thought that Kinzinger's Democrat opponent in November Randall Olsen would be the recipient of the votes of those upset with Kinzinger's pro-amnesty position was quashed the second Olsen, who attended the town hall, opened his mouth and expressed his support for both amnesty and a pathway to citizenship. He didn't help his cause much either when he said he disagreed with the policy suggestions people had been making all afternoon.
One supporter of congressman Kinzinger attended the meeting and promptly made a fool of himself. Northern Illinois University political science student, and the last I knew a part of the leadership of the college's Young Republicans, Brandon Phillips attempted to malign event organizer Rosanna Pulido by asking about whether voter ID was a poll tax.
To say others around Brandon acted in disgust would be an understatement.
Whatever cute, gotcha, point Brandon was attempting to make fell flat, big time.
Brandon then proceeded to try and shame Rosanna into praising congressman Kinzinger because he had flown recon flights over the border as part of his Air Guard duties, in addition to his service flying refueling tankers over Iraq.
Rosanna took Brandon's ball and ran with it blasting the congressman for his vote against Blackburn's DACA bill and his continued support for amnesty when he should know better given he has seen what is going on first hand.
cross posted from USofArn.com