Saturday, February 16, 2008

More on the Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis

A commenter asked how I determined that the Commonwealth Institute was a front group for organizations which support illegal immigration.

Rather than respond in a comment, I thought I'd put the information here in a new post, since the thrust of my previous post was to debunk the study, not discuss the organization.

First, according to the article, the Commonwealth Institute's purpose is "to counter some anti-illegal immigrant sentiment in the legislature." The article also says:

"Some of the strongest voices against immigration in Virginia have characterized undocumented immigrants as takers, as people who do not contribute to our state and to our community. This research clearly demonstrates that they are wrong,'' said Michael Cassidy, executive director of the organization.

Note the use of the terms "immigration" rather than "illegal immigration", and later "undocumented immigrants" rather than "illegal immigrants" or more accurately "illegal aliens". These are the phrases used by pro-illegal groups.

If you go to the Commonwealth Institute web site, and look at the bottom of the main page, you will see that the copyright for the page is "Virginia Interfaith Center". Further, the Institute's spokesperson Michael Cassidy is a lobbyist for the Interfaith Center., which VPAP says deals with "Fiscal Policies with a focus on how they affect low-income Virginians."

Next, we go to the Virginia Interfaith Center web site's partners page. We find the following groups:

Interfaith Worker Justice, which provides this statement on immigration, which includes:

Legalize the status of immigrant workers and their families, especially those who come to
the U.S. fleeing oppression and destitution.

Create a clear and easy path for immigrants, including “guest workers,” to legalize their
status, and to make this policy as broad and far-reaching as possible with the least amount of
restrictions, thus helping newcomers exercise their labor rights without fear of job termination
or deportation.

Create a climate in which families with a mix of citizens, legal residents, and undocumented
immigrants would gain protection, so that they would no longer fear forced separation or
relocation because a family member is detained or deported.

Virginia Alliance For Worker Justice, which highlights this article decrying Prince William's arrest of illegal immigrant day laborers.

The Virginia Organizing Project, which published the article "Hurting immigrants won't fix the immigration problem", which says in part:

Virginia also benefits from the hard labor of a huge workforce of both documented and undocumented immigrants working for low pay.
This past spring, millions of our immigrant brothers, sisters, co-workers, friends and neighbors took to the streets and marched for justice. At issue was a piece of federal legislation that would have turned millions of hardworking immigrants into felons. Their protest message was simple: ‘We are not criminals. We are here to work and support our families.’
This session, the Virginia Justice Center will be working with VOP and our other community partners to ensure that the General Assembly recognizes the contributions of Virginia’s immigrants. Immigrant-bashing to score political points will not go unchallenged. The Virginia Justice Center asks you to be ready to oppose anti-immigrant proposals like these that will probably come up this year:
  • Bills that would stop local governments from using local funding to offer services to many immigrant residents of their communities;
  • Bills that would prevent many of Virginia’s immigrant children from going on to college either through bans on college admission or access to in-state tuition;
  • Bills that would undermine community policing efforts and increase racial profiling by calling for local and state police to try to enforce immigration law, instead of leaving immigration enforcement to trained federal agents; and,
  • Bills that would mean more frustrated people at DMV desperately searching for the right combination of documents and lead to even more unlicensed drivers on Virginia’s roads.

They are also associated with SALT (Social Action Linking Together), which published their 2008 agenda containing this:

Perhaps immigration is the most disappointing issue faced by NETWORK in 2007. At the beginning of 2007 the popular wisdom was that we would get the McCain/Kennedy bill from 2006 through the Senate and then have rough sledding in the House. We did not adequately factor in the reluctance of Senators to vote for that bill when they knew that the House would not make it more restrictive. As a consequence, despite two valiant attempts to pass comprehensive immigration reform in the Senate, nothing was accomplished. All sides are now reverting to piecemeal attempts to move the issue forward. NETWORK continues to make comprehensive immigration reform a key issue, especially in the 2008 election.

I think this sufficiently demonstrates that the organizations teamed up with Virginia Interfaith Center and the "Institute" are pro-illegal-immigrant, or as they say "undocumented immigrants".


Anonymous said...

i looked at both web sites and neither one seems pro-alien. I guess you are making some assumptions based on associations. I ask because there is an article written by the Family Foundation and the Interfaith Council that I read a few weeks back and I did not realize that the Family Foundation worked with pro-alien groups.

I actually first read about the Commonwealth Institute over at Bacon's Rebellion when he offered a positive review a recent report of theirs - I did not know that Bacon's Rebellion was pro-alien either.

Gosh, it seems like everyone is pro-alien these days. It makes you want to not associate with anyone and just hide in the closet.... not that I would want to be associated with people in the closet, either.

A said...

These studies hold just as much credence as any released by Federation for American Immigration Reform or its subsidiaries which are distinctly anti-immigrant. What, are we supposed to believe them when they claim that immigrants cost 300 million dollars to state residents?