A group of conservative organizations are headed to Richmond, VA, on Monday evening to protest the Senate “Gang of Eight” immigration bill and ongoing House GOP leadership efforts to try to produce a similar legislative solution.
The event, being put on by NumbersUSA, Tea Party Patriots, Eagle Forum, and The Remembrance Project, is the first stop of a “Stop Amnesty Tour” the groups are leading across the country. Speakers at the event include Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) National Council president Chris Crane, NumbersUSA executive director Roy Beck, Remembrance Project director Maria Espinoza, Progressives for Immigration Reform executive director Leah Durant (who led the March For Jobs against amnesty in Washington, D.C., last month), and many other leaders in this battle.
The event starts at 6 p.m. on Monday in Richmond’s Jefferson Park. Technically, the event is actually located in the district of Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA), but organizers say Richmond was really chosen because it is the political base of House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA). Cantor’s district is minutes away from Jefferson Park. It also is a couple-hour-long drive from the district of House Judiciary Committee chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA).
“While the rally is being held in Rep. Bobby Scott’s district, it neighbors the district of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor who will play a major role in the fate of any amnesty bill in the House,” organizers said in an email to press about the purpose of the location of the event.
NumbersUSA’s director of government relations Rosemary Jenks added in an email to Breitbart News that the event’s location is designed to put a focus on Cantor and Goodlatte specifically.
“The Monday Town Hall we are co-sponsoring with Tea Party Patriots, Eagle Forum, and The Remembrance Project, is obviously designed to drive home to Virginia Representatives, including Leader Cantor and Chairman Goodlatte, that the voters of Virginia want our laws to be enforced and our borders and workplaces secured now,” Jenks said. “Only after that has happened can we have a reasonable debate about the millions of illegal aliens already in our country. Common sense tells us that we must shut off the flow first. The location of the rally in an area of tragically high unemployment is intended to remind Virginia’s Congressmen that their first priority should be the 20 million Americans who want a full-time job but can’t find one.”
In a phone interview with Breitbart News, Espinoza of the Remembrance Project–an organization dedicated to giving voices to victims of crimes by illegal aliens that specifically result in death–echoed Jenks’ sentiments. Cantor’s pushing of a GOP-version of a DREAM Act, specifically called the KIDS Act, Espinoza said she thinks is part of a plan that GOP leaders had “all along to give some sort of legalization.”
“The DREAM Act was only an avenue to legalize all the people who did not ask for permission to come to our country,” she said. “I think that once you start down the path as well, which is what we have been saying all along, it’s just–it’s wrong. It’s rewarding those who have no regard for our laws. There are people who are in line waiting to become citizens who appreciate our country and who respect America and Americans and they’re doing it the right way.”
As Breitbart News’ Tony Lee reported last week, Cantor said on Fox News Sunday a week ago that the House GOP leadership was working on a plan to legalize all of America’s illegal aliens, not just the DREAMers. Video of Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL), a member of the House GOP’s whip team led by House Majority Whip Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), that surfaced of his immigration remarks at a town hall last week confirmed that plan. Similarly, House Judiciary committee staffers for Goodlatte remains open to trying to save the Senate bill in a conference with a group of House bills.
Specifically, Espinoza said there should be “no urgency” from Congress is passing any bill and that Washington’s political establishment should take its eyes off helping illegal aliens and special interests driving the Senate bill and trying to push the House toward the Senate bill, and move in the direction of helping Americans who are out of work. “We’re in a bad way economically,” she said. “If we concentrated, as Americans, on Americans, everything would be fine. If we concentrated on getting the 25 or 30 million Americans back to work, that would be our focus. Our focus has to be Americans and America.”
In a recent appearance on Breitbart News Sunday with Stephen K. Bannon, Tea Party Patriots co-founder Jenny Beth Martin said that the purpose of this tour is to educate voters about exactly what is in the Senate bill and what to expect from House GOP leadership. “So we’re doing this to get the information and the facts out there about what is in the Senate bill and what will likely happen if anything passes through the House and these bills go to conference,” she said. “We’re also getting information about these congressmen and senators who are having these town halls around the country so we can let people know when their congressmen or senators are having these town halls and they can show up and confront them with the facts.”
Tea Party Patriots, she said then, also has published a website for activists to prepare themselves for town hall events and it is located at TeaPartyToolkit.com.