Many critics have noted that government agencies often have a tendency to pay attention to interest groups on just one side of a particular issue. Nowhere has that problem been more evident than in the context of immigration.
For decades, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), and then its successor agency, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), maintained an enormous “community relations” apparatus. But it was completely dedicated to listening to complaints from aliens seeking immigration benefits and the groups that represent those aliens. And these groups included overtly race-based groups like the National Council of La Raza (now known as UnidosUS), the Legal Union of Latin American Citizens (LULAC).
These groups represent the interests of non-citizens who want to influence American immigration policy in ways that ensure their constituents will be admitted to the U.S. and allowed to remain here. Notably absent from any of these “community engagement” and “stakeholder” activities were any groups representing the interests of the American people. Simply put, neither INS nor DHS was interested in what U.S. citizens had to say about immigration policy.
That all changed when Donald Trump was elected President of the United States. And U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the agency responsible for reviewing and adjudicating applications for immigration benefits, suddenly showed a previously uncharacteristic willingness to hear the concerns of groups like the Federation for Immigration Reform (FAIR), the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) and Numbers USA.
Keep in mind, USCIS hasn’t closed its doors to groups like La Raza or LULAC. USCIS Director L. Francis Cissna has simply decided that his agency should solicit opinions from both sides of the immigration debate. After all, it wouldn’t make sense for a department of the U.S. government to listen to the concerns of non-citizens while completely discounting the views of citizens with the right to vote.
But now the alien grievance groups are fuming mad. They no longer have a monopoly on attempting to influence immigration policy decisions. The overtly left-leaning websites, The Daily Beast and The Week have both published a scare pieces criticizing Director Cissna for speaking at an allegedly “anti-immigrant” event hosted by a “hate group.”
The group in question is CIS. Both The Daily Beast and The Week smear it as a “hate group,” based solely on the assertions of the discredited Southern Poverty Law Center, despite the fact that CIS describes itself as neither liberal nor conservative, and doesn’t mention race in its materials.
For the last 30 years, however, there’s been nary a peep from any media outlets as INS and USCIS held a busy schedule of meetings with groups like LULAC which describes itself as an organization that serves “all Hispanic nationality groups” and the National Council of La Raza – whose name translates literally to National Council of “the Race.” Of course, that may be because any time anyone has attempted to point out just how racist organizations like LULAC and La Raza can be, they’re shouted down as “racists.”
Hopefully, the Trump administration will refuse to succumb to pressure from the open-borders lobby and continue listening to all Americans’ concerns about our dysfunctional immigration policies.