Michael Berry - Norman Adams Bring Immigration Debate to Public Discussion
Speaking before a sold-out crowd of over 800 Houston business and community leaders, radio talk-show host Michael Berry joined with Texans for Sensible Immigration Reform activist Norman Adams, immigration attorney Charles Foster and national security expert Joan Neuhaus Schaan to provide a lively, entertaining and informative discussion about the important issue of immigration reform and border security. The event was moderated by former Harris County Tax Assessor/Collector Paul Bettencourt. Also joining the panel were KHOU (Houston CBS 11) news anchor Shern-Min Chow and Univision (Ch 45) news anchor Rebecca Suarez.
The debate, which lasted a little over an hour, opened with remarks from each of the four panelists. Adams opened the discussion with a history of immigration in our country and set the stage for a discussion as to why we need to carry out immigration reform. Berry's position mostly revolved around securing the border (which no one on the panel disagreed with) and that we should just enforce the laws on the books. Foster (one of the nation's foremost immigration attorneys) made the case for comprehensive immigration reform and Schaan discussed issues related to border security.
Immigration Debate Video:
Next week I will come back to this video to discuss some of the points that were made, but for now I invite you to watch this entire video. It is the beginning of a discussion we must have as a nation, but also one we must have as Republicans and Conservatives. The longer this problem drags on without resolution, the longer those who support open-borders and the chaos of our current system win.
For now, I would like to counter one point that was incorrectly made by Michael Berry. During a discussion of guns and the DOJ's Operation Fast and Furious, Berry stated the majority of the guns being discovered in Mexico are coming from the United States. This is factually incorrect. The overwhelming number of guns being found in Mexico are untraceable because they have no serial numbers on them. Of those with serial numbers, a majority comes from the United States. This is a big distinction. The left seeks to use misleading statements about the guns in Mexico to enable the US to create more restrictions on the sale of guns. This was the premise they used to justify Fast and Furious. For Berry to adopt this same line of reasoning is a dangerous path for conservatives.
One of the bright spots of the day was the input from Schaan. She is a fellow in homeland security and terrorism at the Baker Institute at Rice University. While border security was not really in disagreement (except perhaps from Charles Foster) the points she raised are noteworthy and will be discussed more in a future report and interview.
We must have more discussion of this topic. It takes brave people to come forward and have these discussions. Previously we have covered immigration reform debates between Adams and Texas State Representative Debbie Riddle. We have also covered an important Immigration Summit that was held in Houston earlier this month pointing out various topics related to our broken immigration system. I would also like to thank Amegy Bank, the Greater Heights Chamber of Commerce and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce for having the courage to sponsor this event.
For us as conservatives, it is important that we educate ourselves on all of the implications of immigration law. Only then can we have respectful dialog and meaningful progress in securing our border and reforming our broken immigration system.