A few days ago, two young illegal immigrants interrupted House Majority Speaker John Boehner at his favorite Capitol Hill breakfast hang out, Pete’s Diner. With the camera rolling, Carmen Lima, a 13-year-old from California, and Jennifer Martinez, age 16, from Washington State, aired their immigration grievances to Boehner. Lima told Boehner that she hasn’t seen her father since she was age 10; ICE had detained Martinez’s father for several months.
On and on the predictable script went with Lima and Martinez bemoaning how immigration separates families. When he could get a word in edgewise, Boehner said he “agrees” with them. Boehner also promised them, albeit unconvincingly, that Congress is working hard toward a solution. Because he’s been so squishy about amnesty and because it took him months to flatly say he wouldn’t go to conference with the Senate, I’m not a Boehner fan. But I give Boehner credit for his gracious replies to Carmen and Jennifer during the obvious set up. Watch Boehner at breakfast here.
A few days later, Martinez and Lima appeared on the new Fusion Channel where Univision’s Jorge Ramos and guest anchor Matt Gutman interviewed them. The two spoke about the “millions of people behind” immigration reform and predicted that Boehner would eventually “have to” pass a bill because it’s about “human rights.”
Interestingly, Martinez noted that the immigration debate has been going on longer than she’s been alive and predicted, probably correctly, that “it’s not going away anytime soon.”
See the interview here.
The Fusion Channel, by the way, is a new and powerful asset for the amnesty lobby. Fusion, which debuted on October 28, is a 50-50 joint venture with Disney/ABC Television designed to appeal to young Latinos like Jennifer and Carmen. [“Univision-ABC Channel Fusion Launching in a Bid for Young Latinos,” by Meg James, Los Angeles Times, October 28, 2013]
With Fusion offering a new venue, special interests can and will pour more millions into comprehensive immigration reform: more viewers, more advertising and higher revenue that they can use to fly young advocates like Carmen and Jennifer from their West Coast home states to D.C.
Fusion is available in 20 million homes and offers programming targeted specifically at immigrants, many of them illegal. Given the ever-broadening Latino community’s exposure, maybe the media could drop the phrase “in the shadows” from its immigration coverage.