What’s really great about interning in a city is the proximity that permits interns to attend events at different offices. In the last week, I had the chance to go to 2 immigration speaker events (I lucked out with there being an immigration bill in Senate right now!) I went to morning speakers at American Enterprise Institute (AEI) a few days ago and the Center for American Progress (CAP) this morning. While both had some focus on SB744 (the schumer-rubio immigration bill), these events differed in that AEI focused on Mexico and immigration’s impact on its direction. CAP on the other hand was centered around immigrants and their children in the future workplace. Both AEI and CAP are think tanks, but each is known to have differing political leanings. Many would agree that AEI has a libertarian ideology, while CAP is known to be very progressive. This was a clear difference I noticed in the speakers and audience at the two events. Nonetheless, I thought both talks were great, and followed by an even better question answer period. One of the speakers at CAP, I had heard speak the previous week at the Bipartisan Policy Center, which further demonstrates the interconnectedness of people in DC.
If you are interested in watching the AEI speaker event, it can be found here.
Aside from attending speaker events, I actually was able to go to the Hill this past week to watch the vote for SB744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act. I was really excited because I had never participated in something like this before. I was at the Hill all morning and afternoon with interns from my office talking to staffers about the bill and our views on it. The bill ended up obtaining the vote necessary to move onto the floor for debate. Personally, I do not believe that the bill was ready to be debated on in Senate because there are underlying national security issues that still have yet to be addressed. However, steps to reform our current outdated immigration system are necessary and I’m glad that I had the chance to be on the Hill interacting with rally groups and senators’ staffers. I learned that everyone I spoke to had differing reasons why they were for or against the bill. One group, NumbersUSA (photo below) rallied that Senator Rubio said he would secure our borders and then have amnesty, but that the lengthy bill says the opposite. They passed out flyers and reading glasses inferring that Rubio hasn’t read the bill correctly. Other groups, such as the Dreamers (students who’s parents immigrated here illegally but were themselves born here), wore their graduation robes and marched around chanting for the passage of the bill. Whether you are for or against this immigration bill, you can read it here to learn more, granted you have time to read 1922 pages of text!