Meeting at Quigley’s Restaurant
593 Columbia Turnpike
East Greenbush, NY
September 15, 2016
Members Attending Dinner Meeting (14): Terry Brewer, Murray Forth, Pat Bailey, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, Ray Hannan, David Taylor, Dick Drumm, Carol Orvis, Phil Kellerman, Becky Raymond, Dean Calamaras, Charlie Foote, Stewart Wagner.
Dinner Guests (3): Phil and Bonnie Nasca, Vivian Behn.
PROGRAM: “The Immigration Controversy”
Club member Phil Kellerman began his presentation by asking attendees a question and reminding us to follow the money: “How does someone come here legally?”
He said there are a number of ways some with negative aspects: (1.) with a work permit and a green card (permanent resident status), but no federal benefits; ( 2.) on a student visa, but 40% overstay their welcome; (3.) requested by farms or others needing labor; there are many requirements to come legally and no easy path; (4.) special circumstances admission such as political refuge; (5.) a lottery; but, we have no relationship with many poorer countries and, therefore, people from such places have no way to get in line for a lottery; (6.) anyone with a lot of money can buy their way in by hiring an attorney to find a loophole.
Phil asked for volunteers to demonstrate the problem, and Peter Brown offered to play the immigrant. Provided with $14, 000 in play money, he could first hire two “coyotes” — people who help illegally transport people to the U.S. — to help him navigate the path from Guatemala. Once here, he must rent a room and will be living with other immigrants, must find a job, and get transportation, maybe the bus). With a job and now required to pay taxes he will be given an ID number by the Internal Revenue Service, or he may “borrow” a real Social Security number. But, he never will have such benefits as retirement, Medicare or Medicaid.
Peter’s problems are just beginning. If stopped while driving with no license he will be assessed a fine, and perhaps reported to immigration authorities and deported. If he marries, any children born here are citizens; any child not born here still will receive a free public education. But, his initial funds soon are exhausted.
Several programs were mentioned:
• Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), an immigration policy that allows certain undocumented immigrants to the U.S. who entered the country before their 16th birthday and before June 2007 to receive a renewable two-year work permit and exemption from deportation.
• Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) — sometimes called Deferred Action for Parental Accountability, was created by a 2014 Obama executive order but has been held up in court. If implemented, it would grant deferred action status to certain undocumented immigrants who have lived in the U.S. since 2010 and have children who either are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents.
Phil took questions from attendees. Among them, with his responses in parentheses: “What is the screening process?” (Immigration services is overloaded and underfunded; many people waiting 10 years for a green card. They do have a requirement to import 400,000 illegals and funding is based on that.) “What about proof of legal work, i.e., I-9’s, and how do these folks get jobs? ” (Immigration looks the other way, especially for farm workers. Service workers often are allowed in due to agreements with business, nevertheless many businesses still cannot find enough workers.)
OPENING — Immediate Past President Terry Brewer presided in the absence of President Debbie Rodriguez and President-elect Roberto Martinez. He welcomed Members and introduced guests.
BREAKFAST MEETING — The Third Thursday breakfast meetings resumed today at the Greenbush YMCA (minutes here), co-hosted by Shannon Romanowski and Terry.
GOL GOLF & BOCCE — Jim Leyhane is sponsoring the foursome of Jim Mendrysa, Rob Mangold, Murray Forth and Terry Brewer in the September 21 Gift of Life fundraiser. That same foursome won the tournament two years ago, and was runnerup last year.
YOUTH EXCHANGE — Debbie Brown relayed information from Youth Exchange Officer A.J. Amato that Rafaella Leal Câncio, our exchange student from Brazil, arrived, although a week later than expected because of paperwork problems. Several more host families are needed during her stay. Please contact A.J. if interested. Meanwhile, our outgoing exchange student, Michaela Rosetti, has arrived in Italy for her year abroad. (Her family is Rafaella’s initial host family.)
RYLA UPDATE — We now have five juniors from Maple Hill High School who will attend the annual Rotary Youth Leadership Awards program that begins this month. We are hoping to get one or more students from Averill Park High School. Becky Raymond has volunteered to be our contact with APHS.
NEXT MEETING: 6:15 p.m. Thursday, September 22. The after-dinner speaker will be Lauren Carpenter of Home Connection Companions.