NOW HEAR THIS -
Yes, believe it or not, the long-delayed Member Biographies
are here! Before they disappear again, we will distribute them next
Thursday, the 7th. These Profiles are in two units - for those of
you who were members before the presidency of STEVE DAY, (1997-98)
we have an updated packet, including all those who were featured since
STEVE'S time. For those who joined AFTER that, you get the whole tamale
- that is, the blue loose leaf notebook with the complete set of Biographies.
SO - please check in your library, and if you already have a blue
notebook, pick up the packet - otherwise, you get the full notebook,
YOE believes you will enjoy reading of the lives of
some of our Senior Members.
That being said, we did have a meeting, and as usual,
it began with the Flag Salute. This was led by GREGG ELLIOTT, which
in turn brought up the Song. This event perhaps needs some minor explanation,
since LENNY FRIEDMAN and JACK HARRIS assumed they were the designated
majordomos for this portion of the program. However, due to a slight
delay in getting underway, persons unnamed took over, and we were
soon rendering God Bless America a cappella - that is, with or without
our two designated leaders! This resulted in tremendous audience applause,
perhaps more the result of self-congratulation by the ringleaders
of this minor civil disobedience than any assessment of the tonal
quality of the performance…In any case, this does illustrate the very
real dangers to which legally appointed supervisors can be exposed,
so all who may fall within this category should be forewarned. At
this point, DON NELSON stepped forward to provide an Invocation in
the form of poetry - well done, DON.
PP HOWIE HENKES introduced our visitors, leading off
with BOB YOUNKER'S daughter, Kathy. PETER MORE brought Shirley along,
and DON NELSON was with Warren Dodson. Warren, who is known to many
of us, was quick to point out that while he was indeed in the tire
business, he doesn't carry Firestone products! It was good to see
BOB THOM again, after a hospital stopover. PP JIM SUMNER asked for
the floor, and related how helpful one of our members had been to
a fellow WVRC member - the help being provided by GREGG ELLIOTT. This
elicited warm audience applause, as it always should. ANN ELKIN reminded
us of our visiting Ambassadorial Scholar, a doctor and his wife from
Greece - they will be arriving on June 26th, and any leads as to housing
would be much appreciated. Lew Bertrand, a member of Palos Verdes
Sunrise and an Assistant Governor gave a pitch for the Paul Harris
Dinner, which will be held on October 26th. They have apparently heard
some past complaints, and this event will take these into account
- the entertainment will be special, for instance.
DON NELSON introduced our speaker, Tim Barker. As a
law student at UC San Diego, Tim volunteered to help some immigrants
(mainly from Mexico) so when he graduated, that became his field of
specialization. He is a partner in the law firm of Fraggomen, Del-Rey,
Bernson & Loewy, which is the largest firm in the country dealing
only with immigration law. He also is a hell of a golfer, according
His firm works with both incoming and outgoing clients,
and their Los Angeles clients include the Bank of America, Occidental
Petroleum, Hewlett Packard, and Farmers Insurance - they have 18 branches
all over the U.S. He noted that for every client in favor of immigration,
there are often opposing groups, so litigation is inevitable. The
border with Mexico is 2000 miles long, and the income disparity between
the two countries is extreme - thus the pressure to cross our border,
with or without a visa. We currently concentrate on border enforcement,
with 9400 patrolling agents, compared to the mere 300 INS agents,
who can't help but be overwhelmed. Congress early enacted legislation,
and the 1982 bill was finally revised in 1986, after a seven-year
study in both the Carter and Reagan administrations.
Civil liberties are a constant issue - is such and such
discriminatory, for instance. The present law is that the employer
hands out the immigration form, which is filled out by his employee.
There are lots of other forms and paperwork - no one likes the present
system. In early 1990 we began issuing temporary work visas for specific
occupations. To qualify, the applicant has to have a bachelor's degree.
The original quota was 65K per year, and this was immediately exceeded.
The number went up to 115K, and presently it is set at 190K. The best
estimate is that about 300K persons enter the U.S. each year, and
thus the INS is overwhelmed and continues to fall further behind in
Q&A - do we have the same problems with European immigration?
Not really, the main issue being overstaying the length allowed in
their visas. What happens with Canadians?
It is relatively easy to come in, and no one seems concerned at this
'leakage'. Do many come in as students - yes? And the law is that
anyone under 18 must be in school. Our police, by the way, are not
interested in this problem, since their basic intent is to enforce
safety regulations. Yes, we are getting many people from Russia and
the former East European area. Summary - this is a difficult and complex
area of the law, and we thank Tim Barker for shedding some light on
DON'T FORGET to VOTE on June 5th - NEXT TUESDAY!
Thought for the Day - Politeness is the art of selecting
among one's real thoughts, by Madame de Stael.
YOE, Ernie Wolfe