Goodlatte Meeting

August 02, 2013

Today I met with Republican Representative Bob Goodlatte of Virginia (my representative) to talk about immigration reform. As head of the House Judiciary Committee, Goodlatte holds a key leadership position on immigration reform legislation. After getting bumped on the schedule a couple of times, I arrived for my meeting this morning. Since I arrived a little early, I chatted with a couple of staffers for several minutes before the meeting. When Goodlatte appeared, I was told it would be a walking meeting since he needed to head to another House building for an interview with Univision (the first photo is one I took of him during his interview). So we did a walk-and-talk (which, as a fan of The West Wing, was pretty cool) as we went underground from Rayburn House Office Building to Longworth House Office Building to Cannon House Office Building (via a couple of rides on the members-only elevators). During the walk, I introduced myself as a professor at James Madison University and a "professor-in-residence" at the Mennonite Central Committee - Washington Office. We talked a little about what classes I teach and hiking the mountains (since we both enjoy hiking in the mountains around Harrisonburg). We then talked about border security issues as I expressed my concerns with the part of the Senate immigration bill that would result in greater militarization of the border (and waste a lot of money). Goodlatte expressed that he shares some of this concern, and appears to be leading the House to be better than the Senate on that point. Once we arrived at his interview location in Cannon, I talked again with staffers while Goodlatte was prepped for the Univision interview on immigration that will air on Sunday. Once the interview ended and he debriefed with his staff, we did another walk-and-talk back to his office. On this trek I stressed the need for a path to citizenship for "DREAMers" and others, particularly focusing on the need to uphold family values by keeping families together. On these issues Goodlatte and the House do not appear to be as good as the Senate's bill. Hopefully Goodlatte will surprise us and push for a more comprehensive and moral immigration reform package. Once we returned to his office, we spoke a little bit more about hiking and then about baseball (the second photo is one from his office). Although I have some serious concerns about his immigration reform plans, I appreciate the time he gave me to talk with him about these important issues.


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