May 31, 2001



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, OK?

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 to Don.

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 processing applications.

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 the subject.


Thought for the Day - Politeness is the art of selecting among one's real thoughts, by Madame de Stael.

YOE, Ernie Wolfe