|(April 26, 2021, 10:55 p.m.) -- On April 27, Mayor Robert Garcia will be one of four witnesses testifying in a virtual hearing of the House Subcommittee on Border Security, Facilitation, and Operations, part of the House Homeland Security Committee.
The subcommittee hearing, titled "Unaccompanied Children at the Border: Stakeholder Perspectives on the Way Forward," is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. Pacific Time. It will be chaired by Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-CA) with witnesses Aaron Reichlin-Melnick, (Policy Counsel, The American Immigration Council), Jennifer Podkul (VP for Policy and Advocacy, Kids In Need of Defense). Mayor Garcia and Lora Ries, (Director, Center for Technology Policy and Senior Research Fellow, Homeland Security (the latter the Heritage Foundation minority witness.)
"This hearing will give Members an opportunity to hear from key witnesses to examine suggestions for improving our system for unaccompanied children," says the subcommittee's webpage. "Members of the Committee are eager to move forward with solutions, given the devastation wrought by four years of the Trump Administration’s cruel and ineffective immigration policies."
The subcommittee's members are Congressmembers Nanette Barragan (D, CA) (chair), with Dem members Lou Correa (D, CA), Emanuel Cleaver (D, Missouri), Al Green (D. Texas), Yvette Clarke (D, NY) and Bennie G. Thompson (D, Mississippi Ex Officio).
Republican members are ranking member Clay Higgins (R, Louisiana), with Repubicans Michael Guest (R, Mississipi), Dan Bishop (R, North Carolina, Andrew Clyde (R, Georgia) and John Katko (R., NY) Ex Officio.
The Mayor's upcoming virtual testimony was first reported by Franklin Sims on his Facebook platform published The Memo
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As previously detailed (story broken by LBREPORT.com here), within minutes of a special April 6 City Council agenda item appearing online to approve negotiating with federal officials to use the City owned Convention Center to temporarily house migrant minors, a dozen allies of the Mayor -- including his appointees to City commissions and advisory bodies, political allies and his own brother -- signed up to consume most of 20 limited public speaking slots on then item. By midmorning April 6, other Mayoral allies had taken the remaining speaker slots, effectively creating an "echo chamber" of support that prevented other voices ("asleep at the switch" or otherwise tardy in signing up) from being heard. (The sole dissenter was a political progressive opposed on principle to incarcerating migrant minors who urged a swift end to the Convention Center use and changes to federal immigration laws.)
On April 22, the City of Long Beach prevented multiple Long Beach and Los Angeles news outlets from touring the Convention Center facilities after letting unanimously supportive City Council members, Congressman (Alan Lowenthal, D, LB-west OC) and three supportive individuals tour the facilities. Two of those selected by the City for the tour were participants in the April 6 "echo chamber" Council proceedings.
After the electedds and City-chosen individuals + pool toured the facility, the City held an April 22 press event. Mayor Garcia, the electeds and supporters recited unanimously supportive impressions of the Convention Center facilities. Long Beach and L.A. media outlets were relegated to "pooled" coverage (two reporters and a photographer from a single print outlet and a videographer from KTLA/5.) LBREPORT.com coverage here,).
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