Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Noted Latino anti-amnesty activist, Christian Chojnowski

I was watching the Lou Dobbs coverage of the Day Without Immigrants protests on Monday when this guy popped up in the cavalcade of clips:
LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In fact, the large demonstrations have galvanized those opposed to amnesty. At the National Press Club, a group of Latinos had a different view, saying the protesters do not speak for them.

CHRISTIAN CHOJNOWSKI, "YOU DON'T SPEAK FOR ME": These demonstrations are basically an insult and a slap in the face to every American, and to every American voter, to every hyphenated American and to every immigrant who is here legally.
Now, I'm always curious as to who gets to be on the TeeVee and why, and Christian Chojnowski as the go-to guy for a Latino anti-amnesty group really piqued my curiosity.

As far as I can tell, the "You Don't Speak for Me!" group is only a few weeks old and seems to be affiliated -- loosely or otherwise -- with the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), whose website currently links to the fledgling group.

According to a press release issued by the group:
Members of "You Don't Speak for Me" include a cross section of the Hispanic American community: lawyers, doctors, teachers, scientists, former government and military officials, who are immigrants and children of immigrants, such as: Pete Nunez (former Assistant Secretary of Treasury, & U.S. Attorney for San Diego), Col. Al Rodriguez, Ret., a highly decorated war veteran, Claudia Spencer, Ogla Robles, Rosa Candaleria, Mariann S. Davis, Esq. and more… [emph added]
The group is for strong border enforcement and against amnesty for illegal immigrants.

And what about Christian Chojnowski? Well, a google search kicked out this three-year-old story that features some quotes from the guy. The story concerned the Kalamazoo city commission debate about whether the city should recognize identification cards issued by the Mexican Consulate as a valid form of identification.
Christian Chojnowski, a Kalamazoo resident and fourth generation American of Spanish decent whose wife is a native of Colombia, South America, said because of the United State's melting pot status, identification issued by the United States should be sufficient. He said no major bank in Mexico accepts the cards and only 10 of Mexico's 32 states recognize the card. Similar information is found on the FAIR Web site….

Chojnowski said there is a significant difference between old immigrants and new immigrants. He said whereas old immigrants came to the United States to become part of the country and gain citizenship, new immigrants only come make money to send back to their native countries.

"The new immigrants want to come and make money," Chojnowski said. "They don't know a thing about patriotism." [emph added]
So the Kalamazoo resident was strategically prepositioned in front of the National Press Club in DC for his CNN man-on-the-street interview. And he's a fourth-generation American! That would make Chojnowksi -- what? -- the great-grandchild of immigrants?

He's definitely got an extra generation of landed status over the paternal line of my family….

UPDATE Don't ask me what it means, but this is what Chojnowski said about himself in a January 2006 FAIR post:
I speak fluent Spanish and am classified as a Spanish-speaking professional by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Defense. I also studied in Bogota, Colombia, and have a BA degree in Spanish from Western Michigan University. I am half Hispanic on my mother’s side.[emph added]

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