OFIR Alerts and Updates

Welcome to the "what's hot" news and alerts section.  This section includes important OFIR action alerts and informational updates that have been sent out in the recent past, as well as hot news items.

2015-06-19

Plan to attend a very special Grassroots Rally in support of your 2nd Amendment Rights, limited government, less taxes, getting tough on crime, Official English and E-Verify

Join the crowd Saturday, June 27 from 3 - 5pm on the steps of the Oregon State Capitol.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio from Arizona will be the featured speaker at the rally.

Sheriff Arpaio has been profiled in over 4,000 national and foreign newspapers, magazines, and TV news programs. His leadership and the excellent work of his staff have catapulted the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office into the ranks of elite law enforcement agencies.

Invite your friends and bring your children.  Bring along an American flag - large or small and a patriotic sign, if you can!

To help offset costs of this event a special raffle will be held.

$5 gets a door prize ticket for the cool and even collectible items described below (multiple tickets can be purchased).

DOOR PRIZES

1. A pair of Maricopa County’s PINK inmate shorts.

2. Book written and signed by Sheriff Arpaio.

3. Sheriff Arpaio personal coin.

4. Book written and signed by Sheriff Arpaio

5. Private Dinner with Sheriff Arpaio at Representative & Mrs. Greg Barreto’s home in Keizer, OR.

While OFIR is a non-partisan, single issue organization, we appreciate the ORP's focus on the immigration issue and the visit of their very special guest.

2015-06-18

The so-called free trade bill is being pushed again in the House, with all its harmful features expanding Presidential control of immigration, bringing in unlimited numbers of immigrants.

We are forwarding the alert from the Citizens Trade Campaign which targets Representatives who continue to support these bad trade bills.  Please call or email again. Thank you!

Call Representative Earl Blumenauer: 202-225-4811, or in Oregon: 503-231-2300
Webform for email: Click Contact on the homepage of his website: http://blumenauer.house.gov

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from Citizens Trade Campaign, June 17, 2015:

Fast Track Vote Imminent: Please Contact Your Rep Again Now
Apparently, some politicians didn’t get the message after last week’s vote blocking Fast Track legislation from moving forward in the House.  As I write this, the House Rules Committee is meeting to discuss a new scheme that would allow Fast Track to be voted on again this Thursday.

TAKE ACTION: Please tell Congress again now to vote NO on Fast Track.

There’s a reason we were able to block Fast Track in the House last week: you and countless others keep telling Congress in no uncertain terms that you want "No Fast Track for the TPP!"  We can't let up now.

Corporate lobbyists' and certain political elites' attempt to try ramming Fast Track legislation through again so soon after last week's failure � possibly as early as this Thursday � is a desperate movmove.  I have every confidence we can stop them again, but we need your support once more.

Tell Congress enough is enough, and to say NO to Fast Track for the TPP.  

You know as well as I do that the stakes here are very high.  If passed, Fast Track would create a virtual rubber-stamp for dangerous trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) that threaten jobs, wages, the environment, public health and more in your community and communities throughout the world.  

As House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi wrote recently in USA Today, "As we look to the future, it is clear that this debate on the trade authority is probably the last of it’s kind.  The intense debate of the past few weeks has further convinced me that we need a new paradigm."

Fast Track legislation really did take a major blow last week.  Winning this vote should knock Fast Track out for good.  Please take action now.

Sincerely,

Arthur Stamoulis, Executive Director
CITIZENS TRADE CAMPAIGN
http://www.citizenstrade.org/

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From the Oregon Fair Trade Campaign:

We just found out that a stand-alone Fast Track bill for the TPP is going for a vote in the House tomorrow.

Congresswoman Bonamici has said publicly that she would not vote for Fast Track without Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA). TAA helps workers whose jobs have been displaced by trade. We need to make sure she keeps her word and votes NO on Fast Track this time.

We need tons of constituent calls telling her to stand by her word and stand with Oregonians by voting NO on Fast Track when it comes for a vote tomorrow (Thursday). Please call her offices as soon as possible, and spread the word!

DC Office: (202) 225-0855
Oregon Office: (503) 469-6010

Script:

Hi, my name is ______  and I’m calling from __[City]__. Congresswoman Bonamici has said publicly that she would not vote for the Fast Track bill without Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA). I’m calling as a constituent to ask her to keep her word and vote NO on the stand-alone Fast Track bill tomorrow  [THURSDAY, JUNE 18].

Thank you! Let’s win this!

Elizabeth Swager & Robyn Gottlieb
Oregon Fair Trade Campaign

2015-06-14

Senate Bill 932 would let those students — who must be Oregon high school graduates — receive state-funded, need-based college scholarships through the Oregon Opportunity Grant program. The scholarships are up to $2,000 per student per year.

The Ways and Means Committee will be having a hearing Monday morning at 8:30am. 

If you can't make it to the hearing, please consider submitting testimony, so that the Committee will understand how many people oppose such a bill.  There IS an emergency clause on this bill, as well.  Designed to prevent citizens from referring the bill to the ballot - as OFIR did with SB 833 - the driver card bill.

Read the article in the Register Guard for possible ideas for testimony.

Send your testimony to Ways and Means:  WaysandMeans.EducationSub@state.or.us

 

2015-05-26

Senator Wyden has announced upcoming town hall meetings to be held soon in Polk, Yamhill, and Tillamook Counties. Please attend if you can, and speak to him about immigration issues.

Below the schedule, there is background information that may help you formulate your comments and questions.

Polk County town hall »
May 29 2015 10:00AM
Nesmith Readiness Center
12830 Westview Drive
Dallas, OR 

Yamhill County town hall »
May 29 2015 1:00PM
McMinnville High School
615 NE 15th St
McMinnville, OR

Tillamook County town hall »
May 30 2015 10:30AM
Port of Tillamook Bay Officers Mess Hall
6825 Officer's Row
Tillamook, OR 
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YOU CAN PRINT OUT A REPORT CARD FOR SEN. WYDEN AND GIVE IT TO HIM:
https://www.numbersusa.com/content/print/my/congress/667/printreportcard/congress/

Senator Wyden is graded F- by NumbersUSA based on his voting record on immigration issues in 2015. This year alone he voted 7 times in favor of measures supporting amnesty for illegal aliens: 6 times for funding President Obama’s amnesties and once to confirm a Presidential appointee for U.S. Attorney General who is openly in favor of amnesty.

Also, he has been a prominent advocate for Trade Promotion Authority that would fast-track international trade agreements without adequate examination by Congress or citizens, and including allowing unknown numbers of foreign workers to take jobs from citizens. See this report on Sen. Wyden’s role and the status of the fast-track bill in Congress now: http://www.eagleforum.org/publications/alerts/2015-archives/fast-track-passes-senate.html

Sen. Wyden has been in Congress for over 30 years. His overall career grade by NumbersUSA is F for his votes on immigration issues.

Tell Sen. Wyden  politely but firmly - that U.S. immigration policies should put the interests of U.S. citizens first, not the interests of corporations that profit from cheap labor, and not the interests of illegal aliens and other foreign nationals.

Tell him that our country’s future is in grave danger from overpopulation which is primarily due to excessive immigration now and in recent decades. Furthermore, much of current immigration comes uninspected, allowing easy entry for persons who wish to harm us.

2015-05-14

FAIR sends this urgent Action Alert about a bill to be voted on soon in Congress with a section allowing illegal aliens who are DACA recipients to join the military, at a time when the military is downsizing and citizens' applications to join are being turned down. 

Worse still, the language used implies Congressional approval of amnesty.  An amendment by Rep. Mel Brooks would strip out this offensive section.

Please read FAIR's description of the problem and make the call to your U.S. Representative

Contact information for Oregon's U.S. Representatives is on the OFIR website at: http://www.oregonir.org/how-contact-oregon-congressional-delegation. or you can call the Capital switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask for your Representative.


 

2015-05-12

Sometimes it seems that nothing we do works in stopping elected officials from moving in the wrong direction.  But, this time it worked.  You and your calls and emails stopped it.  Read all about it - then pat yourself on the back!

If you quit - you lose for certain.  If you stay and fight, you may lose...but, you just might win!
 

2015-05-11

The Senate is scheduled to vote on TPP on Tuesday. It is very important that it NOT be given fast track.

OFIR members:  Here are direct-dial numbers for Oregon Senators.

Capitol Switchboard -- (202) 224-3121 or direct dial numbers below.

When you call - you could say:

I urge you to oppose S.955, the bill that would grant fast-track trade authority to Pres. Obama. I believe Congress should retain its power to review and amend any trade agreement that the United States enters into, and by granting Pres. Obama fast-track authority, Congress would be giving up that power.

As Sen. Jeff Sessions from Alabama pointed out in his 5-page memo, free trade agreements have been used by past administrations to bypass Congress and make changes to existing immigration laws. Given this president's track record on immigration, I don't understand why you would want to give him such broad authority. Please tell the Senator to read Sen. Sessions' memo and oppose TPA.

Senator Ron Wyden – 202-224-5244

Sen. Wyden is a major supporter of the trade bill.  Please call him first.

***Senator Jeff Merkley – 202-224-3753

Sen. Merkley recently sent a letter to constituents critical of the fast-track trade bill.  The letter included this statement:  “The Senate Finance Committee recently considered a bill that would provide fast-track trade negotiating authority, and it is expected to be debated by the full Senate in the near future. The current bill does not meet the standards I have described, and I will oppose it in its current form.”

Please thank him for his position and urge him to stand firm in opposition to the fast-track trade bill.

Should both chambers of Congress pass "fast-track" legislation, Pres. Obama, and future presidents, can ram through international trade agreements that expand guest worker programs without any public debate.

For further understanding - please read:

There are numerous serious, significant consequences to passing the TPP. One is that it can open immigration floodgates. And unlike other trade agreements, a future president may unilaterally change the terms of the agreement as she sees fit.

Sen. Jeff Sessions has listed numerous failings of the TPP:
 
"There are numerous ways TPA could facilitate immigration increases above current law-and precious few ways anyone in Congress could stop its happening. For instance: language could be included or added into the TPP, as well as any future trade deal submitted for fast-track consideration in the next 6 years, with the clear intent to facilitate or enable the movement of foreign workers and employees into the United States..."
 
From a constitutional point of view, the proposed TPA powers are a nightmare. They allow the Executive Branch to create ever-shifting binding agreements with foreign powers that will not be subject to Congressional approval. Congress will only be able to vote agreements up or down, instead of being able to offer amendments.
Furthermore, ceding such powers to Barack Obama guts the constitutional objection to Barack Obama's Executive Amnesty. After all, if Congress doesn't feel itself capable of reviewing legislation on something as important on trade, why should it have any input on immigration?...

What's worse, only two Republican Senators (Jeff Sessions of Alabama and Mike Lee of Utah) have confirmed that they bothered to read the trade deal they will be voting on this week...and have declared they will vote against it....

2015-05-04

Please take action this week to convince Representative Bonamici that Fast Track is a bad deal for Oregon. Legislation to enact Fast Track for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) may head to the House floor next week. But our opponents don't yet have the votes to pass Fast Track, and they're scared of the immense public opposition they’ve seen from folks like you. That’s why they’re pulling out all the stops.

This Thursday, the President is flying all the way to Portland to woo Oregon’s Members of Congress at a fundraiser and try to gain their support for Fast Track and the TPP. He will continue his Fast Track and TPP promotional tour on Friday when he visits Nike headquarters. But the President and multinational corporations are not Rep. Bonamici’s constituents -- it’s up to us to make sure she knows that the people who she was elected to represent adamantly oppose Fast Track. The “Drop-In Hang-Out” lobby day is designed to do just that!

Here's the drill: Go into the office and ask to speak to the Representative; if she is unavailable, share your concerns about Fast Track with the staff and give them our Fast Track opposition letter to hand to Rep. Bonamici (see below); and then just hang out until the hour is up (or as long as you can). This is a peaceful demonstration designed to keep the consequences of a vote for Fast Track in the forefront of Rep. Bonamici’s mind all day!  

** Rep. Bonamici seems to be leaning toward supporting this year's Fast Track legislation. But with enough pressure we can get her to oppose it, just as we did last year! **

Wed. 5/6

10:00am-5:00pm

(~1 hr. shifts)

“Drop-in Hang-out” Lobby Day at Bonamici’s office

(RSVP HERE)

12725 SW Millikan Way, Suite 220, Beaverton

Click here for the Fast Track opposition letter to leave behind with the staff.

The letter is pretty thorough, but if you want more info to prepare for your visit, Click here for the latest talking points on the Ryan-Hatch Fast Track bill. You can also Click here for a few quick common rebuttals to Fast Track proponents.

Thank you!

If you have any questions, please contact ORFTC Trade Justice Organizer Robyn Gottlieb at robyn@citizenstrade.org.

2015-04-15

It is critical to kill fast-track authority for the TPA - today!

From NumbersUSA:

NumbersUSA is opposing the corporate lobbies, Pres. Obama and Republican congressional leaders who together are trying to pass a Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill that would likely lead to cutting the American people out of future decisions about certain flows of foreign workers.

International courts -- not American officials elected by the American people -- would have authority over these worker flows.

Will you help us try to stop this in at least one of the committees today? Take the action below:

OFIR members and supporters, Please call members of Oregon’s Congressional delegation and also as many of the Committee members listed below that you can.  Tell them to vote No on the Pacific Fair Trade deal.  You can call the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask to speak to any Senator or Representative.  Detailed contact information for the Oregon delegation is posted on the OFIR website at: http://www.oregonir.org/how-contact-oregon-congressional-delegation


Call Committee Members Today

Capitol Switchboard
(202) 224-3121


The vote to move the TPA bill to the floor of the House or Senate could come today in the House Ways & Means Committee or the Senate Finance Committee.

Below the red action box, you'll find a list of committee Members. Use the Capitol Hill switchboard number listed above or the direct-dial numbers that we've provided. Call Members from your state or a neighbor.

You can use any of the many talking points that are contained in the blog I've attached below the phone numbers. Or use this one:

I'm very troubled (concerned/frightened/outraged/upset) by the Trade Promotion Authority bill. I hope it is defeated. That bill would allow the President in trade treaties to commit America to giving guaranteed numbers of U.S. jobs to foreign workers without Congress' approval. Immigration should never be part of a trade agreement. Our elected officials should never have their hands tied to keep them from changing immigration numbers to best serve American workers.

 

Also, make sure you have sent your faxes from your Action Board.
 

Fax Congress

SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE
 

Michael Bennet (D-CO) -- 202-224-5852

Tom Carper (D-DE) -- 202-224-2441

Bill Nelson (D-FL) -- 202-224-5274
Johnny Isakson (R-GA) -- 202-224-3643
Chuck Grassley (R-IA) -- 202-224-3744
Mike Crapo (R-ID) -- 202-224-6142
Dan Coats (R-IN) -- 202-224-5623
Pat Roberts (R-KS) -- 202-224-4774
Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD) -- 202-224-4524
Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) -- 202-224-4822
Richard Burr (R-NC) -- 202-224-3154
Robert Menendez (D-NJ) -- 202-224-4744
Dean Heller (R-NV) -- 202-224-6244
Charles E. (Chuck) Schumer (D-NY) -- 202-224-6542
Sherrod Brown (D-OH) -- 202-224-2315
Rob Portman (R-OH) -- 202-224-3353
Ron Wyden (D-OR) -- 202-224-5244
Robert P. Casey, Jr. (D-PA) -- 202-224-6324
Pat Toomey (R-PA) -- 202-224-4254
Tim Scott (R-SC) -- 202-224-6121
John Thune (R-SD) -- 202-224-2321
John Cornyn (R-TX) -- 202-224-2934
Orrin G. Hatch (R-UT) -- 202-224-5251
Mark R. Warner (D-VA) -- 202-224-2023
Maria Cantwell (D-WA) -- 202-224-3441
Mike Enzi (R-WY) -- 202-224-3424

HOUSE WAYS & MEANS COMMITTEE

Xavier Becerra (D-CA) -- 202-225-6235
Devin Nunes (R-CA) -- 202-225-2523
Linda Sanchez (D-CA) -- 202-225-6676
Mike Thompson (D-CA) -- 202-225-3311
John Larson (D-CT) -- 202-225-2265
Vern Buchanan (R-FL) -- 202-225-5015
John Lewis (D-GA) -- 202-225-3801
Tom Price (R-GA) -- 202-225-4501
Danny K. Davis (D-IL) -- 202-225-5006
Peter Roskam (R-IL) -- 202-225-4561
Todd Young (R-IN) -- 202-225-5315
Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) -- 202-225-6601
Charles W. Boustany, Jr. (R-LA) -- 202-225-2031
Richard E. Neal (D-MA) -- 202-225-5601
Sandy Levin (D-MI) -- 202-225-4961
Erik Paulsen (R-MN) -- 202-225-2871
Jason T. Smith (R-MO) -- 202-225-4404
George Holding (R-NC) -- 202-225-3032
Adrian Smith (R-NE) -- 202-225-6435
Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) -- 202-225-5751
Joseph Crowley (D-NY) -- 202-225-3965
Charles B. Rangel (D-NY) -- 202-225-4365
Tom Reed (R-NY) -- 202-225-3161
James B. Renacci (R-OH) -- 202-225-3876
Patrick J. Tiberi (R-OH) -- 202-225-5355
Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) -- 202-225-4811
Mike Kelly (R-PA) -- 202-225-5406
Patrick Meehan (R-PA) -- 202-225-2011
Kristi Noem (R-SD) -- 202-225-2801
Diane Black (R-TN) -- 202-225-4231
Kevin Brady (R-TX) -- 202-225-4901
Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) -- 202-225-4865
Sam Johnson (R-TX) -- 202-225-4201
Kenny Marchant (R-TX) -- 202-225-6605
Jim McDermott (D-WA) -- 202-225-3106
Dave Reichert (R-WA) -- 202-225-7761
Ron Kind (D-WI) -- 202-225-5506
Paul Ryan (R-WI) -- 202-225-3031

 


WE'RE MAINLY DEPENDING ON DEMOCRATS

We have a chance for victory primarily because most Democrats in Congress appear ready to side against Pres. Obama and for American workers.

When you call Democrats, urge them to side with the many union organizations that oppose this bill. We need to work to hold as many Democrats as possible.

The margin of victory then will have to come from persuading enough Republicans to side against the corporate lobbies and for American workers.

We have sent notices to every Member of Congress that read:

NumbersUSA will score a vote for Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) as a vote against American workers.

President Obama has made it abundantly clear that he believes he has virtually unfettered authority to change U.S. immigration law. It should not be surprising, therefore, that his administration is attempting to use the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement to commit America to immigration increases that Congress has neither debated nor approved.

Despite a U.S. labor force participation rate that is at its lowest level since 1978, President Obama wants to use the TPP to further reduce the jobs available to U.S. workers and instead reserve certain jobs for foreign workers under the agreement. It is indefensible that Congress would now consider surrendering even more of its authority over immigration to this President in order to fast track a trade agreement that will harm American workers, and the text of which Congress has not even seen.

Therefore, NumbersUSA will score a vote for TPA as a vote for continued executive overreach and a vote against American workers. Vote NO on TPA.


WE WON THIS SAME FIGHT WITH THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION

Hundreds of organizations of all kinds of ideologies and interests (unions, environmental, national sovereignty, civil liberties, populist and more) are opposing the trade bill for many different reasons.

OUR REASON: The consequence of passing fast-track trade authority is that any President can much more easily ram through international trade agreements that expand guest worker programs without any public debate.
 

That's what happened under Pres. Bush during the five years he was given fast-track trade authority. His Administration secretly negotiated trade agreements that guaranteed the opportunity for other countries to send certain numbers of their workers to take U.S. jobs. Congress was not allowed to amend the agreements in any way. It either had to approve the whole thing or to reject it entirely and throw international trade concerns into a tizzy.
 

Once a flow of foreign workers is included in a trade treaty, that takes away the ability of future White Houses and Congresses to change those numbers. Instead of the officials elected by the American people having control over immigration and foreign-worker policies, international courts basically are given control over the work visas written into trade agreements.
 

  • Our Constitution gives Congress authority over how many immigrants and work authorizations to approve each year.

  • Our Constitution doesn't give that authority to the President, but fast-track trade legislation essentially does.

  • Our Constitution doesn't give foreign powers and entities the authority over U.S. work permits to foreign workers, but fast-track trade authority essentially does.


In 2007, Congress declined to renew the fast-track trade authority for Presidents, allowing it to expire.

CONGRESS UNANIMOUSLY REJECTED THE IDEA OF IMMIGRATION BEING PART OF TRADE AGREEMENTS

In 2003 in reaction to the Bush Administration including immigration in trade agreements, Congress objected with a strongly worded resolution that was approved UNANIMOUSLY. The resolution began:

Resolved, That it is the sense of the Senate that (1) trade agreements are not the appropriate vehicle for enacting immigration-related laws or modifying current immigration policy; and (2) future trade agreements to which the United States is a party and the legislation implementing the agreements should not contain immigration-related provisions.
The U.S. Trade Representative and the Executive Branch have been on notice since 2003 that they do not have the authority to negotiate immigration provisions in free trade agreements.

Nonetheless, the Obama Administration has been doing just that with the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement that is expected to come up soon.

 

Here is what was reported this week in The Hill newspaper:

TPP's provisions are largely secret but, according to Curtis Ellis of the American Jobs Alliance, the U.S. Trade Representative revealed that "temporary entry" guest worker visas are a "key feature" of the pact. Ellis said that Obama Administration previously used the U.S.-South Korea trade pact to expand the length of time a L-1 visa holder can work in the U.S. That pact is viewed as a model for negotiating the TPP.


NumbersUSA and its national network of citizen activists were often part of coalitions opposing the Bush abuses of trade agreements. And we were in the middle of pressures that led to the congressional pushback in 2003.

Remaining consistent, our network today is mobilized to stop Obama abuses of trade agreements that would guarantee that certain numbers of U.S. jobs may not be held by American workers.
 

 

 

 

2015-04-06

OFIR President Cynthia Kendoll will address the Polk County Republican Women Wednesday, April 8th at 11:30am at  the Oak Knoll Golf Course on Hwy. 22.

 


 

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