Welcome to the new OFIR blog!
OFIR invites you to pop in regularly and find out what's new, what's pressing and needing action and what other concerned citizens are doing in the fight to stop illegal immigration.
The current debate on border security centers around fencing and walls. Other security measures are also being proposed, such as advanced electronic surveillance technology, advocated by Glenn Spencer of American Border Patrol. In a letter addressed to presidential candidate Jeb Bush, Northwest talk show host Lars Larson makes a great case for strong fences as used successfully in Israel.
An open letter to Jeb Bush, from Lars Larson
August 27, 2015
In a country that has seen really great leaders, you bring new meaning to “bush league”.
Let me be specific in my criticism beginning with your latest statement on our border invasion.
“You can’t build a wall and solve this problem…it’s not practical, and it’s not conservative. I don’t think we should spend hundreds of billions of dollars with an impractical solution.” (Breitbart 26 August, 2015) Jeb….can I call you Jeb? I understand you’re trying to avoid unfortunate connections to the B word.
Not only can we build a wall, we must build a wall. It’s feasible, fair and fiscally responsible. Let me explain it to you in simple terms since you either lack the information or are allowing your establishment GOP inclinations override common sense for those in our party who cash in big time on all that cheap labor.
Israel has done it. If a tiny country that is our greatest ally can get it done, please explain to me why a man seeking the most powerful office in the world starts off by declaring what we “can’t” do?
I’ve been pushing this idea since my second visit to Israel in 2005 when I got the chance to see most of their wall from a helicopter. Yet today I hear almost no mention of it by American politicians, even though I’ve mentioned it to dozens of them and have talked about it extensively on my show.
Here’s how quickly Israel put up a barrier against real terrorists:
(Wiki) In 2000, Prime Minister Ehud Barak approved financing of a 74 km (46 mi) fence between the Wadi Ara region and Latrun. In 2001, a grass roots organization called “Fence for Life – The Public Movement for The Security Fence” urged the government to build a fence to separate the Palestinian territories from Israeli population centers. By 2003, 180 km (112 mi) had been completed and in 2004, Israel started the southern part of the barrier. By 2006, 362 km (224.9 mi) of the barrier had been completed, 88 km (54.7 mi) was under construction. By 2012, 440 km (273.4 mi) (62%) of the barrier had been completed, 57 km (35.4 mi) (8%) was under construction.
Unfortunately nearly every Democrat Party member, aided and abetted by “you can’t build a wall” establishment Republicans like you, declare that illegal aliens will just “buy taller ladders”. It’s a simplistic, stupid argument not backed up by facts, which I understand coming from Ds, but why from YOU?
Before I get to the costs and benefits, let’s talk about what it did for a country like Israel facing hundreds killed every year by determined terrorists.
(Wiki) “The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Israel Security Agency report that in 2002, there were 452 fatalities from terrorist attacks. Before the completion of the first continuous segment (July 2003) from the beginning of the Second Intifada, 73 Palestinian suicide bombings were carried out from the West Bank, killing 293 Israelis and injuring over 1,900. After the completion of the first continuous segment through the end of 2006, there were only 12 attacks based in the West Bank, killing 64 people and wounding 445. Terrorist attacks declined in 2007 and 2008 to 9 in 2010.
If a fence is that affective against terrorists, how do you think it will work against low skilled workers (“doing the jobs Americans won’t do” to quote the canard used by RINO politicians)?
You have expressed concern that in some cases, a barrier would leave people separated in some communities and impede economic activity. The same was true in Israel but I’ve seen the security gates that allow law abiding Palestinians to cross (in one specific example I remember from my visit ten years ago, a farmer who lived on the West Bank of the Jordan who would cross regularly to work his olive orchards on his land on the other side of the fence). A fence lets both sides decide who comes in legitimately
Now about the cost: Israel has a barrier 422 miles long (680 Kilometers) that cost about $2M per Kilometer. Call it 1.3 billion dollars. America needs a barrier roughly five times a long. Hundreds of miles of the fence have already been built, but even assuming we had to build 2,000 miles (3,000 km) of brand new barrier, that would cost about $6B. Now assume that because it’s built by our oh-so-efficient government, let’s double the cost (call it $12B) and then because it would be constructed with Davis Bacon union labor, add 50%. Round it up to $20B.
For 2.5% of the great Barack Obama’s 2009 “stimulus” we could have it built. Put it out to bid to be started in five different locations by five different companies and get it done in less than the 8 years it took the Israelis. Hell, hire both Halliburton and Bechtel to keep the left and right happy here.
What does America get for this expenditure of $20B (one half of one percent of the current federal budget or one tenth of one percent of the federal budget over the five years such a project might take)?
Let me get to that right after I dispense with the problem no American politician (Congressmen King and Gohmert and the great Sen Jeff Sessions excepted) has been able to tackle.
Frankly, it’s easy (remember that Gov. “Can’t”).
Require every American company e-verify its entire workforce. It’s illegal to employ no green card illegals, but for starters, use Iowa Congressman Steve King’s idea: if you’re not a legal worker, your wages are not deductible at tax time. Raids and criminal charges take forever. The IRS decree would act instantly on every company.
Read the rest of the article online at: http://larslarson.com/an-open-letter-to-jeb-bush/
Birthright citizenship, the 14th Amendment, anchor babies and illegal immigration are dominating the news.
Donald Trump has opened the discussion even more when he called for the denial of automatic citizenship for anchor babies. Even Jeb Bush, an open border and amnesty advocate, has denounced the practice.
The article below by Colin McNickle is an insightful look into the issue. All OFIR members should read the article and learn what’s true and what’s not true about birthright citizenship.
Wong does not make a birthright for illegal aliens
By Colin McNickle, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (Greensburg, Pa.)
August 24, 2015
The firestorm that has erupted anew over "birthright citizenship" exposes the manifest dangers of constitutional ignorance. Not Donald Trump's but that of his critics who have shown remarkable reading incomprehension regarding the Constitution and the Supreme Court case they so regularly cite in defense of their position.
A diverse chattering class of liberals, "progressives," conservatives and even, remarkably, libertarians pounced on Mr. Trump when he said that the children of illegal aliens born in the United States are not, under the 14th Amendment, automatically citizens of the United States.
Fox News host Bill O'Reilly, for one, would have none of that. "If you are born here, you're an American, period," he said, sparring with Trump, one of the gaggle of Republican presidential contenders. Later, Mr. O'Reilly, as have many others, cited United States v. Wong Kim Ark, decided by the Supreme Court in 1898.
As the Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court notes, at issue in Wong was the citizenship status of those of Chinese descent. An 1882 law already had barred Chinese from becoming naturalized citizens; "exclusionists" sought to bar them from birthright citizenship as well (based on the nationality of their parents and not the place of their birth).
Wong Kim Ark was born to Chinese parents in San Francisco in 1873. But, later, following a trip to China, he was denied readmission to the United States. "The government argued that Wong Kim Ark was not a citizen because his Chinese parents made him subject to the emperor of China."
The logic was tortured. Nonetheless, its essence, properly employed, goes to the heart of the 14th Amendment:
"All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof (emphasis added), are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside."
The high court, citing not only common law but the 14th Amendment, ruled 6-2 that citizenship was guaranteed to all persons born in the United States, regardless of their heritage.
So, case closed, right? The Supreme Court ruled birthright citizenship is the law of the land for all, right? The Donald Trump argument is populist pap and for naught, right?
Well, not exactly.
The Wong case involved the child of legal resident aliens. "The Supreme Court has never ruled directly on the question of birthright citizenship for the children of illegal aliens," wrote Lino A. Graglia, a University of Texas law professor, in a seminal 2010 white paper.
And illegal aliens clearly are subject to the jurisdiction of the country whence they came.
But what about the common law component of the court's Wong decision?
"The court recognized that even a rule based on soil and physical presence could not rationally be applied to grant birthright citizenship to persons whose presence in a country was not only without the government's consent but in violation of the law,"
Professor Graglia wrote. A number of constitutional scholars -- from Graglia, to Yale law professor Peter Schuck, to Gerald Posner -- say Congress can and should act -- without repealing or amending the 14th Amendment -- to end the absurdity of constitutionally warrantless birthright citizenship for illegal aliens, citizenship that's wholly unsupported in case law.
After all, the Constitution "should not be interpreted to require an absurdity," Graglia concluded. And it need not be. Because it doesn't.
Colin McNickle is Trib Total Media's director of editorial pages.
Published in the Aug. 8 edition of the Oregon Catalyst, State Rep. Mike Nearman, also an OFIR Board member calls out the Oregon Attorney General for her work in creating the most confusing ballot title ever for the Official English initiative.
The language has been challenged to the Supreme Court. We'll see what the Supreme Court does with it. Please stand by.
Blog post by Fred Elbel on July 16, 2015
I came across a nearly unbelievable news item, the article The Political Persecution of Dinesh D’Souza by Pamela Gellar, Breitbart, July 15, 2015. Even if I didn't know who Dinesh D'Souza is, the article would send shivers down my spine. But I do know who he is.
I wish, sometimes, I were a low-information voter, content to watch sitcom reruns and vote the party line. Ignorance is bliss, as they say. But, I'm not a low-information voter, which makes the news article even more troubling.
Dinesh D'Souza's movie, “America, Imagine a World Without Her” was co-produced by Gerald Molen, Academy-award winning producer of "Schindler's List". I wrote a review of the movie which states in part:
“America, Imagine a World Without Her” asks us to imagine that George Washington had been killed by a sniper's bullet. He asks us to "imagine the unimaginable - what would the world be like if America did not exist?" The movie asks: would the world suffer the loss of a great nation or would it a better place without an imperialist, racist nation?
He also wrote a number of books, including the best-selling books,The Roots of Obama’s Rage, which was described as the most influential political book of the year, and America: Imagine a World without Her - a rebuttal of the progressive shame narrative of American history.
D'Souza produced the movie "2016: Obama's America", in which he asks (in 2012), "If Obama wins a second term, where will we be in 2016?" Now we know.
D'Souza apparently ticked off the wrong powerful leftist elites with his exposes.
He admittedly made a mistake. On May 20, 2014, D'Souza pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court to a charge of using "straw donors" to make political campaign donations. He was sentenced to eight months in a halfway house, five years probation, and a $30,000 fine. But It doesn't end there. He's now been sentenced to five years of "therapeutic counseling".
From the article Fox News: Fed Judge Orders Psych Counseling For D'Souza, Fox News, July 15, 2015:
A federal judge has ordered Dinesh D’Souza to undergo ongoing psychological counseling, despite two psychologists already clearing him.
U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman told D’Souza that he considers his violation of federal campaign finance laws to be evidence of a psychological problem and ordered further counseling.
D’Souza said the judge already ordered him to complete eight months of counseling and once he finished, the judge said it wasn’t adequate.
D’Souza added that a prominent New York psychiatrist also “certified that he was perfectly normal” and provided a written statement to the court concluding there was no need to continue the consultation.
But Berman, who was appointed by President Bill Clinton, overruled the judgment of the two licensed psychologists.
Berman emphasized that D'Souza “to do eight hours each week for the entire five years he’s on probation and not just the eight months he was confined to a halfway house.” That's 1.6 hours every weekday for the next five years. Even mass murderers aren't sentenced to that much therapy, which in this case, amounts to court-imposed brainwashing.
Geller writes in her article The Political Persecution of Dinesh D’Souza:
...The idea that Dinesh D’Souza would be hounded and punished for something that Democrats do every day – that’s the point...
The idea that Dinesh would have to undergo psychological counseling is Maoist. It’s what Mao Zedong did to intellectuals and political dissidents in China. And as could have been predicted by anyone who is aware of how totalitarians have used psychology as a weapon, the psychological counseling hasn’t gone well. On Monday, Judge Berman “read aloud a report from a court-appointed psychologist who called D’Souza ‘arrogant’ and ‘intolerant of others’ feelings.’”...
Since when did being “arrogant and intolerant” – that according to a court-appointed psychologist – become a crime? The psychologist also claimed that “the client tends to deny problems and isn’t very introspective.” If that were a crime, Barack Obama should be serving a life sentence. If being arrogant and intolerant were a crime, you’d have to arrest the entire mainstream media.
Where is the outcry? Where is America? I don’t care if the enemedia isn’t writing about it. Where are decent Americans? It’s chilling. If Dinesh D’Souza is psychologically damaged in some serious way, so are millions of conservative Americans. And that’s the insidious point of his “therapeutic counseling.”
The persecution of Dinesh D’Souza is the latest manifestation of a disturbing new trend in American politics...
The use of the legal system to persecute political opponents is a hallmark of authoritarian regimes. This is how low the Obama administration has sunk...
Geller is spot-on. And, by the way, so is D'Souza.
Fred Elbel is Director of the Colorado Alliance for Immigration Reform - CAIRCO.
by Michael Cutler - former INS Special Agent Published in the Daily Caller July 10, 2015
The mere idea of providing illegal aliens with “protection” from federal law enforcement agents flies in the face of reason and commonsense.
From the steps of the Oregon State Capitol, hundreds of enthusiastic grassroots activists listened to Sheriff Arpaio, who hails from Maricopa County, Arizona.
Many other speakers addressed many topics: the legislative mis-use of the emergency clause, government transparency, 2nd amendment rights, voter fraud, limited taxation, immigration and 2 new initiatives being advanced and much more throughout the sweltering afternoon.
A disruptive, rude and obnoxious crowd across the street used bull horns, whistles and chants to disrupt the rally - but to no avail.
View photos of the rally with Sheriff Joe.
Please read the Guest Column written by Oregon Senator Betsy Johnson, (D–Scappoose) that appeared in the Daily Astorian newspaper.
Senator Johnson exposes the misuse of the “emergency clause” by the Oregon Legislature. She uses the vote on Measure 88 as the prime example of why bills should not have an emergency clause unless there is a true emergency.
Guest Column: Not everything is an emergency
By State Sen. Betsy Johnson
Published: May 21, 2015
Any law with an emergency clause is protected from the people’s veto power.
The Oregon Legislature is beginning to resemble a 9-1-1 call center. Almost everything is an emergency.
Increasingly these are the words you find in the House and Senate bills coming out of the Legislature: “An emergency is declared to exist, and this act takes effect on its passage.”
Any law with an emergency clause is protected from the people’s veto power. Voters cannot challenge it through the referendum process.
You might be surprised what constitutes an emergency. In this session so far, it includes bills like “banning the box,” which makes it unlawful for employers to ask job applicants to check a box if they’ve been convicted of a felony. Why would ex-felons’ job hunts constitute an emergency? There are many non-felons who endure extended job searches.
Or how about the “motor voter” law, HB 2177, which automatically registers licensed drivers to vote. What kind of an emergency exists that requires drivers to be automatically registered to vote?
Then there’s the recently approved gun law, SB 941, which requires licensed gun dealers to conduct background checks for private sales of legal firearms. (If you buy or sell on the black market, you’re exempt from this emergency.)
Soon to come is SB 822, an emergency bill requested by criminal defense attorneys, who want grand jury proceedings tape-recorded. Criminal defense attorneys, apparently, can’t wait to find out the identities of victims and witnesses.
At the rate we’re going, all bills will be deemed emergency acts. It will become routine. Perhaps that’s the point. If citizens complain that a controversial bill has been labeled an emergency to protect it from the people’s veto power, legislators can quell any suspicion by simply saying, “Most bills have an emergency clause.”
Voters still have some constitutional protection. Tax bills, for example, cannot be enacted as an emergency.
If you’re a citizen curious about the number of bills that were passed as emergencies in the last regular session, the information may not be readily available. If you call the legislative assembly office, they may direct you to the state legislature’s website and a section called “Citizen Engagement.”
There you’ll find a 190-page document called the “2013 Summary of Legislation.” One caller I know prowled through that, read the brief descriptions and effective dates of each bill that passed, and found that about half of the roughly 300 bills listed there were emergencies.
One bill that slipped through without an emergency clause was SB 833, and its fate is a lesson in why referendum power is important.
SB 833 allowed illegal immigrants to obtain driver cards. Since it wasn’t an emergency, opponents had 90 days after the end of the legislative session to exercise the power of referendum. They collected enough signatures from qualified voters and forced SB 833 onto the November 2014 ballot. As Ballot Measure 88, voters rejected driver cards for illegal immigrants by almost a 2-to-1 margin.
The people’s veto power exists for a reason. It serves as a check on legislators who can become so focused on what happens inside the state Capitol building that they forget there’s an entire state outside the door.
We work in a grand, majestic building. It’s open to the public. But once the legislature is in session, a legislator’s time is often consumed talking to other legislators and lobbyists. We don’t always notice things like emergency clauses and whether they are really needed. Some of my bills have carried emergency clauses.
Our state’s frequent use of the emergency clause is not unique.
Former Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire, concerned about similar abuse in her state, began vetoing emergency clauses on bills, leaving intact the rest of the legislation. One of her first such vetoes was an emergency clause on a bill adding porphyria to the list of disabilities for special parking privileges.
The Olympian newspaper praised her in an editorial: “The Legislature’s overuse of the emergency clause should incense the public because it takes away their right to reject laws adopted by the Legislature. Where’s the outrage?”
Oregon’s constitution also allows the governor to veto an emergency provision in new bills without affecting the rest of the bill.
Governor Kate Brown should use this power. As Secretary of State, she pushed for the “motor voter” bill, ostensibly to make it easier for more voters to exercise their right to vote.
The emergency clause does exactly the opposite.
It takes away the people’s right to vote.
Betsy Johnson, D-Scappoose, represents District 16, covering Clatsop and Columbia counties and parts of Multnomah, Tillamook and Washington.
The people’s veto power exists for a reason.
From: The DailyAstorian
THE COLUMBIA-PACIFIC REGION’S NEWS SOURCE SINCE 1873
Leaders of our Federal government have said some pretty eyebrow-raising things in recent years, but if there were a contest for the most shocking of all, it’d be hard to top this:
Many of us are neck deep in politics. They call us activists - or worse.
Many of us are very informed, but prefer to stay out of the fray and simply be supportive at the ballot box.
But, the vast majority of people are uninformed voters. And, in large part, it's because of the "low information voter" that we are in the predicament we find ourselves now.
Letters to the Editor, commentaries and opinion pieces are critical in reaching out to people who only glance at the newspaper - occassionally. Or take a peek online once in a while.
Please read through the fantastic collection of letters written by folks inspired to simply speak up and express their frustrations!
A well written opinion piece by OFIR founder and longtime member Elizabeth VanStaaveren is a good example!
A recent commentary by OFIR member Rick LaMountain is a great place to start.