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.

Some Senators don't want to protect American workers

The displacement of citizen workers by foreign nationals brought here under flawed visa programs is a serious problem for this country, but falls very low on the scale of importance to many U.S. Senators.
This was clearly shown at the recent Senate hearing described by John Miano in a blog on the Center for Immigration Studies website.  Here he names the names of organizations that appear to control certain Senators’ positions on the issue of jobs for Americans first.
Neither of Oregon’s 2 Senators is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, but Senators Wyden and Merkley both have very poor records on importation of foreign workers.  Sen. Wyden’s voting record on reducing unnecessary worker visas is F over his whole US Senate career from 1989-2015.  Senator Merkley’s is F- over his Senate career, 2009-2015, on the same subject: unnecessary worker visas

By John Miano, Center for Immigration Studies, March 22, 2015 
[abridged version]
I testified last week before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Reforms Needed to Protect Skilled American Workers. It was a great honor to be invited. However, participating in an event like this highlights the growing isolation between Washington and the rest of America.
At one time there was a consensus that American citizens should come first under our immigration laws. The Supreme Court has repeatedly held that preserving jobs for American workers is a primary purpose of our immigration laws; see, for instance Reno v. Flores, 507 U.S. 292, 334 (1993).
No such consensus exists in today's Washington.
The impetus for the hearing was the recent replacement of Americans by H-1B workers at Southern California Edison, Northeast Utilities, Cargill, and Walt Disney World.
You would think that members of Congress, upon learning that Americans workers are being replaced by foreign workers, would response in unison, "This is outrageous. That needs to stop now!"
I sensed such outrage from Sens. Durbin, Grassley, Sessions, and Vitter—but none of the rest present.
In fact, the impression I came away with is that most of the senators did not think it is even a problem when Americans are being replaced by foreign workers.
(Senators, that was just my impression. I know that some people put on a restrained face hiding rage behind that. If I left out any senator at the hearing who was outraged, I will be happy to amend this post and link to any statement you have made that Congress should act immediately to stop the replacement of Americans by foreign workers.)
While at the hearing, I saw that a number of organizations had put out a statement that included the following claim:
MYTH: Foreign workers displace American workers in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. 
The liars who signed this statement are:
• American Immigration Lawyers Association
• BSA | The Software Alliance
• Compete America Coalition
• Computer & Communications Industry Association
• Consumer Electronics Association
• Council for Global Immigration
• FWD.us
• HR Policy Association
• Information Technology Industry Council
• National Association of Home Builders
• National Association of Manufacturers
• National Venture Capital Association
• Partnership for a New American Economy
• Society for Human Resource Management
• Semiconductor Industry Association
• Silicon Valley Leadership Group
• Tech CEO Council
• TechNet
• U.S. Chamber of Commerce
While I was in the hotel room the night before, I watched a Rachel Maddow segment on MSNBC in which they went over a poll that asked Americans what the biggest problem in the country was. The number one problem, by far, was government.
It would behoove some senators to read Aesop's fable of The Ass and His Purchaser. The moral is "You are known by the company you keep."
Senators, when you hang out with liars, like those listed above; when you put their statements in the record; and when you repeat their statements without question you look like an ass too. You are measured by the company you keep.


Practical thoughts on immigration

In this article, Heather Mac Donald gives a clear account of the dangers the U.S. faces from prolonged lax enforcement of the immigration laws, and she condemns the amnesty policies of President Obama.  Ms. Mac Donald has followed and written about immigration issues for several years; her article here underscores the urgency of restoring the rule of law in immigration matters.
Practical Thoughts on Immigration
by Heather Mac Donald, Manhattan Institute
In Imprinis, monthly speech digest of Hillsdale College, February 2015 | Volume 44, Number 2
The lesson from the last 20 years of immigration policy is that lawlessness breeds more lawlessness. Once a people or a government decides to normalize one form of lawbreaking, other forms of lawlessness will follow until finally the rule of law itself is in profound jeopardy. Today, we have a constitutional crisis on our hands. President Obama has decided that because Congress has not granted amnesty to millions of illegal aliens living in the U.S., he will do so himself. Let us ponder for a moment just how shameless this assertion of power is.
Article 2, Section 3, of the Constitution mandates that the president “shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.” This provision assumes that there is a law for the president to execute. But in this case, the “problem” that Obama is purporting to fix is the absence of a law granting amnesty to millions of illegal aliens. Rather than executing a law, Obama is making one up—arrogating to himself a function that the Constitution explicitly allocates to Congress. Should this unconstitutional power grab stand, we will have moved very far in the direction of rule by dictator. Pace Obama, the absence of a congressional law granting amnesty is not evidence of political failure that must somehow be corrected by unilateral executive action; it is evidence of the lack of popular consensus regarding amnesty. There has been no amnesty statute to date because the political will for such an amnesty is lacking.
To read the rest of the article, click here:  http://imprimis.hillsdale.edu/
Heather Mac Donald is the Thomas W. Smith Fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor of City Journal. She received her B.A. from Yale University, and earned an M.A. in English from Cambridge University and a J.D. from Stanford Law School. She writes for several newspapers and journals, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The New Criterion, and Public Interest, and is the author of three books, including—with Victor Davis Hanson and Steven Malanga—The Immigration Solution: A Better Plan Than Today’s.
Her article, Practical Thoughts on Immigration, was adapted from a speech she delivered on February 18, 2015, at a Hillsdale College National Leadership Seminar in Naples, Florida.

Dorchester Conference left alot to be desired

Having defeated Ballot Measure 88 in 35 out of 36 counties and with a 66% NO vote, it seemed curious to me that a conversation about just exactly how that happened would be eminent on the floor at the Dorchester Conference.  Perhaps those people scratching their heads about what happened to Oregon Republicans in the last election should review what happened with Measure 88 - and why!  There is a clear message here!

Uber vs. Taxi was the lead topic of discussion on Saturday.  Disappointing, for sure.  A break-out session (one of three) to discuss immigration reform was offered late in the afternoon on Saturday.

Saturday's OFIR meeting moving and maddening

In a moving presentation at the Saturday, Feb. 28 OFIR meeting, California father Don Rosenberg explained the tragic death of his son by a hit and run, unlicensed, illegal alien driver and the infuriating way in which he and his family were treated on the path to the prosecution of his son's killer.

Even with the gorgeous early Spring weather, a full house greeted Don as he unwound the story of what he and his family have endured.  It's enough to have to ever experience such an unimaginable loss, but even worse to think that our own government treated the criminal with more respect than the grieving family.

OFIR thanks Don and his family for his unending work in shining a light on the real problem - a government that won't enforce our laws and elected officials that are a disgrace as public servants.


Effective immigration law enforcement is ‘pro-immigrant,’ compassionate

Effective immigration law enforcement is ‘pro-immigrant,’ compassionate
By Michael W. Cutler, Senior Special Agent, INS (Ret.)
Senior Fellow, Californians for Population Stabilization
On CAPS website, February 17, 2015
For many years those of us who have called for the effective enforcement of our immigration laws and the securing of our borders have been accused of being “Anti-Immigrant” and have had a host of other vile epithets hurled at us by immigration anarchists who enrich themselves greatly through the callous and cynical exploitation of the very aliens they purport to support.
Those who exploit the failures of the immigration system include special interest groups and unscrupulous employers who know that foreign workers – both legally employed and illegally employed in the United States – accept lower wages under substandard conditions.
Additional exploiters include the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, immigration attorneys who in the flood of illegal aliens see clients and politicians who seek to not only accept campaign contributions from many of those who profit from the massive influx of foreign nationals but hope to garner votes along the way.
The exploiters demonstrate unmitigated chutzpah claiming that opening our borders to a human tsunami of foreign nationals from around the world is an act of compassion. Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush claims that it would be an “Act of Love” to provide lawful status for unknown millions of aliens who evaded the inspections process that is supposed to prevent the entry of international terrorists and transnational criminals among other categories of aliens deemed excludible under our immigration laws.
Jeb is “Looking for love in all the wrong places!”
Jeb and those of a similar mindset know damn well that such a massive amnesty program would do great harm to all Americans and that the greatest harm would be done to America’s black and Latino communities. He is no fool. The only conclusion that can be reached is that wealth and power are all that matter. For them, those who suffer as a result of the failures of the immigration system are simply “collateral damage.” They certainly know the damage being done even as they spout their rhetoric and false accusations. They simply do not care.
Click here to read the entire article.

Where do Oregon Republicans stand on immigration?

For the past 50 years Republicans from all across Oregon have gathered at the Dorchester Conference in Seaside to discuss politics.  The opportunity for hundreds of politically active Oregonians to gather and discuss the issues of the day with Legislators, Mayors, Congressmen and others has been an asset to Oregon politics.

Every year a slate of topics covering state and national issues, is presented for conference attendees.  Speeches presenting both sides of the issue and debate with the table group expands participants knowledge of each issue.  A comment period allows participants to express their viewpoint to the entire conference.

Oregonians for Immigration Reform has participated in The Dorchester Conference for the past several years, hosting an informational booth in the vendor hall, participating in the conference and contributing financially to the conference in the form of sponsorships.

For the past few year as the issue of immigration becomes increasingly concerning in local and national politics, OFIR requested that the topic of immigration be slated as a discussion topic at an upcoming Dorchester Conference.  OFIR has been denied every time.  Why?

OFIR and Protect Oregon Driver Licenses delivered a powerful blow to the Legislators that supported Ballot Measure 88 with 66% of Oregonians voting NO on driver cards for those illegally in the country. 

Because of the profound message that victory sends, OFIR has submitted yet another request for immigration to be a topic at the conference.   OFIR has gotten no response to our request.  Why?

Please read the letter OFIR has submitted to the Dorchester Conference and feel free to send a comment to:

Telephone: (503) 435-0141

To: Alison Bruun
President - 2015 Dorchester Conference

From: Cynthia Kendoll
President - Oregonians for Immigration Reform

Re: Illegal immigration as a discussion topic at Dorchester Conference

Will the 2015 Dorchester Conference include illegal immigration as the subject of a discussion group on Saturday, March 14?

As proved by last year's election, opposition to illegal immigration is of vital importance to Oregon voters -- and to Republican success. Via Ballot Measure 88, nearly one million Oregonians voted to repeal the 2013 state law granting driver cards to illegal aliens. Republican candidates who publicly supported efforts to deter illegal immigration -- among them Kim Thatcher, Sal Esquivel, Bill Post, Mike Nearman and Greg Barreto -- won their elections. Those who downplayed or avoided the issue -- like Dennis Richardson, Monica Wehby, Patti Milne and Matt Geiger -- were defeated.

At Dorchester, the issue could be explored in a number of ways specific to Oregon. Possible questions for a discussion group could be:

-- Should Oregon mandate that state businesses use E-Verify to vet job applicants' eligibility for U.S. employment?

-- Should Oregon repeal ORS 181.850, which purports to limit Oregon law enforcement's coordination and cooperation with federal immigration authorities?

-- Should Oregon enact a constitutional amendment to ensure only U.S. citizens vote in state elections?

Both in Oregon and across the nation, illegal immigration is of paramount concern to American voters. It's time that the Dorchester Conference gives illegal immigration the attention it has earned -- and makes it a topic of a Saturday discussion group.

As well, I would be happy to address conference attendees on the connection between opposition to illegal immigration and Republican electoral success or any other immigration related topic.

Thank you for your consideration, and all the best.

President - Oregonians for Immigration Reform http://www.oregonir.org/ Authorized Agent and Statewide Campaign Manager - Protect Oregon Driver Licenses http://www.protectoregondl.org/
Advisory Board - Colorado Alliance for Immigration Reform - http://www.cairco.org/

OFIR applauds voters for seeing through the false statements

Two months after the election those who supported the new law giving driver cards to illegal aliens - on the ballot as Measure 88 - are still trying to explain away their overwhelming defeat. 

Spending nearly $600,000 (more than ten times that of Protect Oregon Driver Licenses) Andrea Miller - Director of Causa - claims they simply didn't have the resources to "educate the public".

The clear and simple truth is that the majority of Oregon Legislators, the Governor, big unions and special interest groups couldn't quite dupe the public. 

The reality of the major problems created by granting driver cards to illegal aliens was just too big to bury in the sob stories of hardship about getting to and from jobs that illegal aliens are not supposed to have in the first place.

Nearly a million voters - 66% voted NO on 88, even after hearing nothing but misinformation and, in some cases, downright lies about what Ballot Measure 88 would accomplish.

Jim Ludwick - founder and past President of OFIR laid it all out nicely in a letter in response to yet another sob story printed in The Register-Guard.


Measure 88-supporting politicians disregarded unemployed Oregonians


By David Olen Cross

We have included excerpts - click here for the complete article.

Oregon’s continued high unemployment numbers continue to show how Governor John Kitzhaber, Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian and members of the Oregon State Legislature who supported Ballot Measure 88 (formerly known as Senate Bill 833), legislation that would have required the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) issue driver cards to illegal immigrants, foreign nationals illegally in the state, are politicians hopelessly disconnected from the plight of the unemployed in the state.

An evaluation of the seasonally adjusted unemployment numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, News Release from November 21, 2014 titled “Regional and State Employment and Unemployment — October 2014” revealed the National unemployment rate at 5.8 percent — Oregon’s unemployment at 7.0 percent...

What follows below are complete lists of the names of Democrat and Republican elected officials currently in office...

Gov. John Kitzhaber supported and signed into law SB 833 — represents 36 Oregon counties’ 127,041 unemployed (UE) — 7.0 percent seasonally adjusted unemployment rate (SAUR).

Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian supported SB 833 — represents 36 counties’ 127,041 UE, 7.0 percent SAUR.

Democrat senators (Sen.) who voted for or were sponsors of SB 833 and the senate district (SD) they represent: click here

Republican senators who voted for or were sponsors of SB 833 and the senate district they represent: click here

Sen. Herman Baertschiger Jr. (SD-2) — represents portions of Jackson’s 7,389 UE — 8.5 percent SAUR and Josephine’s 2,989 UE — 9.6 percent SAUR;
Democrat representatives (Rep.) who voted for or were sponsors of SB 833 and the house district (HD) they represent: click here

Republican representatives who voted for or were sponsors of SB 833 and the house district they represent: click here

An indefensible argument given by proponents of driver cards for the foreign nationals illegally in the state, are illegal immigrants need to be able drive to work. A reminder for proponents of driver cards, foreign nationals illegally in the country cannot legally work in the state.

Another argument of proponents of driver cards is Oregon U.S. citizens will not work at the jobs illegal immigrants now occupy. This argument is at best a half-truth; Oregon U.S. citizens have historically been more than willing to work in construction, forestry, hotels, and restaurants.

.... estimate of 110,000 unauthorized workers in the state.

....  there are up to 52,880 unauthorized agricultural workers in the state.

Oregon’s 127,041 unemployed should contact their governor, labor commissioner and legislators and tell them in the future to reject the idea of any executive action or legislation that would require the DMV to grant a state issued identity in the form of a driver card to illegal immigrants — foreign nationals illegally in the state — that would allow them to legally drive to work.

Here is how Oregon’s’ unemployed can contact their governor, labor commissioner, and members of the state legislature (See links):

Governor: http://www.oregon.gov/gov/Pages/ShareYourOpinion.aspx

Labor commissioner: http://www.bradavakian.com/contact/

Find who represents me: http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/FindYourLegislator/leg-search.html

State senators: http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/senate/

State representatives: http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/house/

David Olen Cross of Salem writes on immigration issues and foreign national crime. He can be reached at docfnc@yahoo.com.

D.A.King weighs in on GOP's amnesty plans

D.A. King is a nationally recognized authority on immigration and president of the Georgia-based, pro-enforcement immigration watchdog group, the Dustin Inman Society.  Read his letter to the editor about the GOP's plan to keep their heads down as President Obama's amnesty scheme washes over us.

D.A. King is an endorser for the Protect Oregon Driver Licenses campaign.  We are proud to have him be a part of our campaign!

Very special guest, Dr. Stephen Steinlight, addresses OFIR meeting

Dr. Stephen Steinlight - Senior Policy Analyst from The Center for Immigration Studies in Washington DC addressed OFIR members and guests and OFIR's annual Christmas Party and meeting.  The overwhelming defeat of Ballot Measure 88 was celebrated, as well.  Visit our OFIR photo gallery.

The time-worn clichés of amnesty supporters

Representative Suzanne Bonamici’s constituent newsletter of November 26 reported on several issues before Congress. The first issue discussed was headed “Acting on Immigration.” Her newsletters are not on her website but any constituent can sign up to receive them by email. See the homepage of her website.

Rep. Bonamici strongly supports President Obama’s unilateral amnesty and in the newsletter she recites the same misrepresentatives, distortions, and untruths that have been refuted many times by those who follow immigration issues closely and with the public interest foremost in their minds.

Here, OFIR member Elizabeth Van Staaveren gives a paragraph by paragraph rebuttal to Rep.

Bonamici’s statements. Embedded links lead to source documents available for further information.

“Our immigration system is broken,” begins the newsletter of Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR1).

Our immigration system is not broken. The problem is that immigration laws have not been enforced adequately for decades, and President Obama has effectively crippled the whole enforcement operation. The result is that we have an officially reported over 11 million illegal aliens in the country with the actual numbers likely much higher. It should be obvious to all that if the immigration laws had been adequately enforced, we would not now have the problem of over 11 million illegal aliens in this country.

“A bipartisan, comprehensive immigration reform bill passed the Senate more than 515 days ago, but House leadership has refused to bring the bill forward for a vote.”

The bill she refers to, S. 744, passed by the Senate on June 27, 2013, has never been sent to the House. It would not have been possible for the House to “bring the bill forward for a vote.” House Committees considered several House-authored bills on immigration, but because of strong public opposition to amnesties, none has been brought to a vote by the House so far. 75% of voters answering exit polls in the 2014 midterm elections rejected Obama's executive decree amnesty plans and 80% did not want foreign workers taking jobs from Americans.

“Without a vote by the House, President Obama took action.”

The President has no authority to make immigration law. The Constitution assigns law-making to Congress; the President is supposed to carry out the laws passed by Congress, not dictatorially make his own laws. If Congress refuses to pass a law that the President wants, the President must abide by the decision.

“His limited measures will strengthen border security, could give more than 4 million immigrants a three-year reprieve from deportation, and would make them eligible for a work permit; it does not make them eligible for citizenship.”

The “measures” of President Obama, which were simply a memorandum to his appointees at DHS, are broad and sweeping in their scope. They will give amnesty to unknown millions of illegal aliens, telling the world it’s o.k. to enter the U.S. illegally – all are welcome. New illegal immigrants will naturally expect another amnesty later. Our already-overcrowded country will be submerged in waves of illegal immigration. Competition for jobs and living space will decimate the quality of life for all.

“The President's action would provide an economic boost to the country.”

No, unfettered illegal immigration has already depressed wages across the board and resulted in widespread unemployment and underemployment, increasing the need for public assistance and further burdening taxpayers. Any economic benefits of amnesties go only to the illegal immigrants and their employers, and then only in the short term.

“…help keep families together …”

We have no obligation to keep illegal alien families together in the U.S. Families should decide which country they as a unit wish to live in, and then follow legal procedures to assure their being together.

“… but it [President Obama’s amnesty] is not permanent and it does not address many of the reforms that are needed. Congress must work to pass comprehensive reform.

"Comprehensive reform" is in reality a plan for open borders and the demise of the U.S. as a nation. The term has been around so long it has its own acronym: CIR, comprehensive immigration reform. The reason advocates want to have a “comprehensive” bill instead of addressing separately the specific problems of administering immigration law is that they can make the bill so long and tedious very few will read it through, as happened with S.744. That bill did not provide for good enforcement as claimed; it was loaded with amnesties for millions and impediments to law enforcement. It also contained loopholes for exploitation of immigration laws by those who profit from illegal immigration, and it served globalists who have no respect or concern for the national boundaries of the U.S.

Don't be Grubered by Boehner's Amnesty Plan

First they tried to tell us they couldn’t defund Obama’s amnesty. Now, Boehner and his bootlickers are making it clear that they won’t defund it.

...While reporters and pundits will spill copious pages of ink attempting to ascertain the strategy behind this plan, the only words that count are those of the Speaker himself....he downright supports open borders and even told Obama to pull the trigger on his unconstitutional executive action. Everything else is window dressing.

As we noted a few weeks ago, Speaker Boehner told his conference that he personally gave Obama the green light to “do what you gotta do” after the elections in the event that Republicans declined to pass amnesty legislatively.

So what is the window dressing?

They will pass a so-called “Cromnibus” hybrid bill, in which most of government will be funded for the remainder of the fiscal year (through September 2015), while immigration-related agencies will be funded through March. There is no rider attached to the bill defunding Obama’s amnesty within the relevant agencies tasked with executing the illegal act. They think House conservatives are suckers who believe that leadership will fight to defund amnesty early next year when they win back the Senate.

Some conservatives might be fooled by the argument that we will have more leverage if we punt the fight into next year when Republicans control the Senate. But this false sense of hope fails to account for the fact that Boehner agrees with Obama and has no intention of fighting this – ever.

But leadership realized that they needed some sweetener to sugar-coat the lack of an immediate response, so they are passing a stand-alone bill nullifying Obama’s amnesty. Once again, they think we are stupid. Any bill that does not condition the funding for the immigration agencies to a rider defunding Obama’s amnesty is a joke. It will never force the issue, and they know it.

Passing a standalone resolution condemning Obama’s amnesty might have been appropriate on November 20 – the day Obama issued his royal proclamation. Instead, Republicans failed to even lodge a protest, and proceeded to leave town for two weeks. But now that the budget bill is upon us, protests are meaningless – talk is cheap. It’s time for them to execute their constitutional powers of the purse and defund the amnesty programs, including the issuance of work permits and social security cards.

....we will have more leverage if we punt the fight into next year when Republicans control the Senate. But this false sense of hope fails to account for the fact that Boehner agrees with Obama and has no intention of fighting this – ever. They will simply use the reprieve granted to them by conservatives to distract from fighting Obama’s amnesty, or worse, as Grover Norquist and Mitt Romney have suggested, work with Obama to pass legislative amnesty.

If conservative members agree to this plan, they are just as complicit in Obama’s amnesty as everyone else. Don’t be fooled, once this budget bill passes the amnesty will be irrevocable.

Moreover, even if we had a committed conservative majority, we will not have much more leverage than we do now. Even with GOP control of the Senate, Democrats have the ability to filibuster a bill they don’t like, preventing it from reaching the president’s desk. That is true now; it will be true in March. It’s all about having a morally clear message that we will fund all lawful aspects of government except for the illegal amnesty. And the longer Republicans wait to fight while agreeing to fund these agencies, the weaker they look...

If conservative members agree to this plan, they are just as complicit in Obama’s amnesty as everyone else. Don’t be fooled, once this budget bill passes the amnesty will be irrevocable.

Daniel Horowitz is Senior Editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @ RMConservative