amnesty

Activists prepare for the worst in lawsuit to block immigration actions

Prominent immigration advocates have all but conceded that federal judge Andrew Hanen – a staunch critic of the Obama administration’s immigration policies – will block the president’s executive actions just weeks before the measures are slated to kick in.

Advocacy groups are bracing for Hanen, a U.S. district court judge, to decide this week on a lawsuit that could unravel the president’s unilateral measures to shield as many as 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation....

“We all think the judge is going to rule in favor of the plaintiffs here. That much is almost assumed at this point.”
Marshall Fitz, Center for American Progress

...Advocates remain confident that the law is on the administration’s side...

Hanen did not mince words in a scathing court opinion in 2013 when he accused the Department of Homeland Security of engaging in a “criminal conspiracy” ...

If Hanen decides against the Obama administration, he could block the implementation of the executive measures, which are scheduled to kick in Feb. 18...

...With an unsympathetic judge on the bench, appointed by President George W. Bush in 2002, immigration reform advocates are bracing for the worst...

Pro-immigrant groups point out that scores of legal experts, elected officials and law enforcement authorities support President Obama’s executive actions, which would provide a shield from deportation and grant temporary work permits to millions of undocumented immigrants...

... the White House has remained steadfast in asserting that the president has the discretion to prioritize which people should or should not be deported.

“Presidential use of executive discretion has been pretty consistent in the last 20 or so years,” said Brandon Rottinghaus, associate professor of political science at the University of Houston. “I don’t think the court would overturn that.”

Karen Tumlin, managing attorney at the National Immigration Law Center, hoped the decision will not deter undocumented immigrants from coming forward to take advantage of the executive action once enrollment opens – either in a few weeks or further down the road.

“People have been waiting so long for a chance to come forward and be able to work with authorization and not be looking over their shoulder all day long,” she said. “We’re really trying to send the message that this should be business as usual.”

 

Oregon's unauthorized immigrants clustered around Portland

WASHINGTON — Unauthoriized immigrants in Oregon are largely clustered in and around big cities, as they are nationwide, which could pose a challenge for advocates hoping to reach those in rural areas who may qualify for programs giving them temporary legal status.

Almost two-fifths of those in Oregon eligible for deportation relief live in its two largest counties, according to new projections by the Migration Policy Institute. Of the estimated 64,000 of Oregon's 124,000 immigrants who qualify, either as parents of lawful residents under President Barack Obama's recent executive order or as someone who came to the U.S. as a small child, 25,000 live in Multnomah and Washington counties.

This mirrors the national trend, where 3.5 million of the 5.2 million immigrants who are eligible for the two programs reside in just 117 of the country's 3,143 counties, according to an analysis of census data released Thursday by the Migration Policy Institute, a Washington-based nonpartisan think tank that advocates intelligent management of international migration.

The vast majority of those eligible — more than 75 percent — live in the 10 states with the largest immigration populations, which include California, Texas, New York and Washington, but not Oregon.

An overwhelming share of those eligible reside in a handful of counties. It's not just a handful of states, it's a handful of counties," said Jeanne Batalova, a senior policy analyst and demographer with the institute.

Outreach efforts are easier in urban and suburban areas with large immigrant populations, particularly when they predominantly speak Spanish, she said. In Los Angeles County, which contains almost one-tenth of the unauthorized immigrant population for the entire nation, radio ads on Spanish-language stations are an effective way to alert people to their potential eligibility for the programs.

Unauthorized immigrants in Oregon (53 percent) are more likely to have lived in the U.S. for 10 years or longer than those nationwide (47 percent), the institute found. They are also more likely to speak English not well or not at all (53 percent in Oregon, 51 percent nationally) and less likely to have finished high school (57 percent versus 50 percent).

Financially, a higher percentage of Oregon's unauthorized immigrants (36 percent) live below the poverty line than do those nationwide (31 percent).

These factors can pose significant obstacles that prevent unauthorized immigrants from coming forward to apply for the government programs,...
 

Oregon joins legal support of Obama's immigration action

Brief submitted by 12 states counters lawsuit filed by 25 other states in federal court.

Oregon has joined Washington and 10 other states in defense of President Obama’s executive action shielding up to 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation...

The statement, initiated by Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, was filed in connection with a lawsuit brought by 25 other states against Obama’s Nov. 20 action.

The case is pending in U.S. District Court in Texas. A hearing is scheduled Thursday.

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum issued a statement Wednesday explaining her reasoning to intervene:

“The president used his full legal authority and discretion to address critical immigration issues facing our country...

Judges and courts can use arguments submitted in friend-of-the-court briefs to bolster their reasoning in writing their decisions.

The judge in this case, Andrew Hanen, is more likely to side with the challenge brought by Attorney General Greg Abbott of Texas — soon to be that state’s governor — and other states that filed the suit on Dec. 3. The initial list of 17 has grown to 25.

But it’s likely that the proceedings will end up in the federal appellate courts....

In addition to Oregon and Washington, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, Vermont and the District of Columbia have joined to defend Obama’s action.

Decisions to intervene in such cases are made by attorneys general, who are popularly elected in 43 states.

Of the 25 states challenging Obama’s action, 21 have Republican attorneys general; all 12 states supporting his action have Democratic attorneys general...

If Obama’s authority for executive action is upheld, Oregon and other states will consider whether work permits issued to these immigrants will constitute legal presence in the United States, a status enabling them to apply for driver’s licenses in many states.

Under a similar program created by Obama under a 2012 executive order, immigrants who were brought to the United States illegally as children qualified for work permits. Virtually all states, including Oregon, considered them proof of legal presence for issuance of licenses.

Oregon voters Nov. 4 rejected a 2013 law granting driver’s licenses to those who met driving knowledge and skills tests but cannot prove legal presence. Ten states have such laws, which are permitted under the federal Real ID Act if the licenses are clearly marked as invalid for federal purposes.

 

Please attend and ask Sen. Wyden about defunding executive actions on immigration

Alert date: 
January 15, 2015
Alert body: 

If possible, please attend and express your views on President Obama’s unilateral, unconstitutional executive amnesty. Senator Wyden recently voted in favor of funding it.

Read about the dangers and unknown variables in the President’s amnesty plan here: http://cis.org/much-of-obamas-lawless-immigration-scheme-still-unknown. Earlier, in 2013, Sen. Wyden voted in favor of S.744, the bill giving amnesty to millions of illegal aliens while also vastly increasing legal immigration, at this time of widespread unemployment and underemployment among citizens.

Josephine County Town Hall »

Jan 17 2015 10:00AM

Rogue Auditorium, Rogue Community College
3345 Redwood Hwy, Grants Pass, OR

Klamath County Town Hall »

Jan 17 2015 3:30PM

OIT College Union Building
3200 Campus Drive
Klamath Falls, OR

Lincoln County Town Hall »

Jan 18 2015 1:00PM

the Commons at Oregon Coast Community College
400 SE College Way
Newport, OR

 


The following are some questions you might ask Sen. Wyden. If you’re able to question him or make comments to him, please tell OFIR what his response was.

1. Our immigration system is not “broken;” enforcement of the immigration laws is what is broken! That is the reason we have millions of illegal immigrants. Citizenship and the rule of law must be cherished and respected by all, or our nation is on a slippery slope into the culture of corruption from which many immigrants try to escape. Administration claims of good enforcement are false. Senator, what are you doing to strengthen U.S. immigration law enforcement?

2. There have been 7 major amnesties passed by Congress from 1986 to 2000, each resulting in ever-increasing numbers of illegal immigrants. Now another huge amnesty is being pushed. We need enforcement of the immigration laws, not another amnesty.

3. Unemployment and underemployment persist as major problems in Oregon and the U.S. Businesses can and do hire illegal aliens at substandard wages in construction, agriculture, hotels, restaurants. Why don’t you do more to stop the hiring of illegal aliens? Why don’t you work to make E-Verify mandatory for all employers?

4. Did you know that between the Censuses of 2000 and 2010, 80% of population growth resulted from immigration (immigrants plus the children of immigrants). The U.S. is already overcrowded. After more than 4 decades of unprecedentedly high immigration, we need a pause, a moratorium on immigration, or we face a steep decline in the quality of life for everyone. If you are truly concerned about our environment, you should work for major reductions in immigration.

 

5. Your 25-year voting record in Congress on immigration issues is F as shown by NumbersUSA. This grade is based on official tallies of votes on bills. Whose interests do you think should come first in U.S. immigration policy? Those of immigrants or those of citizens? The record says you favor the interests of immigrants and their employers.


 

12 states defend Obama’s immigration plan against lawsuit

A coalition of liberal states defended President Obama’s new immigration policies against a major lawsuit in a legal brief filed on Monday.

Washington state joined 11 other states and the District of Columbia in submitting a legal analysis in federal court that counters a lawsuit seeking to undo Obama’s plan to shield millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation and give them work permits.

Obama’s program, announced in November, faces a court challenge from 25 conservative states who believe it exceeds the power of the executive branch and causes states “irreparable harm.”

In response to the lawsuit, Washington state filed an amicus brief on Monday explaining why they believe the president has the authority to grant sweeping deportation relief to undocumented immigrants and how the new policies will benefit states economically.

A host of blue states (and at least one purple) signed onto Washington’s legal brief: California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Vermont and the District of Columbia. Police chiefs of the 50 largest cities in the U.S. also filed a separate amicus brief on Monday.

The show of support comes as the legal challenge is set to reach the court within days. On Thursday, Hanen is scheduled to preside over a hearing to consider whether a preliminary injunction should be granted against Obama’s new policies. If that happens, the implementation of the deportation relief program could be delayed, Ferguson said...

“Allowing immigrants to work legally and increase their wages has far-reaching, positive impacts on state and local economies,” the brief says.

Updated on Jan. 13, 9 a.m.: This piece was updated with information about an amicus brief filed by police chiefs in major U.S. cities.

House GOP takes broad aim at Obama immigration policies

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans plan to take broad aim at President Barack Obama's immigration policies next week, including votes to overturn protections for immigrants brought illegally to this country as kids.

The plan emerging Friday satisfies demands from the most conservative lawmakers ...

Conservatives in the GOP caucus pressed leadership to go further, and also shut down an earlier 2012 program that has granted work permits to more than 500,000 immigrants brought here illegally as kids. Other changes would undo Obama directives to immigration agents that had sought to limit deportations of people with no significant criminal record...

Obama's directives in November gave temporary relief from deportation to about 4 million immigrants in the country illegally, along with permits allowing them to work legally in the U.S. They applied mostly to immigrants who'd been in the country more than five years and have kids who are citizens or legal permanent residents....

The developments come in the first week that Congress was back in session under full Republican control. Yet there's no guarantee that the Senate, where minority Democrats still exercise considerable sway, would accept the House legislation. And Obama could very well threaten to veto it.

At the same time, Democrats say Republicans are courting electoral disaster in the 2016 presidential election by passing legislation that could alienate many Latino voters.

Many of the same House conservatives who voted against Boehner for speaker earlier this week in a failed overthrow attempt were declaring victory Friday at the shape the immigration legislation was taking.

"I liked what I heard," said Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, after a closed-door meeting of House Republicans to discuss the legislation.

"I really appreciate the process of allowing all of us to have some input," said Gohmert, a frequent critic of House Republican leaders. "One of the things that has really been lacking for the last eight years is having more input like we've finally gotten in this bill, so this is a good thing."

___

Associated Press writers Stephen Ohlemacher, Alan Fram and Charles Babington contributed to this report.

Contrary to Administration Claims, Surge Border-Jumpers Not Being Deported

WASHINGTON, DC - Only a tiny fraction of the families and children who crossed in the border surge of 2012-14 are being returned to their home countries, despite Obama administration claims that the cases are a priority, according to a Houston television station's investigative report. Only a few of the illegal family or child arrivals are qualified to stay in the United States, and the vast majority (91 percent) have simply absconded from their proceedings after release and joined the resident illegal population, where they are no longer a priority for enforcement under the new, expanded "prosecutorial discretion" policies.

The station’s report focuses on statistics from the immigration courts for the family unit cases that were completed between July 18 and October 28, 2014, which are a sub-set of more than 65,000 total family unit arrivals in 2014.

View the entire CIS article at: http://cis.org/vaughan/contrary-administration-claims-only-tiny-fraction-surge-border-jumpers-deported

From these numbers the Center for Immigration Studies has determined that:
 

  • The number of family units arriving illegally was larger than the number of UACs during this time period, although the administration, its allies, and the media typically described the surge as an influx of children.
  • At least 92 percent of the family arrivals in this sample of cases were released after apprehension rather than detained in the border area.
  • Nearly all of those released (5,575 out of 6,093 total families and UACs, or 91 percent) subsequently failed to appear at their immigration hearings and are now part of the illegal population.
  • According to these figures, 43 percent of those family members classified as "detained" (nine people) also failed to appear for their hearings, suggesting that they actually were released at some point.
  • Even under the current very generous interpretations of immigration law, only 3 percent of these illegal aliens were found qualified to stay in the United States (204 out of 6,093 completed cases).
  • Only 314 of the 6,093 cases completed (5 percent) were present for their hearing and could actually be removed by authorities after receiving the order from the judge.

DHS year-end enforcement statistics show a continued steep drop in deportations, in direct contradiction to administration claims. Jessica Vaughan, the Center’s Director of Policy Studies, writes, “It's not clear to me what is smart or effective about a massive and costly catch-and-release scheme that has resulted in the illegal resettlement of tens of thousands of illegal aliens, with taxpayers now picking up the tab for schooling, health care, housing, public safety, and other expenses, and which has only increased the incentives for more people to try to enter illegally.”

Obama Admits Amnesty Is For Many More Than 5 Million

President Barack Obama told a group of illegal immigrants in Tennessee that his immigration-law rewrite means “you’re not going to be deported.”

Obama’s admission acknowledged that his Nov. 21 declaration provides a de facto amnesty for the 12 million illegals living in the United States.

The confession contradicts his many suggestions, and many media reports, that his Nov. 21 amnesty covers only five million illegal immigrants whose children have citizenship or green cards.

In practice, the president is allowing all 12 million illegals who have not committed major felonies or who are not terrorists, to illegally stay and compete for work against lower-wage Americans and American professionals.

“What we’re saying essentially is, in that low-priority list. … You’re not going to be deported,” Obama told the crowd, including the illegals.

The formal Nov. 21 policy awards actual work permits, tax payments and Social Security cards to the five million illegals with children who are citizens or legalized. The five million will have Obama work permits when seeking jobs sought by the four million Americans who turn 18 each year.

“What we’re also saying, though, is that for those who have American children or children who are legal permanent residents, that you can actually register and submit yourself to a criminal background check, pay any back taxes and commit to paying future taxes, and if you do that, you’ll actually get a piece of paper that gives you an assurance that you can work and live here without fear of deportation,” Obama said.

That “does apply to roughly five million,” he said.

Americans are already competing against the roughly 600,000 working-age immigrants who arrive each year, and the roughly 650,000 blue-collar and white-collar guest workers who arrive for short-term or long-term jobs.

Companies favor Obama’s huge increase to the supply of new workers, because many want to hire foreign workers. Those workers will work for low wages, in part, because they need to be employed while they’re waiting to receive the very valuable prize of U.S. citizenship.

A large proportion of the five million illegals are former guest workers, who work as professionals in financial, medical and technology jobs sought by Americans.

Obama also said citizenship should be given to more foreign professionals who compete for jobs sought by American graduates. “We should be stapling a green card to the [foreign] graduates of top schools in fields that we know we need,” he said.

So far, the GOP leadership — which is allied to major business groups — has not tried to block Obama’s amnesty, despite many polls showing deep public opposition to immigration and foreign workers. GOP leaders say they’d like to pass their own amnesty law and foreign-worker law in 2015.

Obama’s policy also puts some illegals on a fast-track to citizenship, boosts the inflow of foreign blue-collar and white-collar guest workers, and dismantles Secure Communities program that repatriated illegals who were caught by local police for minor or severe crimes.

The new policy also directs border police to release border-crossers who claim to be eligible for the Nov. 21 amnesty, and it effectively bars agents from repatriating the many tourists and guest-workers who overstay their visas and try to get jobs in the United States.

The Nov. 21 policy is an extension of Obama’s unstated policies.

In the 12 months up to October 2014, Obama deported less than one percent of the 12 million illegals living in the country. He is awarding work permits to roughly 600,000 younger illegals, and to roughly 300,000 additional migrants and guest workers. He also repatriated only about 2,000 of the roughly 130,000 Central American migrants who flooded over the border this year. His deputies released 129,000 arrested illegals back into American communities, including roughly 30,862 convicted foreign criminals.

Oregon nonprofits authorized to help with federal immigration issues

These nonprofit organizations in nine Oregon communities are accredited to represent individuals in proceedings before federal immigration authorities, including the Board of Immigration Appeals and the Department of Homeland Security or both.

For the complete list click here.

Corvallis
Acorn Outreach
1740 NW Division St.
Corvallis, OR 97330
541-224-6590

Hood River
Hood River Valley Legalization Project
205 Oak St.
Suite 15
Hood River, OR 97031
541-386-3433

McMinnville
Lutheran Community Services Northwest
McMinnville (Yamhill) Branch
617 NE Davis St.
McMinnville, OR 97128
503-472-4020

Portland
Catholic Charities
2740 SE Powell Blvd.
Suite #8
Portland, OR 97202
503-231-4866

Immigration Counseling Service
519 SW Park Ave.
Suite 610
Portland, OR 97205
503-221-1689

Jewish Family and Child Service
1130 SW Morrison St.
Suite 316
Portland, OR 97205
503-226-7079

Lutheran Community Services NW
(Formerly: Lutheran Family Service)
605 S.E. 39th Ave.
Portland, OR 97214
503-231-7480

Sponsors Organized to Assist Refugees (SOAR)
7931 NE Halsey St.
Suite 302
Portland, OR 97213
503-384-2482

Salem
Causa of Oregon
700 Marion St. NE
Salem, OR 97301
503-409-2473

Woodburn
Centro de Servicios Para Campesinos
(Service Center for Farmworkers)
300 Young St.
Woodburn, OR 97071
503-982-0243

Source: U.S. Department of Justice

Senator Wyden is coming to town(hall) meetings near you in January

Alert date: 
December 17, 2014
Alert body: 

Plan to attend one of these meetings in early January. 

Upcoming Town Hall Meetings

Jan 02

Deschutes County Town Hall »

Jan 2 2015 10:00AM

Deschutes County Services Building – Barnes/Sawyer Rooms
1300 NW Wall
Bend, OR

Jan 03

Clackamas County Town Hall »

Jan 3 2015 11:00AM

Camp Withycombe
15300 SE Minuteman Way
Clackamas, OR

Jan 03

Multnomah County Town Hall »

Jan 3 2015 2:30PM

PCC Southeast Campus
2305 SE 82nd and Division
Portland, OR

Jan 04

Marion County Town Hall »

Jan 4 2015 1:00PM

Marion County Courthouse
555 Court St. NE
Salem, OR

Jan 04

Washington County Town Hall »

Jan 4 2015 4:00PM

Beaverton City Library (Main Branch) – Auditorium
12375 SW 5th St
Beaverton, OR

Jan 05

Benton County Town Hall »

Jan 5 2015 10:00AM

Philomath High School – Auditorium
2054 Applegate St
Philomath, OR

Jan 05

Lane County Town Hall »

Jan 5 2015 2:00PM

Sheldon High School – Auditorium
2455 Willakenzie Rd
Eugene, OR

 

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