Congress

Join conservatives March 8 - 10 at the Dorchester Conference

Alert date: 
2013-03-01
Alert body: 

The Dorchester Conference is your opportunity to speak to dozens of conservative lawmakers from here in Oregon and from Washington DC.

The conference will be held in Seaside, OR at the Seaside Convention Center March 8 - 10...Friday evening, all day Saturday and Sunday morning.  If you don't want to pay to attend the conference, just visit the exhibit hall and and see all the booths packed with information.  Legislators, Congressman, past Governors, and many political candidates will be there, too.

They are anxious to talk with you and share their ideas and hear yours.

Plan to come for the day...or the whole weekend. 
 

Real Border Control Has to Come First in Any Immigration Deal

A bipartisan group of eight U.S. senators has proposed an immigration reform plan that appears to broadly reflect what voters would like to see. But there's a catch.

Most Americans (56 percent) want our nation to have a welcoming policy of legal immigration. With such an approach, the only people who would be excluded are national security threats, criminals and those who would seek to live off our generous system of welfare and other benefits. Sixty-one percent of Republicans favor such a policy, along with 55 percent of Democrats and 52 percent of unaffiliated voters.

But while favoring such a welcoming policy of legal immigration, voters want to stop illegal immigration. Eight out of 10 think this is an important policy goal, including 58 percent who say it's very important. Once the borders are secure, people are quite willing to support almost any proposal to legalize the status of illegal immigrants already in this country: 64 percent see this as an important goal, including 33 percent who say it's very important.

With this background, it's no surprise to find initial support for the plan rolled out by the senators. It provides a combination of improved border security with a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants already here. Fifty-nine percent of voters nationwide favor the approach, while only 18 percent are opposed. Most Republicans, Democrats and unaffiliated voters are on board.

Especially popular is the inclusion of strict penalties for employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants. Sixty-four percent support this provision. Voters have long been supportive of penalizing employers and landlords who profit from illegal immigration. They would rather punish them than penalize the immigrants. For most Americans, it's easier to understand why people would want to better themselves by coming to America than to tolerate U.S. companies that knowingly encourage them to break the law.

Yet despite the broad support for the outlines of the bipartisan legislation, the prospects for its passage are far from clear. The reason has little to do with the immigration issue itself and everything to do with the lack of public trust in the government. If the proposal were to become law, only 45 percent of voters believe it is even somewhat likely that the federal government would make a serious effort to secure the borders and reduce illegal immigration. That figure includes just 15 percent who think the government is very likely to make such an effort.

As on most issues, Democrats are far more trusting of the government. Two-thirds of those in the president's party think the government is likely to enforce the entire law. However, 69 percent of Republicans and 56 percent of unaffiliated voters think the government is unlikely to follow through on the provisions to reduce illegal immigration.

Overcoming this skepticism is the key to maintaining support for any comprehensive reform. Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, one of the group of eight, has said that the enforcement provisions will have to be working before the pathway to citizenship can be opened. That's consistent with public opinion. But Rubio and his colleagues have their work cut out convincing voters that the plan really will work that way.

To find out more about Scott Rasmussen, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2013 SCOTT RASMUSSEN

DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM

Senator Wyden to hold Town Halls in your area - plan to attend

Alert date: 
2013-01-11
Alert body: 

Senator Ron Wyden has scheduled several town halls in January. Please plan to attend, invite a friend to go along with you and question his immigration views.

President Obama recently announced as a high priority now, enactment by Congress of an amnesty for illegal aliens. Leaders of the Democratic Party support this, as well as some in the Republican Party. Also there will be new efforts to grant instate tuition to illegal aliens. These moves are very dangerous to our country, as they legitimize illegal immigration and encourage more of it, bringing disrespect for the rule of law which is the foundation of civilized society.

Amnesty will hurt all citizens, employed and unemployed, by greatly increasing numbers of legal job seekers at a time of grave economic stress, and by inflating the population when our environment is already seriously degraded from overpopulation. Seven massive amnesties have been passed in recent years, each one resulting in ever-increasing numbers of illegal immigrants. A 2012 Rasmussen poll showed that 60% of likely voters think gaining control of the border is more important than legalizing the status of undocumented workers.

Times and places for the town halls are listed below. You can get driving directions and maps from links on Sen. Wyden’s website: http://www.wyden.senate.gov/oregon/events.

Here’s a good article on the best way to stop illegal immigration: “Attrition Through Enforcement Is the True Middle-ground Solution.”

https://www.numbersusa.com/content/learn/issues/american-workers/attrition-through-enforcement-true-middl.html

Upcoming Town Hall Meetings of Senator Ron Wyden

Clatsop County Town Hall Meeting

Monday, Jan. 14, 2013 - 9:30AM

Seaside High School, 1901 North Holladay Drive, Seaside, OR

 

Columbia County Town Hall Meeting

Monday, Jan. 14, 2013 - 1:00PM

Vernonia High School, 1000 Missouri Avenue, Vernonia, OR

 

Marion County Town Hall Meeting

Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013 - 9:30AM

South Salem High School, 1910 Church St SE, Salem, OR

 

Polk County Town Hall Meeting

Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013 - 2:00PM

Polk County Readiness Center, 12835 Westview Drive, Dallas, OR

 

Clackamas County Town Hall Meeting

Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013 - 9:20AM

Estacada High School, 355 Northeast 6th Avenue, Estacada, OR

 

Wasco County Town Hall Meeting

Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013 - 9:30AM

The Dalles Wahtonka High School, 220 East 10th Street, The Dalles, OR

 

Hood River County Town Hall Meeting

Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013 - 1:00PM

Hood River Middle School, 1602 May Street, Hood River, OR

Investors Business Daily publishes OFIR VP article

Once again, OFIR's Vice President Rick LaMountain has written an exceptional article.  An overview of the GOP's folly of a plan to woo the Hispanic vote, 'Illegal-Alien Amnesty Gives Democrats 7 Million New Voters'  dissects and breaks down the plan with indisputable facts.

Senate Intern Arrested as Undocumented Immigrant, Registered Sex Offender

An unpaid intern to Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., was a registered sex offender and undocumented immigrant and is now facing deportation, a DHS official confirmed Wednesday to ABC News.

The intern, 18 year-old Luis Abrahan Sanchez Zavaleta from Peru, who worked in a New Jersey office for Menendez, was arrested on December 6th. News of the arrest was first reported by the Associated Press.

The senator’s office was informed Monday of the arrest and the senator was informed today, Menendez said. The Senator defended his office’s action today, emphasizing that the intern applied, was recommended and vetted by his school for the internship, not the Senators office.

“We asked status of all of those college interns, nothing didn’t indicate anything about his status and we certainly wouldn’t have known through any background checks since he is a minor about any sex offender status,” Menendez said on MSNBC this afternoon.

Once Menendez’s office was informed of the arrest, the Senator’s New Jersey staff director let the intern go from the program.

“He’s an unpaid college intern so it’s not like he’s a staff paid person,” Menendez said, “There is no way we could know about his status. We ask about status…there is no way we could know about any allegation as a juvenile about what his background would be in terms of any criminality.”

Menendez is a advocate for immigration reform and noted today that this does underscore the urgency of such reform.

“I can’t know who is here to pursue the America dream versus who is here to do it damage if I can’t get people to come forth out of the shadows, go through a criminal background check and determine who is here to pursue the dream and make sure those who are here and who have criminal backgrounds ultimately get deported,” he told MSNBC today.
 

True Immigration Reform Must be Rational, Affordable, and Manageable

H.L. Mencken once observed that “complex problems have simple, easy to understand, wrong answers.” In the aftermath of the 2012 elections, both political parties seem poised to implement a simple, easy to understand, and disastrous solution to our nation’s complex immigration problem.

There is no disputing that immigration reform is urgently needed. The problem is that the framework for reform, long offered by the Democratic Party and now belatedly embraced by the leadership of the Republican Party in the aftermath of an electoral defeat, is essentially our existing policy on steroids. If we are ever going to have an immigration policy that enjoys broad public support, we must start by making it work for the broader public interest. True reform must result in a policy that is rational, affordable, and manageable.

Making Immigration Rational

A rational immigration policy would select immigrants based on their likelihood to succeed in a post-industrial 21st century economy. We must, therefore, end our current policy of chain migration that results in the admission of millions of people whose skills do not meet the needs of our economy. The system must be redesigned to admit more limited numbers of people who bring unique skills, talents, and education that will expand the productive potential of the American economy.

A rational immigration policy must include a “stress test” that assesses the impact of immigration on American workers and makes adjustments accordingly. Certainly, during times of sustained high unemployment, U.S. immigration policies must have a mechanism for reducing the influx. The impact of perhaps tens of millions more people competing for jobs in the manufacturing, construction, and service sectors would signal the death knell of the blue collar middle class.

Making Immigration Affordable

A more rational immigration policy would also be a more affordable one – an important consideration for a nation with a $16 trillion accumulated debt that grows by upwards of $1 trillion annually. U.S. households headed by immigrants are 50 percent more likely to rely on some form of government assistance than those headed by a native born resident.

Any tax revenues generated by immigrants who arrive here poorly educated and poorly skilled lag far behind the costs required for their education, health care, and housing. When the costs associated with means-tested benefits for their U.S. born children are factored in, the price tag for maintaining the current system is unsustainable. Alternatively, immigrants who are selected based on their skills are far more likely to be self-sufficient and net tax contributors.

Making Immigration Manageable

Future flows of immigration must also be manageable. The sheer volume of today’s immigration flow – more than 1 million legal admissions each year and hundreds of thousands of guest workers – make the system virtually impossible to manage effectively. Only by reducing the influx, establishing clear criteria for admission, closing loopholes or frivolous avenues for backdoor admissions, and streamlining the adjudication process can we once again reassert control over immigration.

Manageability also requires having systems in place that minimize the possibility that people who break the rules can succeed. Most importantly, we must eliminate the strongest magnet to illegal immigration – the availability of jobs to illegal aliens. To accomplish this, all U.S. employers must be required to check the work eligibility of the people they hire using the E-Verify system

Finally, it must be moral. Americans must be confident that all laws will be enforced consistently, and not be held hostage to the political agenda of whatever administration holds office. As we have witnessed in the past several years, the integrity of our immigration policy can be undermined by a president who simply decides he will not enforce laws that do not serve his political aims.

Unfortunately, the deal now being discussed in Washington is neither rational, affordable, manageable nor moral. Its centerpiece is a massive, expensive, and chaotic amnesty plan to be followed by the expansion of family chain migration to satisfy Democratic special interests, while piling on some additional skilled worker visas to appease business interests.

True "reform" means solving today's problems in a manner that prevents any recurrence down the line. Is anyone willing to provide this kind of leadership? After years of fruitless effort to truly reform our nation’s immigration policies, it seems the two parties may find agreement on one idea– a concept that is simple, easy to understand, and wrong.

Dropping out is not an alternative

Dropping out is an appealing escape route, and many good men and women have already taken that path. But true patriots will resist and overcome that temptation.

I'm certain you have all noticed how the media handles the stories of the day.  But it's our job to point out to them that we see it and don't like it.  We must insist on honest, fair and complete reporting without the media bias we have become so accustomed to.  It's shameful!

Read Tom Tancredo's excellent article and you decide if it's time to speak up.


 

Congress extends E-Verify for 3 more years with near-unanimous support

Oh, how things have changed in just a few years.

It was just 3 years ago that an E-Verify extension was in doubt, making Thursday's near-unanimous House approval so significant.

To be clear, neither action was about mandating E-Verify for all employers. But for the government to even be allowed to offer E-Verify for voluntary use, the extensions had to be passed in 2009 and again this month.

Yesterday, the House of Representatives approved, with almost unanimous support, a bill that extends E-Verify for another 3 years. The electronic employment verification program, which NumbersUSA believes would have the biggest impact in ending the flow of illegal immigration to the United States, is set to expire at the end of the month, but, now that it's passed through both chambers of Congress, we fully expect Pres. Obama to sign the extension into law.

The extension was offered in the Senate, by Democratic Senator Pat Leahy, where it passed with unanimous consent. The bill then showed up on Tuesday's House calendar under a House procedure called "Suspension of the Rules". The House suspends the rules when House Leaders believe the bill is "non-controversial" and has support of at least two-thirds of its Members. When the bill is brought to the floor, a motion to suspend the rules is raised. No amendments are offered and a two-thirds vote is required for passage. In many instances, there's no roll call, just a voice vote. After coming to the floor on Tuesday, the vote was delayed until Thursday when it passed by a 412-to-3 margin .

E-Verify is now officially, in the minds of Congress and its Leaders, "non-controversial". The E-Verify extension didn't come without compromise, though. The bill also extends three small visa programs, including religious worker visas, investor visas, and cultural exchange visas.

Why was today's vote such a big deal? Three years ago, an extension of the E-Verify program was a bit more contentious.

It was set to expire in March of 2009, so lawmakers began working on an extension in the fall of 2008. Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey, however, wouldn't lift a hold he placed on the extension without a massive increase in green cards, so Congress kicked the E-Verify can down the road until the spring.

Facing expiration at the end of March 2009, a new debate started during the Senate's consideration of a must-pass, omnibus spending bill earlier in the month. Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama offered a 5-year E-Verify extension as an amendment, but a motion to table the amendment was raised - ironically by Sen. Leahy. The motion to table passed by a 50-to-47 margin, but Congress did gave E-Verify a 6-month lifeline by extending the program through September 2009.

In June 2009, the debate surfaced again with the House Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee including a 2-year reauthorization in its markup of the DHS spending bill for 2010. The bill would eventually pass through the House.

In July 2009, Sen. Sessions offered an amendment during the Senate's consideration of the DHS spending bill, but this amendment would permanently reauthorize E-Verify. Again, a motion to table Sen. Sessions amendment was raised, but unlike in the spring, and with the unemployment rate soaring, the motion was defeated by a 44-to-53 margin. (Read Roy's analysis of the vote.)

The DHS spending bill, however, never became law, and it wasn't until a continuing resolution passed in October 2009 that E-Verify was re-authorized.

So after all the drama of 2009, here we are in the first week of legislative business after a month-long summer recess, and the House has quietly passed a bill, without controversy, that will extend E-Verify through September of 2015.

We would have liked a permanent reauthorization of E-Verify like the one Sen. Sessions offered back in 2009, but an extension of E-Verify before it expired and without controversy is a major improvement over 2009, and maybe one small step towards a nationwide mandate of E-Verify for all employers in the future.

E-Verify needed now more than ever

It seems like only yesterday when we were calling members of Congress asking them to extend the E-Verify program. Those of you who were members in 2009 likely recall that it looked as if E-Verify was going to die. Thanks to your actions and phone calls from thousands of citizens we saved it. Look what happened last week when the reauthorization came up for another vote. What a different story this year!

This past Thursday the House of Representatives passed a three-year extension of E-Verify by a 412 to 3 vote. It passed the Senate by a unanimous consent vote.

At the Oregon Legislature Representative Kim Thatcher is going to introduce an E-Verify bill for next year’s session.  American citizens should not have to compete at any time for jobs against workers who are illegally in the country. It is unconscionable that during the worst recession since the Great Depression that American workers are faced with precisely that situation. E-Verify is needed now more than ever.

Read more in this great write up from NumbersUSA

Friday, September 7, 5th Congressional District Debate

Alert date: 
2012-09-05
Alert body: 

-Election 2012-

5th Congressional District Debate:   Lugo, Schrader and Thompson

Salem City Club is pleased to host a debate between the three candidates seeking to represent Oregon's 5th congressional district in U.S. House of Representatives. Join us on Friday, September 7 at noon when we open our 45th season with this dynamic program. Congressional District 5 encompasses Tillamook, Lincoln, Polk, Marion, and Clackamas counties, rural, metro, coastal, and suburban neighborhoods.

For more information please visit the Salem City club website.

NOTE:  Incumbent Kurt Schrader has a D grade on immigration issues according to NumbersUSA.  Oregon deserves better!

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