Congress

Wong does not make a birthright for illegal aliens

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.

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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.

Rep. Bonamici to hold Town Halls

Alert date: 
2015-08-25
Alert body: 

For those of you living in Congressional District 1:

Representative Suzanne Bonamici has scheduled 6 town hall meetings in August and September, beginning on August 29 in McMinnville.

Her announcement states:  “It’s critical that I hear from my constituents about issues affecting them,” Congresswoman Bonamici said. “These town hall meetings provide me with a useful perspective that informs my work. I always appreciate hearing from my constituents about their ideas, concerns, and questions.”

OFIR encourages members in Congressional District 1 to attend one of these meetings and discuss immigration issues.  Rep. Bonamici is rated F- by NumbersUSA on her voting record on immigration bills in the current Congress, and D- overall for her years in Congress, 2012-2015.  In 2015 alone, she voted 4 times for amnesties to illegal aliens.  The particular bills are listed here.

You might wish to read the useful tips posted on NumbersUSA’s website for constituents’ effective participation in town halls.  We suggest that you express to Rep. Bonamici your concerns about her consistent support for illegal aliens and illegal immigration and her apparent disregard of the consequences for citizens and the viability of our nation. 

If you wish, you can print copies of her voting records here, and give them to her.

Here is the Townhall schedule:

LOCATION

DATE & TIME

McMinnville: 
Chemeketa Community College
(Yamhill Valley Campus)
Building 1, Rooms 101-103
288 NE Norton Lane
McMinnville, OR
97128

 

Saturday August 29
10:30-11:30 a.m.

Tualatin:
Tualatin High School Library
22300 SW Boones Ferry Road
Tualatin, OR
97062

 

Saturday August 29
1:30-2:30 p.m.

St. Helens:
St. Helens Public Library
375 S 18th Street
St. Helens, OR
97051

Monday August 31
11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Cornelius:
Centro Cultural
1110 N Adair Street
Cornelius, OR
97113


Monday August 31
5:30-6:30 p.m.

Portland:
Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital Auditorium
1015 NW 22nd Avenue
Portland, OR
97210


Tuesday September 1
6:00-7:00 p.m.

Warrenton:
Warrenton Community Center
170 SW 3rd Street
Warrenton, OR
97146


Sunday September 13
1:30-2:30 p.m.


 

House Approves Obamatrade’s TPA, Bill Must Go to Senate Next

Obamatrade is alive.

One week after the House of Representatives overwhelmingly rejected Obamatrade by voting against a key provision of it — Trade Adjustment Assistance — GOP establishment lawmakers resuscitated Trade Promotion Authority and rammed it through Thursday afternoon. The final tally was 218-208.

The House action is unusual. As Breitbart News reported: “To engage in the complicated procedural chicanery needed to revive the once-dead Obamatrade, bringing its Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) portion back to life,

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) 58% needed to gut a previous bill that has passed the House and Senate and then insert Obamatrade into it. It’s actually a very similar process to how Obamacare passed the House”...

Because the Senate passed TAA and TPA together, the individual House version will now have to go back to the Senate for approval, where it may face a filibuster. It’s unclear how many senators would support TPA without TAA, a measure to aid workers who lose their jobs because of trade policy.

The Senate isn’t expected to take up TPA until next week, but Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) 52% has expressed confidence it can pass.  Obamatrade is making for unusual partnerships in Washington. Barack Obama is working with McConnell and House Speaker Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) 35% to pass a measure his own party largely rejects.

Last week he traveled to Capitol Hill to lobby for his trade measures, but shortly before the House vote on TAA, Minority Leader. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) 9% announced she opposes it. More than 300 representatives ended up voting down TAA, setting the stage for Thursday’s moves to bring TPA back to life.

CALL NOW! Another Fast Track vote imminent

Alert date: 
2015-06-18
Alert body: 

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

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

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

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from Citizens Trade Campaign, June 17, 2015:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sincerely,

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

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From the Oregon Fair Trade Campaign:

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

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

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

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

Script:

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

Thank you! Let’s win this!

Elizabeth Swager & Robyn Gottlieb
Oregon Fair Trade Campaign

House blocks trade deal from moving forward but may try again

After votes earlier today, the House has at least for now set aside the threat of giving Presidents the authority to use trade deals to guarantee other countries the ability to send their workers to take jobs in the U.S.

When the Senate passed the "fast-track" Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill, it set things up so that it could go to the President to be signed only if the House passed BOTH the TPA and a companion Senate trade assistance bill.

The House today was able to pass only one of those must-pass bills, narrowly approving the TPA bill (219-211). But the trade assistance bill garnered only 126 votes, with 302 voting against it. That effectively killed TPA for the present moment.

Republican House Leaders, however, could decide to bring the trade assistance bill back to the floor early next week in hopes of persuading around 90 Members (mostly Democrats) to switch their vote to pass what Pres. Obama and House Majority Leader Boehner consider to be a top priority.

"We are not done with this," House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said.

Moments before the first vote, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who had been silent on the issue, urged Democrats to vote against the two bills, hoping to keep TPA from reaching the President's desk. Pelosi pleaded with Republican House Leadership to focus on legislation that puts American workers first instead of free trade; something she failed to do during the amnesty debates of the past two years.

Pelosi led 144 Democrats in joining 158 Republicans to defeat the trade assistance bill. That was all that was needed today to keep TPA from going to Pres. Obama, who had made a rare personal visit to the Capitol to meet with Democrats in an emotional appeal for them to help him pass TPA as an important part of his legacy.

 

House blocks trade deal from moving forward but may try again

After votes earlier today, the House has at least for now set aside the threat of giving Presidents the authority to use trade deals to guarantee other countries the ability to send their workers to take jobs in the U.S.

When the Senate passed the "fast-track" Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill, it set things up so that it could go to the President to be signed only if the House passed BOTH the TPA and a companion Senate trade assistance bill.

The House today was able to pass only one of those must-pass bills, narrowly approving the TPA bill (219-211). But the trade assistance bill garnered only 126 votes, with 302 voting against it. That effectively killed TPA for the present moment.

Republican House Leaders, however, could decide to bring the trade assistance bill back to the floor early next week in hopes of persuading around 90 Members (mostly Democrats) to switch their vote to pass what Pres. Obama and House Majority Leader Boehner consider to be a top priority.

"We are not done with this," House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said.

Moments before the first vote, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who had been silent on the issue, urged Democrats to vote against the two bills, hoping to keep TPA from reaching the President's desk. Pelosi pleaded with Republican House Leadership to focus on legislation that puts American workers first instead of free trade; something she failed to do during the amnesty debates of the past two years.

Pelosi led 144 Democrats in joining 158 Republicans to defeat the trade assistance bill. That was all that was needed today to keep TPA from going to Pres. Obama, who had made a rare personal visit to the Capitol to meet with Democrats in an emotional appeal for them to help him pass TPA as an important part of his legacy.

 

Revealed: The Secret Immigration Chapter in Obama’s Trade Agreement

...secretive Obamatrade documents released by Wikileaks are key details on how technically any Republican voting for Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) that would fast-track trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal would technically also be voting to massively expand President Obama’s executive authority when it comes to immigration matters.

The mainstream media covered the Wikileaks document dump extensively, but did not mention the immigration chapter contained within it, so Breitbart News took the documents to immigration experts to get their take on it...

The president’s Trade in Services Act (TiSA) documents, which is one of the three different close-to-completely-negotiated deals that would be fast-tracked making up the president’s trade agreement, show Obamatrade in fact unilaterally alters current U.S. immigration law. TiSA, like TPP or the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) deals, are international trade agreements that President Obama is trying to force through to final approval. The way he can do so is by getting Congress to give him fast-track authority through TPA.

TiSA is even more secretive than TPP...

Voting for TPA, of course, would essentially ensure the final passage of each TPP, T-TIP, and TiSA by Congress, since in the history of fast-track any deal that’s ever started on fast-track has been approved.

Roughly 10 pages of this TiSA agreement document leak are specifically about immigration...

Obama will be able to finalize all three of the Obamatrade deals, without any Congressional input, if Congress grants him fast-track authority by passing TPA...

The Senate passed the TPA last month, so it is up to the House to put the brakes on Obama’s unilateral power...

“This Trade and Services Agreement is specifically mentioned in TPA as being covered by fast-track authority, so why would Congress be passing a Trade Promotion Authority Act that covers this agreement, if the U.S. weren’t intended to be a party to this agreement – so at the very least, there should be specific places where the U.S. exempts itself from these provisions and there are not,” explained Jenks.

...this is a draft, but at this point “certainly the implication is that the U.S. intends to be a party to all or some of the provisions of this agreement. There is nothing in there that says otherwise, and there is no question in my mind that some of the provisions in this Trade and Services Agreement would require the United States to change its immigration laws.”

In 2003, the Senate unanimously passed a resolution that said no immigration provision should be in trade agreements – and in fact, former Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) voted for this resolution.

The existence of these 10 pages is in clear violation of that earlier unanimous decision, and also in violation of the statements made by the U.S. Trade Representative.

“He has told members of Congress very specifically the U.S. is not negotiating immigration – or at least is not negotiating any immigration provisions that would require us to change our laws. So, unless major changes are made to the Trade and Services Agreement – that is not true,” said Jenks.

There are three examples within the 10 pages of areas where the U.S. would have to alter current immigration law.

First, on page 4 and 5 of the agreement, roughly 40 industries are listed where potentially the U.S. visa processes would have to change to accommodate the requirements within the agreement.

Jenks explained that under the agreement, the terms don’t have an economic needs based test, which currently U.S. law requires for some types of visa applications in order to show there aren’t American workers available to fill positions.

Secondly, on page 7 of the agreement, it suggests, “The period of processing applications may not exceed 30 days.”

Jenks said this is a massive problem for the U.S. because so many visa applications take longer than 30 days.

“We will not be able to meet those requirements without essentially our government becoming a rubber stamp because it very often takes more than 30 days to process a temporary worker visa,” she said.

Jenks also spotted another issue with the application process.

“The fact that there’s a footnote in this agreement that says that face to face interviews are too burdensome … we’re supposed to be doing face to face interviews with applicants for temporary visas,” she added.

“According to the State Department Consular Officer, it’s the in person interviews that really gives the Consular Officer an opportunity to determine – is this person is a criminal, is this person a terrorist … all of those things are more easily determined when you’re sitting face to face with someone and asking those questions.”

The third issue is present on page 4 of the agreement. It only provides an “[X]” where the number of years would be filled in for the entry or temporary stay.

Jenks explained that for example, with L visas under current U.S. immigration law, the time limit is seven years – so if the agreement were to go beyond seven years, it would change current U.S. law.

This wouldn’t be unconstitutional if Obama has fast-track authority under TPA, as Congress would essentially have given him the power to finalize all aspects of the negotiations, including altering immigration law.

“I think this whole thing makes it very clear that this administration is negotiating immigration...

Ann Coulter questions media's news coverage of immigration

Read Ann Coulter's letter in the Human Events publication and learn why we never seem to hear any bad news about immigrants.  Ann cuts right to the heart of it.
 

Greg Walden endorses trade bill, calls it a 'win for jobs and exports in Oregon'

As a House vote nears on the "fast track" trade bill, Oregon Rep. Greg Walden says he will support the legislation clearing the way for approval of the massive Pacific Rim trade pact now in final negotiations..

In a statement released late Tuesday night, Walden said:

"The U.S. House will soon vote on a bill that would allow us to establish fair and strong trade rules.  The bill lays out our trade priorities of fairness and competition—to whomever is in the White House. It requires any final agreement be made public for at least 60 days. And it requires an up or down vote in the Congress before any trade agreement is final. It's a win for jobs and exports in Oregon, and a win for transparency and accountability. I intend to support this bill to ensure that we can tear down barriers and open up new markets for Oregon's farmers, ranchers, and small businesses."

Walden's statement appeared to be aimed at part at influencing wavering Republicans in anticipation of what is expected to be a close vote....

Under the fast track bill, known as Trade Promotion Authority, the president can submit a trade pact to Congress for an up or down vote with no amendments allowed.

Walden is chairman of the House Republican campaign committee and thus has strong political ties...

On the Senate side, Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., opposed the bill while Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., helped shape the wording of the measure and was a strong proponent.
 

Senator Wyden has announced upcoming town hall meetings

Alert date: 
2015-05-26
Alert body: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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