ACTION ALERT: Attend Senator Ron Wyden's Town Hall and ask about E-Verify!

From our friends at NumbersUSA:

Senator, Ron Wyden, will be at home this week and will be hosting town hall meetings. This is a perfect opportunity to ask Senator Wyden why he hasn't signed on to S. 1196, a bill that mandates E-Verify.

E-Verify is an online program that ensures businesses only hire legal workers. If mandatory E-Verify legislation passes, it could get more Americans back to work than any other bill being discussed in Congress right now. Up to 7 MILLION jobs could open up for American workers and legal immigrants.

This is truly a bi-partisan issue. In a public opinion poll, 94% of Republicans, 84% of Independents, and 81% of Democrats want a mandatory E-Verify law.The most powerful message you can send as a constituent is to ask your Senator, face-to-face, about an issue.

Some talking points:

Senator Wyden, mandatory E-Verify could open up millions of jobs for Americans. Why aren't you supporting any E-Verify legislation? In the House, there is a bill that was introduced by fellow Oregon Democrat, Rep. DeFazio, to mandate E-Verify. This is not a partisan issue, and I think you should support S. 1196 in the Senate.

Senator Wyden, a 50 state E-Verify law needs to be put in place and it needs your support. Co-sponsoring S. 1196 would show me that you are fully dedicated to opening up jobs for Americans and legal workers .

Here is the information for Senator Wyden's town halls:
(We always recommend calling your Senator's office to confirm, in case they have changed or canceled the event. It's rare, but happens)


10:30 AM
Where : Riverside Junior/Senior High School
210 Boardman Avenue
Boardman, OR

3:30 PM
Where : Blue Mountain Community College
Science and Technology, Room 200
2411 Northwest Carden Avenue
Pendleton, OR

FRIDAY APRIL 13, 2012:

2:30 PM
Where : Wallowa Senior Center
204 Second Street
Wallowa, OR


11:30 AM
Where : Union County Senior Center
1504 North Albany Street
La Grande, OR

4:00 PM
Where : Baker City Hall
1655 First Street
Baker City, OR

SUNDAY APRIL 15, 2012:

1:00 PM
Where : Four Rivers Cultural Center
676 Southwest Fifth Avenue
Ontario, OR

If you do have the opportunity to attend one of these meetings, please, let us know how it goes.  Thank you!


Senator Merkley's Town Halls

Attend Senator Merkley's Town Hall and ask about E-Verify!

Senator Jeff Merkley will be at home next week and will be hosting four town halls. This is a perfect opportunity to ask Senator Merkley why he hasn't signed on to any E-Verify legislation during this Congress.

E-Verify is a program that ensures businesses only hire legal workers. If mandatory E-Verify legislation passes, it could get more Americans back to work than any other bill being discussed in Congress right now. Up to 7 MILLION jobs could open up for American workers.

Check out the chart... https://www.numbersusa.com/content/files/WM_HR2885.pdf

NumbersUSA has given Senator Merkley the worst grade he could possibly get when it comes to illegal aliens in the workforce. Senator Merkley has voted against E-Verify legislation multiple times in the past.

There are two groups that are benefiting from Senator Merkley's refusal to mandate E-Verify: the illegal aliens who are taking Americans' jobs and big business that still has the ability to hire illegal workers for pennies on the dollar.

So who's getting hurt by Senator Merkley's decisions? The middle class, American worker.

During this slow economic recovery, Americans are still struggling to find work. Mandating E-Verify is good economic policy and fair to the American worker. This is truly a bi-partisan issue. In a public opinion poll, 94% of Republicans, 84% of Independents, and 81% of Democrats want a mandatory E-Verify law.

We are asking you to attend one of Senator Merkley's town halls and ask him about mandatory E-Verify. The most powerful message you can send as a constituent is to ask your Senator, face-to-face, about an issue.

Here is the information for Senator Merkley's town halls:

April 3, 2012    6pm

Klamath County Town Hall

Lost River Junior and Senior High School

23330 Highway 50

Merrill, OR 97633


April 4, 2012      4pm

Jackson County Town Hall

Medford City Council Chambers, City Hall

411 West 8th Street

Medford, OR, 97501


April 5, 2012       10am

Curry County Town Hall

Southwest Oregon Community College (SOCC) Curry Campus, Krieger Community Room 138

96082 Lone Ranch Parkway

Brookings, OR, 97415


April 5, 2012       3:30pm

Josephine County Town Hall

Josephine County Building

102 South Redwood Highway

Cave Junction, 97523

ASK SENATOR MERKLEY TO SIGN ON TO SENATE BILL 1196, THE ACCOUNTABILITY THROUGH VERIFICATION ACT, introduced by Sen. Grassley. Tell him to put good policy before politics. Oregon Democratic Rep. DeFazio introduced very similar legislation in the House, H.R. 483.

See Senator Merkley's grade card on immigration reform:  https://www.numbersusa.com/content/my/congress/1341/reportcard/RECENT/#tabset-1

Make your voice be heard and attend one of the town halls!

[Thanks to NumbersUSA for preparing this Alert.]



In Oregon: What Immigration Enforcement Would Look Like With H.R. 2885 Enacted

The Legal Workforce Act (H.R. 2885), sponsored by U.S. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith proposes a national mandatory E-Verify.  NumbersUSA has prepared a chart showing how the bill will impact each state.  You can clearly see that Oregon would benefit greatly if such a bill were to pass.

Go to:  https://www.numbersusa.com/content/oregon-everify.html

Call your Congressmen today, tell them you are a constituent and that you support Lamar Smith's legislation.  Tell them you think Oregon would benefit greatly from the passage of HR 2885 and you are counting on their support of the bill.



Seventeen Oregon county governments are now using E-Verify to check the legal status of new

Alert date: 
February 24, 2012
Alert body: 

Clatsop, Coos, Crook, Deschutes, Harney, Jefferson, Klamath, Lake, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Marion, Multnomah, Polk, Tillamook, Washington, and Yamhill Counties now require that all new hires be run through the E-Verify program.

If your county is not on the list, please call or email your county commissioners and ask them to require that when your county hires a new employee, that new employee will be either a U.S. citizen or a legal immigrant.

The Federal E-Verify program is a voluntary, free, internet-based application that allows employers to verify the work eligibility of new employees. Administered by the Department of Homeland Security, Citizenship and Immigration Services (DHS-USCIS), E-Verify compares information from an employee's Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, to data from U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration records to confirm employment eligibility.

Currently the Department of Homeland Security (DHS),states that over 300,000 companies nationwide have voluntarily signed up for the E-Verify program at over 1 million work sites.

Over 3000 employers in Oregon have voluntarily signed up for E-Verify. Among the companies are Jeld-Wen, Nike, Precision Castparts and the Hilton Hotels. Numerous Oregon School districts use E-Verify. All contractors doing business with the federal government are now required to use the program.

The E-Verify system is very accurate and employers like it. A recent report showed that 98.3percent of employees are automatically confirmed as authorized to work either instantly or within 24 hours, requiring no employee or employer action; 1.7 percent of employees receive initial system mismatches, and of those mismatches, after the employee has been given opportunity to correct any erroneous record, 1.43 percent are not found work authorized.

Oregon counties not currently using E-Verify are: Baker, Benton, Clackamas, Columbia, Curry, Douglas, Gilliam, Grant, Hood River, Jackson, Josephine, Malheur, Morrow, Sherman, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa, Wasco and Wheeler.

County Commissioners are usually listed in local telephone books in the Government pages. Alternatively, you can make a search on the internet. For example, enter as search term: Clackamas County, or Union County Oregon if the county name is not unique. The top one or two search results will usually be the county government’s website, from which you can find link to names of County Commissioners and how to contact them by phone, email, or postal mail.

With over 200,000 Oregonians out of work how can anyone be opposed to requiring that all newly hired individuals be American citizens or legal immigrants? * * * * * *


Keeping Track (Feb. 26)

The story: In December, Salem resident David Cross asked the board of commissioners whether Linn County participated in the Department of Homeland Security’s E-Verify data, which can help employers determine whether someone has legal residency status in the U.S. The commissioners thought they had been using E-Verify, but were actually making in-depth background checks through the Social Security Administration database.

The latest: According to county administrator Ralph Wyatt, staff recently completed training with the E-Verify system and the county is now registered to use the free system. In addition to searching the Social Security database, E-Verify also searched more than 80 million Department of Homeland Security records. Seventeen of Oregon’s 36 counties are registered with E-Verify.

Good News on E-Verify from Washington State

Our friends in Washington State, in the activist group Respect Washington, report that an effort by advocates for illegal aliens to ban the use of E-Verify in Washington State has been defeated. The bill, HB 2568, would have forbidden local governments to require contractors to enroll in E-Verify. This proposed legislation would have struck down E-Verify laws already enacted in several Washington counties. The bill died on Monday, Feb. 13, when it failed to receive a floor vote.

Respect Washington also announces that there will be a new Respect for Law petition drive this year.  Forms will be available for signatures by early March.  See Respect Washington’s website for full description.

The petition has 5 major provisions, summarized here:

1. Restores the right of police and other public employees to communicate with Federal immigration authorities, despite "sanctuary" policies.

2. Requires use of E-Verify by all employers.

3. Requires use of the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) program (similar to E-Verify) prior to administering taxpayer-funded benefits.

4. Requires use of SAVE by the State before issuing driver’s licenses.

5. Mandates courts to inform the Washington Secretary of State of potential jurors summoned who swore ineligibility due to non-U.S. citizenship.  The Secretary of State will then verify that these individuals are not registered to vote.

If you have relatives or friends in Washington State, please alert them to Respect Washington’s activities and the petition project.



Clark County employers weigh pros, cons of E-Verify

After a day picking cherries on his 180-acre Vancouver farm, Bill Zimmerman’s 20 or so workers leave with dirt-coated fingernails, sweat-stained clothes and aches and pains from being on their feet all day.

There are many people willing to do whatever it takes to land this $14-per-hour job, including falsifying documents. Zimmerman knows this, and it has led him to consider a controversial solution -- the E-Verify program.

In increasing numbers, Clark County employers in the public and private sector are embracing E-Verify to eliminate doubts about their workforces’ eligibility to work in the United States. But in the context of this country’s heated immigration debate, the program has more than its share of detractors who question whether it unfairly targets people and industries, such as agriculture, that rely on migrant workers.

E-Verify aids employers by using information reported on new employees’ Form I-9 to determine whether they are eligible to work in this country. The Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration operate the program, which does not verify pre-existing workers’ employment eligibility.

Nineteen U.S. states require E-Verify checks in some form -- whether that includes checks on state employees, contractors and/or some combination of public and private employees.

The state of Washington does not require E-Verify use on any level, but the Clark County Board of Commissioners and the county’s seven cities have passed ordinances mandating use of the program for city employees and/or contractors on public works projects. A bill in the State House is seeking to stop cities and counties from mandating the program’s use.

To proponents, E-Verify is a godsend. It’s free, easy to use for anyone with an Internet connection and protects American employers and employees, they say. The Center for Immigration Studies, a nonpartisan, nonprofit think tank based in Washington, D.C., supports the program.

“One of the major draws of illegal immigration is employment,” said Bryan Griffith, the center’s spokesman. “(E-Verify) effectively cuts off that draw.”

Skepticism also abounds. The program’s error rate is troubling, opponents say. So is the potential for E-Verify to damage industries that rely on workers who falsify documents, if the program is not coupled with major immigration reform. E-Verify stops illegal immigrants from working, but at what cost, opponents ask.

E-Verify’s genesis

E-Verify’s roots can be traced back 26 years to the Immigration Reform and Control Act, which required employers to examine each new employee’s documentation and also brought about Form I-9, an employment verification form United States employers must complete and retain for all employees in this country.

In 1997, employers in select states became able to compare employee’s records against federal records, courtesy of the Basic Pilot Program.

The Basic Pilot Program became E-Verify in 2007 -- the same year America’s illegal immigration total reached 12 million residents for the first time, according to the Pew Hispanic Center. The newly christened program included improvements to reduce information errors prevalent in Basic Pilot Program’s early days.

Presently, 1,000 to 1,500 employers in America sign up to use E-Verify each week, according to Bill Wright, a spokesman with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Employers made 5.4 million queries from October 2011 to Jan. 21, Wright noted.

Some E-Verify opponents have raised concerns about the government using the program to stockpile information about employees.

E-Verify supporters stress the program does not create a database nor does it compromise workers’ privacy because it relies on information already provided to employers, such as a driver’s license, United States passport, green card, or an Employment Authorization Card.

“This system is designed to protect the privacy of workers,” Wright said. He added, “If somebody’s doing something illegally using a false identity or false documents, you betcha this system discriminates against them. For those doing it the right way the system is set up not to discriminate.”

Opponents argue it does the opposite.

Error rate

E-Verify confirms 98 percent of applicants within the first 24 hours. Federal officials say 1.43 percent of applicants are ultimately rejected, but just how many of those rejections result from a systemic mistake is hard to know.

National studies have revealed E-Verify’s error rate at 1 percent. Workers targeted in error must contact the Social Security Administration to fix the mistake.

A Department of Homeland Security report on E-Verify found “legal workers are a significant number of times more likely to be discriminated against because there is an error in the system,” said Pramila Jayapal, executive of OneAmerica, the state’s largest immigrant advocacy group.

The error rate not only hurts employees, who are flagged as ineligible, but also hurts employers, who must find workers to complete projects in a timely manner, said Andrew Langer, president of Institute for Liberty, a Washington, D.C.-based anti-regulation group.

“It is unfair for everybody involved,” Langer said.

For the reasons Langer listed, Washington state contractors, who employ 200,000 people each year, are skittish about E-Verify.

“One percent comes out to be a pretty big number,” said Rick Slunaker, director of government affairs for the Associated General Contractors of Washington.

The federal government hears industries’ concerns, Wright assured, noting a new photo component could reduce errors.

‘Economic disaster’

In other cases, E-Verify might work too well.

The Washington Growers League fears E-Verify would eliminate 70 percent of the state’s agriculture workforce, if implemented without significant immigration reform.

E-Verify would stamp out industry workers using false paperwork, said Mike Gempler, director of the Washington Growers League. It would also put undue pressure on farmers who hire hundreds of workers a few days before the season starts, he noted.

“The bottom line is, if we do E-Verify by itself, we will not have enough of a workforce and we will have an economic disaster,” Gempler said.

State farmers have known they employed illegal workers for “a long time,” Gempler added, but have struggled to do anything about it because of worker shortages.

The agriculture industry is faced with an ethical dilemma, said Vandra Huber, a professor at the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business.

“They can continue (hiring illegal workers) because they have a need or they can start using E-Verify and take proactive steps,” Huber said. The alternative is “closing (their) eyes to who is legal or illegal” until authorities crack down, she noted.

On his Glenwood-area farm, Zimmerman is cognizant of such a crackdown. He estimated 5 to 10 percent of the prospective employees he screened were illegal. The tedious path to work visas and employment authorization makes him doubtful the number of illegal immigrants populating the industry will change.

Protecting jobs?

National unemployment hovered around 8.5 percent in December 2011, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

How much E-Verify protects American jobs depends on whether you believe Americans are willing to pick cherries or apples or work in the cramped quarters of a restaurant kitchen.

In many cases, illegal workers perform jobs most Americans do not want, Langer said.

“The problem is people who come and break the law -- drug dealing, theft, etc.,” Langer said. “Those people are not going to be general contractors -- hanging drywall, plaster, etc.”

The restaurant industry, like the agriculture industry, is watching the E-Verify issue, said Anthony Anton, president/CEO of the Washington Restaurant Association.

Whether restaurants use E-Verify or not often depends on turnover rates and how well those doing the hiring know prospective employees, he noted.

Anton personally favors a federal answer that would provide people a path to citizenship that would also address national security concerns.

“There are those who say ‘throw everybody out’ and there are those that say ‘let everybody in,’” Anton said. “It’s like everything else -- we need a comprehensive solution.”



House Leadership kills SB 4052

Alert date: 
February 11, 2012
Alert body: 
Despite the failure to advance HB 4052, people in legislature are aware of the fact that the vast majority of citizens want the State of Oregon to hire only people who are legally able to work in the U.S. Citizens who expect common sense bills to be passed by their legislators flooded the capitol with phone calls, emails and visitors requesting a hearing for HB 4052.
Because there is an even split between Republicans and Democrats in the House, they have two co-speakers, one Democrat, (Arnie Roblan) and one Republican, (Bruce Hanna). If either of the two co-chairs objects to a bill it will die.
Rep. Roblan is opposed to E-Verify and HB 4052 did not advance in the 2012 session.
However, the two co-speakers refer bills to committees. In the case of HB 4052 it was referred to the Judiciary Committee which also has two co-chairs.
Both of the Judiciary Co-Chairs - Rep. Jeff Barker (D) and Rep. Wayne Krieger (R), are in favor of HB 4052. Barker was even a co-signer of the bill.
However they don't have the final call on whether a bill will get a hearing. The leadership of both parties must agree on a bill in order for it to be scheduled for a hearing. The leadership of the Democrat Party is opposed to HB 4052 and it died in this session.

The House Leadership made the call not to give HB 4052 a Hearing. Although Co-Speaker Arnie Roblan told inquirers that the decision was up to the two Co-Chairs of the Judiciary Committee, that is not credible because we know Co-Chair Wayne Krieger (R-Gold Beach) supported the bill, and the other Co-Chair, Jeff Barker (D-Aloha) actually was a sponsor of the bill. The Leadership of the House, as shown at http://www.leg.state.or.us/house/consists of the following people. Of those listed we believe Co-Speaker Pro Tempore Rep. Andy Olson was in favor of the bill, but the other persons listed, so far as we know, have not given a clear-cut statement of their positions, except for Roblan who did make his opposition known.


House of Representatives Leadership:
Co-Speaker of the House Bruce Hanna - (R-Roseburg)
Co-Speaker of the House Arnie Roblan - (D-Coos Bay)

Co-Speaker Pro Tempore Representative Peter Buckley - (D-Ashland)
Co-Speaker Pro Tempore Representative Andy Olson - (R-Albany)

House Republican Leader Representative Kevin Cameron - (R-Salem)
House Democratic Leader Representative Tina Kotek- (D-N/NE Portland)

House Democratic Caucus | House Republican Caucus



Ask the real, tough questions of Presidential candidates

Take advantage of the opportunities available to influence immigration policy throughout the current presidential campaigns. All major candidates have websites with Contact Us links.  Visit those websites and ask the tough questions that aren't often asked in debates or on the campaign trail.

Check out this page on the NumbersUSA website: https://www.numbersusa.com/content/action/2012-presidential-hopefuls-imm...

NumbersUSA posts continuously updated information on the immigration positions of presidential candidates. You can click on the photo of a candidate and get a long list of quotes the candidate has made on immigration issues. Then you can contact the candidate from addresses provided at NumbersUSA's website, and give your views on how the candidate should change or improve his positions.

You can encourage your favorites and give them any information you may have to help them in discussing immigration policy. All major party candidates' records, including President Obama's, are available on the NumbersUSA website.

Iimmigration has become a topic that is taken seriously in the campaign.  Candidates have moved significantly both up and down in polls based on their answers to immigration questions.

Ask candidates, that if they are elected, would they support mandatory E-verify for all employers.  Ask candidates about their views on securing the border, attrition through enforcement, chain migration, anchor babies (birthright citizenship) excessive legal immigration of low skilled workers...the list is endless.  If you get a reply, please share it with OFIR!


Senator Merkley to hold several Town Halls

If a townhall meeting is being held near you, please attend and ask questions about immigration issues. His website announces: "Senator Merkley will update constituents on his work in Washington, DC and answer their questions and invite their suggestions about how to tackle the challenges facing Oregon and America." Below is the schedule of Senator Merkley’s Town Halls.

This at a time of unprecedented joblessness and economic hardship! Sen. Merkley is inviting suggestions, so please suggest to him that legal immigration levels should be coming down now, not going up.  Ask Senator Merkely to support a mandatory national E-Verify, too, so any newly created jobs go only to US citizens or legal workers, not illegal immigrants. You can Senator Merkley at the Town Halls or by phone or email or at the addresses below. You can call the Senator's office to confirm dates and places of the Town Halls if you wish.

If you get the opportunity to ask Senator Merkley a question, please let OFIR know how he responds.

February 18, 2012 1:30PM - YAMHILL COUNTY TOWN HALL
Sheridan Japanese School
430 SW Monroe St.
Sheridan, OR 97378

February 18, 2012 4:30PM - POLK COUNTY TOWN HALL
Straub Middle School
1920 Wilmington Avenue NW
Salem, OR 97304

February 19, 2012 1:30PM - HOOD RIVER COUNTY TOWN HALL
The Gorge Pavillion, Port of Cascade Locks Marine Park
355 WaNaPa Street
Cascade Locks, OR 97014

February 19, 2012 7:00PM - LANE COUNTY TOWN HALL
Cottage Grove City Hall, City Council Chambers
400 Main Street
Cottage Grove, OR 97424



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