E-Verify

OFIR meeting - this Saturday!

Alert date: 
January 22, 2016
Alert body: 

Never before has the issue of immigration – both legal and illegal – been such an important topic in the Presidential election. And, never before has our country been in such jeopardy because of our lax immigration policies.

Join OFIR this Saturday - bring your ideas and we will have an open discussion about what we can and should be doing to take advantage of the momentum in the immigration debate.

We'll also bring you up to date on the status of OFIR's two citizen's initiatives that have been winding their way through the ballot title challenge process all the way to the Supreme Court.

And, for all of you that worked so hard to defeat driver cards for illegal aliens, and are following the lawsuit filed in Federal Court to overturn our big 66% win – we will have the latest news to report to you.

And, if that's not enough – it's time to elect NEW Executive Board officers!

2016 promises to be a watershed year and hopefully a turning point for U.S. and Oregon immigration policies. But, voters must step up.

If you have questions please call OFIR at (503) 435-0141 or send an email to ofir@oregonir.org.

Driving directions to Best Western Mill Creek Inn:
From I-5, take exit 253, which is the intersection of I-5 and State roads 22 and Business 99E. Go West on 22 (Mission St.) a short distance to Hawthorne Ave. (Costco will be on your right.) Turn R on Hawthorne Ave. to the first left, which is Ryan Drive. Turn left on Ryan Drive, by Denny’s Restaurant, and proceed to Mill Creek Inn just beyond.

From downtown Salem: Go east on Mission St. (State Rd. 22). Follow 22 just past the Airport and turn left on Hawthorne Ave. Then take the first left (almost an immediate left) into Ryan Drive; you will see the Inn directly ahead.

A Quick Peek at the House Funding Bill

The House of Representatives has weighed in on its 2,000-plus page version of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016, H.R. 2029 – which is an amendment to the Senate's amendment of the House's original version, if you follow that.

From an immigration perspective, it's a cornucopia of disappointment. If establishment politicians are wondering why the presidential campaigns in both parties have tilted toward non-establishment outliers as represented, left and right, by Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump or Ben Carson, then they need only look at their own handiwork to find the answer.

The American electorate is not so completely filled with ingénues or naifs that we don't recognize Congress's institutional incapacity to take on hard issues in any meaningful way, leaving the vacuum to be filled with various and sundry executive pronouncements from the Obama administration in every avenue of public life.

It is in no small measure this fecklessness and failure of will on the part of our legislative branch that has led even establishment conservative stalwarts such as George Will to bemoan the rise of a huge and constitutionally-unmentioned fourth branch of government – the bureaucracy, which he describes as "the administrative state".

I have neither the patience nor desire to devote to an analysis of the entire omnibus bill represented by H.R. 2029, but here are a few highlights:

  • Transfers $4 million from the Immigration Examinations Fee Account of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) in the Department of Justice (DOJ). That account is where fees collected from aliens for the filing of various applications are deposited, so as to ensure that adjudication of their applications is self-funding. EOIR is the name of the DOJ agency which handles immigration court removal hearings. USCIS is quite flush with cash these days, because for years it has been skimming money off these immigration fees to build a “reserve fund” that it had hoped to use to administer the president’s plan to issue work permits to millions of illegal aliens, which was blocked by a federal court.
  • Appropriates $476 million in Byrne state and local law enforcement grant funds but does not in any way require that those state or local agencies comply with immigration detainers or not enact "sanctuary" policies of the type that have resulted in so many murders by illegal aliens in the recent past. (See here and here.)
  • Appropriates $210 million for State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP) funds – again, with no caveats that to receive the money, state and local governments must honor detainers and take no steps to impede immigration law enforcement.
  • Appropriates an additional $187 million in COPS grants to state and local law enforcement agencies for hiring and retention of officers. Once again, no caveats on the funding to require cooperation with federal immigration agents in enforcing the laws against alien criminals.
  • Provides $9.2 million to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, which recently exceeded its statutory mandate and did a one-sided hatchet job on the federal immigration detention system.
  • Provides $385 million to the Legal Services Corporation without specifying that such funds may not be used in support of aliens in removal proceedings, contrary to Section 292 of the Immigration and Nationality Act – although the appropriation language very specifically outlines other areas in which the money may not be used contrary to statute.
  • Appropriates the DHS Office of the Secretary almost $137.5 million for operations and executive management provided that Congress receives within 30 days of enactment two reports – one on the biometric entry-exit system, and one on visa overstays. (Note that both of these reports are already statutorily required, and so demanding that the law requiring the overdue reports to be complied with seems in many ways an exercise in both redundancy and futility.)
  • Appropriates more than $447 million for border fencing, infrastructure, and technology.
  • Also provides more than $802 million to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for a variety of purposes including salaries and benefits – but also for unmanned aerial systems (drones), even though the DHS Inspector General has repeatedly panned the program as ineffective, with weak internal controls and repeated cost overruns without evidence of value. (See here and here.)
  • Appropriates more than $5.79 billion to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for operations, equipment, and salaries, subject to several provisos. One of them is that $5 million will be withheld until the ICE director briefs Congress on the agency's efforts to increase the number of state and local law enforcement agencies participating in the "Priority Enforcement Program" (PEP).

    The problem with this proviso is that by mere mention of PEP, Congress legitimizes it even though it was created as a part of the administration's constitutionally dubious "executive action" memos. At the same time, merely demanding a "report" in return for release of the money provides the spinmeisters at DHS and ICE a prime opportunity to put together a pseudo-document purporting to show the wonders of the program notwithstanding its obvious shortcomings and the fact that many sheriffs and police chiefs dislike it intensely, or have rejected it out of hand.

  • Provides U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the immigration benefits-granting agency, nearly $119.7 million, most for administration of the E-Verify system. (As noted above, most of USCIS is funded out of its fee account.)

These are just a few of the immigration provisions contained in the omnibus bill that give me pause (or outright heartburn).

If you look for anything in this measure that defunds, or even pushes the pause button on, the refugee or asylum programs, which are exceedingly vulnerable to fraud and misuse, including potentially by terrorists, you will look in vain. You won't even find anything directing DHS or its subordinate agencies to tighten up vetting procedures in the wake of the San Bernardino attack.

It would be easy to try to forgive or overlook many of the shortcomings of the bill, immigration-related or otherwise, by pointing to its inordinate size and breadth, and saying that one can't micro-manage everything in an omnibus government spending bill. But the fact is that, when they want, congressional legislators are quite happy to micro-manage. Take a look, for instance, at this gem hidden on page 215 of the bill:

Sec. 529. To the extent practicable, funds made available in this Act should be used to purchase light bulbs that are "Energy Star" qualified or have the "Federal Energy Management Program" designation.

No, the reality appears to be something entirely different than simple information overload. It seems to me that we have a Republican majority in both chambers of Congress with few principles in which they believe strongly enough that they are willing to call out the White House and take a stand, particularly if those principles carry with them any degree of controversy – which the subject of immigration inevitably does.

Reflecting on what the bill does – and, importantly, what it doesn't even attempt to do – I'm led to conclude that when House Republicans elected Paul Ryan as Speaker, they got exactly what they wanted, and what they expected: a John Boehner Mini-Me. What, then, was the point in unseating Boehner in the first place?

 

CAUSA gets it wrong - again

CAUSA, in a continuous effort to obscure the facts about their true intentions issued an open letter

Please take a moment to read the letter and be certain to scroll to the bottom of the letter to read the names of all the elected officials that have apparently decided that violating their oath of office in order to serve at the will of illegal aliens instead of their American citizen constituents is just fine.

As President of OFIR, I have written a response  to the letter which was published in the Medford Mail Tribune.

 

 

OFIR's Pizza and Politics event packs the house

Three special guest speakers and yummy pizza drew a packed house for OFIR's Pizza and Politics meeting Saturday, October 10th.

Oregon Republican Party Chairman Bill Currier, Representative Mike Nearman (an OFIR Board member) and Representative Greg Baretto spoke on a number of immigration related topics.  Visit the OFIR photo gallery.

 

It's time for PIZZA and POLITICS - OFIR meeting, Saturday, Oct. 10 at 2:00pm

Alert date: 
September 29, 2015
Alert body: 

Please join us Saturday, October 10 at 2:00pm at the Best Western Mill Creek Inn in Salem, OR and get caught up with what's happening locally and across the country in immigration politics all while enjoying some delicious pizza.

Donald Trump, like him or not, has blown the lid off the immigration conversation and in so doing has forced candidates to address the immigration issue head on....finally!

Because of Trump's campaign trail comments and his surge in the polls because of those comments, OFIR and immigration organizations and activists across the country are in a phenomenal position to make real headway in stemming the flow of illegal aliens into our country.

At the meeting, special guest Oregon Republican Chairman Bill Currier will be there to explain how the ORP plans to actively face down the immigration issues we struggle with here in Oregon.

Representative Mike Nearman and Representative Greg Baretto will be joining us to explain what's happening in the Oregon Legislature.

OFIR has been busy working to advance 2 initiatives. We will be talking about our progress on both of them and how you can help.

OFIR and our fantastic members and friends must be ready with renewed energy and resources to take advantage of the opportunities before us and to tackle the important challenges we will be facing in this coming election year.

Please consider bringing along a contribution to OFIR and take advantage of our $15,000 matching grant?


 

Debate Prep on Immigration

By Mark Krikorian, Center for Immigration Studies, September 16, 2015

Participants in the two Republican debates later today are certain to be asked about their views on illegal immigration and the Middle Eastern refugee crisis. The answers are not difficult, and yet one candidate after another flubs them. Here's a template for answering the first question, with the second to follow.

Actually fixing immigration will be hard work, but explaining it isn't – or shouldn't be. And yet, from Trump's saying whatever pops into his head, to Carson's frivolous assurance that he would seal the border within a single year, to Jeb's detailed plan to enforce the rules after amnestying all the illegals, and to the clichéd boasts by the rest that they will "secure the border," the candidates' responses to illegal immigration queries do not speak well to their political skills.

At the risk of sounding like a middle-school English teacher, they need to introduce the problem, offer three concrete solutions that are understandable, hold together, and make sense both politically and as policy, and then conclude by showing how they point to the future:

Well, Hugh, I'm glad you asked that question. Until we have in place an enforcement system that will prevent the settlement of another 12 million illegal aliens, we're not even going to talk about what to do with the ones already here. We're not going to amnesty them and we're not going to launch a dragnet to find them. If they're arrested for something else, I'll make sure we have resources in place to deport them, but in the meantime my administration would focus on the three things we need to have in place before we even talk about the illegals already here.

First, we need nationwide E-Verify, so when a company hires somebody, and is filling out the paperwork for Social Security and the IRS, they also check, using this free online system, whether the new employee is telling the truth about who they are. The system's already in place, it's used millions of times every year, including by the great folks at (insert name of company in your state), and unlike the Obamacare website, it actually works. But it's optional now and needs to be rolled out nationwide, so that all our businesses and workers are playing on an even playing field.

Second, we need a check-out system for foreign visitors. One thousand new illegal aliens will settle in our country today, and most of them will have come in legally on some kind of visa, but just stayed when their time was up. Better fencing at the border won't fix that. Right now, we're pretty good at checking people into our country, but after that, it's the honor system. Heck, we don't even send a text message thanking them for visiting our country and reminding them to make sure they head home on time.

Finally, we need to undo the damage President Obama has done to law enforcement. For state and local police (insert reference to your state here), the ability to partner with immigration authorities is vital to public safety. And yet this president has dismantled the arrangements between local cops and immigration agents, winked at sanctuary cities, and even punished towns and states that have tried to do the right thing.

Once those three goals are met – not on paper in Washington, but in fact, in the real world – then we'll take another look at the illegal immigrants already here. And there's likely to be a lot fewer of them, simply owing to attrition. In fact, of the illegals here today, fully two and a half million have moved here since President Obama was inaugurated. If he had just done his job, this whole problem would be much smaller and less wrenching. In a (fill in name) administration, we will finally work our way out of this mess.

It's a little long for a debate response when there are eleven people on the stage, but even in abbreviated form it's concrete, coherent, and concise.

http://cis.org/krikorian/debate-prep-immigration

A $15,000 matching grant spurs donor contributions - don't miss your opportunity to double your contribution!

Alert date: 
October 13, 2015
Alert body: 

Contributions are rolling in - don't miss your opportunity to DOUBLE your contribution - up to $15,000 total!

A matching grant will help OFIR fight to STOP illegal immigration here in Oregon and across the country.

Our generous donor will match your contributions to OFIR of any size up to $15,000 total!  Imagine that - if you contribute $20 it magically becomes $40 or contribute $100 and it magically becomes a $200 contribution! 

OFIR fought very hard to defeat Ballot Measure 88 and our resources are running low.  Your contribution now will help OFIR stay in the game during the critical, upcoming election cycle.

Please consider a generous contribution today and double your money.  This wonderful opportunity just doesn't happen every day!

OFIR appreciates each and every one of our members.  We understand that some of you may not be able to contribute financially.  There are lots of things you can do to help http://www.oregonir.org/how-you-can-help-ofir

But, we hope that those of you that can, will dig deep and give generously.  We need your help now - and your contribution to OFIR will be doubled - up to $15,000.  It's a WIN - WIN!

You can also go online http://www.oregonir.org/donate-ofir to contribute or mail your contribution to:

OFIR

PO Box 7354

Salem, OR 97303

Thank you!

Don't miss out on this GREAT OPPORTUNITY to double your contribution to OFIR!

Rep. Bonamici to hold Town Halls

Alert date: 
August 25, 2015
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.


 

Last weekend for the 150th Oregon State Fair!

Alert date: 
August 29, 2015
Alert body: 

Don't miss out on the fun!  Plan to attend the Oregon State Fair  running through Labor Day.

Oregonians for Immigration Reform (OFIR) is hosting a booth at the State Fair again this year.  We encourage you to drop by and say hello, we are located in the Jackman Long building.  Learn more about what's happening here in Oregon and across the country and meet a State Rep. and Senator or a talk show host or any of our other wonderful volunteers!  Visit our photo gallery!

If you have not yet joined OFIR, we encourage you to do so.  It has been decades since the immigration issue has attracted such attention.
 

Weaken the magnet of jobs: Opposing view

Border enforcement isn’t just about the Mexican border.

The frontier with our southern neighbor really is better controlled than it used to be, though that’s not saying much, considering how laughably inadequate enforcement was in the past.

But it’s immigration security overall that we need to worry about, both at the border and the interior. Better border fencing is indeed necessary, but our efforts in non-border areas haven’t even risen yet to the level of “laughably inadequate.” Until they’re addressed, we shouldn’t even be discussing what to do about illegal aliens already here.

The three biggest weaknesses are worksite enforcement, visa tracking, and state and local partnerships with federal authorities.

Weakening the magnet of jobs is key to deterring illegal immigration. The online E-Verify system enables employers to check whether new hires are telling the truth about who they are — but it’s only voluntary. Only by making E-Verify a universal part of the hiring process can we even begin to claim to be serious about enforcement.

People who come here legally on visitor visas but never leave are now the main source of new illegal immigration, accounting for nearly 60% of the 1,000 new illegal aliens a day settling here. We do a better job of checking people in as they arrive, but we don’t track departures. That means we don’t know which visa holders have remained illegally — despite the fact that Congress has mandated such a visa-tracking system eight times since 1996.

It should go without saying that any illegal alien arrested for local crimes should be deported. Yet the Obama administration has dismantled the infrastructure for cooperation between the feds and local law enforcement. Rebuilding these relationships, and protecting cities from predatory lawsuits by anti-borders groups such as the ACLU, is imperative.

Politicians who want legalization of the illegals now, while promising to get around to improving enforcement in the future, are offering the same bad deal as the infamous 1986 amnesty. “Enforcement first” is the only acceptable approach.
 

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