economy

Washington State Releases Stimulus "Relief" Funds for Illegal Aliens


Following on the heels of California, Oregon and Connecticut, the State of Washington will now be the latest to start issuing COVID-19 “stimulus” funds to illegal aliens.

On August 10, Governor Jay Inslee (D) announced that the state would establish a $40 million “Immigrant Relief Fund" specifically for those who didn’t qualify for federal stimulus funds, i.e., illegal aliens . . .

Notes on the Spring Meat Shortage

The Great Toilet Paper Scare of 2020 has come to end, but don't breathe a sigh of relief just yet. The Spring Meat Stampede is here. . .

The Other Dangerous Dependence Exposed by Coronavirus Crisis: Low Wage, Exploitable Foreign Farm Labor, Charges FAIR

A devastating March 28 Associated Press report reveals how little value powerful agricultural interests place on the lives and safety of either their guest workers or their illegal labor force. Moreover, the stunning silence of the massively funded network of so-called “immigrants’ rights” groups in the face of these revelations shows how little they actually care about the people they claim to advocate for. . .

PERM Fake Job Ads defraud Americans to secure green cards for foreign high tech workers

Immigration attorneys from Cohen & Grigsby explain how they assist employers in running classified ads with the goal of NOT FINDING ANY QUALIFIED APPLICANTS, and the steps they go through to disqualify even the most qualified Americans in order to secure green cards for H1-B workers. See what Congress means by "shortage of skilled U.S. workers." Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, and thousands of other companies are running fake ads in Sunday newspapers across the country each week. 
 

 

 

Liberty Headlines: Supreme Court OKs Denial of Green Cards for Those Likely to Need Gov’t Aid

(Liberty Headlines) The Supreme Court on Monday allowed the Trump administration to put in place a policy connecting the use of public benefits with whether immigrants could become permanent residents

MEETING ALERT - CHANGE IN MEETING DATE AND LOCATION

Alert date: 
January 10, 2020
Alert body: 

The next OFIR meeting has been moved back to the Best Western Mill Creek Inn in Salem.  It will be on Sunday, January 19th at 2:00pm

We owe a debt of gratitude to the staff at Best Western Mill Creek Inn.  They have stood by us for years.  At the meeting we will briefly discuss why we changed the meeting location back to the Best Western.

Lorraine Woodwark, National Director of Attorneys United for a Secure America will be our special guest speaker.  Russ Walker, President Trump’s Oregon Campaign manager, will be speaking as well as

We will discuss what we can do to prepare for the 2020 election.  President Trump will likely face off with an open-borders candidate.

Your participation is encouraged as OFIR forges the way into 2020.  Please plan to attend and invite a friend!

We hope to see you at the meeting!

Apparently Washington is Never Too Divided to Capitulate to the Demands of Big Ag

At a time when lawmakers from our two political parties can barely stomach being under the same rotunda with each other, House members have managed to come together to approve a regressive labor and illegal alien amnesty bill, ironically labeled the Farm Workforce Modernization Act (H.R. 5038). Owing to the chaos swirling around the nation’s capital, this massive giveaway to the powerful agricultural industry lobby is largely escaping notice from the American people.

Under H.R. 5038, an estimated 1.5 million illegal aliens would be eligible for amnesty, but not before having to serve a decade or more in indentured servitude to their employers before achieving full legal status. “Granting amnesty to illegal aliens is always a bad idea, and merely attracts more illegal immigration,” stated Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).

“The only thing worse than another large-scale amnesty is one that then forces people to continue to toil for poor wages and under poor working conditions for the same unscrupulous employers who hired them illegally in the first place,” said Stein.

Far from modernizing our agricultural workforce, the legislation ensures that the American agricultural industry will remain mired in the 17th century. “The foundation of a modern agricultural industry must be increased reliance on technology and mechanization to ensure that we can feed our population and export our surplus. Instead of offering incentives or subsidies for farmers to invest in real modernization, this bill incentivizes a continued reliance on inefficient, low-wage immigrant labor,” Stein charged.

H.R. 5038 is, at best, a short-term fix for an industry that relies on easily exploitable labor. The bill, which would designate current illegal farmworkers as Certified Agricultural Workers (CAW), is almost an exact replicate of the failed 1986 Special Agricultural Worker (SAW) amnesty. Under that fraud-ridden amnesty program, some 1.1 million illegal aliens received legal status prompting them to leave that industry in pursuit of better wages and working conditions in other sectors of the economy, and leading Big Agriculture to hire the next wave of illegal aliens.

“Mark Twain quipped that ‘History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes.’ Congress, in attempting to create a CAW amnesty after the massive failure of the SAW amnesty, seems intent on proving that history can repeat itself and rhyme at the same time,” Stein observed.

“While Congress continues to do nothing to secure our borders, passing a bill that rewards both illegal aliens and their employers, and calling it ‘modernization,’ is a slap in the face to the plurality of Americans who consider immigration to be the nation’s most pressing domestic issue,” concluded Stein.

Contact: Matthew Tragesser, 202-328-7004 or mtragesser@fairus.org

House passes farm bill that critics say grants 'large-scale amnesty' to illegal immigrants

The House on Wednesday passed a contentious agricultural bill that would likely put more than a million illegal immigrants on a pathway to legal status as part of what supporters say is a vital modernization of the industry’s workforce -- but that immigration hawks blasted as a “large-scale amnesty.”

The Farm Workforce Modernization Act passed 260-165, with support from both Democrats and Republicans. The bill provides a process for undocumented farmworkers to seek a temporary five-and-a-half-year “Certified Agricultural Worker” status if they have worked for approximately six months in the industry in the last two years.

That status can either be renewed indefinitely, or workers (along with their spouses and children) can begin a path to permanent legal status in the form of a green card. That path, according to the legislation, includes background checks and $1,000 fine.

To secure the green card, those who have worked in agriculture for 10 years or more must work for four more years, while those who've spent less than a decade in the sector would have to work eight more years. Once workers receive a green card, they are then free to pursue work in fields outside of agriculture.

The bill also streamlines the H-2A agriculture visa program, cutting processing time and costs for visa petitions. And it calls for the Department of Homeland Security to set up a pilot program that would give H-2A workers the ability to change jobs within the sector if they find work within two months.

Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., the bill’s sponsor, said that it was a “historic” compromise and example of bipartisanship.

“This bill is a compromise, it’s not exactly what I would have written but it does stabilize the workforce,” she said on the House floor. “We have farmworkers who have been here for a very long time without their papers, living in fear and in some cases being arrested and deported.”

“We need to allow them to get an agricultural visa that is temporary and renewable so they can do the work we need them to do and their employers need them to do,” she said. “We need to stabilize the H-2A program, which this bill does. It simplifies it and also stabilizes wages.”

The bill had support from a number of farm groups, but has faced fierce opposition from immigration restrictionists, who claim that the amnesty component is similar to one in the 1980s that was rife with fraud ...

“The only thing worse than another large-scale amnesty is one that then forces people to continue to toil for poor wages and under poor working conditions for the same unscrupulous employers who hired them illegally in the first place,” Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), said in a statement.

“While Congress continues to do nothing to secure our borders, passing a bill that rewards both illegal aliens and their employers, and calling it ‘modernization,’ is a slap in the face to the plurality of Americans who consider immigration to be the nation’s most pressing domestic issue,” Stein said.

The Heritage Foundation described the bill as a “clear cut example of amnesty,” warning that it "threatens the legal immigration system’s legitimacy and incentivizes aliens and farmers to ignore the legal immigration system in the future if it best serves their needs."

The bill's Republican support, with a number co-sponsoring the measure, raises the possibility that a form of such a bill could have a shot in the Republican-controlled Senate.

But while the bill has bipartisan support, it has also faced criticism from other Republicans lawmakers. Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., cited estimates from liberal groups that there are as many as 2.7 million farmworkers in the country, with more than half estimated to be in the country illegally, meaning that more than a million and a half could get a pathway to legal status.

“While the 224 pages of H.R. 5038 make many more changes to the H-2A program — some good and some bad — one need look no further than the first few pages to figure out the real point of this bill: a path to citizenship ...

He also said the bill’s document standards are low and could allow illegal immigrants with multiple DUI convictions and a history of Social Security fraud to get legal status.

As with most bills that include a path to legalization for those in the country illegally, there are some enforcement parts of the bill as well, but they come with major caveats.

While the bill would establish mandatory E-Verify (a DHS-run verification system for employers that has been seen as the holy grail for employment enforcement) for all agricultural employment, Lofgren’s office notes that that would be “phased in" and only "after all legalization and H-2A reforms have been implemented and included necessary due process protections for authorized workers who are incorrectly rejected by the system.” This fuels concerns from immigration hawks that it follows a trend of bills that go "amnesty first, enforcement later."

Adam Shaw is a reporter covering U.S. and European politics for Fox News.. He can be reached here.

URGENT - STOP AMNESTY BILL! Call Congress

Alert date: 
December 8, 2019
Alert body: 

H.R. 5038 is called the Farm Workforce Modernization Act of 2019.  It’s a massive amnesty bill disguised as “modernization.”  It should be called the Ag Amnesty and Indentured Servitude Act.  Or just the "Ag Amnesty bill".  It’s on a fast track in the House, scheduled for Rules Committee on Tuesday, Dec. 10, with floor vote likely Wednesday, Dec. 11.

Please call your Representative and voice your objections. In speaking to the U.S. Representative’s office, refer first to the bill number, H.R. 5038.  Phone numbers are given below.

Here are a few key facts, compiled by NumbersUSA.  They have prepared a more complete analysis here.

Amnesty -- H.R. 5038 would give amnesty--including work permits, green cards, and a path to citizenship--to illegal aliens who have been unlawfully employed in agriculture at least part time during the past two years. In fact, illegal aliens who spent just most weekends working in agriculture over two years would qualify.

H-2A Expansion -- Rather than providing incentives for mechanization to reduce the need for manual labor, or even just streamlining the existing H-2A program, the sponsors of H.R. 5038 decided that it is time to complete the hollowing out of several other industries, in addition to seasonal farm work. They kept the numerically unlimited H-2A category for seasonal work, but created a new, non-seasonal, year-round category so that at least 20,000 (and potentially many more) low-paid foreign workers can be imported each year to work at dairies, meat-packing plants, fish canneries, nurseries, and more.

Indentured Servitude -- Congress knows that giving amnesty to illegal agricultural workers will fail to produce a stable, legal workforce, because they've tried it before. Congress passed an agricultural amnesty in 1986, as part of the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA). But there was a catch: most of the amnestied ag workers left agriculture for better-paying jobs as soon as they got their work permits. The sponsors of the Farm Workforce Modernization Act decided to address this problem by regressing to the 17th Century practice of indenturing these newly amnestied agricultural workers for various durations, mainly four to eight years.

In its Alert on H.R. 5038, NumbersUSA says it's “important for every office's staff to know that WE THE PEOPLE know the amnesty vote is coming. And that WE THE PEOPLE probably know more about what is in the amnesty bill than their boss the Representative knows. For example, do they know this is a bill that re-establishes indentured servitude in this country.  Let's cause those staffers to start scrambling to see what is actually in this bill.”

If you have not signed up with NumbersUSA to receive its Alerts directly and to use its free messaging to Congress, we recommend that you do.  NumbersUSA staff watch Congress constantly, and the NumbersUSA website has a large fund of pertinent information.

The last thing the U.S. needs now is another massive amnesty for illegal aliens.  There have been too many amnesties already in recent decades, resulting in disrespect for immigration law and law in general. Amnesties stimulate further illegal immigration.  Oregonians face congestion already, along with widespread homelessness, expensive housing, climate crisis, drug crisis, etc. The future will be even grimmer as more and more people from other countries pour into the U.S.  See this trenchant commentary on H.R. 5038 by Bob Dane, of the Federation for American Immigration Reform.


Phone numbers for Oregon’s Representatives

You can reach the Washington office of any Representative by calling the U.S. Capitol switchboard number: 202-224-3121 (not a toll-free number). Then ask the operator to connect you with the Representative to whom you wish to speak. 

District 1 – Suzanne Bonamici – 202-225-0855

District 2 – Greg Walden 202-225-6730

District 3 - Earl Blumenauer – 202-225-4811

District 4 - Peter A. DeFazio – 202-225-6416

District 5 – Kurt Schrader – 202-225-5711

If you don't know the name of your Representative, you can find it here:  https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/FindYourLegislator/leg-districts.html

Victory for American tech workers

WASHINGTON � Today, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower federal court ruling that displaced American tech workers lacked standing to challenge Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regulations authorizing alien employment in the United States.

In this case, the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) represents Save Jobs USA, which is made up of former employees of Southern California Edison. That public utility drew bipartisan criticism in Congress when it displaced 500 of its American employees after forcing them to train their cheaper foreign replacements.

As spelled out in federal law, the H-4 visa allows the spouses of H-1B guestworkers to “accompany” the alien to or “join” the alien in the United States. Under the Obama Administration, DHS added to the law governing the H-4 visa by allowing H-4 spouses to work in the United States. Since many of these foreign tech-workers’ spouses are tech workers themselves, Save Jobs USA filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia that challenged DHS’s authority to issue these work authorizations.

The district court held that Save Jobs USA lacked standing to bring the lawsuit because it did not suffer an injury from the employment of their H-1B competitors. Today, however, the D.C. Circuit, in reaffirming the “competitor standing doctrine,” held that Save Jobs USA did suffer injury from the regulation and had standing to sue.

The case will now return to the district court for a decision on whether DHS has the authority to permit H-4 spouses to work.

“The media has largely ignored the problem of DHS creating guestworker programs through regulation,” said John M. Miano, counsel for IRLI. “The Constitution gives Congress authority over the immigration system, but more labor now enters the U.S. job market through regulation than under laws passed by Congress.”

“The Save Jobs USA case has major implications for the immigration system,” said Dale L. Wilcox, executive director and general counsel of IRLI. “If the courts hold that DHS does have the authority it claims to permit alien employment through regulation, it can continue to wipe out the protections for American workers that Congress has enacted. We are pleased by the court’s decision on standing, and will press forward to get this unlawful foreign workers’ program overturned.”

The case is Save Jobs USA v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security, No. 16-5287 (D.C. Cir.).

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