economy

Congress votes Tuesday on trade deal - an attack on middle class and American workers...

Alert date: 
May 11, 2015
Alert body: 

The Senate is scheduled to vote on TPP on Tuesday. It is very important that it NOT be given fast track.

OFIR members:  Here are direct-dial numbers for Oregon Senators.

Capitol Switchboard -- (202) 224-3121 or direct dial numbers below.

When you call - you could say:

I urge you to oppose S.955, the bill that would grant fast-track trade authority to Pres. Obama. I believe Congress should retain its power to review and amend any trade agreement that the United States enters into, and by granting Pres. Obama fast-track authority, Congress would be giving up that power.

As Sen. Jeff Sessions from Alabama pointed out in his 5-page memo, free trade agreements have been used by past administrations to bypass Congress and make changes to existing immigration laws. Given this president's track record on immigration, I don't understand why you would want to give him such broad authority. Please tell the Senator to read Sen. Sessions' memo and oppose TPA.

Senator Ron Wyden – 202-224-5244

Sen. Wyden is a major supporter of the trade bill.  Please call him first.

***Senator Jeff Merkley – 202-224-3753

Sen. Merkley recently sent a letter to constituents critical of the fast-track trade bill.  The letter included this statement:  “The Senate Finance Committee recently considered a bill that would provide fast-track trade negotiating authority, and it is expected to be debated by the full Senate in the near future. The current bill does not meet the standards I have described, and I will oppose it in its current form.”

Please thank him for his position and urge him to stand firm in opposition to the fast-track trade bill.

Should both chambers of Congress pass "fast-track" legislation, Pres. Obama, and future presidents, can ram through international trade agreements that expand guest worker programs without any public debate.

For further understanding - please read:

There are numerous serious, significant consequences to passing the TPP. One is that it can open immigration floodgates. And unlike other trade agreements, a future president may unilaterally change the terms of the agreement as she sees fit.

Sen. Jeff Sessions has listed numerous failings of the TPP:
 
"There are numerous ways TPA could facilitate immigration increases above current law-and precious few ways anyone in Congress could stop its happening. For instance: language could be included or added into the TPP, as well as any future trade deal submitted for fast-track consideration in the next 6 years, with the clear intent to facilitate or enable the movement of foreign workers and employees into the United States..."
 
From a constitutional point of view, the proposed TPA powers are a nightmare. They allow the Executive Branch to create ever-shifting binding agreements with foreign powers that will not be subject to Congressional approval. Congress will only be able to vote agreements up or down, instead of being able to offer amendments.
Furthermore, ceding such powers to Barack Obama guts the constitutional objection to Barack Obama's Executive Amnesty. After all, if Congress doesn't feel itself capable of reviewing legislation on something as important on trade, why should it have any input on immigration?...

What's worse, only two Republican Senators (Jeff Sessions of Alabama and Mike Lee of Utah) have confirmed that they bothered to read the trade deal they will be voting on this week...and have declared they will vote against it....

The Subversive Trans-Pacific Partnership

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has been described as a "stealthy delivery mechanism for policies that could not survive public scrutiny," and focuses on curtailing government at all levels. In addition, it encourages trade that would harm communities and the environment­.18 Recent revelations expose the Trans-Pacific Partnership as a transnational corporate coup.13 

The TPP is a multinational trade agreement, negotiated in secret meetings dominated by governments and 500 trans-national corporate interests16. Although still under negotiation, the media has virtually blacked out coverage of the TPP.8

It has been reported that former US Trade Representative Ron Kirk stated that if the people knew what was in the TPP agreement, it would raise such opposition that it could make the deal impossible to sign.

TPP Overview

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a fundamental component of President Obama’s continuing economic agenda. It would grant a broad range of powers to trans-national corporations based overseas. According to the New York Times:

Under the accord, still under negotiation but nearing completion, companies and investors would be empowered to challenge regulations, rules, government actions and court rulings — federal, state or local — before tribunals organized under the World Bank or the United Nations... critics, including many Democrats in Congress, argue that the planned deal widens the opening for multinationals to sue in the United States and elsewhere, giving greater priority to protecting corporate interests than promoting free trade and competition that benefits consumers.12

The TPP is the largest pending economic treaty in history and includes countries that represent more than 40 per cent of the world´s GDP. Current TPP negotiation members include the United States, Japan, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Malaysia, Chile, Singapore, Peru, Vietnam, New Zealand and Brunei.13

The TPP is a "docking" agreement, which means that any country in the TPP region (e.g., China) can add themselves just by signing on.15 The TPP would be forever. Unlike domestic laws, it would have no expiration date. It could be altered only by a consensus of all signatories.20

Ongoing TPP negotiations have been conducted in secrecy since 2008 and are now in the final stages. The Obama administration is attempting to "fast-track" the treaty through Congress so that elected officials will have no ability to review or comment on provisions. Fast track is implemented by Congress passing Trade Promotion Authority, which means that Congress surrenders all rights to amend the TPP treaty and is only allowed to vote yes or no on Obama’s final deal.9

Some of the more concerning aspects of the TPP are discussed below.

Immigration

The US Constitution gives Congress exclusive authority over immigration, immigrants, and work authorizations. Yet fast-track trade legislation essentially relinquishes that authority to the President.

NumbersUSA has pointed out that as a result of fast-track trade authority on the TPP, any President could much more easily expand guest worker programs without public debate. Indeed, that occurred under President Bush during five years of fast-track authority.17 As a result, in 2003, Congress objected to President Bush including immigration in trade agreements with a resolution that began:

Resolved, That it is the sense of the Senate that

(1) trade agreements are not the appropriate vehicle for enacting immigration-related laws or modifying current immigration policy; and

(2) future trade agreements to which the United States is a party and the legislation implementing the agreements should not contain immigration-related provisions.17

The Hill recently reported that:

TPP's provisions are largely secret but, according to Curtis Ellis of the American Jobs Alliance, the U.S. Trade Representative revealed that "temporary entry" guest worker visas are a "key feature" of the pact. Ellis said that Obama Administration previously used the U.S.-South Korea trade pact to expand the length of time a L-1 visa holder can work in the U.S. That pact is viewed as a model for negotiating the TPP.17

As a result of these concerns, NumbersUSA sent notices to members of Congress reading in part:

Despite a U.S. labor force participation rate that is at its lowest level since 1978, President Obama wants to use the TPP to further reduce the jobs available to U.S. workers and instead reserve certain jobs for foreign workers under the agreement. It is indefensible that Congress would now consider surrendering even more of its authority over immigration to this President in order to fast track a trade agreement that will harm American workers, and the text of which Congress has not even seen.17

Environment

In an analysis of the leaked TPP “Investment” chapter13, Public Citizen observes that:

The leaked text would empower foreign firms to directly “sue” signatory governments in extrajudicial investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) tribunals over domestic policies that apply equally to domestic and foreign firms that foreign firms claim violate their new substantive investor rights. There they could demand taxpayer compensation for domestic financial, health, environmental, land use and other policies and government actions they claim undermine TPP foreign investor privileges, such as the “right” to a regulatory framework that conforms to their “expectations.”19

Thus, the TPP would elevate foreign-owned corporations to the same status as sovereign governments. These corporations would be able to challenge in foreign tribunals any environmental laws and regulations that they deemed a threat to their profitability. For example, provisions would disadvantage organic farmers and those who adopt more environmentally-sound farming practices.18

TPP will limit GMO food labeling and will allow the import of foods and goods that do not meet US safe standards.20 As US News reports:

Many jurisdictions have policies to promote opportunity and ameliorate the severity of market forces. These include minimum wage laws, laws requiring employers to offer health insurance, regulations covering product safety, work-place safety, environmental protection, and more. All of these protections are at risk under the TPP. For example, the pact would prevent communities from deciding whether or not they want fracking in their area.18

Intellectual Property

The TPP would extend copyright beyond the international 50 year standard after an author’s death by an additional 20 years, thus effectively prohibiting works from entering the public domain.3

Article 16 of the TPP wants signatories to find legal incentives to strong-arm ISPs into privately enforcing TPP copyright rules. The result could be arbitrary filtering of content, complete blockage of websites, and disclosure of ISP customer identities.3

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has expressed serious concern that the TPP will:

  • Place Greater Liability on Internet Intermediaries, as noted above.
  • Compel signatory nations to enact laws banning circumvention of digital locks on movies on DVDs, video games, and players, and for embedded software.
  • Create New Threats for Journalists and Whistleblowers.
  • Enact a "Three-Step Test" Language That Puts Restrictions on Fair Use.
  • Adopt Criminal Sanctions: Adopt criminal sanctions for copyright infringement that is done without a commercial motivation.1

The EFF notes that:

TPP raises significant concerns about citizens’ freedom of expression, due process, innovation, the future of the Internet’s global infrastructure, and the right of sovereign nations to develop policies and laws that best meet their domestic priorities. In sum, the TPP puts at risk some of the most fundamental rights that enable access to knowledge for the world’s citizens."1

Critics of the TPP say it would result in increased drug prices and could give surgeons patent protection for their procedures.14

Corporate tribunals override national sovereignty

A TPP leaked document made public by Wikileaks reveals that:

Under the accord, still under negotiation but nearing completion, companies and investors would be empowered to challenge regulations, rules, government actions and court rulings -- federal, state or local -- before tribunals organized under the World Bank or the United Nations.13

The Huffington Post emphasizes the point:

Let that sink in for a moment: "[C]ompanies and investors would be empowered to challenge regulations, rules, government actions and court rulings -- federal, state or local -- before tribunals...." And they can collect not just for lost property or seized assets; they can collect if laws or regulations interfere with these giant companies' ability to collect what they claim are "expected future profits."16

The New York Times observes:

In all, according to Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, about 9,000 foreign-owned firms operating in the United States would be empowered to bring cases against governments here. Those are as diverse as timber and mining companies in Australia and investment conglomerates from China whose subsidiaries in Trans-Pacific Partnership countries like Vietnam and New Zealand also have ventures in the United States.

More than 18,000 companies based in the United States would gain new powers to go after the other 11 countries in the accord…

Under the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a member nation would be forbidden from favoring “goods produced in its territory.”14

This is really troubling,” said Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York, the Senate’s No. 3 Democrat. “It seems to indicate that savvy, deep-pocketed foreign conglomerates could challenge a broad range of laws we pass at every level of government, such as made-in-America laws or anti-tobacco laws. I think people on both sides of the aisle will have trouble with this.”14

Conclusion

From what we now know, the Trans-Pacific Partnership represents a distinct and significant threat to national sovereignty and the ability of any member nation – including the United States – to regulate its trade, intellectual property, environment, and immigration.

Most troubling is what we don’t yet know about the secretive TPP.

In the interests of America and all Americans, Congress is obligated to deny fast-track TPA authority on the TPP and to reject the TPP in its entirety.

 

The author, Fred Elbel, is the OFIR webmaster and director of Colorado Alliance for Immigration Reform.

References

1. What is TPP, Electronic Frontier Foundation

2. What Is Wrong With the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Electronic Frontier Foundation, August 21, 2012 - one-page overview

3. What is the TPP, and why should you care?, Naked Security, August 28, 2012

4. Obama secretly signing away U.S. sovereignty, WorldNetDaily, October 16, 2013

5. Thanks to WikiLeaks, we see just how bad TPP trade deal is for regular people, The Guardian, November 13, 2013

6. Trash the TPP: Why It's Time to Revolt Against the Worst "Trade Agreement" in History, Occupy.com, July 19, 2013

7. Leaked TPP Intellectual Property Chapter from May 2014, Electronic Frontier Foundation, May 2014

8. Media Leave Viewers In The Dark About Trans-Pacific Partnership, Media Matters, February 9, 2014

9. Immigration, Outsourcing And Now Fast-Tracking TP - When Will GOP Stand Up For Americans?, Patrick J. Buchanan, VDare, January 31, 2015

Following the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, we threw open America’s doors to a flood of immigrants, legal and illegal. Some 40-50 million have poured in, an unprecedented expansion of the labor force.

Thus, “free-trade” Republicans and their collaborators in the Business Roundtable and U.S. Chamber of Commerce decided to drop the U.S. labor force into a worldwide labor pool where the average wage was but a tiny fraction of an American living wage.

Like NAFTA and GATT, the Trans-Pacific Partnership is an enabling act for multinationals to move freely to where it is cheapest to produce while securing access to where it is most profitable to sell.

10. Obama's next immigration scam - Guest workers get free pass in so-called free-trade TPP agreement, World Net Daily, March 14, 2015

11. Democrats Blast Obama’s Secret Trade Negotiations, Limits To Growth, March 18, 2015

12. Trans-Pacific Partnership Seen as Door for Foreign Suits Against U.S., New York Times, March 25, 2015

13. Secret Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) - Investment Chapter, Wikileaks, March 25, 2015

Read the full Secret Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) - Investment Chapter, Wikileaks, March 25, 2015

The TPP Investment Chapter is dated 20 January 2015. The document is classified and supposed to be kept secret for four years after the entry into force of the TPP agreement or, if no agreement is reached, for four years from the close of the negotiations.

Julian Assange, WikiLeaks editor said: "The TPP has developed in secret an unaccountable supranational court for multinationals to sue states. This system is a challenge to parliamentary and judicial sovereignty. Similar tribunals have already been shown to chill the adoption of sane environmental protection, public health and public transport policies."

Current TPP negotiation member states are the United States, Japan, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Malaysia, Chile, Singapore, Peru, Vietnam, New Zealand and Brunei. The TPP is the largest economic treaty in history, including countries that represent more than 40 per cent of the world´s GDP.

14. Trans-Pacific Partnership Seen as Door for Foreign Suits Against U.S,, The Guardian, March 25, 2015

15. Corporate Sovereignty Provisions Of TPP Agreement Would Massively Undermine Government Sovereignty, TechDirt, March 26, 2015

16. Now We Know Why Huge TPP Trade Deal Is Kept Secret From the Public, Huffington Post, March 27, 2015

17. We join unions, environmentalists and more in broad coalition against threat of anti-worker trade bill, NumbersUSA, April 14, 2015

18. Obama's Pacific Trade Deal Is No Deal At All - These trade negotiations are about corporations seeking to prevent competition, U.S. News and World Report, April 19, 2015

19. Analysis of Leaked Trans-Pacific Partnership Investment Text, Public Citizen, March 25, 2015

20. Stop TPP – The Facts

10 Ways The TPP Would Hurt U.S. Working Families

21  Stop The TPP, Communications Workers of America Read more about The Subversive Trans-Pacific Partnership

It is critical to kill fast-track authority for the TPA - today!

Alert date: 
April 15, 2015
Alert body: 

It is critical to kill fast-track authority for the TPA - today!

From NumbersUSA:

NumbersUSA is opposing the corporate lobbies, Pres. Obama and Republican congressional leaders who together are trying to pass a Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill that would likely lead to cutting the American people out of future decisions about certain flows of foreign workers.

International courts -- not American officials elected by the American people -- would have authority over these worker flows.

Will you help us try to stop this in at least one of the committees today? Take the action below:

OFIR members and supporters, Please call members of Oregon’s Congressional delegation and also as many of the Committee members listed below that you can.  Tell them to vote No on the Pacific Fair Trade deal.  You can call the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask to speak to any Senator or Representative.  Detailed contact information for the Oregon delegation is posted on the OFIR website at: http://www.oregonir.org/how-contact-oregon-congressional-delegation


Call Committee Members Today

Capitol Switchboard
(202) 224-3121


The vote to move the TPA bill to the floor of the House or Senate could come today in the House Ways & Means Committee or the Senate Finance Committee.

Below the red action box, you'll find a list of committee Members. Use the Capitol Hill switchboard number listed above or the direct-dial numbers that we've provided. Call Members from your state or a neighbor.

You can use any of the many talking points that are contained in the blog I've attached below the phone numbers. Or use this one:

I'm very troubled (concerned/frightened/outraged/upset) by the Trade Promotion Authority bill. I hope it is defeated. That bill would allow the President in trade treaties to commit America to giving guaranteed numbers of U.S. jobs to foreign workers without Congress' approval. Immigration should never be part of a trade agreement. Our elected officials should never have their hands tied to keep them from changing immigration numbers to best serve American workers.

 

Also, make sure you have sent your faxes from your Action Board.
 

Fax Congress

SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE
 

Michael Bennet (D-CO) -- 202-224-5852

Tom Carper (D-DE) -- 202-224-2441

Bill Nelson (D-FL) -- 202-224-5274
Johnny Isakson (R-GA) -- 202-224-3643
Chuck Grassley (R-IA) -- 202-224-3744
Mike Crapo (R-ID) -- 202-224-6142
Dan Coats (R-IN) -- 202-224-5623
Pat Roberts (R-KS) -- 202-224-4774
Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD) -- 202-224-4524
Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) -- 202-224-4822
Richard Burr (R-NC) -- 202-224-3154
Robert Menendez (D-NJ) -- 202-224-4744
Dean Heller (R-NV) -- 202-224-6244
Charles E. (Chuck) Schumer (D-NY) -- 202-224-6542
Sherrod Brown (D-OH) -- 202-224-2315
Rob Portman (R-OH) -- 202-224-3353
Ron Wyden (D-OR) -- 202-224-5244
Robert P. Casey, Jr. (D-PA) -- 202-224-6324
Pat Toomey (R-PA) -- 202-224-4254
Tim Scott (R-SC) -- 202-224-6121
John Thune (R-SD) -- 202-224-2321
John Cornyn (R-TX) -- 202-224-2934
Orrin G. Hatch (R-UT) -- 202-224-5251
Mark R. Warner (D-VA) -- 202-224-2023
Maria Cantwell (D-WA) -- 202-224-3441
Mike Enzi (R-WY) -- 202-224-3424

HOUSE WAYS & MEANS COMMITTEE

Xavier Becerra (D-CA) -- 202-225-6235
Devin Nunes (R-CA) -- 202-225-2523
Linda Sanchez (D-CA) -- 202-225-6676
Mike Thompson (D-CA) -- 202-225-3311
John Larson (D-CT) -- 202-225-2265
Vern Buchanan (R-FL) -- 202-225-5015
John Lewis (D-GA) -- 202-225-3801
Tom Price (R-GA) -- 202-225-4501
Danny K. Davis (D-IL) -- 202-225-5006
Peter Roskam (R-IL) -- 202-225-4561
Todd Young (R-IN) -- 202-225-5315
Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) -- 202-225-6601
Charles W. Boustany, Jr. (R-LA) -- 202-225-2031
Richard E. Neal (D-MA) -- 202-225-5601
Sandy Levin (D-MI) -- 202-225-4961
Erik Paulsen (R-MN) -- 202-225-2871
Jason T. Smith (R-MO) -- 202-225-4404
George Holding (R-NC) -- 202-225-3032
Adrian Smith (R-NE) -- 202-225-6435
Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) -- 202-225-5751
Joseph Crowley (D-NY) -- 202-225-3965
Charles B. Rangel (D-NY) -- 202-225-4365
Tom Reed (R-NY) -- 202-225-3161
James B. Renacci (R-OH) -- 202-225-3876
Patrick J. Tiberi (R-OH) -- 202-225-5355
Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) -- 202-225-4811
Mike Kelly (R-PA) -- 202-225-5406
Patrick Meehan (R-PA) -- 202-225-2011
Kristi Noem (R-SD) -- 202-225-2801
Diane Black (R-TN) -- 202-225-4231
Kevin Brady (R-TX) -- 202-225-4901
Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) -- 202-225-4865
Sam Johnson (R-TX) -- 202-225-4201
Kenny Marchant (R-TX) -- 202-225-6605
Jim McDermott (D-WA) -- 202-225-3106
Dave Reichert (R-WA) -- 202-225-7761
Ron Kind (D-WI) -- 202-225-5506
Paul Ryan (R-WI) -- 202-225-3031

 


WE'RE MAINLY DEPENDING ON DEMOCRATS

We have a chance for victory primarily because most Democrats in Congress appear ready to side against Pres. Obama and for American workers.

When you call Democrats, urge them to side with the many union organizations that oppose this bill. We need to work to hold as many Democrats as possible.

The margin of victory then will have to come from persuading enough Republicans to side against the corporate lobbies and for American workers.

We have sent notices to every Member of Congress that read:

NumbersUSA will score a vote for Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) as a vote against American workers.

President Obama has made it abundantly clear that he believes he has virtually unfettered authority to change U.S. immigration law. It should not be surprising, therefore, that his administration is attempting to use the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement to commit America to immigration increases that Congress has neither debated nor approved.

Despite a U.S. labor force participation rate that is at its lowest level since 1978, President Obama wants to use the TPP to further reduce the jobs available to U.S. workers and instead reserve certain jobs for foreign workers under the agreement. It is indefensible that Congress would now consider surrendering even more of its authority over immigration to this President in order to fast track a trade agreement that will harm American workers, and the text of which Congress has not even seen.

Therefore, NumbersUSA will score a vote for TPA as a vote for continued executive overreach and a vote against American workers. Vote NO on TPA.


WE WON THIS SAME FIGHT WITH THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION

Hundreds of organizations of all kinds of ideologies and interests (unions, environmental, national sovereignty, civil liberties, populist and more) are opposing the trade bill for many different reasons.

OUR REASON: The consequence of passing fast-track trade authority is that any President can much more easily ram through international trade agreements that expand guest worker programs without any public debate.
 

That's what happened under Pres. Bush during the five years he was given fast-track trade authority. His Administration secretly negotiated trade agreements that guaranteed the opportunity for other countries to send certain numbers of their workers to take U.S. jobs. Congress was not allowed to amend the agreements in any way. It either had to approve the whole thing or to reject it entirely and throw international trade concerns into a tizzy.
 

Once a flow of foreign workers is included in a trade treaty, that takes away the ability of future White Houses and Congresses to change those numbers. Instead of the officials elected by the American people having control over immigration and foreign-worker policies, international courts basically are given control over the work visas written into trade agreements.
 

  • Our Constitution gives Congress authority over how many immigrants and work authorizations to approve each year.

  • Our Constitution doesn't give that authority to the President, but fast-track trade legislation essentially does.

  • Our Constitution doesn't give foreign powers and entities the authority over U.S. work permits to foreign workers, but fast-track trade authority essentially does.


In 2007, Congress declined to renew the fast-track trade authority for Presidents, allowing it to expire.

CONGRESS UNANIMOUSLY REJECTED THE IDEA OF IMMIGRATION BEING PART OF TRADE AGREEMENTS

In 2003 in reaction to the Bush Administration including immigration in trade agreements, Congress objected with a strongly worded resolution that was approved UNANIMOUSLY. The resolution began:

Resolved, That it is the sense of the Senate that (1) trade agreements are not the appropriate vehicle for enacting immigration-related laws or modifying current immigration policy; and (2) future trade agreements to which the United States is a party and the legislation implementing the agreements should not contain immigration-related provisions.
The U.S. Trade Representative and the Executive Branch have been on notice since 2003 that they do not have the authority to negotiate immigration provisions in free trade agreements.

Nonetheless, the Obama Administration has been doing just that with the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement that is expected to come up soon.

 

Here is what was reported this week in The Hill newspaper:

TPP's provisions are largely secret but, according to Curtis Ellis of the American Jobs Alliance, the U.S. Trade Representative revealed that "temporary entry" guest worker visas are a "key feature" of the pact. Ellis said that Obama Administration previously used the U.S.-South Korea trade pact to expand the length of time a L-1 visa holder can work in the U.S. That pact is viewed as a model for negotiating the TPP.


NumbersUSA and its national network of citizen activists were often part of coalitions opposing the Bush abuses of trade agreements. And we were in the middle of pressures that led to the congressional pushback in 2003.

Remaining consistent, our network today is mobilized to stop Obama abuses of trade agreements that would guarantee that certain numbers of U.S. jobs may not be held by American workers.
 

 

 

 

ATTN: Yamhill, Clatsop and Columbia counties - Senator Jeff Merkley and Representative Suzanne Bonamici will hold joint town halls soon.

According to a press release from Rep. Bonamici’s office, “They will update constituents on their work in Washington, DC and answer questions and invite suggestions about how to tackle the challenges facing Oregon and America.”

OFIR members, please attend if you can, and ask questions or make comments.  Below the schedule, we include suggestions for subjects to be discussed.

What: Joint town hall in Yamhill County

When: Wednesday, April 1, 2015, 3:30 pm

Where: PCC Newberg Center, Room 115 and 116, 135 Werth Blvd., Newberg, OR 97132

 _______________________________________________________________

What: Joint town hall in Clatsop County

When:  Friday, April 3, 2015, 10:00 am

Where:  Cannon Beach Chamber Community Hall, 207 N Spruce, Cannon Beach, OR 97110

 _______________________________________________________________

What:  Joint town hall in Columbia County

When: Friday, April 3, 2015, 2:00 pm

Where: Vernonia High School Commons, 1000 Missouri Avenue, Vernonia, OR 97064


1.  Talking point suggested by NumbersUSA:

Rep. Bonamici and Sen. Merkley, I am disappointed that you voted to fund the President's executive amnesties. These programs are not only unconstitutional, but will directly harm American workers by providing work permits and social security cards to over 5 million illegal aliens.

2.  Talking point suggested by NumbersUSA:

Rep. Bonamici, Please co-sponsor the following:

The Mulvaney Resolution declaring Obama’s amnesties illegal (H.Con.Res.28)

Rep. Gowdy’s interior enforcement bill (H.R. 1148)

The Legal Workforce Act (H.R. 1147)

Rep. Chaffetz’s asylum reform bill (H.R. 1153)

Protection of Children Act (H.R. 1149)

The Birthright Citizenship Act (H.R. 140)

3.  Other suggestions:

for Sen. Merkley:  Your voting record on reduction of unnecessary worker visas for foreign nationals is F- over your time in the Senate, from 2009-2015.  Citizens are being passed over for jobs in favor of lower-paid foreign workers, in STEM occupations and elsewhere, by companies that exploit weaknesses in the visa programs.  (See herehere and here.)

for Rep. Bonamici:  Your voting record on reduction of unnecessary worker visas for foreign nationals is F- over your time in Congress, from 2012-2015.  Citizens are being passed over for jobs in favor of lower-paid foreign workers, in STEM occupations and elsewhere, by companies that exploit weaknesses in the visa programs.  (See herehere and here.)

for both Sen. Merkley and Rep. Bonamici: 

4.  There have been 7 major amnesties passed by Congress from 1986 to 2000, each resulting in ever-increasing numbers of illegal immigrants. Now more, even larger amnesties are being pushed. We need enforcement of the immigration laws, not more amnesties. 

5.  Did you know that between the Censuses of 2000 and 2010, 80% of population growth resulted from immigration (immigrants plus the children of immigrants). The U.S. is already overcrowded.  After more than 4 decades of unprecedentedly high immigration, we need a pause, a moratorium on immigration, or we face a steep decline in the quality of life for everyone. If you are truly concerned about our environment, you should work for major reductions in immigration. Read more about ATTN: Yamhill, Clatsop and Columbia counties - Senator Jeff Merkley and Representative Suzanne Bonamici will hold joint town halls soon.

Wall Street Set to Cash-In on Obama Amnesty

Last week IRS Commissioner John Koskinen testified before Congress that illegal aliens who benefit from the Obama amnesty will also be in line to collect money from the Treasury in the form of retroactive Earned Income Tax Credits.

Guess who else is getting on the amnesty gravy train? According to a report by the McClatchy News Service, Wall Street is set to cash-in on what long-time open borders advocate Frank Sharry describes as “the biggest (immigration) program they’ve ever had to implement” (not to mention an unconstitutional one as well). McClatchy reports that big processing contracts to handle to flood of applications are now being passed out. “It starts with the banking firm of J.P. Morgan Chase, which will be paid to open envelopes, scan applications and deposit checks at centers in Dallas and Phoenix,” states the report.

This should not come as a big surprise. After all, big business interests have invested millions of lobbying dollars in the effort to gain amnesty for illegal aliens and flood the already saturated U.S. labor market.

The McClathchy report also should put to rest any notion that the Obama amnesty will be anything other than a massive rubberstamping operation. The National Council of La Raza (NCLR), whose former vice president is Obama’s chief domestic policy advisor, is demanding that the approval process be expedited in order to convince as many illegal alien as possible to step forward and take advantage of the program. “If it takes six months for anybody to get approved, that’s going to affect participation,” said Charles Kamasaki of NCLR. “If they are getting approvals in two to three months, then the skeptics are more likely to come forward.” Under this administration, what NCLR wants, NCLR generally gets…and so does J.P. Morgan Chase.

Read more about Wall Street Set to Cash-In on Obama Amnesty

D.A.King weighs in on GOP's amnesty plans

D.A. King is a nationally recognized authority on immigration and president of the Georgia-based, pro-enforcement immigration watchdog group, the Dustin Inman Society.  Read his letter to the editor about the GOP's plan to keep their heads down as President Obama's amnesty scheme washes over us.

D.A. King is an endorser for the Protect Oregon Driver Licenses campaign.  We are proud to have him be a part of our campaign!
  Read more about D.A.King weighs in on GOP's amnesty plans

Invitation to Participate in a Tele-Town Hall on July 28, 2014 at 6:00 PM PDT

Alert date: 
July 25, 2014
Alert body: 
Representative Kurt Schrader will hold a “tele-town hall” on July 28 at 6 pm. This is an opportunity to tell him how important it is to stop the current surge of illegal immigration at the southern border. Pres. Obama is not enforcing immigration law; on the contrary he is accommodating the illegal alien surge, claiming most are unaccompanied children, and spending large sums of public funds to care for the illegal entrants. This is outrageous, especially at a time when so many citizens are in need of jobs and living wages.
 
Tell Rep. Schrader that Border Patrol statistics found buried on a government website confirm that most of the Central American illegal aliens apprehended in the recent surge are not unaccompanied children, but are family units. Less than one-fourth (22 percent) of all those apprehended are unaccompanied alien children (UACs) from Central America.
 
These “children” are not being trafficked; they are being smuggled. Claiming that the anti-trafficking law necessitates our treating them differently is wrong.
 
Our country desperately needs true immigration law enforcement. Otherwise, we will be overwhelmed by illegal immigrants from all over the world. We are in danger of losing our sovereignty and our nation.

PODL endorser Michael Cutler on Immigration "Reform": Engineered Destruction of the Middle Class

Periodically so-called “buzz words” and “buzz phrases” become fashionable. Of late, the concept of “wage equality” has been bandied about by members of the administration, politicians and some media personalities...

Before we consider the words many politicians use, we would be wise to consider two important quotes from George Orwell, the author of “1984” and other significant literary works.

“Political language – and with variations this is true of all political parties from Conservatives to Anarchists – is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”

“In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

Having been forewarned let us now consider the definition of “equality.”...

In short, equality has taken on the cloak of being, as the saying goes, “As American as apple pie.” Simply uttering the word “equality” evokes the emotional image of an American flag billowing in a gentle breeze with a clear blue sky serving as a backdrop.

Obviously if “equality” is good, “inequality” is bad. In most situations this is certainly true.

...when Obama and other politicians, as well as talk show hosts, bring up wage inequality, they don’t ever discuss whose salaries will be used as the baseline against which paychecks should be compared as efforts are made to eliminate or reduce wage inequality...

... the true goal of reducing wage inequality, the engineered destruction of America’s middle class.

The American Dream is inextricably linked to a vibrant and upwardly mobile middle class. The incentives for the creation of the middle class are created by an element of wage inequality. If this is confusing, consider that it is expected that generally, more highly skilled or educated workers should expect to earn more money than their lesser educated or skilled counterparts in the workforce.

This makes perfect sense and has, for generations, provided a strong incentive for American students, spurring them on to remain in school to obtain college degrees and even graduate degrees. This is why most people think of the money, time and effort expended in pursuit of advanced degrees or enhanced skills as an important investment in their futures. You could say that this is a case of “learn more to earn more.”...

On May 15, 2007 a four-minute infuriating video was aired on “Lou Dobbs Tonight” on CNN. It features an immigration lawyer’s conference in which lawyers were being coached to not find qualified U.S. workers!” The lecturer is identified in the video as being Lawrence M. Lebowitz, the Vice President of Marketing for the firm of Cohen & Grigsby.

The Winter 2014 edition of the quarterly journal, “The Social Contract” published my extensive article on the devastating impact that Comprehensive Immigration Reform would have on the middle class and on the economy of the United States. My article was entitled: “American Dream Being Sold at Auction – America’s Middle Class to Be Put on Endangered Species List”

...While it is obvious that employers who hire illegal aliens or who game the system to bring in foreign workers with visas that enable them to work in the United States for wages that are far lower than those Americans would be paid, there are others whose ability to profit financially and/or acquire political power might not be so readily apparent.

The list of these profiteers includes banks and money remitters who become the silent partner of every person who moves money from the United States to foreign countries. It includes immigration attorneys who not only represent aliens but employers who seek to hire foreign workers. Labor unions looking for more members, which translates into more union dues and more political leverage, are certainly on board with this concept, as are the National Chamber of Commerce and many but not all local Chambers of Commerce. Schools are eager to bring in foreign students and at present the GAO estimates that there are some 10,000 schools that are authorized to file the appropriate applications to enable foreign students to come to the United States.

The list goes on — but I think you get the point.

Facilitating the entry of still more foreign workers and more foreign students would create still more devastation for American workers and their families but would greatly increase the wealth of the super wealthy who are at the absolute top of the economic food chain in America...

The infamous bank robber, Willie Sutton, when asked why he robbed banks said simply, “That’s where the money is!” Today CEO’s seek to find employees oversees in Third World countries because that where the cheap labor is...

Most people equate Comprehensive Immigration Reform with a massive amnesty for unknown millions of illegal aliens who have violated America’s borders and immigration laws that are supposed to protect American lives and the jobs of American workers, thereby creating a national security nightmare.

What is generally not known is that among the provisions of Comprehensive Immigration Reform, the legislative betrayal of American citizens, is that it would provide for a huge increase in the number of H-1B visas for high tech workers and a provision that would, for the very first time, permit the spouses and adult children of H-1B visa holders to be granted Employment Authorization Documents (EAD’s) that would give these nonimmigrant family members as much right to any job as an American worker.

Greenspan said that American workers should no longer be shielded from foreign competition. This is a key area of “reform” that this legislation would deliver. Under the current immigration laws, Title 8 U.S. Code § 1182: (Inadmissible Aliens) enumerates various categories of aliens who are to be prevented from entering the U.S. The list of excludible classes of aliens includes aliens who suffer dangerous communicable diseases, severe mental illness, fugitives from justice, aliens who are convicted felons, spies, terrorists, war criminals, human rights violators, and others whose presence would undermine national security and/or public safety...

The Daily Caller’s article, “Zuckerberg’s lobby group announces hackathon with illegal immigrants,” focused on a unique program created by Zuckerberg and his Silicon Valley cohorts to provide opportunities expressly for illegal aliens....

Why could not this incredible opportunity have been provided to American children — perhaps especially those living in poverty? It is reported that some 25% of all American children now live below the poverty line. Many of these children are members of America’s minority communities.

Why not provide such opportunities to returning battle-weary and/or wounded members of the U.S. military?...

With all of the frustration so many Americans now justifiably feel about their representation (or lack thereof) by the administration and by Congress, it is essential to note that one of the implacable stalwart champions and defenders of American workers and their families is Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama...

I would argue that all of America’s national debt could be eliminated by effective immigration law enforcement coupled with “going back to the future” by making certain that American Citizens be provided with a world class education and preference in the workforce. This is how the “Greatest Generation” built America’s Middle Class and with it, the American Dream.

Read the full article for the more complete picture and many more sources and references.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Michael Cutler is a retired Senior Special Agent of the former INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) whose career spanned some 30 years. He served as an Immigration Inspector, Immigration Adjudications Officer and spent 26 years as an agent who rotated through all of the squads within the Investigations Branch. For half of his career he was assigned to the Drug Task Force. He has testified before well over a dozen congressional hearings, provided testimony to the 9/11 Commission as well as state legislative hearings around the United States and at trials where immigration is at issue. He hosts his radio show, “The Michael Cutler Hour,” on Friday evenings on BlogTalk Radio. His personal website is http://michaelcutler.net/. Read more about PODL endorser Michael Cutler on Immigration "Reform": Engineered Destruction of the Middle Class

Plucking your heartstrings? Connecting the dots on the border surge

If you are a casual observer, but truly concerned about the recent surge of children on our border, I urge you to watch this video and learn what's really behind it.

As a nation, we are up to our necks in a complicated scheme to transform the United States and the world.  A covert plan for global economic warfare -- those building up the world of globalization are tearing down the sovereignty and financial strength of the United States and Europe to make way for the coming corporate new world order.

It's chilling!
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Senator speaks with forked tongue

Senator Merkley is exposed for what he really stands for in this outstanding letter to the editor written by one of OFIR's founders Elizabeth VanStaaveren.

Please read the letter and then leave a comment of support if you agree.

 


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