election

Fight Over Oregon's 'Sanctuary Law' Brings Immigration Policy Battle To The NW

At a booth at the recent state fair in Salem, people waited in line at a booth for Oregonians for Immigration Reform to sign the group’s proposed ballot measure to repeal Oregon’s so-called “sanctuary law.”

Cynthia Kendoll, the group’s president, said this new measure is attracting more intense interest than its previous attempts to discourage illegal immigration.

“This is something that people are truly really concerned about,” said Kendoll, “and I have just been amazed here at the state fair that people walk up and say, ‘Just let me sign this. I am so sick of this.’”

Oregon may not seem like it is on the front lines of the battle over immigration policy. But the state appears headed toward a bitter election fight on the issue that could reverberate nationally. 

During his presidential campaign last year, Donald Trump put a harsh spotlight on jurisdictions that didn’t fully cooperate with federal immigration officials. In recent weeks, he’s wavered on some immigration issues — such as moving to cut a deal with Democrats on protecting immigrants who were brought into the country illegally as children. But his administration continues to attack so-called sanctuary laws.

Andrea Williams, one of the chief opponents of the measure, said the looming ballot fight sets up a choice for voters between going with the Trump administration or sticking with law she says reflects “Oregon values” and has long worked well.

“To me, the issue is very simple,” added Williams, executive director of Causa, a Salem-based immigrant rights group.  “Do we want to spend Oregon resources to do the federal government’s job?”

Oregon 30 years ago adopted a law limiting local and state police involvement with federal enforcement. It was the first statewide law of its kind, but it attracted little attention or controversy. Supporters said the law was needed because some local police officers were detaining Latinos simply based on their appearance.

The term sanctuary came into vogue much later as many cities began resisting large-scale deportations. Critics charged that sanctuary cities were shielding criminals and Trump highlighted the issue in his campaign. 

“We will end the sanctuary cities that have resulted in so many needless deaths,” Trump vowed. At the Republican convention last year, the relatives of people who had been killed by immigrants illegally in the country were prominently featured on stage.

Just a few weeks later, Oregonians for Immigration Reform began laying the groundwork for an initiative to abolish the state law.

Trump’s focus “gave us the backup that this is truly something that people are concerned about,” said Kendoll.

Opponents are gearing up to fight the measure and their feelings are also intense.

“Their ultimate goal is to get rid of immigrants because they want white nationalism in this state,” said state Rep. Diego Hernandez, D-Portland.  He argued that Oregon’s sanctuary law helps encourage cooperation with local police.

Causa is helping assemble a broad coalition to oppose the measure. Williams, the group’s executive director, has signed up a sort of who’s who of the major political backers of the Democratic political leadership of the state: the public employee unions, environmental groups as well as gay and abortion rights advocates.

She says her group got a wake-up call three years ago when Oregon voters rejected a new law providing driver’s licenses for people in the country illegally.

The idea was to give people a form of identification that would allow them to drive legally to work and get auto insurance. But Oregonians for Immigration Reform, charging that it only enabled illegal immigration, put the issue on the ballot and won in a landslide.

“We do have to get better at talking to Oregonians about the circumstances — why people here are undocumented and why they have limited solutions to adjust their status,” Williams said. If the sanctuary issue gets on the ballot, she said, her coalition will have to do a lot more to reach out to Oregonians to talk about the lives of immigrants and the economic benefits she said they bring to the state.

Surveys taken in Oregon and in the country as a whole generally show strong support for immigration reform that would provide some sort of path to legal status for people in the country without citizenship. But the sanctuary issue is different.

That became clear in staunchly Democratic California this year. After Trump was elected, the state Senate’s leader, Los Angeles Democrat Kevin de Léon, introduced a statewide sanctuary bill. But instead of winning swift passage and serving as a rebuke to Trump, it languished for months.

It faced strong opposition from many California law enforcement officials and one independent poll in March showed voters strongly divided on the issue. A watered-down version didn’t pass until the final hours of the legislative session on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017.

It’s still a long time until Oregon’s anti-sanctuary initiative could go before voters in November 2018. But there’s been plenty of early maneuvering around the issue.

Kendoll’s group was the first to take advantage of a new petitioning rule from Secretary of State Dennis Richardson that allows them to collect signatures while waiting for the ballot title to be finalized. Several groups are challenging Richardson’s rule. If they’re successful, it could put a major crimp in the petition drive.

Perhaps more crucially, critics of the measure are accusing Oregonians for Immigration Reform of having ties to white nationalism. They say the group has accepted aid from groups and individuals concerned about the changing racial composition of the country.

Kendoll denied that her group is motivated by racial animus.

We’re going after people who are here illegally,” she said. “Their race, their ethnicity, their religion — anything — has nothing to do with it. It’s, ‘are you in our country legally?’”

That leads Kendoll to some hard-line views. She said the estimated 11 million people who entered the country illegally should leave, and she supports ending the program allowing those brought here as children to gain legal status. In addition, she backs legislation that would cut legal immigration by half over the next decade.

“When you allow such a large number of people to immigrate legally,” she said, “assimilation is more difficult because they tend to clump together and not assimilate.”

The sanctuary issue provides a hot-button path toward that goal.

At the Oregonians for Immigration Reform booth, volunteers displayed the mugshot of Sergio Martinez and called him their “poster boy.”

He’s the man accused of sexually assaulting a 65-year-old woman after being released from the Multnomah County Jail despite being frequently deported. Focusing on this one extreme example infuriates opponents.

“They play off peoples’ fears. That’s how they win,” said Causa’s Williams. She said this line of attack unfairly stereotypes people who enter the country illegally, especially since research shows they are actually less likely to commit crimes. 

If Oregon’s 30-year-old sanctuary law is repealed, the result would likely be a patchwork of local policies. Counties and cities would be able to decide on their own how or if they wanted to limit their involvement with federal immigration enforcement.

The initiative needs 88,184 signatures by next July to qualify for the ballot. Kendoll isn’t saying how many signatures they’ve collected so far.

Activist against illegal immigration takes aim at PCC's bond

A former vice president with Oregonians for Immigration Reform has shelled out $1,600 of his own money to file four Voters' Pamphlet statements attacking Portland Community College's $185 million bond renewal measure on the November ballot.

Rick LaMountain, a retired mail handler from Washington County who filed the opposition statements, says he wants to alert likeminded voters in the more conservative patches of PCC's service area to the community college's decision last December to designate itself a "sanctuary campus" for undocumented students. LaMountain also decries PCC's decision in spring 2016 to hold a "Whiteness History Month" event to examine racial privilege, an event he says instills "shame and guilt in white Americans."

It's not clear this early in the campaign what, if any, effect LaMountain's modest campaign could have on the bond measure, which seeks to modernize job-training facilities, improve transit and disability access on campuses and create a childcare facility on the Rock Creek campus, among other things.

His are the only statements against the bond. Nine groups representing businesses, elected leaders, students, faculty and others have filed statements in support of the renewal.

But liberal Portlanders aren't the only ones weighing the measure in November. Voters in portions of Multnomah, Washington, Clackamas, Columbia and Yamhill counties have a say in the decision. The last time PCC sought a construction bond, in 2008, voters approved it with 53.2 percent of the vote, despite the fact that voters in Washington and Columbia counties rejected it.

Jake Weigler, a Portland political consultant, said LaMountain's statements in the Multnomah and Washington county Voters' Pamphlets could actually help drive people to vote yes on the bond. Given the national political climate, Weigler says, local voters are looking for ways to affirm their values of inclusiveness and social justice.

"On balance, I think it will help the campaign," he says.

John Horvick, a pollster with DHM Research in Portland, says he's also sceptical LaMountain's messages will resonate with enough voters to tank the bond. PCC, he says, typically enjoys high approval ratings, in part because so many people in the region have taken classes there or have family members who've done so. "It's not abstract," Horvick says. "People have a close connection."

For his part, LaMountain says he's aware he's unlikely to sway many new voters to his side. But he says he wants people who already side with him against taxpayer support for undocumented immigrants to be aware of PCC's actions.

His concerns haven't deterred PCC officials from moving ahead with offering additional services for immigrant students.

Just this week, PCC announced a grant to fund a "DACA Resource Center" at the Rock Creek campus in the Beaverton-Hillsboro area for beneficiaries of the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. It's being billed as the first of its kind in Oregon.

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ANARCHIC: Criminal aliens shielded by Left's symbolism

SALEM, Ore.-Democrats in the Senate today passed a proposal that will force Oregonians to obstruct justice by restraining them from cooperating with law enforcement in dealing with criminals at public schools, public health facilities, courthouses, public shelters and other public facilities.

"This bill is all about the 'undocumented,' and while it serves as a symbol for the Left, it is in reality a shield for criminal aliens to avoid justice," said state Sen. Alan Olsen, R-Canby. "Democrats have used the politics of fear to ignite division and they have stoked fear in the hearts of undocumented workers. Making it possible for criminal aliens to evade justice not only makes Oregonians less safe, it also puts undocumented immigrants in danger."
 
Olsen asked a series of questions to the carrier, Senate Majority Leader Ginny Burdick, D-Portland. He said the bill is nothing more than a "Trump bill." Olsen said that the senators took their oath to uphold the constitutions of both Oregon and the United States, and that everyone said "yes," or that he hopes they did. 
                                                                                                                      
While Oregon Democrats are bidding to block and deny federal law enforcement legal access to critical information that would help ensure public safety, Union-backed Democrats, formally requested information from the federal government about federal law enforcement activities in Oregon.

Murder victims advocate and child of an immigrant Maria Espinoza has worked across the nation to stand up for the victims of violent lawlessness. Espinoza spoke out on the horrific slaying of college football player Parker Moore. Moore was brutally stabbed to death as he shopped in a convenience store. The unprovoked perpetrator of this tragedy violated multiple laws. Espinoza is worried sick about HB 3464 and is urging Oregon lawmakers to oppose the bill. 
 
"How will you explain to the families of Parker Moore, Dani Countryman and others, that you had a part in making our communities dangerous for our children?" questioned Espinoza. "To move forward [in passing HB 3464] would be an outrage."
 
Espinoza recalled in an interview on her advocacy work how a relative, a World War II veteran, had his monthly pension cut from $240 a month to $200 - "and yet there were people illegally in the country who got everything free."
 
"And sadly, shamefully, I never did anything about it," she said. "For years."
 
Richard LaMountain, a Cedar Mill resident, served as a chief petitioner of the rejected 2014 initiative, Measure 88, which would have directed the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) to issue at taxpayer-expense driver licenses to criminal aliens. The measure failed in the Nov. 4 election with a two-thirds no vote.
 
"It was an overwhelming rejection of giving drivers' licenses to illegal aliens," said Jim Ludwick, communications director for Oregonians for Immigration Reform in an interview about Measure 88. "But somehow that doesn't apply to people who are here illegally and think the law doesn't apply to them." 
 
Familias En Accion and Los Ninos Cuentan, on behalf of criminal aliens, sued the State of Oregon following voters defeating Measure 88. Their lawsuit was an effort to undo Oregonians' votes for Measure 88. Kristina Edmunson, then-spokeswoman for Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, said during the dilemma the state "is reviewing the case" but declined to comment further.
 
"When used for the intent of thwarting potential referenda, the emergency clause perverts the relationship between Oregonians and the legislators they elect to represent them," LaMountain said. "We need to restore that clause to its proper, limited role in lawmaking - and the voice of the citizen, as manifested in the referendum, to its paramount place in Oregon's representative democracy." 
 
"We should provide support for [law enforcement] and not support criminal behavior," Marion County resident Karen Franke said. Franke disagrees with Democrats that criminals should be shielded from accountability.
 
Rosenblum says the passage of HB 3464, "is imperative." And that Oregon must take "this important step to protect the rights of all Oregonians."
 
The bill now heads to sanctuary state-advocate and presumed leader of the Trump so-called "resistance" movement Gov. Kate Brown to sign into law.
 
###
 
For follow-up commentary please contact Olsen spokesman Jonathan Lockwood at 971-645-2140, or Jonathan.Lockwood@OregonLegislature.gov.

DHS to Expand Controversial H-2B Visa Program, Breaking Trump Campaign Promise

The Trump administration has decided to expand the controversial H-2B visa program, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced last week. (ABC News, June 21, 2017). DHS spokesperson David Lapan said Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly has yet to decide how many additional H-2B visas will be made available, but that the number should be set soon. (Id.) Lapan said the department expects to start issuing visas as soon as late July, setting the stage for the betrayal of a key Trump campaign promise—protecting American workers from cheaper foreign competition. (Id.)

In early May, at the behest of the business lobby, Congress gave Kelly and Labor Secretary Alex Acosta the power to more than double the number of H-2B visas issued this fiscal year. (See FAIR Legislative Update, May 2, 2017) Shortly thereafter, Kelly indicated that he was receiving pressure from lawmakers and stakeholders on both sides of the issue, but hinted an increase was likely. (See FAIR Legislative Update, May 30, 2017) “This is one of those things I wish I didn’t have discretion,” Kelly told the Senate Appropriations Committee. (Id.) “We’ll likely increase the numbers for this year, perhaps not by the entire number I’m authorized,” Kelly added at the time. (Id.)

The H-2B nonimmigrant visa program allows U.S. employers who meet specific regulatory requirements to bring low-skilled foreign workers to the United States to fill temporary non-agricultural jobs. (USCIS H-2B Program Fact Sheet) There is a cap on the total number of foreign workers who may be issued an H-2B visa or otherwise granted H-2B status during a fiscal year. (Id.) Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, Congress set the H-2B cap at 66,000 workers per fiscal year. (INA § 214(g)(1)(B)) However, last month’s $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill gave Secretaries Kelly and Acosta the authority to ignore this cap and increase the number of low skilled foreign workers admitted by “the highest number” of H-2B nonimmigrants who participated in the H-2B returning worker exemption. (FY 2017 Omnibus, Sec. 543) As a reminder, in December 2015, House Speaker Paul Ryan snuck into the FY 2016 omnibus a provision that exempted from the H-2B cap all low skilled workers admitted between 2013 and 2015. (See FAIR Legislative Update, Dec. 22, 2015) There is no reliable data on the number of H-2B workers who took advantage of the returning worker exemption. It is possible that this provision will allow 66,000 additional cheap foreign workers to flood the labor market through the end of September—further suppressing blue-collar wages and taking away opportunities from Americans trying to get back into the labor force.

FAIR criticized the announcement to further flood the labor market with foreign workers. “The administration's decision to exceed the 66,000 cap not only undermines struggling American workers, but betrays unequivocal promises President Trump made in his campaign,” FAIR President Dan Stein charged. (FAIR Press Release, June 22, 2017) “In President Trump's own words, ‘the influx of foreign workers holds down salaries, keeps unemployment high, and makes it difficult for poor and working class Americans—including immigrants themselves and their children—to earn a middle class wage,’” Stein added. (Id.)

FAIR’s June 21 letter to Secretary Kelly urging against an H-2B visa increase can be found here.

Oregon GOP Chair Applauds SCOTUS Ruling on Travel Suspension

Wilsonville, OR - The Oregon Republican Party issued the following statement from Chairman Bill Currier in reaction to today’s ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) lifting the lower court injunctions against President Trump’s Executive Order suspending the entry of travelers and refugees from 6 nations identified by both Congress and the Obama Administration as providing insufficient vetting information to keep terrorists out of the U.S.

SCOTUS Rules On Travel Suspension “We applaud the Supreme Court's Nine to Zero ruling restoring the Presidential prerogative to enforce immigration laws and protect the country from threats such as terrorism that were clearly delegated by Congress, but which the misguided lower courts ignored. It is not, and never was, a "Muslim" ban, but rather an effort to ban terrorists and their sympathizers from taking up residence in our neighborhoods where they can do massive harm to innocent civilians,” stated Oregon GOP Chairman Bill Currier.

The Trump Administration asserted that it has clear legal authority under 8 U.S. Code § 1182 (f) Suspension of entry or imposition of restrictions by President.  However, this authority was largely ignored by lower courts in their rulings blocking implementation of President Trump’s Executive Order.

“Lower courts, such as the frequently reversed 9th Circuit Court, should never have tried to substitute their discretion and authority for that expressly delegated to the Executive Branch on national security,” said Currier. “The ruling also rejects judicial overreach by reaffirming the importance of leaving it to the Executive Branch to negotiate with countries who are either unable or unwilling to give the U.S. Government what it needs to vet visitors and refugees before granting them entry to our country.”

The six countries affected comprise only a small fraction of the world’s 42 Muslim-majority nations and population, and were cited as being one or more of the following:

  1. A state sponsor of terrorism
  2. Significantly compromised by terrorist organizations
  3. An active terrorist conflict zone(s).

“We live in a new era in which terrorist groups like ISIS have vowed to, and in Europe, have succeeded in covertly infiltrating terrorists as refugees and visitors into countries they have targeted for attack," noted Chair Currier. “Today’s SCOTUS ruling rightly puts the safety and security of America First.”

The Oregon Republican Party is the state’s arm of the Republican National Committee. It’s Chairman and officers are dedicated to preserving and advancing Republican principles within the state of Oregon and to improving the lives and livelihoods of Oregon’s working families through economic freedom and equal protection under the law.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday 06/26/17–3:00 PM PDT
Contact: ORP Communications Director
communications.director@orgop.org (link sends e-mail) – (503) 902-4671

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Trump reverses promise to "immediately terminate" Obama's executive amnesty

Despite his pledge to #forgottenAmericans, @realDonaldTrump has issued more than 100,000 work permits to foreign workers in U.S. illegally.

Last night, his administration expressed its intention to issue more.

Three days ago, acting ICE director, Thomas D. Homan told the House Appropriations committee that regarding enforcement, "no population is off the table" and deportation orders would no longer be ignored. "I don't know where else in the American justice system any other agency is told to ignore a judge's ruling," he said.

Last night, however, DHS announced that it will continue to honor President Obama's 2012 executive amnesty (DACA), saying that "DACA recipients will continue to be eligible" for the program and "No work permits will be terminated prior to their current expiration dates."

"Trump Will Allow 'Dreamers' to Stay in U.S., Reversing Campaign Promise" - New York Times
"Trump won't alter status of current Dreamers" - Politico

In a speech last August @realDonaldTrump pledged to "immediately terminate President Obama's two illegal executive amnesties": DACA and DAPA.

Instead of ending DACA, DHS announced that it was officially rescinding Obama's 2014 executive amnesty (DAPA), which had never been enacted.

"Trump scraps Obama-era program protecting undocumented parents" - McClatchy

Meanwhile, the Trump administration continues to implement the active executive amnesty. Last month, Trump's nominee to lead U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services told Congress he expected the Trump administration to continue to issue work permits through DACA:

"I'm aware that both the president and Secretary Kelly have stated publicly and reiterated that the DACA program is to remain in place...

"...If confirmed, I would see my role to administer that program well, as it stands."

In his inauguration speech, @realDonaldTrump pledged that "Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs will be made to benefit American workers and American families."

Two of every 5 Millennials of all ethnicities under age 30 with no college degree have no job of any kind. But Trump and Obama's DACA program grants work permits to people in the U.S. illegally who came to the U.S. before age 16 and were born after June 14, 1981.

Politico reports:

"One prominent Democrat said he'd extracted a promise not to alter the current protections for so-called Dreamers.

"'I'm grateful that President Trump has decided to keep the DACA program in place,' Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois said on the Senate floor Thursday. 'Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Nominee Francis Cissna have promised me personally and publicly that they will maintain the existing guidelines for the DACA program. I appreciate the commitment and intend to hold them to it.'

"Since Trump took office, renewal of expiring DACA permits appears to have continued as normal. More than 17,000 new approvals took place between January and March and more than 107,000 existing DACA recipients had their work permits renewed for an additional two years."

Trump scraps Obama policy that protected immigrant parents from deportation

An Obama-era immigration program intended to protect parents of U.S. citizens and legal residents from deportation has been formally cancelled, fulfilling a key campaign promise from President Trump, the Homeland Security Department announced late Thursday.

Homeland Security John Kelly formally revoked a policy memo that created the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans program...

The program to protect parents was announced by President Obama in November 2014 but was never fully launched because it was blocked by a federal court, according to Reuters.

It was intended to keep the immigrant parents safe from deportation and provide them with a renewable work permit good for two years, but it was blocked by a federal judge in Texas...

Republicans decried the effort as “backdoor amnesty” and argued that Obama overstepped his authority...

The protection program for parents, like the one for young immigrants, was created with a policy memo during the Obama administration...

Revoking the memo and ending the stalled program fulfill a key campaign promise by Trump....

...As of March 31, about 787,000 young immigrants have been approved for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, according to government data.

Arrests of immigrants in the interior of the country have increased under the Trump administration, but deportations are slightly down as fewer people have been caught crossing the Mexican border into the United States illegally.

Trump has made immigration enforcement a top priority and has vowed to continue a crackdown...

Reuters reported that Trump previously said that his administration was considering different options.

“They shouldn’t be very worried,” Trump told ABC News in January, referring to DACA recipients. “I do have a big heart. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Next OFIR meeting - Saturday, June 24 at 2:00pm

Alert date: 
2017-06-15
Alert body: 

Mark your calendar and invite a friend to join you Saturday, June 24th at 2:00pm for OFIR's next meeting at the Best Western Mill Creek Inn, across from Costco in Salem, OR.

Things are heating up in the Oregon Legislature as time is running short and so many things are yet unresolved.  OFIR has invited Representatives Greg Barreto and Mike Nearman to join us.  Your questions are welcome and encouraged as time allows!

Initiative Petition #22  - to overturn Oregon's Sanctuary Statute ORS 181A.820 is now in the hands of the Attorney General, awaiting a ballot title.  Perhaps by meeting day, we will have a ballot title.

OFIR has been closely monitoring HB 3464 and it's particularly troubling legislation.  Read the press release.  The bill has now advanced to the House Floor and OFIR members are encouraged to phone or email their Representatives and encourage them to vote no on this terrible bill.

As usual, our agenda is packed with the most up-to-date information regarding recent immigration issues here in Oregon and across the country.

 


 

No apologies: ICE chief says illegal immigrants should live in fear of deportation

Illegal immigrants should be living in fear of being deported, the chief of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Tuesday, pushing back against a growing sentiment among Democrats on Capitol Hill and activists across the country who have complained about agents enforcing the laws on the books.

Thomas D. Homan, acting director at ICE, said anyone in the country without authorization can be arrested and those who have been ordered deported by judges must be removed if laws are to have meaning.
 
His comments marked a major shift for an agency that President Obama forbade from enforcing the law when it came to more than 9 million of the country's estimated 11 million illegal immigrants. Unshackled from Mr. Obama's strictures, agents have dramatically increased the number of arrests.
Advocacy groups are enraged and demand leniency for traumatized immigrants.
 
Mr. Homan makes no apologies.  "If you're in this country illegally and you committed a crime by being in this country, you should be uncomfortable, you should look over your shoulder. You need to be worried,  Mr. Homan testified to the House Appropriations Committee. No population is off the table."
 
The Trump administration is asking for significant boosts in spending for both border and interior enforcement, but it is meeting resistance from Democrats who oppose a crackdown.  Democrats will not accept a penny of funding for a new deportation force or a border wall,” said Rep. Nita M. Lowey of New York, the ranking Democrat on the committee.
 
Border Patrol acting Chief Carla Provost defended the 74 miles of fencing that President Trump wants to erect next year, saying the wall will plug holes where illegal activity is still a problem in San Diego and parts of Texas.
 
She said the southwestern border is at medium risk of penetration and needs the wall to assist. She said construction on the 74 miles would start in either March or April.
 
Mr. Homan, meanwhile, said he needs a major infusion of detention beds to hold the larger population of illegal immigrants, now that his agents have been unshackled from the restrictions under Mr. Obama.
 
He said the number of countries refusing to take back their deportees has been cut in half, while the number of jurisdictions looking to have their police and sheriff's deputies trained to process illegal immigrants in their jails has nearly doubled and will likely triple by the end of the year.
 
In addition, some 400,000 illegal immigrants ordered removed by judges but who were ignored under the Obama administration are now back on the list of priorities.
 
All of that means more illegal immigrants to be detained in preparation for deportation.
 
Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, Maryland Democrat, told Mr. Homan not to try deporting drunken drivers.  DWI or traffic is not really considered to be the type of people that are hurting our country,  he said.
Mr. Homan, though, said drunken driving sounds like a public safety risk.  "They should be removed," he said.
 
Mr. Homan said anyone in the country without authorization is a target for enforcement.  "We shouldn't wait for them to become a criminal," he said.
 
That angered immigrant rights advocates, who said it showed antipathy toward illegal immigrants.
 
"Wow. How revealing," said Frank Sharry, executive director at America's Voice. "Homan makes it clear that the ICE strategy is to indiscriminately target the entire undocumented population in America and to intentionally spread fear throughout millions of deeply rooted families."  He called Mr. Homan's testimony extremist.
 
Mr. Homan pushed back against such criticism. He said his agents are enforcing the laws as written and no other branch of law enforcement faces the abusive questions his employees do.
 
He said the illegal immigrants deserve the blame for separating families. When a U.S. citizen commits a crime and goes to jail, he said, the police who catch him aren't blamed for keeping him from his family.
 
Mr. Homan said the increased risk of enforcement is part of the reason illegal immigration across the southwestern border is at its lowest level in decades.
Democrats, though, said his officers need to show more discretion.
 
Ms. Lowey raised the case of a 19-year-old man in New York who was arrested on the day of his high school prom, which she said sent the wrong signal.
She said the man had kept out of trouble and was arrested while waiting at a bus stop for school.
 
Mr. Homen defended the arrest as valid. He said the young man committed a crime when he sneaked across the border and ignored an immigration judge's order to be removed.
 
"He lost his case, and because we don't like the results of that case we forget about it?'   Mr. Homan asked Ms. Lowey.  "I don't know where else in the American justice system any other agency is told to ignore a judge's ruling."

Victory in Texas: Governor Abbott Signs Anti-Sanctuary Bill

On Sunday, May 7, Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) signed Senate Bill (SB) 4, strong anti-sanctuary legislation to promote public safety and ensure law enforcement is able to fully cooperate with federal immigration officials. (Texas Tribune, May 7, 2017) Texas is the second state to pass a state-wide anti-sanctuary law this year. Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant (R) signed a bill into law outlawing sanctuary cities in March. (US News, Mar. 27, 2017)

Specifically, SB 4 prohibits state and local entities from adopting, enforcing, or endorsing policies that prohibit or materially limit the enforcement of immigration laws. (SB 4) Public university and college campuses are explicitly included in these requirements. (Id.) SB 4, however, does make an exception for local school districts, public health centers, and other community centers. (Id.) SB 4 also authorizes law enforcement to inquire into a person’s immigration status during a lawful investigation to a criminal offense. (Id.)

To ensure officers comply with the law, SB 4 subjects law enforcement officials with criminal, Class A misdemeanor, charges if they do not comply with detainers sent by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. (Id.) Additionally, localities or colleges who defiantly impose sanctuary policies may be subject to pay a fine, between $1,000 and $25,500 per day the policy is in place. (Id.)

Governor Abbott has consistently taken strong positions on immigration enforcement since taking office and made passing state-wide anti-sanctuary legislation a legislative priority for 2017. (FAIR Legislative Update, Jan. 10, 2017; FAIR Legislative Update, Feb. 7, 2017) “As governor, my top priority is public safety, and this bill furthers that objective by keeping dangerous criminals off our streets,” Abbott said. (Reuters, May 8, 2017)

Texas has been on the front lines of the illegal immigration surge that expanded during the Obama Administration. (FAIR Legislative Update, July 5, 2017) Former President Obama’s lax enforcement policies encouraged record numbers of illegal alien minors and families from Central America to cross the southern border into Texas over recent years. (Id.) As a result, Texas taxpayers have fronted billions in costs associated illegal immigration, particularly with regard to law enforcement, education, and public benefits spending. (Id.)

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