enforcement

We the people have an opinion...are you listening?

While the following poll is not scientific and the question offered gives a limited number of choices, it seems clear what the public is thinking.

Enforce the law!  It's against the law to hire an illegal alien to work for you.  If illegal aliens could not find a job here, they would likely move on, or return to their native country.

It's quite telling that the Oregon Legislature, in the past, has refused to even hear a bill that was written requiring all state employers to use the FREE, 99.6% accurate and easy to use E-Verify matching program.  In other words, if the State of Oregon, using taxpayer money, needs to hire someone for a job, they are not required to be certain they are hiring a LEGAL worker.  How ridiculous is that? With over 160,000 unemployed Oregonians, wouldn't you think the State should hire one of those workers and not an illegal alien?

The bill has been posted again for the upcoming 2013 session of the Oregon Legislature.  House Bill 2358 is sponsored by Representative Thatcher, Representatives Weidner and Whisnant.

Please, contact your Legislator and ask them to support this bill.  It's a no cost solution to a problem that is only getting bigger everyday.

If they don't hear from you, they will succumb to the pressure of the pro-illegal alien advocacy groups that are pushing for even more rights and benefits for foreign nationals illegally present in our country.

StatesmanJournal.com

POLL RESULTS

YESTERDAY’S QUESTION

Which immigration reform proposed by the White House or Senate is most important to you?

- Providing those in the U.S. illegally a path to become citizens – 1.9%

- Strengthening border security — 31.1%

- Cracking down on employers who hire illegal immigrants – 52.4%

- Streamlining the legal immigration system – 1.2%

- All of the above – 12.2%

- None of the above – 1.3%

(Yesterdays online poll results appeared in the January 31, 2013 hardcopy Statesman Journal newspaper.)

DACA - just another form of amnesty

One of OFIR's original founders, Elizabeth VanStaaveren spells out the meaning behind the madness of the DACA -  Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.  Read the full article here.

Convicted drug courier suspected of cartel ties

Federal prosecutors believe a man recently convicted of hauling 15 pounds of high-quality methamphetamine up Interstate 5 was involved with a Mexican drug cartel.

According to documents filed in U.S. District Court in Medford, Francisco Hernandez-Figueroa, 29, of San Rafael, Mexico, had entered the country illegally with the purpose of delivering a load of meth on the streets of Seattle.

An Oregon State Police trooper stopped Hernandez-Figueroa's Acura on March 20, 2011, near Medford and found the meth hidden in an intricate compartment system cut into the vehicle, documents show.

Hernandez-Figueroa pleaded guilty to the charges in state court and was sentenced to five years in state prison. Federal prosecutors decided to prosecute him a second time on the same charges, partly because of the man's alleged connection to a cartel.

"You have to be involved with a drug-trafficking organization to attain the amount of pure methamphetamine (Hernandez-Figueroa) had," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Byron Chatfield.

What was most disturbing to prosecutors, aside from the amount of meth hidden in Hernandez-Figueroa's car, was its quality.

Lab tests confirmed the meth was "99.5 percent" pure, with an estimated street value of $873,546, documents show.

The U.S. Department of Justice reports that meth purity levels are on the rise, with average levels reaching 88 percent purity in 2012, up from 53 percent in 2000. Prices, however, appear to be dropping.

The agency reports that a gram of high-grade meth sold for an average price of $123 in 2012, less than the $239 average a meth user paid for a gram in 2000.

The cost figures were collected from across the country, the Justice Department said.

An interesting aspect of this case, according to prosecutors, was Hernandez-Figueroa's attempt to avoid a steep federal prison sentence by quickly pleading guilty to state charges in Jackson County Circuit Court.

"It is very uncommon for a defendant to plead guilty to serious charges with little discovery," Chatfield said. "And that's what happened here."

Documents show that Tanya Morrow, a federal public defender in Medford, read about Hernandez-Figueroa's arrest in the Mail Tribune and contacted Justin N. Rosas, Hernandez-Figueroa's state public defender, and advised him that it would be better for the suspect to plead quickly to state charges before federal prosecutors could take the case.

The defense attorneys apparently believed it was unlikely that federal prosecutors would pursue federal charges once the case was adjudicated in state court, documents show.

Chatfield said his office does not often take cases that have been settled in state court. But federal prosecutors will step in when they feel that a large drug case does not adequately punish an offender.

"In this case, because there was such a large amount of narcotics involved, we believed the federal interest was not vindicated," Chatfield said.

A suspect can be tried for the same crime twice as long as the case is pursued in two separate jurisdictions, Chatfield said.

The state and federal courts operate in their own jurisdictions, which allowed Hernandez-Figueroa to be tried twice for his crime.

According to court documents, Hernandez-Figueroa's defense lawyer told him it was possible for federal prosecutors to charge even after he pleaded guilty to the crimes in state court.

Hernandez-Figueroa rolled the dice and pleaded guilty, a gamble he lost.

He was given five years in state prison, but his federal sentence was 10 years. These sentences will be served at the same time, which means Hernandez-Figueroa will serve five years in a state prison and then be moved to a federal pen to serve five more years, Chatfield said.

Immigration issues back in spotlight at Oregon Legislature

Debates over in-state tuition and driver’s licenses for Oregon’s undocumented immigrants drew thousands to the Capitol two years ago.

The Senate passed the tuition bill, as it had in 2003, but it died in an evenly split House. A Senate committee heard but did not advance the other proposal for driver’s licenses.

Those issues are back on the agenda of the 2013 Legislature, and so are the main players.

Immigrant-rights groups say they will push for measures that are likely to resemble those from 2011. Immigration critics say they will continue to oppose them, although they plan to emphasize different arguments.

But there are differences this time — mostly in the political environment.

While Democrats maintain a 16-14 majority over Republicans in the Senate they gained four seats in the Nov. 6 election to secure a 34-26 majority in the House.

The other difference is Democratic Gov. John Kitzhaber, who took no public stances on either bill two years ago.

But on Nov. 30, Kitzhaber said he will sign a bill granting in-state tuition rates to state university students regardless of immigration status. He even suggested they should have access to grants.

Seven months earlier, Kitzhaber also issued a message — read aloud at a rally in Salem — committing him to resolve the issue of driver’s licenses. It’s not yet clear what form that will take, although a handful of states offer a couple of ways to go.

Case for in-state tuition

While federal immigration legislation could resolve the issue nationally, advocates say they will press for action that would add Oregon to the states granting conditional approval of in-state tuition rates for college students, regardless of their immigration status.

A new bill is likely to be along the lines of 2011’s Senate Bill 742, said Erik Sorensen, a spokesman for CAUSA, Oregon’s immigrant-rights group that promoted the 2011 effort. That bill specified five conditions for eligibility, including residency in Oregon, graduation from high school and steps toward legal status.

Hundreds of students donned symbolic caps and gowns two years ago. One of them was Hugo Nicolas, then a senior at McNary High School who came to the Mid-Valley from Mexico at age 11. He was a senior class representative and a company leader for Junior ROTC at North Salem High School.

“I don’t feel right being here illegally, but Mexico is not my country, and it does not have the values I have come to know,” he told the House Rules Committee, which was hearing the Senate-passed bill.

Even at in-state tuition rates, which are roughly a third of out-of-state rates, Nicolas said his dream of attending the University of Oregon would be difficult because he still would not qualify for government financial aid. But he said the bill would have given him a chance.

The Senate bill failed to move from the House committee, and an effort to force a House vote on it came up short of the 31 signatures required. None of the 30 Republicans signed — not even its House sponsor.

The case against

Oregonians for Immigration Reform, which opposed the 2011 effort, acknowledged that the changed political balance in the House will make it tougher to prevail.

“They are pushing it again, and the makeup of the House and Senate is slanted toward those who want to pass it,” said Jim Ludwick of McMinnville, a spokesman for the group. “But we are going to fight it again.”

Ludwick said opponents will rely more on arguments that granting in-state status to such students will cost the state university system in terms of higher out-of-state rates they would pay otherwise.

“It means that at the University of Oregon, an illegal alien will get a $20,000-per-year benefit that would be denied to an American citizen who happened to graduate from high school in any other state,” he said.

State university officials, who supported the 2011 bill, said such students are unlikely to attend any state campus with the possible exception of Eastern Oregon University, which does not charge a differential for out-of-state students.

“Oregon cannot afford to miss the chance to provide as many students with an education that allows them to fully contribute to the future of our state,” John Minahan wrote in 2011, before he stepped down as president of Western Oregon University. Under his tenure, WOU recruited Hispanic and other students who were the first from the families to attend college.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 12 states — including Washington and California — have laws allowing in-state tuition rates for undocumented students. Four others specifically ban them, and two others ban enrollment of any student who cannot prove legal presence in the United States.

Licenses: A sequel

Like most states, Oregon requires proof of legal presence in the United States before issuance of a state driver’s license or identification card. Lawmakers added the requirement in 2008 to comply with the federal Real ID Act, which sets standards for state licenses that double as identification for federal purposes such as boarding commercial aircraft or entering federal buildings.

The 2005 federal law allows states to issue licenses if they are clearly marked as invalid for federal purposes.

Washington and New Mexico still issue driver’s licenses without proof of legal presence, although Washington also has an “enhanced” license that serves as identification for federal purposes and travel to and from Canada.

Utah issues a driving privilege card that must be renewed annually.

Ludwick, speaking for the opposition, said relaxing the requirement for U.S. legal presence would make easier for drug traffickers.

“The most valuable document they can possess is a valid driver’s license,” he said. “It just emboldens criminal activity if you give driver’s licenses to people who should not have them.”

'Needs to get done'

Both sides on the issue say that use of Mexican consular cards is not a permanent solution.

CAUSA’s Sorensen acknowledged Kitzhaber’s efforts, and said Oregon’s recent decision to approve temporary licenses for young participants in a federal delayed-deportation program was a step forward.

Still, the number of Oregon participants potentially eligible for the federal program, known as DACA, is estimated to be far less than the total of undocumented immigrants. Sorensen said the larger question is how all of them prove they can get safely to and from work, school and family errands.

“It’s likely that we will stick with a similar bill” to what was proposed as a residency-only requirement two years ago, Sorensen said. “It’s one of those things that needs to get done.”

Health care

Whether health professionals should undergo training about differences in providing medical treatment to cultural minorities is a topic likely to be revived in the 2013Legislature.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
The Oregon Health Equity Alliance consists of six groups: Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon, CAUSA Oregon immigrant-rights group, Center for Intercultural Organizing, Oregon Action, Oregon Latino Health Coalition and the Urban League of Portland.
They will promote a version of 2011’s Senate Bill 97, which as passed by the Senate would have required the Oregon Health Authority and 18 regulatory boards to develop standards and shape how health-care providers should be educated about cultural differences.
Although the 2011 bill passed the Senate on a 22-7 vote, it died in the House on a 30-30 split along party lines. Its floor manager then was Rep. Tina Kotek, D-Portland, who this session is House speaker.

Rep. Schrader to hold Town Hall meetings

Alert date: 
January 26, 2013
Alert body: 

Milwaukie Town Hall Meeting

Date: Tuesday, January 29th

Time: 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Location: Milwaukie Center, 5440 SE Kellogg Avenue, Milwaukie 97222

Salem Town Hall Meeting

Date: Wednesday, January 30th

Time: 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Location: Salem Library, Loucks Auditorium, 585 Liberty Street SE, Salem 97301

Please plan to attend and ask specific questions about Rep. Schrader’s immigration views.

For suggestions about what to ask please read this.


 

Great turnout for DRUG WARS event

OFIR extends a warm, sincere thank you to all those who chose to give up a rainy Saturday afternoon and join us to view the chilling, but true, documentary titled DRUG WARS: Silver or Lead.  Well over one hundred people decided it was time to get educated about drug cartels and the damage they are wreaking on our society and the danger they pose to our children.

The OFIR Board will consider the adamant suggestions of many that attended to schedule another showing soon.  We will keep you posted!
 

Talent man faces attempted kidnapping charge

A Talent man arrested Saturday for allegedly attempting to drag a woman into his vehicle in east Medford Jan. 13 also attempted to lure at least two other women into his vehicle in the week before his capture, authorities say.

Fidel Flores-Avalos, 39, was taken into custody on one count of attempted second-degree kidnapping for allegedly trying to force a 22-year-old Medford women into his vehicle on the morning of Jan. 13 while she was walking through a Medford Center parking lot near Safeway, according to Medford police.

After repeatedly attempting to coax the woman into his Jeep, Flores-Avalos allegedly got out and grabbed the victim's body and purse and tried to force her into the vehicle's passenger seat before she escaped and fled, Medford police Lt. Mike Budreau said.

He also was suspected of trying to talk a 38-year-old woman into entering his car Thursday morning in the area of East Main and Almond streets, but his efforts were reportedly thwarted when he was interrupted by an unknown man, Budreau said.

A similar incident occurred Saturday along East Main and Genessee streets, and the 51-year-old woman escaped untouched but was able to provide investigators with a license plate number and description of the man and vehicle that matched the Jan. 13 incident, police said.

Medford police identified Flores-Avalos, of the 200 block of Talent Avenue, as the owner of that vehicle, police said. He then agreed to be interviewed at the Medford Police Department, where he told investigators he talked to the victims but insisted it was them asking him for rides, Budreau said.

"Obviously, he had a different version of the events," Budreau said.

Flores-Avalos was lodged in the Jackson County Jail on the single count of attempted second-degree kidnapping, which is a Class C felony in Oregon.

The charge stems from his allegedly grabbing the victim and trying to force her into the Jeep near Safeway, police said. In the other incidents, there was no force or touching involved, reports state.

"In some of the other cases, the behavior was concerning, but not criminal," Budreau said. "It didn't quite rise to the level of attempted kidnapping."

A fourth victim of a suspected attempted kidnapping came forward after news reports of the case surfaced Sunday, Budreau said. The 40-year-old woman, who lives on Royal Avenue, told police she believed Flores-Avalos was the man who has attempted to get her to ride in his Jeep several times since June, Budreau said.

Flores-Avalos has a history of misdemeanor arrests and traffic violations in Jackson County dating back to 1991 but no previous felony arrests here, court records show.

Flores-Avalos was being held Monday in jail on $5,000 bail, jail records show.

ICE HOLD - Fidel Flores-Avalos

Delayed-deportation immigrants can drive in Oregon

Oregon will issue driver's licenses to illegal immigrants accepted into a new federal program that delays deportation for some young people brought illegally to the United States as children, officials said Wednesday.

The decision by the Driver and Motor Vehicle Services Division ends months of uncertainty over how the DMV would handle applications for driving privileges or state identification from illegal immigrants given a two-year deportation delay and the opportunity to obtain a work permit. Oregon law requires proof of legal presence in the United States to get a driver's license, permit or identification card.

Immigrant-rights activists cheered the decision.

"It allows folks to move forward with their lives," said Erik Sorensen, a spokesman for Causa, an immigrant-rights group.

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, announced last summer, allows young people brought illegally to the U.S. before their 16th birthday to obtain a temporary reprieve from deportation and the opportunity to obtain a work permit if they meet certain conditions. Immigrants do not get legal status in the United States, however, creating complicated legal questions for DMV officials.

As of Dec. 13, more than 350,000 people had been accepted into the program nationwide. The Department of Homeland Security wouldn't say how many are from Oregon.

Oregon driver's licenses issued to immigrants in the program will expire on the same day as their deferred-action status.

Jim Ludwick, a vocal opponent of illegal immigration, said Oregon should not be issuing driver's licenses to illegal immigrants, even if the federal government has told them they won't be deported.

"Apparently we are no longer a nation of the rule of law," Ludwick said. "We've now morphed into a politicization of that, where certain people will be held to the rule of law and others won't."

Gov. John Kitzhaber said in a statement in English, Spanish, Vietnamese and Russian saying he was pleased with the DMV's decision. People with authorization to work must be able to get there, he said.

"It's the right decision, and it will provide certainty for working families and employers," Kitzhaber said.

Scholarship opportunity for interested students

Alert date: 
January 14, 2013
Alert body: 

OFIR is accepting applications for our second annual essay contest scholarship opportunity.  Find out more.
 

Senator Wyden to hold Town Halls in your area - plan to attend

Alert date: 
January 11, 2013
Alert body: 

Senator Ron Wyden has scheduled several town halls in January. Please plan to attend, invite a friend to go along with you and question his immigration views.

President Obama recently announced as a high priority now, enactment by Congress of an amnesty for illegal aliens. Leaders of the Democratic Party support this, as well as some in the Republican Party. Also there will be new efforts to grant instate tuition to illegal aliens. These moves are very dangerous to our country, as they legitimize illegal immigration and encourage more of it, bringing disrespect for the rule of law which is the foundation of civilized society.

Amnesty will hurt all citizens, employed and unemployed, by greatly increasing numbers of legal job seekers at a time of grave economic stress, and by inflating the population when our environment is already seriously degraded from overpopulation. Seven massive amnesties have been passed in recent years, each one resulting in ever-increasing numbers of illegal immigrants. A 2012 Rasmussen poll showed that 60% of likely voters think gaining control of the border is more important than legalizing the status of undocumented workers.

Times and places for the town halls are listed below. You can get driving directions and maps from links on Sen. Wyden’s website: http://www.wyden.senate.gov/oregon/events.

Here’s a good article on the best way to stop illegal immigration: “Attrition Through Enforcement Is the True Middle-ground Solution.”

https://www.numbersusa.com/content/learn/issues/american-workers/attrition-through-enforcement-true-middl.html

Upcoming Town Hall Meetings of Senator Ron Wyden

Clatsop County Town Hall Meeting

Monday, Jan. 14, 2013 - 9:30AM

Seaside High School, 1901 North Holladay Drive, Seaside, OR

 

Columbia County Town Hall Meeting

Monday, Jan. 14, 2013 - 1:00PM

Vernonia High School, 1000 Missouri Avenue, Vernonia, OR

 

Marion County Town Hall Meeting

Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013 - 9:30AM

South Salem High School, 1910 Church St SE, Salem, OR

 

Polk County Town Hall Meeting

Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013 - 2:00PM

Polk County Readiness Center, 12835 Westview Drive, Dallas, OR

 

Clackamas County Town Hall Meeting

Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013 - 9:20AM

Estacada High School, 355 Northeast 6th Avenue, Estacada, OR

 

Wasco County Town Hall Meeting

Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013 - 9:30AM

The Dalles Wahtonka High School, 220 East 10th Street, The Dalles, OR

 

Hood River County Town Hall Meeting

Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013 - 1:00PM

Hood River Middle School, 1602 May Street, Hood River, OR

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