enforcement

Welcome to Heroin City

"Jimmy," a drug dealer in his mid twenties, injects himself with heroin in the bathroom of a West Burnside Street tavern.
On my first attempt at buying heroin in Portland I was told to come back in an hour.
I'm a reasonably clean cut, 34-year-old white man with one wrist tattoo, no drug contacts; a photographer, not an addict.

Within five minutes at O'Bryant Square downtown, I had sidled up to a gaunt middle-aged man, and asked if he knew where I could find some "black" -- a street name for black tar heroin.  "The natives might be back in an hour," he said.  I'd come back in an hour.

Ten minutes later, I approached a young man on the sidewalk across the street from Pioneer Courthouse Square who told me he had just been ripped off to the tune of $15. I asked him for black. He said I should follow him around the corner. But then his girlfriend came up behind me, asking to see my track marks, accusing me of being a cop.


• Editor’s note: First-person narration by Christopher Onstott, story by Peter Korn
 

I had the impression that if she hadn't come by I would have had my black tar heroin, or at least a number.

That's the goal. Little pieces of paper with suppliers' phone numbers are treated like currency on the street. A dedicated addict will pay up to $100 to secure one, and always keeps two or three on hand.

Back to O'Bryant Square, where casually standing around with a group of street kids brought in offers of meth, crack cocaine and pot, but no heroin. Odd, since heroin use in Portland has skyrocketed in the last year.

There were 84 heroin overdose deaths in Multnomah County last year, up from 57 in 2009. A growing body of federal data show that in the span of a few years, Portland has become one of the nation's top cities for heroin use.

Portland is awash in heroin, and it's killing us. That's what the numbers say.

Criminal justice officials and addiction treatment providers say that the numbers only tell half the story. Heroin, they say, has moved from a drug used mainly by the poor to one increasingly used by the middle class.

More specifically, it is being used by young men and women younger than 35 who are looking to move beyond the highs they've experienced from prescription painkillers, such as OxyContin.  All this is made possible, experts say, because heroin is incredibly cheap and easy to obtain here.

Still, I'd been out on the street for close to two hours and I hadn't scored.

Weary of role-playing with street kids, I headed home, stopping first for a drink at the Plaid Pantry on Southeast Burnside Street. Sipping my Gatorade in the parking lot, I hardly noticed the young white man who walked up and asked, "How's it going?"

"Not bad," I answered with a shrug.  He countered with, "Wanna buy some bud, bro?"  "No thanks," I answered. Then I asked, "Got any black?"

That's how easy it was to buy heroin on a Wednesday afternoon in Portland. My new friend told me he lived downtown, but his dealer on 82nd Avenue "gets the best (stuff)."

I explained to him that I was on my way to a tattoo appointment, which was true, and couldn't come with him now. I offered $20 for his dealer's number. The number would lead to a call, a meeting place -- often a MAX station -- and the buy.

Cell phone numbers were exchanged, with the promise of an extra $5 for the contact number. After my tattoo appointment, an exchange of text messages, then a series of very fast phone calls setting up a meeting at a quick market on Southeast Foster Road, where I met my new friend and a scruffy companion, maybe in his late 30s, who I took to be his supplier.

My friend tried to hand me a small bag of black tar heroin. I say I need to use the cash machine inside. Somehow, I've got to tell this guy I'm not a heroin user.

He follows me, basically breathing down my neck, no personal space. The machine spits out $20 and I hand him the money. He starts to hand me the bag, but I deflect him.

He gives me a look somewhere between confused and surprised. But thankfully, he doesn't give me a look that says I'm a cop who has tricked him.

He heads back outside to talk to his companion. I explain that I'm a journalist, not a user. Would he talk to me?

He looks at me and says, "Oh my God, that's so f....ing cool."

Ten minutes later, we're in my car, as Jimmy (not his real name) explains how he went from being a University of Oregon athlete so afraid of needles that he had to turn away from movie screens whenever a scene showed a needle going into someone's arm, to a daily heroin user who gets by dealing and occasionally panhandling.

I agree to drop Jimmy at his home in Northwest Portland. But first, a stop at a pub on Northwest 21st Avenue where he uses the bathroom to inject $10 worth of heroin into his arm.

Along the I-5 corridor

People who deal with the local drug scene --from law enforcement officers to drug counselors -- continually use the phrase "perfect storm" to explain Portland's skyrocketing rates of heroin use and overdose.

According to reports from the U.S. Department of Justice National Drug Intelligence Center and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration officials interviewed by the Tribune, meth became harder to produce in Mexico, so the cartels and their gangs turned to producing heroin. Needing a distribution route into the western U.S., the Mexican gangs chose the Interstate 5 corridor.

Meanwhile, according to local addiction treatment providers, a different set of circumstances has been creating a growing demand for heroin in Portland. Oregon has always been an easy place to legally obtain prescriptions for painkillers such as OxyContin and Vicodin, many of which ended up on the black market.

In recent years, studies ranked Oregon somewhere in the top half dozen or so states for abuse of prescription drugs. One 2007 federal study by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported that Oregon had more youth painkiller abusers than any other state.

In the past year, state and county health officials, hoping to reduce the number of people becoming addicted to prescription painkillers, changed their guidelines, making it harder for physicians to prescribe painkillers. In addition, drug companies in 2010 changed the composition of OxyContin, making it almost impossible for addicts to crush and inhale it for their preferred jolt.

With prescription painkillers harder to get through local doctors and a favorite painkiller almost worthless to hard-core addicts, the supply of black market prescription painkillers became scarcer, and the price headed up.

Pain sufferers who had been dependent on legal drugs to get through the day, as well as recreational users, needed a new supply. And there was heroin, cheaper than the prescription drugs, plentiful and potent.

As outlined in documents from the U.S. Department of Justice National Drug Intelligence Center, the Mexican cartels were producing an excess supply of heroin and could sell it cheap, so cheap that local distributors didn't need to cut it in order to make a profit. Instead, they could afford to sell it more pure, and potent, potentially hooking more addicts. But some users, not knowing they might have to scale down how much they injected, died of overdoses.

Dr. Gary Oxman, Multnomah County's public health officer, says he's been expecting the current surge in heroin overdoses. In his view, heroin and prescription painkiller use in Portland are inextricably intertwined.

"I think we probably have these two epidemics fueling each other," Oxman says.

The new wave

Portland has been "a heroin city" for decades, according to Oxman, but until recently the cost of the drug has been high. The new set of circumstances -- cheap Mexican heroin available at the same time county physicians have begun cutting patients off from prescription painkillers -- has changed the fundamental dynamic of heroin in Portland, he believes.

"The heroin got cheaper," Oxman says. "I assume that's not an accidental move on the part of the cartels. I think basically they went from a low-volume, high-price distribution model, to a high-volume, low-price distribution model."

Typically, $10 or $15 will buy enough heroin for an injection that will last all day, according to heroin users interviewed by the Tribune. Prescription pills that will get an addict through the day run about $1 a milligram on the street, so a serious user might have to spend $50 or more to stay high all day, the users say.

Oxman's staff has been studying the overdose problem, even interviewing heroin addicts to get a better handle on what is happening on the street. In an annual survey of people using the county's needle exchange service, 43 percent of heroin users said they became hooked on prescription drugs first. And most of those people were younger, rather than middle-aged or older addicts.

Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney Ryan Lufkin says many in the "new wave" of heroin addicts started out stealing painkillers from family medicine cabinets or trading for them in schoolyards, made possible because physicians and dentists for years have been prescribing more than individuals needed.

"There's this huge class of people who probably wouldn't have used heroin in their entire lives if they had not become addicted to prescription pills," says Lufkin, who adds that virtually every heroin addict he's interviewed -- a number in the hundreds -- started on pills.

The county overdose statistics back up what nationwide studies have indicated -- heroin has exploded in Portland during the past two years, while its use has remained stable or risen slightly in most large cities outside Oregon.

But physicians across the country have been over-prescribing pain pills, Oxman and Lufkin acknowledge. And while West Coast heroin arrives almost exclusively from Mexico along the Interstate 5 corridor, Portland is not the only city on I-5. Yet there are more heroin deaths each year in Multnomah County than in Seattle's much more populous King County.

One of the most eye-opening studies in recent years comes out of the federal Office of National Drug Control Policy, which tallied drug use data for inmates entering county jails in 10 cities across the country, including Portland. More than one in five people entering the Multnomah County jail in 2010 tested positive for opiates -- far and away greater than any of the other nine cities, which included New York, Chicago and Atlanta.

In Portland, 18 percent of county jail inmates reported having used heroin within the prior 30 days. Chicago was second, with 12 percent reported use.

But what is most alarming about the Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring Program data is how different cities appear to be trending. In all the other cities surveyed, heroin use remained fairly consistent in recent years or grew slightly. In Portland, it has jumped.

As recently as 2009, Chicago's reported per capita heroin user rate almost doubled that of Portland. Four years ago, Portland trailed both Chicago and Washington, D.C. Now, at least as far as testing of people entering the jail, Portland is No. 1 and trending higher.

Low risk, high reward

The National Drug Intelligence Center 2011 Drug Threat Assessment Report says that heroin production in Mexico has risen from nine metric tons a year to more than 50 metric tons. Eric Martin, policy and legislative liaison for the Addiction Counselor Certification Board of Oregon, is convinced that Oregon is getting more than its share.

Martin points to a 2007 map produced by the Intelligence Center which shows Portland/Salem as having the Pacific Northwest's largest Mexican cartel presence.

"Portland/Salem is basically the distribution hub for the entire Northwest region," Martin says.

Deputy DA Lufkin says he's not aware of Portland serving as a hub for the cartels, but logic dictates we might be.

"Everything in this world is connected," he says.

As Lufkin sees it, "Certain things are never going to change about Portland that makes it an attractive city for heroin addicts."

That starts with Oregon's drugs laws, which Lufkin says would make Oregon a logical place to set up a drug distribution network.

Most users or dealers caught selling less than five grams of heroin, according to Lufkin, receive a sentence of probation until their fifth conviction, which can net up to 12 months in jail, but rarely does.

That means prosecutors have little leverage to force most small-time dealers to provide names of people further up the distribution system.

"The cartels have found the place that affords them the least risk in drug seizures and the highest reward in distributing to local users," Lufkin say.

In addition, Lufkin says, Oregon law provides prosecutors little leeway in going after black market dealers of prescription painkillers.

"Even if you were trafficking in thousands of pills of OxyContin, it would still be a probationary sentence," he says.

Heroin addicts regularly tell Lufkin that they moved to Portland because of the availability of cheap heroin.

Part Two of Portland's Heroin Epidemic.

Prosecutor: Treat, don't jail heroin users

As far as Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney Ryan Lufkin is concerned, an addict who has been arrested multiple times for heroin possession is sick.

During February's legislative session, Lufkin unsuccessfully supported a bill that would have allowed prosecutors to treat repeat heroin offenders as they would people who attempt suicide, and civilly commit them to treatment, even against their will.

Lufkin says he's going to return for a second attempt next year.

The 2012 session's House Bill 4022 would have classified people arrested at least three times for heroin possession as mentally ill, and set it up so they could be committed for up to 90 days of inpatient treatment and a year of outpatient treatment.

The county prosecutes about 1,100 heroin users a year, according to Lufkin, and about half have prior convictions for possessing the drug. Between court and jail, prosecuting a heroin addict runs between $3,200 and $28,000, Lufkin says. And the jail time, when they get it, rarely does addicts much good.

"We can spend all the money that's necessary to bring someone to a jury trial on a heroin charge with no results, or we can adopt a system that actually is the right tool to hit this problem," Lufkin says. "This person has a disease. They're an addict. It's a recognized mental health disease, and we can get them access to treatment and the thing saves money."

But that would be targeting the wrong people, says Alex Bassos, training director at Metropolitan Public Defender.

The problem, Bassos says, isn't the users getting arrested for possessing heroin. The problem is those who are overdosing. And those two categories, he says, aren't nearly as overlapping as people might think.

Bassos says the DA needs to make it a policy to use current civil commitment laws for heroin offenders who have repeatedly overdosed. Those laws, he says, which allow prosecutors to civilly commit people who attempt suicide, should work.

"That is exactly what civil commitment is for," Bassos says. "They have a (medically defined) mental disorder, and that's compelling them to do something which is dangerous to themselves and others."

Bassos, who says the D.A.'s plan "should terrify civil libertarians," thinks it also isn't practical because there are already long waiting lists for the best treatment for addicts -- inpatient beds in treatment facilities.

Lufkin says heroin offenders already require addiction treatment as part of their probation, and that with civil commitment it would happen more immediately and with a huge cost savings.

"The savings in time will help addicts stay alive and get faster access to treatment," Lufkin says. "The savings in money can go back into treatment resources to pay for essential treatment services, such as cutting down the waiting time for inpatient beds."

— Peter Korn

 

Illegal Aliens Continue Going Public to Avoid Deportation

One of the newest trends illegal aliens are embracing as a means to escape deportation might surprise you: they’re going public.

This brazenness is thanks to the Obama Administration’s issuance of prosecutorial discretion guidelines, which direct DHS agents to ignore illegal aliens so long as they are not convicted of crimes the Administration deems serious. (See FAIR’s Morton Memos Summary, Jan. 2012)

This mandated “discretion” sends a clear message to illegal aliens that it’s okay to break the law. The amount of confidence bestowed by President Obama’s administrative amnesty policies has been enough to encourage illegal aliens to come out of hiding, stage their own rallies, and even challenge immigration authorities directly.

Here is a sampling of these “coming out” stories:

• In February, José Luis Zelaya, a graduate student at Texas A&M University, gained attention by running for the highly publicized position of Student Body President, integrating his illegal status into his campaign platform. (Fox News Latino, Feb. 29, 2012)

• Daniela Palaez of Florida gained nationwide attention in March when she was named her high school’s 2012 valedictorian. Palaez, who was brought to the U.S. as a young child, was facing imminent deportation until her story went viral and Florida Reps. Illeana Ros-Lehtinen and David Rivera, as well as Sens. Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson, made public appeals on her behalf. Within four days, ICE granted Palaez a two-year deferment of deportation, citing prosecutorial discretion. (FOX Phoenix, March 2, 2012; see also CBS Miami, March 6, 2012)

• In mid-April, Florida State University Law School graduate and tourist visa overstayer Jose Godinez-Samperio was spotlighted by the media when he petitioned for admission to the Florida Bar Association. The Florida Board of Bar Examiners is now requesting decision assistance from the Supreme Court, which marked the case “high profile.” (Chicago Tribune, April 16, 2012; see also Orlando Sentinel, April 15, 2012)

• Mohammed Abdollahi, an illegal alien residing in Michigan, brazenly explained that “the more public [illegal aliens] are with our stories, the safer we are.” (USA Today, March 12, 2012) Abdohalli, fearing he would be deported after years of living in the country illegally, got himself arrested and publicly pled his case. Sure enough, his lawyer was notified by an immigration official that Abdohalli would not be pursued for deportation. (Id.) Abdollahi now works for the National Immigrant Youth Alliance (NIYA).

• Most recently, Dulce Matuz, an illegal alien and graduate of Arizona State University, was granted a coveted spot on TIME Magazine’s 2012 list of the Top 100 Influential People in the World. Matuz, who is the founder of the Arizona DREAM Act Coalition, is working hard to reach Latino voters in Arizona with her belief that illegal immigrants deserve a pathway to citizenship. (WCVB-Boston, April 20, 2012; see also TIME Magazine, April 18, 2012)

So many illegal aliens feel comfortable going public under this Administration that they’ve even created their own day of recognition. National Coming Out of the Shadows Day was first hosted in 2010 by the Immigrant Youth Justice League (IYJL). The group’s Facebook page proudly notes that their event spurred “actions of civil disobedience” in a multitude of states. (See IYJL Facebook Page; see also Business Week, April 16, 2012) One such action took place in Philadelphia, where two illegal alien students challenged immigration officers by entering an ICE field office and declaring their illegal status. They were arrested for blocking a street and ICE initially filed detainers on the two students, but eventually released them without consequence. (Bi-College News, March 20, 2012)

While some illegal aliens choose to “remain in the shadows,” a growing number continue to flaunt their status as if their unlawful presence alone merits citizenship, and suddenly a different descriptor comes to mind: entitled.

The rise in confrontational tactics by illegal aliens provides clear confirmation that President Obama’s administrative amnesty measures are serving as positive reinforcement to the illegal community, cementing the idea that illegal aliens deserve citizenship simply due to their presence.

Arizona law and the feds

Wednesday’s argument before the Supreme Court failed to produce even one good reason why Arizona’s law on illegal immigration is illegal or unconstitutional.

The main aspect of the law is that it requires police to check on the immigration status of people they stop for other reasons. And if someone turns out to be undocumented or "illegal," the feds are notified.

Whether this is feasible depends on how it’s done. If Arizona handles things like Oregon, where you have to prove your residency status when getting or renewing a driver’s license, it should be no problem. Showing the license answers the question, and that’s all there is to it. No racial profiling is involved.

The court made clear that it wanted to consider the federal government’s challenge to the Arizona law only in relation to state versus federal power: Does the state interfere with the national government in some way?

States enforce other federal rules or laws. States enforce provisions of the Clean Water Act, for example, or the regulations of HIPAA. Also, the federal Justice Department wants states to enforce the federal prohibition against marijuana. In fact, it looks askance at states like California and Oregon that try to go their own way in regard to pot.

So what is so wrong with a state helping the government enforce its immigration laws?

Before the court Wednesday, the government maintained that the Arizona law could sour U.S. relations with Mexico. But enforcement of U.S. laws can’t be made contingent on approval by another country, can it?

The news reports on this case suggest that the outcome, expected in June, may have an influence on the national political campaigns. But Latinos, the group likely to be most affected by enforcement, have no reason to fear the outcome if the Arizona law is upheld.

If former immigrants have gone through the steps the law lays out, they have no reason to champion the cause of those who have not. (hh)

Oregon, Multnomah County, Beaverton, Tualatin and Portland versus Arizona SB 1070

When the State of Oregon, Multnomah County, Cities of Beaverton, Tualatin and Portland filed amicus briefs in support of the United States federal government’s lawsuit against the State of Arizona over an Arizona law SB 1070, a case that will be heard before the U.S. Supreme Court, most Oregonians with any common sense would naturally ask the following question: What do the internal affairs of Arizona have to do with the state, a county and three cites?

Answering the question, the Attorney General of Oregon, the Multnomah County commissioners, the mayors and city councils/commissioners of Beaverton, Tualatin and Portland believe Arizona SB 1070 is civil rights issue.

A statement of fact to send to the pre-mentioned Oregon state, county and city elected officials: Arizona SB 1070 only allows the State of Arizona law enforcement officials to enforce federal immigration law not create Arizona immigration law. Moreover, within Arizona SB 1070 are provisos that prohibit any form of profiling of individuals based on their race, ethnicity, religion, or country of origin.

What should be particularly troubling to Oregonians about the misguided actions of the attorney general, county commissioners, mayors and city councils/commissioners in their collective action against Arizona SB 1070 is their inability to differentiate, call it a cognitive dissonance, between what is an actual civil rights issue and what is a public safety issue.

Some background history, the State of Arizona, a border state, passed SB 1070 in 2010 simply to mitigate the negative cause and effect, the collateral damage, of having hundreds of thousands undocumented foreign nationals (illegal aliens) present or entering the state primarily from Mexico.

Let us look at Arizona SB 1070 simply as a public safety issue concerning both the residents of Oregon and Arizona using some crime numbers and statistics from a comparable time frame.

The Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) prison system in February of 2012 had 1,176 of the DOC’s 13,999 prisoners who where foreign nationals (criminal aliens); 8.40 percent of the prison population.

(At the same time, the Arizona Department of Corrections (ADC) prison system in February of 2012 had 5,291 of the ADC’s 39,835 prisoners who were criminal aliens; 13.28 percent of the prison population.

Comparing the preceding numbers reveals the ADC had 4,115 criminal alien prisoners more than were incarcerated in DOC prisons — 449.91 percent more.

Incarceration cost for a DOC prisoner is $82.48 per day. Therefore, DOC’s incarceration cost for 1,176 criminal aliens is approximately $35,403,715.20 per year.

Whereas, incarceration cost for an ADC prisoner is $59.85 per day. Thus, ADC’s incarceration cost for 5,291 criminal aliens is approximately $115,583,217.80 per year.

Comparing the difference in incarceration costs between the DOC and ADC prison systems, if the criminal alien incarceration numbers were to remain a constant, they won’t, the ADC will spend $80,179,502.55 more this year than the DOC — 326.47 percent more.

Oregonians certainly have a legitimate right to question whether or not the attorney general, county commissioners, mayors and city councils/commissioners took into consideration in their collective action against Arizona SB 1070 the uncounted crime victims and their families, no matter what their immigration status, all victims of the thousands of criminal aliens incarcerated in the DOC and ADC prison systems.

A review of the 1,176 criminal aliens in DOC prisons by numbers per crime equated to the following: 4-arsons; 121-assaults; 33-burglaries; 34-driving offenses; 178-drugs; 5-forgeries; 142-homicides; 49-kidnappings; 68-others; 75-robberies; 452-sex crimes; 11-thefts; and 4-vehicle thefts.

Whereas, the 5,291 criminal aliens in ADC prisons by numbers per crime equated to the following: 10-arsons; 532-assaults; 153-burglaries; 319-driving offenses; 1,721-drugs; 58-forgeries; 497-homicides; 607-kidnappings; 290-others; 373-robberies; 577-sex crimes; 31-thefts; and 123-vehicle thefts.

As dramatic as all the preceding crime numbers are from both prison systems, the numbers of criminal aliens incarcerated for drug crimes particularly stands out. While the DOC had 178 criminal aliens (15.13 percent) incarcerated for drug crimes; the ADC had 1,729 criminal aliens (32.68 percent) incarcerated for drug crimes.

These numbers are significant, the ADC had 1,551 criminal aliens more incarcerated for drug crimes than the DOC — 971.34 percent more.

With so many crimes being committed on a regular basis locally and nationwide by illegal aliens, just read your local newspaper, these Oregon state, county and city elected officials, seemed to have engaged in a feigned ignorance as to the source of the preceding crimes, the country of origin of the majority of criminal aliens in both the DOC and ADC prison systems.

The country of origin of 992 of the 1,176 criminal aliens in DOC prisons was from Mexico — 84.35 percent.

Likewise, the country of origin of 4,820 of the 5,291 criminal aliens in ADC prisons was from Mexico — 91.10 percent.

Leaving the February 2012 time frame of comparison and contrast of the DOC and ADC prison systems, let us just focus on the most recent criminal alien numbers available from the DOC from the last four years.

In a four year time period, the number of criminal aliens incarcerated in the DOC prison system went from 1,061 alien prisoners on March 1, 2008 to a record number of 1,285 alien prisoners on March 1, 2012; an increase of 224 criminal aliens — a 21.11 percent increase.

Over the same four year time period, criminal aliens incarcerated in DOC prisons for drug crimes increased from 117 alien prisoners on March 1, 2008 to 190 alien prisoners on March 1, 2012; an increase of 73 criminal aliens — a 62.39 percent increase.

In a period of one month, from February 1st to March 1st of 2012, the number of criminal aliens in the DOC prison system increased by 109 alien prisoners — 9.27 percent more.

Over the same preceding time period, criminal aliens incarcerated in DOC prisons who declare their country of origin as being Mexico increased from 992 prisoners to 1,066 prisoners; an increase of 74 Mexican national prisoners — a 7.46 percent increase in one month.

Back to the U.S. federal government’s lawsuit against the State of Arizona over an Arizona SB 1070, the Attorney General of Oregon, the Multnomah County commissioners, the mayors and city councils/commissioners of Beaverton, Tualatin and Portland must withdraw their amicus briefs they presented to the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the U.S. federal government’s lawsuit against Arizona SB 1070 so the case before the nation’s highest court can be settled quickly.

The State of Arizona’s ability to fully implement SB 1070 empowering Arizona law enforcement officials to enforce federal immigration law will enabling them to more effectively protect the residents of both Arizona and Oregon from the invasion of criminal aliens primarily from Mexico.

David Olen Cross of Salem (docfnc@yahoo.com) writes on the subjects of immigration and foreign national crime.

Mark your calendar for Saturday, May 12

OFIR members and concerned citizens, you're invited to bring a friend and join us Saturday, May 12 at 2:00 pm for a behind the scenes look at the Arizona - Mexico border.  OFIR President, Cynthia Kendoll traveled with the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) and a small group of concerned citizens from around the country on a week long, intensive study of the situation on our southern border in restricted areas not safely accessible to citizens.  Cynthia will be presenting a photographic tour of what she witnessed on the trip.  Move past the propaganda and see what is really happening.  During the trip, specialists in several governmental departments shared how they are impacted every day by illegal immigration.  Mark your calendar and plan to attend.  

Saturday, May 12, 2012 - 2 pm

In Salem, at the Best Western Mill Creek Inn,

3125 Ryan Dr SE, just west of I-5 Exit 253, across from Costco.

 

The ICE public advocate needs to hear from you

In February, ICE announced the creation of a new office to serve as a point of contact for those (illegal aliens and their advocates) who have "concerns, questions, recommendations or important issues they would like to raise."

The office will be led by Andrew Lorenzen-Strait, who has been at ICE since 2008.

Since then, however, ICE has not seen fit to establish a citizen victim's advocacy unit to address the concerns of victims and their families.

Citizens and legal residents who have been affected by illegal immigration – especially those who have been the victims of crimes committed by illegal aliens – should not hesitate to get in touch with Mr. Strait, and let him and his staff know your concerns.

In his blog, he said he is "thrilled" to be in this role, and hopes you'll reach out to him.  He can be reached at andrew.strait@dhs.gov or (202) 732-3999.

 

Oregon Attorney General on Wrong Side

Last year Eric Holder, the Attorney General of the U.S., filed a lawsuit against the state of Arizona for their passage of SB 1070, the tough but fair, anti-illegal alien bill. A federal appeals court ruled against Arizona. However Arizona filed an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court and fortunately the Court has agreed to hear their appeal of the lower court ruling. It will be heard on April 25.

A number of government jurisdictions across the U.S. have filed amicus briefs, some supporting Arizona and some in opposition. Unbelievable but true: four Oregon jurisdictions have joined with the pro-illegal alien side in opposition to Arizona’s attempts to protect its citizens against the terrible impact of illegal immigration. These Oregon jurisdictions are: City of Portland, County of Multnomah, City of Beaverton, and the City of Tualatin.

Equally shocking is the action of the Attorney General of Oregon, John R. Kroger, who joined a group of attorneys for Amici Curiae in support of the lawsuit against Arizona.

Oregon is faced with monumental problems, many of which are caused by the flood of illegal aliens into the state. Nonetheless Kroger decided that he knows better than Arizona lawmakers about a law that they passed. The Federation for American Immigration Reform, (FAIR), estimates illegal aliens cost Oregon taxpayers close to $705 million a year. Illegal aliens cost the Oregon Department of Justice $110 million dollars a year. Shouldn’t Kroger be more concerned about that?

The phone number for John Kroger is: (503) 378-4400.

His email is: attorneygeneral@doj.state.or.us

With all of the problems facing Oregon, what in the world would compel Beaverton, Tualatin, Portland and Multnomah County to file a friend of the court brief against another state? Don’t they have enough problems of their own? If you live in one of these jurisdictions, you might call the local officials and ask them what in the world are they doing? What business is it of theirs to fight against a law passed by the Arizona Legislature to protect their citizens facing constant danger from illegal immigration while the federal government fails to help?

Mayor of Beaverton, Dennis Doyle.  mayormail@beavertonoregon.gov; 503-526-2497; Fax: (503) 526-2479  

Beaverton City Council. citymail@beavertonoregon.gov or call 503-526-2222.

Mayor of Tualatin, Lou Ogden. logden@ci.tualatin.or.us

City Council of Tualatin  council@ci.tualatin.or.us

Administration  Phone: 503-692-2000; Fax: 503-692-5421

Mayor of Portland, Sam Adams. mayorsam@portlandoregon.gov; 503- 823-4120.

City Commissioners and their contact information listed at:

http://www.portlandonline.com/index.cfm?c=28533

Multnomah County Commissioners:  All five are listed with email, phone, and fax numbers at:

http://web.multco.us/contact

In Oregon: What Immigration Enforcement Would Look Like With H.R. 2885 Enacted

The Legal Workforce Act (H.R. 2885), sponsored by U.S. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith proposes a national mandatory E-Verify.  NumbersUSA has prepared a chart showing how the bill will impact each state.  You can clearly see that Oregon would benefit greatly if such a bill were to pass.

Go to:  https://www.numbersusa.com/content/oregon-everify.html

Call your Congressmen today, tell them you are a constituent and that you support Lamar Smith's legislation.  Tell them you think Oregon would benefit greatly from the passage of HR 2885 and you are counting on their support of the bill.

 

 

Front page news - check out the Wednesday March 14th, Statesman newspaper

Alert date: 
2012-03-14
Alert body: 

If you haven't seen today's Statesman newspaper, check out the front page...above the fold.

Capi Lynn did a great job relaying my tour of the border story for Statesman readers.

Check it out at:  http://www.statesmanjournal.com/article/20120314/NEWS/303140009/Border-tour-an-eye-opener-leader-immigration-reform-group?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|Home
 

Absurd! President Obama's proposed budget cuts to Customs and Border Enforcement

Having just returned from a week long, intensive study of the Arizona/Mexico border I am appalled at the prospect of a reduced budget for our border protection.  Men and women of the border patrol and a variety of law enforcement agencies put their lives on the line every day to protect us.  It is our government's responsibility to make certain they have everything they need to do the job.  Drug cartels and human smugglers are very well funded and are just waiting for a reduction in our security to make their move.

The role of Government is to protect. Beyond securing our borders and protecting us from our enemies, the role of the Federal Government should be very small.

And yet, on Wednesday, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security held a hearing on President Obama’s proposed budget cuts to Customs and Border Protection (CBP), included in the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) budget proposal for Fiscal year 2013.

  • $68.2 million decrease in funding for air and marine operations and procurements
  • $7.1 million reduction in air and marine staff
  • $6 million decrease in border security inspections and trade facilitation between points of entry
  • $6.7 million decrease in automation technology modernization
  • $72.9 million decrease in border security fencing, infrastructure, and technology

Both Republicans and Democrats on the Subcommittee raised concerns that these proposed reductions could weaken CBP programs and put border security in jeopardy.

Read more at:  http://www.fairus.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=24897&security=1601&news_iv_ctrl=1012#4

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