illegal immigration

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.

Oregon Department of Corrections: Criminal Alien Report August 2017

The Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) August 1, 2017 Inmate Population Profile indicated there were 14,722 inmates incarcerated in the DOC’s 14 prisons.

Data obtained from the DOC indicated that on August 1st there were 984 foreign nationals (criminal aliens) incarcerated in the state’s prison system; approximately one in every fifteen prisoners incarcerated by the state was a criminal alien, 6.68 percent of the total prison population.

Some background information, all 984 criminal aliens currently incarcerated in the DOC prison system were identified by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), a federal law enforcement agency that is part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. If an inmate is identified by ICE as being a criminal alien, at the federal law enforcement agency’s request, DOC officials will place an “ICE detainer” on the inmate. After the inmate completes his/her state sanction, prison officials will transfer custody of the inmate to ICE.

Using DOC Inmate Population Profiles and ICE detainer numbers, the following table reveals the total number inmates, the number of domestic and criminal alien inmates along with the percentage of them with ICE detainers incarcerated on August 1st in the state’s prisons.
 

OREGON DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS

Month/Day/Year

DOC Total Inmates

DOC Total Domestic Inmates

DOC Total Inmates W/ICE Detainers

DOC % Inmates W/ICE Detainers

August 1, 2017

14,722

13,738

984

6.68%

Source: Research and Evaluation DOC Report ICE inmates list 01 August 17 and Inmate Population Profile 01 August 17.

Using DOC ICE detainer numbers, the following table reveals the number and percentage of criminal alien prisoners incarcerated on August 1st that were sent to prison from the state’s 36 counties.
 

OREGON DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS

County

DOC Total Inmates W/ ICE Detainers by County

DOC % Inmates W/ICE Detainers by County

Marion

232

23.58%

Multnomah

209

21.24%

Washington

202

20.53%

Clackamas

77

7.83%

Lane

43

4.37%

Jackson

35

3.56%

Umatilla

24

2.44%

Yamhill

22

2.24%

Deschutes

17

1.73%

Linn

16

1.63%

Benton

15

1.52%

Klamath

15

1.52%

Polk

15

1.52%

Malheur

9

0.91%

Lincoln

7

0.71%

Wasco

6

0.61%

Clatsop

5

0.51%

Jefferson

5

0.51%

Josephine

5

0.51%

Coos

4

0.41%

Hood River

4

0.41%

Columbia

3

0.30%

Douglas

3

0.30%

Tillamook

3

0.30%

Crook

2

0.20%

Union

2

0.20%

Gilliam

1

0.10%

Lake

1

0.10%

Morrow

1

0.10%

OOS (Not a County)

1

0.10%

Baker

0

0.00%

Curry

0

0.00%

Grant

0

0.00%

Harney

0

0.00%

Sherman

0

0.00%

Wallowa

0

0.00%

Wheeler

0

0.00%

Total

984

100.00%

Source: Research and Evaluation DOC Report ICE inmates list 01 August 17.

Here are the ways Oregon residents were victimized by the 984 criminal aliens.

Using DOC ICE detainer numbers, the following table reveals the number and percentage of criminal alien prisoners incarcerated on August 1st by type of crime.
 

OREGON DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS

Crime

DOC Total Inmates W/ ICE Detainers by Type of Crime

DOC % Inmates W/ICE Detainers by Type of Crime

Sex Abuse

200

20.33%

Rape

174

17.68%

Homicide

138

14.02%

Drugs

112

11.38%

Sodomy

97

9.86%

Assault

77

7.83%

Robbery

53

5.39%

Kidnapping

25

2.54%

Burglary

23

2.34%

Theft

18

1.83%

Driving Offense

9

0.91%

Vehicle Theft

4

0.41%

Arson

0

0.00%

Forgery

0

0.00%

Escape

0

0.00%

Other / Combination

54

5.49%

Total

984

100.00%

Source: Research and Evaluation DOC Report ICE inmates list 01 August 17.

Using the DOC Inmate Population Profile and ICE detainer numbers from August 1st, the following table reveals the total number inmates by crime type, the number of domestic and criminal alien prisoners incarcerated by type of crime and the percentage of those crimes committed by criminal aliens.
 

OREGON DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS

Crime

DOC Total Inmates by Type of Crime

DOC Total Domestic Inmates by Type of Crime

DOC Total Inmates W/ICE Detainers by Type of Crime

DOC Inmates W/ICE Detainers as a % of Total Inmates by Type of Crime

Sex Abuse

1,726

1,526

200

11.59%

Rape

977

803

174

17.81%

Homicide

1,720

1,582

138

8.02%

Drugs

833

721

112

13.45%

Sodomy

1,025

928

97

9.46%

Assault

2,041

1,964

77

3.77%

Robbery

1,521

1,468

53

3.48%

Kidnapping

282

257

25

8.87%

Burglary

1,328

1,305

23

1.73%

Theft

1,131

1,113

18

1.59%

Driving Offense

222

213

9

4.05%

Vehicle Theft

470

466

4

0.85%

Arson

73

73

0

0.00%

Forgery

49

49

0

0.00%

Escape

36

36

0

0.00%

Other / Combination

1,288

1,234

54

4.19%

Total

14,722

13,738

984

 

Source: Research and Evaluation DOC Report ICE inmates list 01 August 17 and Inmate Population Profile 01 August 17.

Using DOC ICE detainer numbers, the following table reveals the self-declared countries of origin of the 984 criminal alien prisoners by number and percentage incarcerated on August 1st in the state’s prisons.
 

OREGON DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS

Country

DOC Total Inmates W/ ICE Detainers by Self-Declared Country of Origin

DOC % Inmates W/ICE Detainers by Self-Declared Country of Origin

Mexico

787

79.98%

Guatemala

18

1.83%

Cuba

15

1.52%

El Salvador

15

1.52%

Honduras

13

1.32%

Vietnam

13

1.32%

Russia

9

0.91%

Federated States of Micronesia

8

0.81%

Ukraine

7

0.71%

Cambodia

4

0.41%

China

4

0.41%

Laos

4

0.41%

Marshall Islands

4

0.41%

Peru

4

0.41%

Philippines

4

0.41%

Thailand

4

0.41%

Canada

3

0.30%

England

3

0.30%

Somalia

3

0.30%

South Korea

3

0.30%

Other Countries

59

6.00%

Total

984

100.00%

Source: Research and Evaluation DOC Report ICE inmates list 01 August 17.

Beyond the DOC criminal alien incarceration numbers and incarceration percentages, per county and per crime type, or even country of origin, criminal aliens pose high economic cost on Oregonians.

An individual prisoner incarcerated in the DOC prison system costs the state approximately ($94.55) per day.

The DOC’s incarceration cost for its 984 criminal alien prison population is approximately ($93,037.20) per day, ($651,260.40) per week, and ($33,958,578.00) per year.

Even taking into account fiscal year 2016 U.S. Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), U.S. Department of Justice, State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP) award of $1,788,075.00, if the State of Oregon receives the same amount of SCAAP funding for fiscal year 2017, the cost to incarcerate 984 criminal aliens to the DOC will be at least ($32,170,503.00). Note: At this point in time there is no indication the U.S. BJA will provide SCAAP awards in 2017.

None of preceding cost estimates for the DOC to incarcerate the 984 criminal aliens includes the dollar amount for legal services (indigent defense), language interpreters, court costs, or victim assistance.

Bibliography

Oregon Department of Corrections Population Profile August 1, 2017:
http://www.oregon.gov/doc/RESRCH/docs/inmate_profile_201708.pdf

Oregon Department of Corrections Population Profile (unpublished MS Excel workbook) titled Incarcerated Criminal Aliens Report dated August 1, 2017.

Oregon Department of Corrections Issue Brief Quick Facts IB-53, January, 2017:
http://www.oregon.gov/doc/OC/docs/pdf/IB-53-Quick%20Facts.pdf

U.S. Bureau of Justice Assistance, State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP), 2016 SCAAP award: https://www.bja.gov/funding/FY2016-SCAAP-Award-C.PDF

This report is a service to Oregon state, county and city governmental officials to help them assess the impact of foreign national crime in the state.

David Olen Cross
Cell Phone: 503.991.2089
E-mail: davidolencross@hotmail.com


 

Illegal Aliens Crash Nancy Pelosi’s DACA Press Conference: ‘All of Us or None of Us!’

 A group of illegal aliens calling themselves the “Immigration Liberation Movement” crashed a press conference by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Monday, warning the Democratic Party not to “sell [us] out.”

The group shouted down Rep. Pelosi, who struggled to maintain control of the meeting, and unfurled a large banner calling for all illegal aliens to be legalized.

Others held up signs, including: “Fight 4 All 11 Million,” referring to the estimated total of all illegal aliens in the U.S.

In the “mic check” call-and-response style popularized by the Occupy Wall Street protests in 2011, the activists declared:

We remember all too well how for eight years the Democrats laid siege to our communities, raiding and deporting nearly three million people, of our family members and loved ones. Where was your resistance then? Ms. Pelosi, did you think we would forget? We send a clear message to our fellow undocumented youth and community: We are the resistance to Trump! Not the Democrats!

The activists also chanted “Brown power!” In a show of “intersectionality” — solidarity among left-wing groups — they also chanted “Trans lives matter!” and other slogans, while Pelosi stood silently behind the throng.

“You met with Trump, and you call that resistance?” they shouted in unison.

Earlier, Pelosi had spoken at the podium with community leaders and fellow members of Congress from the Bay Area in support of her legislative push for a bill that would legalize the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

President Donald Trump canceled DACA earlier this month, but left Congress a six-month window in which to find a legislative solution for the roughly 800,000 DACA beneficiaries. Pelosi said that she wanted the “DREAM Act,” a long-dormant Democratic Party bill that goes much further than DACA, “to be the basis of how we go forward.”

“We’re not giving up our fight to protect America’s dreamers,” she said.

However, she could not speak over the protests. “It’s clear you don’t want any answers,” she said.

As if to support her point, activists chanted: “All of us — or none of us,” meaning that they would only accept full amnesty for all illegal aliens, not just DACA beneficiaries.

President’s actions could end with deportation of MHS grad

As a middle school student, Hugo Nicolas made a vow to himself.

“I told myself that even if people reject me or deny me things, I will still do my best to uphold the values of this country. I would like to help this nation be better because it gave me so many opportunities and helped me see the world in a different way,” Nicolas said. “Right now, it’s hard because I love this country. It’s just so bittersweet. My emotions are mixed.”

In August 2012, two months after graduating from McNary High School, Nicolas enrolled in a then-new program, called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), authorized through executive action by President Barack Obama. DACA did not confer or create a path to citizenship for undocumented children brought to the United States before their 16th birthdays, but it was a huge shift for Nicolas. At age 11, he walked across a desert hand-in-hand with his mother, through a barbed wire fence and into the United States.

In exchange for registering under DACA, the federal government agreed not to deport Nicolas and allowed him to apply for a renewable two-year work permit. The permit came with a social security number that meant he could be paid above-the-table and enjoy the protections afforded other American workers.

“I was excited about the things I could do like being able to go to college, being able to drive, being able to travel within the United States, being able to contribute and really get involved. I felt empowered to basically have no obstacles,” Nicolas said.

Last week, President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions slapped an expiration date on Nicolas’ American dreams. DACA privileges will be rescinded for Nicolas and 800,000 other undocumented youths, collectively known as Dreamers, registered through the program. Their best hope now is Congress coming up with an alternative by March 5, 2018. In the wake of the action by the Trump administration, Oregon joined 14 other states and the District of Columbia in a lawsuit to block the termination of the program. Another suit to stop the DACA wind down was filed by three additional states on Monday, Sept. 11.

While those lawsuits travel through the judicial system, Nicolas and his younger brother and sister, who are also registered through DACA, are recalibrating their plans.

Last year, Nicolas decided to take time off from earning his degree at the University of Oregon to focus on saving money if Trump’s campaign promises to end DACA ever came to fruition. With some of the money he and his brother were socking away, they planned to purchase their father a new car, maybe even a new home for their parents. His family sold their car to afford the fees and attorney costs associated with Hugo’s initial DACA application.

“All that’s kind of on-hold now,” Nicolas said.

But, truthfully, the impact of Trump’s words began having an effect on Nicolas long before it was announced DACA would be rescinded.

“I feel like he is trying to paint a picture of immigrants as bad people who are only bringing crime and other problems. It’s totally the opposite of what we have done with deferred action,” Nicolas said. Nicolas is currently working as a personal banker with plans to start earning his investment licenses this month. “It has also made me pay more attention to the announcements coming from the administration every week. I have to be aware and more careful with all the changes that are happening.”

Between the president’s words and actions and the vocal support of both from his fans, Nicolas finds himself questioning how others view him and more driven to tell his story, the crux of which is in that middle school vow.

Even then, Nicolas wanted to go to college. He had his sights on a military or Ivy League school. His undocumented status would have stood in the way of both.

“Thinking about college in high school was depressing and I felt so ashamed,” he said. Still, he wanted to prove his value.

At McNary, Nicolas was a star pupil and an athlete. If there was a project that needed volunteers, he would usually be found on the site. He was a Keizer Fire District Explorer, a Keizer Police Department Cadet, and even served as the youth councilor to the Keizer City Council.

“Being undocumented, there is risk in everything you do – even if you are doing something good,” Nicolas said.

It was the last post, in 2012, where things began to unravel a bit. Near the end of his year as youth councilor, someone alerted the city council to Nicolas’ undocumented status. It prompted councilors to propose a policy change that would bar non-citizens from taking on the youth councilor position. Despite public outcry in council chambers, the “Hugo Rule” was approved. The rule still stands, but was tweaked for exchange students to be part of the youth councilor program.

Once he registered for Deferred Action, the college door swung open. He started taking classes at Chemeketa while working three jobs, eventually transferring to the University of Oregon.

“I could finally stand up and show what I could do if people allowed me that opportunity. I also knew that I was following a procedure and didn’t have to worry about what would happen tomorrow,” he said.

Nicolas is altering some of his plans, but he is also feeling a renewed sense of purpose. He bristles at the language used by Trump and Sessions when talking about immigrants.

“The way Jeff Sessions talked about Dreamers made us sound like criminals and not contributing. We’re teachers and nurses and attorneys and bankers. If someone needs representation and can’t afford it or needs tuition assistance, there is a whole group that chips in to help support them,” he said.

He is reconsidering his plans for taking a year off school with the notion that finishing his education is it’s own form of rebelling against the labels some would stick on him.

Deferred Action recipients have also found resilience in numbers.

“We’re more politically involved than we were and we’ve become more united because we can travel and learn from each other,” he said.

For those who want to help prevent DACA from winding down, Nicolas said there are two ways to act locally. First, contact Oregon Rep. Greg Walden, and tell him you support the Dreamers. Oregon’s other representatives and senators have already voiced their support.

The second is more personal and, potentially, more of a challenge: be vocal in your support of Dreamers wherever you go.

“When Trump is saying things about immigrants that are not true, it makes me hold back more because I don’t know if that’s the way people really see me,” he said. “When I see someone who never supported immigration reform now offering encouragement, that means everything.”
 

Jeff Sessions can't withhold grant money from sanctuary cities, judge rules

A federal judge in Chicago has ruled Attorney General Jeff Sessions can't withhold public grant money from so-called sanctuary cities for refusing to follow federal immigration policies.

U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber made the ruling Friday, in which he granted Chicago's request for a temporary "nationwide" injunction.

The ruling means the Justice Department cannot deny grant money requests until Chicago's lawsuit against the agency is concluded. Leinenweber wrote that Chicago has shown a "likelihood of success" in its arguments that Sessions overstepped his authority with the requirement.

The city of Chicago sued the Trump administration in August after it threatened to withhold funds from sanctuary cities, and refused to comply with the Justice Department's demand that it allow immigration agents access to local jails and notify agents when someone in the U.S. is about to be released from custody.

SANCTUARY CITIES: WHAT ARE THEY?

At least seven cities and counties, including Seattle and San Francisco, as well as the state of California, have refused to cooperate with new federal rules regarding sanctuary cities.

The ruling is another blow to Sessions, a longtime champion of tougher immigration laws.

Earlier this month, Sessions announced that the administration would end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a program that protects young immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children or came with families who overstayed their visas.

President Trump later announced he was working on an agreement to protect them.

It's unclear whether the ruling means the Leinenweber will ultimately decide in favor of the city.

Woodburn police chief aims to build trust after news of DACA repeal

The recent decision by the federal government to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals causes me to once again reflect on the relationship between our immigrant communities and local law enforcement.

As I am out and about in the greater Woodburn community, I hear of continued confusion, fear and mistrust of government among immigrant communities.

Critical to our mission as local police officers is the notion that people in our community, particularly our immigrant communities, trust us and not fear us. Trust cultivates an environment of cooperation with victims and witnesses of crime, cooperation that we desperately need to keep our community safe.

The ongoing controversies surrounding immigration issues in our country unfortunately plays counter to that mission, resulting in emotions encouraging fear — not trust — and stifling any such cooperation.

Oregon law, which we follow and enforce, guides us in our daily work of keeping our community safe. ORS 181A.820 helps reinforce the goal of mutual trust and respect between local law enforcement and immigrant communities.

This Oregon law specifically prohibits local law enforcement from engaging solely in administrative immigration matters.

The statute does, however, allow for local law enforcement involvement in immigration matters when circumstances of a crime are present, including a person subject to arrest pursuant to a warrant issued by a federal magistrate.

The decisions surrounding immigration policy and its future are mired in politics well beyond the reach of local law enforcement. What is within the reach of both local law enforcement and our immigrant communities are opportunities to continue fostering mutual trust and respect.

Now is the time for us to come together and work hard to overcome any fear and mistrust of local law enforcement.

We can do this together through building and maintaining positive relationships, being transparent, practicing the tenets of police legitimacy and procedural justice, and working in partnership to keep our community a safe place to live, work and visit.

Jim Ferraris is the chief of the Woodburn Police Department. To read the Oregon statues mentioned in this letter, go to www.oregonlaws.org
 

Ritter answers Rep. Barnhart’s smear attack on OFIR and IP 22

OFIR member Jerry Ritter has written a great exposé of the vicious attack on our organization and our efforts to advance Initiative Petition #22.  We clearly have the deep-state opposition to immigration controls worried. 

Friends, let’s keep on collecting signatures!  As with Measure 88 - the driver card bill, we know we can do this.  Request some 10 line signature sheets, ask your friends and neighbors to sign the petition, when mail them in!  It's as simple as that!

We need your help!  To Request signature sheets call 503.435.0141 or go to the campaign website and click on the link to request signature sheets.

Mail filled sheets to:

Stop Oregon Sanctuaries

PO Box 7354

Salem, OR 97303

 

 

The DACA Amnesty Must Be Ended

An important deadline is approaching for the Trump Administration. By September 5, President Trump must decide whether or not to repeal President Obama’s DACA (“Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals”) executive amnesty for illegal aliens.

The deadline was set by ten States, whose attorneys general (or governor, in the case of Idaho) wrote to Attorney General Jeff Sessions demanding an end to the illegal amnesty. The States are Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Louisiana, Kansas, Nebraska, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia. If DACA is not terminated, the States will take the Trump Administration to court.

Candidate Trump promised during the 2016 campaign that he would end DACA. On August 31, 2016, in Phoenix he correctly described DACA as an “illegal executive amnesty.” And he promised that he would “[i]mmediately terminate President Obama’s two illegal executive amnesties in which he defied federal law and the Constitution.” It is time to make good on that promise.

The DACA amnesty allows virtually any illegal alien up to the age of 31 (as of June 15, 2012, when it was announced) who claims that he entered the United States before the age of 16 to gain “deferred action” and lawful presence in the United States. The alien also becomes eligible for employment authorization. In practice, today illegal aliens up the age of 36 are getting the amnesty. It’s not limited to “children” as the Left is so eager to pretend. It’s estimated that the DACA amnesty could extend to approximately 1.7 million illegal aliens. More than 886,000 have already applied for, and received, the amnesty.

The Obama Administration attempted to defend the legality of DACA on a flimsy theory that has already been rejected by multiple courts –  that “prosecutorial discretion” can be used to confer the benefit of lawful presence on millions of illegal aliens, en masse, without any action by Congress. The theory is ridiculous on its face. Prosecutorial discretion is a decision not to prosecute a specific person based on the evidence at hand; it is not a mass changing of legal status for millions of people.

If the States sue, they will win. As a legal question, it’s not even close. DACA is not illegal for just one reason. It’s illegal for at least five reasons – three violations of federal law and two violations of the United States Constitution:

Federal law violations:

  1. 8 USC 1225(b)(2). This statute requires that any alien an ICE officer determines to be inadmissible “shall” be placed in removal proceedings. Congress passed this law in 1996 to stop the “catch and release” policies of the Clinton Administration. Incredibly, DACA orders ICE agents to break this law. In 2012, in the case of Crane v. Napolitano, I represented 10 ICE agents who sued the Obama Administration to stop DACA. Although the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals eventually ruled that the ICE agents didn’t have standing, the district court in the Northern District of Texas had already held that we were likely to succeed on this claim.
  2. The Administrative Procedure Act (APA). Even if there weren’t a statutory barrier to a president issuing the DACA directive, the Department of Homeland Security would still have to promulgate a formal regulation (or “rule”), with notice and public comment, under the requirements of the APA. The Obama Administration violated this federal law as well when it created DACA. The Fifth Circuit already came to this conclusion in Texas v. United States, a case which resulted in an injunction halting the second Obama executive amnesty (which was based on the same theory as DACA).
  3. Prosecutorial discretion” cannot be used to confer federal benefits. Prosecutorial discretion is a decision not to prosecute; it is not a legally-permissible mechanism for granting lawful presence or the valuable benefit of employment authorization. Federal law lays out the only avenues for obtaining either. And DACA doesn’t follow those avenues. The Fifth Circuit reached this conclusion as well in Texas v. United States.

 United States Constitution violations:

  1. The Constitutional Separation of Powers. The granting of the right to remain in the United States, plus employment authorization, to a large number of aliens is a legislative action, not an executive action. The “DREAM Act” legislative amnesty, which DACA mimics, has been introduced and has failed in Congress more than twenty times since 2001. If someday Congress decides to enact the DREAM Act, Congress may do so. But a president may not usurp Congress’s authority, as President Obama did, by imposing the DACA amnesty on the country through executive fiat.
  2. Article 2, section 3, of the U.S. Constitution. This section of the Constitution requires the president to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” The DACA amnesty is an express order not to execute the multiple federal laws that render these aliens unlawfully present. An order not to enforce the law against 1.7 million specially-designated aliens is a clear violation of this constitutional provision.

Any single one of these legal claims is sufficient to torpedo DACA in court. And three have already been given credence by the courts. Attorney General Sessions knows this. As he correctly told the Senate Judiciary Committee in January, DACA is “very questionable, in my opinion, constitutionally.” He is undoubtedly reluctant to defend this blatantly illegal executive amnesty.

The Department of Justice can’t win the case. The Fifth Circuit has already ruled on the central legal question, and that is where the case would be heard. The Trump Administration would lose in court, and the president would lose a significant section of his political base as well. DACA is inconsistent with the rule of law, inconsistent with the president’s own promises, and inconsistent with the president’s principled stand against illegal immigration. It must end.

Kris W. Kobach is the elected secretary of state of Kansas.  An expert in immigration law and policy, he coauthored the Arizona SB-1070 immigration law and represented in federal court the 10 ICE agents who sued to stop Obama’s 2012 executive amnesty. In 2017 President Trump named him Vice Chairman of the Presidential Commission on Election Integrity. He is also a candidate for the office of governor of Kansas. His website is kriskobach.com.

Forget California, Oregon Is The Foremost ‘Sanctuary State’ In The US

California frequently comes to mind when people think of the one state pushing back hardest against the Trump administration’s immigration agenda.

With its massive Hispanic immigrant population, outspoken big-city mayors, and Democratic-dominated government, it attracts the lion’s share of media attention as an exemplar of a sanctuary state. But for all of its pro-immigration, anti-Trump bona fides, California still falls short of its neighbor to the north.

No state has done more than Oregon to position itself as the most ardent — detractors would say say extreme — sanctuary state of all. As the Trump administration moves to crack down on jurisdictions that limit cooperation with federal immigration agents, arch-progressive, first-term Gov. Kate Brown remains defiant, advancing laws that build on Oregon’s long history of shielding illegal immigrants from the federal government.

30 years of sanctuary

The “sanctuary” term, whether referring to cities, counties or states, has become a convenient shorthand to describe any jurisdiction that refuses to assist the federal government in enforcing immigration law....

Opponents of sanctuary cities, like Attorney General Jeff Sessions, use it as an epithet to describe local governments who put politics over the safety of their citizens, while supporters like Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel wear it as a badge of honor in defiance of an overreaching federal government.

Oregon was a sanctuary state before anybody used the word to describe how states work, or refuse to work, with the federal government on immigration enforcement. In 1987, the Oregon legislature overwhelmingly passed a law ...

“No law enforcement agency of the State of Oregon or of any political subdivision of the state shall use agency moneys, equipment or personnel for the purpose of detecting or apprehending persons whose only violation of law is that they are persons of foreign citizenship present in the United States in violation of federal immigration laws,” the law states.

The blanket prohibition prevents police from arresting illegal aliens unless they have broken certain immigration-related sections of the federal criminal code or are the subject of a warrant signed by a federal judge or magistrate. Most of Oregon’s police agencies also interpret that law to mean that they cannot agree to requests from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to hold criminal aliens in local jails beyond their release dates.

The Multnomah County Sheriffs Office, which covers the city of Portland, clarified its position in a September 2016 memo, saying that both state law and a U.S. district court decision prevent jail officials from honoring ICE detainers. Like many similarly situated sheriffs overseeing liberal counties, Multnomah County Sheriff Mike Reese has painted the sanctuary policy as a benefit to public safety.

“The Sheriff’s Office is not responsible for enforcing federal immigration policy. We are primarily responsible for local law enforcement,” Reese wrote in the memo. “In this role, it is vital community members feel comfortable calling 911 to report crimes and to participate as witnesses and victims in our local system, without fear of that information being shared with ICE.”

In effect, Oregon has for many years enforced policies that states including California and Massachusetts are now trying to put in place with their own sanctuary state legislation.

A political opportunity

Though Oregon was a sanctuary state in name and practice long before Trump became president, the state’s Democratic leaders have redoubled their efforts to protect illegal immigrants since Inauguration Day.

As soon as Trump took office and began issuing executive orders on tougher immigration enforcement, local and state authorities countered with immigration directives of their own. Particularly in Multnomah County — a bastion of West Coast progressivism where Hillary Clinton won 76 percent of the vote — opposition to the administration’s immigration policies became one of the surest ways to win political favor with liberal constituents.

The Multnomah County Board of Commissioners issued a resolution declaring the county a sanctuary jurisdiction and affirming that residents would continue to have access to all county services regardless of immigration status. The commissioners said the resolution was necessary due to “recent political events” that “have continued to spur and build a climate of hatred, bigotry, and discrimination toward many in our communities.”

At the state level, Brown followed up with a February executive order that applied the immigration-related restrictions on police to all state agencies. Much like the Multnomah County resolution, Brown’s order also prevented public agencies from making immigration status a condition of receiving public services.

Oregon’s lawmakers have also gotten in on the act with a proposal that would prohibit all “public bodies” in the state from sharing or inquiring about a person’s immigration status except in cases required by federal or state law. Democratic backers of House Bill 3464, which passed both chambers of the Oregon legislature in July, cast the measure as strengthening privacy protections for state residents....

Brown has until Aug. 11 to decide whether sign the bill into law, issue a veto or simply do nothing, which would allow the legislation to take effect automatically. The governor, a progressive darling lauded as one of the most prominent state-level opponents of the Trump administration, has previously expressed support for the bill and is unlikely to send it back to the legislature.

Oregon Democrats remain undeterred in their push to bolster the state’s sanctuary laws, even after an illegal immigrant allegedly raped a 65-year-old Portland woman in late July. The suspect, Mexican national Sergio Jose Martinez, had been deported more than a dozen times and was the subject of an ICE detainer, but Multnomah county jail officials released him from custody in December 2016 without notifying immigration agents. (RELATED: Man Who Allegedly Raped Oregon Woman Had Previous ICE Detainer, 13 Deportations)

While neither Brown nor Portland’s Democratic Mayor Ted Wheeler have publicly commented on the case, Republican state Sen. Kim Thatcher said it was a consequence of the sanctuary policies state Democrats have enacted.

“Kate Brown is sacrificing innocent Oregonians’ safety on her election altar and I think Oregonians are starting to wake up and realize the sanctuary state Kool-aid she’s forcing on all of us is horrifically toxic,” Lockwood wrote TheDCNF in an email.

'Sanctuary State' Repeal Campaign Takes Advantage Of New Oregon Rule

Backers of a campaign to repeal an Oregon law that aids undocumented immigrants are taking advantage of new petition rules to make an early start on gathering the signatures they need to qualify for the 2018 ballot. [See the Stop Oregon Sanctuaries website.]

Cynthia Kendoll, president of Oregonians For Immigration Reform, says her group was unable to make the 2016 ballot with a pair of immigrant-related measures because their signature gathering was held up by lengthy legal fights over the wording of the ballot title.

Oregon Secretary of State Dennis Richardson last month began the process of changing the rules so that initiative campaigns for the first time could gather an unlimited number of signatures before the wording of the ballot title was hashed out.

That seemingly arcane change could have a major impact on initiative campaigns, particularly ones that don’t have a lot of money to flood the streets with paid petitioners.

Kendoll said that ballot title challenges “have become more about delaying the initiative process than they are about making certain that we have proper language” for explaining a measure for voters.

A coalition called One Oregon opposes changing the 30-year-old “Sanctuary State” law, which limits local and state police cooperation with federal immigration authorities. The group has also filed a legal appeal with the state Supreme Court challenging the ballot title, which is meant to be a neutral description of the initiative.

Andrea Williams is executive director of Causa, an immigrant rights group, and a leader of the One Oregon coalition.

She said that Kendoll’s group has started early enough that it could probably qualify for the ballot even without Richardson’s new rules. She said the group filed an appeal to get the most “accurate and clear” ballot title.

Kendoll acknowledged her group is taking some risk by going ahead with signature gathering before waiting for a ballot title. 

In particular, several groups have talked about mounting a legal challenge to Richardson’s rule change. Ben Unger is the executive director of Our Oregon, a labor-backed coalition group. He said the secretary of state’s office should start over on the rules change because it contained some procedural errors. And his group is also looking into whether Richardson actually has the authority to allow initiatives to collect signatures without having a ballot title affixed to the signature sheets.

Oregon law says that petitioners have to gather at least 1,000 signatures before they can get a ballot title.  Richardson used that language to say that he could change the rules to allow petitioners to gather as many as signatures as they want until a ballot title is finalized.

If the immigration measure qualifies for the ballot next year, it could attract national attention. A large number of cities and counties around the country — including 15 in Oregon, according to Williams — have “sanctuary” protections for immigrants.

Oregon has the only statewide law, although California legislators are working on a similar measure.

Kendoll said the Oregon law should be overturned so that law enforcement in the state can fully cooperate with immigration officials. She noted the local furor involving the case of Sergio Jose Martinez, accused of attacking two women in Portland last month after being released from custody in Multnomah County last December. Federal officials say they asked the county to hold Martinez, but Sheriff Mike Reese said the agency should have issued a criminal warrant.

Williams said the Oregon sanctuary law improves public safety by encouraging immigrants to cooperate with law enforcement without fear of deportation.

Sponsors of the initiative need to gather 88,184 valid signatures by next July to qualify for the November 2018 ballot.

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