illegal immigration

Half of Oregon's undocumented immigrants eligible for deportation relief, Pew data show

About half of Oregon's unauthorized immigrants will be eligible for deportation relief under President Barack Obama's executive order, announced yesterday.

Using 2012 data, the Pew Research Center calculated that of the 120,000 undocumented immigrants in Oregon, about 50,000 will be newly eligible for relief. Only Idaho and Nebraska have higher percentages of newly eligible immigrants....

Though the president's executive order was welcomed by immigration activists, some felt that more needs to be done for the approximately 6 million who will be be unaffected by the order....

To qualify, immigrants must have children who are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents and must have lived in the U.S. at least five years.

Read the full report at the Pew Research Center.

Undocumented workers, day laborers and activists staged a rally Friday at the Portland Federal Building in response to President Barack Obama's planned changes to immigration policy. (Kristyna Wentz-Graff/The Oregonian)

Source: Pew Research Center estimates based on augmented 2012 American Community Survey data from Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS)
  Read more about Half of Oregon's undocumented immigrants eligible for deportation relief, Pew data show

What Obama's immigration reform means for Oregon

President Barack Obama laid out his plan Thursday night to provide relief to about 5 million people in the United States who have moved here without legal permission, most notably issuing an executive order allowing undocumented immigrants who are parents of U.S. citizens and legal residents to be granted legal status as well.

"All of us take offense to those who reap the rewards of living in America without embracing its responsibilities," he said. However, "undocumented immigrants who desperately want to embrace those responsibilities see little option but to remain in the shadows."

It was unclear what the changes would mean in Oregon. They were well received among political leaders, but the agricultural industry was less enthusiastic, arguing that the reforms failed on many counts.

Everyone agreed, however, that the responsibility lies with Congress to pass comprehensive reforms that will address all the problems related to American's undocumented immigrant population.

This has become an increasingly thorny issue in Oregon.

Migrant labor has become a cornerstone of the state's agricultural industry, and there are about 120,000 undocumented immigrants living here. It is one of a handful of states where the number of illegal immigrants has grown fastest over the past twenty years, and immigration policy is rising to the forefront of public discussion.

Jeff Stone, executive director for the Oregon Association of Nurseries, said the plan will do little to help the state's agricultural industry, and he said it does not make up for the missed opportunity for real reform in Congress.

"(Obama's proposal) is not a replacement for resolving the immigration problem that is facing the country," he said. "It promotes everybody's narrative, positive and negative, but it doesn't solve the problem."

Comprehensive reform would include a true guest-worker program that provides a steady, reliable workforce and a new visa system to allow people who have been here for years to gain legal status in a manageable way, Stone said.

He's not alone. Farm workers across the country will largely fall outside the scope of the proposed reforms, and the national agricultural industry is skeptical that anything short of a new set of laws will stabilize their workforce.

Estimates of how many people in the country illegally are working in agriculture vary, ranging from about 500,000 to as many as 1.75 million individuals.

Obama's proposal is expected to apply to about 250,000 of them, a tiny fraction.

"For what appears to be a small subset of current agricultural workers, the president's actions will alleviate some pressure in the short term but does not offer these workers, their families, their communities or their employers the long-term assurance they deserve," said Charles Conner, head of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives.

Craig Regelbrugge of the Agriculture Coalition for Immigration Reform said his group never expected administrative action could provide a broad solution to the farmworker issue.

"We've seen an inexorable growth in food imports, including fruits and vegetables," Regelbrugge said. "Imports are displacing domestic production."

He said a combination of factors, including tighter border enforcement, have contributed to a worsening of the farm labor shortage.

"The workforce situation has gotten worse and worse and worse and worse," Regelbrugge said. "I think we would have had a disaster in California this year had we not had a drought disaster" that reduced crops.

For Stone, the situation in Oregon is similar. There are not enough workers and not enough certainty for the farmers.

Oregon lost one-third of its nursery growers during the recession, and it is just now building itself back up, Stone said. It relies on migrant workers, and there is a labor shortage under the current system. There are simply not enough people to work these jobs who can prove they're allowed to be here. The president's ideas don't solve that problem.

"There aren't enough visas for the work that needs to be done," Stone said. True immigration reform "is needed for the long-term survival of this country economically."

Some disagree with the idea that Obama's reforms are needed at all.

Jim Ludwick, former president of Oregonians for Immigration Reform, said he does not support the plan. It isn't needed, he said. Rather, the president ought to focus on enforcing the laws we already have.

He said Obama's speech was disingenuous, conflating facts and suggesting law-abiding citizens are frequently deported when they are not, Ludwick said. The speech was meant as a political maneuver, he said, and was designed to tug at heart strings and manipulate emotions rather than set policy.

"He knows all these things he put out will never come to fruition," Ludwick said.

Immigration policy has come increasingly to the forefront in Oregon. Two weeks ago, Oregon voters shot down a ballot measure that would have allowed undocumented immigrants to hold state-issued driver cards. The Oregon Legislature had already approved the law, but voters disagreed and defeated the proposal by an overwhelming margin.

Stone said it was a shame the law hadn't passed and would have benefited the agricultural industry a great deal, but Ludwick said it was a true referendum on what Oregonians really think about immigration policy.

Political leaders were clearly more in line with Stone than Ludwick on Obama's speech, as they had been on driver's cards last year.

"I applaud President Obama's announcement this evening. His leadership will help innumerable families across the country. In our state, his action will mean that thousands of Oregonians have the ability to safely pursue aspects of daily life that many of us take for granted," said Speaker of the House Tina Kotek.

Gov. John Kitzhaber offered his support as well and, like Stone, said the needed work is not done.

"As Oregonians, we believe in a fair shot for everyone... It remains to be seen whether Congress will step up, do what's right, and pass meaningful immigration reform, or whether it will continue to play politics with the lives of millions who have been living, working, and contributing to our communities for years."

Obama called on Congress to pass a comprehensive reform package, and he insisted the temporary measures he has proposed are in keeping with American values.

"We are and always will be a nation of immigrants. We were strangers once too," he said. "What makes us Americans is our shared commitment to an ideal, that all of us are created equal, and all of us have the chance to make of our lives what we will."
  Read more about What Obama's immigration reform means for Oregon

Idaho sees rise in unauthorized immigrants

SPOKANE, Wash. — Idaho was among seven states, most concentrated in the eastern U.S., where the number of unauthorized immigrants increased between 2009 and 2012, according to a report released Tuesday by the Pew Research Center.

The report found unauthorized immigrants decreased in 14 states, including Oregon, in that time period. The number stayed relatively stable in the remaining states, including Washington.

Nationally, the number of unauthorized immigrants remained stable at 11.2 million between 2009 and 2012, the report found....

The report showed the long-term growth in unauthorized immigrants in each state.

Idaho grew from 10,000 unauthorized immigrants in 1990 to 50,000 in 2012; Oregon grew from 25,000 in 1990 to 120,000 in 2012; and Washington grew from 40,000 in 1990 to 230,000 in 2012.
  Read more about Idaho sees rise in unauthorized immigrants

Obama heads to Vegas to rally support for immigration overhaul

Determined to go it alone, President Obama will head to Nevada on Friday to sign an executive order granting “deferred action” to two illegal immigrant groups- parents of United States citizens or legal permanent residents who have been in the country for five years, and young people who who were brought into the country illegally as of 2010.

Obama will sign the executive order at the same Las Vegas high school where he unveiled his sweeping blueprint for a national immigration overhaul nearly two years ago.

Hispanics are a growing and powerful constituency in Nevada and the state serves as fertile ground for the president to rally public support.

During a 15-minute primetime speech Thursday, Obama said his administration will start accepting applications from illegal immigrants who seek the deferred actions.

Those who qualify will be granted protections for three years, Obama said, as he laid out his sweeping plan to the public Thursday night from the East Room of the White House.

“Mass amnesty would be unfair,” Obama said during the primetime address. “Mass deportation would be both impossible and contrary to our character.”

Obama, who pitched his plan as a “commonsense, middle ground approach,” said “if you meet the criteria, you can come out of the shadows and get right with the law” but warned “if you’re a criminal, you’ll be deported.”

The president did not specify how many in each "deferred action" group would be granted the new status. According to recent reports, the parental group could involve upwards of 4.5 million immigrants, with those brought into the country illegally making up close to 300,000 new applications. There are an estimated 11 million people living in the country illegally.

But Republicans have been quick to criticize and say the executive action is an example of Obama stretching his powers as president.

Even before the speech, conservatives said they were willing to do whatever was necessary to stop Obama’s plan.

Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell, who will become the majority leader in January when the new congressional class is sworn-in, said Obama would regret choosing to ignore the will of the American people.

McConnell, who made his statements from the Senate floor Thursday morning, has led the charge against the president and has promised a legislative fight when Republicans take full control of Congress in 2015.

“If President Obama acts in defiance of the people and imposes his will on the country, Congress will act,” McConnell said.

Utah Rep Jason Chaffetz, who will replace Rep. Darrell Issa as chair of the House Oversight Committee, told Fox News that the president’s timing on announcing the plan was “crystal clear.”

“It’s all about politics,” Chaffetz said. “He just got slaughtered in an election.”

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said in an op-ed in Politico Wednesday that if Obama acts, the new GOP majority in the Senate should retaliate by not acting on a single one of his nominees – executive or judicial – “so long as the illegal amnesty persists.” Read more about Obama heads to Vegas to rally support for immigration overhaul

Lars Larson: Even Liberal Oregonians Oppose Immigrant Amnesty

Voters in deep-blue Oregon overwhelmingly rejected a ballot measure on Nov. 4 to give drivers' licenses to the state's illegal immigrants — a judgment that President Barack Obama should consider when contemplating executive amnesty, nationally syndicated radio talker Lars Larson told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner on Newsmax TV on Tuesday.
 

Watch the video of Lars Larson's interview. Read more about Lars Larson: Even Liberal Oregonians Oppose Immigrant Amnesty

Report: Obama Will Soon Announce 10-Point Plan for Illegals

President Barack Obama will introduce 10 executive actions that could suspend deportations for and legalize more than 5 million illegal immigrants as early as next week, news reports say.

The plan was part of a draft proposal to a federal agency that was leaked to Fox News, the network reported on Wednesday.

Obama's announcement could come as early as Nov. 21 or shortly thereafter, a White House source told Fox.

The president was briefed on the plan by the Department of Homeland Security before he left on his trip to Asia and the Pacific last week, Fox reports. One of the architects of the plan was Esther Olavarria, the top immigration lawyer on the late Sen. Ted Kennedy's staff.

Among the plan's most controversial elements include orders that would expand deportation deferrals not only to illegals who came to the U.S. as children, but to the parents of U.S. citizens — those who were born in this country — and those who have become legal permanent residents.

The parental expansion could allow as many as 4.5 million illegal adults with U.S.-born children to remain in the country, Fox reports.

Obama's orders also would expand the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program he created in June 2012.

DACA affected millions of illegals who were brought to the United States as children before June 2007 and who were under 31 years old as of June 2012, when the program started.

With the new order, Obama would expand DACA to cover anyone who entered the United States before age 16 — and would move the cutoff date back to Jan. 1, 2010.

This is expected to affect nearly 300,000 illegal immigrants, Fox reports.

In addition, a State Department immigrant visa program involving technology jobs would offer another half-million immigrants a path to citizenship, according to Fox. Spouses also would be helped by the program.

According to Fox, the DHS plans to "promote" the new naturalization process by giving a 50 percent discount on the first 10,000 applicants who come forward, with the exception of those whose incomes are above 200 percent of the national poverty level.

Other planned executive actions would increase pay for Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers — an effort to "increase morale" within the agency, Fox reports — and the administration would revise its priorities to target only serious criminals for deportation, while replacing its current "Secure Communities" program with a new effort.

The Fox report comes as Obama vowed last week to act unilaterally on immigration in the absence of congressional action.

He was attacked by House Speaker John Boehner, who said any such move would "poison the well" with Republicans, and by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who likened it to "waving a red flag in front of a bull."

McConnell, who will become majority leader when the new Congress convenes in January, reiterated his opposition to Obama's acting alone on immigration in a speech on the Senate floor on Wednesday.

"President Obama has a duty to help build the trust we all need to move forward together, not to double-down on old ways of doing business," McConnell said. "That's why I think moving forward with the unilateral action on immigration he's planned would be a big mistake." Read more about Report: Obama Will Soon Announce 10-Point Plan for Illegals

Saturday, Dec. 6th - it's a victory celebration, a special guest speaker and a Christmas party - all in one!

Alert date: 
2014-11-25
Alert body: 

OFIR and PODL members, supporters and friends, we have all worked so very hard to defeat Ballot Measure 88.  Congratulations to all of you!

Please plan to join us for our next OFIR general membership meeting is Saturday, December 6th - 2:00 pm, Salem.

We will have a victory celebration, a very special guest speaker and our annual Christmas Party - all at one very special meeting!

Dr. Stephen Steinlight - Senior Policy Analyst, will be our very special guest speaker from Center for Immigration Studies (CIS).  
 
Dr. Steinlight will be speaking about: "The Plot Against America: Obama's Post - American Immigration Scheme".

Please - invite someone NEW to come to the meeting with you! We have worked hard and earned a tremendous amount of respect and notoriety from citizen's across the state and from coast to coast.  Now is the time to grow interest in OFIR and the work we do.

Mark your calendar: Saturday, December 6th at 2:00pm.  We will meet at the Best Western Mill Creek Inn - across from Costco in Salem, OR.

Please bring your favorite holiday finger food snack to share with the group.  Beverages will be provided!

Midterm Exit Poll: 75% reject executive amnesty, 80% don't want foreign workers taking jobs from Americans

Americans who voted in the midterms on Tuesday overwhelming are opposed to President Barack Obama's executive amnesty and do not want foreign workers to take jobs from Americans and legal immigrants who are already here.

An exit poll conducting by Kellyanne Conway's The Polling Company found that three-quarters (74%) of voters believed that "President Obama should work with Congress rather than around Congress on immigration and separately."

Overall, strong "majorities of men (75%), women (74%), whites (79%), blacks (59%), and Hispanics (54%)," in addition to tri - partisan majorities of "self - identified Republicans (92%), Independents (80%), and Democrats (51%)" did not want Obama to enact an executive amnesty on his own. Only 20% of voters wanted Obama to move forward with his executive amnesty. Read more about Midterm Exit Poll: 75% reject executive amnesty, 80% don't want foreign workers taking jobs from Americans

Obama: 'I’m going to do what I need to do' on immigration

GOP, President Obama deeply divided on immigration

President Obama repeated Sunday that he intends to change U.S. immigration law through executive action, over Republican leaders’ repeated requests to wait and dire warnings about the consequences of sidestepping Congress.

“I’m going to do what I need to do,” Obama told CBS’ “Face the Nation,” in an interview taped on Friday.

As he has said before, the president said he would prefer that reform legislation come through Congress, but that he has waited for more than a year for House Speaker John Boehner to pass a bill like the Democrat-controlled Senate has done.

“If a bill gets passed, nobody would be happier than me,” Obama said.

His remarks followed similar ones made Wednesday, which brought dire warnings from Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell that were followed by more on Sunday.

“I believe [executive action] will hurt cooperation on every issue,” Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., told “Fox News Sunday.” “I think it would be like the president pulling the pin out of a hand grenade and throwing it in as we are trying to actually work together. I am hoping that cooler heads at the White House can prevail."

The comments by Barrasso, chairman of the Senate Republican Policy Committee, followed Boehner warning Obama that using executive action would “poison the well” and McConnell, who will likely be the Senate majority leader next year, comparing it to waving a flag in front of a bull.

“Their time hasn’t run out,” Obama told CBS, arguing that legislation passed by Congress would supersede his executive action.

To be sure, the president is under pressure to use executive action on immigration reform, after promising Americans that he would by the end of summer, then delaying any action until after the midterms, which upset Democrats’ strong Hispanic base.

Obama also said Sunday that inaction is a “mis-allocation of resources” and that the country cannot continue to deport people who should be allowed to stay and keep those who should leave Read more about Obama: 'I’m going to do what I need to do' on immigration

Check this out first and then cast your votes!

Oregonians for Immigration Reform does not endorse candidates.  We do our research and find out all we can about candidates and their views on immigration issues.

OFIR has provided for you, an overview of immigration specific information about most candidates running for office in the Nov. 4 general election.  Please check it out and then be certain to fill out your ballot and send it in before the deadline.  If you don't vote - we won't win!

If you find the information helpful, please send us a note telling us so.  If there is something else we can do to help you, please let us know.

If you have information about a candidate that is not included, and should be, we would be happy to post that, as well.

Remember to Vote NO on Ballot Measure 88 - NO driver cards for people illegally in our country!

 


  Read more about Check this out first and then cast your votes!

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