immigration

Immigrant population hits record 42.1 million

WASHINGTON, DC (August 13, 2015) — A new analysis of monthly Census Bureau data by the Center for Immigration Studies shows that the nation's immigrant population (legal and illegal) hit a record high of 42.1 million in the second quarter of this year — an increase of 1.7 million since the same quarter of 2014. The population of immigrants from Mexico, after falling or growing little in recent years, seems to be growing again. Growth in the immigrant population in the last year was led by a 740,000 increase in the number of Mexican immigrants. The monthly Census Bureau data is released before other data. As more information becomes available, this trend should be confirmed.

"Illegal immigration came up in the presidential debates, but there has been little discussion of the level of immigration; this at a time when total immigration is surging according to the latest data," said Steven Camarota, co-author of new report and the Center's Director of Research. "The rapid growth in the immigrant population was foreseeable given the cutbacks in enforcement, our expansive legal immigration system, and the improvement in the economy. But the question remains, is it in the nation's interest?"

View the entire report at: http://cis.org/Immigrant-Population-Hits-Record-Second-Quarter-2015

Among the findings:

• The nation's immigrant or foreign-born population, which includes legal and illegal immigrants, grew by 4.1 million from the second quarter of 2011 to the second quarter of 2015 — 1.7 million in just the last year.

• Immigrants are 13.3 percent of the nation's total population — the largest share in 105 years.

• Growth in the last year was led by a rebound in the number of Mexican immigrants, which increased by 740,000 from 2014 to 2015 — accounting for 44 percent of the increase in the total immigrant population in the last year.

• The total Mexican immigrant population (legal and illegal) reached 12.1 million in the second quarter of 2015 — the highest quarterly total ever.

• Prior research has indicated that net migration (the number coming vs. the number leaving) from Mexico had fallen to zero; the recent growth indicates that the period of zero net migration from Mexico has ended.

• In addition to Mexico, growth in the immigrant population was led by a 449,000 increase in the last year from countries in Latin America other than Mexico.

• The Department of Homeland Security and other researchers have estimated that eight in 10 illegal immigrants are from Mexico and Latin America, so the increase in immigrants from these countries is an indication that illegal immigration has begun growing again.

• The number of immigrants in the United States is now enormous, but it must be recognized that most immigrants, including those from Latin America, are in the country legally. Absent a change in legal immigration policy, the immigrant population will continue to increase.

 

USCIS Chief says U.S. immigration laws are unjust

Leaders of our Federal government have said some pretty eyebrow-raising things in recent years, but if there were a contest for the most shocking of all, it’d be hard to top this:

Leon Rodriguez, head of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, one of the main branches of the DHS, announced recently that the laws he swore to enforce are unjust.  We knew they weren’t being enforced adequately so maybe this is his excuse.  However, he doesn’t seem to object to receiving a comfortable salary for sitting in the seat of chief administrator of immigration services.
 
Read about this bizarre development below.
 
USCIS Chief Says U.S. Immigration Laws are Unjust; He Should Resign
By Ira Mehlman, Federation for American Immigration Reform
May 16, 2015
 
Leon Rodriguez, director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) agency said on Wednesday [May 13] that U.S. immigration laws are unjust and do not reflect our nation’s values. Mr. Rodriguez, like every other American, is entitled to his opinion. He should not be entitled to remain director of USCIS, however.
 
It is clear that Rodriguez assumed his current position and took his oath to uphold the laws of the United States under false pretenses. Moreover, he cannot be expected to faithfully carry out laws that, as a matter of conscience, he believes to be unjust. His only legal and ethical option is to resign his post immediately.
 
Speaking to the Catholic Legal Immigration Network in Salt Lake City, Rodriguez observed that among the laws and regulations governing U.S. immigration policy, “You will never once see the word ‘justice.’” I haven’t read through the countless volumes that make up the U.S. immigration code, but I’ll take his word for it. I seriously doubt you will find the word justice in the tax code, or any of the other voluminous sets of laws that govern and regulate how our country operates.
 
The function of the immigration code is to regulate the influx of foreign nationals to the U.S. By necessity, that entails disappointing a lot of people. Being told “no” might not feel good; but it is not necessarily an injustice.
 
Perhaps most importantly, Rodriguez’s comments represent a fundamental misunderstanding of who U.S. immigration laws are meant to serve – and he is not alone in this misperception. First and foremost they are meant to serve and protect the interests and security of the American people. Aspiring immigrants have an interest in U.S. immigration policy, but the stakeholders are American citizens: workers, taxpayers, and parents of future generations of Americans.
 
The refusal of Mr. Rodriguez and the president he serves to conscientiously enforce laws meant to protect the interests of the American people is unjust, not the laws themselves. The millions of Americans who lose jobs and wages to illegal aliens, the taxpayers who shell out about $100 billion a year to provide basic services to illegal aliens, the thousands of Americans who are victimized by criminal aliens, and future generations of Americans who will live with the social and environmental consequences of current immigration policies, could use a little justice too. But they won’t get it from Mr. Rodriguez.
 

DHS caught busing in illegal Somalis from Mexican border

The U.S. is bringing in 100,000 Muslims every year through legal channels such as the United Nations refugee program and various visa programs, but new reports indicate a pipeline has been established through the southern border with the help of the federal agency whose job it is to protect the homeland.

They are coming from Somalia and other African nations, according to a Homeland Security official who was caught recently transporting a busload of Africans to a detention center near Victorville, California.

Somalia is the home base of al-Shabab, a designated foreign terrorist organization that slaughtered 147 Christians at a university in Kenya just last month. It executed another 67 at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2013, and has put out warnings that it will target malls in Canada and the U.S. Dozens of Somali refugees in the U.S. have been arrested, charged and convicted of providing support to overseas terrorist organizations over the past few years.

Libya is also awash in Islamist terror following the death of Moammar Gadhafi in 2011. ISIS beheaded 21 Coptic Christians on a Libyan beach in February.

So when Anita Fuentes of OpenYourEyesPeople.com posted a video of a U.S. Department of Homeland Security bus pulling into a Shell station in Victorville, on the night of May 7, admitting he had a busload of Somalis and other Africans who had crossed the southern border, it raised more than a few eyebrows among those concerned with illegal immigration and national security.

A man who appeared to be a Customs and Border Patrol agent was filmed at the gas station at 10:30 p.m. When questioned by Fuentes, he informed her that his large touring bus was full of Somalis and other Africans being transported to a nearby detention center.

The tour bus had the U.S. Homeland Security logo, and the agent appeared calm and professional.

The windows to the bus were covered. When asked if he was transporting illegal immigrants, the driver said, “No, we ended up taking some people to a detention facility. Somalis and all the Africans.”

Watch video clip of border officials admitting they are bringing in Somalis and other Africans from the southern border.

             “A detention center over here?” Fuentes asks.

“Yeah,” he said.

Victorville is about 161 miles from the Mexican border.

“Is that because they’re crossing the border?” Fuentes asked.

“Well they’re coming in asking for asylum,” he said.

“That’s what it is, that special key word huh? That’s a password now?” Fuentes said.

“That’s what the password is now,” he responds.

The flow of information stopped when Fuentes asked about the presence of ISIS near the border, a story which the watchdog agency Judicial Watch reported last month.

“ISIS being at the border?” she asks.

“I’m not going to talk to you when you’re recording me, ma’am,” the agent says. “Any information you want ma’am, go ahead and look it up online.”

A small part of a larger story

More than 100,000 Somalis have been brought to the United States legally since 1991 through the U.N. refugee resettlement program. Close to half of them have been resettled in Minnesota, with the rest dispersed throughout Ohio, Maine, California, Texas, Idaho, Tennessee, Colorado, Georgia and several other states.

The Somali community in Minnesota has had well-documented problems assimilating, running up a troubling record of crime and radicalization. Scores of Somalis have been arrested and charged with providing material support to overseas terrorist organizations such as al-Shabab, al-Qaida and ISIS.

Others have left the country to fight for al-Shabab and ISIS, including six from Minnesota last month who were arrested after making repeated attempts to leave the country to join ISIS. That prompted the U.S. attorney for Minnesota, Andrew Luger, to admit in a April 20 press conference that “we have a terror recruitment problem in Minnesota.”

At least two Somalis in Columbus, Ohio, have also been arrested on terrorism charges.

While most of the Somalis have been brought into the U.S. by the U.S. State Department in cooperation with the United Nations, exactly how many Somalis may be entering the country illegally and applying for asylum is difficult to ascertain.

According to official DHS data, 688 Somalis entered the U.S. as asylum seekers between 2004 and 2013.

Asylum seekers from other African countries with radical Muslim populations are also showing up at the border. According to DHS data, 139 Libyans crossed into the U.S. between 2011 and 2013, while only 20 had made the risky trek between 2004 and 2010 when dictator Moammar Gadhafi was in power.

The number of Eritreans and Ethiopians showing up at the U.S. border and seeking asylum is also growing: 1,495 came from Eritrea between 2004 and 2013, and 5,863 came from Ethiopia.

The Washington Times, among other publications, has published stories about the harrowing journeys some Somalis have been willing to endure to get to the U.S. They make their way across the Horn of Africa, cross the Atlantic by stowing away in cargo ships before landing at a port in Brazil or Argentina. From there they travel by land through Central America and Mexico to arrive at the U.S. border. Until last year, at least some of them were deported. Now, word is spreading that U.S. border policy has changed so more are showing up with the one word they know of English – “asylum.”

Numbers likely higher

A Customs and Border Patrol agent, who asked not to be identified, told WND that many more Africans and Middle Easterners are likely crossing over the Mexican border than what DHS is willing to admit.

“You’re not going to get an honest number, because they all want to look good and get promotions from the people in D.C.,” the border agent told WND. “I’m absolutely confident that is happening.”

image: http://www.wnd.com/files/2015/05/graphic-on-border-crossings.jpg

graphic on border crossings

That’s why the video is raising eyebrows, because the agent appears unfazed, as though transferring busloads of Somalis and Africans to detention facilities is a routine task.

Once at the detention facility, asylum seekers are often asked to fill out legal documents, given a court date and set free.

“There’s an ICE facility up that way, so that’s where that bus was likely heading,” the Border Patrol agent said. “That doesn’t surprise me. My guess is those are probably coming through Arizona because Arizona is still the biggest pure hole in the southern border we have. The Casa Grande area of Arizona is just the wild West. It’s on an Indian reservation, and they’ve been battling the Border Patrol forever. There are no barriers, not even a barbed-wire fence. But this administration’s done everything they can do to shut down ICE from doing its job.”

Asylum seekers are required to show they belong to a group of individuals who are suffering from a “pattern and practice” of persecution, either from their native country’s government or from non-government entities that the government is unable or unwilling to control.

The Obama administration has decided to spend $2 million to hire attorneys for alien minors seeking asylum in the U.S. this year, Judicial Watch reported.

After filming the busload of African asylum seekers in Victorville, Fuentes posted on her YouTube account that they were being taken to a detention center in the high desert, thumb printed, and let go.

“My friends, many Somalians are Muslim and many Africans especially in the northern region of Africa are radical Islam terrorists. Lord have mercy,” wrote Fuentes, whose husband, Ignacio, is a pastor.

William Gheen, president of the Americans for Legal Immigration, or ALIPAC, said the word “asylum” has indeed become the password for foreign nationals showing up at the border. They will be taken to a detention center to be processed and given a court date along with contact information for an asylum attorney and a religious charity that will help them find housing, food and clothing.

“And they will even be given instructions on how to get their Obamaphone,” he said.

“And that video is further clear evidence that Obama and his administration is involved in a conspiracy to overthrow America’s defenses, laws, borders and republic by flooding America with as many people as possible who will be dependent on the system and the socialists who helped them,” Gheen told WND. “He’s going for broke because he knows that (Mitch) McConnell, (John) Boehner and the other sell-out Republicans won’t stop him.

“In fact, many of those Republicans are now voting for his Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal and trying to get him more bodies, more non-Americans, into America. The name of the game is to get as many non-Americans with alien perspectives and principles into America so that America’s condition becomes terminal.”

After announcing his plans on Nov. 20 to unilaterally grant amnesty to more than 5 million illegals, Obama created the White House Task Force on New Americans. The task force released its long-awaited report last month. It contained 70 pages of goals, guidelines and strategies that involved using 16 federal agencies, including DHS, to build “welcoming” communities across the U.S. that would work to “integrate” the record numbers of new immigrants and refugees.

“We’re fighting against every avenue we can, but our fight right now is to try to slow them down and try to save every life we can and every job we can,” Gheen said. “Tens of thousands more lives and jobs will be lost if we lose this fight.”

The U.S. allows 1.1 million immigrants into the country annually through legal channels, and another 486,000 crossed the southern border illegally in 2014, according to U.S. Customs and Border Patrol. Taken together, that’s 1.6 million new immigrants each year, which is at historically high levels even for the U.S., which is known as a “nation of immigrants.”

“That’s more than any other nation on earth,” Gheen said.

 

This Wednesday - visit the office of Rep. Bonamici and urge her to reject Fast Track for the Trans-Pacific Partnership

Alert date: 
2015-05-04
Alert body: 

Please take action this week to convince Representative Bonamici that Fast Track is a bad deal for Oregon. Legislation to enact Fast Track for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) may head to the House floor next week. But our opponents don't yet have the votes to pass Fast Track, and they're scared of the immense public opposition they’ve seen from folks like you. That’s why they’re pulling out all the stops.

This Thursday, the President is flying all the way to Portland to woo Oregon’s Members of Congress at a fundraiser and try to gain their support for Fast Track and the TPP. He will continue his Fast Track and TPP promotional tour on Friday when he visits Nike headquarters. But the President and multinational corporations are not Rep. Bonamici’s constituents -- it’s up to us to make sure she knows that the people who she was elected to represent adamantly oppose Fast Track. The “Drop-In Hang-Out” lobby day is designed to do just that!

Here's the drill: Go into the office and ask to speak to the Representative; if she is unavailable, share your concerns about Fast Track with the staff and give them our Fast Track opposition letter to hand to Rep. Bonamici (see below); and then just hang out until the hour is up (or as long as you can). This is a peaceful demonstration designed to keep the consequences of a vote for Fast Track in the forefront of Rep. Bonamici’s mind all day!  

** Rep. Bonamici seems to be leaning toward supporting this year's Fast Track legislation. But with enough pressure we can get her to oppose it, just as we did last year! **

Wed. 5/6

10:00am-5:00pm

(~1 hr. shifts)

“Drop-in Hang-out” Lobby Day at Bonamici’s office

(RSVP HERE)

12725 SW Millikan Way, Suite 220, Beaverton

Click here for the Fast Track opposition letter to leave behind with the staff.

The letter is pretty thorough, but if you want more info to prepare for your visit, Click here for the latest talking points on the Ryan-Hatch Fast Track bill. You can also Click here for a few quick common rebuttals to Fast Track proponents.

Thank you!

If you have any questions, please contact ORFTC Trade Justice Organizer Robyn Gottlieb at robyn@citizenstrade.org.

The Subversive Trans-Pacific Partnership

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has been described as a "stealthy delivery mechanism for policies that could not survive public scrutiny," and focuses on curtailing government at all levels. In addition, it encourages trade that would harm communities and the environment­.18 Recent revelations expose the Trans-Pacific Partnership as a transnational corporate coup.13 

The TPP is a multinational trade agreement, negotiated in secret meetings dominated by governments and 500 trans-national corporate interests16. Although still under negotiation, the media has virtually blacked out coverage of the TPP.8

It has been reported that former US Trade Representative Ron Kirk stated that if the people knew what was in the TPP agreement, it would raise such opposition that it could make the deal impossible to sign.

TPP Overview

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a fundamental component of President Obama’s continuing economic agenda. It would grant a broad range of powers to trans-national corporations based overseas. According to the New York Times:

Under the accord, still under negotiation but nearing completion, companies and investors would be empowered to challenge regulations, rules, government actions and court rulings — federal, state or local — before tribunals organized under the World Bank or the United Nations... critics, including many Democrats in Congress, argue that the planned deal widens the opening for multinationals to sue in the United States and elsewhere, giving greater priority to protecting corporate interests than promoting free trade and competition that benefits consumers.12

The TPP is the largest pending economic treaty in history and includes countries that represent more than 40 per cent of the world´s GDP. Current TPP negotiation members include the United States, Japan, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Malaysia, Chile, Singapore, Peru, Vietnam, New Zealand and Brunei.13

The TPP is a "docking" agreement, which means that any country in the TPP region (e.g., China) can add themselves just by signing on.15 The TPP would be forever. Unlike domestic laws, it would have no expiration date. It could be altered only by a consensus of all signatories.20

Ongoing TPP negotiations have been conducted in secrecy since 2008 and are now in the final stages. The Obama administration is attempting to "fast-track" the treaty through Congress so that elected officials will have no ability to review or comment on provisions. Fast track is implemented by Congress passing Trade Promotion Authority, which means that Congress surrenders all rights to amend the TPP treaty and is only allowed to vote yes or no on Obama’s final deal.9

Some of the more concerning aspects of the TPP are discussed below.

Immigration

The US Constitution gives Congress exclusive authority over immigration, immigrants, and work authorizations. Yet fast-track trade legislation essentially relinquishes that authority to the President.

NumbersUSA has pointed out that as a result of fast-track trade authority on the TPP, any President could much more easily expand guest worker programs without public debate. Indeed, that occurred under President Bush during five years of fast-track authority.17 As a result, in 2003, Congress objected to President Bush including immigration in trade agreements with a resolution that began:

Resolved, That it is the sense of the Senate that

(1) trade agreements are not the appropriate vehicle for enacting immigration-related laws or modifying current immigration policy; and

(2) future trade agreements to which the United States is a party and the legislation implementing the agreements should not contain immigration-related provisions.17

The Hill recently reported that:

TPP's provisions are largely secret but, according to Curtis Ellis of the American Jobs Alliance, the U.S. Trade Representative revealed that "temporary entry" guest worker visas are a "key feature" of the pact. Ellis said that Obama Administration previously used the U.S.-South Korea trade pact to expand the length of time a L-1 visa holder can work in the U.S. That pact is viewed as a model for negotiating the TPP.17

As a result of these concerns, NumbersUSA sent notices to members of Congress reading in part:

Despite a U.S. labor force participation rate that is at its lowest level since 1978, President Obama wants to use the TPP to further reduce the jobs available to U.S. workers and instead reserve certain jobs for foreign workers under the agreement. It is indefensible that Congress would now consider surrendering even more of its authority over immigration to this President in order to fast track a trade agreement that will harm American workers, and the text of which Congress has not even seen.17

Environment

In an analysis of the leaked TPP “Investment” chapter13, Public Citizen observes that:

The leaked text would empower foreign firms to directly “sue” signatory governments in extrajudicial investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) tribunals over domestic policies that apply equally to domestic and foreign firms that foreign firms claim violate their new substantive investor rights. There they could demand taxpayer compensation for domestic financial, health, environmental, land use and other policies and government actions they claim undermine TPP foreign investor privileges, such as the “right” to a regulatory framework that conforms to their “expectations.”19

Thus, the TPP would elevate foreign-owned corporations to the same status as sovereign governments. These corporations would be able to challenge in foreign tribunals any environmental laws and regulations that they deemed a threat to their profitability. For example, provisions would disadvantage organic farmers and those who adopt more environmentally-sound farming practices.18

TPP will limit GMO food labeling and will allow the import of foods and goods that do not meet US safe standards.20 As US News reports:

Many jurisdictions have policies to promote opportunity and ameliorate the severity of market forces. These include minimum wage laws, laws requiring employers to offer health insurance, regulations covering product safety, work-place safety, environmental protection, and more. All of these protections are at risk under the TPP. For example, the pact would prevent communities from deciding whether or not they want fracking in their area.18

Intellectual Property

The TPP would extend copyright beyond the international 50 year standard after an author’s death by an additional 20 years, thus effectively prohibiting works from entering the public domain.3

Article 16 of the TPP wants signatories to find legal incentives to strong-arm ISPs into privately enforcing TPP copyright rules. The result could be arbitrary filtering of content, complete blockage of websites, and disclosure of ISP customer identities.3

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has expressed serious concern that the TPP will:

  • Place Greater Liability on Internet Intermediaries, as noted above.
  • Compel signatory nations to enact laws banning circumvention of digital locks on movies on DVDs, video games, and players, and for embedded software.
  • Create New Threats for Journalists and Whistleblowers.
  • Enact a "Three-Step Test" Language That Puts Restrictions on Fair Use.
  • Adopt Criminal Sanctions: Adopt criminal sanctions for copyright infringement that is done without a commercial motivation.1

The EFF notes that:

TPP raises significant concerns about citizens’ freedom of expression, due process, innovation, the future of the Internet’s global infrastructure, and the right of sovereign nations to develop policies and laws that best meet their domestic priorities. In sum, the TPP puts at risk some of the most fundamental rights that enable access to knowledge for the world’s citizens."1

Critics of the TPP say it would result in increased drug prices and could give surgeons patent protection for their procedures.14

Corporate tribunals override national sovereignty

A TPP leaked document made public by Wikileaks reveals that:

Under the accord, still under negotiation but nearing completion, companies and investors would be empowered to challenge regulations, rules, government actions and court rulings -- federal, state or local -- before tribunals organized under the World Bank or the United Nations.13

The Huffington Post emphasizes the point:

Let that sink in for a moment: "[C]ompanies and investors would be empowered to challenge regulations, rules, government actions and court rulings -- federal, state or local -- before tribunals...." And they can collect not just for lost property or seized assets; they can collect if laws or regulations interfere with these giant companies' ability to collect what they claim are "expected future profits."16

The New York Times observes:

In all, according to Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, about 9,000 foreign-owned firms operating in the United States would be empowered to bring cases against governments here. Those are as diverse as timber and mining companies in Australia and investment conglomerates from China whose subsidiaries in Trans-Pacific Partnership countries like Vietnam and New Zealand also have ventures in the United States.

More than 18,000 companies based in the United States would gain new powers to go after the other 11 countries in the accord…

Under the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a member nation would be forbidden from favoring “goods produced in its territory.”14

This is really troubling,” said Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York, the Senate’s No. 3 Democrat. “It seems to indicate that savvy, deep-pocketed foreign conglomerates could challenge a broad range of laws we pass at every level of government, such as made-in-America laws or anti-tobacco laws. I think people on both sides of the aisle will have trouble with this.”14

Conclusion

From what we now know, the Trans-Pacific Partnership represents a distinct and significant threat to national sovereignty and the ability of any member nation – including the United States – to regulate its trade, intellectual property, environment, and immigration.

Most troubling is what we don’t yet know about the secretive TPP.

In the interests of America and all Americans, Congress is obligated to deny fast-track TPA authority on the TPP and to reject the TPP in its entirety.

 

The author, Fred Elbel, is the OFIR webmaster and director of Colorado Alliance for Immigration Reform.

References

1. What is TPP, Electronic Frontier Foundation

2. What Is Wrong With the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Electronic Frontier Foundation, August 21, 2012 - one-page overview

3. What is the TPP, and why should you care?, Naked Security, August 28, 2012

4. Obama secretly signing away U.S. sovereignty, WorldNetDaily, October 16, 2013

5. Thanks to WikiLeaks, we see just how bad TPP trade deal is for regular people, The Guardian, November 13, 2013

6. Trash the TPP: Why It's Time to Revolt Against the Worst "Trade Agreement" in History, Occupy.com, July 19, 2013

7. Leaked TPP Intellectual Property Chapter from May 2014, Electronic Frontier Foundation, May 2014

8. Media Leave Viewers In The Dark About Trans-Pacific Partnership, Media Matters, February 9, 2014

9. Immigration, Outsourcing And Now Fast-Tracking TP - When Will GOP Stand Up For Americans?, Patrick J. Buchanan, VDare, January 31, 2015

Following the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, we threw open America’s doors to a flood of immigrants, legal and illegal. Some 40-50 million have poured in, an unprecedented expansion of the labor force.

Thus, “free-trade” Republicans and their collaborators in the Business Roundtable and U.S. Chamber of Commerce decided to drop the U.S. labor force into a worldwide labor pool where the average wage was but a tiny fraction of an American living wage.

Like NAFTA and GATT, the Trans-Pacific Partnership is an enabling act for multinationals to move freely to where it is cheapest to produce while securing access to where it is most profitable to sell.

10. Obama's next immigration scam - Guest workers get free pass in so-called free-trade TPP agreement, World Net Daily, March 14, 2015

11. Democrats Blast Obama’s Secret Trade Negotiations, Limits To Growth, March 18, 2015

12. Trans-Pacific Partnership Seen as Door for Foreign Suits Against U.S., New York Times, March 25, 2015

13. Secret Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) - Investment Chapter, Wikileaks, March 25, 2015

Read the full Secret Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) - Investment Chapter, Wikileaks, March 25, 2015

The TPP Investment Chapter is dated 20 January 2015. The document is classified and supposed to be kept secret for four years after the entry into force of the TPP agreement or, if no agreement is reached, for four years from the close of the negotiations.

Julian Assange, WikiLeaks editor said: "The TPP has developed in secret an unaccountable supranational court for multinationals to sue states. This system is a challenge to parliamentary and judicial sovereignty. Similar tribunals have already been shown to chill the adoption of sane environmental protection, public health and public transport policies."

Current TPP negotiation member states are the United States, Japan, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Malaysia, Chile, Singapore, Peru, Vietnam, New Zealand and Brunei. The TPP is the largest economic treaty in history, including countries that represent more than 40 per cent of the world´s GDP.

14. Trans-Pacific Partnership Seen as Door for Foreign Suits Against U.S,, The Guardian, March 25, 2015

15. Corporate Sovereignty Provisions Of TPP Agreement Would Massively Undermine Government Sovereignty, TechDirt, March 26, 2015

16. Now We Know Why Huge TPP Trade Deal Is Kept Secret From the Public, Huffington Post, March 27, 2015

17. We join unions, environmentalists and more in broad coalition against threat of anti-worker trade bill, NumbersUSA, April 14, 2015

18. Obama's Pacific Trade Deal Is No Deal At All - These trade negotiations are about corporations seeking to prevent competition, U.S. News and World Report, April 19, 2015

19. Analysis of Leaked Trans-Pacific Partnership Investment Text, Public Citizen, March 25, 2015

20. Stop TPP – The Facts

10 Ways The TPP Would Hurt U.S. Working Families

21  Stop The TPP, Communications Workers of America

It is critical to kill fast-track authority for the TPA - today!

Alert date: 
2015-04-15
Alert body: 

It is critical to kill fast-track authority for the TPA - today!

From NumbersUSA:

NumbersUSA is opposing the corporate lobbies, Pres. Obama and Republican congressional leaders who together are trying to pass a Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill that would likely lead to cutting the American people out of future decisions about certain flows of foreign workers.

International courts -- not American officials elected by the American people -- would have authority over these worker flows.

Will you help us try to stop this in at least one of the committees today? Take the action below:

OFIR members and supporters, Please call members of Oregon’s Congressional delegation and also as many of the Committee members listed below that you can.  Tell them to vote No on the Pacific Fair Trade deal.  You can call the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask to speak to any Senator or Representative.  Detailed contact information for the Oregon delegation is posted on the OFIR website at: http://www.oregonir.org/how-contact-oregon-congressional-delegation


Call Committee Members Today

Capitol Switchboard
(202) 224-3121


The vote to move the TPA bill to the floor of the House or Senate could come today in the House Ways & Means Committee or the Senate Finance Committee.

Below the red action box, you'll find a list of committee Members. Use the Capitol Hill switchboard number listed above or the direct-dial numbers that we've provided. Call Members from your state or a neighbor.

You can use any of the many talking points that are contained in the blog I've attached below the phone numbers. Or use this one:

I'm very troubled (concerned/frightened/outraged/upset) by the Trade Promotion Authority bill. I hope it is defeated. That bill would allow the President in trade treaties to commit America to giving guaranteed numbers of U.S. jobs to foreign workers without Congress' approval. Immigration should never be part of a trade agreement. Our elected officials should never have their hands tied to keep them from changing immigration numbers to best serve American workers.

 

Also, make sure you have sent your faxes from your Action Board.
 

Fax Congress

SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE
 

Michael Bennet (D-CO) -- 202-224-5852

Tom Carper (D-DE) -- 202-224-2441

Bill Nelson (D-FL) -- 202-224-5274
Johnny Isakson (R-GA) -- 202-224-3643
Chuck Grassley (R-IA) -- 202-224-3744
Mike Crapo (R-ID) -- 202-224-6142
Dan Coats (R-IN) -- 202-224-5623
Pat Roberts (R-KS) -- 202-224-4774
Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD) -- 202-224-4524
Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) -- 202-224-4822
Richard Burr (R-NC) -- 202-224-3154
Robert Menendez (D-NJ) -- 202-224-4744
Dean Heller (R-NV) -- 202-224-6244
Charles E. (Chuck) Schumer (D-NY) -- 202-224-6542
Sherrod Brown (D-OH) -- 202-224-2315
Rob Portman (R-OH) -- 202-224-3353
Ron Wyden (D-OR) -- 202-224-5244
Robert P. Casey, Jr. (D-PA) -- 202-224-6324
Pat Toomey (R-PA) -- 202-224-4254
Tim Scott (R-SC) -- 202-224-6121
John Thune (R-SD) -- 202-224-2321
John Cornyn (R-TX) -- 202-224-2934
Orrin G. Hatch (R-UT) -- 202-224-5251
Mark R. Warner (D-VA) -- 202-224-2023
Maria Cantwell (D-WA) -- 202-224-3441
Mike Enzi (R-WY) -- 202-224-3424

HOUSE WAYS & MEANS COMMITTEE

Xavier Becerra (D-CA) -- 202-225-6235
Devin Nunes (R-CA) -- 202-225-2523
Linda Sanchez (D-CA) -- 202-225-6676
Mike Thompson (D-CA) -- 202-225-3311
John Larson (D-CT) -- 202-225-2265
Vern Buchanan (R-FL) -- 202-225-5015
John Lewis (D-GA) -- 202-225-3801
Tom Price (R-GA) -- 202-225-4501
Danny K. Davis (D-IL) -- 202-225-5006
Peter Roskam (R-IL) -- 202-225-4561
Todd Young (R-IN) -- 202-225-5315
Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) -- 202-225-6601
Charles W. Boustany, Jr. (R-LA) -- 202-225-2031
Richard E. Neal (D-MA) -- 202-225-5601
Sandy Levin (D-MI) -- 202-225-4961
Erik Paulsen (R-MN) -- 202-225-2871
Jason T. Smith (R-MO) -- 202-225-4404
George Holding (R-NC) -- 202-225-3032
Adrian Smith (R-NE) -- 202-225-6435
Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) -- 202-225-5751
Joseph Crowley (D-NY) -- 202-225-3965
Charles B. Rangel (D-NY) -- 202-225-4365
Tom Reed (R-NY) -- 202-225-3161
James B. Renacci (R-OH) -- 202-225-3876
Patrick J. Tiberi (R-OH) -- 202-225-5355
Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) -- 202-225-4811
Mike Kelly (R-PA) -- 202-225-5406
Patrick Meehan (R-PA) -- 202-225-2011
Kristi Noem (R-SD) -- 202-225-2801
Diane Black (R-TN) -- 202-225-4231
Kevin Brady (R-TX) -- 202-225-4901
Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) -- 202-225-4865
Sam Johnson (R-TX) -- 202-225-4201
Kenny Marchant (R-TX) -- 202-225-6605
Jim McDermott (D-WA) -- 202-225-3106
Dave Reichert (R-WA) -- 202-225-7761
Ron Kind (D-WI) -- 202-225-5506
Paul Ryan (R-WI) -- 202-225-3031

 


WE'RE MAINLY DEPENDING ON DEMOCRATS

We have a chance for victory primarily because most Democrats in Congress appear ready to side against Pres. Obama and for American workers.

When you call Democrats, urge them to side with the many union organizations that oppose this bill. We need to work to hold as many Democrats as possible.

The margin of victory then will have to come from persuading enough Republicans to side against the corporate lobbies and for American workers.

We have sent notices to every Member of Congress that read:

NumbersUSA will score a vote for Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) as a vote against American workers.

President Obama has made it abundantly clear that he believes he has virtually unfettered authority to change U.S. immigration law. It should not be surprising, therefore, that his administration is attempting to use the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement to commit America to immigration increases that Congress has neither debated nor approved.

Despite a U.S. labor force participation rate that is at its lowest level since 1978, President Obama wants to use the TPP to further reduce the jobs available to U.S. workers and instead reserve certain jobs for foreign workers under the agreement. It is indefensible that Congress would now consider surrendering even more of its authority over immigration to this President in order to fast track a trade agreement that will harm American workers, and the text of which Congress has not even seen.

Therefore, NumbersUSA will score a vote for TPA as a vote for continued executive overreach and a vote against American workers. Vote NO on TPA.


WE WON THIS SAME FIGHT WITH THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION

Hundreds of organizations of all kinds of ideologies and interests (unions, environmental, national sovereignty, civil liberties, populist and more) are opposing the trade bill for many different reasons.

OUR REASON: The consequence of passing fast-track trade authority is that any President can much more easily ram through international trade agreements that expand guest worker programs without any public debate.
 

That's what happened under Pres. Bush during the five years he was given fast-track trade authority. His Administration secretly negotiated trade agreements that guaranteed the opportunity for other countries to send certain numbers of their workers to take U.S. jobs. Congress was not allowed to amend the agreements in any way. It either had to approve the whole thing or to reject it entirely and throw international trade concerns into a tizzy.
 

Once a flow of foreign workers is included in a trade treaty, that takes away the ability of future White Houses and Congresses to change those numbers. Instead of the officials elected by the American people having control over immigration and foreign-worker policies, international courts basically are given control over the work visas written into trade agreements.
 

  • Our Constitution gives Congress authority over how many immigrants and work authorizations to approve each year.

  • Our Constitution doesn't give that authority to the President, but fast-track trade legislation essentially does.

  • Our Constitution doesn't give foreign powers and entities the authority over U.S. work permits to foreign workers, but fast-track trade authority essentially does.


In 2007, Congress declined to renew the fast-track trade authority for Presidents, allowing it to expire.

CONGRESS UNANIMOUSLY REJECTED THE IDEA OF IMMIGRATION BEING PART OF TRADE AGREEMENTS

In 2003 in reaction to the Bush Administration including immigration in trade agreements, Congress objected with a strongly worded resolution that was approved UNANIMOUSLY. The resolution began:

Resolved, That it is the sense of the Senate that (1) trade agreements are not the appropriate vehicle for enacting immigration-related laws or modifying current immigration policy; and (2) future trade agreements to which the United States is a party and the legislation implementing the agreements should not contain immigration-related provisions.
The U.S. Trade Representative and the Executive Branch have been on notice since 2003 that they do not have the authority to negotiate immigration provisions in free trade agreements.

Nonetheless, the Obama Administration has been doing just that with the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement that is expected to come up soon.

 

Here is what was reported this week in The Hill newspaper:

TPP's provisions are largely secret but, according to Curtis Ellis of the American Jobs Alliance, the U.S. Trade Representative revealed that "temporary entry" guest worker visas are a "key feature" of the pact. Ellis said that Obama Administration previously used the U.S.-South Korea trade pact to expand the length of time a L-1 visa holder can work in the U.S. That pact is viewed as a model for negotiating the TPP.


NumbersUSA and its national network of citizen activists were often part of coalitions opposing the Bush abuses of trade agreements. And we were in the middle of pressures that led to the congressional pushback in 2003.

Remaining consistent, our network today is mobilized to stop Obama abuses of trade agreements that would guarantee that certain numbers of U.S. jobs may not be held by American workers.
 

 

 

 

Sen. Sessions advises about immigration

 
No one in Congress better understands the challenges facing American workers than Senator Jeff Sessions. This Alabama senator knows that the debate over immigration comes down to three simple questions: Does America have a right to control its borders? Should our immigration laws serve the national interest? And, do Americans have the right to demand that our laws be enforced?
 
The answer to all these questions should be a firm “yes.” But you couldn’t tell that, based on what’s going on in Washington. Most so-called “immigration reform” plans cater to business interests and open-borders activists. Senator Sessions says that so-called reform bills are influenced by 1.5 billion dollars of lobbying money.
 
They double the influx of foreign workers, give amnesty to millions of illegal aliens, and destroy enforcement. Special interests love this phony so-called “reform,” but it would leave the American people high and dry.
 
For four decades, the United States has taken in immigrants in vast numbers, but more Americans are now on welfare, and good middle-class jobs have been exported to cheap-labor countries. The so-called immigration reforms promoted by the Chamber of Commerce would make these problems even worse.
 
Senator Sessions recently provided all members of Congress with an Immigration Handbook, which offers guiding principles for immigration policy. Above all, he wants an immigration system that serves the interests of American citizens.
 
To keep our country safe, we must secure the border and keep track of everyone in our country on a visa. To help our country prosper, we need to limit visas and stop employers from hiring illegals.
 
Taking Senator Sessions’ advice would stop the downward pressure on wages and enable Americans to find better-paying jobs. Senator Sessions knows what sensible immigration policy should look like. …
 
 

What Is The Optimum Level of Immigration To The United States?

The above question presumes that there is a rational immigration policy that serves the national interest. But, there isn’t. What serves as a policy is a hodge-podge of disparate provisions that respond to particular interests. The largest of those interests is that of earlier immigrants who want to sponsor family members and other co-nationals. Employers in various sectors of the economy have vested interest in an increased supply of workers looking for work. Real estate developers and home builders are buoyed by a growing population fueled by immigration. And among these and many other special interests are those who simply believe the policy should be based on taking in the ‘tired and poor yearning to breathe free’ and one-worlders who reject the idea of borders.
 
All of those vested interests and ideological or religious positions fail to recognize a need for immigration limits – or at least a limit that would run counter to their position. Add to this mix of interests promoting mass immigration the fact that most politicians – at both the local and national level – see immigration as a political issue on which they can accommodate constituent interests by supporting increases in various categories of immigration.
 
FAIR is one of the few organizations that advocates for an immigration policy in the national interest. Our view that there must be rational limits to immigration is not unique, however. The last time a national commission was established to study immigration policy and make recommendations was when the U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform (USCIR) was established in the early 1990s. It issued a series of reports between 1994 and 1997. Among its recommendations, “It concluded that the current immigration system’s core element of chain migration [family–sponsored preferences] was not in accord with national interests and urged the adoption of a new system scaling back significantly on overall immigration levels. See U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform. The recommended base annual level was set at 550,000 immigrants per year. That was about a third lower than the level of entries at that time, and much lower than the current rate of more than a million new legal immigrants per year. The Commission also found that admitting unskilled immigrants sponsored by an employer made no sense because of the competition with the nation’s own unskilled workers, and it found no justification for continuing a visa lottery to promote greater diversity in the flow of immigrants.
 
FAIR supported the recommendations of the Commission, although they did not go as far as necessary, in FAIR’s opinion, in reducing immigration as would be necessary to bring immigration policy into line with long-term national interests.
 
What is the long-term interest? That focus is consistently missed in the plethora of speeches and policy papers and studies focused on immigration policy, including the reports of the USCIR. The long-term focuses on the fact that we live in a world of limited resources – land, food production, fresh water, hydrocarbons (wood, coal, petroleum, etc.), minerals, etc. The world’s rapidly growing population is increasingly challenging those limits. That is the consensus of national and international experts including those of the United Nations Population Division. There is international consensus on the need to stop the rapid population growth currently projected to result in a global population of about 11 billion people by the end of the century – up from about 7.2 billion today. That projection has dire implications for all of the reasons related to limited resources – especially food production.
 
The United States is much better able to cope with dwindling world resources than other countries because we are endowed with a vast area and natural resources, but that does not mean that we can ignore the fact that we too face finite limits. The country is already facing fresh water scarcity in large areas of the country and currently enhanced petroleum extraction does not mean that finite national supplies are limitless.
 
The U.S. population soared from less than 180 million persons in 1960 to 319 million today according to Census Bureau statistics. That is an increase of nearly 80 percent in 54 years. Immigration is the largest component of that increase. At the present time about 75 percent of U.S. population increase is due to new immigration and the children born here to those new immigrants. That share of overall population increase has been steadily rising and is projected by the Pew Hispanic Center to rise to about 82 percent by 2050, based on current immigrant intake. But Congress has been considering a so-called ‘comprehensive immigration reform’ proposal – passed by the U.S. Senate last year – that would vastly expand the volume of immigrant arrivals.
 
The proponents of this ‘comprehensive’ measure represent the same collection of vested interests that has resisted the reform recommendations of the USCIR and has asserted that the reforms that would benefit them would be in the country’s interest. They ignore entirely the issue of long-term limits. That is one of the key why FAIR has opposed this legislation even though it includes a few of the policy changes recommended by the USCIR.
 
So what would be the immigration limits that would be in the U.S. national interest and why?
 
Obviously, the United States cannot stop world population growth by limiting U.S. population growth, but it can contribute to it. By working towards a stable U.S. population at a level that is sustainable in the long term, the country will be increasing its capability to assist other countries that are not as fortunate in natural resources.
 
The first objective of a rational long-term immigration policy should be one that contributes to U.S. population stability. That does not mean stopping immigration, but it does mean bringing the quantity of newcomers admitted into line with the number of U.S. residents leaving the country to live abroad. That level at present is estimated to be about 350,000 persons annually. That level is significantly higher than the average annual immigration intake between1925-1975. Clearly with a reduced level of immigration, the policy should assure that those arriving are those invited to join our society rather than those who arrive in violation of our immigration law.
 
Longer term, immigration policy should be tied to the country’s ability to support the population, i.e., its carrying capacity. Within that limit, it is fair for the vested interests that benefit from immigration to make their case for their interests, but only within the limits dictated by the overall long-term interests of the nation.
 
A succinct academic look at the issue of international population increase and carrying capacity is here.    
 

How immigration became a big problem in the U.S.

 
by Elizabeth Van Staaveren
 
Many people who never thought much about immigration before are beginning to ask, how did our country get into the current situation, and why is it so hard to manage the out-of-control burgeoning of illegal and legal immigration.
 
The steady increase in volume of immigration began after a new law was passed in 1965, sponsored by Senator Edward Kennedy, which greatly expanded the rules, making it much easier for persons anywhere in the world, to immigrate here.
 
To understand what has happened since then, interested persons can learn much from the books listed below.  These are landmark books on the issue.  They’re arranged by date to show the progression of thinking and writing on the issue.
 
Landmark books on immigration issues
 
Auster, Lawrence, 1949-2013.    The path to national suicide; an essay on immigration and multiculturalism,    Monterey VA, American Immigration Control Foundation, 1990.    90 p.
       The text of this small book can now be viewed or downloaded as a pdf document on this website: http://jtl.org/auster/.  It describes the development of the 1965 law and its course through Congress.
 
Brimelow, Peter.    Alien nation; common sense about America’s immigration disaster.    New York, Random House, 1995.    327 p.
       This book became a national best seller, and Peter Brimelow went on to found the website, VDARE, which he still manages, at http://www.vdare.com/.
 
Beck, Roy.    The case against immigration; the moral, economic, social, and environmental reasons for reducing U.S. immigration back to traditional levels.    New York, W.W. Norton, 1996.    287 p.
       Just after the book was published Roy Beck created and still leads NumbersUSA, a website and organization, which now has over 2 million members.  See http://www.numbersusa.com.
 
Malkin, Michelle.    Invasion; how America still welcomes terrorists, criminals, and other foreign menaces to our shores.    Washington, Regnery Publishing, 2002.    332 p.
       She is a syndicated columnist and maintains a website at:  http://michellemalkin.com/
 
Graham, Otis L., Jr.    Unguarded gates; a history of America’s immigration crisis.    Lanham, Md., Roman & Littlefield,  2004.    242 p.
       Graham is a professor emeritus of history at the Univ. of California, Santa Barbara.  He has served on the Board of Advisors of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) for many years.  See http://www.fairus.org/
 
Tancredo, Tom.    In mortal danger; the battle for America’s border and security.    Nashville, Tenn., WND Books, 2006.    224 p.
       Tancredo served in Congress as a Representative from Colorado from 1999-2009.  While there he formed the House Immigration Reform Caucus, an active group during his tenure.
 
Krikorian, Mark.    The new case against immigration.    New York, Sentinel, 2008.    294 p.   
       Krikorian is Director of the Center for Immigration Studies, Washington DC.
       Contents.-Assimilation: the cracked melting pot.-Mass immigration versus American sovereignty.-National security: safety in lower numbers.-Economy: Cheap labor versus modern America.-Government spending.-Population.-What is to be done?
 
 

Get informed - read the immigration positions of candidates in May primary

Alert date: 
2014-05-03
Alert body: 
 
OFIR is summarizing information on candidates’ positions on immigration issues.  Please view the postings listed at  http://www.oregonir.org/immigration-topics/2014-primary-election
and click on any race for which there is a report.
 

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