jobs

OFIR Membership Meeting Sat. Nov. 18th at 2:00pm

Alert date: 
2017-11-11
Alert body: 

You're invited to attend OFIR's upcoming membership meeting Saturday, Nov. 18th at 2:00pm.

OFIR will provide an update of our progress on Initiative Petition #22 and our efforts to Repeal Oregon's Sanctuary Law.

The NEW signature sheets that include our certified ballot title will be available for those that want to gather signatures of friends, family, neighbors or, who plan to attend an event or particular location to gather signatures.

We'll share many great tips and ideas for successful signature gathering, too.

While the election is a year away, candidates are interested in meeting you and sharing their plans for Oregon with you.  We'll see who stops by to say hello.

We will meet from 2:00 - 4:00pm at the Best Western Mill Creek Inn across from Costco, in Salem.

If you have any questions, please call the OFIR line at 503.435.0141.

Invite a friend to join you!  See you Saturday!

Illegal Aliens Escalate Amnesty Demands, Claim Racism

Top Democrats and business allies invited reporters to a Capitol Hill event to watch illegal immigrants demand amnesty and smear Republicans as racist, in Spanish and broken English.

“I’m here representing all the immigrant mothers like myself, will not allow the government to tear down our sons’ and daughters’ dreams while they try to separate our families,” said Lenka Mendoza, an unskilled illegal alien - saying:

The president does not care about our children and our families. Trump and his government supposed priorities are nothing else but an anti-immigrant and white-supremacist agenda that don’t solve anything … need clean act now.”

Mendoza was welcomed to the podium by Todd Schulte, a Democratic political activist who is president of FWD.us, a lobbying group formed by Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg...

In his October 8 letter to Congress, Trump said:

These findings outline reforms that must be included as part of any legislation addressing the status of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients.  Without these reforms, illegal immigration and chain migration, which severely and unfairly burden American workers and taxpayers, will continue without end.

Immigration reform must create more jobs, higher wages, and greater security for Americans — now and for future generations.  The reforms outlined in the enclosure are necessary to ensure prosperity, opportunity, and safety for every member of our national family.

Instead of urging compromise, Schulte’s speakers upped their demands, saying they want an amnesty for young ‘dreamer’ illegals plus an amnesty for their parents...

The escalating demands and aggressive rhetoric from Schulte’s illegals were much sharper than the prior soft-spoken claims...

A second illegal, Ingrid Vaca, said she arrived in the United States from Bolivia in 2000. “I came to this country with dreams to protect my sons and to give them a better future,” she said in heavily accented English, adding: I would not let anything stand in their way.”

Vaca continued:

DACA away was taken away by Trump and his racist advisors, Jeff Sessions and Steven Miller … We will not let racist men negotiate with our kids’ lives … We will not allow our families to be broken up … A mother’s love is stronger than the racists from the White House.

The escalated demands from the illegal aliens are compatible with Schulte’s goals...

The RAISE Act is a problem for Schulte’s investors because it would halve the inflow of new customers and workers, and –worse — it would prevent the investors from pushing Congress to pass the so-called “staple” green card proposal.

The proposed “staple” visa program would allow foreign students at U.S. universities to receive a green card stapled to their graduate degree. It is very popular among business groups because it would create a huge wave of salary-cutting white-collar competition in the skilled job sectors where young Americans hope to earn a good living. The salary-cutting competition would be intensified by the government’s offer of the very valuable prize of citizenship to foreign graduates who take jobs sought by the 800,000 Americans who graduate from college each year with skilled degrees in business and medicine, engineering, architecture and science, technology, math and chemical engineering.

But Schulte’s investors won’t get their staple proposal — or any increase in white-collar H-1B outsourcing — if Trump and the voters pressure Democrats to accept Trump’s popular immigration principles in exchange for a limited amnesty.

The third illegal alien introduced by Schulte was Luis Condorimay, who migrated to the United States from Peru at age 13 and earned a 2016 degree in chemical engineering. 

An amnesty for just younger illegals is unacceptable if it does not also include their parents, he insisted.  “This is just not something I can do. Would you accept a law where you protect yourself … but hurt your father and mother?”

He also spoke against any border and enforcement upgrades, and described the illegal-alien communities as the victims........

Four million Americans turn 18 each year and begin looking for good jobs in the free market.

But business groups have used their political power to tilt the labor market in their favor,  via the federal policy of importing 1 million consumers and workers each year...

That Washington-imposed economic policy of mass-immigration floods the market with foreign laborspikes profits and Wall Street values by cutting salaries for manual and skilled labor offered by blue-collar and white-collar employees. It also drives up real estate priceswidens wealth-gaps, reduces high-tech investment, increases state and local tax burdens, hurts kids’ schools and college education, pushes Americans away from high-tech careers, and sidelines at least 5 million marginalized Americans and their families, including many who are now struggling with opioid addictions.

The cheap-labor policy has also reduced investment and job creation in many interior states because the coastal cities have a surplus of imported labor...

Americans tell pollsters that they strongly oppose amnesties and cheap-labor immigration, even as most Americans also want to favor legal immigrants, and many sympathize with illegals.

Because of the successful cheap-labor strategy, wages for men have remained flat since 1973, and a growing percentage of the nation’s annual income is shifting to investors and away from employees.

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.

Importing high-tech students and workers

 
A former Senior Special Agent with 30 years of INS service warns that “The notion of flooding America with increasing numbers of foreign high-tech students and foreign high-tech workers is a ‘Lose/Lose’ for America and Americans.”
 
Michael Cutler, writing on the Californians for Population Stabilization website, points out the problems in admitting large numbers of high-tech students who may or may not plan to use their knowledge for peaceful endeavors.  He notes that:
 
“ …today more than 500,000 foreign students are enrolled in universities in the United States to study the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) curricula.
 
“While not all of these students are studying disciplines that have a direct nexus to nuclear technology, many disciplines do intersect with aerospace and nuclear technology. 
 
“Foreign students are permitted to engage in Optional Practical Training to put their education to use and learn how to apply what they have learned in the classrooms and university laboratories in the ‘real world.’ Sometimes these students work for companies that engage in military-related work. …”
 
China sends the second largest number (152,002) of foreign students to the U.S. after India which leads with 173,258, according to current statistics. 
 
Cutler says that China provides technical assistance to North Korea, a country continuously hostile to the U.S.
 
As well as endangering national security, the over-use of student and employee visa programs hurts U.S. citizen workers, which unfortunately is not a concern of some business interests.  Cutler quotes this testimony to Congress in 2009 by Alan Greenspan, the former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank:
 
“…Greatly expanding our quotas for the highly skilled would lower wage premiums of skilled over lesser skilled. Skill shortages in America exist because we are shielding our skilled labor force from world competition. Quotas have been substituted for the wage pricing mechanism. In the process, we have created privileged elite whose incomes are being supported at noncompetitively high levels by immigration quotas on skilled professionals. …”
 
Should immigration policy serve to increase profits for businesses or to protect the safety and well-being of citizens?
 
Besides the safety factor, foreign students have a high rate of overstaying their visas.
 
Click here to read Cutler’s entire article,  America Undermines Its National Security By Educating Its Adversaries.
 

'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.

As California’s labor shortage grows, farmers race to replace workers with robots

Driscoll’s is so secretive about its robotic strawberry picker it won’t let photographers within telephoto range of it.

But if you do get a peek, you won’t see anything humanoid or space-aged. AgroBot is still more John Deere than C-3PO...

Now, the $47-billion agriculture industry is trying to bring technological innovation up to warp speed before it runs out of low-wage immigrant workers.

California will have to remake its fields like it did its factories, with more machines and better-educated workers to labor beside them, or risk losing entire crops, economists say.

“California agriculture just isn’t going to look the same,” said Ed Taylor, a UC Davis rural economist....

Driscoll’s, which grows berries in nearly two dozen countries and is the world’s top berry grower, already is moving its berries to table-top troughs, where they are easier for both human and machines to pick, as it has done over the last decade in Australia and Europe.

“We don’t see — no matter what happens — that the labor problem will be solved,” said Soren Bjorn, president of Driscoll’s of the Americas.

That’s because immigrant farmworkers in California’s agricultural heartlands are getting older and not being replaced. After decades of crackdowns, the net flow across the U.S.-Mexico border reversed in 2005, a trend that accelerated through 2014, according to a Pew Research Center study. And native-born Americans aren’t interested in the job, even at wages that have soared at higher than average rates.

“We’ve been masking this problem all these years with a system that basically allowed you to accept fraudulent documents as legal, and that’s what has been keeping this workforce going,” said Steve Scaroni, whose Fresh Harvest company is among the biggest recruiters of farm labor. “And now we find out we don’t have much of a labor force up here, at least a legal one.

Stated bluntly, there aren’t enough new immigrants for the state’s nearly half-million farm labor jobs — especially as Mexico creates competing manufacturing jobs in its own cities, Taylor said....

Not surprisingly, wages for crop production have climbed 13% from 2010 to 2015 — a higher rate than the state average, according to a Los Angeles Times analysis of Labor Department data.

Growers who can afford it have begun offering savings and health plans more commonly found in white collar jobs. And they’re increasingly turning to foreign guest workers, recruiting 11,000 last year, which is a fivefold jump in just five years, The Times found.

None of that will solve the problem, economists say. Changing what we grow and how we grow it is all that’s left.

Response has been uneven, at best. Vast areas of the Central Valley have switched from labor intensive crops such as grapes or vegetables to almonds, which are mechanically shaken from the tree. The high-value wine grape industry has re-engineered the bulk of its vineyards to allow machines to span the vines like a monorail and strip them of grape clusters or leaves.

Fresno’s raisin industry, however, has a tougher problem to solve on a tighter profit margin. To fully mechanize, it may have to change not just its vineyard design, but the grape variety itself, much like the tomato industry developed a tough skinned Roma to withstand mechanical harvesters.

When labor shortages and price shocks hit in the early 2000s, growers altered vineyards so that machines could shake partially withered Thompson seedless grapes onto paper trays, a method that can slash more than 80% of labor costs, according to U.C. Davis researchers....

It may be too late to mechanize asparagus. The crop, among the most labor-intensive in the state, has gradually shifted to Mexico since trade barriers made it cheaper to grow there, casting a nostalgic pall over Stockton’s asparagus festival.

Last year, farmers in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta area harvested only 8,000 acres of the signature spear, which is depicted on water tanks and town emblems throughout the region. In 2000, they harvested 37,000 acres, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“We’re headed toward zero pretty soon,” said Cherie Watte Angulo, executive director of the California Asparagus Commission....

Even Driscoll’s AgroBot, among the more advanced prototypes in California fields, was picking only a bit more than half the ripe berries in its trials this spring in Camarillo.

“We think we are very close, but every day we try to make the next step. We see new things we need to solve,” said Juan Bravo, the Spanish inventor who is counting on Driscoll’s continued backing for his 10-year endeavor...

The rest of the fruit industry has its eye on AgroBot’s trials, even as it looks to other start-ups such as Abundant Robotics, which hopes to duplicate the dexterity, judgment and perception of human apple pickers. Soft Robotics, based in Cambridge, Mass., boasts that its graspers can pick up a cupcake without damaging the icing.

Frank Maconachy is skeptical of solutions imported from tech centers. His company, Ramsay Highlander, started as a greasy machine shop in the Salinas Valley and slowly migrated toward Silicon Valley instead.

The company, with $15 million in annual sales, builds a fleet of computerized and sensor-driven machines for the lettuce and produce industry — and he is working with AgroBot’s U.S. competitor for strawberry picking, Harvest Croo, based in Plant City, Fla.

An early generation of robotic machine uses a band saw to mow whole rows of baby lettuce and other greens. But when produce giant Taylor Farms tried it on romaine heads, a slight height variation in the beds put the saw right across the heart of the heads, leaving nothing but shredded leaves, Maconachy said.

Maconachy developed a cutter using high-speed water jets. It now cuts all the romaine heads cleanly, and can be adapted for cabbage and celery.

“That machine took the work of 30 people and brought it down to about 12 people,” Maconachy said.

Cutting iceberg heads, especially large ones, remains problematic — it is planted so densely and the heads are so heavy it is difficult to maneuver cutters and graspers into beds. Maconachy thinks he has that engineering problem solved, but can’t raise the capital to develop it.

Ironically, plant scientists may have to reverse their cross-breeding to the original “iceberg” head, nicknamed from the tons of ice it took to keep it cool for cross-country train trips.

The crisphead variety used to be more bulb-shaped, which would give cutters and graspers more room to work, Maconachy said.

Rick Antle, chief executive of Tanimura & Antle, is whittling away at the labor on the planting side. He showed off his own robotic bet, called Planttape. The machine — equally homely as AgroBot — raced down a lettuce field outside Salinas, laying down a long strand of seedlings strung together on a bio-degradable tape, like 9-volt batteries in a 50-caliber machine gun belt.

That was twice the speed of its 35-year-old predecessor, and it required less than a tenth of the labor. To prove his point, Antle ran the old machine, which required three times the workers, on a nearby celery field. “That was it, for 35 years,” Antle said.

Lettuce growers usually plant seed, which can be unreliable, every few inches, then thin the field to fit the maximum number of heads at the optimal spacing. That means scores of workers in the spring have to walk row after row, moving inch by inch to pull seedlings over with a hoe — one of the oldest tools of agriculture.

The computer-guided “See and Spray” machine, developed by Silicon Valley start-up Blue River Technology, can do the work of 20 of those laborers before noon. It is one of five robotic thinners deployed on thousands of acres of summer lettuce in the Salinas Valley.

Diego Alctantar, 25, operated the tractor pulling See and Spray across a recently planted lettuce field near Gilroy. A computer guided jets of fertilizer-infused water to desiccate seedlings according to a kill-or-skip pattern that left nine-inch gaps between heads.

Alcantar, who grew up in the Salinas Valley, thinned lettuce and cut spinach the old way before getting his tractor license a few years ago. “It’s hard labor,” he said. “I have a lot of respect for them.”

The machine is not perfect...

Lane County commissioners weigh protections for local unauthorized immigrants

Lane County commissioners on Tuesday could add new language to the county’s policy manual barring county employees from using public funds to enforce federal immigration laws in most cases.

A board order commissioners are scheduled to vote on Tuesday would add a provision to the Lane County Manual, under “foreign citizenship,” banning the use of money, equipment or personnel for “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 language would allow county staff to help if a federal judge had ordered a person to be arrested for violating federal immigration law. However, such situations appear to be extremely rare.

The language virtually echoes Oregon law, as well as an ordinance the Eugene City Council approved in March. The Oregon law applies to the state and to all political subdivisions in the state, including county governments.

The county move comes amid a national debate over so-called “sanctuary city” policies, and efforts by liberal-leaning states that don’t want to use local staff and money to enforce stricter federal immigration policies sought by President Donald Trump’s administration.

The proposed Lane Manual change puts into county rules the policies already practiced by agencies such as the Lane County Sheriff’s Office and Lane County Health and Human Services, county officials say.

The proposal “makes it more clear at a local level how (state law) plays out here for the county,” Lane County spokeswoman Devon Ashbridge said. “So it’s valuable in that sense. It takes a look specifically at county services and how it will guide how employees will work within that framework.”

The language doesn’t violate state or federal law, Ashbridge said. A provision permits the sheriff’s office to give information to federal immigration agencies about someone arrested for a criminal offense.

It also authorizes the sheriff’s office to arrest anyone charged with violating federal immigration law if a federal judge issues an arrest warrant.

But Lane County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Carrie Carver said the agency is “not aware of any specific cases” of someone being arrested solely on a such an order. Typically, the federal government arrests illegal immigrants without a judge’s order.

Members of the public have spoken up at recent county commissioners’ meetings about protecting local unauthorized immigrants who haven’t committed any crimes besides entering and living in the country unlawfully.

In November, Lane County, mayors of nine cities and other organizations co-signed a statement of unity vowing to protect marginalized residents such as immigrants.

But dozens of speakers and numerous letter writers have urged local governments such as the city of Eugene and Lane County to go further and commit to not help in federal deportation arrests — even though such assistance is already prohibited by state law.

Follow Elon on Twitter @EGlucklich . Email elon.glucklich@registerguard.com .

For our friends in Lane County - take action now!

Alert date: 
2017-07-09
Alert body: 

The election is over and President Trump won.  His campaign focal point was to, once and for all, reign in the rampant disregard for our immigration laws and to finally put citizens first.

Now, it seems that many counties, cities, schools etc. have been whipped up into a frenzy by the paid advocates of unfettered immigration and open borders.  They seem to be trying to scare the very people they are supposed to be advocating for.  Why?

When ICE was contacted about the charges made that they are conducting sweeps across the state, they explained they haven't, they don't and they won't enforce our immigration laws in such a way.  But, open border advocates can't get the emotional driver they need unless they enhance the stories they hear far beyond the reality.

Unfortunately, citizens once again, take a back seat to illegal aliens.  Why on earth are these entities creating "safe havens" for people here illegally?  Are these Commissioners, Mayors, Professors etc, willing to accept the responsibility and the cost of harboring illegal aliens?  I doubt it - that's what they have the tax-payer for.  You get to pay for schools, healthcare, prisons, roads and on and on...

And, one last note.  It was mentioned that the idea was to "protect" people whose only issue was being in the country illegally.  Typically, an illegal alien obtains a stolen identity, typically, they are working here illegally, hired by a business that is using illegal labor,  They may also be getting paid under the table - that's tax fraud.  How are they getting around - probably driving without a license or insurance.  Is it fair to break certain laws, if it benefits the law breaker?

Lane County will be holding a meeting and anyone able to attend should be there and speak up against this sick policy.
 

Immigration enforcement boost felt throughout Yakima Valley

In Granger, attorneys with the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project can’t keep up with the number of deportation hearings.

In Yakima, inmates held on suspicion of violating immigration laws have nearly tripled since March.

And across the Yakima Valley, social service agencies report a drop in the number of immigrants seeking help, while crime victims in this country illegally are becoming more reluctant to file complaints.

These are all signs of President Donald Trump’s executive orders stepping up immigration enforcement, said attorney Lara Contreras, who directs the Immigrant Rights Project.

Contreras said her office of three immigration attorneys and two legal advocates can’t keep pace with a growing number of deportation proceedings in Seattle and Tacoma, where a huge backlog has fostered a five-year delay on final rulings.

“There are going to be many people representing themselves in front of an immigration judge,” Contreras said. “We don’t have enough staff to represent everyone facing deportation.”

On a recent morning, a half-dozen people came to the firm’s Granger office seeking advice.

Among them was Yolanda, who feared her 18-year-old son would be targeted for deportation if he applied for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

“There’s no category of an individual who is exempt from ICE enforcement.”

-Rose Riley, ICE Spokeswoman

A student at Heritage University, he works with his mother in the fields from 3 a.m. to about 3 p.m. before heading to classes at 4 p.m.

But her anxiety was calmed when she was told her son would not be exposed to deportation if he applied for DACA, the Obama administration’s policy that allows certain undocumented people who entered the country as minors to obtain a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation, and eligibility for a work permit.

She said she doesn’t want her son to end up like her, trapped in field work. He’s majoring in business administration with a minor in computer science.

“People are fearful. There are people afraid to gather information regarding their cases,” Contreras said. “People are afraid to go to the police department because they are afraid they’ll get turned over to ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement).”

Incarceration

Under a federal contract, the Yakima County jail typically houses 50 to 90 people suspected of being here illegally each month, with the exception of last October when about 150 Haitian refugees were housed here temporarily.

Most of them are brought to the jail from other communities throughout Central Washington, while a small number are identified by ICE after being arrested on local charges. The county receives about $84 a day for each inmate it holds for ICE.

But this year, the jail has seen a steady increase in ICE holds. In March, there were 141 inmates suspected of being here illegally in the jail — a 156 percent increase over the same month last year when 51 such inmates were housed. Numbers in April, May and June were double or nearly triple during the same time last year.

The bigger numbers are the result of Trump’s executive orders, which provide broader guidelines for seeking out undocumented immigrants, said Rose Riley, Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman in Seattle.

And the vetting process has become less selective than in previous years, when ICE officials typically focused on serious criminals, Riley said.

“There’s no category of an individual who is exempt from ICE enforcement,” she said. “If they came into the country illegally or unlawfully, they will be subject to ICE enforcement.”

Under the executive orders, ICE officers don’t hesitate to ask anyone associated with someone who they arrest about their status, she says.

“It’s not dependent on their criminality, but on whether they are here legally or not,” she said.

“There’s definitely an increase,” said Department of Corrections Director Ed Campbell. “We’re seeing folks moved through from other jurisdictions.”

Campbell attributes some of the increases to an overall rise in the jail population, which has shot up from a daily average of 750 to 800 inmates to more than 900.

A clogged court

Last year, 2,124 people — 729 of them charged with a crime other than being here illegally — were removed from the region, which includes Washington, Oregon and Alaska, according to data from the Department of Homeland Security.

This year, the region is on pace to surpass that. Within about a three-month period from Jan. 20 to April 29, a total of 1,070 people were deported, of whom 798 were charged with a crime.

But immigration courts in Seattle and Tacoma, where the region’s cases are heard, had more than 9,470 pending cases as of March 27.

Of those, 982 are in the Tacoma court, which hears cases of those incarcerated.

Nationwide, there are 598,943 pending cases, of which 24,431 involve people convicted of crimes other than being in the country illegally.

Many cases are being delayed for months with their final hearings pushed out five years, Contreras said.

Those delays have some willing to waive due process to avoid being detained during the proceedings, said Maru Mora with Latino Advocacy in Bellingham, which works with groups across the state on immigrant rights and advocacy.

“In some cases people are just saying ‘look, if you’re going to deport me, just go ahead and deport me,’ ” she said.

More than 90 percent of those detained in Tacoma do not have attorneys and many have limited or no access to legal libraries to prepare their cases, Mora said.

Many have been moved to a county jail in northern Oregon where a legal library isn’t offered nor any facility to work on cases, she said.

And those detained in Tacoma only get one hour a day in the legal library, Mora said.

“So when they come back to court they’re not prepared for their hearing,” she said.

“The huge backlog, it’s impossible to get a lawyer; it’s expensive, and you’re transferred to a county jail.”

Meanwhile, social service providers have seen dramatic dips in people seeking services.

In May, the YWCA reported huge declines in women seeking emergency shelter, with only 28 compared to the 140 woman and 158 children the agency helped the year before.

Catholic Charities of Yakima, which provides an array of social services including low-income farm worker housing, said it saw a similar dip in people seeking services early in the year, but now people are coming in again.

“When we see a dip, usually it’s attributed to ICE activity in the area,” said CEO Manual Villafan. “That keeps them from accessing services our organization provides.”

Contreras said victims of crimes are reluctant to come forward as witnesses or seek protection orders.

“They fear that an ICE officer is lurking by,” she said.

Consulate of Mexico visits Ontario, seeks to support Mexican nationals

ONTARIO — The Consulate of Mexico in Boise visited Four Rivers Cultural Center, Saturday, to support Mexican nationals in obtaining documentation, counseling as well as additional information.

About 70 Mexican nationals attended the one-day event to obtain a passport, Consular ID, voting ID or birth certificates.

The mobile consulate offers Mexican nationals the chance to obtain documentation from their country within a couple of hours that otherwise may have taken weeks to receive, Claudia Espinosa, a representative of the protection affairs department with the Consulate, said.

Moreover, the mobile consulate allows those who may not have a driver’s license to be able to visit with the organization that is located in Boise.

The last time the Consulate of Mexico visited Ontario was nearly seven years ago, Espinosa noted.

“With new immigration policies we are trying to visit areas outside of Boise to provide our services to as many as we can,” Espinosa said.

It’s now more important than ever to do this, Celso Humberto Delgado Ramirez, Consul of Mexico in Boise, said.

Recently, the consulate visited Montana to offer the same outreach, Delgado Ramirez said.

During his speech to the attendees, the consul commended those who showed up for the services and echoed the organization’s ambition to continue offering services as well as consular protection to Mexicans.

Delgado Ramirez also advised attendees to create a plan of emergency for those who are living in the country without proper documentation in case they are faced with deportation, especially if they have young children.

Moreover, he spoke about what an undocumented person should do in case they are detained by Federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

“Know your rights,” he said to the crowd. “Ask to speak with the Consulate of Mexico, to call a lawyer and to family, if possible.”

Throughout the day Mexican nationals were able to have their paperwork processed, have their biometrics taken as well as visit with local resources in the area.

One of the local organizations in attendance included the Oregon Human Development Corporation. Janeth Mendoza, a workforce consultant, said she exchanged information with several attendees about work trainings and emergency services. The Malheur County Health Department and Treasure Valley Community also hosted a booth at the event.

At the end of the event, consulate coordinators distributed documentation to Mexican nationals.

Celso Humberto Delgado Ramirez, Consul of Mexico in Boise, speaks to a crowd before attendees receive various documentation including passports, Consular ID and more, alongside Claudia Espinosa. About 70 Mexican nationals attended a mobile consulate provided by the Consulate of Mexico, in Boise, Saturday, in Ontario. The one day event sought to assist individuals with obtaining Mexican documentation.

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