Oregon Legislature

'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.

Legislature's 2017 session shows lack of concern for citizenship

The Oregon Legislature adjourned Friday afternoon, July 7.
 
But not before taking full advantage of their hefty majorities to further impede enforcement of federal immigration laws, to provide even more tax-funded services to illegal aliens, and to make it much more difficult for citizens to have their views reflected in legislative actions.
 
Informed citizens must find qualified candidates for office, who understand the importance of immigration law enforcement and will work for the best interests of citizens.  Volunteering time and/or resources to help with the campaign to elect them is crucial, as well.  Too many legislators and administrative officials are devaluing citizenship, encouraging illegal immigration, endangering our lives and well-being.
 
This has been made clear from three bills that were sped through late in the session with minimum public input allowed from citizens, showing that the sponsors and supporters knew voters would object if the bills were widely known and understood.
 
HB 3464, “privacy” for illegal aliens
 
HB 3464, granting “privacy” to illegal aliens, sheltering them from questions about their immigration status, passed on the next to last day of the session, July 6.  It had been rushed through the legislature with only one public hearing, June 8.  It was passed by the House on June 20 and by the Senate on July 6.
 
The vote in the House was 35 Yeas (all by Democrats) to 23 Nays (all by Republicans).  Two Republicans were excused from voting (Reps. Cliff Bentz and Dallas Heard).  In the Senate, the vote was 16 Ayes (all by Democrats) and 13 Nays (all by Republicans).  Sen. Betsy Johnson, Democrat, was excused from voting.
 
This bill, HB 3464, serves as a kind of backup for illegal immigration advocates in case the pending initiative to repeal ORS 181A.820 should succeed, and it may be necessary to mount an initiative to repeal the new “privacy” law as well as the earlier sanctuary law (ORS 181A.820), because proponents of HB 3464 inserted the Emergency Clause in their bill to prevent a citizen Referendum which is a less demanding way of overturning bad laws.
 
SB 229, “relating to elections”
 
Also on July 6, the Legislature passed another very harmful bill, SB 229, “Relating to elections: declaring an emergency.”  Secretary of State Dennis Richardson had earlier issued a warning about the bill, which triggered a hostile response from bill advocates.  He also sent a very good statement as testimony to the Senate Rules Committee Hearing.
 
He said “[this bill] manipulates the election process and keeps voters in the dark. …  It is a political ploy to undermine accountability by increasing power for politicians at the expense of the people.”
 
The bill changes the process for initiatives enabling the Legislature to control the timing of initiatives, the ballot title and other features that take power away from voters and centralize it in the hands of legislative leadership.  The press release issued by Oregon House Democrats obfuscates the issues in SB 229 so thoroughly that the average reader would never understand what is at stake.
 
The vote on July 6 in the House:  34 Ayes (all from Democrats) and 25 Nays (all Republicans). One member, Democrat Deborah Boone, was excused.
 
The vote on July 6 in the Senate: 16 Ayes (all from Democrats) and 14 Nays.  All 13 Republican Senators voted Nay, and they were joined by Sen. Betsy Johnson (D) who also voted Nay.
 
SB 558, “Cover All Kids”
 
This bill extends medical care coverage to children regardless of immigration status.  It is another expensive benefit favoring and incentivizing illegal immigration using taxpayer funds.
 
The vote on July 3 in the Senate:  21 Ayes, 8 Nays, 1 Excused (Sen. Baertschiger, Republican).  The 8 Nays were all from Republicans.  All Democrats voted Aye and these Republicans joined them:  Senators Boquist, Ferrioli, Kruse, and Winters.
 
The vote on July 7 in the House:  37 Ayes, 23 Nays.  The 23 Nay votes were all from Republicans.  All Democrats voted Aye and 2 Republicans did also:  Reps. Huffman and Olson. 
 
Petitions are pending to counter state government overreach
 
Initiative petitions give citizens a chance to correct bad laws.  Petitions require Herculean efforts, needing large numbers of volunteer staff and significant sums of money, but they are a last resort when the legislature fails.  
 
Currently there are two initiative petitions pending relevant to immigration issues, and also a referendum. They target the general election, Nov. 2018.  The public can follow the history and status of these measures by using the Secretary of State’s search form at: http://egov.sos.state.or.us/elec/web_irr_search.search_form.  Enter the number of the petition to see current status.  You can select either summary or detailed results.
 
IP 5 calls for proof of citizenship to vote. This initiative has been approved for general circulation.  A website, Oregonians for Free and Fair Elections, has been created and you can download a signature sheet for the petition, sign, and mail in. 
 
IP 22, to repeal Oregon's state sanctuary law, ORS 181A.820.  This petition has not yet been approved for general signature gathering.  A draft ballot title was provided by the Attorney General, “Repeals law limiting use of state/local law enforcement resources to enforce federal immigration laws.”  A period for public comment followed.  Whether this draft ballot title will stand is uncertain at this point. July 14 is the due date for a complete title and Attorney General letter.  If the “complete title” is unsatisfactory to proponents and/or opponents, it is subject to appeals that will delay progress.  
 
IP 301.  Rep. Julie Parrish is a sponsor of this petition for a citizen's veto referendum to overturn the Healthcare tax bill, HB 2391, that would allow some 15,000 illegal alien children to access free healthcare.  The website for this petition is ar https://stophealthcaretaxes.com/, where you can download a signature sheet to sign and mail in. 
 
There was a petition, IP 4, No More Fake Emergencies, filed to end abuse of the Emergency Clause in the legislature’s bills, but it has been withdrawn, because proponents were not able to collect enough valid signatures in the time allotted.  The brief record on this petition is available on the Secretary of State’s website, through the search routine described above.

ANARCHIC: Criminal aliens shielded by Left's symbolism

SALEM, Ore.-Democrats in the Senate today passed a proposal that will force Oregonians to obstruct justice by restraining them from cooperating with law enforcement in dealing with criminals at public schools, public health facilities, courthouses, public shelters and other public facilities.

"This bill is all about the 'undocumented,' and while it serves as a symbol for the Left, it is in reality a shield for criminal aliens to avoid justice," said state Sen. Alan Olsen, R-Canby. "Democrats have used the politics of fear to ignite division and they have stoked fear in the hearts of undocumented workers. Making it possible for criminal aliens to evade justice not only makes Oregonians less safe, it also puts undocumented immigrants in danger."
 
Olsen asked a series of questions to the carrier, Senate Majority Leader Ginny Burdick, D-Portland. He said the bill is nothing more than a "Trump bill." Olsen said that the senators took their oath to uphold the constitutions of both Oregon and the United States, and that everyone said "yes," or that he hopes they did. 
                                                                                                                      
While Oregon Democrats are bidding to block and deny federal law enforcement legal access to critical information that would help ensure public safety, Union-backed Democrats, formally requested information from the federal government about federal law enforcement activities in Oregon.

Murder victims advocate and child of an immigrant Maria Espinoza has worked across the nation to stand up for the victims of violent lawlessness. Espinoza spoke out on the horrific slaying of college football player Parker Moore. Moore was brutally stabbed to death as he shopped in a convenience store. The unprovoked perpetrator of this tragedy violated multiple laws. Espinoza is worried sick about HB 3464 and is urging Oregon lawmakers to oppose the bill. 
 
"How will you explain to the families of Parker Moore, Dani Countryman and others, that you had a part in making our communities dangerous for our children?" questioned Espinoza. "To move forward [in passing HB 3464] would be an outrage."
 
Espinoza recalled in an interview on her advocacy work how a relative, a World War II veteran, had his monthly pension cut from $240 a month to $200 - "and yet there were people illegally in the country who got everything free."
 
"And sadly, shamefully, I never did anything about it," she said. "For years."
 
Richard LaMountain, a Cedar Mill resident, served as a chief petitioner of the rejected 2014 initiative, Measure 88, which would have directed the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) to issue at taxpayer-expense driver licenses to criminal aliens. The measure failed in the Nov. 4 election with a two-thirds no vote.
 
"It was an overwhelming rejection of giving drivers' licenses to illegal aliens," said Jim Ludwick, communications director for Oregonians for Immigration Reform in an interview about Measure 88. "But somehow that doesn't apply to people who are here illegally and think the law doesn't apply to them." 
 
Familias En Accion and Los Ninos Cuentan, on behalf of criminal aliens, sued the State of Oregon following voters defeating Measure 88. Their lawsuit was an effort to undo Oregonians' votes for Measure 88. Kristina Edmunson, then-spokeswoman for Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, said during the dilemma the state "is reviewing the case" but declined to comment further.
 
"When used for the intent of thwarting potential referenda, the emergency clause perverts the relationship between Oregonians and the legislators they elect to represent them," LaMountain said. "We need to restore that clause to its proper, limited role in lawmaking - and the voice of the citizen, as manifested in the referendum, to its paramount place in Oregon's representative democracy." 
 
"We should provide support for [law enforcement] and not support criminal behavior," Marion County resident Karen Franke said. Franke disagrees with Democrats that criminals should be shielded from accountability.
 
Rosenblum says the passage of HB 3464, "is imperative." And that Oregon must take "this important step to protect the rights of all Oregonians."
 
The bill now heads to sanctuary state-advocate and presumed leader of the Trump so-called "resistance" movement Gov. Kate Brown to sign into law.
 
###
 
For follow-up commentary please contact Olsen spokesman Jonathan Lockwood at 971-645-2140, or Jonathan.Lockwood@OregonLegislature.gov.

Oregon Department of Corrections: Criminal Alien Report June 2017

The Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) June 1, 2017 Inmate Population Profile indicated there were 14,708 inmates incarcerated in the DOC’s 14 prisons.

Data obtained from the DOC indicated that on June 1st there were 981 foreign nationals (criminal aliens) incarcerated in the state’s prison system; approximately one in every fifteen prisoners incarcerated by the state was a criminal alien, 6.67 percent of the total prison population.

Some background information, all 981 criminal aliens currently incarcerated in the DOC prison system were identified by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), a federal law enforcement agency that is part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. If an inmate is identified by ICE as being a criminal alien, at the federal law enforcement agency’s request, DOC officials will place an “ICE detainer” on the inmate. After the inmate completes his/her state sanction, prison officials will transfer custody of the inmate to ICE.

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

OREGON DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS

Month/Day/Year

DOC Total Inmates

DOC Domestic Inmates

DOC Inmates W/ICE detainers

DOC % Inmates W/ICE detainers

June 1, 2017

14,708

13,727

981

6.67%

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

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

OREGON DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS

County

DOC Total Inmates W/ ICE Detainers

DOC % Inmates W/ICE Detainers

Marion

236

24.06%

Multnomah

208

21.20%

Washington

197

20.08%

Clackamas

77

7.85%

Lane

44

4.49%

Jackson

34

3.47%

Umatilla

23

2.34%

Yamhill

22

2.24%

Linn

17

1.73%

Benton

15

1.53%

Deschutes

15

1.53%

Klamath

15

1.53%

Polk

15

1.53%

Malheur

11

1.12%

Lincoln

7

0.71%

Clatsop

5

0.51%

Jefferson

5

0.51%

Wasco

5

0.51%

Coos

4

0.41%

Josephine

4

0.41%

Columbia

3

0.31%

Douglas

3

0.31%

Hood River

3

0.31%

Tillamook

3

0.31%

Crook

2

0.20%

Morrow

2

0.20%

Union

2

0.20%

Gilliam

1

0.10%

Lake

1

0.10%

OOS

1

0.10%

Sherman

1

0.10%

Baker

0

0.00%

Curry

0

0.00%

Grant

0

0.00%

Harney

0

0.00%

Wallowa

0

0.00%

Wheeler

0

0.00%

Total

981

100.00%

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

Here are the ways Oregon residents were victimized by the 981 criminal aliens.

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

OREGON DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS

Crime

DOC Total Inmates W/ ICE Detainers

DOC % Inmates W/ICE Detainers

Sex Abuse

200

20.39%

Rape

172

17.53%

Homicide

138

14.07%

Drugs

107

10.91%

Sodomy

95

9.68%

Assault

80

8.15%

Robbery

56

5.71%

Kidnapping

27

2.75%

Burglary

21

2.14%

Theft

18

1.83%

Driving Offense

8

0.82%

Vehicle Theft

4

0.41%

Arson

0

0.00%

Forgery

0

0.00%

Escape

0

0.00%

Other / Combination

55

5.61%

Total

981

100.00%

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

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

OREGON DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS

Crime

DOC Total Inmates

DOC Domestic Inmates

DOC Inmates W/ICE Detainers

DOC % All Inmates W/ICE Detainers

Sex Abuse

1,737

1,537

200

11.51%

Rape

971

799

172

17.71%

Homicide

1,708

1,570

138

8.08%

Drugs

851

744

107

12.57%

Sodomy

1,016

921

95

9.35%

Assault

2,051

1,971

80

3.90%

Robbery

1,544

1,488

56

3.63%

Kidnapping

284

257

27

9.51%

Burglary

1,310

1,289

21

1.60%

Theft

1,126

1,108

18

1.60%

Driving Offense

218

210

8

3.67%

Vehicle Theft

466

462

4

0.86%

Arson

74

74

0

0.00%

Forgery

47

47

0

0.00%

Escape

32

32

0

0.00%

Other / Combination

1,273

1,218

55

4.32%

Total

14,708

13,727

981

 

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

Using DOC ICE detainer numbers, the following table reveals the self-declared countries of origin of the 981 criminal alien prisoners by number and percentage incarcerated on June 1st in the state’s prisons.
 

OREGON DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS

Country

DOC Total Inmates W/ ICE Detainers

DOC % Inmates W/ICE Detainers

Mexico

786

80.12%

Guatemala

18

1.83%

Cuba

15

1.53%

El Salvador

13

1.33%

Honduras

13

1.33%

Vietnam

13

1.33%

Russia

9

0.92%

Federated States of Micronesia

7

0.71%

Ukraine

7

0.71%

Cambodia

4

0.41%

China

4

0.41%

Laos

4

0.41%

Marshall Islands

4

0.41%

Peru

4

0.41%

Philippines

4

0.41%

Somalia

4

0.41%

Thailand

4

0.41%

Canada

3

0.31%

Other Countries

65

6.63%

Total

981

100.00%

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

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

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

The DOC’s incarceration cost for its 981 criminal alien prison population is approximately ($92,753.55) per day, ($649,274.85) per week, and ($33,855,045.75) per year.

Even taking into account fiscal year 2016 U.S. Bureau of Justice Assistance, U.S. Department of Justice, State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP) award of $1,788,075.00, if the State of Oregon receives the same amount of SCAAP funding for fiscal year 2017, the cost to incarcerate 981 criminal aliens to the DOC will be at least ($32,066,970.75).

None of preceding cost estimates for the DOC to incarcerate the 981 criminal aliens includes the dollar amount for legal services (indigent defense), language interpreters, court costs, or victim assistance.

Bibliography

Oregon Department of Corrections Population Profile June 1, 2017:
http://www.oregon.gov/doc/RESRCH/docs/inmate_profile_201706.pdf

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

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

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

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

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

Oregon Republicans shrug off politics, extend benefits to undocumented children

Oregon Republicans took the lead in arguing for spending $36 million on health care for undocumented Oregon children during a Monday session.

The “cover all kids” Senate Bill 558 passed the body on a 21-8 vote. The bill now proceeds to the House where it's likely to find favor with the majority Democrats.

Senate Republican Leader Ted Ferrioli, R-John Day, said he’ll take a shellacking for his ‘yes” vote on the bill from constituents who believe extending benefits encourages illegal immigration.

“I can hear the town hall questions; I can write them,” he said.

“I will look at folks with anger in their eyes and they will not listen to the answer that it is less expensive (to provide coverage),” Ferrioli said, finally adding, “Folks can sharpen their knives and load up. I’ll be in the district after the session is over. I can answer the questions then just as I can now.”

The bill would extend coverage under the Oregon Health Plan to an estimated 15,000 children in the state who otherwise would be prohibited from signing up because they lack legal residency status.

Gov. Kate Brown highlighted the cover all kids program as a priority in her proposed budget. Ninety-eight percent of Oregon children are covered today. The bill, which takes effect Jan. 1, would bring the proportion even higher.

A hospital provider tax of 1.7 percent on large hospitals and 4 percent on small hospitals passed in June will pay for the expansion, according to legislative documents.

Sen. Jeff Kruse, R-Roseburg, carried the bill to the Senate floor and made the case that it is really a conservative bill. Children don’t go completely without care, he said. When they turn up sick at hospitals, hospitals have to treat them, and that’s the most expensive way to treat them.

“I know about the optics of this thing. We could get wrapped up in sanctuary this, sanctuary that. We could get wrapped up with immigration this or immigration that,” Kruse said. “This is not about the optics or the politics. This is about health care at a reasonable cost.”

Passing the bill will bring relief to hospitals large and small across the state.

“We have asked hospitals to step up in a major way with the provider tax,” Kruse said. “Now to ask them to absorb (emergency department) care for these kids is just one more ask. That is an ask too much. ...

“Chances are I’m going to take some political hits for this too, but quite honestly, I don’t give a damn. I don’t care about politics, I care about policy and I care about doing the right thing.”

Not all Republicans favored the bill.

“My priority are services to veterans who fought and have been injured for this country and for this state,” said Sen. Tim Knopp, R-Bend, who voted no. “We have not taken care of them the way we need to. If there are tens of millions of dollars, we need to start there.

“We can work our way to seniors who need care in their homes, those with disabilities, those who are vulnerable -- and there are many Oregonians who are in need,” he said.

All Senate Democrats voted in favor of the bill. Sen. Arnie Roblan, D-Coos Bay, a high school principal, said schools must teach all the children who turn up. “They only learn when they’re healthy,” he said.

Sen. Laurie Monnes Anderson, D-Gresham, is a public health nurse.

“Every child needs health care regardless of where they were born,” she said. “It is the moral and right thing to do. A child is not responsible for who their parents are, whether they’re legal or illegal, whether they’re rich or whether they’re poor.”

Democrats get aggressive on approving bills in final days of session

SALEM — After a session of restraint, Ore­gon’s Democratic lawmakers are flexing the power of their big majorities in Salem as the final bell approaches.

For months, Democrats have held back many controversial policy bills, as they pursued needed Republican votes on three major tax increases. Doing so, they hoped, would avoid antagonizing GOP leaders and swing votes.

But with a major new tax on health care providers already passed, a package of transportation taxes and fees moving forward, and a new corporate tax dead, Democrats are being more aggressive.

This week, they advanced a bill requiring Ore­gon insurers to cover abortions, among other reproductive health services, for women without charging them any out-of-pocket expense.

And they moved to extend government-funded health insurance to many unauthorized immigrants under age 19.

Those hot-button social policies are big priorities for key Democrat constituencies, but most Republican lawmakers oppose them.

Some Democrats also want to change the election rules for any bill passed this session that’s successfully referred to voters. The idea drew angry accusations of “electioneering” and “turnout suppression” from Republicans this week.

Immigrants’ health care

In the final days of the session, Democrats expect to pass a bill that would enroll an estimated 15,000 young unauthorized immigrants into the Oregon Health Plan, the state’s version of Medicaid.

Thanks to $550 million in recently approved taxes on hospitals and health insurance companies, lawmakers have identified the projected $36 million needed to pay for that health insurance coverage for the next two years.

The minors, but not their parents, would become eligible for medical and dental services starting in 2018.

Unlike for the rest of the Medicaid population, where the federal government picks up most of the tab, the state will have to pay the full bill for the young immigrants.

But supporters say Senate Bill 558 is a humane and sensible idea.

“This means that children in our state will no longer suffer from preventable illness or death,” Linda Roman of the Ore­gon Latino Health Coalition told lawmakers this week.

Women’s health bill

Democrats are forging ahead with a women’s health bill that is controversial mostly because of its provisions on abortions.

House Bill 3391 would require Oregon insurers to provide a wide array of reproductive health care services, including abortions, to women for free.

Those services also include birth control, prenatal and postpartum care, screenings for sexually transmitted diseases, cervical and breast cancer, breastfeeding support and supplies, and counseling for domestic violence victims and tobacco cessation.

In an attempt at compromise, the latest version of HB 3391 would exempt religious employers from having to provide health plans with abortion coverage. Instead, it would set aside $500,000 in new state funds to provide abortions for their workers through the Oregon Health Authority.

Sen. James Manning, a Eugene Democrat, said Thursday he supports the bill.

“Why are we bickering about women’s reproductive health care, but not about men’s health care?” he said.

But Republican lawmakers objected to the new state funding for abortions, which they said could pay for around 300 procedures.

“It is difficult to be accused of being discriminatory for expressing a pro-life view,” House Republican Leader Mike McLane of Powell Butte said. “Many of us believe that a human life is ended with an abortion.”

SB 558 and HB 3391 were voted through to the floor of the Senate and the House, respectively, on Thursday evening.

Both votes fell largely along party lines, with Democrats in support and Republicans opposed.

Voter referral rule rewrite

The proposal to temporarily rewrite the rules for voter referrals, meanwhile, caused a partisan firestorm in the Capitol this week.

Under the bill, lawmakers — not the Oregon attorney general — would get to draft the initial ballot title and explanatory statement for any bill passed in the 2017 session that is successfully referred to voters.

Majority Democrats would get four of the six seats on the committee drafting the ballot materials. The committee’s final product could be appealed to the Oregon Supreme Court.

While the details of ballot drafting can seem arcane, the wording that voters see can have a significant impact on a measure’s chances of success.

The bill also would set a special election date in January 2018 for any referrals, as opposed to November’s general election.

Democrats say their target is an embryonic campaign aimed at referring to voters the $550 million in new taxes on health care “providers.”

If that campaign gathers enough signatures, under current law, the taxes would have to be suspended until the question goes voters in November 2018.

That would jeopardize health insurance for more than one million Ore­gonians on Medicaid, said Rep. Dan Rayfield, a Corvallis Democrat, because the state is relying on the new taxes to fund those services for the next two years.

A vote in January 2018, on the other hand, would allow lawmakers to fill the Medicaid budget hole during the 2018 short session in February should voters reject the taxes, he argued.

“Leaving the whole process up to chance would be a failure on our part,” Rayfield said.

But Republicans were incensed by the move.

Rep. Julie Parrish, a West Linn Republican who expects to work on the campaign to strike down the provider tax, called it a “travesty for voters.”

Turnout in a January special election is guaranteed to be low, she said, and bypassing the November election “is akin to voter suppression.”

“We have a referendum process that creates a check on our power,” she wrote in an email. “We should not steal that process from voters to strengthen the power of politicians and special interests.”

Republican Secretary of State Dennis Richardson, meanwhile, decried the proposal as “political shenanigans.”

The proposed ballot writing process “subverts the nonpartisan process for drafting a ballot title by injecting partisan politics and political bias,” he said.

But Rayfield said the accusations of partisanship around the ballot drafting were unfounded.

“Opponents often feel that going through the Attorney General is political too,” he said. “A bipartisan committee gives us a better chance for finding consensus” on ballot language.

The House Rules Committee could approve the referral changes as soon as Friday.

To place the Medicaid tax before voters, Parrish will need to gather more than 58,000 signatures within a 90-day window.

Follow Saul on Twitter @SaulAHubbard . Email saul.hubbard@registerguard.com .

U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons: Criminal Alien Report May 2017

The United States having a significant foreign national population residing within the nations boundaries, be they legally or illegally present in the country, unfortunately includes those who commit crimes.

The extent and impact of foreign national crime on the U.S. citizens and residents of this country is unambiguously revealed by a simple search on the U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) inmates statistics website under the heading of inmate citizenship.

Here are the countries of origin, moreover, the number and percentage of those countries citizens recently incarcerated in the U.S. BOP prison system (The most recent BOP crime numbers available were from May 27, 2017.).

Inmate Citizenship:

- México 26,416 inmates, 14.1 percent;
- Colombia 1,721 inmates, 0.9 percent;
- Dominican Republic 1,516 inmates, 0.8 percent;
- Cuba 1,249 inmates, 0.7 percent;
- Other / unknown countries 9,589 inmates, 5.1 percent;
- United States 147,419 inmates, 78.5 percent;

Total Inmates 187,910 inmates.

To explain the meaning of these preceding criminal alien inmate numbers and percentages, I will translate them into words:

Combining May 27th BOP criminal alien inmate numbers, there were 40,491 criminal aliens in the BOP prison system. Alien inmates were 21.5 percent of the federal prison population; more than two in every ten inmates were criminal aliens.

With 26,416 Mexican nationals being incarcerated in the BOP prison system, at 65.2 percent, they were the vast majority of criminal aliens in federal prisons.

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons breaks down the federal prison population into 13 types of offenses. One of the top five offenses, the reason inmates are serving time in federal prisons is for immigration crimes. There were 14,541 inmates in the BOP prison system incarcerated for immigration crimes; they were 8.2 percent of the federal prison population.

A wakeup call to all American citizens, eventually the majority of these criminal aliens from México, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Cuba and other countries will be released from the U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons after completing their prison terms.

The country of Mexico, America’s neighbor to the south, is both historically and literally a land bridge of many frequently unsecured trails, roads, highways and railways used by persons trying and far too often successfully illegally entering our country.

United States citizens should, if they haven’t already, contact their members of Congress (two Senators and one Representative) and tell them to support President Donald J. Trump’s proposal to build a wall (fences and technology) along the U.S. border with Mexico to stop the threat of tens of thousands of criminal aliens, once they are released from the federal prison system and deported by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to their countries of origin, ability to illegally return to this nation and harm its citizens and residents.

David Olen Cross of Salem, Oregon writes on immigration issues and foreign national crime. He is a weekly guest on the Lars Larson Northwest Show. He can be reached at docfnc@yahoo.com or at http://docfnc.wordpress.com/

Urgent - your calls and emails are critical today

Alert date: 
2017-06-28
Alert body: 

HB 3464

in the Senate Rules Committee awaiting a hearing

Call – Write – Email TODAY!

Tell them you expect that Oregon governmental agencies should be allowed to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement officials.

--------------------------------

Senate President Peter Courtney

sen.petercourtney@oregonlegislature.gov

503-986-1600

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Senator Ginny Burdick (Committee Chair)

Sen.GinnyBurdick@oregon​legislat​ure.gov ​

503-986-1700

-------------------------------

Senator Ted Ferioli

sen.tedferrioli@oregonlegislature.gov

503-986-1950

-------------------------------

Senator Brian Boquist

Sen.BrianBoquist@oregonlegislature.gov

503-986-1712

------------------------------

Senator Lee Beyer

Sen.LeeBeyer@oregonlegislature.gov

Democrat - District 6 - Springfield

503-986-1706
 

Call today and respectfully ask that House Bill 3464 not be advanced out of committee.  Oregonians should expect that all public officials would willingly  cooperate with federal immigration enforcement officials.

Oregon House votes to expand privacy for undocumented immigrants

A bill that would limit the assistance of schools, courts and other public agencies in federal immigration enforcement passed the Oregon House of Representatives Tuesday.

Under the bill, public institutions would be prohibited from disclosing personal information such as a workplace or phone number to federal immigration authorities unless that disclosure is required by federal law.

The bill was introduced by Reps. Teresa Alonso Leon, D-Woodburn, and Diego Hernandez, D-Portland, and passed 35-23 along party lines...

Alonso Leon and Hernandez, along with 26 House and seven Senate Democrats...wish to increase privacy for immigrants "in response to recent Immigrations and Customs Enforcement raids throughout the state," according to a news release by House Democrats...

The bill would also prohibit public agencies from collecting information about a person's immigration status...

A statement from House Republicans called the bill "an attempt to subvert federal immigration policy."

"This bill would make it nearly impossible for state and local law enforcement to cooperate with federal immigration officials and would allow even individuals who have been convicted of serious crimes to escape immigration enforcement," Rep. Andy Olson, R-Albany, said in a statement.

During the House session, Rep. Greg Barreto, R-Cove, read a letter from Immigration and Customs Enforcement representative Melissa Nitsch, who said the agency "does not conduct raids, sweeps, or checkpoints, or conduct random enforcement activity," but rather does "targeted, lead-driven enforcement" on individuals the agency deems a threat to public safety.

As a sanctuary state, Oregon already prohibits the use of state and local resources in federal immigration enforcement if a person's only crime is being in the country illegally...

HB 3464 -State Rep. Barreto explains why this legislation is bad for Oregon

Alert date: 
2017-06-14
Alert body: 
My Eastern Oregon

OREGON: House Bill 3464 Issued by Barreto

Posted on June 12, 2017

Representative Greg Barreto has issued a statement on House Bill 3464, The Governors sanctuary state bill.  That statement can be viewed below.

House Bill 3464, the Governor’s sanctuary state bill, had a public hearing in the House Committee on Rules. Our office has received numerous calls and emails from constituents opposing this bill, and I want to shed some light on my position, where we are in this process, and what you can do to help.

HB 3464 came about based on the Governor and other Democrat leaders’ desire to oppose federal immigration laws. As President Trump seeks to regain control over lax immigration policy, Oregon leaders have used it as an opportunity to bolster the liberal agenda by using appeals to emotion and fear about deportation in Oregon, effectively creating an environment where being in favor of immigration reform and enforcement is equated to bigotry and racial prejudice.

The mistruth of that narrative is sort of insignificant in the climate we live in here in Oregon. Daily we see emotionally driven narratives fly out of Democrat offices and they are spread as truth, and any argument against is considered uninformed or hateful. Unfortunately, these so called “truths” are often very effective calls to action.

For example, late last week our office received a press release from the House Majority (Democrat) Office about the upcoming hearing on HB 3464. In the press release it said, “the increase of ICE raids and deportations in Oregon has created an environment of fear in communities throughout the state.” We requested a list of sources from the House Majority Office to verify that fact. We received a list of five links to articles about ICE activity in Oregon and throughout the US. It was interesting to go through the articles. Many talked about increased fear, most referenced national ICE activity, and two talked specifically about the well-known Woodburn case. There was not a single article with statistics related to increased ICE activity specific to Oregon, and the statistics we’ve found point to a decrease in deportations this year. But it is loose claims like this that, regardless of verifiability, that get people mobilized.

Last night at the hearing on HB 3464, the Governor used Japanese internment camps to advocate on behalf of this bill. The rhetoric of using a horrifying piece of United States history to advance a bill that would hinder our state from enforcing federal immigration laws would lead folks to believe that those who oppose the bill are bigoted and hateful when in fact they simply have a high regard of the rule of law.  This is an unsound argument and a gross misuse of strategy in continuing to push their inflammatory agenda.

Our office has received an overwhelming number of calls and emails from constituents in opposition to this bill. I also stand in opposition to this bill, and will not be falsely shamed into voting for a bill against my values, and those constituent concerns when bills like this are undermining federal law. Without a doubt, this issue has been neglected and undealt with and there have been decades of lack of action, but that does not mean that current law should be ignored or subverted when we now have an interest at a national level in addressing the problem and working towards a solution.

The rules committee adjourned last night after testimony both in favor and against HB 3464. The committee will not vote on this bill until a work session is held, and it has not yet been scheduled. I would encourage all of you to continue to reach out to legislators on the Rules committee, the Governor, and the Attorney General and voice your opposition of this bill. My vote alone does not express nearly what your calls and emails can, and they need to hear from all of you.

http://www.myeasternoregon.com/2017/06/12/oregon-house-bill-3464-issued-by-barreto/

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