Oregon Legislature

Oregon lawmakers push to repeal sanctuary state designation, make English official language

...Gov. Kate Brown, Senate Majority Leader Ginny Burdick, D-Portland, House Majority Leader Jennifer Williamson, D-Portland, and House Speaker Tina Kotek, D-Portland -- have all said they would not allow legislation rescinding Oregon's sanctuary state designation to progress. On the contrary, Brown has signed an executive order strengthening Oregon's laws shielding undocumented immigrants and ...

Williamson said in a statement Wednesday that she's "appalled" House Republicans would consider repealing the state's sanctuary designation.

"Oregon is better than this," she said. "This bill only serves to further divide and polarize our state, to scapegoat and threaten our immigrant populations."

House Bill 2917, sponsored by Esquivel, Nearman and Rep. Bill Post, R-Keizer, would require state agencies and contractors they hire to use the federal E-Verify system, which allows employers to check that prospective laborers are legally allowed to work in the United States.

Delivering on immigration

As he planned his improbable ascent, a peculiar election result from a small Western state might have caught Donald Trump’s eye. In 2014, Oregonians voted nearly 2-1 against a ballot measure that would have allowed the state to issue driver’s cards to people who could not prove legal residency in the United States. The proposal was a modest public-safety measure, but most voters saw it as an accommodation of illegal aliens and said no — hell no. Trump saddled that same emotional response and rode it into the White House. Now he must deliver.

The president made a start last week. He took executive action to start construction on a wall along the border between the United States and Mexico, a step toward fulfillment of one of his most frequently made, and most loudly echoed, campaign promises. And he moved to cut federal grants to “sanctuary cities,” striking a blow against the same political impulse that Oregon voters rejected in 2014: the impulse that crafts humane and pragmatic policies that are perceived as creating more space in American society for undocumented immigrants.

How these initial steps will be completed is far from clear. The cost and configuration of the wall — in some places, it’s likely to be more like a fence — are not known. Trump insists that Mexico will pay for the wall, an idea firmly rejected by Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto. Various ideas for financing the wall have been advanced, including a 20 percent tax on goods imported to the United States from Mexico. Such a tax would be paid by American consumers, not Mexicans.

Pena Nieto had planned to meet with Trump this week, but the event was canceled after Trump reiterated his demand that Mexico pay for the wall. Trump will need to guard against creating problems that would prove far more costly than a border wall. A tax on exports to the United States would affect 80 percent of Mexico’s trade, damaging the country’s economy. Humiliating Pena Nieto, who is already politically unpopular, could open the door to a disruptive successor. Economic instability, political turmoil or both in Mexico would damage U.S. economic interests, create security concerns and trigger higher rates of illegal immigration.

The crackdown on sanctuary cities is similarly vague. The Trump administration has not defined what a sanctuary city is, but they come in several varieties. There are even sanctuary states, including Oregon. Many state and local governments, or the heads of their police agencies, have said that police will not inquire about the immigration status of people they contact. The aim is to keep the police from taking on the responsibilities of federal immigration officers, and to maintain trust among immigrant populations. Such policies involve setting priorities for public safety, not defiance of federal law.

In other cases, sanctuary cities decline to detain people suspected of being illegal immigrants until federal immigration agents can take custody of them. This is often due to a shortage of jail space or a lack of federal reimbursement for incarceration costs, not a refusal to cooperate in the enforcement of immigration laws.

Few jurisdictions that have labeled themselves sanctuaries are actively working to frustrate the enforcement of immigration laws — they’re just not cooperating to varying degrees. The Trump administration will have to draw the line between defiance and non-cooperation, and some grants can’t be withheld without congressional approval. Too far-reaching a cutoff would face legal action by cities or states on grounds that the U.S. government can’t compel them to spend their money to enforce federal laws.

Trump understood the emotional power of the immigration issue better than his rivals. But delivering on his promises will require coherent, constructive policies. Devising them will prove harder than tapping a vein of anger and resentment.


 

Law enforcement hands tied by Oregon Legislature

In 1987, the Oregon Legislature passed a bill making it against the law for our law enforcement officers to enforce the law.  It's time to put an end to this ridiculous loophole known as state statute 181A.820.

How many illegal aliens do you suppose are in Oregon and the only "crime" they have committed is to be in our country illegally - thus breaking our immigration laws?

Think about that for a moment...

Illegal aliens often come to this country illegally to work - which is in violation of our employment laws.  And, they are likely hired by an employer who knows full well that they are an illegal alien.

But, before securing employment, they must first acquire identification.  I hear that one can be bought on the streets for about $75.  It's not a quality ID, but it's enough to pass for the willing employer.   Isn't that against the law - to buy and sell fake identification?  And, whose identity is being stolen?  Yours, mine - or, your grandchild's?

Now, the only in the country illegally, illegal alien needs a way to get to their new found job.  They have a buddy that gets them a car which they proceed to drive to work - without a license or insurance.  That too, is against the law! 

So, please explain how it's a necessity to forego enforcement of our immigration laws to protect those that are only in our country illegally!

The Sheriffs of Oregon have released a statement - I encourage you to read it - then call your elected officials and tell them to repeal State Statute 181A.820

Medford and Grants Pass residents - Jan. 25th Townhall meeting

Alert date: 
2017-01-19
Alert body: 

State Representative

Duane Stark

House District 4

 


State Representative

Sal Esquivel

House District 6

News Release:  January 19, 2015

Contact:
Dawn Phillips-Rep Stark’s Office: 503.750.1764

Southern Oregon Legislators Host Town Hall January 25th in Eagle Point

(Salem)  Two Southern Oregon lawmakers will hold a Legislative Town Hall Wednesday January 25th in Eagle Point to preview some of the issues expected to be debated during the upcoming 2017 Session at the State Capitol in Salem.

The Town Hall starts at 6 pm on January 25th and is co-sponsored by State Representative Duane Stark (R-Grants Pass) and State Representative Sal Esquivel (R-Medford). Local residents are invited to attend the event which will be held at Eagle Point City Hall, 17 South Buchanan Avenue in Eagle Point.


“It’s important for us to touch bases with citizens in Southern Oregon before the legislative session gets underway this year,” said Representative Stark. “I wish we could host events like this in every corner of both of our legislative districts. Given the time constraints, we selected a location between both districts so we could have an opportunity to talk to people about the things that matter most in their lives.”

 

“There will be some significant challenges this time around,” said Representative Esquivel. “The state budget is going to mean some tough choices on critical issues such as human services, public safety, education, and others. There simply aren’t enough funds to go around for every program that folks want to see funded.”

 

For those who can’t make it to the Town Hall they can reach the legislators using the contact information below:

 

State Representative Duane Stark:

Rep.DuaneStark@oregonlegislature.gov
503.986.1404

 

State Representative Sal Esquivel
Rep.SalEsquivel@oregonlegislature.gov

503.986.1406

 

###

 

900 Court Street NE Salem, OR 97301   ¨   www.oregonlegislature.gov  

 

 


 

Sen. Wyden and state representatives pledge to protect undocumented immigrants at Oregon capitol

Around 600 Oregon protesters rallied around the state capitol in Salem on Jan. 14, showing support for elected representatives and organizers vowing to protect undocumented immigrants and their families.

Residents from across Oregon filled the Oregon State Capitol fountain grounds at 2:00 p.m. They cheered to speeches from U.S. Senator Wyden, state and district representatives, along with immigrant’s rights advocates. The leaders expressed defiance to President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign promises, which includes to overturn Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and deport 11 million undocumented immigrants.

“[Trump]’s policies lack empathy, lack compassion. They lack the understanding that undocumented workers and their families are key components of the American economy — and that they are Americans,” U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden said to the crowd, alongside a Spanish translator. Wyden told the Emerald that he will support the Bridge Act, a bipartisan legislation introduced to U.S. Senate last month to allow those receiving DACA to remain in the United States. DACA protects young undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children from deportation, and provides them with temporary work permits.

Jeff Stone, Executive Director of Oregon Association of Nurseries, cited a report his group, along with business and civic leaders, released. According to the report, immigrants make up 10 percent of Oregon’s population and contributed $24.4 billion in taxes and earn 9 percent of state earnings.

“You are important,” Stone said. “In America, every immigrant class has come to our country and made it better. And one of our most enduring symbols — the statue of liberty — embodies the great torch of freedom that welcomes the world to our shores.”

The crowd became especially animated when newly-elected Oregon House of Representatives leader Teresa Alonso Leon was introduced. She became the first immigrant Latina to be elected to Oregon State Legislature.

The daughter of migrant workers, Leon described picking berries during summers to support her family. She eventually became the first person in her family to graduate from college, which she said was due to her hard-work, but not without the “kindness of dedicated educators.” One of Leon’s campaign goals was for increased college affordability.

“I remember years ago standing on these same steps as a young girl for the first time. When I was here then, I didn’t see anyone who looked like me,” Leon said in front of the capitol building. “Now, just days ago, my young niece Emma, was able to watch her tia be sworn in as state representative, and it brought tears to my eyes.” She said that Emma now aspires to be the first Latina president of the United States.

Fatima Preciado was the last speaker. Preciado is a DACA recipient, who was brought to America from Apatzingan, Mexico.

“As a four-year-old crossing the border, I did not understand the complexity, risk and sacrifice my parents were making by bringing me to this country,” Preciado said. “But now that I understand, I am not ashamed.”

Preciado was named 2016 Oregon Youth of the Year by Oregon’s Boys & Girls Clubs in her senior year, and then became the first in her family to attend a four-year university. But that could be taken away from her, if President-elect Trump follows through with his talk of repealing DACA.

“The threat is real and we need our state leaders to protect us from Trump’s dangerous and inhumane policies,” Preciado said.

The crowd then marched around the capitol — where two protestors held a banner with an image of the Statue of Liberty. It read “No Human Being is Illegal.”

Around 600 people from across Oregon rallied at the Oregon State Capitol, before marching around it. (Andrew Field / Emerald)

Salem Immigrant Rights Rally to denounce Trump agenda

Multiple nonprofits, including unions and immigrants rights groups, are traveling to Salem on Jan. 14 to participate in the United for Immigrants Rights Rally. Set a week prior to the Jan. 20 presidential inauguration...

Phil Carrasco with Grupo Latino de Accíon Directa is orchestrating a trip from Eugene to Salem...

“We do believe that a lot of these policies being proposed are really based in hate and funded by hate groups and xenophobic groups.” And, he says, they also believe that the right to be in this country and walk freely is an exclusive privilege.

Carrasco says there’s been a call to repeal the state’s sanctuary status, which would allow the federal government to use state resources to enforce immigration policy. He says the effort could possibly show up as a ballot measure.

This is not the first time a state law that affects immigrants would be addressed in the form of a ballot measure. In 2014, Measure 88 failed to garner enough votes to grant driver cards to all Oregon residents, though the Oregon Legislature passed Senate Bill 833, which permitted Oregonians to apply for driver cards, regardless of their immigration status.

Ultimately, SB 833 never went into effect.

Many people who do not have legal status in the U.S. pay taxes, funding roads, schools and other state resources, Carrasco says. “It’s important that it’s not just Latino-centric organizations participating,” he says.

Organizations representing health care, working families and labor unions are among the participants. Carrasco says these groups acknowledge that “an injury to one is an injury to all.”

Around 500 people are expected to attend, with 2,000 interested in the Facebook event. Carrasco invites anyone interested in attending and carpooling to contact him.

He adds that the event is “part of a national day of action to defend immigrant rights and to denounce Trump’s agenda of hate and exclusion in our state.”

The United for Immigrant Rights Rally is 11:30 am Saturday, Jan. 14, at the Capitol building in Salem. GLAD is on Facebook at latinocommunityactiongroup. And for carpool information contact Phil Carrasco at 541-337-6391.

Hundreds expected at rally against Trump's immigration proposals

SALEM — A pro-immigrant rally set for Saturday, Jan. 14, at the Oregon Capitol could draw several hundred demonstrators opposed to President-elect Donald Trump's positions on immigration.

U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, U.S. Rep. Kurt Schrader and several state lawmakers are scheduled to participate in the rally from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the steps of the Capitol.

As of Wednesday, Jan. 11, more than 500 people had indicated they plan to attend and 2,000 had expressed interest on the event's Facebook page.

The rally is one of 50 "National Day of Action Events Against Trump Policies," according to a news release by the One Oregon coalition.

Trump has said that he will seek to deport millions of undocumented immigrants from the country, end executive orders by President Obama that shield certain illegal immigrants from deportation, and start a Muslim registry.

The coalition is "deeply concerned about the impact this will have on immigrant and refugee communities, who are integral to Oregon's economy and future," said Diane Goodwin, a spokeswoman for Basic Rights Oregon, a member of One Oregon.

One of Obama's executive orders, known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, protects from deportation undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children. Young people who are eligible must apply for the program every two years, receive a work permit and may attend college.

"There are more than 700,000 individuals nationally and about 15,000 in Oregon whose lives are at stake, whose ability to continue their education and their career is at stake based on what President-elect Trump does," said Andrea Williams, executive director of Causa. "A lot of times, they have never been to their home country, don't know the language or have not been there for a very long time."

State lawmakers who have given their RSVP for Saturday's rally include Portland Democrats Rep. Alyssa Keny-Guyer, Sen. Michael Dembrow, Rep. Diego Hernandez, and Rep. Rob Nosse. Woodburn Democrat Rep. Teresa Alonso Leon, who became a U.S. citizen just five years ago, also plans to attend.

The One Oregon coalition of 60 organizations opposes anti-immigrant policies. Immigrant rights organizations Causa, APANO and Unite Oregon lead the group.

The coalition plans to support state legislation in 2017 aimed at reducing racial profiling during police stops, expanding Medicaid to more children and increasing affordable housing funding.

There are no known counter protests to the event. Oregonians For Immigration Reform, which frequently clashes with Causa on policy proposals, had no plans for a counter demonstration Saturday, said OFIR President Cynthia Kendoll. OFIR has scheduled a meeting the same day as the demonstration to discuss the results of the election and 2017 legislation.

Trump's immigration proposals have begun to address many of the frustrations some Americans have had with immigration policy and practices, Kendoll said.

"I think the Trump administration has nailed it when he said we need to reassess what we are doing and why and how is it benefiting the United States," Kendoll said.

She said she supports Trump's plan to end the DACA program.

"Those parents made the choice for their children to pick them up and bring them to this country," Kendoll said. "I didn't make that choice for them."

OFIR attempted to advance ballot initiatives last year that would have made English the official language of Oregon, required businesses to use a federal program to verify citizenship of employees and required proof of citizenship to vote. The initiatives ultimately were tied up in court after immigrant rights organizations and the ACLU challenged the ballot titles.

OFIR plans to offer at least four pieces of legislation next session, though Kendoll declined to disclose specifics Wednesday, Jan. 11. None are expected to gain momentum in the Democratic-controlled Legislature.

Also published in the East Oregonian

OFIR meeting - this Saturday, Jan. 14 at 2:00pm

Alert date: 
2017-01-08
Alert body: 

Alot has happened since OFIR's last meeting.  We have reason to be optimistic for what the future may hold regarding enforcement of our immigration laws.

Plan to attend OFIR"s meeting this Saturday, January 14 at from 2 - 4pm. 

We will talk about the 2016 election results and how they will impact us nationally and here in Oregon.

The Oregon Legislature will open their 2017 session next month.  We'll talk about the new legislation OFIR is proposing and also the likely oppositions  legislation we will be tracking.

OFIR President, Cynthia Kendoll will share photos and experiences about her week long exploration of the northeast US / Canadian border with Center for Immigration Studies.

We have a packed agenda!  Invite a friend and learn what you can do to get involved in 2017!

Attendance is free and there is plenty of free parking!


 

OFIR meeting - Saturday, Jan. 14 at 2:00pm

Alert date: 
2016-01-08
Alert body: 

Plan to join us for our upcoming OFIR membership meeting this Saturday, January 14 from 2:00 - 4:00pm at the Best Western Mill Creek Inn across from Costco in Salem, OR.

Learn what the future may hold with a Trump presidency.  We will be discussing local election results, as well.  There is reason for hope in our immigration efforts.

The Oregon Legislature will start the 2017 session next month.  Find out what's in the hopper and what OFIR members can do to get involved.

OFIR President, Cynthia Kendoll traveled with Center for Immigration Studies for a week long intensive study of the northeastern US /Canadian border.  She will give a photo presentation and discussion of her trip.

Invite a friend, relative, neighbor or co-worker to join you! 

 

 

 

Esquivel will keep trying to repeal sanctuary law

State Rep. Sal Esquivel said he has hit a temporary roadblock with a ballot initiative that seeks to repeal Oregon's 1987 sanctuary city law that prevents local law enforcement from enforcing federal immigration law. But he says the hurdle won't derail the effort.

After the petition attracted 1,000 signatures to qualify for a draft ballot title, the Oregon Department of Justice decided on Oct. 28 that the petition wasn't clear enough in explaining its purpose to voters.

"We had enough signatures but they wouldn't give us a ballot title," said Esquivel, a Medford Republican.

Undaunted, Esquivel and Rep. Mike Nearman, R-Independence, have revised the language on the petition to comply with the Department of Justice, but may seek other legal means to get the ballot title or collect another 1,000 signatures.

Nearman said he was disappointed in the justice department because the Oregon secretary of state had allowed the ballot petition to collect the initial batch of signatures.

"They're the justice department and they owe us justice," he said.

The state sanctuary city law prevents local law enforcement from arresting people solely on the grounds they are in the country illegally.

Michelle Glass, regional director of Unite Oregon, said that repealing the sanctuary city law would make members of the community feel less safe and less inclined to call the police in emergency situations. Unite Oregon is an organization devoted to racial justice and other social issues, with a regional office in Medford.

Glass said she fears a repeal of the law would increase the rate of profiling.

"It's bad public policy," she said. "We're rural law enforcement areas that should be concerned with things that put our community at risk. We don't need to make the police's job more difficult."

Esquivel said he's been criticized for trying to repeal the law, but he doesn't think the effect of his initiative would lead to mass roundups of those in the country illegally. He said it would give police the ability to investigate someone further during a traffic stop to determine immigration status.

"Some people say I'm a racist, but I'm half-Mexican," Esquivel said. "People are getting tired of progressives calling other people names because they believe differently."

Esquivel said his family members also include someone who is gay and transgender. His own father came to the U.S. under the 1942 Bracero program that provided a legal means to work in the country. The program ended in 1964, but Esquivel said he thought it was a useful way to bring people into the country on a temporary legal basis.

Esquivel said he objects to the idea that people can remain in the country without any legal immigration status.

Making immigration arrests would further fill the Jackson County Jail, which now routinely releases prisoners early due to overcrowding. Esquivel said he wasn't sure where immigration offenders in Jackson County would be placed before being turned over to federal officials.

"That would be a local decision," he said. "I'm leaving it up to local people to make decisions on it."

Esquivel said the issue of sanctuary cities has been in the spotlight recently because of President-elect Donald Trump, who has promised to deport millions of Mexicans who aren't in the country legally.

"I think the Trump administration will come down on cities that are sanctuary cities," he said.

Ashland City Councilor Pam Marsh, who will replace state Rep. Peter Buckley in January, noted that both Ashland and Portland are sanctuary cities.

"We are taking the most compassionate, pragmatic approach to welcoming people into our communities," she said.

She said repealing the sanctuary law would deprive local residents of the ability to direct how their police officers enforce laws.

"I think this ballot measure would meet a tremendous amount of resistance," she said. "To eliminate a community's ability to be a sanctuary city would meet a lot of opposition."

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