Oregon Legislature

July 5th deadline approaching - sign the petition to stop the abuse of the emergency clause

Alert date: 
June 21, 2016
Alert body: 

The super-majority party in the Oregon Legislature has used the Emergency Clause as a weapon to pass controversial legislation and shut out citizens' constitutional right to challenge that legislation by slapping an Emergency Clause on 70% of the bills passed this last session.  That is ridiculous!

If you have not yet signed initiative petition #49 to STOP abuse of the Emergency Clause, OFIR urges you to do so ASAP.  Ask your friends, neighbors and relatives to do so, as well.

Ballot Measure 88 was a fluke in that, for some unknown reason, the majority party did not place an Emergency Clause on Senate Bill 833 - issuing driver cards to illegal aliens - in 2013.

Because there was no Emergency Clause, citizen's were allowed to exercise their constitutional right to a veto referendum to challenge the bad legislation to the 2014 General election ballot.

The bad bill was defeated with a 66% NO vote!  The citizen's prevailed.

Go now and sign the initiative petition - ask your friends, your neighbors and your co-workers to do so, as well.  Print out the single signer petition, SIGN and DATE and mail it today! 

We must do everything we can to maintain our constitutional right to a voice in the Oregon Legislature.

Looking at results of the Primary

 
Several incumbents who supported good immigration-related bills in the Oregon Legislature won in their primaries and will be on the ballot again in November.  Some newcomers were primary winners also.
 
Congratulations to OFIR Board member Mike Nearman, re-elected in the Republican Primary for Oregon House.  He will face Jim Thompson in the November General Election.  Congratulations also to OFIR Board member Mark Callahan who is now the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, opposing 35-year incumbent Ron Wyden, graded D- by NumbersUSA based on Wyden’s many years of wrong voting on immigration issues.  In contrast, NumbersUSA rates Mark Callahan a True Immigration Reformer, based on his replies to their candidate questionnaire.
 
All of the U.S. Senate candidates were profiled in the candidates section of the OFIR website, as well as candidates for numerous other offices also.
 
Four initiatives are described in the Elections section of the OFIR website, one of which is still actively collecting signatures.  This is Initiative Petition no. 49No more fake emergencies.  This initiative is very important because legislators are routinely attaching emergency clauses to almost every bill.  The emergency clause is being abused to prevent voters from exercising their Constitutional right to hold a referendum on the bill.  If you haven’t signed this petition, please do. Oregon citizens registered to vote can sign this petition online at: http://nofakeemergencies.com/ until June 22. See the petition website for further details.
 
OFIR also advocated these 3 initiatives:  IP 40, English will be the official language in Oregon; IP 51, Voters must prove citizenship to vote, and IP 52, Oregon employment protection act.
 
IP 52, the Oregon employment protection act, would have required use of the free federal E-Verify program for new hires by Oregon employers. Information about all of these initiatives is available on the OFIR website here.
  
Citizen activists face many problems in mounting initiatives on subjects that are out of favor with current government leadership.  One candidate for Secretary of State who will be on the November ballot, Dennis Richardson, said clearly on his campaign website: “Dennis believes citizens have the right to petition their government. He’ll work to make the initiative process more transparent and citizen friendly. He’ll advocate for fair and non-partisan ballot titling by proposing a citizen’s commission on ballot titling, which would remove the process from partisan hands.”
 
If you’re curious to know who the winners were in each primary election race and how many votes they got, you can check the state’s election report here: http://oregonvotes.gov/results/2016P/index.html
 

Did you miss Saturday's OFIR meeting?

OFIR hosted their quarterly meeting Saturday afternoon, May 7th.  If you were unable to attend, you missed a packed house and a great meeting!

Dr. Bud Pierce, GOP candidate for Governor was the featured speaker.  Several other candidates also dropped in to introduce themselves to our members and guests.

Oregon's new representative for the Remembrance Project gave a presentation about the national organization.

Oregon Abigail Adams Voter Education Project was there to explain the questionnaire they send to all candidates.

David Olen Cross explained how important your words are - in print!  He encouraged members to write letters to the editor and guest opinions for publication in newspapers across the state.

There was ample time for questions and candidates stayed well after the meeting to distribute campaign materials and meet with OFIR members.

 

 

OFIR meeting this Sat., May 7 at 2:00pm

Alert date: 
May 6, 2016
Alert body: 

OFIR is proud to invite you to our next OFIR membership meeting Saturday, May 7th at 2:00pm at the Best Western Mill Creek Inn across from Costco in Salem, OR.

Our featured speaker will be Republican candidate for Oregon's next Governor - Dr. Bud Pierce. Learn more about his immigration policies. Decide for yourself who would make the best Oregon governor!

Whether you're a political news junkie, or you would rather just hear the high points during campaign season, you simply must pay attention to this election - our future hangs in the balance. While we are fairly certain our OFIR members are regular voting participants, we can't express enough what a pivotal election this will be. It's been a long time since Oregon voters have played much of a role in the Presidential election. It appears that this year we just might! While OFIR is a non-partisan, single-issue organization, the importance of the upcoming election cannot be overstated.

People vote for candidates based on many factors. OFIR focuses on a candidates IMMIGRATION policies only. Visit our website to learn more about other races: http://www.oregonir.org/immigration-topics/elections

The 2016 Primary election is Tuesday, May 17th.  If you're unsure about your voter registration, it's advisable to check it soon. You can do that online here.

OFIR welcomes all candidates running for any office to attend our meeting. If there is time at the end of the meeting, candidates will be given the opportunity to speak for 2 minutes. Please introduce yourself upon arrival!

Please invite a friend and come to our next OFIR membership meeting Saturday, May 7th at 2:00pm at the Best Western Mill Creek Inn across from Costco in Salem.
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Driving directions to Best Western Mill Creek Inn:

From I-5, take exit 253, which is the intersection of I-5 and State roads 22 and Business 99E. Go West on 22 (Mission St.) a short distance to Hawthorne Ave. (Costco will be on your right), Turn R on Hawthorne Ave. to the first left, which is Ryan Drive. Turn left on Ryan Drive, by Denny’s Restaurant, and proceed to Mill Creek Inn just beyond.
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Credibility in immigration policy can be summed up in one sentence: those who should get in, get in; those who should be kept out, are kept out; and those who should not be here will be required to leave."-- - Barbara Jordan, Chair, U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform, testimony to Congress, February 24, 1995.

OFIR VP calls on citizens to help stop "emergency clause" abuse

OFIR Vice President Richard LaMountain, in a recent letter in the Beaverton Valley Times, urges citizens to sign an initiative petition that would put a measure on the ballot to end the overuse and downright abuse of the "emergency clause". 

Used most frequently to stop citizen's from overturning, via a citizen's veto referendum, legislation they feel is harmful to the state, the "emergency clause" has now become the norm in ramming through controversial legislation.

Learn more at:   nofakeemergencies.com


 

Former state Rep. Jim Thompson files to run as an Independent

SALEM — Jim Thompson, a former Republican state representative, has filed to run for his old seat as an Independent Party of Oregon candidate.

Thompson served three terms in the house before losing to incumbent Rep. Mike Nearman, R-Dallas, in the 2014 primary....

Nearman positioned himself to the right of Thompson in the 2014 race. This year, he's sponsoring ballot measures to stop illegal immigration by requiring employers to use the federal E-Verify program and making people provide proof of citizenship when they register to vote.

Nearman is facing a Republican primary challenge...

Rep. Vic Gilliam gets it wrong - again!

Representative Vic Gilliam, who spear-headed the failed attempt to put driver licenses in the hands of people in our country illegally, is at it again.

Flagrant remarks about the intentions of a well respected grassroots organization, of which I am President, is a thinly veiled attempt to discredit the work we have done and the intentions of our group going forward. 

In fact, he goes so far as to imply that OFIR is racist for wanting our immigration laws enforced and to have the needs of American citizens come first.

Rep. Gilliam, an elected official sworn to uphold the laws of this country, seems to think it's better to embrace the needs of those that willingly disregard our laws by coming here illegally, working here illegally and often using a stolen identity or social security number to do so, whose children overwhelm our schools, who often steal jobs away from low skill, entry level, legal workers (especially minorites), whose cars overwhelm our roads and whose increasing numbers threaten our natural environment. 

Rep. Gilliam stated, "Largely as a result of a failed federal immigration policy, we have undocumented workers in our state who are proven hard-working citizens and trusted friends."  Undocumented workers are now citizens according to Gilliam?   Gilliam is a State Representative?  At one time we used to be a nation that respected the “rule of law.”

I've got news for you Vic, our immigration policy is not failed - it's simply not enforced!  Elected officials like you have compounded the problems.  I don't blame those that take advantage of our lack of enforcement - I blame our elected officials that pick and choose which laws to enforce and which laws are not as convenient for them and their deep pocketed donors.

Once again, I think you're on the wrong side of the issue.  Clearly, you ignored your constituents thoughts on the issue  regarding driver licenses for illegal aliens when 18,282 of your constituents voted NO and only 5,571 voted YES.

You are elected to protect and serve your constituents, not foreign nationals illegally present in our country.

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Immigration reform, not discrimination, is needed

By:
Vic Gilliam
Woodburn Independent
2016-01-27

 

A simplistic view of immigration can be tempting given decades of federal mismanagement of our borders as well as grave concerns for our safety in light of growing international terrorism.

Some essentially declare in frustration: “Let’s seal our borders, force everyone to speak English and round up the ‘illegals’ and ship ‘em home!”

Racism is an evil human tendency, which I must resist. It can be as blatant as slavery. It can also creep up on a society or into one’s heart under the cover of fear.

Fellow lawmakers, some of whom I know well and respect, have announced their intention to promote so called “immigration reform” policies. I disagree with their approach and will vigorously oppose their efforts.

Taking the failures of this White House (and several previous ones) out on our neighbors and friends in Oregon is hardly the way to fix a global problem. I agree, we have an American culture and traditions that are memorable and worthy of respect. Hallmarks range from the Statue of Liberty in New York harbor, to Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. From Mark Hatfield’s success in restoring every Oregon Native-American tribe’s rights, to Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream,” we cherish landmarks in this great American melting pot.

Vigorous debate is fundamental to our republic. I repeat that many of legislators supporting these measures are honorable leaders and friends of mine. Yet, there are numerous reasons for opposing their proposal. And there is a fundamental flaw in their strategy.

The individuals and organization that have again masterminded and promoted these objectionable proposals, sadly have a reputation of racism. There are consistent and vigorous claims of non-discrimination but when considering the literature, rhetoric and track record of Oregonians For Immigration Reform, I’m reminded of Shakespeare’s phrase: “Methinks thou doth protest too much.”

Their spokesman was quoted this way: “They’re dividing the fabric of the community by not learning to speak English. … We’re not discriminating against any particular group. We just feel learning English would be important if you want to become a citizen.”

A common language for communication is an admirable goal. But why not promote English, bilingual education and additional language skills in our schools? Additionally, why not encourage adult education venues to address language and cultural differences and promote understanding and unity?

Largely as a result of a failed federal immigration policy, we have undocumented workers in our state who are proven hard-working citizens and trusted friends. If you choose to ignore the reality of generations of immigrants who are valued members of our community and economy, then who is really dividing the fabric of Oregon with frustrated misdirected policies at the state level?

I support a new focus on future federal standards of border safety. I will oppose clandestine discrimination cloaked in “immigration reform” that will make life more difficult for Oregon families with rich histories here and abroad. Let’s unite and raise the local bar of tolerance and understanding that results in a safer and stronger Oregon.

Vic Gilliam is state representative for House District 18, which spans from Aurora to Silverton.

http://portlandtribune.com/wbi/153-opinion/290522-167943-immigration-ref...

IRLI Files Motions to Intervene and Dismiss in Illegal Alien Lawsuit Seeking Driving Privileges

(Washington, D.C.) – On Wednesday, January 13, 2016, the Immigration Reform Law Institute (“IRLI”), along with Jill Gibson of the Gibson Law Firm, LLC, filed on behalf of their client Oregonians for Immigration Reform (“OFIR”) a motion to intervene in an Oregon federal court lawsuit brought by five admitted illegal aliens and two illegal alien special interest groups (collectively “plaintiffs”). At the same time, IRLI and Ms. Gibson filed on OFIR’s behalf a motion to dismiss the lawsuit as lacking merit. The lawsuit seeks to force the State of Oregon to grant driving privileges to illegal aliens.

Specifically, the suit seeks to overturn as unconstitutional the outcome of the November 2014 general election in Oregon, when, through the Oregon Constitution’s referendum veto process, Oregon voters overwhelmingly rejected (by 66%) a bill passed by the legislature and signed by the governor that would have extended eligibility for driving privileges to unlawfully present persons (OFIR was the driving force behind the referendum veto who collected the requisite number of signatures to get the issue placed on the ballot.). Conspicuously absent from the plaintiffs’ complaint is any mention of the alleged fundamental right denied them. Certainly it is not the right to a driver’s license or interstate travel as every court to address this issue has held that illegal aliens hold no such rights.

States actually have a number of legitimate public purposes that are rationally served by laws that restrict driving privileges to persons lawfully present in the U.S. For instance, states have a legitimate interest in limiting their finite resources to citizens and legal aliens and in not allowing their government machinery to be a facilitator for the concealment of illegal aliens. States also have a legitimate concern that persons subject to immediate or subsequent deportation will not be financially responsible for property damage or personal injury due to automobile accidents. Finally, states have a legitimate interest in promoting national security. Granting driving privileges to illegal aliens harms national security because, unlike legal aliens, illegal aliens have not undergone background checks or face-to-face interviews to determine whether they pose a national security threat.

Dale L. Wilcox, IRLI’s Executive Director commented, “This is a ridiculous case with no merit and is a waste of the court’s time and precious resources. The audacity of trespassers on our sovereign soil to demand taxpayer-funded benefits, like a driver’s license or card, just boggles the mind.” Wilcox continued, “Illegal aliens do not have a right to driving privileges, nor do they have a right to travel freely in the U.S. as federal law makes their very presence in the U.S. unlawful. In short, this case is about sour grapes as the overwhelming majority of Oregonians have spoken and rejected taxpayer-funded giveaways to those who have no legal right to be here.”

A copy of both motions as filed can be seen here:

http://Irli.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/stamped-motion-to-intervene.pdf

http://Irli.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/stamped-motion-to-dismiss.pdf

For additional information, contact:

Dale L. Wilcox
202-232-5590
dwilcox@irli.org

OFIR meeting - this Saturday!

Alert date: 
January 22, 2016
Alert body: 

Never before has the issue of immigration – both legal and illegal – been such an important topic in the Presidential election. And, never before has our country been in such jeopardy because of our lax immigration policies.

Join OFIR this Saturday - bring your ideas and we will have an open discussion about what we can and should be doing to take advantage of the momentum in the immigration debate.

We'll also bring you up to date on the status of OFIR's two citizen's initiatives that have been winding their way through the ballot title challenge process all the way to the Supreme Court.

And, for all of you that worked so hard to defeat driver cards for illegal aliens, and are following the lawsuit filed in Federal Court to overturn our big 66% win – we will have the latest news to report to you.

And, if that's not enough – it's time to elect NEW Executive Board officers!

2016 promises to be a watershed year and hopefully a turning point for U.S. and Oregon immigration policies. But, voters must step up.

If you have questions please call OFIR at (503) 435-0141 or send an email to ofir@oregonir.org.

Driving directions to Best Western Mill Creek Inn:
From I-5, take exit 253, which is the intersection of I-5 and State roads 22 and Business 99E. Go West on 22 (Mission St.) a short distance to Hawthorne Ave. (Costco will be on your right.) Turn R on Hawthorne Ave. to the first left, which is Ryan Drive. Turn left on Ryan Drive, by Denny’s Restaurant, and proceed to Mill Creek Inn just beyond.

From downtown Salem: Go east on Mission St. (State Rd. 22). Follow 22 just past the Airport and turn left on Hawthorne Ave. Then take the first left (almost an immediate left) into Ryan Drive; you will see the Inn directly ahead.

Illegal immigrants sue Oregon over ballot measure denying licenses

A group of illegal immigrants is suing the state of Oregon to overturn a voter-approved initiative that denied them driver’s licenses.

The lawsuit, brought by five illegal immigrants, comes after Oregonians passed Measure 88 last year with a strong two-thirds majority. Thirty-five of Oregon’s 36 counties voted against licenses for undocumented residents, as did every congressional district in the state, most of which are represented by Democrats.

But the lawsuit alleges Measure 88 is unconstitutional because it "arbitrarily" denies driving privileges based on membership in a "disfavored minority group." It alleges Oregon voters were motivated by "animus toward persons from Mexico and Central America."

Gustavo Recarde, who has worked construction and odd jobs in Portland and several states since sneaking into the United States in 1988, said a driver's license would help him feel more comfortable here and open doors.

"If an illegal [can] get a driver's license, it would be better because there's more opportunities to find a job as a driver," said Recarde, who is not part of the lawsuit. He said he believes race played a role in the vote.

But Cynthia Kendoll, president of Oregonians for Immigration Reform, said it's not the responsibility of Oregonians to make illegal immigrants comfortable or able to drive to jobs they don't legally have.

"They came here by choice, they weren't brought here against their will, and with those choices come hardships," she said.

Measure 88 was a public vote and a reaction to a law passed by the Oregon Legislature in 2013 and signed by then-Gov. John Kitzhaber, a Democrat, that would have given "driver's cards" to those who cannot prove they are in the U.S. legally.

The campaign to deny licenses won big despite being outspent 10-to-one.

"People were not swayed by their arguments that they deserve to have a driver's card so they could more easily get to their jobs," Kendoll said. "They're not supposed to be working here."

Kendoll said Oregonians were motivated by national security and drug-smuggling by Mexican cartels, not race. Those without papers have not gone through immigration checks, she said, and licenses make it easier to transport narcotics up and down the West Coast.

Norman Williams, associate dean for academic affairs at the Willamette University College of Law in Salem, said the plaintiffs’ best argument is under the U.S. Constitution's Equal Protection Clause – and to claim Oregon has no rational basis for depriving undocumented Latin Americans of the ability to drive on Oregon's roads.

"The U.S. Supreme Court has been clear that neither legislators nor voters may target a minority group because of their race or ethnicity," he said.

The plaintiffs -- five illegal immigrants identified only by their initials -- don't have to prove every Oregon voter was racially motivated, he said.

"They do have to establish there were enough voters who voted 'no' who were prompted to do so because of racial concerns, that could have tipped the balance," he said.

Still, Williams said they face an uphill battle.

"Federal judges are very hesitant to strike down state statutes on constitutional grounds," he said.


 

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