Tuesday - January 10, 2011, Townhall meeting

Alert date: 
January 9, 2012
Alert body: 

US Senator Jeff Merkley Townhall schedule

Date: Tuesday, January 10th 2012
Time: 4:30 P.M.
Location: American Legion Hall
605 Main St

Special Election, January 31, 2012 - Congressional District 1

In less than 2 weeks, ballots will be arriving in the mail for the Special Election for Representative, First Oregon Congressional District. This is a very important position as Congress is the branch of the Federal Government that makes immigration laws. The former Representative, David Wu, served for over 10 years almost always voting for benefits to illegal aliens and higher immigration levels. We need a Representative who understands the urgency of stopping illegal immigration and reducing the numbers legally admitted.

Following is a summary of available information on the immigration positions of candidates for Congress in this Special Election, January 31, 2012, to elect a candidate to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Rep. David Wu.

Suzanne Bonamici (Democrat) – She was elected to the Oregon House in Nov. 2006, from District 34 (Beaverton), and began serving in January 2007. In 2008, she was appointed to fill the vacancy representing Senate District 17 (Beaverton, Portland), and she continued in the Senate until Nov. 2011 when she resigned in order to run for Congress.

While serving in the House, in the February 2008 Special Session, she voted to continue giving Oregon driver licenses to illegal aliens, when she voted against requiring proof of legal status to obtain a driver license (SB 1080). In the Senate's 2011 session, she voted for the bill to grant in-state tuition to illegal aliens, SB 742.

Her campaign website is at: www.bonamiciforcongress.com. The site has a Priorities section with no mention of immigration. There is a site-wide search box, and typing in the word "immigration" returned this reply: "Sorry, but no results were found." From the lack of any mention, we can conclude that immigration is a non-issue for her, and she does not wish to discuss it. Her record of voting in the State Legislature makes it clear however, that she protects illegal aliens and wants them to have taxpayer-funded benefits. She can be expected to vote the same way in Congress, that is, for lax-to-no enforcement of immigration laws, and for benefits for illegal aliens, enticing more to come. As the Democratic Party leadership opposes mandatory use of E-Verify, she would probably follow party policy on that issue as well.

Rob Cornilles (Republican) – Cornilles was born and grew up in Oregon; he has been a businessman most of his adult life. His website at www.cornillesforcongress.com has a lengthy Issues section, and one of the several topics covered is Border Security, in which he points out the dangers of uncontrolled immigration and shows strong support for better border security. It ends with this reference to immigration: "And as we secure the borders, we should also focus on increasing the efficiencies of legal immigration because, as always, legal immigration strengthens the American family and builds our economy."

He has stated in communications with individuals that he supports E-Verify as part of a broader approach to addressing the problem of illegal immigration. This leaves open the question of whether he supports amnesty for illegal immigrants now in the country.As Republican nominee for Congress in Nov. 2010, opposing Rep. David Wu (Democrat), Cornilles had this statement on his campaign website, in the then-section on National Security: "When it comes to immigration, we must first secure our borders and enforce our current laws, with illegal immigrants and with employers." In that election (Nov. 2010), OFIR endorsed Cornilles, and he received nearly 123,000 votes to Wu's 160,357.

James Foster (Libertarian) – His website is at http://www.votejamesfoster.com .
He answered the Political Courage Test of Project Vote Smart, and said that he does not support the enforcement of federal immigration laws by state and local police. To the question, "Should illegal immigrants who graduate from Oregon high schools be eligible for in-state tuition at public universities?" he said Yes.

Steven Reynolds (Progressive) – His website is at: http://www.orneeds.it
No statements by him on immigration policy were found.


If possible, attend one or more of these events and ASK specific questions of these candidates about their plans to stop illegal immigration.  If you get a response, please share with OFIR.  Be certain to talk with your neighbors and co-workers about the special election and make certain they vote.

Jan. 6: DEBATE: Portland City Club debate, 12:15 pm. To reserve tickets:

Jan. 8: Rob Cornilles is the first guest on KATU's new public affairs show, "Your Voice, Your Vote." Airs at 9 am.

Jan. 9: DEBATE: Washington County Public Affairs Forum, 11:45 am Call 503-922-2014 for more information

Jan. 10: DEBATE: Washington County Chambers of Commerce, 7:30 am
To reserve tickets: http://wcccp1stcongressiondistrictdebate.eventbrite.com/

Jan. 10: DEBATE: KGW/Oregonian Debate, Live broadcast on KGW Channel 8 7pm-8pm.

Jan. 17: DEBATE: OPB's Think Out Loud KOPB FM 91.5 9am-10 am

Jan. 17: DEBATE: Portland Rotary Debate 12:45 CALL 503-922-2014 for more information Read more about Special Election, January 31, 2012 - Congressional District 1


Albany teen victim of ID theft

Three weeks ago Dannica Dillenbeck had never heard of Mission, Texas. Now, it’s likely she’ll never forget it.

The city of 77,000 near the Mexican border became all too familiar to Dillenbeck when she tried to fill out a job application for the new Walmart store in Albany.

According to Walmart records, she was already employed by the company.

“I had to enter my Social Security number and it was already in their records,” said Dillenbeck, 17, who has been searching for a job for a year.

Before she even got a chance to fill out the online application, she was flagged as already employed by the company.

“I’ve never been employed anywhere,” Dillenbeck said.

She contacted the Lebanon store and the personnel manager said company data had her Social Security number registered to an Alfonso Martinez in Mission.

So she and her mother, Melissa Murphy, went to the Albany Social Security office, which verified her number and issued confirming paperwork. That sent them to the Albany police to report the ID theft.

“I was told to be more careful,” Dillenbeck said. “I had been careful. I was hoping the police would do more.”

Eager to resolve the situation, Dillenbeck and her mom called the Mission police. At first the reaction was the same, but through persistence — it took eight days — a case number was finally issued.

In the meantime, Dillenbeck contacted the Federal Trade Commission, which aids the public in trying to resolve identity theft problems. She also called a credit reporting agency to report the fraud.

“Those agencies were helpful,” she said.

Eventually, Mission police made an arrest.

“When they got back to us they said the man was an illegal alien and had purchased Dannica’s number for $200,” Murphy said.

It is a problem that is becoming more frequent, according to Steven Toporoff of the FTC.

“Targeting children for ID theft, especially Social Security numbers, is more common than people think and it’s growing,” Toporoff said.

The FTC records fraud complaints but has no investigative arm. It estimates up to 140,000 cases of child identity theft have occurred in the last few years. Toporoff said organized groups hack into medical records and school systems.

“Some also use existing patterns to project what might be a Social Security number,” Toporoff said. “And sometimes they get lucky. It’s almost impossible to trace.”

Children are targeted because it usually takes much longer for the theft to be discovered. In Dillenbeck’s case she may not have found out until Walmart reported taxes to the IRS.

Her mother said the person using her number had no bank account and dealt strictly with cash.

“She could have wound up getting something from the IRS down the line saying she owed taxes,” Murphy said.

Toporoff said her problem isn’t totally solved. The thieves still have her number and could sell it again.

Like the FTC, the Social Security Administration has no investigative unit of its own.

“We just issue numbers,” said Michael Webb of the Social Security regional office in Seattle.

According to Webb, the administration is trying to minimize the threat as it issues new numbers. It is in the process of randomizing numbering to eliminate patterns.

It will get rid of its current use of the geographic significance attached to the first three digits and also change the way it issues the fourth and fifth digits.

It’s too late to help Dillenbeck, who has continued looking for work without further incident, but her mother said getting the word out is what is important.

“If what Dannica has gone through can help anyone else, I believe it is worth it,” Murphy said.

Dannica Dillenbeck, 17, and her mother, Melissa Murphy, both of Albany, spent two weeks tracking down a man in Texas who had stolen Dillenbeck’s Social Security number and used it to get a job at Walmart. (David Patton/Democrat-Herald)


FTC spokesman Steven Toporoff said victims of identity theft should take the following steps to minimize the impact:

• Place a fraud alert on your credit by contacting one of the three companies that monitor credit reports. Those companies are Equifax, Trans Union and Experian. The company contacted is required to notify the other two, which will place an alert on their versions of your credit report.

• Review your credit report for debts you can’t explain, accounts you did not open and inquiries from companies you have not contacted.

• Close accounts you know or believe have been tampered with.

• File a report with the local police or the police where the identity theft took place. Get a case number or something to verify a report has been filed.

• File a complaint with the FTC online or by phone. Also contact Social Security and the Internal Revenue Service.

  Read more about Albany teen victim of ID theft


Eleven arrested in Ore., Wash. on federal charges in meth distribution ring

Eleven suspects described as “heavy hitting, large scale drug traffickers” were arrested this week on federal charges in connection with a multistate methamphetamine distribution ring, the U.S. District Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon announced Thursday. Dec. 1, 2011. (Washington County Sheriff's Office)

Eleven suspects described as “heavy hitting, large scale drug traffickers” were arrested this week on federal charges in connection with a multistate methamphetamine distribution ring, the U.S. District Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon announced Thursday.

The arrests follow a multi-year investigation. According to a federal indictment unsealed Wednesday, the suspects used cell phones to traffic drugs from February of this year to the present. The indictment alleges investigators used court sanctioned wiretaps to capture communication between the defendants and drug supply sources in Mexico.

Law enforcement from federal, Oregon and Washington agencies executed 14 search and arrest warrants on Tuesday and Wednesday, recovering 15 pounds of methamphetamine and heroin, over 20 firearms and large amounts of cash.

The defendants include:

Hugo Gonzalez-Pasaye, aka Gordo, 27, of Hillsboro [ICE Hold}
Adrian Gonzalez-Pasaye, 35, of Vancouver [ICE Hold]
Diego Bermudez-Ortiz, 23, of Hillsboro [ICE Hold]
Edwin Magana-Solis, aka Meno, Roberto Lopez-Delgado, 27, of Hillsboro [ICE Hold]
Mauricio Cruz-Garcia, aka Kalamako of Portland [ICE Hold]
Jose Garcia-Zambrano, 20, of Hillsboro [ICE Hold]
Ricky Valero, 43, of Forest Grove
Gregorio Gutierrez-Montes, aka Goyo, 22, of Portland

The federal charges carry a minimum sentence of 10 years, and a maximum of life in prison.

Multiple agencies assisted in the investigation including: Westside Interagency Narcotics Task Force, DEA, FBI, the U.S. Marshals Service, Oregon State Police, the Vancouver Police Department, Clark County Sheriff’s Office, Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Sherwood Police Department, the Oregon National Guard, the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, the Portland Police Bureau, the Hillsboro Police Department, the Beaverton Police Department, the Clark Skamania Drug Task Force and the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. District Attorneys Geoffrey A. Barrow and John C. Laing. 
  Read more about Eleven arrested in Ore., Wash. on federal charges in meth distribution ring


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