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Wyden's Townhall visit Monday, August 19 - don't miss it!

Senator Ron Wyden will be holding a Townhall meeting Monday, August 19th.

While the topic is Healthcare, that doesn't mean you can't ask questions and share your concerns about the Senate "Gang of Eight" amnesty bill.

We encourage you to attend, ask questions and report back in the topic of immigration is even touched upon during the meeting.

Topic: HEALTH CARE TOWN HALL
Official: Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR)
When: 08/19/2013
Starts: 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM
Where: Self Enhancement Inc.
3920 N. Kerby Avenue
Portland, OR 97227

 

 


 

What? I can't hear you!

So many House Republicans simply can't be this dumb...or CAN they?  Read the latest on S 744, the massive bill that will change our country in ways we can't even imagine.

Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) Gutierrez says that the “40 to 50” House Republicans who have expressed support for the new comprehensive immigration reform bill, have done so quietly. He suggested that there are “more than enough” GOP votes to pass the bill.

“They say, ‘Love to do the activity with you, I want to be able to vote for it, I really don’t need to draw attention to myself at this point,’ but we can count on it [their votes],” he explained.

House Democrat Luis Gutierrez: ‘More Than Enough’ GOP Votes To Pass Immigration Reform

In an interview released Friday by The Washington Post, Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) suggested that there are “more than enough” GOP votes to pass comprehensive immigration reform.

Gutierrez says that the “40 to 50” House Republicans who have expressed support for the new bill have done so quietly.

“They say, ‘Love to do the activity with you, I want to be able to vote for it, I really don’t need to draw attention to myself at this point,’ but we can count on it [their votes],” he explained.

The interview comes a few days after Rep. Daniel Webster (R-FL.) and Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL) expressed support for the measures – most notably a pathway to full citizenship — introduced by the proposed immigration reform.

“We’re a nation of immigrants, there’s no question about that. But we’re also a nation of laws. I think we have to honor both of those.” Webster said in an interview with the Orlando Sentinel.

Webster and Schock are part of a 20-member group comprised of Republicans in the House who have confirmed their support for immigration reform – a group that includes bipartisan “Gang of 7” members Rep. Mario Diaz Balart (R-FL), Rep. Sam Johnson (R-TX), and Rep. John Carter (R-TX).

Other House Republicans in favor of immigration reform include Spencer Bachus (AL) who stated that without a pathway to citizenship, we would create “an underclass,” Darrell Issa, and Jeff Denham (CA), who said he believes the “Senate’s done a good job.”

Rep. David Valadao (R-CA) – who also supports immigration reform – said that winning Republican House members over to reform is possible: “Once you talk to them and explain that it’s a process, where [undocumented immigrants] can work for [citizenship], appreciate it and someday become citizens – just like my parents did – most members begin to understand.”

Gutierrez says that there are at least 195 confirmed House Democrats who support immigration reform, meaning the 22 confirmed GOP House members only need one more Republican vote to pass it.

Even so, a bill has not reached the House floor.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has enforced the Hastert Rule, a practice that involves only bringing a bill to a vote if there is majority support from the majority party’s members.

According to the Washington Post, House Republicans have now shifted their efforts to a more “piecemeal approach to immigration reform,” focusing more on bills related to border security.

On Thursday, Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA) spoke out against Boehner and his fellow House Republicans who refuse to express support for immigration reform, and said that he is “frustrated” with the leadership.

Asked why the process is so dragged out, Denham confirmed what many observers have been thinking: “It probably has a lot more to do with politics than policy.”

Source: Boehner Says No to Immigration Bill Without House GOP Support

House Speaker John Boehner appears to have put to rest rumors that he may break what is informally called the “Hastert Rule,” an unwritten guideline that a majority of the majority party should be needed to bring a bill to the House floor, in order to pass a version of amnesty like the “Gang of Eight” bill currently moving through the Senate.

A source with direct knowledge of these matters told Breitbart News that Boehner has decided to abide by the Hastert Rule in regards to immigration reform. “No immigration bill will be brought to the floor for a vote without a majority of the Republican conference in support,” the source told Breitbart News on Monday.

Around Washington, conservatives have worried that Boehner may back down from conservative principles on immigration and support the Gang of Eight bill. They fear he may rush the bill to the floor if the Senate passes it and try to move it through the House with a majority of Democratic votes.

Even though those rumors continue to fly, signs now indicate that Boehner will not break the Hastert Rule and will only bring a bill to the floor with the support of the majority of Republicans.

Reports from Ryan Lizza at The New Yorker and David Drucker at the Washington Examiner appear to support the idea that Boehner will not break with Republicans. It did take Rep. Steve King (R-IA) banding together more than 50 of his colleagues to call for a special GOP conference meeting on the topic, at which they expressed their dissatisfaction with the Senate bill and their hope that Boehner will stick to the Hastert Rule.

In addition to King’s efforts, conservative groups have circulated letters around Washington calling on the conference to formally codify the Hastert Rule into the House GOP conference rules so that it must be followed, instead of just being a guideline.

 

 


 

Yet another state takes the hit

Oregonians should lend a shoulder to cry on for our friends in Colorado who have just had a bill signed into law giving driver licenses to illegal aliens in their state.  Unfortunately for them, their bill was loaded with a Public Safety clause so that it can't be challenged by Colorado's citizens.

Protect Oregon Driver Licenses filed a referendum just days after a similar bill, SB 833 was signed into law by Governor Kitzhaber here in Oregon.  We intend to collect 58,142 valid signatures so that we can get this issue on the ballot and give Oregon voters a voice and a vote on whether illegal aliens should be given driver licenses so they can drive to their jobs.

Our goal is to be the domino that just won't go down in the long line of dominoes at risk of falling.  Hopefully it will cause other states to take notice...citizens can and will fight back if pushed too hard.

The fact remains that liberal Democrats and even some off track Republicans are willfully ruining our country with horrendous legislation that undermines the rule of law, rewards illegal behavior and fails to protect the citizens of this great country from the damage caused by illegal immigration.

It would be a wonderful thing if so many of our politicians would get their eye off the ballot box and get their head in the game.  Our country, and our way of life, is deteriorating at an alarming rate and many State Legislatures and Congress are so arrogant they don't notice and don't even seem to care about the damage they are causing. Their concern about being re-elected is clouding their vision.

I told my State Senator, Peter Courtney, that when he retires I hope he looks back at all the damage he has done to our state and finally sees and acknowledges the results of his efforts.  I doubt he will, but at least the idea is planted.

It's a good thing we have elections...well, at least for now.

National Press Day Opposing Comprehensive Amnesty Bill

On Tuesday, May 21st, state and local groups around the country will hold a series of press conferences to highlight their opposition to S. 744, the Senate’s comprehensive amnesty bill. The goal is to call attention to the bill’s many failings and to promote an immigration-enforcement approach to reform.

An Arizona-based coalition called Remember 1986 took the lead in coordinating the press conferences. The coalition’s press conference web site page contains a list of planned events. In many instances, participants will be delivering to Senators NumbersUSA petitions that have been signed by a state's citizens.

The events will especially spotlight three key factors about the Gang of Eight immigration bill:

  • It won't stop the next amnesty: Its format of amnesty first and enforcement later is the same as the 1986 amnesty in which "later" never came and enforcement promises were all broken.
  • It is an attack on the 20 million Americans who can't find a full-time job: The bill doubles legal immigration to meet the desires of a gang of corporate lobbyists to continue to hold down wages. All-told, the bill offers 33 million lifetime work permits to 11 million illegal aliens and 22 million new immigrants in the first decade alone.
  • It adds a massive unfunded mandate to government spending and debt: The Heritage Foundation studied the costs of the bill only for the 11 million illegal aliens who would get the amnesty. It projected $9.4 trillion in government services over their lifetime, but only $3.1 trillion in taxes, leaving a net cost of $6.3 trillion.


 

Heritage: Amnesty will Cost U.S. Taxpayers $6.3 Trillion

Earlier this today, the Heritage Foundation released its analysis on the fiscal costs to U.S. taxpayers should the Gang of Eight's amnesty bill pass in Congress. The study found that an amnesty for the nation's 11 million illegal aliens would cost taxpayers $6.3 trillion over the lifetime of the illegal aliens. The study compared dozens of ways that the government would collect taxes and fees from amnestied illegal aliens against the benefits they would receive from the federal government.

The study assigns all federal benefits to four separate categories:

  • Direct benefits. These include Social Security, Medicare, unemployment insurance, and workers' compensation.
  • Means-tested welfare benefits. There are over 80 of these programs which, at a cost of nearly $900 billion per year, provide cash, food, housing, medical, and other services to roughly 100 million low-income Americans. Major programs include Medicaid, food stamps, the refundable Earned Income Tax Credit, public housing, Supplemental Security Income, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.
  • Public education. At a cost of $12,300 per pupil per year, these services are largely free or heavily subsidized for low-income parents.
  • Population-based services. Police, fire, highways, parks, and similar services, as the National Academy of Sciences determined in its study of the fiscal costs of immigration, generally have to expand as new immigrants enter a community; someone has to bear the cost of that expansion.

Robert Rector, who conducted most of the research for the report, has been studying government-funded services for years and has found that only households with high levels of education pay more in taxes over their lifetime than those with lower levels of education.

The Pew Hispanic Center estimates that only 15% of illegal aliens have at least a college degree, while nearly three out of every four illegal aliens has no more than a high school diploma. Rector used government data similar to Pew's data to reach his conclusion.

Through Rector's research, he's determined that the average illegal-alien household receives around $24,721 in government services, while only paying $10,334 in taxes, amounting to a $14,387 net cost to the American taxpayer. That cost would obviously continue, but legalization of the illegal alien population would also make them eligible for many other forms of federal benefits, primarily Medicare and Social Security in retirement, once they receive green cards and citizenship.

According to the report:

The final phase of amnesty is retirement. Unlawful immigrants are not currently eligible for Social Security and Medicare, but under amnesty they would become so. The cost of this change would be very large indeed.

  • As noted, at the current time (before amnesty), the average unlawful immigrant household has a net deficit (benefits received minus taxes paid) of $14,387 per household.
  • During the interim phase immediately after amnesty, tax payments would increase more than government benefits, and the average fiscal deficit for former unlawful immigrant households would fall to $11,455.
  • At the end of the interim period, unlawful immigrants would become eligible for means-tested welfare and medical subsidies under Obamacare. Average benefits would rise to $43,900 per household; tax payments would remain around $16,000; the average fiscal deficit (benefits minus taxes) would be about $28,000 per household.
  • Amnesty would also raise retirement costs by making unlawful immigrants eligible for Social Security and Medicare, resulting in a net fiscal deficit of around $22,700 per retired amnesty recipient per year.

In terms of public policy and government deficits, an important figure is the aggregate annual deficit for all unlawful immigrant households. This equals the total benefits and services received by all unlawful immigrant households minus the total taxes paid by those households.

  • Under current law, all unlawful immigrant households together have an aggregate annual deficit of around $54.5 billion.
  • In the interim phase (roughly the first 13 years after amnesty), the aggregate annual deficit would fall to $43.4 billion.
  • At the end of the interim phase, former unlawful immigrant households would become fully eligible for means-tested welfare and health care benefits under the Affordable Care Act. The aggregate annual deficit would soar to around $106 billion.
  • In the retirement phase, the annual aggregate deficit would be around $160 billion. It would slowly decline as former unlawful immigrants gradually expire.
For more information, see the Heritage Foundation.
 


 

Analysis of Future Flow In Gang of Eight Plan: More than 30 Million Immigrants Granted Legal Status In 10 Years, With The Ability To Bring Their Relatives

The Gang of Eight has stated, “this legislation does not significantly increase long-term, annual migration to the United States” and has indicated the legislation shift the United States from low-skill and chain migration to high-skill merit-based. Conspicuously, however, they have refused to provide an estimate of future flow. A conservative analysis of the legislation, with low-range estimates for the new and expanded visa programs, reveals that the proposal would dramatically increase the future flow of low-skill workers and chain migration and provide legal status and work authorization to 30 million immigrants over the next 10 years—who will then be able to bring in family members, initiating a wave of non-merit-based chain migration that will greatly increase low-skilled immigration.

Here is a shorthand way of looking at the explosive growth in the number of people who will be granted work authorization and permanent residency over the next 10 years, largely on a non-merit based track:

· An estimated 2.5 million DREAM beneficiaries of any age (including those no longer living in the country) will be eligible for citizenship in five years.

· DREAM beneficiaries will be able to bring in an unlimited number of parents, spouses, and children (not subject to any cap) and those spouses,  children, and parents will get permanent legal status in five years and be eligible for citizenship in 10.

· An estimated 800,000 illegal agricultural workers will become legal permanent residents (green card holders) in five years and will then be eligible to bring in an unlimited number of spouses and children.

· An estimated 8 million additional illegal immigrants, including recent arrivals and millions of visa overstays, will receive legal status and work authorization. These 8 million will be able to bring in their relatives as soon as 10 years from now. Those relatives, over time, will be able to bring in spouses, children, and parents.

· An estimated 4.5 million aliens awaiting employment and family-based visas under current cap limitations will be cleared in less than 10 years, not subject to the family-based annual cap (thus freeing up room for more family-based migration that is subject to the annual cap).

The bill increases the level of immigration through current and new visa systems. Here are just some examples of how the bill increases legal immigration through visas:

· The bill creates a new merit based visa, which allows for up to 250,000 visas annually. If a little over half of the visas are issued over a 10-year period, the increase in the number of immigrants would be 1,250,000.

· The bill creates a new guest worker program (W-1) for low-skilled workers with a cap of 200,000 visas annually. If a little over a half of the guest workers visas available are issued over a 10-year period, the increase in the number of immigrants would be 1,000,000.

· The bill creates a new nonimmigrant agricultural workers program (W-3 & W-4 visa) which allows up to 112,333 annually. If half of the visas are issued over a 10-year period, the increase in the number of nonimmigrants would be 561,665.

· The bill exempts Priority Workers (EB-1 under current law), STEM graduates, and spouses and children of LPRs from the employment-based visa caps. By taking the average number of immigrants in the two exempt categories over the past 10 years, the exemption will account for an additional 762,000 immigrants over 10 years.

· The bill increases the H-1B visa cap up to 180,000 with a floor of 110,000. If half of the H-1B visas are issued over a 10-year period, the increase in the number of immigrants would be 1,450,000.

· The bill leaves current employment visa caps unchanged and moderately decreases family caps, allowing 301,000 visas a year with some exemptions, but allows for unused visas from 1992 through 2013 to be recaptured. Over a 10-year period, the number of legal immigrants would be 3,879,094.

The total number of immigrants obtaining legal status from the programs listed above is 24,702,759 over a 10-year period. That number does not include other immigrant and nonimmigrant visa programs in the bill (e.g. refugee and asylum seekers, W-1 visas, W-2 visas, W-3 visas, W-4 visas), nor does it include student visas who are now allowed dual intent.

The Gang of Eight’s bill will drastically increase low-skill chain migration. Some of the chain categories are subject to an annual family-based visa cap of 161,000, including adult unmarried sons and daughters of citizens or LPRs, and married sons and daughters (under the age of 31) of U.S. citizens. However, the bill completely exempts the largest categories of chain migrants from the family- and employment-based visa caps, including spouses and children of LPRs or citizens and parents of citizens. The following illustrates how the exempt chain migration categories will dramatically increase the future flow by millions of immigrants over the next 10 years:

  • An estimate 2–3 million DREAM beneficiaries are eligible for legal permanent residency and citizenship after just 5 years. After receiving LPR status, the DREAMers may bring a spouse and child through the bill’s exempt chain category and, once granted citizenship, can bring their parents as well (not subject to cap). Assuming 1 million DREAMers bring any combination of two people, the future flow of immigrants would increase by over 2 million. This does not include other chain migrants that a DREAMer may petition under the caps, including adult unmarried sons and daughters, and married sons and daughters. Subsequently, the chain migrants will have the same opportunity to petition for their relatives in the same manner as the DREAMers.

In sum, over the first decade, the total number granted will be well over 32 million (not taking into account chain migration from increased legal flow). Adding in all the various categories of nonimmigrant work visas, and the number climbs to more than 57 million. Further, because approximately 7 million illegal immigrants are on a 13-year track to citizenship, there will be a second wave of chain migration initiated just outside the 10-year window (substantially increasing the net low-skill immigration).
 

SB 833 is harmful to Oregon and the U.S. and should be voted down

by Elizabeth Van Staaveren

In 2007, when the events of 9/11 and the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission were fresh in the public mind, Governor Kulongoski issued an Executive Order calling for stricter requirements for issuance of driver licenses. He also called upon the Legislature to enact legislation giving the requirements statutory authority.

In our own state, abuses on a significant scale had already been discovered in the sale of fraudulent driver licenses to out-of-state illegal aliens. "It appears that criminal organizations ... are using Oregon's permissive standards in order to assist persons to illegally obtain" licenses, Governor Kulongoski’s order explained.

In February 2008, a new Oregon driver’s license law was passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in both chambers of the Legislature. It required driver's license applicants to prove U.S. citizenship or legal residence. The law has worked well and citizens have had the security of knowing that illegal aliens and any criminals among them could not easily use Oregon as a source for falsifying their identity.

Why abandon this security in an increasingly dangerous world? It was very irresponsible of Gov. John Kitzhaber to yield to the pleas and demands of illegal alien advocates and actually sponsor a group of them to fashion SB 833 behind closed doors without allowing any input from citizens who represent the public interest. It was not only irresponsible but dangerous, because among the illegal aliens there are many who drink and drive recklessly and have killed or maimed innumerable innocent citizens in road crashes. Furthermore, the deadly drug trade flourishes in Oregon because illegal aliens are either directly involved themselves or can be forced by drug lords to aid them. Even more formidable are the international terrorists who take advantage of weak state driver license laws to embed themselves into a community and hide their massively crippling plans.

Citizenship is meaningless if illegal immigrants are allowed to enter and remain in this country encouraged and unchallenged. SB 833 accommodates and legitimizes illegal aliens, thus tarnishing the value of U.S. citizenship and saying to the world: citizenship matters little or not at all -- anyone can come here any time, and settle.

Already wages are depressed because of the volume of illegal immigration. Our less-educated citizens have to compete for jobs against illegal aliens who will work for a pittance and dare not protest working conditions to an employer. Citizens are losing out and many remain unemployed for long periods, a devastating situation for them, while they watch illegal aliens working at every construction site, in landscaping, agriculture, hotels, restaurants, and various other places.

A recent Gallup poll showed that more than 100 million people worldwide dream of a life in the U.S., and would come here if they could. The U.S. is the no. 1 desired destination for potential migrants. Of course we cannot admit all of them. Immigration laws are essential and must be enforced; otherwise the U.S. is on a disastrous path to overpopulation and chaos. Extending driver licenses to illegal aliens will only expedite the disaster.

This particular bill, SB 833, has been loosely written to allow many crucial decisions to be made by the DMV, an agency which is under political pressure from any Governor in office at the time. As the Oregon State Sheriffs’ Association stated in their testimony on SB 833, a driver privilege card should be “very clearly different from the current Oregon Identification Card and Oregon Drivers License. While the current language does provide some direction, Sheriffs believe the statute should be more specific. … Some of these requirements should be statutory rather than strictly administrative.”

The Sheriffs Association also stated that they think “obtaining a driving privilege document should be a robust and rigorous process and … they should be renewed annually. Sheriffs believe a four-year term is too long. …”

Instead of spending time making life here more comfortable for illegal aliens, our legislators should assist the federal government in enforcing the immigration laws. There are many things that states can do to help.

SB 833, granting driver privileges to illegal aliens, is harmful both to Oregon and to this country. Citizens should contact their legislators and urge them to reject SB 833.

Immigration reform is not about semantics

It seems everyone has some advice for beleaguered Republicans these days, especially when it comes to Hispanic voters and the issue of immigration.

Among the many groups and interests who may or may not have the best interests of the Republican Party at heart is the Hispanic Leadership Network, which bills itself as a coalition of Hispanic Republicans. In an appeal to congressional Republicans, the HLN suggests that the party’s rhetoric on immigration policy is the decisive impediment to winning more of the Hispanic vote.

As alluring as it might be for Republicans to believe that they are a catch-phrase or two away from cutting into the Democrats’ sizeable advantage among Hispanics, it is simply not the case. For starters, the Republicans’ difficulty with Hispanic voters predates recent immigration debates. Mitt Romney’s poor showing among Hispanics was not significantly out of line with what other GOP presidential nominees have polled over many decades.

The Republicans’ “Hispanic problem” is not an immigration-related one; it is an economic one. Every poll of Hispanic voters has found that jobs and the economy top the list of concerns expressed by these voters and that by overwhelming majorities they favor the Democrats’ solutions. Immigration policy ranks far down the list of concerns for most Hispanic voters.

The HLN offers up an appealing list of euphemisms that Republicans might use as they engage in the looming policy debate about immigration reform. Euphemisms may make it easier for Republicans to compromise core values. But engaging in euphemism will not impress Hispanic voters who are voting against Republicans in large numbers for reasons that have nothing to do with amnesty for illegal aliens. And it certainly will do nothing to benefit American workers and taxpayers who will bear the brunt of the truly destructive policy euphemistically labeled “comprehensive immigration reform.”

Republicans should not shy away from using the term amnesty for what is being proposed. It is what it is, even if illegal aliens have to jump through a few hoops, endure a slap on the wrists, and wait awhile to become citizens. The HLN’s preferred term, “earned legal status,” ignores the fundamental truth that the most important criterion for earning legal status is having broken the law. Not only that, while illegal immigrants are going through the process, they will get to remain here, be eligible to compete for most every job available, and enjoy many public benefits including ObamaCare.

Another helpful rationalization suggested by the HLN is removing the word illegal (either as a noun or adjective) from the immigration debate lexicon. Such people should be referred to as “undocumented immigrants,” Republicans are urged. The problem, of course, is that the term is not only inaccurate, but utterly divorced from reality. Being an immigrant to the United States is not a status people can bestow upon themselves, any more than being a congressman, senator, doctor, or a lawyer is.

The people who would benefit from amnesty are citizens of other nations who either entered or remained in this country in violation of our laws. Like all human beings, they need to be treated with respect and dignity, but that should not preclude us from calling what they are – illegal aliens – or demanding that they comply with our laws.

Warm and fuzzy language should not obscure the most important consideration of how we address immigration reform. Illegal immigration is harmful to the well-being of American workers and taxpayers, and is a potential threat to our security. Amnesty would only validate the harm that has already been inflicted and compound it over time. In particular, Hispanic Americans who often compete directly with illegal aliens for jobs, wages, and educational opportunities as they endeavor to get ahead, stand to lose the most.

Instead of adopting empty feel-good rhetoric, Republicans need to offer a compelling message for why enforcing our immigration laws would be enormously beneficial to low-income Americans, including Hispanics. There is a clear choice that needs to be made in dealing immigration. Either we can prioritize people who broke our immigration laws and the narrow political and economic interests that benefit from them, or we can do what is right for Hispanic citizens and legal immigrants, and their children.

A realistic chance at upward mobility, not mass amnesty, is precisely what Hispanic voters say they want. A rational immigration policy, not patronizing language, is the Republicans’ best hope for winning the votes of Hispanic Americans.

Dan Stein is president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform.

 

 

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