President

New Normal – “Border surge”: Obama is issuing work permits and SSNs to illegal aliens without even the pretense of vetting

Dustin Inman Society blog post - written by D.A. King spells out just how "broken" our immigration system really is.

‘STOP THE RAIDS – NOT ONE MORE DEPORTATION!’ Protest in front of Atlanta immigration court, January 7, 2016

Obama is giving out work permits and SSNs to illegal aliens without even the pretense of vetting. 

(Note: In Georgia, as in other states, the ability to produce a federal EAD (work permit) and a valid SSN can be used to obtain a drivers license – the defacto national ID card.)

We have two separate news reports indicating that the Obama administration has been issuing work permits and Social Security Numbers to the illegal aliens who made up the 2014 “border surge” that was depicted by the media to be mostly “Central American children.”

We note the impossibility of vetting these people, whoever they are.

BONUS: 2014 UAC BORDER SURGE BY THE NUMBERS

Here (1:45 minute video) is the first whiff from a local TV news report just after the “raids” of early January that reportedly netted all of 121 victims of borders who had pending deportation orders. The reporter was handed a copy of a work permit that one of the illegals had been issued when she landed in Atlanta after crossing over from Mexico. I have spoken to the reporter and he is firm that the work permit was described and presented to him as having been issued to the recently deported.

Then, the Washington Post’s Pam Constable filed a (one-sided) story from Atlanta with the same claim: Another illegal alien, Rosa Vargas, who had been caught up in the same micro-sweep had apparently been issued a work permit soon after reaching the U.S. – the valid Social Security number comes along with that prize.

From the WaPo:

“The whole family agreed she would be better off leaving, that she should come here because she would be safe in America,” said Morales, 30, a carpenter with temporary legal status. He said Vargas was issued a work permit and a Social Security number when she was released from border detention in 2014 and found work cleaning houses in Atlanta after coming to live with him.”

“Give me my permiso!”

The “migrants” are getting a ” Notice to Appear ” – which they call ‘ permisos ’ – to show up in immigration court some time in the distant future to plead for asylum or refugee status. Most never appear in court and simply disappear into Obama’s transformed America. They are here to stay. That ‘permiso’ document allows them to claim to be ‘legally present’, pending a court’s decision to send them home – or not.  With this they can get work permits — and then drivers licenses unless and until another “raid” results in deportation, which is very unlikely.

It also appears from Constable’s report that the narrating alien (Morales) has been given some sort of “temporary legal status” – we think that means deferred action on deportation through the DACA program. If so, the temporary status is not “legal. ” According to DHS, deferred action recipients are still illegal aliens.

USCIS:
What Is DACA
On June 15, 2012, the Secretary of Homeland Security announced that certain people who came to the United States as children and meet several guidelines may request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal. They are also eligible for work authorization. Deferred action is a use of prosecutorial discretion to defer removal action against an individual for a certain period of time. Deferred action does not provide lawful status (emphasis mine).

So, to sum up, with zero fanfare that we know of, Obama has apparently been giving at least some of ‘border surgers’ the ability to not only take American jobs, but to obtain a drivers license.

Here we note that the drivers license is used as ID blend into mainstream America, to register to vote, rent a car or truck, buy explosives and board an airplane. The organized rush on the border is the new normal.

Riding to America

In Georgia the drivers license issued to illegal aliens with deferred action is so similar to the ones issued to American citizens and non-citizens with legal status (like executives from Mercedes Benz) that the Department of Driver Services has taken to imprinting a large arrow on graphics of the license given to illegals directing the viewer to the slight addition noting “limited term.”

For the reader who may be asking: Yes, the deferred action illegal aliens are also being issued official state photo ID cards (“Georgia ID”) – and are eligible for a host of public benefits – including unemployment benefits.

Georgia is ruled by Republicans. Who ran as “conservatives.”

On the drivers license to illegal aliens, we think there is a better way.

 

Concern over refugee re-settlement widespread

Americans are the most compassionate people on earth.  Yet, who is looking out for the best interests of Americans?  Clearly, citizens across the country are growing ever more concerned and worried for the impact that thousands of immigrant refugees will have on our country, our culture, our jobs, our environment, and ultimately, our personal safety in our own country.

Letters from across the country paint a vivid picture of the worry folks are facing every day. 

If you are able, please write a Letter to the Editor of your local paper.  Be concise, be passionate and be accurate in your statements.  Let OFIR know if you get a letter published and we will add it to our OFIR website's letter section.

 

 

Supreme Court agrees to review Obama immigration plan

The Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to review President Obama’s plan to shield up to 5 million illegal immigrants from deportation, after lower courts blocked the president’s sweeping executive actions from taking effect.

The decision sets up an election-year clash over the controversial plan that many Republicans have likened to “amnesty.”

The justices said Tuesday they will consider undoing lower court rulings...

The decision to review the case may be welcome on both sides of the aisle. Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch, of Utah, issued a statement praising the court for taking it on – and urging the justices to rule against the administration.

"President Obama’s executive action is an affront to our system of republican self-government,” Hatch said....

The White House voiced confidence their policies would be upheld.

"Like millions of families across this country – immigrants who want to be held accountable, to work on the books, to pay taxes, and to contribute to our society openly and honestly...

The case probably will be argued in April and decided by late June...

The immigrants who would benefit from the Obama administration's plan are mainly the parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents.

But more than two-dozen mostly Republican-led states challenged Obama’s executive actions after they were rolled out in 2014...

Critics say the plan is unconstitutional...

Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr. later said in a court filing that allowing those rulings to stand would force millions of people "to continue to work off the books, without the option of lawful employment to provide for their families."

At issue is the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans program, which Obama said would allow people who have been in the United States more than five years and who have children who are in the country legally to "come out of the shadows and get right with the law."

Texas is leading 26 states in challenging the immigration plan.

RUBIO: CRIMINAL ALIENS CAN STAY IN U.S.

Sen. Marco Rubio’s (R-FL) interview with Meet The Press host Chuck Todd— in which he pledged to allow illegal aliens remain in the U.S.— has received widespread attention.

However, while Politico oxymoronically titled its article Rubio: Law-Abiding Undocumented Immigrants Could Stay,” perhaps the most striking part of Rubio’s interview was his indication that criminal aliens would be allowed to remain in the United States as well.

Rubio’s Sunday statement in support of criminal aliens is consistent with some of the most controversial aspects of his Gang of Eight bill, which would have allowed convicted criminal aliens— such as sex offenders and gang members— to remain in United States and become U.S. citizens.

Rubio seems to have adopted President Obama’s open borders talking point that only “felons, not families” should be deported. In the exchange, Chuck Todd asked Rubio specifically how he defines the “criminal aliens” who would not be allowed to remain in the country under Rubio’s amnesty.

TODD: Let me ask you by the way quickly on the 11 million, are you still for finding a way for them to legally stay in the United States?

RUBIO: Yeah, look. If you’re a criminal alien, no, you can’t stay. If you’re someone that hasn’t been here for a very long time, you can’t stay.

TODD: Wait a minute. Define criminal alien–

RUBIO: I do believe we have to have a reasonable solution–

TODD: De– define criminal alien. Isn’t anybody who’s here–

RUBIO: A felon. A felon–

TODD: Okay, so not– ’cause some people argue–

RUBIO: Well I know some people have said that before but I believe–

TODD: Okay, all right–

MARCO RUBIO: –the opposite. But– no, but I’ve said that before, Todd. That’s been convinced. I mean, a felon, someone who’s committed a crime, a non-immigration-related– and that’s what I’ve talked about in the past.

Indeed, Sen. Rubio is correct in that this is exactly the position he has articulated in the past: i.e. a broad amnesty for illegal immigrants including those who have committed criminal offenses.

Rubio’s use of the word “felon” means that not only would illegal aliens with criminal misdemeanor convictions be allowed to stay, but presumably also means that those suspected or accused of felonies, but not convicted— i.e. are not yet actually felons— would be allowed to remain as well.

Moreover, Rubio’s declaration that the felony be a “non-immigration-related” crime presumably means that even people who commit immigration felonies—such as repeat illegal re-entry— or those who committed immigration crimes related to document fraud could stay as well.

The principle Rubio is espousing—i.e. the notion that illegal entry is not in and of itself a deportable offense— wipes away the protections U.S. immigration laws are supposed to afford Americans citizens...

Under Rubio’s vision, millions of people could presumably illegally take jobs, petition for government services, fill U.S. schools, receive affirmative action, alter the country culturally, socially and politically, and be involved in substantial criminal activity so long as they don’t get don’t get caught, tried and convicted for a non-immigration related felony.

This principle is a central pillar of the open borders philosophy, which desires the free, uninhibited movement of labor across international boundaries.

Rubio’s amnesty for illegal aliens involved in criminal activity is consistent with the text of the Gang of Eight bill. As border sheriffs and representatives for ICE and USCIS officers explained in a 2013 letter to members of Congress: Section 2101 of Rubio’s immigration bill “explicitly opens this legal status to those with long criminal records, gang affiliations, felony arrests, and those with multiple misdemeanor criminal convictions…

As the Washington Examiner’s Byron York explained more recently in his piece entitled, “The immigration system Rubio wanted”.

The legislation forbade the legalization of immigrants who had been convicted of a felony or of three or more misdemeanors. But there were some big exceptions.

First, if breaking the immigration laws was an “essential element” of any criminal conviction, it wouldn’t count. Second, the bill said the three misdemeanors that could disqualify an immigrant would count as three misdemeanors only “if the alien was convicted on different dates...

In theory, this would mean– consistent with the text of the Gang of Eight bill– that a child sex offender who has been in the country for, say, twenty years—could not be deported until the government obtained a successful conviction, which could involve an elaborate and costly sting operation, enormous court expenses, translator costs, and a successful guilty verdict.

As Breitbart News has previously explained, it is difficult to obtain a guilty conviction for criminal felons— especially those who are a part of the illegal immigrant community.

According to a report from the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, less than half (48.9 percent) of violent felony arrests in New York City result in conviction and sentence. Nationally, less than 2 in 3 murder cases result in the suspect even being arrested, let alone convicted. According to police data analyzed by the Washington Post, in Washington D.C. only 1 in 3 homicides results in a conviction.

Experts have suggested that low crime-to-conviction rates are even more exaggerated amongst immigrant communities—and in particular, the illegal immigrant population. As acclaimed Manhattan Institute scholar Heather Mac Donald has noted, “In Los Angeles, 95 percent of all outstanding warrants for homicide (which total 1,200 to 1,500) target illegal aliens. Up to two-thirds of all fugitive felony warrants (17,000) are for illegal aliens.” This suggests that illegal aliens who are found, arrested and convicted of a felony only represents a fraction of illegal aliens who evaded conviction..."

As one GOP aide told Breitbart News, “The deportation of a convicted criminal alien is not a success story but means immigration laws were enforced much too late. The purpose of immigration law is to protect Americans before, not after, they or a loved one have been robbed, assaulted or killed… We should not have to wait until an innocent American has been victimized to afford them the protection of their immigration laws; aliens do not have a right to operate illegally in the United States until some kind of additional conviction has been obtained.”

Populist thought leader Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) has previously explained the position articulated by Sen. Rubio will result in only more American mothers being forced to bury their children:

No parent should ever have to bury a child because we failed to keep violent criminals out of the country or failed to deport them once they were in the country. Protecting the lives of innocent Americans is one of the most basic duties of the federal government. Our goal should be to keep 100% of dangerous aliens out of the United States. There is no delicate balancing act here: we need to remove potentially violent offenders before they hurt innocent families—before the irreversible occurs...

Indeed, as Don Rosenberg– whose 25-year-old son, Andrew, was repeatedly run over by an illegal alien as he sought to flee the scene of the crime– has explained, many illegal immigrants have been caught for previous crimes prior to their murdering American citizens. In a 2014 letter to President Obama, Rosenberg wrote:

Roberto Galo had been caught driving without a license shortly before he killed my son but his car was impounded for 18 hours (state law requires 30 days) and then the charges were dropped… Glenn Vierra was killed by Jorge Valencia-Figueroa who had been caught driving without a license four times before killing Vierra. He was never considered a threat to public safety even after he killed Vierra as he was only charged with a misdemeanor.

Similarly, illegal alien Olga Franco, who was responsible for a 2008 school bus crash near Cottonwood, Minnesota that resulted in the death for four school children, was driving without a license and had been accused of using stolen social security numbers— an “immigration-related” crime that would seem to be excused under Rubio’s amnesty. Franco had been pulled over a month prior to the accident, but was not deported. Under Rubio’s amnesty vision, Franco– who prior to killing four Americans was not a felon– would presumably be allowed to stay, as would countless others like her. As the Twin Cities Pioneer Press reported at the time:

One mother said she missed the sound of her little girl playing piano. Another said her surviving daughters used to play ‘wedding’ with their dolls; now they play ‘funeral.’ Both said the Feb. 19 school bus crash that killed four children and injured 16 others near Cottonwood also killed an innocence that will never return… Franco, 24, was convicted in August of four counts of criminal vehicular homicide and 17 counts of criminal vehicular injury in the crash that killed 9-year-old Hunter and 13-year-old Jesse Javens, Emilee Olson, 9, and Reed Stevens, 12. To the end, the illegal immigrant from Guatemala claimed her boyfriend was driving the minivan that ran a stop sign and broadsided the Lakeview School District bus on Minnesota 23. The boyfriend, Francisco Sangabriel-Mendoza, a 29-year-old illegal immigrant, has since fled to his native Mexico, authorities say… During the 2 1/2-hour hearing, families of the children killed in the crash addressed Franco, detailing their suffering in the following months… Franco sat, unmoving, next to her attorney during the eight victim statements. She listened to a Spanish interpretation through headphones.

In a Congressional hearing dedicated to the families who lost loved ones thanks to illegal aliens, Laura Wilkerson testified that lawmakers ought to defend the interests of their American constituents— not illegal aliens. Wilkerson’s 18 year-old son Joshua was murdered by his illegal classmate Hermilo Moralez. Moralez is likely to have qualified for amnesty under Rubio’s plan to legalize illegal immigrants who allegedly came to the country as minors. Sen. Rubio continues to support amnesty for so-called DREAMers—even going so far as saying that a President Rubio would not “immediately revoke” President Obama’s unconstitutional 2012 executive amnesty. Wilkerson told members of Congress:

You cannot you cannot stand by and ignore our families — our American families. You’re elected by Americans, not any other country. You should be for Americans.

In contrast to Rubio’s support for allowing illegal criminal aliens to remain the country, GOP frontrunner Donald Trump has repeatedly said that he would deport aliens unlawfully residing in the United States.

Wilkerson said that she was grateful for the attention Donald Trump’s to families like hers and his desire to promote the needs of American citizens above foreign nationals who have violated our immigration laws:

I thank you, Mr. Trump for getting a message out about the nation… that countless families like my own have been trying to say for five to six years. It feels good to be heard.

When Breitbart News spoke to Wilkerson and asked if Sen. Rubio had ever reached out to her, she said, “No, and I don’t think [he] ever will. We’re on the opposite spectrum of their agenda.
 

Are Cruz and Rubio natural born citizens? How do we decide who is eligible to be President?

We've been down this road before - eight years ago.  And, here we go again...

What criteria defines eligibility to be President?  Does one need to be born on American soil to parents that are both American citizens?  What about being born to one parent that's an American citizen, but not born in the US?  Or, what about being born to parents that are not American citizens, but being born in the US?

As our country is flooded with more immigrants every year, coming here both legally and illegally, it's past time to define, once and for all, who is eligible to hold our country's highest office. 

The framers of our Constitution had very specific reasons for including in the requirement to be President, that the candidate be "natural born".

Scholars from across the country have weighed in on the motive and intent of "natural born". 

Read more about how your favorite candidate may be disqualified from the Presidential race.

January 20th forum will discuss refugees coming to Salem

Alert date: 
2016-01-15
Alert body: 

A public forum on Jan. 20 will discuss 50 refugees who will be coming to Salem starting in February and continuing through September.

The forum, known as the Refugee Forum on Jobs and Literacy, is scheduled from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Anderson Room of the Salem Public Library, 585 Liberty St SE.

Francisco Lopez, a refugee from El Salvador, will host the event.

During the event, there will be speeches and presentations made by various organizers from Catholic Charities and local groups, as well as a panel of three refugees who live in Salem currently, followed by a Q&A session.

Organizers will discuss what services and programs are already in place for the refugees and what help they need from community members and volunteers. Any unresolved issues will be addressed during the Q&A period.

Organizers said they would like to form task forces during this period should further work need to be done.

They will primarily be discussing employment, education and English-language learning, cultural transition, and transportation.

There will be other activities and refreshments as well. This event is free and open to the public.

By Natalie Pate


 

Shape Immigration System for Years to Come

"The state? I am the state!" — The Sun King, Louis XIV of France

"A traitor is everyone who does not agree with me." — George III of England

"I've got a pen, and I've got a phone." — Barack Obama

I will leave it to others better at punditry to offer the definitive remarks on President Obama's final state of the union speech. I found it to be an unappetizing blend of feel-good, defensiveness, and preacher-like hectoring on living up to our better natures — as defined by him.

Immigration figured prominently: "fix[ing] the broken immigration system" was mentioned right off the bat as one the items yet to be accomplished during his presidency. It also formed a consistent subtext in remarks about immigrants, inclusiveness, not blaming aliens for depressed wages, etc. But there was nothing in the way of detail for anyone trying to follow the direction these efforts to "fix" the system might take.

This may well be because the president has learned the peril of telegraphing his moves in advance, most particularly when they involve the invidious, imperial, and constitutionally dubious business of using "executive action" to achieve what he cannot bully Congress into doing.

But the clues are there.

When interviewed for a cloying article published in New York Magazine, recently appointed Attorney General Loretta Lynch commented that "My goal is to position the department [of Justice] where it will carry on in all of these issues long after myself and my team have moved on."

One suspects that it is not just Lynch, and not just the Department of Justice (DOJ) where this effort is taking place to embed into the organs of government, on a long-term basis, left-leaning progressive policies. How, exactly, might the president and his cabinet accomplish this?

There are two ways, and the first has become well known: using "executive action" to stretch the power of the presidency into arenas constitutionally preserved to other branches of government to achieve what they wish. Even if we were to assume that the next president promptly begins the process of rescinding these actions, there have been so many, and they have been so far-reaching, that it will take years to undo the damage, if indeed it can be undone. The federal bureaucracy is like a battleship; formidable, but slow to change direction precisely because of its awesome size and complexity.

Which brings us to the second way the president and his cabinet can push their agenda long after vacating their chairs. It is well known that presidents, all presidents, regardless of party, eagerly cram the federal judiciary with appointees who share their views, at the district and appellate court levels and — the crown jewel — even the Supreme Court when vacancies appear, which happens rarely because federal judges and justices are given lifetime appointments. While there are only nine Supreme Court justices, there are hundreds of district and appellate court judges, so vacancies appear regularly.

Less well known is how to manipulate the federal bureaucracy, which is so large and so all-pervasive in virtually every sector of society that it has been referred to by some as "the secret state." Others have observed that because of the extraordinary growth of government, our democratic republic has transformed itself into an "administrative state," in which power has accreted into the hands of powerful agencies responsible primarily to the executive branch. The Obama White House has excelled in understanding and manipulating this dynamic.

By taking control over key positions (and by this I do not mean the political appointees themselves, who come and go with each administration), an administration can influence events years into the future. Consider, for instance, DOJ, since we began this discussion with the Lynch interview. In the immigration context, a key component of DOJ is the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). EOIR is composed of both the immigration courts and the appellate tribunal, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). Every immigration judge or BIA member is appointed by the attorney general, and they are for all intents and purposes permanently tenured. It would take egregious acts of malfeasance to remove them.

These are the officials who literally define the course of immigration hearings throughout the entire nation. Place into those positions enough individuals who view immigration through the liberal filter of the Obama administration and you have skewed the direction of immigration enforcement for decades to come. Add significant new immigration judge or BIA positions into the mix, approved by Congress due to court workloads and backlogs, and you have even further shaped the future into a funnel of your choosing.

The same can be done at the Department of Homeland Security, again sidestepping the political appointees who come and go with regularity, and pushing down to the next one or two levels of the bureaucracy. By exercising philosophical and political litmus tests for those you choose to appoint as your head of asylum and refugee affairs (who will in turn select the officers who perform the function of approving and denying applicants for asylum), you have effected a near-permanent influence on how those adjudications will be performed. As recent events have shown us, there is a direct and sometimes adverse effect between the quality of those adjudications, and national security and public safety.

As we lurch through this last year of Barack Obama's presidency, some of the changes he effects may be invisible to the naked eye, but make no doubt that Lynch was being neither rhetorical nor hyperbolic in her remarks in asserting that they will be felt for generations to come.
 

50 refugees to come to Salem in February


Fifty refugees from various countries will be coming to Salem between February and September.

Catholic Charities is leading the effort to find housing and services for the refugees.

Jennifer Barischoff has helped resettle hundreds of refugees from around the world and was looking for more feasible ways to help them in Oregon.

Housing in Portland is limited and expensive, she said, so she started exploring Salem.

Salem offers a lot of advantages over other areas of Oregon for refugees, she said.

Salem housing is less expensive, employment at entry-level positions is more available and appealing, and it is a smaller, calmer city, something that can be beneficial to someone who has been through a traumatic situation and for someone who doesn't have any prior networks, she said.

Catholic Charities has helped resettle four or five families in Salem in the past year.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service's Office for Refugee Resettlement. Such funding goes toward the Match Grant Program, which has worked with the Catholic Charities program in Salem.

The conference recommended 50 people to go to Salem since it is a new program.

Due to the conflict in Syria, the United States is expected to take in 85,000 refugees this year, up from the average of 70-80,000 a year the country has maintained in recent years, Barischoff said.

She said Catholic Charities, on average, helps to resettle about 350 refugees per fiscal year statewide. This year, they will be helping an additional 100 refugees to resettle in Oregon.

Although several governors asked President Obama last year to reject all refugees from Syria, at least temporarily, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said in November the state would accept and "open the doors of opportunity" to refugees.

Catholic Charities staff and volunteers will work to provide the refugees with secure housing and furnishings, food with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program  and health insurance with the Oregon Health Plan, a Social Security card, a rapid employment program and more.

They will provide English language programs and are partnering with local businesses and organizations to help them find work within four to six months of being in Salem.

The incoming refugees are from multiple countries, Barischoff said, including Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Burma, and Syria, though this is an estimate at this time.

Ultimately, Barischoff wishes for one thing for the refugees: a "renewed sense of hope for (their lives) and future(s)."

"It's hard to emphasize how it feels to go from a place of fear and trauma, one in which your life is in limbo, to a feeling of safety, where you can plan for the future and your life is no longer on hold," she said.

Pritam Rohila is one of the five dozen volunteers working to help the refugees coming to Salem this year.

Rohila came to the United States in 1967 and said he understands what it feels like to be in an unfamiliar place and have a deep desire to connect with what you know and love.

"I came voluntarily," Rohila said. "They did not. They came under threatening conditions. They are coming under duress.

"Producing a sense of home for them is much more important."

It's worse than you can imagine! The TPP - what is it and how will it impact Oregon?

Alert date: 
2016-01-05
Alert body: 

Plan to attend - register today!

Salem City Club Luncheon:

The TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP:  A Look at the TPP through an Oregon Lens

Friday, January 8, 2016
11:30AM, Lunch; 12 Noon, Program
Willamette Heritage Center at the Mill

 
There are few programs presented by Salem City Club with a “call for action” national time line for its citizens. This is one of them. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a “trade and investment” pact between the United States and eleven other Pacific-Rim countries, which represented approximately 44% of Oregon’s international trade in 2014. Oregon agriculture and labor interests are said to be significantly impacted by this agreement.

The TPP countries are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, United States, and Vietnam. China, Oregon’s largest export destination, is noticeably absent. TPP negotiations began in 2008 with little public input and calls for more transparency. WikiLeaks released various sections of the TPP being considered. This was the first public look at possible provisions.

Although the TPP is billed as a trade pact, providing for reduced tariffs on products imported by member countries, the pact also impacts a broad range of issues such as food safety, Internet freedom, medicine costs, financial regulation and more. Congress voted to give the Obama administration Fast Track Authority, which provides for an up or down vote by Congress after a 90-day review period…no amendments allowed.

On January 8, we will be about 60 days into the review period. As of now, members of Oregon’s congressional delegation are still studying the TPP agreement and appear to be split on the subject. The 6,000 page agreement is available on-line from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. Additionally, an internet search for TPP Oregon will result in a number of relevant articles.

An hour does not provide enough time for a detailed analysis of the agreement, but we hope to provide you with helpful information as you develop your own analysis of this far reaching trade and investment pact. Public input is critical to this process and the clock is running!   

Dr. Russ Beaton, nationally recognized scholar of sustainable economics, will guide us through a summary of the TPP and provisions directly impacting Oregon. Although much of the attention will be given to Oregon-specific products, Dr. Beaton also will address some of the more global aspects of the agreement.

https://gallery.mailchimp.com/68e5e95f95dd9e0d73059ae6e/images/5416e36a-02ec-485c-a0ef-88ac5d2db02a.jpgBeaton received his bachelor’s degree from Willamette University and his Master’s and Ph.D. from Claremont University.  His original training was in mathematical economics and econometrics, although his doctoral thesis was in location theory and urban land economics, which became a lifetime interest. 

After teaching at California State College at Fullerton – now Fullerton State University, and at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Beaton returned to his alma mater, Willamette University, where he taught economics and did research for 33 years, retiring in 2003.

His teaching interests included Microeconomic Theory, Environmental Economics, Energy Economics, and Regional Economics and the Economy of Oregon – all courses which he developed and introduced.
His research interests have always gravitated toward useful policy efforts that have the capability of directly and immediately affecting the lives of people. He has consulted and done policy-based contract research for several State of Oregon agencies in areas such as land use, agriculture, timber, transportation, energy, housing and general economic policy.

Co-author with Chris Maser of three books, all in the area of sustainable development, Russ has also participated in drafting the legislation, passed by the 1973 Oregon Legislature that created Oregon’s widely acclaimed land use planning system.

For Jan. 8 luncheon reservations, register online or call (503) 370-2808
by noon, Wed. Jan. 6.


 

Letters of frustration continue to flood newspapers across the country

A collection of letters from across the country reveals the growing frustration of Americans with the current administration's lack of regard for the impact of their actions.

It takes just a few minutes to write and submit a letter to the editor.  Be concise and to the point with your thoughts.  Need help getting started?  Check out letters others have written for ideas for your own letter.

Submit letters to your local newspaper or larger regional newspapers.  Don't forget the small, weekly papers which are often read cover to cover. 

If your letter is published, send it to OFIR and we will post it on our website in our letters section!  Get started today!

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The Jamestown Sun

Letter to the editor: OPT expansion damaging to American worker

By Mark Schuttenhelm Today [January 5, 2016] at 7:38 a.m.

Barack Obama’s reign of terror over the American middle class continues. His most recent slap in the face of the American worker is part of his executive order, which attempted to legalize and provide work permits to about 5 million illegal aliens. He doesn’t have the power, legally, to pull any of this off, but why should that stop him?

Part of that executive order is an expansion of OPT, or Optional Practical Training program. This program is so damaging to the American worker even the pro-Democrat AFL-CIO came out against it. OPT is a jobs program that benefits foreign students at the expense of homegrown American students and jobseekers. Currently under this program, about 130,000 foreign students per year are given temporary work permits for one or two years. Obama’s new proposal increases the number to about 700,000 per year and extends the time period to three years.

Why is this so damaging to unemployed Americans seeking to enter the job market? Potential employers pay no payroll taxes for these foreign graduates. That saves the employer about $12,000 per year for each foreign student hired over an American. If that isn’t bad enough, the foreign student gets a pass on his or her portion of the Social Security payroll tax also, which shortchanges the Social Security fund by about a $1 billion a year, a number that will only increase under Obama’s new proposal. That’s a billion-plus dollars not available to pay American retirees.

And these are good STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) jobs, averaging about $50,000 per year. So if your son or daughter has just graduated college with a pile of student debt, or perhaps you yourself are seeking employment, remember, thanks to the current occupant of the White House, a prospective employer has about 12,000 reasons to give that job to a graduating foreign student. Your federal government strikes again.

http://www.jamestownsun.com/letters/3917204-letter-editor-opt-expansion-damaging-american-worker

 
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WyomingTribuneEagle
WYOMING NEWS.com

Muslims not committed to principles of America

From Mark Roberts, Cheyenne  [January 5, 2016] 3 hrs ago

I know that the liberal leftists who we have entrusted our country to have to rely on emotions to advance a forever left-moving agenda in America.

To that end we hear statements like “That’s not who we are” by House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., when asked about halting Syrian refugees until they could be vetted. Even former President George W. Bush had the audacity to refer to Islam as a religion of peace!

Well, let’s forget the propaganda and look at some facts.

Fact No. 1 – On Sept. 11, 2001, 2,752 people were killed in New York City, 184 in Washington, D.C., and 40 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. And since 9/11, 89 people have been killed on U.S soil by Muslims!

The number of Muslims killed on American soil in retaliation? One! A Muslim convenience store owner was killed in Texas by a white supremacist who claimed to be angry after he saw the towers fall on 9/11.

Even the worst president in our history (before Barack Obama) had the good sense to limit immigration from Iran after “students” took more than 60 hostages at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979.

Fact No. 2: Yes, Jimmy Carter not only stopped Iranians from coming here, he also required Iranian “students” who were already here to report for possible deportation.

Religion of peace? Islamic people are governed by the sharia. These peaceful people who want to live in the land of the free have a list of laws that have to be enforced to be a good Muslim.

And let us not forget that Muslims under sharia are required to practice taqiyya, which is to lie to non-Muslims to the advancement of Islam.

In other words, these “peaceful” people are required to lie when asked if they support killing non-Muslims while their leaders make no bones about wanting death to America!

Fact No. 3: In a recent poll of Muslims in America, when asked if they believe that sharia law supersedes the Constitution, 51 percent said yes. I wonder if the other 49 percent were practicing taqiyya?

http://www.wyomingnews.com/opinion/letters_to_editor/article_6fb207ae-b36a-11e5-a949-174d0e7f96e7.html

 
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The Press-Enterprise

LETTERS: Free speech trumps hate speech

PRESS-ENTERPRISE

Published: Jan. 4, 2016 Updated: 6:29 p.m.

“Google’s dangerous bid to block ‘hate speech’” [Opinion, Jan. 2]: The column rightly says that it is difficult to brand hate speech.

But liberals are desperate. They brand everything Donald Trump says as hate speech. The constitution guarantees the right to free speech. But that applies to everyone, not just the liberals.

Free speech is a valuable thing and should be used wisely. I do not believe that free speech gives one individual the right to say hurtful or disrespectful things about another human being. But it does give you the right to disagree with someone’s actions or positions. That is not hate or racist, which is what liberals constantly accuse Republicans of doing. They are desperate and dead wrong.

This country is waking up to the lies they have been fed for so many years. It is in danger from our enemies, and those enemies are now Islamic. The president and the peaceful Islamic community needs to wake up and condemn the radical Islamists before they destroy the faith.

Donald is right, we cannot allow anyone into our country when they are suspected of terrorism. This applies to everyone, not just the Syrian refugees. This is not hate speech, this is a matter of our safety.

So let’s shut up with the hate and racism rhetoric and protect our country. We do not need anymore refugees, so let them stay home and fight for their country of origin. And while we’re at it, let’s demand proof of citizenship for all employees and jail employers that hire illegal aliens. That would soon solve the illegal alien problem as they would go back home voluntarily if they cannot find work.

The only hate involved in any of these ideas is the hate of government which constantly makes excuses for law breakers and possible terrorists.

Clean up government and enact these ideas and the problem goes away.

Glen Chaffin - Corona

http://www.pe.com/articles/hate-790863-speech-country.html

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BOZEMAN DAILY
CHRONICLE

Immigration analysis missed many points

By Craig Bryant  Dec 4, 2015

The Nov. 12 article “GOP divide grows on immigration, threatening election prospects” contains analysis that its author, David Lightman of McClatchy’s Washington Bureau, presumably thinks is knowledgeable and shrewd. It “ain’t.”

Lightman divides Republican candidates into “hard-core conservatives who have had enough of compromises” (Trump and Cruz) and “pragmatists” (Rubio, Kasich, and Bush ). The division is between those who agree that illegal aliens must leave our country, including by deportation -- a strategy that journalist Lightman clearly thinks is “nuts” -- and those who favor amnesty for millions of illegal aliens, the pragmatic approach according to Lightman.

This reveals Lightman’s ignorance, for consider the history: The original 1986 mass amnesty, promised to us citizens as a one-time evasion of the rule-of-law, to fix a long-festering problem, was expected to legalize about one million illegal aliens. The number turned out to be around 2.7 million, and the incidence of fraud was enormous (estimated at 800 thousand concentrated in the Special Agricultural Worker component of the amnesty.) Despite that “one time” promise, there have been six subsequent mass amnesties, aggregating to about another three million illegal aliens gaining legal status.

Yet after all that, there are now well over 11 million illegal aliens in the U.S., far more than when we started down this road to nowhere. So what would be “pragmatic” about yet another mass amnesty?

The only strategy that will actually end illegal immigration is to rigorously enforce the laws so that illegal aliens can’t get jobs, can’t collect public benefits, and will be deported (individually) if they have encounters with police. Then most illegal aliens will leave (“self deport”) on their own, the “attrition by enforcement” approach that’s worked whenever it’s been tried. Trump and Cruz understand this, while Kasich, Rubio, Bush and journalist Lightman choose not to. Militarized mass deportations aren’t needed.

Craig Bryant - Bozeman

http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/opinions/letters_to_editor/immigration-analysis-missed-many-points/article_95852e7f-09d8-5b48-851f-79e638792f14.html

 
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UTICAOD.COM
OBSERVER-DISPATCH The Mohawk Valleys Information Source

YOUR VIEW: Letters to the editor

Posted Jan. 3, 2016 at 3:15 AM

Let’s make English official language of United States

Theodore Roosevelt, our 26th President (1901-1909) once said “Every immigrant who comes here should be required within five years to learn English or leave the country.”

Then why in Utica, New York, are over 42 languages spoken in our public high school? People come to America to assimilate into the American Society to become part of a new culture. The naturalization oath completely renounces all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign state and to support and defend the constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

Instead they come to America and demand that we adjust to their languages, cultures, values and heritage.

If they want to keep their heritage they have to go back to their own countries. Otherwise they are welcome to stay in United States and keep their heritage at their own expense, but not at the expense of the taxpayer.

When will Congress draft an amendment to the Constitution and make English the official language of this country? English is the glue that keeps America together. We need courageous representatives in Washington to assemble 226 years after George Washington to agree unanimously and make English the official language.

JOSEPH JACOB - Utica

http://www.uticaod.com/opinion/20160103/your-view-letters-to-editor

 
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Star Beacon

Posted: Sunday, January 3, 2016 12:30 am

Joyce siding with Obama

Once again, Republican Congressman Dave Joyce (Ohio’s 14th District) has failed his constituents. This time, he voted for the $1.1 trillion Omnibus spending bill that gives President Obama essentially a blank check to fund his disastrous agenda to transform America.

But that is not the whole story. Mr. Joyce knew that 86 percent of his constituents were not in favor of allowing a flood of Syrian refugees into our country. However, he disregarded the overwhelming majority’s wishes and chose to fully fund Obama’s Syrian refugee program by supporting this bill. In the same vote, Mr. Joyce also agreed to the funding of illegal alien resettlement, sanctuary cities and Middle Eastern immigration programs.

In doing so, Mr. Joyce has demonstrated his acceptance of Obama’s radical vision of “Hope and Change” while violating his oath of office to serve and protect the citizens of his congressional district. Now, he is clearly in lockstep with the ruling class elites who are determined to change America by literally changing the make­up of our population.

The 2016 elections are crucial to the future of our country and to all of us as individual citizens. We must turn fears of our current transformation into real hope for a brighter, safer future. One way of doing that is to replace those incumbents such as Dave Joyce who no longer believe in the sovereignty of our nation, those who continue to choose the interests of foreign nationals over Americans.

Please check out the website MattLynch.com. You will find an honorable man who will represent your interests and believes in our constitutional rights and our nation’s sovereignty. Mr. Lynch will be part of the conservative coalition in Congress that is needed to eliminate the profound and pervasive government spending and corruption. Mr. Lynch will fight to reverse our current march toward a country we would otherwise soon not recognize.

Brian Massie - Concord Township

http://www.starbeacon.com/opinion/letters_to_the_editor/letter-to-the-editor/article_df52f033-ecbc-5d9a-981e-83a7e911709e.html

 
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The Buffalo News

Letter: Trump’s critics need to stick to the facts

on January 3, 2016 - 12:01 AM

Trump’s critics need to stick to the facts

It’s disgusting to see people like the Rev. Richard Malone, Dr. Khalid Qazi and many other so-called community leaders twist and distort statements made by Donald Trump to fit their agenda.

They continually leave out the word “temporarily” from his statement on stopping Muslim immigration. Just as the media and community leaders leave out the word “illegal” when he talks about Mexican immigrants.

They have their right to their opinion, but that should be based on accurate information and not a distorted version of what people actually say to fit a certain narrative or agenda.

Their statement that Trump’s proposals will “bring comfort to the Islamic State and its allies” is similar to Hillary Clinton’s statement that Trump “is becoming ISIS’ best recruiter.” This has been fact-checked and proven to be wrong.

And I would like to ask these people: At what point will the United States be unable to accept immigrants? Because that time will come, and what will they say then?

David Nowak - Amherst

http://www.buffalonews.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/letter-trumps-critics-need-to-stick-to-the-facts-20160103

 

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TCPALM

Letter: It’s not ‘anti-immigrant’ to oppose illegal immigration

[January 3, 2015] 4:00 a.m.

Diane Greto, Vero Beach

Letter: It's not 'anti-immigrant' to oppose illegal immigration

Nathaniel Osborn (Dec. 23 letter) takes letter writer John Grychak to task for siding with Donald Trump and his plans to "build the biggest, highest wall ever built" to keep out Muslims and Latinos.

Osborn goes on to lecture about "anti-immigrant rhetoric," and mentions the German, Irish, Chinese and Eastern European immigrants who came to this country in the 18th and 19th centuries and who were accused of undermining America at the time.

As a "local high school teacher," Mr. Osborn surely you know the difference between illegal and legal. The bodies coming over our border are illegal and a threat to our national security, plain and simple.

Meanwhile, there are thousands of immigrants-to-be who are waiting patiently and going through the right channels legally to come to this great country. They want to learn the English language and Pledge of Allegiance to our flag and become American citizens in every way, just like those early immigrants. Those are the immigrants I welcome.

Meanwhile, we must protect our borders in every way possible.

http://www.tcpalm.com/letters-to-the-editor/letter-its-not-anti-immigrant-to-oppose-illegal-immigration-2808e9c9-5313-284b-e053-0100007f0f75-363843081.html

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Courier Life’s
BROOKLYN DAILY

January 3, 2016 / News / Letters

Sound Off to the Editor

‘Bravo,’ Sue

To the editor,

Inevitably some will call her racist but I say “bravo” to Sue Smith of Bensonhurst for her letter describing how our borough is being taken over by illegal immigrants, who use our social services and contribute nothing to our society (“Sounding off,” Sound of to the Editor, Dec. 25). Thank you, Sue, for being brave enough to write what you did.

Maureen Abato - Sheepshead Bay

http://www.brooklyndaily.com/stories/2016/1/all-letters-2016-01-01-bd.html

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Tri-City Herald

January 2, 2016 5:28 PM

Letter: Why can’t government use social media posts to screen immigrants?

If I understand correctly, it is OK for employers to use social media posts when making decisions on whether to hire or not to hire an applicant, or to dismiss an employee.

However, under the wise leadership of the current administration, government organizations responsible for approving applications for admittance into the United States are not allowed to use social media as part of the decision-making process. Did I miss something somewhere?

According to a former Department of Homeland Security official, the administration ordered them to terminate their efforts to monitor individuals with potential ties to terrorists who wanted to come into the United States, because it might be considered profiling. Seems to me that all of these terrorists fit one profile. It is not guns that are killing Americans, it is political correctness.

Gerald Sorensen, Richland

http://www.tri-cityherald.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/article52558875.html

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TIMES-CALL
Letters to the Editor

William Manion: Government attempting to mold people's attitudes

Posted:  01/02/2016 11:17:45 PM MST | Updated:  about 10 hours ago

My 1,700 page dictionary does not list "inclusivity" as being a real word. Same for "sustainability."

It seems to be that the Boulder County commissioners like to come up with some cause they want to promote, then they invent a name for it to try to make it sound important. If it is something truly important, doesn't it deserve a title that makes use of real words?

Here is a heads-up for the county commissioners: It is not your job to try to mold people's opinions or attitudes.

Millions of U.S. citizens are appalled that our federal government has not secured our borders. Our country is inundated with immigrants, many of them here illegally. Those of us who do not want to welcome other immigrants at this time certainly have good reasons for feeling that way.

I believe that we citizens need to be wary of any attempts by government officials to influence citizens' opinions or attitudes to conform to their extremes of "political correctness."

William Manion - Longmont

http://www.timescall.com/opinion/letterstotheeditor/ci_29336525/william-manion-government-attempting-mold-peoples-attitudes

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Your News, Your Way.
Tyler Morning Telegraph

Published on Saturday, 2 January 2016 20:21 - Written by

TRUMP

If Republican leaders keep up their stupid agenda of little or no opposition to President Obama, then Donald Trump will soon be the nominee of the vast hoard of outraged Republicans. Some may not agree with all he says, but much of it is what people want to hear.

Current Republican leadership stinks and is completely lacking in tough opposition to President Obama and his irresponsible policies on virtually everything, including open borders for illegal immigrants, criminals, refugees and terrorists.

History says under today’s conditions and chaos, Trump will emerge as our new president, like it or not.

Citizens are fed up with all career politicians and their false promises and lies. The good will be voted out with the bad when citizens feel betrayed and put upon by abusive government policies, regulations and legislation gushing out of Washington in the trillions of dollars - money we don’t have.

Harry Bergman - Tyler

http://www.tylerpaper.com/TP-Letters+to+Editor/229254/george-will-wrongly-dismissed-creationists-believers

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         The
Californian A Gannett Company

Syrian refugees and terrorism

Virgil M. Piper 12 a.m. PST January 2, 2016

When it comes to U.S. Immigration, it appears we are very good at ignoring the law. To begin with, it is offensive, apparently, to use the term “illegal alien.” Instead, it is considered good manners to refer to the millions of persons in this country in violation of our immigration laws as “undocumented immigrants.”

California, desperate for cheap labor, has abrogated or otherwise ignored immigration requirements by issuing driver’s licenses. The state has encouraged local authorities to ignore an agreement with the Obama administration allowing federal immigration agents to review fingerprints under the “Secure Communities Program” in order to track down and pick up every deportable immigrant arrested by local police. Incredibly, San Francisco has opted to be a “Sanctuary City.”

Currently, we have a controversy involving the refugee status for 10,000 Syrians. President Obama claims this process takes two years to complete but he proposes that we do our part by resettling 10,000 refugees by October 2016.

On the other hand, several states have given notice they will not accept Syrian refugees. President Obama claims these states cannot deny entry – but what are the guidelines provided by U.S. Law?

The Refugee Act of 1980 was signed into law by President Jimmy Carter on March 17, 1980. A refugee is defined as “any person outside his or her country unable or unwilling to return to his or her country because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.” One wonders how many of these 10,000 Syrian refugees actually fall within this defined requirement.

Section (2)(A) of the 1980 Refugee Act: “The Director and the Federal agency administering subsection (b)(1), shall consult regularly (not less often than quarterly) with State and local governments and private nonprofit voluntary agencies concerning the sponsorship process and the intended distribution of refugees among the States and localities before their placement in those States and localities.”

Accordingly, by law the various States do have the right to refuse refugees. Relocation concerns include the availability of employment opportunities, affordable housing, and public and private resources (including educational, health care and mental health services) for refugees in the area. The most important consideration is the likelihood of refugees placed in the area becoming self-sufficient and free from long-term dependence on public assistance.

The obvious question is whether we are granting entry of terrorists among these refugees. On the other hand, how many of the more than 11 million illegals already present in the United States are sleeper terrorists?

According to one senior official, approximately half of the estimated 11-plus million undocumented immigrants crossed the Mexican border illegally; the other half simply stayed beyond the expiration date of their visa or pursued refugee status much like the children lined up on the Mexican border. Additionally, the Cuban Adjustment Act allows Cuban citizens the right to stay in the United States if he or she is able to set foot on American soil.

One wonders why a terrorist would bother with this two-year Syrian refugee process when all they have to do is become a Cuban citizen or simply slip across the Mexican border.

Clearly, this country must make some attempt to enforce existing immigration laws if the threat of terrorism is to be taken seriously.

Virgil M. Piper, a frequent Soap Box contributor, is a Marina resident.

http://www.thecalifornian.com/story/opinion/2016/01/02/syrian-refugees-terrorism/78187808/

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app.com ASBURY PARK PRESS
A GANNETT COMPANY

LETTER: Fixing illegal immigration requires honesty

2:56 p.m. EST January 1, 2016

People who walk across our border illegally have performed a criminal act. Politicians want to give them amnesty. Why?

We have laws, but no one will enforce them. When you give them welfare, food stamps, even a driver’s license, you only encourage more of the same bad behavior: lawbreaking criminal acts.

How about everyone who came here legally? What about the hard work and money they spent to assimilate to the American way of life? Why doesn’t anyone bring up the fact that it’s an insult to these people who came here legally and went through the process to become an American?

Most of us are tired of lawbreakers — that includes politicians. The last seven years have been brutal. The destruction of America led by President Barack Obama, the Democrats and willing Republicans is despicable!

We can fix the illegal problem easily, but we need honest, law-abiding politicians who actually love America and everything it stands for.

Matilda Schafhauser - Westmont

http://www.app.com/story/opinion/readers/2016/01/01/letter-fixing-illegal-immigration-requires-honesty/78181102/

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