President

Senate rejects Trump immigration plan

The Senate rejected legislation based on President Trump's framework for an immigration deal in a 39-60 vote on Thursday, leaving an uncertain path forward for Congress with nearly a million immigrants sheltered by an Obama-era program facing the prospect of deportation.

The measure spearheaded by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) needed 60 votes to clear a filibuster, but failed to meet the mark.

It was the fourth proposal in a row rejected by the Senate ...

The Grassley measure provided a pathway to citizenship for 1.8 million immigrants brought to the country illegally as children. Many of these people could face deportation beginning in March as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is scaled back, though court rulings are complicating that matter.

It also included $25 billion for border security, tougher interior enforcement and new limits on legal immigration.

Supporters of the plan and the White House mounted an intense pressure campaign to win over the 60 votes needed to move forward with their plan.

"The president, in my view, has gone more than halfway to meet the Democrats and resolve this matter..." Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said ahead of the vote.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) also called the framework a "reasonable compromise."

And Trump, in a tweet, urged senators to "strongly consider a system of merit based immigration."

"While the Republicans and Democrats in Congress are working hard to come up with a solution to DACA, they should be strongly considering a system of Merit Based Immigration so that we will have the people ready, willing and able to help all of those companies moving into the USA!" he said.

Bolstering the White House, most Senate Republicans backed the measure, despite some concerns about cuts to legal immigration. And Trump won over three Democrats — Sens. Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.), Joe Donnelly (Ind.) and Joe Manchin (W.Va.) — all of whom face tough reelection races in deep-red states this fall. 

“I share the President's commitment to border security," Manchin said. "That’s why I voted for his plan. That’s why I fought to ensure the $25 billion he requested for border security was included in the bipartisan deal. That’s why I opposed the Democratic proposal that did not provide a single penny for border security." 
 
Trump and McConnell threw their support behind the Grassley plan earlier this week, bolstering its chances. Republicans are wary of moving forward with an immigration bill that the president doesn't support given that the issue is a political lightning rod amongst the party's base.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), one of Trump's closest allies in the Senate, warned ahead of the vote that any Republicans who supported a separate bipartisan proposal should be concerned about "their electoral futures.”

But the interior enforcement measures, limits to legal immigration and nixing of the Diversity Visa Lottery program were largely considered nonstarters for Democrats.

"President Trump, since he created this problem by terminating DACA last August, has stood in the way of every single proposal that has had a chance to become law," said Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.).

Republicans tried to pressure Democrats into supporting the measure, making it the fourth of the four proposals to get a vote in the Senate Thursday. But Democrats largely scoffed at the take it-or-leave it set up.

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) separately told reporters that “I think the writing’s on the wall with the Grassley proposal. … Few if any Democrats will vote for it.”

Grassley tried to win over Democratic support by pledging they would be able to offer changes if it overcame an initial procedural hurdle.

"Aren't you at a point where here the Democrats have been pleading for months and months and months for justice," he said, "why would they turn it down?"

Where the Senate's debate goes next is unclear, though Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) told reporters that both sides would keep talking ahead of the March 5 deadline.

Where the Senate's debate goes next is unclear. 

The Trump administration announced last year that they were ending DACA, which allows undocumented immigrants brought into the country as children to work and go to school.

Under that decision Congress has until March 5 to pass a fix. But two court dates have thrown that into limbo.

McConnell said late Thursday afternoon that it had been a "disappointing week" and Democrats "couldn't take yes for an answer." 

And while noting that he had "held up my end of the bargain," the GOP leader left the door open to bringing immigration back up if a plan emerged that could pass both chambers and had the support of the White House. 

"Even though this week has been squandered, this does not have to be the end of our efforts," he said.

 

Dick Durbin: It's unlikely we'll reach a DACA deal, but 'I don't see a government shutdown coming'

Sen. Dick Durbin said Sunday senators are unlikely to reach an immigration deal before government funding expires later this week, and there won’t be another partial government shutdown over the issue.

“There is not likely to be a DACA deal, though we're working every single day on telephone calls and person to person to try to reach this bipartisan agreement,” said Durbin, D-Ill., the second-ranked Democrat, in an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union." "I don't see a government shutdown coming.”

Durbin said he is encouraged about negotiations occurring between moderate Democrats and Republicans...
 
Trump announced last year that he would end the DACA program, and he gave Congress until March 5 to address the status of the immigrants, known as “Dreamers.”
 
Durbin said lawmakers are unlikely to reach a deal before Feb. 8...

Parts of the government temporarily shut down last month...

The government shutdown ended when Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, of New York, said he received a promise from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to allow debate and a vote on an immigration bill.

“We're making real progress,” Durbin said. “I want to salute the moderates in both the Republicans' and Democratic caucuses in the Senate. I do see a promise by Sen. McConnell to finally bring this critical issue that effects the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in America, finally bringing it to a full debate in the Senate. That's what we were looking for when there was a shutdown. We have achieved that goal. We're moving forward.”

The White House has said President Trump won’t sign an immigration bill unless it also funds a border wall and changes other parts of the immigration system, such as ending the visa lottery program and limiting family-based immigration.

Next OFIR meeting - Saturday, Feb. 17 from 2 - 4pm

Alert date: 
2018-01-31
Alert body: 

Oregonians for Immigration Reform will be holding our next meeting Saturday, Feb. 17th,  2pm – 4pm  at the Best Western Mill Creek Inn

We will update you on what's happening with Initiative Petition #22 - to Repeal Oregon's Sanctuary Law.

Lee Vasche  - of Ballot Access LLC  - will explain how his PAID signature gatherers enhance our initiative efforts and increase the likelihood of success.

Primary elections are just around the corner and two candidates will join us toshare their ideas for making Oregon a better place -

Joey Nations – candidate for Congressional Distirct #5 and Marty Heyen – candidate for Oregon House of Representatives – District 22.

Have you signed the petition to Repeal Oregon's Sanctuary Statute?  If not, please go to www.StopOregonSanctuaries.org

Print out a single signer sheet. Simply sign, date and mail – it's that easy!  Or, if you know friends and family members that would like to sign the initiative, you can request a 10 line signature sheets to do so.

So, invite a friend to join you this Saturday, Feb. 17 at 2:00pm at the Best Western Mill Creek Inn – across from Costco in Salem.

We'll see you Saturday!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Is Oregon's Congressional Delegation a shameful representation of America's values?

Illegal Aliens at SOTU Reveal Amnesty, Not American Interests, is Priority for Many on One Side of the Aisle

by Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) Executive Director Bob Dane

(January 30, 2018, Washington, D.C.) — Dozens of illegal aliens will attend the State of the Union address, invited as distinguished guests by Democrat lawmakers.

“This annual stunt is deeply offensive to Americans who know that the rule of law is the bedrock of our democracy. The United States Capitol is the revered building where those laws are made by the world’s greatest deliberative body; it is not an unruly theatre for flouting lawlessness. By granting VIP access to dozens of illegal aliens who consciously and proudly violate our laws, the Democrat members of Congress who invited them have clearly revealed their contempt for the rule of law as well.

“Those members have also revealed their real agenda; massive amnesty, unlimited immigration and disregard for any reforms that serve the American public’s interest. The message that will be sent by tonight’s presence of so-called ‘Dreamers’ is crystal clear and one-sided: violating our immigration laws is an inconsequential act and the public just needs to get used to it. We’re here, we’re unapologetic, we’re not going anywhere, we’re going to sit and stand anywhere we want – including the United States Capitol – and we demand to be rewarded with citizenship.  

“These tactics only serve to alienate many Americans and set back the debate. Americans have long needed – and have been promised – secure borders, robust interior enforcement, and a reduction in legal immigration levels while moving to a modern, merit-based system. None of it has happened, and tonight’s antics are an infuriating reminder of that, while also confirming who is responsible for the immigration reform stalemate.

“’Dreamers’ should consider whether they are just being used as political props by some Democrats who continue to oppose any and all reasonable immigration proposals. ‘Dreamers’ are certainly not advancing their cause with these defiant tactics that offend many Americans who might otherwise be interested in an earnest bipartisan solution, but only if it offers them what they want too.”
 

Trump’s Draft Amnesty: Unlimited, Forever, and Before a Wall Is Built

A near-final draft of the White House’s unlimited and forever amnesty bill says the administration wants $25 billion for a wall over the next five years, and will not cancel chain-migration or visa-lottery inflows until the last of the 4 million foreigners now in the pipeline have arrived in the 2030s.

The amnesty is dubbed the Security, Enforcement, and Compassion United Reform Effort Act, or SECURE Act. It is based on the SUCCEED Act developed by Sen. Thom Tillis and Sen. James Lankford, and it offers amnesty to an unlimited number of people, without any ending date.

Overall, the amnesty bill implements the desire of American business for a huge, managed supply of young, compliant, non-criminal workers, who also double as consumers. That is very different from progressives’ desire to welcome poor ‘dreamer’ migrants from developing countries, regardless of costs...

The 250-page draft received by Breitbart News matches the one-page description released this week by White House officials.

The Trump amnesty bill requires $25 billion be set aside from 2018 to 2021 for “tactical infrastructure,” which is a code-word for a wall....

In fact, Democrats who say they will vote for the amnesty and wall also suggest they will try to block subsequent construction of the wall...

The bill technically ends the visa lottery and chain-migration programs which allow diverse immigrants to bring in their extended-family clans of siblings, parents and older children. But the end is delayed until all 4 million people in the pipeline — such as the elderly parents and devout siblings of visa-lottery winners from Pakistan — settle in the United States. The pipeline also includes hundreds of thousands of white-collar professionals.

By welcoming everyone in the pipeline, the bill does not give working Americans even partial relief from the salary impact of mass immigration for 15 years or more...

The amnesty section requires Americans to grant the hugely valuable gift of citizenship to nearly all current illegals who have documents saying they are younger than 37...

The legislation directs the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security to operate the amnesty and includes some measures to help screen out fraudulent applicants for the amnesty.

For example, the bill includes a grant of $400 million for a formal bureaucratic process...

But the bill sets no upper limit on Trump’s amnesty, and it does not provide any incentives for officials to fight fraud or minimize the scale...

That lack of any upper limit means the political appointee who runs the DHS  will have the power to exceed the reported estimate of 1.8 million illegals by simply directing officials to accept more applications...

The cost of the amnesty is not mentioned in the legislation, although the Congressional Budget Office optimistically estimated that a similar DREAM Act amnesty for 2 million illegals would cost taxpayers $26 billion in just the first ten years. The costs would be high because very few of the illegals have college degrees, many do not speak English, and so cannot earn enough to pay more taxes than they receive in benefits....

The existing population of illegals in the United States is estimated at 12 million, but it may be higher, and it is growing every day as migrants head north in the hope of buying documents and applying for the amnesty...

Moreover, the bill handcuffs DHS agents from deporting any younger illegals until the illegals file for the amnesty. That provision means the DHS agents cannot deport young illegals — even if they have just climbed over the border fence — until the DHS secretary can start accepting applications.

But the business community will have little reason to defend Trump, partly because they have gotten their double-shot of tax cuts and cheap labor. In fact, the legislation does not sunset the amnesty, meaning it can be quietly expanded with a few legal tweaks that can be attached to any of the myriad obscure bills annually passed by Congress.

In 1986, Congress expected that 400,000 farm workers would apply for green cards –but officials eventually handed out 1 million green cards. If the same pattern applies to the estimated 1.8 million recipients, Trump’s amnesty will be given to 4.5 million illegals — or more than one year of births in the United States.

The Migration Policy Institute estimates the current resident population of ‘dreamer’ illegals to be 3.25 million — not counting younger, more recent child-illegals who will age in and drive the total closer to 4.5 million.

That bigger-than-expected total would be a disaster for the GOP but a boon for business because it will head off the labor shortages which allow Americans to get higher wages....

The legislation says illegals must meet several tests, such as steady work and validated education levels. But the education standards are extremely low, suggesting that nearly all illegals will meet the test...

Illegals will be allowed to become citizens after 12 years, giving Democrats a huge electoral boost in the 2030s when nearly all of today’s GOP legislators have retired...

Even without citizenship, the population of several million legalized illegals will provide an immediate gain for Democratic Party, partly because they will be counted in the 2020 census and will shift a few more House seats from GOP-dominated areas into Democratic-dominated areas....

The draft amnesty will also serve as complete proof in November that Trump’s voters’ wrongly placed their trust in his August 2016 promise to block any amnesty:

He said:

For those here illegally today who are seeking legal status, they will have one route and one route only. To return home and apply for re-entry like everybody else under the rules of the new legal immigration system that I have outlined today …

It’s our right as a sovereign nation to choose immigrants that we think are the likeliest to thrive and flourish and love us …

Anyone who tells you the core issue is the needs of those living here illegally has simply spent too much time in Washington.

Four million Americans turn 18 each year and begin looking for good jobs in the free market.

But the federal government inflates the supply of new labor by annually accepting roughly 1.1 million new legal immigrants (including roughly 750,000 working-age migrants), by providing work-permits to roughly 3 million resident foreigners, and by doing little to block the employment of roughly 8 million illegal immigrants.

The Washington-imposed economic policy of economic growth via mass-immigration floods the market with foreign laborspikes profits and Wall Street values by cutting salaries for manual and skilled labor offered by blue-collar and white-collar employees. It also drives up real estate priceswidens wealth-gaps, reduces high-tech investment, increases state and local tax burdens, hurts kids’ schools and college education, pushes Americans away from high-tech careers, and sidelines at least 5 million marginalized Americans and their families, including many who are now struggling with opioid addictions.

amnesty

The cheap-labor policy has also reduced investment and job creation in many interior states because the coastal cities have a surplus of imported labor....

Because of the successful cheap-labor strategy, wages for men have remained flat since 1973, and a large percentage of the nation’s annual income has shifted to investors and away from employees.

amnesty

‘Please, God, Don’t Let Me Get Stopped’: Around Atlanta, No Sanctuary for Immigrants

CHAMBLEE, Ga. —

...Few places in the United States have simultaneously beckoned undocumented immigrants and penalized them for coming like metropolitan Atlanta, a boomtown of construction and service jobs where conservative politics and new national policies have turned every waking day into a gamble.

President Trump has declared anyone living in the country illegally a target for arrest and deportation, driving up the number of immigration arrests by more than 40 percent this year. While the Obama administration deported record numbers of undocumented immigrants, it directed federal agents to focus on arresting serious criminals and recent arrivals. The current administration has erased those guidelines, allowing Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to arrest and deport anyone here illegally.

Freed of constraints, the regional ICE office in Atlanta made nearly 80 percent more arrests in the first half of this year than it did in the same period last year, the largest increase of any field office in the country.

It has had help. Local sheriffs and the police have been working with federal agents to identify and detain immigrants, a model of cooperation that the Trump administration is rapidly trying to expand throughout the country.

Every few hours, an unauthorized immigrant is booked into a county jail on charges as serious as assault and as minor as failing to signal a right turn. Then the jail alerts ICE — contrary to what happens in the so-called sanctuary cities repeatedly denounced by Mr. Trump, where local authorities refuse to turn immigrants over to the federal agency except in cases involving the gravest crimes.

Atlanta’s immigrants can do little but hide.... Word of the arrests flows through neighborhood phone trees, and Facebook has become an early-warning system for people desperate for clues about where ICE is operating...

As the Trump administration pushes the rest of the country toward tougher immigration enforcement, the Atlanta area offers a glimpse of what could be.

‘You Should Be Scared’

...David Martinez-Samano, who had a pair of felony convictions for domestic violence from 1996 and 1997, plus a rape charge that a plea bargain reduced to a lesser charge. He had served time in prison and had been deported to Mexico twice.

“So he’s a pretty bad guy,” one agent told the team, “and we want to get him off the streets.”

Mr. Martinez-Samano’s window glowed at 6:09 a.m....

Then his Honda Civic shivered to life. As he headed for a turn, the blue lights of the SUVs went blazing down the street.

Within two minutes of being pulled over, Mr. Martinez-Samano was handcuffed, patted down and stowed in a back seat. The quick turnaround, ICE officials said, minimized the chances that rubbernecks would post a video on Facebook, where, inevitably, it would be described as a checkpoint or a random traffic stop...

The agents were doing their jobs, he said in a brief interview. But, he said, he did not think he was worth ICE’s time. Having already gone to prison, he said, “I already paid.”...

Staying Out of Sight

ICE’s Atlanta office made 7,753 arrests across Georgia and the Carolinas from January through June, the most recent period for which data was available. That was more than any other field office except Dallas’s, and an increase of nearly 80 percent over the same period last year.

“If you’re in this country illegally, you should be scared,” said Sean Gallagher, the Atlanta field office director....

ICE officials say that agents do not randomly arrest people, instead targeting immigrants such as Mr. Martinez-Samano. But rumor often outpaces fact. In the suburban neighborhoods where hundreds of thousands of immigrants have made precarious camp, dread of a knock from ICE informs every decision...

But information about ICE’s movements, however thin, is worth a thousand candles.

Every morning, Rolando Zeron, a former civil engineer in Honduras who now fixes floors, maps his way to work after checking the Facebook page of Mario Guevara, a reporter for the newspaper Mundo Hispánico who updates his feed about ICE activity throughout the day.

“If Mario says, ‘Hey, I see guys on Buford Highway,’ I move,” said Mr. Zeron, 44. “Mario’s like family. I’ve never met him — just online. That’s my dream, to meet him. I want to buy him a beer.”

Mr. Guevara, who has 250,000 Facebook followers and counting, is usually in his car by 4:30 a.m., gulping coffee and chasing tips from suburb to suburb.

Asked whether he had any reservations about helping readers evade immigration law, he said he preferred to think he was helping people with no criminal records stay in the country. “Honestly, I believe it’s an honor as a journalist if the people can use your information for protecting their own families,” he said.

As he approached a Chamblee Heights apartment one afternoon, three little girls spotted him. “Mario!” they shouted. “Mario!”

They were the daughters of another devoted reader, Paola, 37. Even as she and her husband discussed moving to a more immigrant-friendly state, she was preparing her children’s passports and laboring to improve their Spanish.

“Someday we’ll be back in Guatemala or Honduras,” she told them, “and no one speaks English there.”

In Georgia, after all, it is risky even to drive.

From Traffic Stop to Ticket Out

Thousands of undocumented immigrants since 2012 have been arrested and handed over to ICE in Georgia after routine traffic stops revealed that they were driving without a license.

State legislators have empowered local police officers to question suspects about their immigration status, a job normally reserved for federal agents, and three county jails near Atlanta participate in a program, known as 287(g), that allows sheriff’s deputies to identify undocumented immigrants and hand them over to ICE. The Trump administration has signed dozens of new 287(g) agreements with jails around the country.

“It’s huge for us,” said Mr. Gallagher of ICE, calling the program “a force multiplier.”

Gabriela Martinez, 28, a single mother of three who illegally crossed the border from Mexico in 2005, was moving the last of her family’s belongings to the new house she had just rented in Norcross when her Ford Expedition was pulled over for a broken brake light in April.

She knew the risks. The father of her 5-, 7- and 10-year-old daughters, was deported after being pulled over in 2012. Ever since, she had taught the girls to be extra diligent about wearing seatbelts. Once Mr. Trump took office, she rode with friends and took Ubers as often as possible.

But she said she had no choice but to drive to her daughters’ school, to the doctor or to the houses she cleans. As rapidly as the Atlanta area has grown, public transit is practically absent outside Atlanta itself.

“Every time I pull out of here, I think, ‘Please, God, please, God, don’t let me get stopped,’” she said.

She was held for four days at the Gwinnett County jail — where a sign outside announces “This is a 287(g) facility” — before being transferred to an immigration detention center. The friend who had been watching her children when she was arrested told them their mother was traveling for work, but Ms. Martinez called to tell her 10-year-old daughter, Evelyn, the truth.

“If I don’t come home,” she told her, “you’re in charge.”

Evelyn began to wail, sobbing so hard that she dropped the phone. Ms. Martinez could only listen.

She was released with an ankle monitor after telling ICE agents about her American-born children. But she still faces possible deportation.

An analysis of one month of Gwinnett County jail records from this summer shows that 184 of the 2,726 people booked and charged at the jail were held for immigration authorities. Almost two-thirds of those detained for ICE had been charged with a traffic infraction such as failing to stay in their lane, speeding or driving without a license. Others were booked on charges including assault, child molestation and drug possession.

Advocates for immigrants have accused officers in 287(g) counties of targeting Hispanic drivers, a claim local police have denied.

“Local law enforcement is just chasing Latinos all over the place for tiny traffic infractions,” said Adelina Nicholls, the executive director of the Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights.

But to Butch Conway, the longtime sheriff of Gwinnett County, there is no reason his deputies should not turn in immigrants caught driving without a license. They are, after all, doubly breaking the law.

“I find it offensive that they just thumb their nose at our laws and operate vehicles they are not licensed to operate,” Mr. Conway said in a 2010 interview, “on top of the fact that they are here illegally.” (Through a spokeswoman, he declined to comment for this article.)

In nearby Cobb County, Maria Hernandez, a school janitor from Mexico, was arrested while driving home from work one night in May. An officer conducting a random license tag check, a common practice in some police departments, had determined through a state database that the tag had been suspended because the car lacked insurance. After pulling over Ms. Hernandez, the officer then discovered she had no driver’s license.

Her boss tried to bail her out of the Cobb County jail, but was told that the money would go to waste: She was headed to immigration detention, where she would spend three days trying to explain that she was a single mother with a sick child. Estefania, her 13-year-old daughter, was being treated for depression after a suicide attempt.

Ms. Hernandez was released, given an ankle monitor and told to report back with a plane ticket. (A lawyer has helped delay the deportation.)

Her car, in fact, was insured; the officer had called in the wrong license tag, according to a Cobb County Police Department spokesman, Sgt. Dana Pierce.

Sergeant Pierce said it made no difference, given Ms. Hernandez’s lack of a driver’s license. Generally, “there is no singling out of any race, creed, color, religion or anything else,” the sergeant said.

But by the time the mistake was discovered, it was too late. Ms. Hernandez was already being booked into the county jail.

Woodburn police chief aims to build trust after news of DACA repeal

The recent decision by the federal government to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals causes me to once again reflect on the relationship between our immigrant communities and local law enforcement.

As I am out and about in the greater Woodburn community, I hear of continued confusion, fear and mistrust of government among immigrant communities.

Critical to our mission as local police officers is the notion that people in our community, particularly our immigrant communities, trust us and not fear us. Trust cultivates an environment of cooperation with victims and witnesses of crime, cooperation that we desperately need to keep our community safe.

The ongoing controversies surrounding immigration issues in our country unfortunately plays counter to that mission, resulting in emotions encouraging fear — not trust — and stifling any such cooperation.

Oregon law, which we follow and enforce, guides us in our daily work of keeping our community safe. ORS 181A.820 helps reinforce the goal of mutual trust and respect between local law enforcement and immigrant communities.

This Oregon law specifically prohibits local law enforcement from engaging solely in administrative immigration matters.

The statute does, however, allow for local law enforcement involvement in immigration matters when circumstances of a crime are present, including a person subject to arrest pursuant to a warrant issued by a federal magistrate.

The decisions surrounding immigration policy and its future are mired in politics well beyond the reach of local law enforcement. What is within the reach of both local law enforcement and our immigrant communities are opportunities to continue fostering mutual trust and respect.

Now is the time for us to come together and work hard to overcome any fear and mistrust of local law enforcement.

We can do this together through building and maintaining positive relationships, being transparent, practicing the tenets of police legitimacy and procedural justice, and working in partnership to keep our community a safe place to live, work and visit.

Jim Ferraris is the chief of the Woodburn Police Department. To read the Oregon statues mentioned in this letter, go to www.oregonlaws.org
 

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