President

Ring the caution bell

 
While it’s great to read the reports of decreases in illegal immigration and more arrests of illegal aliens now here, there are also disturbing signs that Pres. Trump is yielding too much to those who exploit the immigration system for profit and to the politicians in Congress and elsewhere who serve those interests.
 
Dan Cadman, of the Center for Immigration Studies, is a retired INS / ICE official with thirty years of government experience. He served as a senior supervisor and manager at headquarters, as well as at field offices both domestically and abroad.  He is well-informed on details of immigration law enforcement and writes in understandable language on current immigration issues.  In his blog below posted on the CIS website, he points out some pitfalls in the path toward what voters hoped to achieve through Pres. Trump’s election.
 
 
By Dan Cadman, Center for Immigration Studies, May 18, 2017
 
Even as border crossings have plummeted and interior arrests have soared since inauguration of the president — due, no doubt, both to his tough campaign talk and his unshackling of federal immigration agents through executive orders — there are warning signs that we may be sliding back toward the Washington business-as-usual mentality of unacknowledged virtually open borders where legal immigration is concerned.
 
First there was the cave-in on budget negotiations in which provisions maintaining controversial accounting methods for the notorious H-2B program for unskilled workers got slipped into the short-term appropriations bill, along with a reprieve of the corrupt and useless EB-5 "investor" visa program.
 
Then there was the deeply disturbing incident involving the sister of Jared Kushner (son-in-law and advisor to the president) pimping his name and connection to the White House in presentations to EB-5 investors in China.
 
And then we find that Mr. Trump is alleged to have promised Big Agriculture that they have nothing to fear from his administration where immigration enforcement and unfettered access to high-volume temporary worker programs are concerned. 
 
Now there are the rumors that Trump may be favorably disposed toward the ENLIST Act, a bill that would give illegal aliens the right to enlist in return for green cards — a poor idea that has been floated before without success, and that has been panned as unnecessary by distinguished retired military service members. No wonder, given that present enlistment programs are working just fine at keeping the armed forces supplied with excellent candidates, and indeed turn away many American citizen applicants for inability to meet the high physical, mental, emotional, and educational standards the military is able to maintain. Why compromise those standards to open the doors to aliens whose very presence in the country is illegal, who may or may not speak competent English, and who cannot easily or inexpensively be adequately vetted (as we have seen again and again and again)?
 
As our Executive Director, Mark Krikorian, recently discussed, none of these things is necessarily a betrayal, per se, by Mr. Trump of his vocal base of immigration restrictionists, given his campaign remarks about big, beautiful doors inside the big, beautiful (unfunded) wall. But it's going to feel like one. 
 
How could they see it otherwise if the market is flooded with hundreds of thousands of cheap foreign laborers on the bottom and middle, and with fat-cat foreign "entrepreneurs" at the top, despite all of the president's campaign rhetoric and promises to open up new jobs for un- and under-employed Americans?
 
The short-term problem seems to be that he thought everything could be done by executive orders and, having discovered that isn't true and that he needs the help of recalcitrant congressional Republicans — including those of the "more is better" immigration school like Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) — the president appears to be inclined to give these foxes the run of the henhouse where guestworker and other "legal" immigration programs are concerned, perhaps in the belief that they will then support him in his other endeavors.
 
The long-term problem, though, is that whether he wishes to acknowledge it or not, Donald Trump's base did indeed "hire" the president not just to eliminate illegal immigration, but to rein in an out-of-control legal immigration system that brings in 1.5 million aliens annually, thus depressing wages at the lower end of the economic ladder, and making jobs difficult to find in the middle of the ladder, particularly for new college graduates seeking employment in certain industries (such as information technology) that have relied heavily on in-sourcing of long-term guestworkers who underbid them to get those jobs. 
 
And then there are those millionaires and billionaires buying green cards in corrupt programs that in truth employ nobody in any meaningful, direct, or permanent way. They merely serve as a plentiful source of funds to real estate and business developers. Many of these investment projects have proved to be fraudulent, and many others didn't get built or finished. The program is riddled like the proverbial Swiss cheese with lawsuits, prosecutions, and civil enforcement actions.
 
You just can't square the circle between continuing unfettered access to massive guestworker and investment programs by greedy employers and shady project-selling middlemen on one hand and, on the other, giving the people who constitute Mr. Trump's base a fair shot at good jobs with decent pay.
 
Lose your base, Mr. President, and you will be a one-term president. There is no art of the deal in which you can maintain their trust and confidence while giving way to congressional Democrats and Republicans who are catering to those employers and middlemen, who don't believe in your agenda anyway, and who will in the end drop you like a hot potato at the first sign of trouble. The warning signs are already there, are they not?
 

Victory in Texas: Governor Abbott Signs Anti-Sanctuary Bill

On Sunday, May 7, Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) signed Senate Bill (SB) 4, strong anti-sanctuary legislation to promote public safety and ensure law enforcement is able to fully cooperate with federal immigration officials. (Texas Tribune, May 7, 2017) Texas is the second state to pass a state-wide anti-sanctuary law this year. Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant (R) signed a bill into law outlawing sanctuary cities in March. (US News, Mar. 27, 2017)

Specifically, SB 4 prohibits state and local entities from adopting, enforcing, or endorsing policies that prohibit or materially limit the enforcement of immigration laws. (SB 4) Public university and college campuses are explicitly included in these requirements. (Id.) SB 4, however, does make an exception for local school districts, public health centers, and other community centers. (Id.) SB 4 also authorizes law enforcement to inquire into a person’s immigration status during a lawful investigation to a criminal offense. (Id.)

To ensure officers comply with the law, SB 4 subjects law enforcement officials with criminal, Class A misdemeanor, charges if they do not comply with detainers sent by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. (Id.) Additionally, localities or colleges who defiantly impose sanctuary policies may be subject to pay a fine, between $1,000 and $25,500 per day the policy is in place. (Id.)

Governor Abbott has consistently taken strong positions on immigration enforcement since taking office and made passing state-wide anti-sanctuary legislation a legislative priority for 2017. (FAIR Legislative Update, Jan. 10, 2017; FAIR Legislative Update, Feb. 7, 2017) “As governor, my top priority is public safety, and this bill furthers that objective by keeping dangerous criminals off our streets,” Abbott said. (Reuters, May 8, 2017)

Texas has been on the front lines of the illegal immigration surge that expanded during the Obama Administration. (FAIR Legislative Update, July 5, 2017) Former President Obama’s lax enforcement policies encouraged record numbers of illegal alien minors and families from Central America to cross the southern border into Texas over recent years. (Id.) As a result, Texas taxpayers have fronted billions in costs associated illegal immigration, particularly with regard to law enforcement, education, and public benefits spending. (Id.)

Oregon Department of Corrections: Criminal Alien Report April 2017

The Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) April 1, 2017 Inmate Population Profile indicated there were 14,644 inmates incarcerated in the DOC’s 14 prisons.

Data obtained from the DOC indicated that on April 1st there were 962 foreign nationals (criminal aliens) incarcerated in the state’s prison system; more than one in every sixteen prisoners incarcerated by the state was a criminal alien, 6.57 percent of the total prison population.

Some background information, all 962 criminal aliens currently incarcerated in the DOC prison system were identified by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), a federal law enforcement agency that is part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. If an inmate is identified by ICE as being a criminal alien, at the federal law enforcement agency’s request, DOC officials will place an “ICE detainer” on the inmate. After the inmate completes his/her state sanction, prison officials will transfer custody of the inmate to ICE.

Using DOC Inmate Population Profiles and ICE detainer numbers, the following table reveals the total number inmates, the number of domestic and criminal alien inmates along with the percentage of them with ICE detainers incarcerated on April 1st in the state’s prisons.
 

OREGON DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS

Month/Day/Year

DOC Total Inmates

DOC Domestic Inmates

DOC Inmates W/ICE detainers

DOC % Inmates W/ICE detainers

April 1, 2017

14,644

13,682

962

6.57%

Source: Research and Evaluation DOC Report ICE inmates list 01 April 17 and Inmate Population Profile 01 April 17.

Using DOC ICE detainer numbers, the following table reveals the number and percentage of criminal alien prisoners incarcerated on April 1st that were sent to prison from the state’s 36 counties.
 

OREGON DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS

County

DOC Total Inmates W/ ICE Detainers

DOC % Inmates W/ICE Detainers

Marion

232

24.12%

Multnomah

202

21.00%

Washington

190

19.75%

Clackamas

78

8.11%

Lane

46

4.78%

Jackson

32

3.33%

Yamhill

23

2.39%

Umatilla

21

2.18%

Klamath

16

1.66%

Linn

16

1.66%

Benton

15

1.56%

Polk

15

1.56%

Deschutes

14

1.46%

Malheur

11

1.14%

Lincoln

8

0.83%

Jefferson

5

0.52%

Clatsop

4

0.42%

Coos

4

0.42%

Josephine

4

0.42%

Wasco

4

0.42%

Columbia

3

0.31%

Douglas

3

0.31%

Hood River

3

0.31%

Tillamook

3

0.31%

Crook

2

0.21%

Morrow

2

0.21%

Union

2

0.21%

Gilliam

1

0.10%

Lake

1

0.10%

OOS

1

0.10%

Sherman

1

0.10%

Baker

0

0.00%

Curry

0

0.00%

Grant

0

0.00%

Harney

0

0.00%

Wallowa

0

0.00%

Wheeler

0

0.00%

Total

962

100.00%

Source: Research and Evaluation DOC Report ICE inmates list 01 April 17.

Here are the ways Oregon residents were victimized by the 962 criminal aliens.

Using DOC ICE detainer numbers, the following table reveals the number and percentage of criminal alien prisoners incarcerated on April 1st by type of crime.
 

OREGON DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS

Crime

DOC Total Inmates W/ ICE Detainers

DOC % Inmates W/ICE Detainers

Sex Abuse

193

20.06%

Rape

170

17.67%

Homicide

137

14.24%

Drugs

104

10.81%

Sodomy

94

9.77%

Assault

80

8.32%

Robbery

56

5.82%

Kidnapping

27

2.81%

Burglary

20

2.08%

Theft

18

1.87%

Driving Offense

8

0.83%

Vehicle Theft

4

0.42%

Arson

0

0.00%

Forgery

0

0.00%

Escape

0

0.00%

Other / Combination

51

5.30%

Total

962

100.00%

Source: Research and Evaluation DOC Report ICE inmates list 01 April 17.

Using the DOC Inmate Population Profile and ICE detainer numbers from April 1st, the following table reveals the total number inmates by crime type, the number of domestic and criminal alien prisoners incarcerated by type of crime and the percentage of those crimes committed by criminal aliens.
 

OREGON DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS

Crime

DOC Total Inmates

DOC Domestic Inmates

DOC Inmates W/ICE Detainers

DOC % All Inmates W/ICE Detainers

Sex Abuse

1,744

1,551

193

11.07%

Rape

974

804

170

17.45%

Homicide

1,696

1,559

137

8.08%

Drugs

876

772

104

11.87%

Sodomy

1,016

922

94

9.25%

Assault

2,000

1,920

80

4.00%

Robbery

1,536

1,480

56

3.65%

Kidnapping

292

265

27

9.25%

Burglary

1,308

1,288

20

1.53%

Theft

1,101

1,083

18

1.63%

Driving Offense

217

209

8

3.69%

Vehicle Theft

467

463

4

0.86%

Arson

74

74

0

0.00%

Forgery

45

45

0

0.00%

Escape

36

36

0

0.00%

Other / Combination

1,262

1,211

51

4.04%

Total

14,644

13,682

962

 

Source: Research and Evaluation DOC Report ICE inmates list 01 April 17 and Inmate Population Profile 01 April 17.

Using DOC ICE detainer numbers, the following table reveals the self-declared countries of origin of the 962 criminal alien prisoners by number and percentage incarcerated on April 1st in the state’s prisons.
 

OREGON DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS

Country

DOC Total Inmates W/ ICE Detainers

DOC % Inmates W/ICE Detainers

Mexico

773

80.35%

Guatemala

20

2.08%

El Salvador

13

1.35%

Vietnam

13

1.35%

Cuba

12

1.25%

Honduras

12

1.25%

Russia

9

0.94%

Federated States of Micronesia

7

0.73%

Ukraine

7

0.73%

Marshall Islands

6

0.62%

Cambodia

4

0.42%

China

4

0.42%

Laos

4

0.42%

Philippines

4

0.42%

Thailand

4

0.42%

Canada

3

0.31%

Other Countries

67

6.96%

Total

962

100.00%

Source: Research and Evaluation DOC Report ICE inmates list 01 April 17.

Beyond the DOC criminal alien incarceration numbers and incarceration percentages, per county and per crime type, or even country of origin, criminal aliens pose high economic cost on Oregonians.

An individual prisoner incarcerated in the DOC prison system costs the state approximately ($94.55) per day.

The DOC’s incarceration cost for its 962 criminal alien prison population is approximately ($90,957.10) per day, ($636,699.70) per week, and ($33,199,341.50) per year.

Even taking into account fiscal year 2016 U.S. Bureau of Justice Assistance, U.S. Department of Justice, State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP) award of $1,788,075.00, if the State of Oregon receives the same amount of SCAAP funding for fiscal year 2017, the cost to incarcerate 962 criminal aliens to the DOC will be at least ($31,419,266.50).

None of preceding cost estimates for the DOC to incarcerate the 962 criminal aliens includes the dollar amount for legal services (indigent defense), language interpreters, court costs, or victim assistance.

Bibliography

Oregon Department of Corrections Population Profile April 1, 2017:
http://www.oregon.gov/doc/RESRCH/docs/inmate_profile_201704.pdf

Oregon Department of Corrections Population Profile (unpublished MS Excel workbook) titled Incarcerated Criminal Aliens Report dated April 1, 2017.

Oregon Department of Corrections Issue Brief Quick Facts IB-53, January, 2017:
http://www.oregon.gov/doc/OC/docs/pdf/IB-53-Quick%20Facts.pdf

U.S. Bureau of Justice Assistance, State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP), 2016 SCAAP award: https://www.bja.gov/funding/FY2016-SCAAP-Award-C.PDF

This report is a service to Oregon state, county and city governmental officials to help them assess the impact of foreign national crime in the state.

David Olen Cross
Cell Phone: 503.991.2089
E-mail: davidolencross@hotmail.com

Pres. Trump's first 100 days make improvements to immigration enforcement and begin laying the groundwork for worker visa reforms

Tomorrow marks President Donald Trump's 100th day in office, and immigration has been a key component of his 100-day agenda. Thus far, Trump has solely relied on his executive powers to stem the tide of illegal border crossings and beef up interior enforcement. And while he's taken some good first steps in addressing legal immigration, he's yet to take strong action on protecting American workers from the steady flow of cheap foreign labor that drives down wages and increases job competition for workers.

THE HIGH POINTS

Past presidents and candidates have talked tough on immigration, but none have followed through on that tough talk. In fact, a clip from Bill Clinton's 1996 State of the Union Address is one of the most watched videos we've ever posted on our Facebook page (94 million views). But neither Clinton, George W. Bush, nor Barack Obama were ever committed to ending illegal immigration.

Candidate Trump used some of the toughest pro-enforcement language ever during his White House run, and we've already seen its impact. Border Apprehensions -- the measure used to determine overall illegal border crossings -- are at a 17-year low, and the administration has significantly stepped up interior enforcement efforts across the country.

In just his first week after being sworn in, Pres. Trump signed two Executive Orders aimed at securing the border and strengthening interior enforcement. Those Executive Orders called for:

  • Increases in Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents,
  • Increase in immigration judges,
  • Withholding visas from countries that refuse to repatriate deported aliens,
  • An end to catch-and-release,
  • The construction of more detention facilities for detained illegal aliens along the border,
  • Granting Border Patrol access to federal lands,
  • Ending Pres. Obama's Priority Enforcement Program (PEP),
  • Reinstating Secure Communities and encouraging increased participation from local police in immigration enforcement, and
  • Creation of an office for victims of illegal-alien crimes.

Trump needs money from Congress to accomplish a few of the above points, but his Administration has already moved forward on many of the points using existing funds.

LAYING THE GROUND WORK

Pres. Trump will need help from Congress on several more of his immigration priorities, but he's at least started the discussion on a few of them. Most notably, his FY2018 budget request to Congress asked for funding to make E-Verify mandatory for all employers. Congress will need to pass a mandatory E-Verify law to make that request a reality, but budget requests typically reveal the White House's policy priorities for the next fiscal year.

NumbersUSA believes requiring all employers to use E-Verify to end the jobs magnet is the single, strongest step that can be taken in ending illegal immigration and protecting American workers. But over the years, we have also advocated for full implementation of the Secure Fence Act of 2006 that requires double-layered, reinforced fencing along 700-miles of the U.S.-Mexico border. Trump's campaign mantra was to 'build the wall', and while the details of 'the wall' remain a bit fuzzy, he's continued to push for some sort of barrier construction along the border.

The Administration is also off to a good start at ending sanctuary policies. Both Pres. Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions have called for withholding federal funds from jurisdictions that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement efforts. This week, a federal judge in San Francisco ruled that withholding all federal funds from a sanctuary jurisdiction was unconstitutional, but ruled that it may be okay for the administration to withhold federal grants that require local law enforcement to cooperate with federal law enforcement. That's exactly what the Trump Administration aims to do.

There hasn't been much action on legal immigration, but the Trump Administration did step up its efforts in recent weeks on the H-1B issue. The Departments of Justice and Homeland Security have put tech employers on notice that any misuse of H-1B visas will be investigated, and Trump signed an executive order last week, calling for a review of the H-1B application process. Current federal regulations require that H-1B applications be awarded through a lottery process, but Trump has called for a new process that would award visas to the most skilled or highest paid applicants.

Pres. Trump has done little, yet, to address permanent, legal immigration, but he did include a strong statement in his Joint Address to Congress in February that called for reforming the current legal immigration system to a merit-based system that serves the national interest. He's also met with Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and David Perdue (R-Ga.) to discuss their RAISE Act, which would end Chain Migration and the Visa Lottery and reduce overall immigration by up to 50%.

AREAS NEEDING ATTENTION

The Trump Administration has continued Obama's unconstitutional executive amnesty, DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Trump said he would end the program on Day 1 of his presidency, but one of his January Executive Orders, calling for a review of all of the Obama-era immigration orders, specifically excluded a review of DACA. While the renewals and decisions over what to do with the current DACA population may be more difficult, his Administration's refusal to stop issuing NEW work permits flies in the face of his clearly stated campaign promise on that issue.

Trump has also allowed the Optional Training Program (OPT) to continue. OPT allows foreign students who graduate from a U.S. college or university with a STEM degree to stay and work in the U.S. for up to two years. The program places recent American STEM students in direct competition with foreign students for jobs immediately after graduation. OPT was started by George W. Bush, expanded by Barack Obama, and has never been authorized by Congress. It would be easy for the Administration to eliminate the program.

Perhaps the most important immigration lesson of the first 100 days of the Trump Administration is that simply sending a strong message of enforcement is enough to begin to dramatically reduce illegal entries. That alone has been a tremendous success. Yes, there are some unfulfilled immigration-campaign promises and some areas that need more attention, but it's only been 100 days. There's clear evidence that immigration enforcement is improving, and there are hopeful signs that legal immigration reductions could be on the horizon.

 
 

 

DACA and Deportations - what really happened

It would seem that if one were in a foreign country illegally and then were fortunate enough to be given a special "DACA" status and allowed to remain in the country, they would follow every law and obey every rule to maintain their protected status. 

It seems, however, that Juan Manual Montes decided the rules didn't apply to him.  He was caught sneaking back into the country after leaving to visit his girlfriend in Mexico.  Find out more.

DACA Deported After Breaking Immigration Laws Again

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) deported a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) illegal alien two months ago—believed to be the first enforcement action taken against a recipient of President Obama’s unconstitutional amnesty program. DHS has confirmed that in February it returned Juan Manual Montes, a 23-year old illegal alien DACA recipient, to his home country of Mexico in February after catching him climbing over the border fence in Calexico, California. (Washington Examiner, Apr. 19, 2017) In a Spanish-language interview while detained, Montes admitted under oath to the Border Patrol to illegally entering the country. (Id.)

Montes’s decision to leave the U.S., allegedly to visit a girlfriend, violated the terms of DACA. According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the DHS component that administers the unlawful program, DACA may only leave the country if granted advance parole. (USCIS DACA Guidelines) Advance parole is an administratively created tool that allows an illegal alien to leave the U.S. with a promise of being “paroled” back into the country upon return. (See FAIR Legislative Update, July 26, 2016) USCIS guidelines are clear that leaving without advance parole will nullify DACA status. “If you travel outside the United State on or after August 15, 2012, without first receiving advance parole, your departure automatically terminates your deferred action under DACA.” (USCIS DACA Guidelines)(emphasis added) According to DHS, “Mr. Montes lost his DACA status when he left the United States without advance parole on an unknown date prior to his arrest by the U.S. Border Patrol on Feb. 19, 2017.” (Washington Examiner, Apr. 19, 2017)

While amnesty advocates predictably cry foul, details are emerging that cast doubt on Montes’s eligibility for DACA in the first place. When President Obama unlawfully created DACA in 2012, one of the criteria for the amnesty program was having “continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007.” (USCIS DACA Guidelines) Montes claims to have been living in the U.S. unlawfully since the age of nine (approximately 2003), which, if true, would satisfy that prong of DACA eligibility. (Washington Examiner, Apr. 19, 2017) However, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) refute that claim, saying they encountered Montes in 2010 when he illegally crossed the border. (Washington Examiner, Apr. 19, 2017) Rather than face detention and removal proceedings before an immigration judge, Montes opted to be promptly returned to Mexico through a process called expedited removal. (Id.) The Obama administration’s approval of Montes’s DACA initial application and then renewal despite his being ineligible is further proof that USCIS blindly approved nearly every application without properly examining each case, as they claimed they did.

Even though DACA are not an enforcement priority of the Trump administration, Attorney General Jeff Sessions defended the removal on Montes. During a Fox News interview with Jenna Lee, Sessions reiterated that “Everybody in the country illegally is subject to being deported, so people come here and they stay here a few years and somehow they think they are not subject to being deported – well, they are.” (Fox News, Apr. 19, 2017)

Once celebrated, special driver's licenses stir anxiety among immigrants in California

AUBURN, Calif. -- Leticia Aceves remembers the fear of her first drive alone.

... in the country illegally with no driver's license, and little grasp of English or California's traffic laws...

"I was shaking all the way from my house... Aceves said.

Two years ago, driving got less stressful for Aceves and 850,000 other Californians who received driver's licenses under a state law meant to help immigrants living in the country illegally become more integrated into society.

Over the past decade, California has taken several steps to bring immigrants without legal status into the mainstream, including health care for the young and financial aid for college students.

....Being able to drive without fear of arrest has given immigrants access to more jobs and made them more confident drivers, they say....

But President Donald Trump's crackdown on immigration has made those license holders anxious...

The issue facing undocumented immigrants in California isn't at play in Oregon. Since 2008, Oregon has required applicants for driver's licenses or permits to provide proof of citizenship.

In California, the decision to give driver's licenses to immigrants here illegally was hotly debated, and it took more than a decade to get the law passed. Critics continue to argue that it has legitimized illegal immigration....

The licenses are designed for people who cannot show proof of legal-resident status in the United States...

Still, the licenses have changed the lives of tens of thousands of people in California. Manuel Mesa remembers well the anxiety that came with driving illegally....

...When Mesa got a driver's license in 2015, he became more inclined to challenge police if he felt his rights were being violated. He also said learning traffic laws in preparation for the exam made him more confident behind the wheel...

More important, the license helped him get a better job. Mesa applied for a commercial driver's license and now works as a big-rig driver, hauling wood, computers, foods and other products.

Jessica Gonzalez, a DMV spokeswoman, said that although the department makes "databases available to law-enforcement entities," that information would not include the legal status of license holders. She said state laws forbid police from discriminating based on a person showing an AB-60 license.

ICE spokeswoman Lori Haley said investigators could use information from the DMV in the course of criminal investigations, but that "ICE does not use data from the DMV to identify immigration enforcement targets."

This month, though, the American Civil Liberties Union released documents that it contends show that Vermont's Department of Motor Vehicles coordinated with ICE last year. The record included emails between ICE and the Vermont DMV in which immigration agents asked that the legal status of certain drivers be checked, said James Lyall, executive director of the ACLU of Vermont.

Vermont is one of 12 states and the District of Columbia where unauthorized immigrants can obtain driver's licenses.

The Trust Act in California offers a measure of protection, said Daniel Sharp, the legal director at the Central American Resource Center, a community organization that helps immigrants get licenses, among other programs. That law makes it harder for state and local law enforcement officials to hold immigrants who have committed minor crimes for pickup by ICE agents.

In this climate of fear, Sharp said, it's unlikely that immigrants who have waited this long will apply for a license.

Proponents of California's law argue that licensing immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally has made roads safer...

A recent study by Stanford researchers showed that hit-and-run cases were increasing more slowly because licensed drivers are less likely to flee the scene of a crime.

But critics such as Hans von Spakovsky of the conservative Heritage Foundation say issuing the licenses to such immigrants legitimizes their presence in the country and makes it easier for them to stay. Even though the license looks different and has specific limitations, von Spakovsky said, it "makes it easier for them to use this government-issued ID for many illegal purposes, such as applying for government benefits or registering to vote."

Let's Start Debunking Immigration Myths

There are common sense, fact-based ways to fix immigration in U.S.

Taxpayers are subsidizing big business and a desire for cheap labor at a massive cost to society.

HOLDEN — Our media is inundated with political narrative, misinformation and myths on immigration. A few examples:

 Reducing immigration is “anti-immigrant” and “right-wing.”

 Only Trumpites oppose sanctuary cities.

Last October, the Obama Justice Department announced that cities would receive federal law enforcement grants only if they fully complied with federal immigration reporting laws. The current administration is continuing this policy. In addition, 80 percent of Americans oppose sanctuary policies, and even in hyper-blue California, a majority felt that cities should not be allowed to refuse to cooperate with federal authorities.

 Immigrants pay taxes.

The National Academy of Sciences was clear: Immigrants are currently a huge fiscal drain. In 2013, the fiscal deficit – taxes paid minus services used – was $279 billion. But why? They work hard. Their wages are low because most are unskilled. Bottom line: Taxpayers are subsidizing cheap labor for the employers.

• If illegal immigrants left, our produce would rot in the fields.

Alabama’s agricultural output rose in the three years after passage of its “draconian” immigration law. In addition, the H2A visa program, which allows farmers to employ foreign guest workers, has no caps. There’s no excuse for any illegal workers picking our produce.

• We need immigrants to “do the jobs Americans won’t do.”

Nobel economist Paul Krugman: “The willingness of Americans to do a job depends on how much that job pays – and the reason some jobs pay too little to attract native-born Americans is competition from poorly paid immigrants.” When garlic famers couldn’t find enough workers, they recently increased wages by $2 an hour, and were flooded with applicants. Surprise! Americans picking produce!

• If we pay more, food prices will skyrocket.

Philip Martin, of the Commission on Agricultural Workers, reports that raising farmworkers’ wages by 40 percent would increase a family’s annual food budget by only $16. By hiring legal workers and paying a livable wage, we save taxpayers the cost of poverty programs, and government gets more taxes.

• We need high-skilled foreign science, technology, engineering and math workers.

The Wall Street Journal: “America’s dazzling tech boom has a downside: Not enough jobs.” And The New York Times: Corporations, claiming dire shortages, are displacing Americans with foreign workers. “STEM shortages”?

• We’re caught between “mass deportations” and “mass amnesty.”

We have other choices. Passing mandatory E-verify for all new hires would immediately end the jobs magnet. Over five years, we could phase in E-verify for all workers. A five-year transition period would allow employers now dependent on an illegal workforce to rethink their business plan, and it would allow illegal immigrants time to make other arrangements.

 Families could be divided!

It’s not our responsibility to provide amnesty and citizenship to people who’ve committed Social Security card fraud and identity theft and lied on federal documents in order to “make a better life.” If native-born Americans commit these crimes, they face jail time.

• What about “Dreamers,” brought here as children? They’re innocent.

Legalization without citizenship for a limited number of highly deserving Dreamers makes sense. But their plight shouldn’t become a Trojan horse for another mass amnesty.

• We need more young people!

Since immigrants sponsor their elderly parents, too, immigration has no discernible effect on generational demographics, according to the pro-restriction Center for Immigration Studies.

• President Barack Obama deported millions. Illegal immigration is simply unstoppable.

The Los Angeles Times: The Obama administration changed the definition of “deportation.” Citing that fact, Obama himself called his deportation statistics “a little deceptive.” Using the old definition, deportations declined by 40 percent under Obama.

How can we stop illegal immigration? It’s obvious: Go after the employers. Decisive enforcement. No more “catch and release.” Immigration policy will affect nearly every aspect of our society for generations. Let’s try applying a fact-based discussion to this complex problem.

Jonette Christian of Holden is a member of Mainers for Sensible Immigration Policy. She can be contacted at jonettechristian@ rocketmail.com.

Pendleton City Council declines sanctuary city status

The City Council took no action on the mostly symbolic measure of making Pendleton a sanctuary city.

At a Tuesday meeting, city resident Shaindel Beers asked the council to declare Pendleton a sanctuary city by adopting an American Civil Liberties Union-endorsed list of nine policies and rules that limited local police cooperation with federal immigration enforcement.

Beers’ request only drew public support from city councilor Scott Fairley, whose motion to adopt the policies died from a lack of a second.

In her presentation, Beers said that although Oregon is already considered a “sanctuary state,” adopting the ACLU’s policies and rules would send a message to undocumented immigrants that Pendleton was a safe and inclusive place.

“A scared population isn’t a safe population,” she said. “If we can make people feel safe and included we would be a better community and a community that people would be proud to be a part of.”

Beers, an English instructor at Blue Mountain Community College, said BMCC already had “safe spaces” on campus, although she was unaware if any other cities in Eastern Oregon had adopted the ACLU’s list.

Thanks to state law, police chief Stuart Roberts told the council that the city was already practicing many of the policies and rules listed by the ACLU.

Roberts said the exception was a rule that required immigration enforcement agents to always wear duty jackets and make their badges visible at all times while in city facilities.

He added that officers don’t usually detain suspects in the police department and rarely come into contact with immigration enforcement.

Roberts said adopting the ACLU policies wouldn’t affect how Pendleton police conduct business or the department’s budget, meaning he didn’t have a strong opinion on the list one way or the other.

Councilor John Brenne worried that President Donald Trump’s threats to strip federal funding from sanctuary cities would hurt Pendleton.

Both Roberts and city attorney Nancy Kerns were unsure if the Trump administration would legally be able to level punitive measures against sanctuary cities.

Sometimes the council’s deliberations resembled glass half-empty or glass half-full argument. While Fairley thought there was no downside to adopting the ACLU policies, councilor Neil Brown saw no upside.

Ultimately, Beers’ request couldn’t find enough supporters on the council besides Fairley and the council took no action.
 

Immigration Hawks Ascend to Senior DHS Positions

Two leading advocates for reforming illegal and legal immigration enforcement were appointed by President Donald Trump to serve as senior advisors for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Jon Feere, the former legal analyst for the Center for Immigration Studies, and Julie Kirchner, the previous executive director for the Federation of American Immigration Reform (FAIR), have both been appointed to senior positions.

Feere, who work with the Trump campaign and transition team on immigration policy, will serve as the senior adviser to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency Director Thomas Homan.

Kirchner, a campaign alum as well, will serve as the senior adviser to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Kevin McAleenan.

Center for Immigration Studies Executive Director Mark Krikorian told Breitbart Texas that the Trump Administration appointed a person who “knows the ins and outs” of immigration when they chose Feere to serve.

“ICE needs somebody like Jon because he’s worked on immigration policy for many years,” Krikorian said. “After eight years of Obama, there were civil servants and people at ICE who weren’t as quite up to date on immigration enforcement.”

FAIR spokesperson Ira Mehlman told Breitbart Texas that Kirchner’s appointment is welcome news.

“They’re both people with long experience and deep knowledge and they’re highly qualified for their positions,” Mehlman said.

Both the Center for Immigration Studies and FAIR have long been advocates for increased border security, a wall, reforming foreign guest worker visas and lower levels of legal immigration to help American wages to rise.

The appointments have come with the usual media backlash that the Trump Administration has grown accustomed to.

CNN, for instance, has written that Feere and Kirchner’s appointments have “alarmed” the open borders lobby. The network propped up opposition to the appointments through the left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center, with Director Heidi Beirich claiming that that the Center for Immigration Studies and FAIR publish “racist” and “xenophobic” reports.

Krikorian, though, said the open borders lobby is only outraged because they know how effective both nominees could be.

“This isn’t a complaint about qualification,” Krikorian told Breitbart Texas. “Jon and these others know what they’re doing and that’s what the anti-borders groups are afraid of.”

John Binder is a contributor for Breitbart Texas. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.

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