President

Half of Oregon's undocumented immigrants eligible for deportation relief, Pew data show

About half of Oregon's unauthorized immigrants will be eligible for deportation relief under President Barack Obama's executive order, announced yesterday.

Using 2012 data, the Pew Research Center calculated that of the 120,000 undocumented immigrants in Oregon, about 50,000 will be newly eligible for relief. Only Idaho and Nebraska have higher percentages of newly eligible immigrants....

Though the president's executive order was welcomed by immigration activists, some felt that more needs to be done for the approximately 6 million who will be be unaffected by the order....

To qualify, immigrants must have children who are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents and must have lived in the U.S. at least five years.

Read the full report at the Pew Research Center.

Undocumented workers, day laborers and activists staged a rally Friday at the Portland Federal Building in response to President Barack Obama's planned changes to immigration policy. (Kristyna Wentz-Graff/The Oregonian)

Source: Pew Research Center estimates based on augmented 2012 American Community Survey data from Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS)
  Read more about Half of Oregon's undocumented immigrants eligible for deportation relief, Pew data show

What Obama's immigration reform means for Oregon

President Barack Obama laid out his plan Thursday night to provide relief to about 5 million people in the United States who have moved here without legal permission, most notably issuing an executive order allowing undocumented immigrants who are parents of U.S. citizens and legal residents to be granted legal status as well.

"All of us take offense to those who reap the rewards of living in America without embracing its responsibilities," he said. However, "undocumented immigrants who desperately want to embrace those responsibilities see little option but to remain in the shadows."

It was unclear what the changes would mean in Oregon. They were well received among political leaders, but the agricultural industry was less enthusiastic, arguing that the reforms failed on many counts.

Everyone agreed, however, that the responsibility lies with Congress to pass comprehensive reforms that will address all the problems related to American's undocumented immigrant population.

This has become an increasingly thorny issue in Oregon.

Migrant labor has become a cornerstone of the state's agricultural industry, and there are about 120,000 undocumented immigrants living here. It is one of a handful of states where the number of illegal immigrants has grown fastest over the past twenty years, and immigration policy is rising to the forefront of public discussion.

Jeff Stone, executive director for the Oregon Association of Nurseries, said the plan will do little to help the state's agricultural industry, and he said it does not make up for the missed opportunity for real reform in Congress.

"(Obama's proposal) is not a replacement for resolving the immigration problem that is facing the country," he said. "It promotes everybody's narrative, positive and negative, but it doesn't solve the problem."

Comprehensive reform would include a true guest-worker program that provides a steady, reliable workforce and a new visa system to allow people who have been here for years to gain legal status in a manageable way, Stone said.

He's not alone. Farm workers across the country will largely fall outside the scope of the proposed reforms, and the national agricultural industry is skeptical that anything short of a new set of laws will stabilize their workforce.

Estimates of how many people in the country illegally are working in agriculture vary, ranging from about 500,000 to as many as 1.75 million individuals.

Obama's proposal is expected to apply to about 250,000 of them, a tiny fraction.

"For what appears to be a small subset of current agricultural workers, the president's actions will alleviate some pressure in the short term but does not offer these workers, their families, their communities or their employers the long-term assurance they deserve," said Charles Conner, head of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives.

Craig Regelbrugge of the Agriculture Coalition for Immigration Reform said his group never expected administrative action could provide a broad solution to the farmworker issue.

"We've seen an inexorable growth in food imports, including fruits and vegetables," Regelbrugge said. "Imports are displacing domestic production."

He said a combination of factors, including tighter border enforcement, have contributed to a worsening of the farm labor shortage.

"The workforce situation has gotten worse and worse and worse and worse," Regelbrugge said. "I think we would have had a disaster in California this year had we not had a drought disaster" that reduced crops.

For Stone, the situation in Oregon is similar. There are not enough workers and not enough certainty for the farmers.

Oregon lost one-third of its nursery growers during the recession, and it is just now building itself back up, Stone said. It relies on migrant workers, and there is a labor shortage under the current system. There are simply not enough people to work these jobs who can prove they're allowed to be here. The president's ideas don't solve that problem.

"There aren't enough visas for the work that needs to be done," Stone said. True immigration reform "is needed for the long-term survival of this country economically."

Some disagree with the idea that Obama's reforms are needed at all.

Jim Ludwick, former president of Oregonians for Immigration Reform, said he does not support the plan. It isn't needed, he said. Rather, the president ought to focus on enforcing the laws we already have.

He said Obama's speech was disingenuous, conflating facts and suggesting law-abiding citizens are frequently deported when they are not, Ludwick said. The speech was meant as a political maneuver, he said, and was designed to tug at heart strings and manipulate emotions rather than set policy.

"He knows all these things he put out will never come to fruition," Ludwick said.

Immigration policy has come increasingly to the forefront in Oregon. Two weeks ago, Oregon voters shot down a ballot measure that would have allowed undocumented immigrants to hold state-issued driver cards. The Oregon Legislature had already approved the law, but voters disagreed and defeated the proposal by an overwhelming margin.

Stone said it was a shame the law hadn't passed and would have benefited the agricultural industry a great deal, but Ludwick said it was a true referendum on what Oregonians really think about immigration policy.

Political leaders were clearly more in line with Stone than Ludwick on Obama's speech, as they had been on driver's cards last year.

"I applaud President Obama's announcement this evening. His leadership will help innumerable families across the country. In our state, his action will mean that thousands of Oregonians have the ability to safely pursue aspects of daily life that many of us take for granted," said Speaker of the House Tina Kotek.

Gov. John Kitzhaber offered his support as well and, like Stone, said the needed work is not done.

"As Oregonians, we believe in a fair shot for everyone... It remains to be seen whether Congress will step up, do what's right, and pass meaningful immigration reform, or whether it will continue to play politics with the lives of millions who have been living, working, and contributing to our communities for years."

Obama called on Congress to pass a comprehensive reform package, and he insisted the temporary measures he has proposed are in keeping with American values.

"We are and always will be a nation of immigrants. We were strangers once too," he said. "What makes us Americans is our shared commitment to an ideal, that all of us are created equal, and all of us have the chance to make of our lives what we will."
  Read more about What Obama's immigration reform means for Oregon

House GOP Panel: Defunding Immigration Order ‘Impossible’

It would be “impossible" to defund President Obama’s executive actions on immigration through a government spending bill, the House Appropriations Committee said Thursday.

In a statement released by Committee Chairman Hal Rogers's (R-Ky.) office hours before Obama's scheduled national address, the committee said the primary agency responsible for implementing Obama's actions is funded entirely by user fees.

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As a result, the committee said the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) agency would be able to continue to collect fees and carry out its operations even if the government shut down.

“This agency is entirely self-funded through the fees it collects on various immigration applications," the committee said in a statement. "Congress does not appropriate funds for any of its operations, including the issuance of immigration status or work permits, with the exception of the ‘E-Verify’ program. Therefore, the appropriations process cannot be used to 'defund' the agency."

A spokesman for Rogers and the panel elaborated on the point in a discussion with reporters.

“We cannot, literally cannot, defund that agency in an appropriations bill because we don’t appropriate that agency. That agency is entirely fee-funded,” spokeswoman Jennifer Hing said.

“As of right now, our understanding is the primary agency responsible for implementing any type of executive order is CIS and we don’t fund CIS. There are no appropriated dollars,” she added.

Rogers has been outspoken in arguing that Congress should pass an omnibus spending bill in the lame-duck Congress that would keep the government funded through September 2015.

He and GOP leaders have come under pressure from conservative Republicans to use a funding bill to prevent Obama's administration from carrying out executive actions on immigration that could give legal status to millions of immigrants.

Those conservatives have called for a spending measure to defund certain agencies that would carry out the order.

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), who wants to defund the order, said he didn’t buy the argument from appropriators.

“I just don't believe that,” he told reporters.

"They're contriving red herring arguments to get to the point that enough members will walk out of this Congress and go home for Thanksgiving saying, 'Well, there's nothing we can do.' "

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) also dismissed the argument and said lawmakers could attach language to an appropriations bill that would result in defunding the order.

“The American people’s Congress has the power and every right to deny funding for unworthy activities,” he said. “It is a routine and constitutional application of congressional power. There is no question that Congress has the power to block this expenditure and no doubt that it can be done.”

Sen. Richard Shelby (Ala.), the ranking Republican on the Senate Appropriations panel, acknowledged the procedural difficulties in defunding Obama’s order, but said there are ways around them.

"That's one of the challenges we've always had, but to say you can't do something, maybe we need to explore more options," he said.

"You can put a rider on a lot of things. There are a lot of ways to skin a cat."

Budget expert Stan Collender, executive vice president at Qorvis MSLGROUP, agreed that Republicans have options.

“Congress can, if it wishes, use an appropriations bill to include authorization language,” he said. “There’s no constitutional prohibition against that.”

But while Collender warned to take Rogers’ words about defunding with a “grain of salt,” he said defunding the order would face major hurdles.

Even if a bill defunding Obama's actions made it to the Senate floor, there would likely be a point of order that would require 60 votes to waive, Collender said.

On top of that, President Obama would almost certainly veto the bill, and Congress likely wouldn’t have the two-thirds majority needed to override it.

The House Appropriations Committee has communicated issues with defunding to GOP leaders, but Hing declined to describe their reaction.

Another idea Rogers had advanced for dealing with Obama's order was for Congress to pass a funding bill for the entire government this year, and then look to rescind funds related to the executive order in January, when Republicans will have control of both the House and the Senate.

Asked if a rescission bill would be irrelevant now, Hing said, “right,” but then added that this could change based on the executive order’s provisions.

“Later on, if we find out down the road that ... other agencies have some piece of it, then we can go back and specifically look at those agencies,” she said.

Congress could also pass an authorization bill to shift the funding authority for CIS to lawmakers.

But Rogers argued that couldn’t be part of an appropriations bill.

“To alter or change the fee matter, it would take a change of law — an authorization — to change an immigration act. It would take an act of Congress,” Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) said.

The Appropriations panel, meanwhile, is moving forward with a 12-bill omnibus spending package.

“We’re making good progress on negotiations and we expect to have the bill on the floor the week of December 8,” Hing said.

Congress must pass a new spending bill by Dec. 12 or the government will shut down.

— Peter Schroeder, Bernie Becker and Cristina Marcos contributed

  Read more about House GOP Panel: Defunding Immigration Order ‘Impossible’

What Obama's immigration reform means for Oregon

President Barack Obama laid out his plan Thursday night to provide relief to about 5 million people in the United States who have moved here without legal permission, most notably issuing an executive order allowing undocumented immigrants who are parents of U.S. citizens and legal residents to be granted legal status as well.

"All of us take offense to those who reap the rewards of living in America without embracing its responsibilities," he said. However, "undocumented immigrants who desperately want to embrace those responsibilities see little option but to remain in the shadows."

It was unclear what the changes would mean in Oregon. They were well received among political leaders, but the agricultural industry was less enthusiastic, arguing that the reforms failed on many counts.

Everyone agreed, however, that the responsibility lies with Congress to pass comprehensive reforms that will address all the problems related to American's undocumented immigrant population.

This has become an increasingly thorny issue in Oregon.

Migrant labor has become a cornerstone of the state's agricultural industry, and there are about 120,000 undocumented immigrants living here. It is one of a handful of states where the number of illegal immigrants has grown fastest over the past twenty years, and immigration policy is rising to the forefront of public discussion.

Jeff Stone, executive director for the Oregon Association of Nurseries, said the plan will do little to help the state's agricultural industry, and he said it does not make up for the missed opportunity for real reform in Congress.

"(Obama's proposal) is not a replacement for resolving the immigration problem that is facing the country," he said. "It promotes everybody's narrative, positive and negative, but it doesn't solve the problem."

Comprehensive reform would include a true guest-worker program that provides a steady, reliable workforce and a new visa system to allow people who have been here for years to gain legal status in a manageable way, Stone said.

He's not alone. Farm workers across the country will largely fall outside the scope of the proposed reforms, and the national agricultural industry is skeptical that anything short of a new set of laws will stabilize their workforce.

Estimates of how many people in the country illegally are working in agriculture vary, ranging from about 500,000 to as many as 1.75 million individuals.

Obama's proposal is expected to apply to about 250,000 of them, a tiny fraction.

"For what appears to be a small subset of current agricultural workers, the president's actions will alleviate some pressure in the short term but does not offer these workers, their families, their communities or their employers the long-term assurance they deserve," said Charles Conner, head of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives.

Craig Regelbrugge of the Agriculture Coalition for Immigration Reform said his group never expected administrative action could provide a broad solution to the farmworker issue.

"We've seen an inexorable growth in food imports, including fruits and vegetables," Regelbrugge said. "Imports are displacing domestic production."

STATESMANJOURNAL

Full text: Obama's immigration speech

He said a combination of factors, including tighter border enforcement, have contributed to a worsening of the farm labor shortage.

"The workforce situation has gotten worse and worse and worse and worse," Regelbrugge said. "I think we would have had a disaster in California this year had we not had a drought disaster" that reduced crops.

For Stone, the situation in Oregon is similar. There are not enough workers and not enough certainty for the farmers.

Oregon lost one-third of its nursery growers during the recession, and it is just now building itself back up, Stone said. It relies on migrant workers, and there is a labor shortage under the current system. There are simply not enough people to work these jobs who can prove they're allowed to be here. The president's ideas don't solve that problem.

"There aren't enough visas for the work that needs to be done," Stone said. True immigration reform "is needed for the long-term survival of this country economically."

Some disagree with the idea that Obama's reforms are needed at all.

Jim Ludwick, former president of Oregonians for Immigration Reform, said he does not support the plan. It isn't needed, he said. Rather, the president ought to focus on enforcing the laws we already have.

He said Obama's speech was disingenuous, conflating facts and suggesting law-abiding citizens are frequently deported when they are not, Ludwick said. The speech was meant as a political maneuver, he said, and was designed to tug at heart strings and manipulate emotions rather than set policy.

"He knows all these things he put out will never come to fruition," Ludwick said.

Immigration policy has come increasingly to the forefront in Oregon. Two weeks ago, Oregon voters shot down a ballot measure that would have allowed undocumented immigrants to hold state-issued driver cards. The Oregon Legislature had already approved the law, but voters disagreed and defeated the proposal by an overwhelming margin.

Stone said it was a shame the law hadn't passed and would have benefited the agricultural industry a great deal, but Ludwick said it was a true referendum on what Oregonians really think about immigration policy.

Political leaders were clearly more in line with Stone than Ludwick on Obama's speech, as they had been on driver's cards last year.

"I applaud President Obama's announcement this evening. His leadership will help innumerable families across the country. In our state, his action will mean that thousands of Oregonians have the ability to safely pursue aspects of daily life that many of us take for granted," said Speaker of the House Tina Kotek.

Gov. John Kitzhaber offered his support as well and, like Stone, said the needed work is not done.

"As Oregonians, we believe in a fair shot for everyone... It remains to be seen whether Congress will step up, do what's right, and pass meaningful immigration reform, or whether it will continue to play politics with the lives of millions who have been living, working, and contributing to our communities for years."

Obama called on Congress to pass a comprehensive reform package, and he insisted the temporary measures he has proposed are in keeping with American values.

"We are and always will be a nation of immigrants. We were strangers once too," he said. "What makes us Americans is our shared commitment to an ideal, that all of us are created equal, and all of us have the chance to make of our lives what we will." Read more about What Obama's immigration reform means for Oregon

Deep Blue Oregon Votes To Block Drivers’ License To Illegals

Democrats and Republicans in bluer-than-blue Oregon strongly backed a referendum on Election Day to eliminate a 2013 law that would have provided drivers’ licenses to illegal immigrants.

The small band of Republican politicians and activists who put the referendum on the ballot say national Republican politicians should learn that if they oppose amnesty, the public will support them.

On Nov. 4, 66 percent of the state’s voters backed the referendum and eliminated the illegals’ licenses.

Those 908,682 voters included many Democrats who also reelected the state’s Democratic establishment, led by Gov. John Kitzhaber and Sen. Jeff Merkley.

“It is only at the state legislature and at Congress that [illegal immigration] becomes a partisan issue,” said state Rep. Kim Thatcher, who sponsored the referendum, dubbed Measure 88.

“In real life, people appreciate the importance of the laws, and they appreciate people who come here legally and they don’t want to support people who come here illegally,” she told The Daily Caller.

People would come up and say to me, ‘I am a lifelong liberal, but this is going too far. Please let me sign your petition,’” said Cynthia Kendoll, the president of Oregonians for Immigration Reform.

“They were adamant that people who are in our country have gotten way too much and that we’ve got to fix this problem,” she told TheDC.

Since it was first publicized in late 2013, the referendum “polled two-to-one from day one. … That needle didn’t move at all,” said GOP state Rep. Sal Esquivel. ”People are pretty much set … and they want to see their federal government go ahead and take care of the situation instead of moving their lips and doing nothing.”

“Doggone it, a lot of Democrats feel the same way as Republicans,” Esquivel said.

That judgment is backed up by national polls, including recent surveys by Paragon Insights and the bipartisan battleground series of polls.

Measure 88 also helped GOP candidates who championed it, said Esquivel. “People who campaigned on this issue did quite well, an the ones that did not, didn’t do very well.”

The GOP gubernatorial candidate ignored the issue, and lost his race, 600,300 votes to Kitzhaber’s 668,816 votes.

But Rep. Thatcher, a Measure 88 sponsor, won a seat in the state Senate, even though GOP turnout sagged, and the state’s voters increased the Democratic advantage in the Senate from 16:14 to 18:12.

The referendum was also championed by Bill Post, a conservative talk-show host who was elected to take Thatcher’s seat in the state House.

During his campaign, Post won support from the major trade association that backed the award of drivers’ licenses to illegals, the Oregon Association of Nurseries. The association’s member companies use many migrants to plant and trim trees.

In a meeting with the association’s members, “I said ‘No, it’s really simple, you can’t break the law’ … [and] they endorsed me and gave me money,” Post told TheDC. “On 99 percent of the issues, they and I see eye-to-eye,” Post said.

Other employers are investing in machinery instead of relying on migrant workers. For example, the state’s growing win industry had designed its vineyards so that grapes can be harvested by machines instead of migrants.

Measure 88 was so popular that the organizers won with a budget of only $50,000 for the campaign. The group spent only 18 cents per vote to win 35 of 36 counties in the state.

In contrast, Kentucky GOP Sen. Mitch McConnell and his supporters paid 278 times as much, at $50 per vote.

The activists were actually outspent roughly five-to-one by pro-license group, Yes on Oregon Safe Roads.

The pro-license group was funded by the state’s Latino lobbies and immigration lawyers, by Hollywood liberals, and by progressive unions, churches and legal groups. It was also backed by landscaping and agricultural companies who prefer to hire cheap migrant labor instead of investing in machinery. These groups supported the Democrat-drafted 2013 license law because it incentivized more illegals to work and live in the state.

But the business and progressive groups only won the ballot in a single district, Portland, by a narrow 55-to-45 split.

“Moscow on the Willamette is very liberal, very left wing. … We didn’t even campaign there,” said spokesman Jim Ludwick, communications director at Oregonians for Immigration Reform.

The referendum’s backers tried to avoid any hint of ethnic tension or anti-immigrant attitudes in their campaign.

Instead, they focused their criticism on the unfairness of the 2013 law’s lax treatment of illegal drivers, and the unfairness of the state’s support for companies’ use of low-wage migrant labor.

“Nobody wants to break up families, nobody wants to be the meanie, but we do need to make sure that the people coming to the U.S. contribute and become part of the positive fabric,” said Thatcher, who owns a road construction firm.

“We try to talk about [immigration] in the general sense, because if you get down to specific individuals … you go down a slippery slope, you start denigrating groups based on a few,” Ludwig said.

Many voters were repelled by the 2013 law’s easy treatment of illegals, said Ludwick.

Oregonians must periodically prove their identity with passports and birth certificates as they renew their licenses, but illegals would have been able to get a license by showing an unverifiable “Matrícula Consular” identification document that they can buy from Mexican government officials in Oregon.

That sense of unfairness was also a proxy issue for fear loss of control, said Ludwick. There’s no guarantee that the Mexican ID cards would show the person’s true name, so the process could be gamed by criminals to conceal their identity behind real Oregon licenses said, he said.

“Our sovereignty would be in the hands of the Mexican counsel general’s office,” he said. “They would be the adjudicator of who could stay in the country.”

Voters were also concerned about the impact of illegals on jobs, said Ludwick.

“When we talked about jobs we simply said this — wages are flat, there’s been no increase in wages, millions of Americans are out work and millions are underemployed,” Ludwick said.

People understand that “if you have an oversupply of labor, wages are going to be suppressed,” he said.

“Our economy is in mess, we don’t have jobs” outside Portland, said Post.

People don’t want to blame immigration or immigrants for the problems, but they would talk around the issue of immigration’s impact on jobs, Ludwick said. For example, one woman whom he said she would support the referendum because her two sons couldn’t find good jobs. “One is living at home, and one is sharing an apartment, trying to get on a substitute teacher, the [first] one went back to school because he can’t get a job in his field,” Ludwick said.

But those fairness and jobs issues, however true, important and civic-minded, were also proxy issues for the public’s deeper concerns about the impact of large-scale immigration on their communities, Ludwick said.

“One of the biggest things that’s not really addressed is that the U.S. is so welcoming, and we just keep giving and giving, and we keep including so many people at great cost to us, our society, to our pocket book, to our unemployment,” said Kendoll.

“We’re getting to that tipping point. … People are saying ‘Wait a minute, this is just too much,’” she said.

“It’s the numbers,” Ludwick said, citing the annual arrival of one million legal immigrants, 650,000 guest-workers and many illegal immigrants, who seek jobs sought by the four million Americans who enter the workforce each year.

“It is not that every migrant is bad. … It is that we can’t accommodate all the world’s poor and underprivileged,” he said.

Despite their huge victory in blue Oregon, the Oregon GOP members and activists haven’t gotten any calls from the national GOP apparatus.

“Not a single solitary one,” said Kendoll.

TheDC asked for a comment from Rep. Greg Walden, the sole Republican House member in Oregon, and the chairman of the committee panel that helps GOP legislators win elections.

“Greg opposes amnesty, voted against the drivers’ license referendum, and was glad to see it defeated overwhelmingly,” said a statement from Walden’s press aide, Andrew Malcolm. “In his many town halls and other meetings in Oregon, Greg has heard strong support for securing the border and fixing our broken immigration system,” Malcolm said.

Many Oregon employers hire foreign college grads in place of Americans.

The lesson from Oregon’s referendum is that Washington politicians “should stand up, and yes it would help [the Oregon GOP] because people will start to recognize that the Republicans actually can provide leadership,” said Thatcher.

“If they could stand up, they could pull a lot of people from all parties to recognize at least that part of the GOP as a positive thing, and say, may be the Republicans have backbone after all.”

By pushing his amnesty plan, Obama isn’t learning the lessons that voters are teaching, said Esquivel. “It seems like he would have learned from the last election, but obviously he didn’t. … He keeps taking a meat cleaver and putting it into his forehead to see if it hurts.”

GOP leaders should “wake up, the people are upset right now,” said Post.

“We have to secure the borders and we have to deal with this immigration issue,” he said. “Right now, the wind is at their back. The Nov. 4 election, it was a red wave.” Read more about Deep Blue Oregon Votes To Block Drivers’ License To Illegals

Obama heads to Vegas to rally support for immigration overhaul

Determined to go it alone, President Obama will head to Nevada on Friday to sign an executive order granting “deferred action” to two illegal immigrant groups- parents of United States citizens or legal permanent residents who have been in the country for five years, and young people who who were brought into the country illegally as of 2010.

Obama will sign the executive order at the same Las Vegas high school where he unveiled his sweeping blueprint for a national immigration overhaul nearly two years ago.

Hispanics are a growing and powerful constituency in Nevada and the state serves as fertile ground for the president to rally public support.

During a 15-minute primetime speech Thursday, Obama said his administration will start accepting applications from illegal immigrants who seek the deferred actions.

Those who qualify will be granted protections for three years, Obama said, as he laid out his sweeping plan to the public Thursday night from the East Room of the White House.

“Mass amnesty would be unfair,” Obama said during the primetime address. “Mass deportation would be both impossible and contrary to our character.”

Obama, who pitched his plan as a “commonsense, middle ground approach,” said “if you meet the criteria, you can come out of the shadows and get right with the law” but warned “if you’re a criminal, you’ll be deported.”

The president did not specify how many in each "deferred action" group would be granted the new status. According to recent reports, the parental group could involve upwards of 4.5 million immigrants, with those brought into the country illegally making up close to 300,000 new applications. There are an estimated 11 million people living in the country illegally.

But Republicans have been quick to criticize and say the executive action is an example of Obama stretching his powers as president.

Even before the speech, conservatives said they were willing to do whatever was necessary to stop Obama’s plan.

Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell, who will become the majority leader in January when the new congressional class is sworn-in, said Obama would regret choosing to ignore the will of the American people.

McConnell, who made his statements from the Senate floor Thursday morning, has led the charge against the president and has promised a legislative fight when Republicans take full control of Congress in 2015.

“If President Obama acts in defiance of the people and imposes his will on the country, Congress will act,” McConnell said.

Utah Rep Jason Chaffetz, who will replace Rep. Darrell Issa as chair of the House Oversight Committee, told Fox News that the president’s timing on announcing the plan was “crystal clear.”

“It’s all about politics,” Chaffetz said. “He just got slaughtered in an election.”

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said in an op-ed in Politico Wednesday that if Obama acts, the new GOP majority in the Senate should retaliate by not acting on a single one of his nominees – executive or judicial – “so long as the illegal amnesty persists.” Read more about Obama heads to Vegas to rally support for immigration overhaul

Lars Larson: Even Liberal Oregonians Oppose Immigrant Amnesty

Voters in deep-blue Oregon overwhelmingly rejected a ballot measure on Nov. 4 to give drivers' licenses to the state's illegal immigrants — a judgment that President Barack Obama should consider when contemplating executive amnesty, nationally syndicated radio talker Lars Larson told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner on Newsmax TV on Tuesday.
 

Watch the video of Lars Larson's interview. Read more about Lars Larson: Even Liberal Oregonians Oppose Immigrant Amnesty

Didn't Obama Hear Oregon’s Warning Shot on Immigration?

Will Democrats ever realize that increased immigration is not only bad policy, but a political loser as well?

“We are all Republicans, we are all Federalists” said Thomas Jefferson in his first inaugural. It was a gracious touch, a rhetorical olive branch to his vanquished foes. Too bad he didn’t mean it.

Jefferson immediately went about killing off the party of his longtime nemesis, Alexander Hamilton, while his vice president, Aaron Burr, went about killing Hamilton.

After last week’s midterm election, President Obama and Senate Majority Leader-elect Mitch McConnell offered similar rhetorical olive branches. While it’s unlikely the president and the senator from Kentucky will face off on the dueling grounds of Weehawken, their words of equanimity were about as sincere as Thomas Jefferson’s back in 1801.

In his post-debacle presser, President Obama told the nation “I hear you.” But while the president said all the right things about working with the new Republican reality in Washington, he also offered two thorns for every rose pedal.

Once again President Obama threatened executive action on immigration if “Congress won’t act.”

But Congress did act on immigration. The House refusal to pass the Senate’s 2013 Pathway to Citizenship bill was an action. The Senate bill was rejected as a byzantine mess presenting a logistical nightmare at best and at worst yet another incentive for millions to migrate to this country illegally.

The president and supporters of “comprehensive immigration reform”—Washington-speak for amnesty for illegal immigrants—might not like the action Congress took, but act they did.

On Nov. 4, the American people validated Congress’s action by re-electing anti-amnesty candidates and adding to their numbers. Senate Democrats who supported the immigration bill went down hard: Arkansas’ Mark Pryor, North Carolina’s Kay Hagan, Alaska’s Mark Begich. And when Louisiana holds its runoff in December, Mary Landrieu will likely join the club despite her recent flip on the Keystone XL pipeline and just about every other issue she had previously supported. If the new edition of Mary Landrieu shows up in the Senate, the Republicans win either way.

In Oregon, one of the bluest of blue states, a state ballot measure may be the canary in the coal mine President Obama ignores at his own peril.

Yet, a draft of a 10-point executive order leaked to Fox News indicates the president plans to grant as many as 5 million undocumented immigrants permission to stay in the country by extending DACA immunity (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) to the parents of the so-called DREAMers—kids who were brought to this country illegally by their parents. The president’s action would also apply to the parents of children born in the U.S. to undocumented immigrants.

To mute the blowback, action could come next week. The first howl you’ll hear will come from Mary Landrieu, who will have a hard time spinning her way past this one.

If President Obama goes down this road, he will be issuing a slap in the face to Senate Republicans that might not result in pistols at 20 paces, but guarantees a political duel to the death once the new Congress convenes in January.

While issues other than immigration contributed to the electoral disaster inflicted on the president’s party, to turn a deaf ear to the anti-amnesty message delivered at the polls is to deny reality.

Case in point: Oregon, one of the bluest of blue states, where a state ballot measure may be the canary in the coal mine President Obama ignores at his own peril.

On May 1, Gov. John Kitzhaber signed Senate Bill 833, granting undocumented immigrants the right to drive in his state.

But a funny thing happened in the Pacific Northwest: More than 70,000 Oregonians signed a hastily organized petition drive and qualified Measure 88, which would repeal Senate Bill 833, for the November ballot.

Sponsored by Oregonians for Immigration Reform, an anti-amnesty group, the “Save Oregon’s Driver’s License” campaign scored the most significant anti-amnesty victory ever, beating the pro-driver’s license forces 66 percent to 33 percent. It got more votes, in fact, than either Gov. Kitzhaber or incumbent Democratic Senator Jeff Merkely, who both easily won re-election. It even outpolled a successful pro-pot measure.

In total, 941,042 Oregonians voted to deny driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants.

Does President Obama hear this?

“The public supports a pathway to citizenship” is repeated with the regularity of a metronome by Democrats and the corporatist wing of the Republican Party determined to keep a steady supply of cheap labor flowing into this country. But if you ask the American public a straight up question—“Do you support amnesty for illegal immigrants?”—you get a very different response.

According to an April 2013 ABC News/Washington Post poll, 80 percent of American adults support “stricter border control to try to reduce illegal immigration.” This includes 93 percent of Republicans, 76 percent of Democrats, 83 percent of independents, 74 percent of blacks, and a whopping 61 percent of Hispanics.

Polls are only as good as the poll question, and I’m skeptical of nearly every immigration-related poll. But this can be said with certainty: The public clearly supports a secure border, and it’s impossible to just brush off the Oregon vote.

Then-Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano assured the nation “the border is secure” before leaving to become chancellor of the University of California. President Obama continues to make the irrelevant claim “the border is more secure than ever.” But the truth revealed itself this year when thousands upon thousands of unaccompanied children simply walked to this country. How secure could the border possibly be if 5-year-olds can penetrate it?

We need meaningful immigration reform and we can get it quickly if only the pro-amnesty forces will separate border security from the pathway to citizenship. Secure the border first, as well as America’s ports, harbors, and especially airports—where one-third of undocumented immigrants enter.

Once the administration has demonstrated effective control of the border, then Congress will resolve the myriad other issues related to immigration, starting with normalizing the status of the millions of DREAMers caught in legal limbo through no fault of their own.

But we’ll never have a solution as long as the two parties try to sell both simultaneously.

In 1986 Congress passed the Simpson-Mazzoli Act, the so-called Reagan Amnesty that promised border security in exchange for a “one time only” amnesty for 3 million undocumented immigrants.

The immigrants got their amnesty and the United States got 12 million to 20 million more undocumented immigrants.

We cherish the notion that this country is a nation of immigrants and understand the American Dream is regenerated by new arrivals from all over the globe. It’s maybe the most American thing of all.

But Americans also overwhelmingly support the rule of law—and understand a nation that doesn’t control its own borders is a nation in name only.

Thomas Jefferson also warned in his first inaugural that not “every difference of opinion is a difference of principle.” But for millions of Americans, the border debate is matter of principle and won’t be burned a second time on the altar of Democratic Party political expedience or multinational corporate profits. Read more about Didn't Obama Hear Oregon’s Warning Shot on Immigration?

We can stop amnesty! Start calling Monday - join the fight to beat Obama's unconstitutional plans for amnesty via Executive fiat

Alert date: 
2014-11-14
Alert body: 
The America we know is being threatened - by President Obama, who has promised to grant executive amnesty to millions of illegal aliens as soon as next week.
 
Obama's actions range from deliberate non-enforcement of immigration laws, to DACA via executive fiat, to promising to grant amnesty to millions of illegal aliens. These are not the actions of a weak and distracted administration. Indeed, they are deliberate, calculated actions based on an explicit agenda of "fundamentally transforming the United States" into a dependent immigrant class... who vote Democratic.
 
From NumbersUSA:
 
Don't give away your power of the purse to defund amnesty.  Insist on a SHORT-TERM SPENDING BILL.

Reject any long-term omnibus spending bill that takes away your ability to stop an executive amnesty early next year.

HERE'S THE DIRE DANGER WE ARE IN

...when our staff and the staff of our allies in Congress look at the words of the Republican leaders -- particularly of Senate Minority Leader McConnell and House Speaker Boehner -- they fail to find any promise to take away all funding from Pres. Obama to carry out his executive amnesty.

Right now, it looks like the GOP leaders are prepared to make political hay in vocally opposing the President. But they also are planning to take away the ability of Congress to defund his actions.

Yes, you read that right. Outrageous. But we have no reason to believe otherwise at this moment.  Surely you won't let them get away with that.

How would Sen. McConnell and Speaker Boehner do it?

By allowing passage of an omnibus spending bill over the next few weeks that would fund the government through next September. During that time, opponents of amnesty would lose the one tool that is available to them to stop President Obama's amnesty before millions more illegal aliens get work permits.

 
Don't give away your power of the purse to de-fund amnesty.  Insist on a SHORT-TERM SPENDING BILL.
 
Please call Rep. Greg Walden's DC office at (202) 225-6730 on Monday.

You can call 1-866-220-0044 and ask to be connected with any Congressman - the operator will ring you through.

 

Report: Obama Will Soon Announce 10-Point Plan for Illegals

President Barack Obama will introduce 10 executive actions that could suspend deportations for and legalize more than 5 million illegal immigrants as early as next week, news reports say.

The plan was part of a draft proposal to a federal agency that was leaked to Fox News, the network reported on Wednesday.

Obama's announcement could come as early as Nov. 21 or shortly thereafter, a White House source told Fox.

The president was briefed on the plan by the Department of Homeland Security before he left on his trip to Asia and the Pacific last week, Fox reports. One of the architects of the plan was Esther Olavarria, the top immigration lawyer on the late Sen. Ted Kennedy's staff.

Among the plan's most controversial elements include orders that would expand deportation deferrals not only to illegals who came to the U.S. as children, but to the parents of U.S. citizens — those who were born in this country — and those who have become legal permanent residents.

The parental expansion could allow as many as 4.5 million illegal adults with U.S.-born children to remain in the country, Fox reports.

Obama's orders also would expand the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program he created in June 2012.

DACA affected millions of illegals who were brought to the United States as children before June 2007 and who were under 31 years old as of June 2012, when the program started.

With the new order, Obama would expand DACA to cover anyone who entered the United States before age 16 — and would move the cutoff date back to Jan. 1, 2010.

This is expected to affect nearly 300,000 illegal immigrants, Fox reports.

In addition, a State Department immigrant visa program involving technology jobs would offer another half-million immigrants a path to citizenship, according to Fox. Spouses also would be helped by the program.

According to Fox, the DHS plans to "promote" the new naturalization process by giving a 50 percent discount on the first 10,000 applicants who come forward, with the exception of those whose incomes are above 200 percent of the national poverty level.

Other planned executive actions would increase pay for Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers — an effort to "increase morale" within the agency, Fox reports — and the administration would revise its priorities to target only serious criminals for deportation, while replacing its current "Secure Communities" program with a new effort.

The Fox report comes as Obama vowed last week to act unilaterally on immigration in the absence of congressional action.

He was attacked by House Speaker John Boehner, who said any such move would "poison the well" with Republicans, and by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who likened it to "waving a red flag in front of a bull."

McConnell, who will become majority leader when the new Congress convenes in January, reiterated his opposition to Obama's acting alone on immigration in a speech on the Senate floor on Wednesday.

"President Obama has a duty to help build the trust we all need to move forward together, not to double-down on old ways of doing business," McConnell said. "That's why I think moving forward with the unilateral action on immigration he's planned would be a big mistake." Read more about Report: Obama Will Soon Announce 10-Point Plan for Illegals

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