President

House Border Bill Advances Without Improvement

On Wednesday, the House Homeland Security committee rubber-stamped Rep. Michael McCaul's flawed border security bill (HR399) without meaningful improvements. The barely-tweaked bill reportedly is scheduled to be considered by the full House next Wednesday, January 28. In its current form, the bill will preserve the current catch-and-release policies, which were expanded even further by the executive actions announced in late November, rendering pointless much of the new spending and metrics-crunching mandated in this bill.

The main change to the bill made in the committee mark-up process was to increase the number of miles of new double fencing from 27 to 48, adding an additional ten miles in the Del Rio sector and another mile in the Tucson sector. This would bring the total length of double fencing up to 84 miles (over 600 miles less than the 700 miles mandated by the Secure Fence Act of 2006).

The amended product is still obsessed with attaining full Situational Awareness and Operational Control in five years, and oblivious to the fact that the current catch-and-release policies and newly expanded "prosecutorial discretion" policies that spare most illegal aliens from deportation would remain in place. Not only that, it gives oversight authority to an appointed commission that has little accountability to anyone.

To address catch-and-release, the bill should have heeded the recommendations of career Border Patrol and ICE personnel to specify and toughen the penalties that should generally ensue for illegal border crossers and authorize the tools, such as detention space, to enable this to be implemented. But the bill is silent on what kinds of consequences illegal crossers should face.

At a minimum, it would have been easy for the committee to tack on language from the Carter-Aderholt bill passed by the House last summer to address the border surge (analyzed by my colleague Dan Cadman here). GOP leaders seem to have completely forgotten this successful exercise in sound policymaking and party unification in response to a crisis. That was good governing that was well received by the public, and should have been a no-brainer to resurrect, along with the Goodlatte-Chaffetz bill on asylum reform.

In addition, the bill should have included among the dozens of metrics that DHS agencies will be required to collect at least one or two metrics that would reveal to the public how it is handling new illegal arrivals such as information on case disposition, whether the alien is detained or released, whether the new illegal arrival appears for court hearings, and whether the new arrival is granted a work permit.

In fact, the bill should prohibit the issuance of a work permit to new illegal arrivals, or anyone in deportation proceedings.

The bill should restore and expand Operation Streamline, a highly effective program that significantly reduced illegal crossings in certain sectors by efficiently detaining and prosecuting new illegal arrivals for the criminal offense of entry without inspection.

The Homeland Security Committee accepted this weakening of the mandate that DHS establish a biometric entry-exit system, which has been on the laundry list of must-do national security improvements since the first World Trade Center attacks in 1993. For example, the bill's loose language calls for biometrics to be collected at land ports of entry, but fails to specify that biometrics should be collected from all foreign visitors who enter at the land ports of entry.

And, it fails to synchronize the deportation process for legal entry overstays with the way illegal border crossers are treated both are recent illegal arrivals, and there is no good reason that overstays should be harder to deport than those who came over the land border.

Finally, in the section that supposedly intends to give the Border Patrol access to federal land within 100 miles of the border, from which it is currently blocked, the language of the bill appears to actually reverse a critical provision in current law that provides agents with the authority to access and patrol on public and private lands within 25 miles of the border (Section 13(e)(2). This could be a drafting error, but it urgently needs to be examined.

The pace at which this bill is being rammed through the House suggests that the leadership is eager to pass a token bill and then inform the public that the border problem has been solved, while leaving the president's executive amnesty intact and his abuse of authority unchallenged. If the rest of Congress goes along, they will have squandered the political momentum gained from their response to the border surge crisis not to mention wasting an opportunity to restore some integrity to our immigration laws and their sole authority to craft them. Not only would this fulfill a key campaign promise, it would begin to ameliorate the fiscal and security burden that the current policies have imposed on American communities. But it doesn't look like that's going to happen.

Contact: Marguerite Telford
202-466-8185, mrt@cis.org Read more about House Border Bill Advances Without Improvement

Oregon joins legal support of Obama's immigration action

Brief submitted by 12 states counters lawsuit filed by 25 other states in federal court.

Oregon has joined Washington and 10 other states in defense of President Obama’s executive action shielding up to 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation...

The statement, initiated by Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, was filed in connection with a lawsuit brought by 25 other states against Obama’s Nov. 20 action.

The case is pending in U.S. District Court in Texas. A hearing is scheduled Thursday.

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum issued a statement Wednesday explaining her reasoning to intervene:

“The president used his full legal authority and discretion to address critical immigration issues facing our country...

Judges and courts can use arguments submitted in friend-of-the-court briefs to bolster their reasoning in writing their decisions.

The judge in this case, Andrew Hanen, is more likely to side with the challenge brought by Attorney General Greg Abbott of Texas — soon to be that state’s governor — and other states that filed the suit on Dec. 3. The initial list of 17 has grown to 25.

But it’s likely that the proceedings will end up in the federal appellate courts....

In addition to Oregon and Washington, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, Vermont and the District of Columbia have joined to defend Obama’s action.

Decisions to intervene in such cases are made by attorneys general, who are popularly elected in 43 states.

Of the 25 states challenging Obama’s action, 21 have Republican attorneys general; all 12 states supporting his action have Democratic attorneys general...

If Obama’s authority for executive action is upheld, Oregon and other states will consider whether work permits issued to these immigrants will constitute legal presence in the United States, a status enabling them to apply for driver’s licenses in many states.

Under a similar program created by Obama under a 2012 executive order, immigrants who were brought to the United States illegally as children qualified for work permits. Virtually all states, including Oregon, considered them proof of legal presence for issuance of licenses.

Oregon voters Nov. 4 rejected a 2013 law granting driver’s licenses to those who met driving knowledge and skills tests but cannot prove legal presence. Ten states have such laws, which are permitted under the federal Real ID Act if the licenses are clearly marked as invalid for federal purposes.

  Read more about Oregon joins legal support of Obama's immigration action

Please attend and ask Sen. Wyden about defunding executive actions on immigration

Alert date: 
2015-01-15
Alert body: 

If possible, please attend and express your views on President Obama’s unilateral, unconstitutional executive amnesty. Senator Wyden recently voted in favor of funding it.

Read about the dangers and unknown variables in the President’s amnesty plan here: http://cis.org/much-of-obamas-lawless-immigration-scheme-still-unknown. Earlier, in 2013, Sen. Wyden voted in favor of S.744, the bill giving amnesty to millions of illegal aliens while also vastly increasing legal immigration, at this time of widespread unemployment and underemployment among citizens.

Josephine County Town Hall »

Jan 17 2015 10:00AM

Rogue Auditorium, Rogue Community College
3345 Redwood Hwy, Grants Pass, OR

Klamath County Town Hall »

Jan 17 2015 3:30PM

OIT College Union Building
3200 Campus Drive
Klamath Falls, OR

Lincoln County Town Hall »

Jan 18 2015 1:00PM

the Commons at Oregon Coast Community College
400 SE College Way
Newport, OR

 


The following are some questions you might ask Sen. Wyden. If you’re able to question him or make comments to him, please tell OFIR what his response was.

1. Our immigration system is not “broken;” enforcement of the immigration laws is what is broken! That is the reason we have millions of illegal immigrants. Citizenship and the rule of law must be cherished and respected by all, or our nation is on a slippery slope into the culture of corruption from which many immigrants try to escape. Administration claims of good enforcement are false. Senator, what are you doing to strengthen U.S. immigration law enforcement?

2. There have been 7 major amnesties passed by Congress from 1986 to 2000, each resulting in ever-increasing numbers of illegal immigrants. Now another huge amnesty is being pushed. We need enforcement of the immigration laws, not another amnesty.

3. Unemployment and underemployment persist as major problems in Oregon and the U.S. Businesses can and do hire illegal aliens at substandard wages in construction, agriculture, hotels, restaurants. Why don’t you do more to stop the hiring of illegal aliens? Why don’t you work to make E-Verify mandatory for all employers?

4. Did you know that between the Censuses of 2000 and 2010, 80% of population growth resulted from immigration (immigrants plus the children of immigrants). The U.S. is already overcrowded. After more than 4 decades of unprecedentedly high immigration, we need a pause, a moratorium on immigration, or we face a steep decline in the quality of life for everyone. If you are truly concerned about our environment, you should work for major reductions in immigration.

 

5. Your 25-year voting record in Congress on immigration issues is F as shown by NumbersUSA. This grade is based on official tallies of votes on bills. Whose interests do you think should come first in U.S. immigration policy? Those of immigrants or those of citizens? The record says you favor the interests of immigrants and their employers.


 

Don't stop! Keep the pressure on Congress!

Alert date: 
2015-01-13
Alert body: 

We have all fought hard to stop President Obama's scheme to give social security cards and work permits to millions of illegal aliens.  Don't stop!  Keep the pressure on and demand that Congress de-fund his plans.

Tomorrow, the House of Representatives will be voting on two very important amendments. If the amendments succeed, it will be the first step to ending Obama's executive actions on immigration.

We need all activists on social media tweeting and using Facebook to pressure GOP Members to vote with the American worker and against amnesty for illegal aliens.

Throughout the evening keep the pressure on Republican Representatives.

12 states defend Obama’s immigration plan against lawsuit

A coalition of liberal states defended President Obama’s new immigration policies against a major lawsuit in a legal brief filed on Monday.

Washington state joined 11 other states and the District of Columbia in submitting a legal analysis in federal court that counters a lawsuit seeking to undo Obama’s plan to shield millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation and give them work permits.

Obama’s program, announced in November, faces a court challenge from 25 conservative states who believe it exceeds the power of the executive branch and causes states “irreparable harm.”

In response to the lawsuit, Washington state filed an amicus brief on Monday explaining why they believe the president has the authority to grant sweeping deportation relief to undocumented immigrants and how the new policies will benefit states economically.

A host of blue states (and at least one purple) signed onto Washington’s legal brief: California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Vermont and the District of Columbia. Police chiefs of the 50 largest cities in the U.S. also filed a separate amicus brief on Monday.

The show of support comes as the legal challenge is set to reach the court within days. On Thursday, Hanen is scheduled to preside over a hearing to consider whether a preliminary injunction should be granted against Obama’s new policies. If that happens, the implementation of the deportation relief program could be delayed, Ferguson said...

“Allowing immigrants to work legally and increase their wages has far-reaching, positive impacts on state and local economies,” the brief says.

Updated on Jan. 13, 9 a.m.: This piece was updated with information about an amicus brief filed by police chiefs in major U.S. cities. Read more about 12 states defend Obama’s immigration plan against lawsuit

Obama Will Veto Homeland Security Funding

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama will veto funding for the Department of Homeland Security if Republicans curbs spending on the president’s award of work permits to roughly five million foreign migrants, according to a White House spokesman.

“We’ve made clear, dating back to last fall, that the president would oppose any legislative effort to undermine” the president’s Nov. 20 announcement, press secretary Josh Earnest said Jan. 12.

“Yes,” he responded when a reporter asked if he would veto a spending curb.

A veto would not close the agency.

Most DHS employees are law enforcement officials, and they would continue to work, although their would not receive paychecks until the Congress passes and the president signs an appropriations bill.

Within DHS, the department that would award the work permits to the illegals would continue to operate. That’s because it is funded by fees paid by legal immigrants, and the illegal immigrants who are being offered work permits.

The loss of appropriated funds might slow down Obama’s amnesty, but likely won’t stop it completely.

The amnesty may be blocked by a pending lawsuit in Texas.

In the House, Republican leaders are assembling a bill to curb Obama’s amnesty, following intense voter and base pressure in November, December and January.

That’s a difficult task because the GOP only has 54 seats in the Senate, which isn’t enough to overcome the Senate’s usual 60-vote threshold for action in the Senate.

However, several Democratic senators are facing election in two years, and numerous polls shows that many Democratic voters oppose Obama’s loose immigration policies. In Oregon, for example, 66 percent of voters voted for a ballot that denied drivers’ licenses to illegal immigrants.

  Read more about Obama Will Veto Homeland Security Funding

House GOP takes broad aim at Obama immigration policies

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans plan to take broad aim at President Barack Obama's immigration policies next week, including votes to overturn protections for immigrants brought illegally to this country as kids.

The plan emerging Friday satisfies demands from the most conservative lawmakers ...

Conservatives in the GOP caucus pressed leadership to go further, and also shut down an earlier 2012 program that has granted work permits to more than 500,000 immigrants brought here illegally as kids. Other changes would undo Obama directives to immigration agents that had sought to limit deportations of people with no significant criminal record...

Obama's directives in November gave temporary relief from deportation to about 4 million immigrants in the country illegally, along with permits allowing them to work legally in the U.S. They applied mostly to immigrants who'd been in the country more than five years and have kids who are citizens or legal permanent residents....

The developments come in the first week that Congress was back in session under full Republican control. Yet there's no guarantee that the Senate, where minority Democrats still exercise considerable sway, would accept the House legislation. And Obama could very well threaten to veto it.

At the same time, Democrats say Republicans are courting electoral disaster in the 2016 presidential election by passing legislation that could alienate many Latino voters.

Many of the same House conservatives who voted against Boehner for speaker earlier this week in a failed overthrow attempt were declaring victory Friday at the shape the immigration legislation was taking.

"I liked what I heard," said Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, after a closed-door meeting of House Republicans to discuss the legislation.

"I really appreciate the process of allowing all of us to have some input," said Gohmert, a frequent critic of House Republican leaders. "One of the things that has really been lacking for the last eight years is having more input like we've finally gotten in this bill, so this is a good thing."

___

Associated Press writers Stephen Ohlemacher, Alan Fram and Charles Babington contributed to this report. Read more about House GOP takes broad aim at Obama immigration policies

Contrary to Administration Claims, Surge Border-Jumpers Not Being Deported

WASHINGTON, DC - Only a tiny fraction of the families and children who crossed in the border surge of 2012-14 are being returned to their home countries, despite Obama administration claims that the cases are a priority, according to a Houston television station's investigative report. Only a few of the illegal family or child arrivals are qualified to stay in the United States, and the vast majority (91 percent) have simply absconded from their proceedings after release and joined the resident illegal population, where they are no longer a priority for enforcement under the new, expanded "prosecutorial discretion" policies.

The station’s report focuses on statistics from the immigration courts for the family unit cases that were completed between July 18 and October 28, 2014, which are a sub-set of more than 65,000 total family unit arrivals in 2014.

View the entire CIS article at: http://cis.org/vaughan/contrary-administration-claims-only-tiny-fraction-surge-border-jumpers-deported

From these numbers the Center for Immigration Studies has determined that:
 

  • The number of family units arriving illegally was larger than the number of UACs during this time period, although the administration, its allies, and the media typically described the surge as an influx of children.
  • At least 92 percent of the family arrivals in this sample of cases were released after apprehension rather than detained in the border area.
  • Nearly all of those released (5,575 out of 6,093 total families and UACs, or 91 percent) subsequently failed to appear at their immigration hearings and are now part of the illegal population.
  • According to these figures, 43 percent of those family members classified as "detained" (nine people) also failed to appear for their hearings, suggesting that they actually were released at some point.
  • Even under the current very generous interpretations of immigration law, only 3 percent of these illegal aliens were found qualified to stay in the United States (204 out of 6,093 completed cases).
  • Only 314 of the 6,093 cases completed (5 percent) were present for their hearing and could actually be removed by authorities after receiving the order from the judge.

DHS year-end enforcement statistics show a continued steep drop in deportations, in direct contradiction to administration claims. Jessica Vaughan, the Center’s Director of Policy Studies, writes, “It's not clear to me what is smart or effective about a massive and costly catch-and-release scheme that has resulted in the illegal resettlement of tens of thousands of illegal aliens, with taxpayers now picking up the tab for schooling, health care, housing, public safety, and other expenses, and which has only increased the incentives for more people to try to enter illegally.” Read more about Contrary to Administration Claims, Surge Border-Jumpers Not Being Deported

Obama Admits Amnesty Is For Many More Than 5 Million

President Barack Obama told a group of illegal immigrants in Tennessee that his immigration-law rewrite means “you’re not going to be deported.”

Obama’s admission acknowledged that his Nov. 21 declaration provides a de facto amnesty for the 12 million illegals living in the United States.

The confession contradicts his many suggestions, and many media reports, that his Nov. 21 amnesty covers only five million illegal immigrants whose children have citizenship or green cards.

In practice, the president is allowing all 12 million illegals who have not committed major felonies or who are not terrorists, to illegally stay and compete for work against lower-wage Americans and American professionals.

“What we’re saying essentially is, in that low-priority list. … You’re not going to be deported,” Obama told the crowd, including the illegals.

The formal Nov. 21 policy awards actual work permits, tax payments and Social Security cards to the five million illegals with children who are citizens or legalized. The five million will have Obama work permits when seeking jobs sought by the four million Americans who turn 18 each year.

“What we’re also saying, though, is that for those who have American children or children who are legal permanent residents, that you can actually register and submit yourself to a criminal background check, pay any back taxes and commit to paying future taxes, and if you do that, you’ll actually get a piece of paper that gives you an assurance that you can work and live here without fear of deportation,” Obama said.

That “does apply to roughly five million,” he said.

Americans are already competing against the roughly 600,000 working-age immigrants who arrive each year, and the roughly 650,000 blue-collar and white-collar guest workers who arrive for short-term or long-term jobs.

Companies favor Obama’s huge increase to the supply of new workers, because many want to hire foreign workers. Those workers will work for low wages, in part, because they need to be employed while they’re waiting to receive the very valuable prize of U.S. citizenship.

A large proportion of the five million illegals are former guest workers, who work as professionals in financial, medical and technology jobs sought by Americans.

Obama also said citizenship should be given to more foreign professionals who compete for jobs sought by American graduates. “We should be stapling a green card to the [foreign] graduates of top schools in fields that we know we need,” he said.

So far, the GOP leadership — which is allied to major business groups — has not tried to block Obama’s amnesty, despite many polls showing deep public opposition to immigration and foreign workers. GOP leaders say they’d like to pass their own amnesty law and foreign-worker law in 2015.

Obama’s policy also puts some illegals on a fast-track to citizenship, boosts the inflow of foreign blue-collar and white-collar guest workers, and dismantles Secure Communities program that repatriated illegals who were caught by local police for minor or severe crimes.

The new policy also directs border police to release border-crossers who claim to be eligible for the Nov. 21 amnesty, and it effectively bars agents from repatriating the many tourists and guest-workers who overstay their visas and try to get jobs in the United States.

The Nov. 21 policy is an extension of Obama’s unstated policies.

In the 12 months up to October 2014, Obama deported less than one percent of the 12 million illegals living in the country. He is awarding work permits to roughly 600,000 younger illegals, and to roughly 300,000 additional migrants and guest workers. He also repatriated only about 2,000 of the roughly 130,000 Central American migrants who flooded over the border this year. His deputies released 129,000 arrested illegals back into American communities, including roughly 30,862 convicted foreign criminals. Read more about Obama Admits Amnesty Is For Many More Than 5 Million

Unions make push to recruit protected immigrants

CHICAGO (AP) — Unions across the U.S. are reaching out to immigrants affected by President Barack Obama's recent executive action, hoping to expand their dwindling ranks by recruiting millions of workers who entered the U.S. illegally...

SEIU, whose more than 2 million members include janitors and maintenance workers, recently announced a website where immigrants can learn about the action. The AFL-CIO says it's training organizers to recruit eligible workers. And the United Food and Commercial Workers and other unions are planning workshops and partnering with community groups and churches to reach out to immigrants.

The efforts come even as Republicans and other opponents of Obama's action work to undo it, saying it will hurt American workers, and as some labor experts say they're skeptical immigrants will feel safe enough to unionize in large numbers.

Labor unions have struggled over the past decade to maintain their membership and political muscle. The ranks fell by more than 1.2 million between 2003 and 2013, when there were about 14.5 million members nationwide..

Business-friendly Republican governors have approved measures in recent years aimed at weakening labor, even in places such as Michigan that were once considered union strongholds. In Obama's home state of Illinois, a GOP businessman unseated the Democratic governor last month in part by promising to constrain labor's influence in government...

Unions say they can help protect immigrants against abuses such as wage theft and discrimination. And even if the immigrants aren't citizens and cannot vote, they can help unions by paying dues and doing the heavy lifting needed around election time — knocking on doors, driving voters to the polls and making phone calls for pro-labor candidates.

Republicans say the executive actions — which would affect people who have children and have been in the U.S. more than five years — will make it tougher for Americans already struggling to find good-paying jobs...

"The president's action is a threat to every working person in this country — their jobs, wages, dreams, hopes and futures," said GOP U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama...

Shannon Gleeson, an associate professor at Cornell University's School of Industrial and Labor Relations, said she expects the response to be "very place-specific," with people coming forward in places that have traditionally been considered immigrant-friendly, like Los Angeles, while being reluctant in places like Houston, where it's a struggle to find a unionized hotel.

"If I'm there, am I going to stick my neck out?" Gleeson said. "I don't know, maybe not." Read more about Unions make push to recruit protected immigrants

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