taxes

Gov. Kitzhaber signs tuition bill allowing in-state tuition for immigrant students

Gov. John Kitzhaber signed into law today a bill allowing in-state tuition for immigrant students without documents.

“This bill will help them get their shot at the American dream,” he said to legislators, advocates and students packed into his ceremonial office at the Capitol.

He described the students, whose parents brought them illegally to the United States when they were young, as “exactly the kind of young people we want in our system of public education and universities.”

For House Bill 2787, it was the end of a decade-long journey. Similar bills cleared the Senate in 2003 and 2011, but both died in the House without reaching a vote.

Students would qualify if they graduated from high school or its equivalent in Oregon, attended Oregon schools three years prior to graduation and U.S. schools for five years, and show their intent to obtain legal status or citizenship in the United States.

Senate President Peter Courtney, D-Salem, is the chief Senate sponsor of the law and was the first to introduce such legislation in 2003. He did so at the request of Laura Lanka, then the principal of Woodburn High School.

In her original 2002 email, which Courtney read aloud, she wrote, “What a bill like this would do is allow our college-ready students, regardless of their immigration status, the opportunity to get an education.”

Lanka, who is retired and now lives in Washington state, was present at the ceremony.

State university officials said they expect the number of qualifying students to be limited, given that they still are ineligible for state and federal financial aid.

They estimate only 38 additional students in the coming two-year cycle, and 80 students in the 2015-17 cycle. The net gain in tuition was estimated at just under $350,000 in the next cycle, and $1.5 million in 2015-17, assuming that none pay out-of-state tuition at rates three or four times in-state rates.

Oregon joins 12 other states with similar laws, including California and Washington. Two others have acted by other means.

Democratic majorities in both chambers resulting from the Nov. 6 election made passage likely. Five Republicans joined all 34 Democrats for it in the House, and three Republicans joined all 16 Democrats for it in the Senate.

The minority Republicans in the House sponsored a substitute that would have limited eligibility to those participating in a delayed-deportation program created last year by President Barack Obama. Participants are eligible for work permits. But the House defeated the proposed substitute on a party-line vote.

Kitzhaber took no public stance on a similar bill in 2011. But he said during his budget presentation on Nov. 30 he would sign such a bill, and held a news conference on it Feb. 11 with business leaders.

Oregon’s major business groups joined the Oregon Student Association and immigrant-rights groups in backing the bill. Oregonians for Immigration Reform, which is critical of federal immigration policy, opposed it.

Opponents have already said a legal challenge is likely. Gabriela Morrongiello, a sophomore at Oregon State University who is from California — and who is president of the conservative Young Americans for Freedom chapter — stated there would be a challenge in her testimony to a House committee on Feb. 13.

California’s law was upheld in 2010 by that state’s highest court, and in 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal.

If Oregon’s law is challenged, the case would go directly to the state Supreme Court, which has the authority to appoint someone to sort out disputes on facts before the justices hear oral arguments.

Ten arrested in Salem food stamp fraud case

A Salem grocery store owner and nine of his customers were arrested in connection with a food stamp scheme that cost Oregon’s nutrition assistance program at least $120,000 during the past year, according to Salem Police.

Officers started watching Pantiaguas Produce on 1805 Silverton Road NE after a customer called to complain that an acquaintance stole the money off his Oregon Trail Card.

“He was upset because he said ‘I am trying to feed my family off that card,’ ” Lt. Steve Birr said.

When officers investigated the theft, they discovered a troubling pattern.

Birr said customers would enter the store with their Electronic Benefits Transfer cards and owner Holver Paniagua-Millan, 22, would do one of two things.

“If you had $160 on your card, he would swipe it for $160 and pay you $80 and keep $80 for himself,” Birr said. “Or he would keep the card, and go out and buy meat for his taco stand and then pay you 50 cents on the dollar for what he ran up on your card.”

Paniagua-Millan was earning about $5,000 per month from the scheme, Birr said.

About 800,000 Oregonians used EBT cards in 2012, said Gene Evans, spokesman for Oregon’s Department of Health Services.

The cards allow people to purchase only certain foods and household products from participating retailers. The state’s fraud team investigates individuals who either falsify information to obtain the cards or try to use them in an unauthorized manner.

On March 7, officers and agents from the U.S. Department of Agriculture decided to start making arrests. During a three-hour stakeout, they arrested Paniagua-Millan and four of his customers. Paniagua-Millan was charged with racketeering, five counts of computer fraud, five counts of food stamp fraud and three counts of identity theft.

Four other people were arrested later.

Retailer fraud — which is alleged in this case — is handled by the federal government.

“We make sure that people who are caught committing fraud are disqualified from the program,” Evans said.

Whether that disqualification is permanent or temporary depends on how much money a person stole and for how long a period of time he or she was stealing.

He pointed out that in 2012, less than one percent of food stamp recipients — about 4,000 cases — were caught using their cards fraudulently.

“We want to make sure that the people who are getting the benefits are the people who need them,” Evans said. “Incidents like this hurt the credibility of the program and people who need it.”

As for Pantiaguas Produce, Evans said the Department of Agriculture would decide whether to suspend the store’s ability to accept EBT payments.

“I can’t speak to what the outcome will be, but this wasn’t inadvertent,” Evans said. “This looks like intentional activity.”

Birr said there could be more arrests in this case as well as new investigations into other retailers.

“We are probably going to pursue more investigations with the Agricultural Department,” Birr said. “I think this is only the tip of the iceberg.”

Paniagua-Millan

Other arrests

The following people were arrested in addition to Paniagua-Millan:
• Meleda Cook, 54, of Keizer faces charges of two counts of food stamp fraud
• Heidi Timberman, 40, of Salem faces charges of food stamp fraud, possession of heroin and a parole violation
• Joseph Sieg, 49, of Salem faces a charge of food stamp fraud
• Mary Vaughn, 55, of Salem faces a charge of food stamp fraud
• Bob Ullom, 51, of Salem faces charges of two counts of food stamp fraud and two counts of identity theft
• Craig Clendennen, 47, of Salem faces charges of food stamp fraud and identity theft
• Amber Roseander, 19, of Salem faces charges of food stamp fraud, attempted food stamp fraud and identity theft
• Ronnie Crawley, 32, of Salem faces a charge of food stamp fraud
• Melanie Farmer, 39, of Keizer faces a charge of food stamp fraud

astaver@StatesmanJournal.com, (503) 399-6610, or follow on Twitter @AnnaStaver

http://www.statesmanjournal.com/article/20130326/NEWS/303260027/Ten-arrested-Salem-food-stamp-fraud-case

MCCF Inmate Roster
(Click inmate's Name to go to VINE for that inmate)
 

26-MAR-2013 07:00 Inmate Roster
 

MCCF

1. PANIAGUA-MILLAN, HOLVER

PANIAGUA-MILLAN, HOLVER SID: 19965451 LODGED

Lodged: 03/07/2013 19:30 Max: DoB: 06/16/1990

Arrest: SMP Type: PROBABL Docket: 13C41494 Hold Auth: MARION

Charge Bail Status Next Court Release

1 RACKETEER 170000 PRETRIA04/08/2013 08:30 CIRCUI

2 COMP FRAUD CO BAIL PRETRIA04/08/2013 08:30 CIRCUI

3 STAM FRAUD CO BAIL PRETRIA04/08/2013 08:30 CIRCUI

4 COMP FRAUD CO BAIL PRETRIA04/08/2013 08:30 CIRCUI

5 STAM FRAUD CO BAIL PRETRIA04/08/2013 08:30 CIRCUI

6 COMP FRAUD CO BAIL PRETRIA04/08/2013 08:30 CIRCUI

7 STAM FRAUD CO BAIL PRETRIA04/08/2013 08:30 CIRCUI

8 ID THEFT CO BAIL PRETRIA04/08/2013 08:30 CIRCUI

9 ID THEFT CO BAIL PRETRIA04/08/2013 08:30 CIRCUI

10 COMP FRAUD CO BAIL PRETRIA04/08/2013 08:30 CIRCUI

11 STAM FRAUD CO BAIL PRETRIA04/08/2013 08:30 CIRCUI

12 COMP FRAUD CO BAIL PRETRIA04/08/2013 08:30 CIRCUI

13 STAM FRAUD CO BAIL PRETRIA04/08/2013 08:30 CIRCUI

14 ID THEFT CO BAIL PRETRIA04/08/2013 08:30 CIRCUI

Arrest: ICE Type: OTHER Docket: Hold Auth: ICE

Charge Bail Status Next Court Release

1 ICE HOLD NO BAIL ICE


 

 

Senate Rejects Amendment to Deny Amnestied Illegal Aliens ObamaCare

In a telling vote early Saturday morning, the Senate rejected an amendment (#614) by true immigration reformer Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) to the Senate's 2014 budget bill that would deny illegal aliens ObamaCare and Medicaid in the event Congress passes an amnesty bill later this year. (The Hill, Mar. 23, 2013)

"My amendment would simply say if you are here illegally and then get lawful status, you do not qualify for ObamaCare and Medicaid," explained Sen. Sessions ahead of the vote. (The Hill, Mar. 23, 2013) Long-time pro-amnesty Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), a member of the Senate "Gang of Eight" who was recently investigated for hiring an illegal alien intern, argued against the Sessions' amendment, saying "current law already explicitly excludes undocumented people from receiving benefits." (Id.)

Although illegal aliens are prohibited from receiving subsidized healthcare under ObamaCare, non-immigrants and immigrants (green card holders) are allowed coverage. This means that if Congress grants amnesty to the 11-12 million illegal aliens currently in the U.S., those aliens will be eligible for subsidized healthcare from day one of legalization. So far, the Senate "Gang of Eight" proposal does nothing to prohibit illegal aliens from receiving these benefits.

Republican Senators Susan Collins (ME) and Lisa Murkowski (AK) voted with the Democrat majority to deny the sensible reform measure 43 to 56. To see whether your Senators voted to support subsidized healthcare for amnestied aliens, check the vote here. To find your Members of Congress to tell them to oppose Obamacare and other benefits for amnestied aliens, click here.

Representative Bonamici to hold Town Hall meetings

Alert date: 
2013-03-31
Alert body: 

Listed below is the current schedule of Representative Bonamici’s Town Halls meetings. If possible, please attend one near you, and ask questions about immigration. Some suggested questions are listed after the schedule. If you get the opportunity to ask a question, or the topic of illegal immigration is discussed, please share those comments with OFIR.

Bonamici Announces Spring Town Hall Meeting Schedule - Events in Seaside, Warrenton, Beaverton, Forest Grove, Columbia City, Portland, Sherwood & McMinnville

“I understand how important it is to listen to the people I represent and to take their ideas back to Washington,” said Bonamici. “These events offer a great opportunity for me to answer questions, get feedback, and listen to the concerns of Oregonians throughout the district.”

Schedule details follow:

Seaside Town Hall Meeting
Date: April 1, 2013
Time: 10:00-11:00am
Location: Seaside City Hall, 989 Broadway, Seaside, OR 97138

Warrenton Town Hall Meeting
Date: April 1, 2013
Time: 6:00-7:00pm
Location: Warrenton Community Center, 225 South Main Avenue, Warrenton, OR 97146

Beaverton Town Hall Meeting
Date: April 20, 2013
Time: 1:00-2:00pm
Location: Beaverton City Hall, Council Chambers, 4755 Southwest Griffith Drive, Beaverton, OR 97005

Forest Grove Town Hall Meeting
Date: April 20, 2013
Time: 4:00-5:00pm
Location: Forest Grove Community Auditorium, 1915 Main Street, Forest Grove, OR 97116

Columbia City Town Hall Meeting
Date: April 21, 2013
Time: 12:45-1:45pm
Location: Columbia City Community Hall, 1850 Second Street, Columbia City, OR

Portland Town Hall Meeting
Date: April 21, 2013
Time: 3:00-4:00pm
Location: Ecotrust, Billy Frank, Jr. Conference Center, 721 NW 9th Ave, Portland, OR 97209

Sherwood Town Hall Meeting
Date: April 22, 2013
Time: 5:30-6:30pm
Location: Sherwood Police Department, Community Room, 20495 SW Borchers Drive, Sherwood, OR 97140

McMinnville Town Hall Meeting
Date: April 29, 2013
Time: 6:00-7:00pm
Location: Chemeketa Community College, Yamhill Valley Campus, Building 1, Room 101, 288 NE, Norton Lane, McMinnville, OR 97128

Some Questions for Rep. Bonamici at Town Hall meetings, April 2013

1. 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. We need E-Verify mandated, to ensure that all employed persons are here legally. E-Verify is accurate and ready for expansion. Will you work to make E-Verify mandatory?

2. Unemployment persists as a major problem 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?

3. States that have E-Verify laws have seen a decline in the illegal alien population. This shows that many illegal aliens will leave if they cannot find jobs. There’s no need for mass deportations and no one is advocating that. There is no need for another amnesty. Simply require implementation of E-Verify and honestly enforce other immigration laws. This would bring decreases in numbers of illegal aliens and also discourage others from attempting to enter illegally.

4. Giving benefits to illegal aliens such as driver’s licenses, in-state tuition, etc. legitimizes their presence here. This downgrades the value of citizenship and respect for law. Citizenship and the rule of law must mean something or our nation is on a slippery slope downward into the kind of dictatorships that rule in the so-called 3d world.

5. 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. Are you willing to say No to the lobbies constantly pushing for amnesties and more immigration?

Who represents us? Clearly, it's not these two gentlemen!

There comes a point in life when what one thinks just doesn't line up with what's actually happening. 

In all my years of striving to be a responsible citizen, a good, honest person and a strong parent, I thought that our elected officials were working for the best interests of, if not me and my family specifically, our country as a whole.

I thought that, even though I didn't always agree, ultimately our sovereignty as a nation would prevail and that our lawmakers would work to make our country even stronger.

I confess...I have been an idiot! 

It seems that if you were born and raised here in the U.S., or, if you emigrated here through the proper channels, work hard, pay your taxes, never break a rule...let alone a law, your entire life, then you are a chump! 

Elected officials want nothing to do with you and will dismiss your comments about impending legislation regarding illegal immigration as vehement opposition.

Apparently, a far better way to capture the attention of our lawmakers is to sneak into this country, steal an American citizen's identity, drive without a license or insurance, work without permission and perhaps even commit multiple other crimes like selling drugs, drunk driving, assault, rape and even murder.  Then, and only then, will you garner the full, positive attention and time of the people elected to protect the United States and her citizens.

What I see now are pathetic, gutless politicians being led around by their noses by illegal alien advocates and businesses that prey on an undocumented workforce.  It's actually quite shameful and I feel embarrassed for them. 

Other industrialized nations have already realized that excessive immigration (legal or illegal) does not work and results in high unemployment, depressed wages, flooded entitlement programs, poor working conditions and more.  I would hope that our elected officials would realize that they are encouraging a culture of corruption right here in Oregon and now, they are inviting it right into our Capitol.

OFIR has posted two recent letters in the Oregon section of our website.  One letter is from Oregon Senator Chuck Thomsen and the other letter is from Congressman Kurt Schrader.

If you have received correspondence from your elected officials, please share it with OFIR and we will post it on our website for everyone to see.

Rep. Kurt Schrader: Faith, politics and immigration reform

I just returned from Congressman John Lewis’ Faith and Politics Pilgrimage to Alabama and was deeply moved by the experience.

Fifty years ago, courageous Americans stepped out of their comfort zone and confronted an unjust segregation system that not only debased black America but white America as well.

I was struck by the intimate stories of complacency toward an immoral social norm by white businessmen and the church. I was amazed by the bravery of the black youth who saved a foundering downtown economic boycott in Birmingham, despite the water hoses and dogs of Bull Connor. I was entranced by the bravery of two black students willing to face a hate-filled Gov. George Wallace and a thousand others at the college doors in Tuscaloosa. I was overwhelmed with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s epiphany at the kitchen table in Montgomery late one night that he must conquer his fears and do what is morally right. I was in awe of the marchers on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma who knew they faced violent opposition on the other side, but marched and suffered horribly anyway.

Much like then, America now faces another soul-searching moment surrounding an outdated, irrational and dehumanizing immigration system. One hundred years ago, America took all comers to its shores. Now our byzantine immigration system encourages would-be immigrants to put their livelihoods on the line in order to seek the American dream. It makes criminals out of business owners and farmers for hiring folks to do work that no one else will do; work that Americans benefit from and take for granted every day. And it generates an unconscionable trade in human beings and human rights violations that operate in dark shadows, often beyond our legal and law enforcement systems.

The discussion about immigration is not about documented and undocumented immigrants. It is about the very nature of who we are as Americans — our beliefs, our morals and our need to share the unalienable rights our immigrant forefathers bequeathed upon us 238 years ago. The loud lack of acceptance among a vitriolic few diminishes hope in aspiring Americans and undermines the progress we have strived for since our country’s inception. Is this our Christian theology? Are these the values of our Declaration and Constitution? Is this how we raise our children?

Merchants and farmers whisper to me that they need and value their employees as individuals and they are critical to the fabric of a recovering American economy. But these voices must be raised loudly and convincingly in your community, in the papers and with your state and federal representatives. As Dr. King often quoted, “Evil triumphs when good men do nothing.”

While individual churches and their charities have exhibited great acts of kindness toward many vulnerable families who have immigrated to our country, the leaders of organized religion must collectively demand an end to an unjust system — a system that separates husbands, wives and children for years; a system where getting to the “back of the line” means waiting 20 years; a system that allows a two-caste system for worker rights in this country.

I am pleased to see young people, particularly in Latino communities, begin to step up like the African-American youth did 50 years ago. Their bravery in stepping up without legislative guarantees and solely on the president’s executive order on the Dream Act is courageous. They captured America’s attention with their votes in this last election. Without Mano y Mano and thousands of youth-oriented groups like it across America, we would not be having the discussion of comprehensive immigration reform today in Congress.

What remains is for Congress to have our own epiphany. To do right no matter the political cost and march across that bridge despite some vehement opposition at home. As Dr. King said in his letter from his Birmingham jail cell, “Injustice anywhere, is a threat to justice everywhere ... Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere in this country.”

Senators aim to reach bipartisan immigration deal next week

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Eight senators aim to cap months of talks next week with a comprehensive deal to overhaul the U.S. immigration system, a member of the bipartisan group said on Thursday.

Democratic Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey, a longtime reform advocate, said once the agreement is done, aides will draw up legislation that could be considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee in April.

"That's our goal," Menendez told Reuters. "We hope to agree on all of the major issues, hopefully, by the end of next week. But it could slip a bit," he said, perhaps by a couple of days or so.

"I'm not rigid about anything other than getting it right," Menendez said.

The timetable Menendez spelled out mirrored one that the group suggested earlier this year. It said it aimed to have a bill in March and a vote by the full Democratic-led Senate in June or July.

The eight senators - four Democrats and four Republicans - announced a "framework for comprehensive immigration reform" in January and have been working to flesh it out.

There are an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States, many of them living in the shadows while seeking work and trying to avoid detection.

The eight senators have tried to draft a plan that would include a pathway toward U.S. citizenship for undocumented immigrants while strengthening border security.

They also want to create a more effective system to guard against U.S. employers hiring undocumented immigrants, and develop a program to better forecast and meet future U.S. workforce needs in a bid to curb illegal immigration.

The eight senators came together shortly after the November 2012 election results reflected the growing power of Hispanic voters and their pleas for immigration reform.

"There have been hard and tough negotiations, but it has been done all in the spirit of achieving the goal, in which compromise has been made on both sides," Menendez said.

The senators have worked with the encouragement of the White House and reached out to members of the Republican-led House of Representatives.

This week Obama met separately with Republican and Democratic lawmakers, mainly to talk about budget deficit concerns. But immigration reform also was discussed.

On Wednesday, Obama told a closed-door meeting of Senate Democrats that immigration was "'something that we can get done,'" Democratic Senator Benjamin Cardin of Maryland said.

On Thursday, Republican Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona, a member of the group of eight, said he thanked Obama for "playing a role that's behind the scenes."

Flake said the issue of future immigration to the United States is a sticking point for Democrats, and that Obama could build support for that part of the pending immigration bill.
 

Dorchester Conference 2013

Over 200 people attended the 49th annual Dorchester Conference in Seaside, Oregon March 8, 9 and 10th.  The conference is great opportunity for conservatives to get together, talk politics and have some fun.  Check out our photos.

Rep. Esquival hits the nail on the head

e southern
OREGON.com IBLOGS

Tuition equity unfair to citizens
 

The session has taken off like a rocket. Our office is flooded with meeting requests and we have been surprised by a number of visitors from home.

Tuition Equity –HB 2787 allowing Oregon students who are here illegally to pay in-state tuition for Oregon colleges.

As many of you know this is a difficult issue for me. I open my arms to anyone who wants to come to America but obeying the law is first and foremost. By encouraging students to stay here illegally, Oregon violates federal law.

“It is a violation of law for any entity to conceal, harbor, or shield from detection in any place, any illegal alien who is in the United States in violation of law. Harboring means any conduct that tends to substantially facilitate an alien to remain in the U.S. illegally.

If you are a U.S. citizen from another state you have to pay approximately $114,000 for out-of-state tuition – but Oregon colleges will accept students here illegally at approximately $32,000 per year. Basically I see this legislation as a direct discrimination against U.S. citizens.

In 2009 when I presented the legislation to allow U.S. veterans to receive instate tuition in Oregon schools there was a fiscal cost to the state of more than $7,000 per student per year. Interesting enough with HB2787, the carrier stated there was no fiscal impact involved. In other words it costs Oregon to have U.S. veterans attend at in-state rates but doesn’t cost for illegal students?

HB2787 passed the House 38-18.

Rep. Sal Esquivel

http://blogs.esouthernoregon.com/southern-oregon-legislators/2013/02/28/tuition-equity-unfair-to-citizens/

 

Join conservatives March 8 - 10 at the Dorchester Conference

Alert date: 
2013-03-01
Alert body: 

The Dorchester Conference is your opportunity to speak to dozens of conservative lawmakers from here in Oregon and from Washington DC.

The conference will be held in Seaside, OR at the Seaside Convention Center March 8 - 10...Friday evening, all day Saturday and Sunday morning.  If you don't want to pay to attend the conference, just visit the exhibit hall and and see all the booths packed with information.  Legislators, Congressman, past Governors, and many political candidates will be there, too.

They are anxious to talk with you and share their ideas and hear yours.

Plan to come for the day...or the whole weekend. 
 

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