voter registration

Your actions worked!

Alert date: 
May 12, 2015
Alert body: 

Sometimes it seems that nothing we do works in stopping elected officials from moving in the wrong direction.  But, this time it worked.  You and your calls and emails stopped it.  Read all about it - then pat yourself on the back!

If you quit - you lose for certain.  If you stay and fight, you may lose...but, you just might win!
 

Homeland Security Working Overtime to Add ‘New Americans’ by 2016 Election

Sources at the Department of Homeland Security report to PJ Media that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services is reallocating significant resources to sending letters to all 9,000,000 green card holders urging them to naturalize prior to the 2016 election.

President Obama’s amnesty by edict has always been about adding new Democrats to the voter rolls, and recent action by the Department of Homeland Security provides further proof. Sources at the Department of Homeland Security report to PJ Media that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services is reallocating significant resources away from a computer system — the “Electronic Immigration System” — to sending letters to all 9,000,000 green card holders urging them to naturalize prior to the 2016 election.

This effort is part of the DHS “Task Force on New Americans.”

PJ Media has obtained an internal “Dear Colleague” letter written by Leon Rodriguez, the “director and co-chair of the Task Force on New Americans.”  The letter refers to a White House report called “Strengthening Communities by Welcoming All Residents.”

Leon Rodriguez has a tainted history...

The Rodriguez letter states:

This report outlines an immigrant integration plan that will advance our nation’s global competitiveness and ensure that the people who live in this country can fully participate in their communities.

“Full participation” is a term commonly used to include voting rights.  To that end, resources within DHS have been redirected toward pushing as many as aliens and non-citizens as possible to full citizenship status so they may “fully participate” in the 2016 presidential election.  For example, the internal DHS letter states one aim is to “strengthen existing pathways to naturalization and promote civic engagement.”

Leon Rodriguez

Leon Rodriguez

Naturalization plus mobilization is the explicit aim of the DHS “Task Force on New Americans.” Multiple sources at DHS confirm that political appointees are prioritizing naturalization ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

Empirical voting patterns among immigrants from minority communities demonstrate that these new voters will overwhelmingly vote for Democrat candidates...

Other DHS sources report that racial interest groups such as La Raza (translated to “The Race”) and the American Immigration Lawyers Association have been playing a central and influential role in rewriting the administration’s immigration policies...

This means that DHS is not only rushing green card holders toward citizenship before the next election, but also jamming previous visa holders toward green card status.  These policies and priorities add to the brazen public positions of the president toward enforcing immigration laws.

Obama amnesty creates loophole for illegal immigrants to vote in elections

President Obama’s temporary deportation amnesty will make it easier for illegal immigrants to improperly register and vote in elections, state elections officials testified to Congress on Thursday, saying that the driver’s licenses and Social Security numbers they will be granted create a major voting loophole.

While stressing that it remains illegal for non-citizens to vote, secretaries of state from Ohio and Kansas said they won’t have the tools to sniff out illegal immigrants who register anyway, ignoring stiff penalties to fill out the registration forms that are easily available at shopping malls, motor vehicle bureaus and in curbside registration drives....

... mass registration drives often aren’t able to give due attention to that part, and so illegal immigrants will still get through.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris W. Kobach said even some motor vehicle bureau workers automatically ask customers if they want to register to vote...

“It’s a guarantee it will happen,” Mr. Kobach said.

Democrats disputed that it was an issue at all, saying Mr. Obama’s new policy, which could apply to more than 4 million illegal immigrants, doesn’t change anything in state or federal law.

 

Election Observation Training Conference

Alert date: 
October 2, 2014
Alert body: 

It all ends when the ballots are counted - all the door-knocking, the meetings, the coffees and neighborhood events.  Let's be absolutely certain that only registered voters are allowed to vote and that all those who voted - are actually counted!  Learn the ins and outs of election law.  Get involved and register today!

Election Observation Training Conference

The People’s Church
4500 Lancaster Dr. NE, Salem, OR 97315

This Saturday - October 4, 2014  10:00am - 4:00pm

Special Guest: Jim Williams
Oregon State’s Election Director

Join citizens from around the state to learn more about the observation of elections.

Hear about the differences in other counties, see what is working to observe the election process.  Learn about the Oregon election laws and your opportunity to observe the process as citizen witnesses.  Get equipped with information for your local organization to help you be more effective in your county.

 
Conference is FREE! Register at Eventbrite “Election Observation Training”


Check in and Registration starts at 9:30 and the Conference begins at 10:00 AM

Questions or to register by phone or email:  Janice Dysinger - janice@dysinger.info . . . 503-757-0670

Sack lunches will be available from a local business or you can bring your own lunch. Coffee and Water will be provided.

Conference is organized by informal group of citizens at www.ElectionOregon.com , who promote election integrity

 

Drive-thru democracy, it doesn't get any easier!

Alert date: 
September 18, 2013
Alert body: 

PODL will be hosting another drive-thru signature gathering event. This time at the famous Oregon landmark - The Bomber Restaurant in Milwaukie, this Thursday, September 19, noon to 7:00.  Drive in, sign the referendum petition, drive away - you don't even need to get out of your car!

We will be back again on Monday, September 23, noon to 7:00.

The Bomber Restaurant is located at: 13515 SE McLaughlin Blvd in Milwaukie.

Look for the B-17 bomber! Thursday, noon to 7:00.  See you there!

'Only you can stop amnesty'

WASHINGTON — The congresswoman and former presidential candidate could not be more clear, nor the situation she sees more urgent.

“The Republic is at stake” if “amnesty” is included in any immigration bill that becomes law, Rep. Michele Bachmann told WND last month.

Now, she says, the situation has actually gotten worse.

Bachmann and her House colleagues, Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, and Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, have a new warning: Their own congressional leaders have joined the opposition and the only one who can stop amnesty now is you, the voter.

Amnesty is the term conservatives use to describe a path to legalization for illegal immigrants in legislation such as the bill passed in the Senate last month.

Bachmann says that bill is essentially the same as the one introduced by senators John McCain, R-Ariz., and the late Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., and defeated in 2007 after a huge backlash by the conservative grassroots.

She says the 2007 bill caused her phone lines “to melt,” provoking more outrage than even Obamacare.

This time? The phones are silent.

Bachmann thinks that’s because people simply aren’t aware that the same thing is happening again.

Bachmann, Gohmert and King rallied their colleagues to put enough pressure on House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, to force him to agree to apply the “Hastert rule” to legislation coming out of a conference committee to reconcile House and Senate versions of any bill.

Sticking to the Hastert rule is a way of preventing the House from approving legislation without the approval of the majority of the Republicans.

Last month, Bachmann told WND she feared an amnesty bill coming out of such a conference would be a “Trojan Horse” because “it won’t be (most) Republicans that pass it.”

“It’ll be Nancy Pelosi leading all the House Democrats to vote for it, and just enough Republicans will vote for the bill and you’ll have amnesty.”

Now, she sees GOP party leaders unreservedly throwing their support behind amnesty.

Bachmann also warns that amnesty supporters include members of “the House of Representatives you would never think in a million years could possibly support this foolish decision, but they do.”

“Don’t assume, just because your member of the House of representatives is a Republican or a conservative, they’re going to vote against a bill that has legalization,” Bachmann warns.

She is pleading with all conservative voters to call their members of Congress in the House to demand they do not vote for amnesty.

She urges readers to call the House of Representatives switchboard at (202) 224-3121.

Speaker of the House John Boehner can be reached at (202) 225-6205 or (800) 582-1001.

He is also on Twitter and can be reached by email. Boehner’s fax number is (202) 225-5117.

WND spoke with Bachmann, Gohmert and King to find out why they believe amnesty could mean more than the end of the Republican party, but could actually mean the end of the Republic itself.

GOP LEADERSHIP SOLD ON AMNESTY

WND asked Bachmann whether she was encouraged or discouraged by last week’s meeting of GOP House members on immigration.

“It was very mixed, it was very divided, but it was very clear the leadership is completely sold on passing an amnesty bill. So, I’m very nervous about where we’re going because the 900-pound gorilla in the room is legalization,” she reflected.

She then gravely warned, “That is the only thing the president wants.”

Bachmann says they discussed four or five separate bills as opposed to one comprehensive immigration reform package, but some incorporated legalization within them.

LEGALIZATION IS EVERYTHING

“The only game in town is legalization, for President Obama and for Senate Democrats. They want that legalization status,” Bachmann declared.

She thinks the Democrats would actually accept all five Republican bills and say “Hey, great! Have any bill you want” because they could care less about what else is in the bill, all they want is legalization.

Bachmann says the reason for this is very clear: It’s all about gaining more political power. Complete power, in fact.

“Once President Obama gets legalization, then he’s got literally tens of millions of individuals he could potentially put on his voting roles to cement in place his policies for progressivism,” the congresswoman warned.

“I think people really need to be aware, the president will go for amnesty, the Senate will give us amnesty, the only brake we have is in the House of Representatives,” adding WND readers should be “very, very concerned” because resistance in the House is not very strong right now.

“And legalization is everything, it is the game changer. It changes our nation structurally forever, if this goes through.”

As Bachmann detailed to WND last month, “This is President Obama’s number one political agenda item because he knows we will never again have a Republican president, ever, if amnesty goes into effect. We will perpetually have a progressive, liberal president, probably a Democrat, and we will probably see the House of Representatives go into Democrat hands and the Senate will stay in Democrat hands.”

The lawmaker said that would create a permanent progressive class, and the country would never return to its constitutional foundations.

“That’s what’s at risk right now. It may sound melodramatic, I don’t mean it that way, but this is that big and that important.”

GOP SUICIDE WATCH

King is also worried the GOP is digging its own grave.

He says conservatives are on a “suicide watch over the Republican party.”

King disagrees with Republicans such as Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who believe the GOP needs to support amnesty in order to win Hispanic votes.

He agress with Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who says he earned 40 percent of the Hispanic vote by sticking to conservative principles rather than pandering.

“It’s unbelieveable to me that people would take that kind of bait and let the hook get set as deep as it’s been set,” said King.

He warned fellow conservatives, “Those folks who have always advocated for amnesty and open borders, and I am talking especially about people on the Republican side of the aisle, they’re reeling this in.”

“They were reeling in the four members of the Gang of Eight on that idea, ‘Well we have to grant amnesty, otherwise, we’re never going to win a presidential election again.’”

ADVICE FROM THE ENEMY

King says it’s one thing for Republican to disagree, but it’s another to take advice from the enemy.

“Barack Obama came to our conference this year in February to make the pitch that we need to pass comprehensive immigration reform, including amnesty (of course, he doesn’t use that word), and if we don’t do that, he said, ‘You’ll never win another national election,’” said King in disbelief.

“And, he said, ‘I’m trying to help you.’ Now, what Republican would hire community-organizer Barack Obama to be their political consultant?” added the congressman, incredulously.

Yet, says King, it looks to him as though much of the establishment class within the Republican party is actually accepting the political consulting advice of President Obama.

“Why would he say to us, ‘Do this’ if he believed it would be good for Republicans? That’s the last thing we’d hear out of him.”

MAKE OUR MESSAGE CLEAR

WND asked Gohmert if Republicans will pay for it at the polls if they don’t pass immigration reform.

He said the GOP could pay a price, “If we don’t make our message clear, if we don’t express our hearts and why we are doing what we are doing to preserve a country that Hispanics will want to come to,” as well as Asians and Africans.

“We could possibly pay at the polls in the short term. But, just as you’ve had more and more African-Americans realizing, ‘Wow, we have one party that’s pandered to us, doled out government benefits, kept us from reaching our God-given potential … and you have another, this Republican Party, in the case of Hispanics, that says we want you to learn English because we don’t want you to be a ditch-digger just because you can’t communicate — we know you are smart enough to be president of your company and to be president of this country, if you’re born here.’”

Gohmert painted a vision of an America with equal opportunity for all, telling newcomers, “We want you to reach your God-given potential. We want to educate you and bring out the best. We don’t want to keep you in schools that are failing you and failing America. We want the schools to be better and we want you to reach your potential.”

He continued, “If we don’t communicate that message we could pay for it in the short term. But, in the long term, I think you will see people start waking up and going, ‘Wow, these Republicans really like me and we share so much, generally speaking.’”

WE SHARE A FAITH

Gohmert sees many Hispanics as natural conservatives, observing, “We share a faith in God, a devotion to family and a hard-work ethic. Things that made America great.”

“We have more and more Hispanics starting to realize that, and some of them I’ve served with. Just incredibly wonderful people. And I expect in the future you will see more and more of that.

GOP WILL GET THE BLAME

Bachmann doesn’t mince words.

“Contrary to popular opinion, Republicans won’t get patted on the back or get new votes because of passing amnesty — they’re going to get blamed.”

She predicts Republicans would lose the House in 2014, and things would just get worse once amnesty is in place.

“Because, I think the president, even by executive order, could again wave his magic wand before 2014 and he’d say, ‘Now, all of the new legal Americans are going to have voting rights.’”

“Why do I say that? He did in 2012. Do you remember? Anyone who was here as a Latino under age 30, he said, ‘You get to vote.’

“What?!? He decides you get to vote? If he did it in 2012, take it to the bank, he’ll do it in 2014.”

ONE PARTY RULE

Bachmann says after that, the Democrats will control the White House, the Senate and the House, ushering in one-party rule.

“At that point, they will change election law. And it will be almost impossible to ever see a Republican majority again.

“Do we get how important this is? I’m not crying wolf here. This is the most important vote that we’re going to take in the next two years.”

That’s why she says it is so important to call the House switchboard at (202) 224-3121 to tell Congress not to pass amnesty.

“WND readers need to understand there are conservative Republicans, self-styled conservative Republicans, that are for amnesty,” she said. “People in the House of Representatives you would never think in a million years could possibly support this foolish decision, but they do.”

She says not to assume members of Congress will vote against legalization just because they are conservative. Bachmann was too diplomatic to mention it, but even such high-profile conservatives as Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., are supporting legalization.

And once the president gets an inch, she says, he will take a mile.

“Even if it’s a guest worker bill, even if it’s a germ of a bill that gives legalization status, that’s what President Obama will take, and he’ll run a mile and we’ll have full-on perpetual amnesty with no hope of deportation, ever. We will have lost control of the border,” Bachmann predicted.

AMNESTY IS NOT DEAD

King shares Bachmann’s concern that whatever immigration bill the House approves will become a vehicle for amnesty.

“I’m still worried that if we send something over to the Senate, it might be an E-verify bill, guest-worker bill, it could be a Dream Act bill … They could attach something on the Senate side, send it back, build the political pressure, and then, if our Speaker says ‘Well, the political pressure is so great, that we have to take this up or we’re going to lose seats in the upcoming election,’ that’s how we could get to a scenario where we end up with amnesty sent to the president,” he explained.

King says, “Really, there’s no reason for the House to pass anything.”

“Why are we going through this exercise if amnesty is not going to get to the president’s desk? Because, he’s not going to sign anything that doesn’t have it.”

King warns, “The exercise just leaves us vulnerable. We’re dancing with the wrong side of the aisle here and no good can come from it.”

IMPENDING CONSTITUTIONAL CRISIS

“We should tell our constituents our president is violating his own oath of office. This is an impending constitutional crisis,” predicts King.

“No amount of legislation is going to make the president do what he doesn’t want to do, which is enforce laws he doesn’t like.

“So, passing more laws that he doesn’t like is only going to exacerbate the problem. Plus, he’s not going to sign it and Harry Reid’s not going to take it up.

“No good can come from this. We should tell our constituents, ‘This is the president’s problem, he has created it and we are not going to conform with the president’s unconstitutional whims.’”

SPANK THE PRESIDENT

WND asked Bachmann if she is similarly concerned the president will do what he wants no matter what Congress does on immigration.

“Well, of course he’s going to, unless we pinch his ears back,” she observed.

She noted his penchant to rule by executive order is working for him but not the American people.

“He has a perpetual magic wand and nobody’s given him a spanking yet and taken it out of his hand,” she added maternally.

Bachmann says Congress has the power to discipline a misbehaving president, “And the way we spank the president is we do it through the checkbook.”

She says the House of Representatives has the most power in Washington because, “We have the power of the purse.”

“We’re the ones who say, ‘No, you can’t have the money.’ What’s wrong with us? What is wrong with us that we would give the president ten cents to fund Obamacare?”

IMMIGRATION BILL UNCONSTITUTIONAL

King confronted the president when the Obama administration recently decided not to enforce the employer mandate requirement in the health care law until after the 2014 elections.

“If President Obama wants to make changes to Obamacare, he must come to Congress,” King told CNS, adding, “We are a nation governed by laws written by Congress, not memos and blog posts written by bureaucrats.” King said.

Gohemert, who is a lawyer, says the Senate immigration bill has something in common with Obamacare, observing, “There is no question it’s unconstitutional.”

He says that’s because both Senate bills included funding, but only the House can do that.

“It is unconstitutional and, actually, Obamacare is unconstitutional. I was hoping in the original case that went to the Supreme Court someone would raise the origination clause, that anything that raises revenue must originate in the House.”

“And that point was not raised. It should have been raised,” he added wistfully.

THE END OF AMERICA

All three lawmakers agree amnesty will cause many serious problems, including higher unemployment, lower wages, greater national debt.

But they see something even more serious on the horizon, something that could change everything.

They fear amnesty could lead to one-party rule and the end of America as we know it.

Bachmann paints a scenario after amnesty passes in which “you’ll see the president, just like Superman, open his shirt and there will be a big ‘S’ on it, and President Obama will become the super civil rights advocate for all the people that have new legalization status.”

She says President Obama and his “minions” will then declare, “I’m the one who’s going to give you voting rights.”

So, even if a legalization bill passes that does not include voting rights, Bachmann says the president will simply declare, “We’re America and you’re legalized and you don’t have voting status? I’m here to give you civil rights. You deserve the right to vote.”

She says that will put Republicans in an impossible position, asking what are they going to do, tell people “No, we’re not going to allow you to vote?”

She predicts the president will then say, “[T]he Republicans don’t want you to have access to the benefits you deserve, Obamacare, 80 different means-tested welfare programs, Social Security, Medicare … you deserve that, too. I’m going to be your champion to make sure you get all of these public assistance benefits.’”

“And what’s our platform going to be?” Bachmann wonders. “No, you can’t have them? We will immediately be on defense and we will be forever on defense because the president has one plan. It is open borders with ongoing, rolling amnesty and no meaningful form of deportation anywhere.”

Bachmann adds one last warning: “That’s what WND viewers need to know we’re up against. This is very serious. It is a structural change in America and it will mean there will be no meaningful way to elect again a constitutional conservative for president. It’s not gonna happen.”

Immigration issues affected by '12 election

Supporters and opponents agree: The outcome of the 2012 election, more than anything else, shaped how the Oregon Legislature responded to immigration issues in 2013.

“With all the people who came out to vote in November, our electorate made it clear in the 2012 election what the priority was,” said Luis Guerra, the new executive director of Causa Oregon immigrant-rights group.

A new Democratic majority in the Oregon House — the Oregon Senate remained in Democratic hands — ensured passage of two state priorities for immigrant-rights groups.

One bill was for students to obtain in-state tuition rates at state universities, regardless of their immigration status, if they graduate from Oregon high schools and meet other conditions.

The Senate passed similar bills in 2003 and 2011, but both died in the House. This time, the House initiated it, and both chambers passed House Bill 2787 and the governor signed it two months into the 2013 session.

One of the celebrants was Hugo Nicolas, a 2011 graduate of McNary High School, who said the bill will make it possible for him to attend the University of Oregon.

“This means there is hope that students like me can get out and contribute to their community,” he said.

The other bill was for people to obtain four-year driver’s cards, half the eight-year driver’s license, if they passed the driving-skills and knowledge tests but could not prove legal presence in the United States.

Lawmakers had made the latter a condition in 2008 to comply with a federal law governing the use of state licenses as identification for federal purposes, such as boarding commercial aircraft or entering federal buildings. The federal law, however, allows states to issue alternative identification for drivers.

A similar proposal failed to advance past a Senate committee two years ago. But backed by a coalition of business groups, Senate Bill 833 became law in a single month — and Gov. John Kitzhaber signed it into law at a May Day rally on the Capitol steps.

“We shared all the stories of all the families who are affected” by both bills, Guerra said, and his group will follow a similar strategy in an attempt to persuade Oregon’s congressional delegation to back federal immigration-law changes.

However, opponents of both state bills have not given up, although they are concentrating their efforts on just one of them.

Opponents have launched a campaign to gather the 58,142 voter signatures required to put the driver’s-card law to a statewide vote. They have 90 days after the Legislature adjourns — it would have been a deadline of Oct. 5 if the session had ended Sunday — to file the signatures with the secretary of state.

“We have had an amazing response,” said Jim Ludwick of McMinnville, a spokesman for Oregonians for Immigration Reform, which opposed the bill.

“I doubt there is a town in Oregon where somebody has not requested a signature sheet. A huge number of people are outraged by this bill to give illegal aliens driver’s licenses. There is no question in my mind that if we are successful in getting on the ballot, they will revoke this bill.”

If there are enough valid signatures, the law would be suspended — it is scheduled to take effect Jan. 1 — and the statewide vote would coincide with the November 2014 general election, unless lawmakers choose an earlier date.

Washington and New Mexico issue licenses without proof of legal presence; Washington has an “enhanced” license valid for federal purposes that also can be used in travel to and from Canada. Illinois will issue three-year cards in the fall, and Utah issues cards that must be renewed annually.

The in-state tuition law, which took effect July 1, also can be challenged in court. The law provides for a direct review by the Oregon Supreme Court, although the justices can delegate someone to conduct fact-finding proceedings before they hear oral arguments on the legal questions.

Such a lawsuit must be filed by Aug. 29.

Although some witnesses at Oregon legislative hearings suggested there would be a lawsuit, a similar law in California was upheld by that state’s highest court in 2010 — and the U.S. Supreme Court declined in June 2011 to hear an appeal.

“The problem is that the Supreme Court has been unwilling to hear those lawsuits,” Ludwick said. He said state laws appear to contradict a 1996 federal law that bars in-state tuition for students without immigration documents, unless the state laws waive requirements for out-of-state residents.

Oregon joined about a dozen other states with similar laws, including Washington.

Racial and ethnic minorities scored legislative victories on other matters this session:

• House Bill 2517, which takes effect Jan. 1, allows full eight-year driver’s licenses to residents of three Pacific island nations — Republic of the Marshall Islands, Republic of Palau and Federated States of Micronesia — who are legally allowed to live and work in the United States. Under current law, these residents of nations associated with the United States have to renew their state licenses every year, because there is no limit on their stays.

• House Bill 2611 requires health professionals regulated by specific state boards to undergo training in cultural differences in providing medical treatment. This “cultural competency” training will be set by the Oregon Health Authority.

• Senate Bill 463. signed Wednesday and taking effect Jan. 1, will require the state Criminal Justice Commission to analyze how criminal sentencing and child welfare legislation may affect racial and ethnic minorities if requested by two legislators, one from each party. The law is modeled after a 2008 Iowa law.

However, House Bill 2661 remained in the budget committee, although it did have two hearings. It would have required the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission to conduct a study of the interaction of police with racial and ethnic minorities.

pwong@StatesmanJournal.com or (503) 399-6745

Supreme Court: Arizona law requiring citizenship proof for voters is illegal

The Supreme Court ruled Monday that states cannot require would-be voters to prove they are U.S. citizens before using a federal registration system designed to make signing up easier.

The justices voted 7-2 to throw out Arizona's voter-approved requirement that prospective voters document their U.S. citizenship in order to use a registration form produced under the federal "Motor Voter" voter registration law.

Federal law "precludes Arizona from requiring a federal form applicant to submit information beyond that required by the form itself," Justice Antonia Scalia wrote for the court's majority.

The court was considering the legality of Arizona's requirement that prospective voters document their U.S. citizenship in order to use a registration form produced under the federal "motor voter" registration law. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said that the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, which doesn't require such documentation, trumps Arizona's Proposition 200 passed in 2004.

Arizona appealed that decision to the Supreme Court.

The case focuses on Arizona, which has tangled frequently with the federal government over immigration issues involving the Mexican border. But it has broader implications because four other states -- Alabama, Georgia, Kansas and Tennessee -- have similar requirements, and 12 other states are contemplating such legislation.

Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito dissented from the court's ruling.

The Constitution "authorizes states to determine the qualifications of voters in federal elections, which necessarily includes the related power to determine whether those qualifications are satisfied," Thomas said in his dissent.

Opponents of Arizona's law see it as an attack on vulnerable voter groups such as minorities, immigrants and the elderly. They say they've counted more than 31,000 potentially legal voters in Arizona who easily could have registered before Proposition 200 but were blocked initially by the law in the 20 months after it passed in 2004. They say about 20 percent of those thwarted were Latino.

But Arizona officials say they should be able to pass laws to stop illegal immigrants and other noncitizens from getting on their voting rolls. The Arizona voting law was part of a package that also denied some government benefits to illegal immigrants and required Arizonans to show identification before voting.

The federal "motor voter" law, enacted in 1993 to expand voter registration, requires states to offer voter registration when a resident applies for a driver's license or certain benefits. Another provision of that law -- the one at issue before the court -- requires states to allow would-be voters to fill out mail-in registration cards and swear they are citizens under penalty of perjury, but it doesn't require them to show proof. Under Proposition 200, Arizona officials require an Arizona driver's license issued after 1996, a U.S. birth certificate, a passport or other similar document, or the state will reject the federal registration application form.

Arizona can ask the federal government to include the extra documents as a state-specific requirement, Scalia said, and take any decision made by the government on that request back to court.
 

Missing the boat

Oregon Republicans seem to have missed a key lesson of the 2012 election, and are embarking on a symbolic campaign that will succeed only in further alienating Latino voters.

When Republicans fared worse than expected at the polls last November here and nationally, some soul-searching rhetoric from within the party suggested the GOP needed to reach out more effectively to Latino voters who rejected their message. A bipartisan immigration reform effort is still working its way through Congress despite vocal opposition from some in the GOP.

A key element of that reform bill would provide a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants already in this country.

Oregon Republicans, meanwhile, continue to oppose measures designed to allow those immigrants to better contribute to the state's economy. GOP lawmakers opposed two such bills that ultimately passed the Legislature and will become law.

One permits the children of parents who brought them here illegally to pay in-state tuition at public universities as long as they live in Oregon and graduated from high school here. The other will allow undocumented residents to obtain a permit to drive legally in Oregon.

After the driving permit bill passed and Gov. John Kitzhaber signed it, Republican Reps. Sal Esquivel of Medford and Kim Thatcher of Keizer launched a referendum to overturn the law — despite the fact that the state's 14 GOP senators split evenly on the bill on final passage.

If the two, aided by the group Oregonians for Immigration Reform, can gather more than 58,000 signatures from registered voters within 90 days of the Legislature's adjournment, the referendum will appear on the November 2014 ballot. The new law, scheduled to take effect Jan. 1, would be put on hold until after the vote.

Supporters of the new driving permit law argue it will make the state's roads safer by encouraging undocumented residents to purchase insurance and have their driving skills tested. Opponents say residents who came here illegally should not be rewarded with driving privileges.

Despite the bipartisan support for the bill in the Legislature, the Oregon Republican Party has endorsed the referendum campaign, warning of voter fraud and "subversive terrorist acts," in the words of GOP Chairwoman Suzanne Gallagher — although the driving permits may not be used to vote, board a plane or purchase a firearm.

We're not convinced the driving law will do what its backers say it will, but it's unlikely to do any real damage — except to the image of the state's Republicans among Latino voters.

 

Who's REALLY in charge?

A recent letter sent to Causa supporters:

On behalf of all of us here at Causa Oregon, we want to thank you for all your work and support. While there are still some big fights to win this year, we have accomplished so much in the first three months of 2013.

With your help, we have forged new alliances with our sisters and brothers in the LGBT, labor, faith, business and education communities. Together, we've harnessed the political power to pass the ten-year-long struggle for tuition equity in Oregon and gained national recognition for our collaborative work in registering new Americans to vote. And, just this week it was announced that Causa, the Act Network and our allies were successful in forcing the Multnomah County Sheriff to end his policy of detaining undocumented immigrants for low-level crimes and non-violent misdemeanors.

It's only three months in to 2013 and together we're already making historyThank you for being a tireless ally in our mission to promote the rights of Latinos and immigrants in Oregon. Together, we are ensuring a healthy, vibrant American democracy.

In Solidarity,

Francisco Lopez
Executive Director

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I would like to take a moment to address the "successes" listed in the letter:

1.) Causa appears to be a group whose mission is to cause the ruling bodies of our state to CAVE IN to their demands.

2.) Causa appears to be a group that, by hooking up with legitimate minorities with issues, they hope that the public won't notice that they are advocating for the RIGHTS(?) of those in our country illegally. 

3.) Illegal aliens perpetrate crimes in far greater numbers than their 'legal' peers.  Yet, they seem to feel they shouldn't be in jail and that they deserve special treatment from the Multnomah County Sheriff....and he obliged their demand.

4.) The last line was the worst:  Thank you for being a tireless ally in our mission to promote the rights of Latinos and immigrants in Oregon. Together, we are ensuring a healthy, vibrant American democracy.

First of all, Latino's and legal immigrants have rights.  Do Latino's have special rights?  Causa simply chooses to drop the word ILLEGAL from their immigrant vocabulary and hopes that no one will notice.  After all, who doesn't want to help an 'immigrant'?  And, to make matters worse, claiming they are ensuring a healthy, vibrant American democracy is just a LIE!  Here in Oregon, the cost of services to illegal aliens tipped the BILLION dollar mark.

Since when do any of us get to pick and choose which laws we obey and which laws we ignore?  People who come here illegally are breaking immigration laws.   If they work, they are breaking labor laws. If they steal, buy, or borrow a social security number, they are committing identity theft. But, shhhh...don't say anything about that....that's not nice.  They are bringing the culture of corruption from their homeland, right to our front door.

But, all that aside, the thing that bothers me the most, are the lawmakers that are bending over backwards to work with groups like Causa.  That's the most disappointing of all!  Elections are a great opportunity to clear the decks!

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