OFIR Alerts and Updates

Welcome to the "what's hot" news and alerts section.  This section includes important OFIR action alerts and informational updates that have been sent out in the recent past, as well as hot news items.

January 13, 2012

This is the season for our elected officials to hear from you!  As both Oregon's Senators travel the state explaining what they have accomplished and trying to drum up future support, it is critical that OFIR members attend these Townhall meetings and ask what they have done specifically to stop illegal immigration. 

If you have the opportunity to ask a question, please let OFIR know about it!  Be polite, be specific.

Ask either Senator why they won't support Representative Lamar Smith's nationwide, mandatory E-Verify bill that would ensure any newly created jobs would go only to citizens or those authorized to work in the US. Do not let them get away with the standby answer that E-Verify has too many problems. It is nearly 99% accurate. It's free to businesses that sign up and it's easy to use.  American citizens need jobs.  Veterans and teens need jobs.  They should NOT have to compete with illegal aliens for jobs.

Senator Ron Wyden's schedule

Topic: General
Official: Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR)
When: 01/19/2012
Starts: 01:30 PM
Where: Sorptimist Senior Center
180 Northeast Belknap Street
Prineville, OR

Topic: General
Official: Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR)
When: 01/19/2012
Starts: 04:30 PM
Where: Jefferson County Senior Center
860 Southwest Madison Street
Madras, OR

Topic: General
Official: Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR)
When: 01/20/2012
Starts: 06:30 PM
Where: Oregon Institute of Technology
College Union Auditorium
3201 Campus Drive
Klamath Falls, OR

Topic: General
Official: Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR)
When: 01/21/2012
Starts: 11:00 AM
Where: Lake County Senior Center
11 North G Street
Lakeview, OR

Topic: General
Official: Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR)
When: 01/20/2012
Starts: 09:30 AM
Where: Bend Elks Lodge
63120 Boyd Acres Road
Bend, OR 

Ask Senator Merkley why he doesn't support Representative Lamar Smith's nationwide, mandatory E-Verify bill that would ensure any newly created jobs would go only to citizens or those authorized to work in the US. Do NOT let him get away with his standby answer that E-Verify has too many problems. It is over 99% accurate. It's free to businesses that sign up and it's easy to use.  Over 2,200 businesses in Oregon have signed up already.

Lincoln County Town Hall
Wednesday, January 11, 2012, 5:00 pm
Toledo Fire Department
285 NE Burgess Rd
Toledo, OR 97391

For Senator Merkley's full Townhall schedule, visit our OFIR Oregon section:


January 9, 2012

US Senator Jeff Merkley Townhall schedule

Date: Tuesday, January 10th 2012
Time: 4:30 P.M.
Location: American Legion Hall
605 Main St

December 21, 2011

OFIR members and supporters:

On Tuesday Arizona law enforcement and federal agents arrested 203 Mexican drug dealers tied to the Sinaloa drug cartel. The agents seized assault rifles, 650 pounds of marijuana, 123 pounds of cocaine and 4.5 pounds of heroin worth an estimated $12.5 million. The Sinaloa drug cartel is one of the most ruthless organizations in the world. That they exist in large numbers in Arizona should surprise no one who follows the issue of illegal immigration.
Don’t bother trying to find the story in The Oregonian. Illegal aliens, the drug cartels, and illicit drugs are not part of The Oregonian's illegal alien narrative. Their spin is that illegal aliens are good people who through no fault of their own find themselves in Oregon, and that we should welcome them. The Oregonian continues to opine against the tough Arizona illegal immigration law while totally ignoring the increasing crime committed by illegal aliens, as well as the $113+ billion annual cost to U.S. taxpayers for services to the illegal alien population, and the various other ill-effects of uncontrolled immigration.
By turning a blind eye to illegal immigration, our government continues to encourage the Mexican drug cartels' ability to spread their influence across the U.S., and Oregon will increasingly feel the effects. We need a President who will enforce the immigration laws in the interior of the U.S. as well as at the borders, and state officials who will cooperate in that enforcement.
Read the full article in OFIR National Issues or at the Arizona Daily Star: Major drug ring busted in Arizona.
December 13, 2011

OFIR members and supporters: 

The Supreme Court accepted Arizona's appeal of the case despite pressure from the Obama administration not to.

Last year Arizona passed SB 1070 because the federal government has been derelict in enforcing federal immigration laws. Arizona stepped into the void with SB 1070 and a number of states have joined with them by passing similar laws.

The Obama administration has tried to block the Arizona law from being enforced. U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton supported the Obama administration when she blocked parts of the Arizona law from taking effect. Subsequently the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld her decision on a 2-1 vote.
The Supreme Court’s eventual ruling will likely have a bearing on the fate of similar immigration laws adopted in the past year by Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, South Carolina and Utah.
Fortunately for citizens, Justice Elena Kagan will recuse herself from the case.This opens the possibility of a 4-4 tie which would leave the 9th Circuit Court ruling standing, but the case would create no Supreme Court precedent and other circuit courts would not be bound by the 9th Circuit's ruling.
Lets hope that the Supreme Court rules in favor of Arizona’s right to defend its citizens.
December 12, 2011

OFIR members and supporters:

The abuse of visas for foreign workers is found in various occupations. Forestry workers, computer workers, even school teachers are being hired from other countries through federal visa programs that lack sufficient oversight. Especially in this time of widespread unemployment among citizens, there should be better policing of the visa programs. Some in Congress are attempting to address the problem, and if you have signed up with NumbersUSA (http://www.numbersusa.com) to receive their alerts and to access their free fax service, you will receive an email when calls and faxes to Congress and the Administration can have the greatest impact.


Public Schools Import Foreign Teachers
In Education Reporter, November 2011

Since the late 1990s there has been a growing trend to import teachers from foreign countries to educate American students. During the 2010 fiscal year, the Department of Labor certified 13,157 foreign workers to teach grades K-12 in American schools.

Schools have been hiring these teachers on temporary work visas such as the H-1B visa and the J-1 visa to teach a diverse array of classes including math, science, foreign language, special education, and physical education.
According to a memorandum by the Center for Immigration Studies, these visas deprive U.S. citizens of thousands of jobs every year in favor of foreign workers from countries such as Philippines, Mexico, India, Columbia, and Canada.

The H-1B visa is a renewable three-year work permit. According to the Department of Labor's website, the visa was intended "to help employers who cannot otherwise obtain needed business skills and abilities from the U.S. workforce." Schools violate the intent of the H-1B and J-1 visas when they hire foreign teachers instead of qualified U.S. citizens.

Some schools have found that international recruitment is cheaper, especially if they fail to pay visa fees on behalf of the foreign teachers.

Maryland's massive Prince George's County Public School System, employing 1,044 foreign teachers, did just that. Under the H-1B program, the Maryland schools were legally responsible for over $4 million in fees. In an investigation earlier this year, the Department of Labor found that "Instead of paying these fees, [Maryland schools] required the foreign teachers to pay them. As a result, the teachers' earnings were reduced below the amount legally required to be paid."

The spokesman for the district, Briant Coleman said, "We hired temporary foreign national employees at a time when school systems across the country were facing shortages of highly qualified instructors in hard-to-fill subject areas such as math, science and special education, as mandated by the federal No Child Left Behind Act."

Now the district will be required to pay back millions in visa fees and will also be banned from participating in the H-1B program for two years as a penalty for the violation. Maryland County teachers who have not obtained a green card will lose their jobs when their current visas run out.

Schools in seven other states have also been found to be in "willful violation" of the H-1B program.

December 7, 2011

December 7, 2011

OFIR members and supporters:

Several weeks ago, we suggested that all OFIR members e-mail the Co-Speakers of the Oregon House of Representatives and urge them to introduce a mandatory E-Verify bill in the 2012 legislative session, which begins Feb. 1.

Less than two months remain before the session begins. To keep E-Verify at the forefront of the Co-Speakers' minds, this week please e-mail or call, once again, the offices of Republican Co-Speaker Bruce Hanna and Democrat Co-Speaker Arnie Roblan.


Contact your state senator and representative, as well. To learn their e-mail addresses and phone numbers, please visit www.leg.state.or.us and click "Find your legislator" on the right-hand side of the page.

Tell them this: in October, the Oregon Employment Department reported almost 180,000 Oregonians were officially unemployed. And yet, according to a recent estimate of the Pew Hispanic Center, some 130,000 illegal aliens hold Oregon jobs. In a time of high citizen unemployment, it is unconscionable that Americans are forced to compete for jobs with illegal aliens.

Working together, we can impress upon our legislators how illegal aliens steal jobs from U.S. citizens -- and persuade those legislators to consider enacting mandatory E-Verify in the 2012 session. This week, please contact Oregon's Co-Speakers and your own state senator and representative in support of a bill to mandate that Oregon's public and private employers use E-Verify.

As always, thank you for your help. If you do get a written response or speak with someone directly, please let OFIR know.

November 15, 2011

OFIR members and supporters:

In February 2012, the Oregon legislature will convene for a five-week session. During this time, legislators will seek to rectify a growing gap between state-government expenses and the taxes needed to fund them.

One of the main reasons for growing state-government expenses: the presence of 175,000-plus illegal aliens in our state. This drains state coffers in two main ways:

(a) The citizens and legal residents displaced from jobs by Oregon’s estimated 130,000 job-holding illegal aliens draw payments from the state’s unemployment insurance fund. In this time of recession, the fund’s payouts are substantial. In one recent week, for example — Oct 2 to Oct. 8 — more than $33 million in benefits were paid from the fund to unemployed Oregonians.

(b) Last year, the Federation for American Immigration Reform estimated that illegal aliens and their children cost Oregon’s state and local governments more than $700 million a year in education, law-enforcement, and social services.

There is something that Legislators can do this session that could help a great deal. Introduce, support and pass a mandatory E-Verify bill. How will E-Verify help? E-Verify is the automated federal program that helps employers assure their prospective hires are in America legally. If Oregon mandates that all the state’s employers use E-Verify, it will help shut off the “jobs magnet” that draws illegal aliens to our state.

This week, please e-mail Bruce Hanna, Republican Co-Speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives (rep.brucehanna@state.or.us) and Arnie Roblan, Democratic Co-Speaker of the House (rep.arnieroblan@state.or.us) Urge them to introduce, in the 2012 legislative session, a bill to require that Oregon’s public and private employers use E-Verify. (If the above links are not alive, please retype them on your own word processor and then send them)

Your e-mail need be only three or four sentences. In addition to the points above, you might mention:

– Some 200,000 Oregonians are officially unemployed. Close to an equal number are forced to settle for part-time work because they can’t find full-time work, or have become so discouraged that they have stopped looking for work altogether.

– The U.S. Department of Homeland Security reports that E-Verify confirms as work-eligible, within five and ten seconds, 97 percent of prospective hires run through the system. Another 1.2 percent are confirmed within 24 hours. Some 2 percent are not confirmed as work-eligible.

– Many companies abide by federal law and refrain from hiring illegal aliens. These companies should not have to compete against companies that cheat by hiring illegal aliens.

– U.S. citizens should not have to compete for jobs with illegal aliens.

– Nationwide, close to 300,000 businesses have registered to use E-Verify. Among them are more than 2,000 in Oregon, including Nike, Costco, Jeld-Wen, and Precision Castparts.

– In 2007, Arizona implemented a law mandating that all public and private employers use E-Verify. Since then, according to the Public Policy Institute of California, that state has seen a 17-percent decline in its illegal-alien population.

Please e-mail Co-Speaker Hanna and Co-Speaker Roblan in support of mandatory E-Verify. Together, we can successfully put mandatory E-Verify on the legislature’s “radar screen” in the upcoming 2012 legislative session.

Thank you for your help.