agriculture

Jim Ludwick, OFIR Communications Director, to speak at the Executive Club meeting

Alert date: 
November 4, 2013
Alert body: 

Jim will talk about the successful referendum drive to force a vote on Senate Bill 833. There will be a question and answer time following his speech.

What: Executive Club meeting.

Subject: SB 833 referendum campaign.

When: 7:00 pm. Wednesday, November 6. (If you want dinner - come at 6:30).

Where: Shilo Inn Portland

11707 Northeast Airport Way, near the Portland Airport.

The referendum campaign to overturn Senate Bill 833 was a wonderful exercise in citizenship. People from all over Oregon went out in public and collected over 75,000 signatures. Contrast that with how Senate Bill 833 was pushed through the 2013 Oregon Legislature. It was conceived in secret behind closed doors by a select group of people who have as an agenda to diminish the value of American citizenship. It was rushed through the legislature without a hearing by any House committee.

Because of our successful referendum campaign there will be a public debate on whether or not giving an official state driver privilege card to illegal aliens is a good or bad policy.
 

11707 Northeast Airport Way, Portland
Bring a friend! ~~ $20 buffet option ~~ no host bar
And of course, the cigar room, afterward

 

 

Questions for Legislators at upcoming Townhall meetings - they want to know what's on your mind

In the 2013 regular session of the Oregon State Legislature, all Democrats present voted for HB 2787, a bill to grant instate tuition to illegal aliens, and also for SB 833, the bill giving driver cards to illegal aliens.

In the House, 5 Republicans voted for the instate tuition bill: Cliff Bentz, Vicki Berger, John Huffman, Mark Johnson, Julie Parrish. In the Senate, these 3 Republicans voted for instate tuition: Bill Hansell, Bruce Starr, Chuck Thomsen.

Voting for driver cards to illegal aliens were these Republican House members: John Davis, Vic Gilliam, Bob Jenson, Mark Johnson, Greg Smith, and these Republican Senators: Herman Baertschiger, Brian Boquist, Ted Ferrioli, Larry George, Bill Hansell, Chuck Thomsen.

If you have an opportunity to attend a town hall, or to speak elsewhere to your state senator and representative, please tell them about your concerns regarding illegal immigration. We are listing some suggested questions that could be raised with your legislators, particularly with all Democrats and those Republicans who voted for instate tuition and driver cards for illegal aliens.

 
1. A legislator’s main responsibility is to put the interests of citizens first. It is not in the public’s economic interest to encourage illegal immigration by giving accommodations to illegal immigrants and making life here comfortable for them. Unemployment and very low wages are serious problems in Oregon now. In August, over 150,000 Oregonians were unemployed; our unemployment rate was 8.1%, well above the national rate of 7.4%. The U-6 unemployment rate, which includes part-time workers who want full-time work, and discouraged workers who’ve given up active job-search, was 16.9% according to the latest figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Are you O.K. with forcing unemployed and underemployed citizens to compete with unlimited numbers of illegal aliens for jobs?

2. Employers should not be allowed to hire illegal labor. Instead of passing laws to give illegal aliens instate tuition and official driver privileges; you could have worked in the last session of the Legislature to make E-Verify mandatory for all employers in Oregon. This would open up jobs for citizens and legal immigrants and discourage illegal immigration. Will you promote a requirement for employers to use E-Verify for current work forces as well as new hires?

3. The rule of law is the foundation for good government. It is undermined when illegal immigrants are allowed to enter and remain in this country unimpeded, and encouraged to remain here by giving them benefits paid for from public funds. How can citizens respect law when they see it so flagrantly ignored by illegal immigrants and their employers, and legitimized in the Legislature by bills accommodating illegal immigration?

4. Giving driver cards to illegal aliens will not improve safety – quite the opposite. There is no way the Oregon DMV can accurately certify the identity of the thousands of illegal aliens who will apply for driver cards. Identify theft and falsified documents are common, and hard to detect. Besides the illegal aliens now living here, others from the 45 states that don’t give driver licenses to illegal aliens will come to Oregon to take advantage of our weak law. Safety concerns focused only on possible traffic accidents miss the larger risks. Do you care about the dangers of terrorism from holders of fraudulent driver cards issued in Oregon?

5. Before the 2008 Driver License law was passed requiring proof of citizenship for driver licenses, the state did issue licenses to illegal aliens. There is no evidence that the roads were safer then than in the 5 years since the 2008 law was passed. Therefore it’s not logical to expect greater safety now by again giving illegal aliens official driver cards. Do you think it’s worth weakening the secure driver license law enacted in 2008 for an only nebulous degree of safety from traffic accidents?

6. Expenses for attending college are daunting for most citizens, and places in public colleges are necessarily limited by taxpayer funds available for maintaining higher education. The claims by some that giving instate tuition to illegal aliens will have no effect on enrollment of citizens are illogical and unbelievable. Why should our citizen young people have to step aside to make room for illegal aliens who will be in competition with them for college enrollment? -- There was no effort by leaders in the Oregon Legislature to curtail or stop illegal immigration when there are many such steps available to state legislatures, and other states have passed such laws protecting citizens.

Legislators want to hear from you at upcoming Townhall meetings

Alert date: 
September 21, 2013
Alert body: 

Our state legislators hold town halls from time to time, inviting constituents to attend and express their civic concerns. As OFIR learns about the town hall schedules, we will alert members and encourage attendance. Town halls are a great opportunity to meet your legislators and question them in person. If you learn of town halls scheduled for your district, please send the information on to OFIR.

Read more about questions to ask State Legislators at upcoming townhall meetings.


 

Drive-thru signature gathering event Friday, Agust 23

Alert date: 
August 22, 2013
Alert body: 

If you haven't had the opportunity to sign the referendum petition to overturn SB833 - the new law giving driver privilege cards to people in the country illegally - it doesn't get any easier than this.  Just drive up, sign the petition and drive away.  You don't even need to get out of your car!

Protect Oregon Driver Licenses will be hosting a DRIVE-THRU signature gathering event this FRIDAY, August 23, from 12 noon until 8:00pm in the parking lot at Market St. and Savage Rd., just west of the freeway at exit 213. Watch for the signs guiding you in.

Volunteers will be available if you have any questions, or if you would like to pick up supplies so that you can collect signatures of your friends, neighbors and family members, too. The deadline of October 4th is rapidly approaching and we need 58,142 valid signatures.

PODL will also be hosting a booth at the Oregon State Fair - just outside the southeast corner of the Columbia Exhibit Hall. Please drop by and say hello!

 

 


 

Hillsboro Migrant Summer School brings in Mexican teachers for culture lessons

Osorio Pacheco was one of three elementary teachers from Mexico brought to the Hillsboro School District in June under a federal migrant education program. The teachers integrated lessons of culture into the Migrant Summer School's regular curriculum focus of reading, writing and math.

The Bi-national Migrant Education Teacher Exchange Program is part of an initiative that started in 1976 to help migrant students in California. The departments of education in Mexico and the United States have since partnered to improve schooling for children who travel frequently between the two countries.

Read the full Oregonian story here:   http://www.oregonlive.com/hillsboro/index.ssf/2013/07/hillsboro_migrant_summer_schoo.html

 

Merkley intros H-2B amendment

WASHINGTON — Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., introduced an amendment Wednesday to the massive immigration bill under consideration in the Senate that would tighten loopholes that Oregon companies used to hire foreign workers to complete local forestry projects.

The amendment is virtually identical to the American Jobs in American Forests Act, a bill Merkley introduced in May.

Merkley’s legislation would require companies to make an extensive effort to hire American workers before they could apply for an H-2B visa.

The H-2B visa program, which received a major injection of stimulus funding from the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, authorizes American companies to import foreign workers for nonagricultural seasonal work if they are unable to find U.S. citizens to fill the positions.

As The Bulletin first reported, four Oregon companies received more than $7 million in federal funds to hire foreign workers for forestry projects through the H-2B program in 2010. At the time, Oregon was suffering through double-digit unemployment.

A subsequent review of the H-2B program by the Department of Labor’s inspector general could find no evidence that the Oregon companies made any effort to recruit in Oregon.

“I am pleased that the Senate is moving forward to fix our broken immigration system," said Merkley in a prepared statement. “But we need to ensure that in fields like forestry where there are thousands of Oregonians looking for work, companies are not allowed to abuse the H-2B visa program and just blindly assert that there are no Oregonians willing and able to work in our forests."

Under the current system, companies have to advertise only in states where the jobs “originated," which often are not the states in which the work was to be performed. The companies can self-attest that they were unable to find U.S. workers before asking permission to hire foreign labor.

Consequently, unemployed workers in Oregon, many with forestry experience and expertise, might never learn about job openings for local forestry projects. Oregon’s database of those actively seeking work includes 3,492 forest and conservation workers and 1,489 forest and conservation technicians, according to the Oregon Employment Department.

Under Merkley’s proposal, companies must bolster their efforts to recruit locally by advertising on local radio and Internet job sites, as well as consulting with the state workforce agency to make sure local job seekers learn about potential openings. The state workforce agency would have to certify that a robust effort had been made before a company could apply to bring in foreign labor, and would put in stricter recruiting rules for multistate projects so companies couldn’t advertise exclusively in one state for a project that will take place in another.

While many details and disagreements remain, including over border security and a possible path to citizenship, leaders from both parties have said passing immigration reform is a priority.

By attaching his bill to the larger legislation, Merkley increases its chances of actually becoming law, since large, heavily negotiated and debated bills are generally more likely to secure a majority of votes than smaller, one-issue bills. The Senate must first agree to the amendment, and a vote on it has not yet been scheduled.

After the inspector general’s report, the Labor Department tried to change the rules governing the H-2B program to close some of the loopholes, but its changes were successfully challenged in federal court by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and others.

The program has continued to grow under the old rules. Over the past four years, the number of visas issued has grown from 44,847 in fiscal year 2009 to 47,403 in 2010 and 50,826 in 2011, according to the U.S. State Department. Figures for 2012 were not available.

Oregon is not one of the top 10 states for total positions certified, according to Department of Labor figures. In 2012, forest worker was the second highest H-2B worker category, behind landscaper. For 2013, forest worker ranks fourth, behind landscaper/groundskeeper, maid/housekeeper/cleaner, and amusement and recreation attendant.
 

OFIR VP explains the flawed thinking behind SB833

Rick LaMountain is a gifted writer and has, once again, written such a clear headed article explaining why SB833 is not good for Oregon.  He explains the flawed and harmful thinking that went into the jettisoned legislation that went from first introduction to law in under one month.  Read Rick's article here.

From his blog to ours, Rep. Richardson speaks out

The Driver Card Bill (Senate Bill 833), passed the Senate, the House and has been signed into law by Gov. Kitzhaber.

I voted against issuing driver cards to those who cannot prove legal residency after learning the experience of other states where such laws have been tested. (Watch a video of my floor debate against Senate Bill 833 on YouTube.)

New Mexico’s illegal immigrant drivers’ law failed to achieve its goal of lessening the number of uninsured drivers. Investigations revealed New Mexico’s law was a magnet that attracted additional illegal immigration into their state. In addition, New Mexico’s governor says she wishes their law could be repealed — citing problems relating to fraud, human trafficking, organized crime and national security.

After several years, Tennessee repealed its driving certificate laws. Investigators discovered non-residents were being shuttled to Tennessee and driving certificates were being issued based on false residency documents and even bribery of government officials.

In short, the desire to help thousands of undocumented workers and their families be assimilated into Oregon society may be well-intended, but the new Oregon driver card may have unintended consequences. When states such as Tennessee and New Mexico have documented, widespread fraud and abuse of their driver cards, and have either repealed their laws or have a governor who wishes the laws were terminated, Oregon should beware.

Like it or not, the Oregon driver card law will become effective Jan. 1, 2014. Time will tell whether or not the Oregon driver card was good policy or fraught with negative unintended consequences.

Rep. Dennis Richardson

http://blogs.esouthernoregon.com/southern-oregon-legislators/2013/05/03/why-i-voted-against-driver-cards/

 

Esquivel files to kill new driver's licence law

SALEM — Medford state representative Sal Esquivel and a fellow GOP legislator want voters to decide whether to overturn a new law that allows illegal immigrants in Oregon to obtain driver's licenses.

Esquivel, Rep. Kim Thatcher of Keizer and Portland activist Richard LaMountain with the group Oregonians for Immigration Reform are sponsors of a referendum submitted to the Secretary of State's Office Wednesday.

Referendum supporters will have to work quickly if they want to make the November 2014 ballot. They'll have to gather more than 58,000 valid signatures from registered voters within 90 days after the Legislature adjourns.

The law is scheduled to take effect Jan. 1, but it would be put on hold until after the election if referendum proponents successfully force a vote.

Critics say the law rewards illegal actions and might encourage more people without legal documents to come to Oregon.

"If someone is willing to disregard immigration laws, what other laws are they willing to disregard?" Thatcher said last month.

Esquivel, the son of immigrants, questioned the value of the law in a May 1 story in the Mail Tribune.

"They broke the law getting in the country, broke the law working, broke the law driving and broke the law by being uninsured," Esquivel said. "... I don't see where the card makes them buy insurance. Let's face the facts. They're not going to buy it."

Supporters, however, say it would make Oregon's roads safer by reducing the number of unlicensed and uninsured drivers.

"(The referendum) is trying to make this about immigration when this is a public safety issue about Oregon's roads," said Jeff Stone, director of Oregon Association of Nurseries and an architect of the law.

Stone said he's disappointed by the referendum, especially because the legislation passed with bipartisan support.

Gov. John Kitzhaber signed the bill last week before a throng of cheering supporters in front of the Capitol.

The law would allow tens of thousands of immigrants living in Oregon without legal permission to get driver's licenses good for four years, half as long as a standard Oregon license. Immigrants and others who don't have documents proving they are in the country lawfully, including elderly and homeless people, could apply for the driver's licenses if they've lived in Oregon for at least a year and meet other requirements.

The restricted driver's licenses could not be used to vote, board a plane or buy a firearm. The licenses would be marked "Driver's Card" to distinguish them from a standard Oregon license.
 

SB833 Referendum preparing for take off

Alert date: 
May 10, 2013
Alert body: 

The final preparations are being completed as the "Protect Oregon Driver Licenses" referendum campaign is nearing take off.  Fasten you seatbelts!

Petition signature sheets are in their final approval stage and soon we will begin printing and distributing supplies.

If you are interested in helping to collect signatures, please click on the "contact us" link and sign up.  We are compiling a list of volunteers.

If you are interested, and are able to help financially, please do!  The expense to undertake such a project is great.  Any financial assistance you can give would be appreciated and would be put to very good use over-turning this destructive legislation.

Another suggestion, while we are dotting all the "i's" and crossing all the "t's" would be to write a letter to the Editor.  We would like to flood the papers with letters of support for this campaign.  For inspiration, visit the letters section of our website.

Standby for take-off!
 

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