amnesty

House GOP takes broad aim at Obama immigration policies

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

___

Associated Press writers Stephen Ohlemacher, Alan Fram and Charles Babington contributed to this report.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Obama Admits Amnesty Is For Many More Than 5 Million

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oregon nonprofits authorized to help with federal immigration issues

These nonprofit organizations in nine Oregon communities are accredited to represent individuals in proceedings before federal immigration authorities, including the Board of Immigration Appeals and the Department of Homeland Security or both.

For the complete list click here.

Corvallis
Acorn Outreach
1740 NW Division St.
Corvallis, OR 97330
541-224-6590

Hood River
Hood River Valley Legalization Project
205 Oak St.
Suite 15
Hood River, OR 97031
541-386-3433

McMinnville
Lutheran Community Services Northwest
McMinnville (Yamhill) Branch
617 NE Davis St.
McMinnville, OR 97128
503-472-4020

Portland
Catholic Charities
2740 SE Powell Blvd.
Suite #8
Portland, OR 97202
503-231-4866

Immigration Counseling Service
519 SW Park Ave.
Suite 610
Portland, OR 97205
503-221-1689

Jewish Family and Child Service
1130 SW Morrison St.
Suite 316
Portland, OR 97205
503-226-7079

Lutheran Community Services NW
(Formerly: Lutheran Family Service)
605 S.E. 39th Ave.
Portland, OR 97214
503-231-7480

Sponsors Organized to Assist Refugees (SOAR)
7931 NE Halsey St.
Suite 302
Portland, OR 97213
503-384-2482

Salem
Causa of Oregon
700 Marion St. NE
Salem, OR 97301
503-409-2473

Woodburn
Centro de Servicios Para Campesinos
(Service Center for Farmworkers)
300 Young St.
Woodburn, OR 97071
503-982-0243

Source: U.S. Department of Justice

Senator Wyden is coming to town(hall) meetings near you in January

Alert date: 
2014-12-17
Alert body: 

Plan to attend one of these meetings in early January. 

Upcoming Town Hall Meetings

Jan 02

Deschutes County Town Hall »

Jan 2 2015 10:00AM

Deschutes County Services Building – Barnes/Sawyer Rooms
1300 NW Wall
Bend, OR

Jan 03

Clackamas County Town Hall »

Jan 3 2015 11:00AM

Camp Withycombe
15300 SE Minuteman Way
Clackamas, OR

Jan 03

Multnomah County Town Hall »

Jan 3 2015 2:30PM

PCC Southeast Campus
2305 SE 82nd and Division
Portland, OR

Jan 04

Marion County Town Hall »

Jan 4 2015 1:00PM

Marion County Courthouse
555 Court St. NE
Salem, OR

Jan 04

Washington County Town Hall »

Jan 4 2015 4:00PM

Beaverton City Library (Main Branch) – Auditorium
12375 SW 5th St
Beaverton, OR

Jan 05

Benton County Town Hall »

Jan 5 2015 10:00AM

Philomath High School – Auditorium
2054 Applegate St
Philomath, OR

Jan 05

Lane County Town Hall »

Jan 5 2015 2:00PM

Sheldon High School – Auditorium
2455 Willakenzie Rd
Eugene, OR

 

District court declares Obama immigration action unconstitutional

Earlier Tuesday, a federal court in Pennsylvania declared aspects of President Obama’s executive actions on immigration policy unconstitutional.

According to the opinion by Judge Arthur Schwab, the president’s policy goes “beyond prosecutorial discretion” in that it provides a relatively rigid framework for considering applications for deferred action, thus obviating any meaningful case-by-case determination as prosecutorial discretion requires, and provides substantive rights to applicable individuals. As a consequence, Schwab concluded, the action exceeds the scope of executive authority.

This is the first judicial opinion to address Obama’s decision to expand deferred action for some individuals unlawfully present in the United States. [I've now posted the opinion here.]

The procedural background of the case is somewhat unusual. The case involves an individual who was deported and then reentered the country unlawfully...

This isn’t the only case...two-dozen states have filed suit challenging Obama’s recent immigration policy reforms. Led by Texas, these states claim that the president as exceeded the scope of executive authority in this area.... even if the states don’t have standing, the legality of the president’s actions could nonetheless be decided in federal court.

UPDATE: Here are some additional thoughts on the ruling.

It is quite unusual for a district court to reach this sort of constitutional issue in this sort of case. Indeed, Judge Schwab appears to have reached out quite aggressively to engage the lawfulness of the President’s actions...

On the merits, I understand the concerns that motivate Judge Schwab’s reasoning, but I am not persuaded... President Obama’s actions are broader in scope, but not clearly different in kind from what his predecessors have done and to which Congress has acquiesced.

It is true, as Judge Schwab notes, that the President’s announced policy identifies broad criteria for deferring removal of individuals unlawfully in the country. This would appear to make the action somewhat legislative, but I don’t think it’s enough to make the action unlawful. The new policy does not preclude the executive branch from revoking deferred action in individual cases and does not create any enforceable rights against future executive action...

President Obama’s action may be broader than many are comfortable with, and it is understandably hard to stomach given all the President’s prior statements disclaiming authority to take these steps — but such concerns are rooted in customary political norms, not judicially enforceable constitutional rules.

Republican leadership is already dropping the ball on immigration

The president is all-in with his amnesty memos. He claims resources don't permit him to enforce immigration law, so he's bypassing Congress and the constitutional limits of his office by giving over 4 million illegal aliens work documents with the intention of making it politically impossible to ever return them home. No doubt this is not the end – there is more to come over the next two years.
 
Can't get what you want through Congress? Just change the law by yourself.
 
Aside from the obvious adverse economic impacts of adding over 4 million new people to the work-authorized labor force, let's look at the basic politics of the situation. What happens when one side is united and focused, while the other is jumbled and incoherent?
 
Obama is all-in, not just with his amnesty, but with people and organizations that work to destroy or undermine U.S. immigration controls. Moreover, there appears to be a wholesale shift within the Democratic Party away from any interest in controlling immigration in the future.
 
This is new. During most of the 20th Century, the Democratic Party had a strong impulse to protect American labor. Now, after thirty years of outsourcing jobs, that's all disappeared. Organized labor has virtually evaporated and so has that wing of the Democratic Party. In 2014, there seems to be unanimity among the Democrats that everyone who wants to come should be able to come. Of course this is with the expectation that a huge majority of new government dependent immigrants will vote for Democrats.
 
Let's compare that with Congressional Republicans. It's not even 2015 and already they are all over the map. It's not just that some Republicans are in the pockets of the Chamber of Commerce (though plenty are), it's that there is no core consensus on what is good public policy. Beyond "secure the border" (not a serious policy construct) and "more guest workers," there is no willingness to embrace the good ideas that are out there. Republicans can't even agree on how to define the problem. When you cannot agree on the problem, you can bet there's no consensus on solutions.
 
From the standpoint of power and predictive outcomes, it's easy to see where this is heading. Democrats are united and driven by a common goal: destroy America's immigration limits and controls regardless of the consequences for taxpayers, American students and working families.
 
Republicans are spooked by shadows and specters conjured up by pundits, consultants and certain key donors. "We need the labor," says one. "Can't offend Latino voters," another announces. "Don't want a shutdown – hurts the party," they say. "We can't make people who've broken our laws go back home – that would look bad." And so it goes.
 
Too many Republicans cannot grasp what is at stake here. They will not take the time to examine the serious policy issues in play. Others simply want to satisfy big donors' demands for more visas.
 
What we need to see from next year's House and Senate leadership is a five point program to get something done that responds to the threat we face as a nation. Here are some ideas:
 
• Repeal the unaccompanied minors' law that is being manipulated by smugglers to move Central Americans into our country illegally. (So far, all we see is funding to help it along.)
• Pass a law that both bars the explicit claim of deferred action and parole discretion asserted by the president and DHS, as well as their ability to issue work documents to those not in the country in a defined status (non-immigrant, refugee or permanent resident alien).
• Pass a mandatory e-verify bill for all employers and present it to the President.
• Pass an interior enforcement bill that unites state, federal, and local assets in immigration law enforcement.
• Begin drafting a meaningful bill to restore a functioning immigration control system that will redefine this debate away from "amnesty at all costs" to a serious effort that will restore public confidence that the Congress can set enforceable immigration limits.
 
Here's the axiom: A unified party will prevail over one that is jumbled and unfocused. For those of us hoping for a robust policy response from Congress, what we see so far disappoints. 2015 looks to be a rough ride.
 
Dan Stein is President, Federation for American Immigration Reform.
 

Conservatives Express Anger That Amnesty Not Defunded In Omnibus - The Fix Is In

Conservatives who had wanted to see language to block President Obama’s executive actions inserted into the massive, must-pass government funding bill are expressing frustration and anger at House Republican leadership’s lack of an appetite to fight amnesty now.

“The fix is in, which I’ve been saying all along,” Rep. Matt Salmon said after leaving the GOP’s conference meeting Wednesday morning.

Tuesday night the House Appropriations Committee posted its $1.1 trillion spending package. The measure is expected to receive a vote Thursday. If no funding bill is passed by that night, the government would shut down.

“Promises around here — regardless of who they are made by — don’t seem to mean anything,” Salmon told reporters.

He explained that lawmakers’ phones have been “lighting up” with constituents asking them “do what [they] were elected to do.”

The Arizona lawmaker is spearheading an amendment with other conservative lawmakers to attach an amendment to the funding bill that would prohibit funding for Obama’s executive amnesty. His spokesman estimated to Breitbart News that the amendment currently has 55 co-sponsors. The amendment is, however, unlikely to receive a vote.

Leadership’s spending package instead is designed to fund most of the government through September, but only fund the Department of Homeland Security into February, when Republicans will have more reinforcements in the Senate to pursue a fight against Obama’s executive actions on immigration...

Conservative lawmakers Wednesday not only expressed frustration with the short amount of time given to consider the 1,603 page bill and the fact that it does not defund executive amnesty immediately, but they also questioned whether leadership would actually give a full-fledged fight next year.

“What is there to suggest that a few months from now you will oppose the amnesty that you have today funded?” Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL), also a co-sponsor of the defund amendment, asked.

“My biggest concern is that there are a significant number of Republicans who support amnesty, they just don’t support the way in which the president did it. That is a big distinction,” the Alabama conservative said...

Some of the ability to fight Obama on executive amnesty will be lost if House Republicans go along with allowing it to be funded, if only for a short time, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) argues.

“My point is you either defend the Constitution when the president violates it or you lose some of your ability and traction to do so later,” King said. “I think its better to fight now than it is later. So therefore I have taken an oath to uphold the Constitution, that’s for this Congress and I expect to be standing on the floor January 6th taking another one. I don’t want to have voted to fund the lawless, unconstitutional act by the president and then I could take an oath and mean it.”...

This entry contains excerpts - read the complete article

'Cromnibus' Spending Bill Passes, Just Hours Before Deadline

Post updated at 9:38 p.m. ET.

A massive federal spending bill finally won the House's approval Thursday night, less than 3 hours before a midnight deadline that threatened a federal shutdown. The measure's fate had been in doubt after it narrowly survived a rules vote earlier in the day. The final tally was 219-206.

Faced with uncertainty over Congress meeting its deadline to approve a bill, the House's leadership scheduled a vote on both the long-term spending bill and a stop-gap continuing resolution. It passed a two-day resolution in order to give the Senate time to consider the spending bill.

The $1.014 trillion spending measure has been criticized for easing rules on campaign finance and the banking industry. But its supporters say it's also a bipartisan deal that would fund most of the U.S. government until next October.

Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., called it a "hold your nose vote."

The final tally for the spending bill was starkly different from that in an earlier procedural vote.

Around mid-day, no Democrat voted in favor. But after the final vote was called shortly after 9 p.m. ET, more than 30 Democrats voted for the spending bill. In contrast, more than twice as many Republicans voted against it in the final tally than had earlier in the day.

We've updated this text; from our earlier post:

Disagreement over the bill forced the final vote to be delayed for hours Thursday. It also created unlikely alliances: The White House joined with House Speaker John Boehner to rally support for the measure, most House Democrats agreed with a small group of Republicans – including Rep. Michele Bachmann – that the bill should be rejected.

You can read the bill, broken down by government agency, on the House Appropriations Committee site.

The legislation was nicknamed "cromnibus" because it combines the traditional sweeping scope of an omnibus spending bill with a continuing resolution (CR). While it would fund most of the government until the next financial year, the Department of Homeland Security would only be funded through February, in a move that seeks to limit President Obama's recent executive actions on immigration.

Another part of the measure would vastly increase the maximum amount of money a contributor can give to a political party.

"Right now a person can give just under $100,000 a year to a party through its various committees," NPR's Ailsa Chang reports on All Things Considered. "And under this bill, that cap goes up to almost $800,000."

Shortly after noon Thursday, the bill squeezed by in the rules vote, 214-212, after Republican leaders, including Speaker John Boehner and Chief Deputy Whip Patrick McHenry, walked the floor to bolster support, NPR's Juana Summers reports.

After no Democrats voted in favor and more than a dozen Republicans defected to vote against, the House was adjourned so Boehner could organize his support.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi spoke out against the bill in the House earlier Thursday, sharply criticizing it for altering rules in the Dodd-Frank financial reform law to let banks place both standard accounts and accounts that handle riskier derivative trades under the protection of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

"I was so really heartbroken ... to see the taint that was placed on this valuable appropriations bill from on high," Pelosi said. She told her colleagues that anyone voting for the legislation would be putting their name next to what she called "a ransom" and "blackmail" that would profit Wall Street.

Discussing the opposition, Boehner said the provisions were "agreed to in this bill on a bipartisan, bicameral agreement. So while some members may have objected to this issue or that issue, nobody did this unilaterally. We've done this in a bipartisan fashion, and frankly it's a good bill."

Others have criticized the bill for containing provisions such as one that seeks to block Washington, D.C.'s bid to legalize the recreational use of marijuana — as more than 65 percent of the federal district's voters decided to do last month.

The Hill tells us who voted with the Democrats against the spending measure earlier Thursday:

"The 16 Republican defectors were Reps. Justin Amash (Mich.), Michele Bachmann (Minn.), Dave Brat (Va.), Mo Brooks (Ala.), Paul Broun (Ga.), Louie Gohmert (Texas), Paul Gosar (Ariz.), Tim Huelskamp (Kan.), Walter Jones (N.C.), Jim Jordan (Ohio), Steve King (Iowa), Raúl Labrador (Idaho), Thomas Massie (Ky.), Bill Posey (Fla.), Matt Salmon (Ariz.) and Steve Stockman (Texas)."

Very special guest, Dr. Stephen Steinlight, addresses OFIR meeting

Dr. Stephen Steinlight - Senior Policy Analyst from The Center for Immigration Studies in Washington DC addressed OFIR members and guests and OFIR's annual Christmas Party and meeting.  The overwhelming defeat of Ballot Measure 88 was celebrated, as well.  Visit our OFIR photo gallery.

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