Congress

It is critical to kill fast-track authority for the TPA - today!

Alert date: 
2015-04-15
Alert body: 

It is critical to kill fast-track authority for the TPA - today!

From NumbersUSA:

NumbersUSA is opposing the corporate lobbies, Pres. Obama and Republican congressional leaders who together are trying to pass a Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill that would likely lead to cutting the American people out of future decisions about certain flows of foreign workers.

International courts -- not American officials elected by the American people -- would have authority over these worker flows.

Will you help us try to stop this in at least one of the committees today? Take the action below:

OFIR members and supporters, Please call members of Oregon’s Congressional delegation and also as many of the Committee members listed below that you can.  Tell them to vote No on the Pacific Fair Trade deal.  You can call the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask to speak to any Senator or Representative.  Detailed contact information for the Oregon delegation is posted on the OFIR website at: http://www.oregonir.org/how-contact-oregon-congressional-delegation


Call Committee Members Today

Capitol Switchboard
(202) 224-3121


The vote to move the TPA bill to the floor of the House or Senate could come today in the House Ways & Means Committee or the Senate Finance Committee.

Below the red action box, you'll find a list of committee Members. Use the Capitol Hill switchboard number listed above or the direct-dial numbers that we've provided. Call Members from your state or a neighbor.

You can use any of the many talking points that are contained in the blog I've attached below the phone numbers. Or use this one:

I'm very troubled (concerned/frightened/outraged/upset) by the Trade Promotion Authority bill. I hope it is defeated. That bill would allow the President in trade treaties to commit America to giving guaranteed numbers of U.S. jobs to foreign workers without Congress' approval. Immigration should never be part of a trade agreement. Our elected officials should never have their hands tied to keep them from changing immigration numbers to best serve American workers.

 

Also, make sure you have sent your faxes from your Action Board.
 

Fax Congress

SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE
 

Michael Bennet (D-CO) -- 202-224-5852

Tom Carper (D-DE) -- 202-224-2441

Bill Nelson (D-FL) -- 202-224-5274
Johnny Isakson (R-GA) -- 202-224-3643
Chuck Grassley (R-IA) -- 202-224-3744
Mike Crapo (R-ID) -- 202-224-6142
Dan Coats (R-IN) -- 202-224-5623
Pat Roberts (R-KS) -- 202-224-4774
Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD) -- 202-224-4524
Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) -- 202-224-4822
Richard Burr (R-NC) -- 202-224-3154
Robert Menendez (D-NJ) -- 202-224-4744
Dean Heller (R-NV) -- 202-224-6244
Charles E. (Chuck) Schumer (D-NY) -- 202-224-6542
Sherrod Brown (D-OH) -- 202-224-2315
Rob Portman (R-OH) -- 202-224-3353
Ron Wyden (D-OR) -- 202-224-5244
Robert P. Casey, Jr. (D-PA) -- 202-224-6324
Pat Toomey (R-PA) -- 202-224-4254
Tim Scott (R-SC) -- 202-224-6121
John Thune (R-SD) -- 202-224-2321
John Cornyn (R-TX) -- 202-224-2934
Orrin G. Hatch (R-UT) -- 202-224-5251
Mark R. Warner (D-VA) -- 202-224-2023
Maria Cantwell (D-WA) -- 202-224-3441
Mike Enzi (R-WY) -- 202-224-3424

HOUSE WAYS & MEANS COMMITTEE

Xavier Becerra (D-CA) -- 202-225-6235
Devin Nunes (R-CA) -- 202-225-2523
Linda Sanchez (D-CA) -- 202-225-6676
Mike Thompson (D-CA) -- 202-225-3311
John Larson (D-CT) -- 202-225-2265
Vern Buchanan (R-FL) -- 202-225-5015
John Lewis (D-GA) -- 202-225-3801
Tom Price (R-GA) -- 202-225-4501
Danny K. Davis (D-IL) -- 202-225-5006
Peter Roskam (R-IL) -- 202-225-4561
Todd Young (R-IN) -- 202-225-5315
Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) -- 202-225-6601
Charles W. Boustany, Jr. (R-LA) -- 202-225-2031
Richard E. Neal (D-MA) -- 202-225-5601
Sandy Levin (D-MI) -- 202-225-4961
Erik Paulsen (R-MN) -- 202-225-2871
Jason T. Smith (R-MO) -- 202-225-4404
George Holding (R-NC) -- 202-225-3032
Adrian Smith (R-NE) -- 202-225-6435
Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) -- 202-225-5751
Joseph Crowley (D-NY) -- 202-225-3965
Charles B. Rangel (D-NY) -- 202-225-4365
Tom Reed (R-NY) -- 202-225-3161
James B. Renacci (R-OH) -- 202-225-3876
Patrick J. Tiberi (R-OH) -- 202-225-5355
Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) -- 202-225-4811
Mike Kelly (R-PA) -- 202-225-5406
Patrick Meehan (R-PA) -- 202-225-2011
Kristi Noem (R-SD) -- 202-225-2801
Diane Black (R-TN) -- 202-225-4231
Kevin Brady (R-TX) -- 202-225-4901
Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) -- 202-225-4865
Sam Johnson (R-TX) -- 202-225-4201
Kenny Marchant (R-TX) -- 202-225-6605
Jim McDermott (D-WA) -- 202-225-3106
Dave Reichert (R-WA) -- 202-225-7761
Ron Kind (D-WI) -- 202-225-5506
Paul Ryan (R-WI) -- 202-225-3031

 


WE'RE MAINLY DEPENDING ON DEMOCRATS

We have a chance for victory primarily because most Democrats in Congress appear ready to side against Pres. Obama and for American workers.

When you call Democrats, urge them to side with the many union organizations that oppose this bill. We need to work to hold as many Democrats as possible.

The margin of victory then will have to come from persuading enough Republicans to side against the corporate lobbies and for American workers.

We have sent notices to every Member of Congress that read:

NumbersUSA will score a vote for Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) as a vote against American workers.

President Obama has made it abundantly clear that he believes he has virtually unfettered authority to change U.S. immigration law. It should not be surprising, therefore, that his administration is attempting to use the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement to commit America to immigration increases that Congress has neither debated nor approved.

Despite a U.S. labor force participation rate that is at its lowest level since 1978, President Obama wants to use the TPP to further reduce the jobs available to U.S. workers and instead reserve certain jobs for foreign workers under the agreement. It is indefensible that Congress would now consider surrendering even more of its authority over immigration to this President in order to fast track a trade agreement that will harm American workers, and the text of which Congress has not even seen.

Therefore, NumbersUSA will score a vote for TPA as a vote for continued executive overreach and a vote against American workers. Vote NO on TPA.


WE WON THIS SAME FIGHT WITH THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION

Hundreds of organizations of all kinds of ideologies and interests (unions, environmental, national sovereignty, civil liberties, populist and more) are opposing the trade bill for many different reasons.

OUR REASON: The consequence of passing fast-track trade authority is that any President can much more easily ram through international trade agreements that expand guest worker programs without any public debate.
 

That's what happened under Pres. Bush during the five years he was given fast-track trade authority. His Administration secretly negotiated trade agreements that guaranteed the opportunity for other countries to send certain numbers of their workers to take U.S. jobs. Congress was not allowed to amend the agreements in any way. It either had to approve the whole thing or to reject it entirely and throw international trade concerns into a tizzy.
 

Once a flow of foreign workers is included in a trade treaty, that takes away the ability of future White Houses and Congresses to change those numbers. Instead of the officials elected by the American people having control over immigration and foreign-worker policies, international courts basically are given control over the work visas written into trade agreements.
 

  • Our Constitution gives Congress authority over how many immigrants and work authorizations to approve each year.

  • Our Constitution doesn't give that authority to the President, but fast-track trade legislation essentially does.

  • Our Constitution doesn't give foreign powers and entities the authority over U.S. work permits to foreign workers, but fast-track trade authority essentially does.


In 2007, Congress declined to renew the fast-track trade authority for Presidents, allowing it to expire.

CONGRESS UNANIMOUSLY REJECTED THE IDEA OF IMMIGRATION BEING PART OF TRADE AGREEMENTS

In 2003 in reaction to the Bush Administration including immigration in trade agreements, Congress objected with a strongly worded resolution that was approved UNANIMOUSLY. The resolution began:

Resolved, That it is the sense of the Senate that (1) trade agreements are not the appropriate vehicle for enacting immigration-related laws or modifying current immigration policy; and (2) future trade agreements to which the United States is a party and the legislation implementing the agreements should not contain immigration-related provisions.
The U.S. Trade Representative and the Executive Branch have been on notice since 2003 that they do not have the authority to negotiate immigration provisions in free trade agreements.

Nonetheless, the Obama Administration has been doing just that with the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement that is expected to come up soon.

 

Here is what was reported this week in The Hill newspaper:

TPP's provisions are largely secret but, according to Curtis Ellis of the American Jobs Alliance, the U.S. Trade Representative revealed that "temporary entry" guest worker visas are a "key feature" of the pact. Ellis said that Obama Administration previously used the U.S.-South Korea trade pact to expand the length of time a L-1 visa holder can work in the U.S. That pact is viewed as a model for negotiating the TPP.


NumbersUSA and its national network of citizen activists were often part of coalitions opposing the Bush abuses of trade agreements. And we were in the middle of pressures that led to the congressional pushback in 2003.

Remaining consistent, our network today is mobilized to stop Obama abuses of trade agreements that would guarantee that certain numbers of U.S. jobs may not be held by American workers.
 

 

 

 

Centrist House Dems Don’t Sign Brief in Support of Obama Exec Amnesty

On Monday, 12 centrist House Democrats–including an Oregon Democrat who declared that amnesty for illegal immigrants is the new civil rights movement and will determine who controls the country for the next 30 years–refused to sign an amicus brief in support of President Barack Obama’s executive amnesty, revealing that voters in their districts may not be as supportive of granting amnesty to illegal immigrants as national Democrats.

According to The Hill, 181 House Democrats signed the brief, which argues that “Congress has vested the Secretary of Homeland Security with broad discretion to determine how best to implement the immigration laws, including the particular decisions embodied in the Deferred Action Memorandum.”

But 12 Democrats, including Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR), did not. Schrader’s refusal to do so is indeed curious given that he declared at a pro-amnesty rally in February that the amnesty movement is the new civil rights movement and “probably the biggest issue of the 21st century.”

“It will decide who is in charge of this country for the next 20 or 30 years,” he said.

The Hill noted that the 12 Democrats who did not sign the brief “are mostly centrists and members who will face tough reelection races next year.” They include: Reps. Brad Ashford (NE), Jim Cooper (TN), Henry Cuellar (TX), Gwen Graham (FL), Rick Larsen (WA), Dan Lipinski (IL), Stephen Lynch (MA), Collin Peterson (MN), Schrader (OR), Kyrsten Sinema (AZ), Peter Visclosky (IN), and Tim Walz (MN).

The Obama administration has appealed a federal judge’s injunction that temporarily halted its executive amnesty program. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has decided to hear oral arguments in the case later this month...

 

Rasmussen Poll: Majority Continues to Reject Obama Amnesty Plan

Most voters continue to believe federal government policies encourage illegal immigration.

Most voters in nearly every demographic category agree that the federal government is not aggressive enough in its deportation policies. Most also believe very strongly that someone should have to prove they are a U.S. citizen before obtaining government benefits.

Most women and men agree that a child born to an illegal immigrant in this country should not automatically become a U.S. citizen.

Voters under 40 are only slightly less supportive than their elders of more aggressive deportation policies. But they are much more likely than those 40 and over to think that a child born to an illegal alien in this country should automatically become a U.S. citizen.

Sixty percent of whites oppose automatic citizenship; 51 percent of blacks and 56 percent of other minority voters favor it.

Eighty-one percent of Republicans and 68 percent of voters not affiliated with either major party think the government is not aggressive enough in deporting illegal immigrants. Just 40 percent of Democrats agree. But then Democrats are far more concerned than the others that deportation efforts may end up violating the civil rights of some U.S. citizens.

Democrats by a 51 percent to 33 percent margin believe illegals who have American-born children should be exempt from deportation. Sixty-two percent of GOP voters and 60 percent of unaffiliated voters disagree.

Most voters continue to believe that securing the border is more important than legalizing the status of undocumented workers already here and think plans to offer legal status to such individuals will just encourage more illegal immigration.

More than half of voters remain opposed to Obama’s new plan that will allow nearly five million illegal immigrants to remain in this country legally and apply for jobs. Forty-seven percent (47 percent) think Congress should try to find ways to stop the president’s plan, while 41 percent believe Congress should allow this decision to stand.

Voters also continue to strongly support voter ID laws and don't consider them discriminatory.

Polk County Republican Women welcome OFIR President

Alert date: 
2015-04-06
Alert body: 

OFIR President Cynthia Kendoll will address the Polk County Republican Women Wednesday, April 8th at 11:30am at  the Oak Knoll Golf Course on Hwy. 22.

 


 

ATTN: Yamhill, Clatsop and Columbia counties - Senator Jeff Merkley and Representative Suzanne Bonamici will hold joint town halls soon.

According to a press release from Rep. Bonamici’s office, “They will update constituents on their work in Washington, DC and answer questions and invite suggestions about how to tackle the challenges facing Oregon and America.”

OFIR members, please attend if you can, and ask questions or make comments.  Below the schedule, we include suggestions for subjects to be discussed.

What: Joint town hall in Yamhill County

When: Wednesday, April 1, 2015, 3:30 pm

Where: PCC Newberg Center, Room 115 and 116, 135 Werth Blvd., Newberg, OR 97132

 _______________________________________________________________

What: Joint town hall in Clatsop County

When:  Friday, April 3, 2015, 10:00 am

Where:  Cannon Beach Chamber Community Hall, 207 N Spruce, Cannon Beach, OR 97110

 _______________________________________________________________

What:  Joint town hall in Columbia County

When: Friday, April 3, 2015, 2:00 pm

Where: Vernonia High School Commons, 1000 Missouri Avenue, Vernonia, OR 97064


1.  Talking point suggested by NumbersUSA:

Rep. Bonamici and Sen. Merkley, I am disappointed that you voted to fund the President's executive amnesties. These programs are not only unconstitutional, but will directly harm American workers by providing work permits and social security cards to over 5 million illegal aliens.

2.  Talking point suggested by NumbersUSA:

Rep. Bonamici, Please co-sponsor the following:

The Mulvaney Resolution declaring Obama’s amnesties illegal (H.Con.Res.28)

Rep. Gowdy’s interior enforcement bill (H.R. 1148)

The Legal Workforce Act (H.R. 1147)

Rep. Chaffetz’s asylum reform bill (H.R. 1153)

Protection of Children Act (H.R. 1149)

The Birthright Citizenship Act (H.R. 140)

3.  Other suggestions:

for Sen. Merkley:  Your voting record on reduction of unnecessary worker visas for foreign nationals is F- over your time in the Senate, from 2009-2015.  Citizens are being passed over for jobs in favor of lower-paid foreign workers, in STEM occupations and elsewhere, by companies that exploit weaknesses in the visa programs.  (See herehere and here.)

for Rep. Bonamici:  Your voting record on reduction of unnecessary worker visas for foreign nationals is F- over your time in Congress, from 2012-2015.  Citizens are being passed over for jobs in favor of lower-paid foreign workers, in STEM occupations and elsewhere, by companies that exploit weaknesses in the visa programs.  (See herehere and here.)

for both Sen. Merkley and Rep. Bonamici: 

4.  There have been 7 major amnesties passed by Congress from 1986 to 2000, each resulting in ever-increasing numbers of illegal immigrants. Now more, even larger amnesties are being pushed. We need enforcement of the immigration laws, not more amnesties. 

5.  Did you know that between the Censuses of 2000 and 2010, 80% of population growth resulted from immigration (immigrants plus the children of immigrants). The U.S. is already overcrowded.  After more than 4 decades of unprecedentedly high immigration, we need a pause, a moratorium on immigration, or we face a steep decline in the quality of life for everyone. If you are truly concerned about our environment, you should work for major reductions in immigration.

Arizona residents, officials tell senators Southwest border ‘is not secure’

WASHINGTON – Local law enforcement must be involved in securing “the rural parts of the Southwest border,” which is still dangerously insecure, Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels told a Senate panel Tuesday....

“I want to be crystal clear: The border is not secure,” said Chris Cabrera, a Border Patrol agent who was testifying on behalf of the National Border Patrol Council.

Cabrera said some people don’t realize the extent of border issues because the Department of Homeland Security uses data that inaccurately shows that border patrol agents are “75 percent effective in apprehending illegal immigrants and drug smugglers.”

A more realistic metric is somewhere between 35 – 40 percent – and that percentage is even lower when dealing with experienced criminals in the drug cartels, he said.

Dannels said trafficking of drugs and people has “diminished the quality of life” for residents of Cochise County and placed “unbearable strain” on the county’s budget and resources.

Dannels laid the problem squarely at the feet of federal officials, whose changes to border priorities in the 1990s forced illegal activity into the rural areas along the border.

“I am not proud to say that today we are a product of the federal government’s plan,” Dannels said.

Dannels said that fear is rampant along the border – with many of his constituents afraid to leave their homes.

“It’s just a horrible way to live when we live in the United States,” he said.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said at the hearing that the border can be secured through proper use of assets, strategies and technology.

“Those who say, well you just can’t do it – they obviously are incorrect because every nation has the obligation to have a safe and secure border,” McCain said....

“Those that choose to live on our border should deserve the same freedom and liberty as those that live here in D.C., Iowa and beyond,” Dannels said.
 

Saturday's OFIR meeting moving and maddening

In a moving presentation at the Saturday, Feb. 28 OFIR meeting, California father Don Rosenberg explained the tragic death of his son by a hit and run, unlicensed, illegal alien driver and the infuriating way in which he and his family were treated on the path to the prosecution of his son's killer.

Even with the gorgeous early Spring weather, a full house greeted Don as he unwound the story of what he and his family have endured.  It's enough to have to ever experience such an unimaginable loss, but even worse to think that our own government treated the criminal with more respect than the grieving family.

OFIR thanks Don and his family for his unending work in shining a light on the real problem - a government that won't enforce our laws and elected officials that are a disgrace as public servants.

 

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.

 

Sen. Wyden holds Town Halls, Feb. 20-21

Alert date: 
2015-02-19
Alert body: 

Senator Wyden will hold Town Halls on Feb. 20 in Clatsop County, and on Feb 21 in Jefferson and Crook Counties. Please attend if possible and ask questions or make comments on immigration issues. We include some suggestions below.

Clatsop County Town Hall »
Friday, Feb 20 2015 10:30AM
Astoria High School
1001 West Marine Drive, Astoria, OR 

Jefferson County Town Hall »
Saturday, Feb 21 2015 11:30AM
Madras City Hall
71 Southeast D St, Madras, OR 

Crook County Town Hall »
Saturday, Feb 21 2015 3:30PM
Central Oregon Community College’s Crook County Open Campus Building
510 SE Lynn Blvd, Prineville, OR 

OFIR members, here are some suggestions for questions or comments to Sen. Wyden:

Ask Sen. Wyden to vote yes on H.R. 240 which funds the Department of Homeland Security, but excludes funding for Obama's unconstitutional amnesties.

If the bill doesn't pass, the Democrats in the Senate will have defunded the DHS at a time when the threat of terrorism is growing all over the world.

The choice before you is whether to support President Obama’s massive amnesties by blocking the House-passed DHS funding bill (H.R. 240), or to allow debate on the bill. It’s hard to see how any patriot would put amnesty for illegal aliens ahead of protection for citizens and our country especially at this time when international terrorists threaten us.

I am disappointed that you’re defending President Obama's unconstitutional executive orders that grant amnesty to millions of people and provide them work permits when 18 million Americans cannot find a full time job.

Wall Street Set to Cash-In on Obama Amnesty

Last week IRS Commissioner John Koskinen testified before Congress that illegal aliens who benefit from the Obama amnesty will also be in line to collect money from the Treasury in the form of retroactive Earned Income Tax Credits.

Guess who else is getting on the amnesty gravy train? According to a report by the McClatchy News Service, Wall Street is set to cash-in on what long-time open borders advocate Frank Sharry describes as “the biggest (immigration) program they’ve ever had to implement” (not to mention an unconstitutional one as well). McClatchy reports that big processing contracts to handle to flood of applications are now being passed out. “It starts with the banking firm of J.P. Morgan Chase, which will be paid to open envelopes, scan applications and deposit checks at centers in Dallas and Phoenix,” states the report.

This should not come as a big surprise. After all, big business interests have invested millions of lobbying dollars in the effort to gain amnesty for illegal aliens and flood the already saturated U.S. labor market.

The McClathchy report also should put to rest any notion that the Obama amnesty will be anything other than a massive rubberstamping operation. The National Council of La Raza (NCLR), whose former vice president is Obama’s chief domestic policy advisor, is demanding that the approval process be expedited in order to convince as many illegal alien as possible to step forward and take advantage of the program. “If it takes six months for anybody to get approved, that’s going to affect participation,” said Charles Kamasaki of NCLR. “If they are getting approvals in two to three months, then the skeptics are more likely to come forward.” Under this administration, what NCLR wants, NCLR generally gets…and so does J.P. Morgan Chase.

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