Congress

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.

Sen. Merkley to hold town hall tomorrow

Alert date: 
2015-02-15
Alert body: 

Senator Jeff Merkley will hold a Town Hall on Monday, Feb. 16 in Aurora. His website announcement says: "Senator Merkley will update constituents on his work in Washington, DC and answer their questions and invite their suggestions about how to tackle the challenges facing Oregon and America."

When: February 16, 2015 @ 4:00 PM
Where: Willamette Aviation Education Hangar, 23115 Airport Rd. NE, Aurora, OR 97002

Get Directions

Here are some suggestions for questions or comments to Sen. Merkley:

Ask Sen. Merkley 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 de-funded 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.

 

Mexican border now a major entry point for Cuban migrants

Although a homemade raft overloaded with desperate people is the most enduring image of the decades-long migration to the U.S. from Cuba, that is not the way most Cubans without visas now arrive.

Most walk across the Mexican border.

"It is surprising. And it is surprising that we are now seeing those numbers officially reported," said Jorge Duany, a Florida International University professor who studies migration patterns.

During the last three months of 2014, nearly 6,500 Cubans arrived at the U.S.-Mexico border, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. That figure is up from 4,328 from the same period the previous year, an increase of 50 percent.

The number of Cubans without visas processed through the agency's Miami field office more than doubled over that same period, rising from 893 to 2,135. Many flew directly to Miami aboard flights from Spain, South America, the Bahamas or the Cayman Islands, using passports from Spain and other third countries.

The 1,900-mile long Southwest border, for years the main entry point for undocumented migrants from Mexico and Central America, was also ground zero for a recent spike in Cuban migrants...

The surge in Cuban migrants triggered by the announcement may be most evident in the number of Coast Guard interdictions at sea. In December 2014, 331 Cubans in boats and rafts were stopped before they could reach the U.S. All were taken back to Cuba.

During the last three months of 2014, 132 Cubans made it to shore in Florida, up from 105 during the same period in 2013, according to Border Patrol figures.

Unknown is the number who landed without being detected and did not report to U.S. officials, or who perished at sea...

Once in the U.S., those arrivals then "refresh the source of income" to Cuba by sending money home to relatives on the island, Sanchez said.

Cubans also enter the U.S. with visas issued by the Interest Section in Havana. Current accords call for a minimum of 20,000 visas a year, but Duany said that recently the number of visas issued has averaged 32,000 annually.

Regardless of any changes to the Cuban Adjustment Act, or the lifting of the embargo, Duany predicts migration from Cuba will increase over the next decade. "The economic conditions, the living conditions in Cuba, don't seem to improve, and the force of family ties remains strong," he said. "I don't see any indication that will change."

David Abraham, a University of Miami law professor and expert in Cuban migration, agrees. "Change in Cuba comes slowly," he said. "What's driving people to come here doesn't change. That's economic opportunity."

Activists prepare for the worst in lawsuit to block immigration actions

Prominent immigration advocates have all but conceded that federal judge Andrew Hanen – a staunch critic of the Obama administration’s immigration policies – will block the president’s executive actions just weeks before the measures are slated to kick in.

Advocacy groups are bracing for Hanen, a U.S. district court judge, to decide this week on a lawsuit that could unravel the president’s unilateral measures to shield as many as 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation....

“We all think the judge is going to rule in favor of the plaintiffs here. That much is almost assumed at this point.”
Marshall Fitz, Center for American Progress

...Advocates remain confident that the law is on the administration’s side...

Hanen did not mince words in a scathing court opinion in 2013 when he accused the Department of Homeland Security of engaging in a “criminal conspiracy” ...

If Hanen decides against the Obama administration, he could block the implementation of the executive measures, which are scheduled to kick in Feb. 18...

...With an unsympathetic judge on the bench, appointed by President George W. Bush in 2002, immigration reform advocates are bracing for the worst...

Pro-immigrant groups point out that scores of legal experts, elected officials and law enforcement authorities support President Obama’s executive actions, which would provide a shield from deportation and grant temporary work permits to millions of undocumented immigrants...

... the White House has remained steadfast in asserting that the president has the discretion to prioritize which people should or should not be deported.

“Presidential use of executive discretion has been pretty consistent in the last 20 or so years,” said Brandon Rottinghaus, associate professor of political science at the University of Houston. “I don’t think the court would overturn that.”

Karen Tumlin, managing attorney at the National Immigration Law Center, hoped the decision will not deter undocumented immigrants from coming forward to take advantage of the executive action once enrollment opens – either in a few weeks or further down the road.

“People have been waiting so long for a chance to come forward and be able to work with authorization and not be looking over their shoulder all day long,” she said. “We’re really trying to send the message that this should be business as usual.”

 

The Obama Engineered Immigration Meltdown (and Why Securing the Border is a Red Herring)

No discussion of immigration reform in Washington gets very far without some politician boldly declaring, “The first thing we must do is secure the border,” as if that were a novel idea and panacea for illegal immigration.

Once and for all: The border is a red herring. It’s not our border that’s out of control; it’s the Obama administration that’s out of control and the border is just one of many casualties in the president’s assault on immigration enforcement.

What we have on our hands is an immigration meltdown engineered by the president and his political appointees. Our immigration courts have ceased to function, and virtually every illegal alien has been exempted from removal, even if they were operating. Work permits are being handed out to illegal aliens like lollipops on Halloween – about 5.5 million since Obama came to office in 2009.

Of course our borders out of control!

In recent days, the Department of Justice announced that because immigration courts are so overwhelmed, most people with cases pending will not have them heard until 2019 at the earliest. These courts are not overwhelmed because they’re busy deporting so many people who shouldn’t be here. Rather, they are overwhelmed by the number of people who have no business here seeking legalization and the tens of thousands of Central Americans who surged across the border last summer.

In reporting the story, AP cited as a “victim” of the delay the story of Maximiano Vazquez-Guevarra, an illegal alien from Mexico who recently won his appeal to become a legal permanent resident, but needs to make one more court appearance to make it final. Vasquez managed to tie up the courts for three years successfully fighting deportation (and gaining legal status) after coming to the attention of authorities when he was charged with his second DUI.

While the courts have ceased to function because, under the Obama administration, illegal aliens can spend years petitioning for legal residency because they get caught driving while intoxicated (and win), millions more are being given work permits because…well, because the administration just feels like it.

According to a new report by the Center for Immigration Studies, the Obama administration has been ignoring statutorily mandated limits on immigration (big shocker) and handing out Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) at will. Since 2009, 1.2 million people who were admitted on temporary visas that explicitly bar them from working got – you guessed it – EADs. Almost a million illegal aliens also received work authorization, despite the inconvenient law that bars them from being employed in the U.S. Another 1.7 million EADs were parceled out to folks whose status in this country was unclear. But, what the heck, the administration has no interest in finding out and no intention of doing anything about it anyway.

And all this is before they have even begun carrying out the president’s massive executive amnesty, which could grant give legal status and EADs to an additional 5 million illegal aliens, which is likely to trigger an even greater surge of illegal immigration.

First let’s secure the border? No, first we have to stop the president from rendering our entire immigration law meaningless.
 

Call your US Senators TODAY!

Alert date: 
2015-02-02
Alert body: 
First Senate Vote on De-funding Amnesty TUESDAY
 

The Senate will cast its first vote TUESDAY on the House-passed Department of Homeland Security (DHS) funding bill that de-funds President Obama's executive amnesties. Tuesday's vote at 2:30 pm is a procedural vote - called a motion to proceed to debate the bill - and it simply determines whether the Senate moves forward to debating and amending the bill.
 

However, pro-amnesty Democrats are planning on obstructing the legislative process by filibustering the motion. If successful, they will be able to prevent the Senate from even discussing the common sense House bill that defunds the executive amnesty. Instead, Senate Democrats are demanding that the Senate pass a "clean" Homeland Security funding bill, one that does not limit the President's ability to exercise "prosecutorial discretion" in immigration matters. In reality, that means a bill that fully funds President Obama's amnesty programs!
 
Call your Senators today and tomorrow and tell them there is no such thing as a "clean" funding bill for the Department of Homeland Security.
 

Tomorrow's vote is critical because it takes 60 votes to defeat a filibuster. Importantly, there are at least seven Democratic Senators who voiced opposition to the executive amnesty after voters overwhelmingly rejected President Obama's immigration policies in the November elections. If they uphold their word by voting YES, the DHS funding bill will advance to floor debate.

There is no time to waste! Call your Senators NOW!

FAIR is calling on our members, activists, and supporters to take action NOW to ensure the Senate de-funds President Obama's executive amnesty. There is no time to waste!!! President Obama is already taking steps to implement his new amnesty programs. The Senate must approve the House-passed bill and send it to the President's desk. Then, President Obama will have to decide what is more important to him: funding the Department of Homeland Security or protecting illegal aliens.

Supporting President Obama's executive amnesty is unacceptable; hard-working, taxpaying Americans deserve better than another amnesty and the dismantling of immigration enforcement!

Call your Senators NOW!

Senator Ron Wyden - Phone: (202) 224-5244

Senator Jeff Merkley - Phone: (202) 224-3753
 

Tell them:
 

  • You oppose President Obama's executive amnesty
  • You expect them to vote YES on the motion to proceed
  • You want Congress to stop the President's abuse of power, now and in the future
  • You demand that Congress act NOW to rein in President Obama's abuse of power and restore respect for our immigration laws.

House Border Bill Advances Without Improvement

On Wednesday, the House Homeland Security committee rubber-stamped Rep. Michael McCaul's flawed border security bill (HR399) without meaningful improvements. The barely-tweaked bill reportedly is scheduled to be considered by the full House next Wednesday, January 28. In its current form, the bill will preserve the current catch-and-release policies, which were expanded even further by the executive actions announced in late November, rendering pointless much of the new spending and metrics-crunching mandated in this bill.

The main change to the bill made in the committee mark-up process was to increase the number of miles of new double fencing from 27 to 48, adding an additional ten miles in the Del Rio sector and another mile in the Tucson sector. This would bring the total length of double fencing up to 84 miles (over 600 miles less than the 700 miles mandated by the Secure Fence Act of 2006).

The amended product is still obsessed with attaining full Situational Awareness and Operational Control in five years, and oblivious to the fact that the current catch-and-release policies and newly expanded "prosecutorial discretion" policies that spare most illegal aliens from deportation would remain in place. Not only that, it gives oversight authority to an appointed commission that has little accountability to anyone.

To address catch-and-release, the bill should have heeded the recommendations of career Border Patrol and ICE personnel to specify and toughen the penalties that should generally ensue for illegal border crossers and authorize the tools, such as detention space, to enable this to be implemented. But the bill is silent on what kinds of consequences illegal crossers should face.

At a minimum, it would have been easy for the committee to tack on language from the Carter-Aderholt bill passed by the House last summer to address the border surge (analyzed by my colleague Dan Cadman here). GOP leaders seem to have completely forgotten this successful exercise in sound policymaking and party unification in response to a crisis. That was good governing that was well received by the public, and should have been a no-brainer to resurrect, along with the Goodlatte-Chaffetz bill on asylum reform.

In addition, the bill should have included among the dozens of metrics that DHS agencies will be required to collect at least one or two metrics that would reveal to the public how it is handling new illegal arrivals such as information on case disposition, whether the alien is detained or released, whether the new illegal arrival appears for court hearings, and whether the new arrival is granted a work permit.

In fact, the bill should prohibit the issuance of a work permit to new illegal arrivals, or anyone in deportation proceedings.

The bill should restore and expand Operation Streamline, a highly effective program that significantly reduced illegal crossings in certain sectors by efficiently detaining and prosecuting new illegal arrivals for the criminal offense of entry without inspection.

The Homeland Security Committee accepted this weakening of the mandate that DHS establish a biometric entry-exit system, which has been on the laundry list of must-do national security improvements since the first World Trade Center attacks in 1993. For example, the bill's loose language calls for biometrics to be collected at land ports of entry, but fails to specify that biometrics should be collected from all foreign visitors who enter at the land ports of entry.

And, it fails to synchronize the deportation process for legal entry overstays with the way illegal border crossers are treated both are recent illegal arrivals, and there is no good reason that overstays should be harder to deport than those who came over the land border.

Finally, in the section that supposedly intends to give the Border Patrol access to federal land within 100 miles of the border, from which it is currently blocked, the language of the bill appears to actually reverse a critical provision in current law that provides agents with the authority to access and patrol on public and private lands within 25 miles of the border (Section 13(e)(2). This could be a drafting error, but it urgently needs to be examined.

The pace at which this bill is being rammed through the House suggests that the leadership is eager to pass a token bill and then inform the public that the border problem has been solved, while leaving the president's executive amnesty intact and his abuse of authority unchallenged. If the rest of Congress goes along, they will have squandered the political momentum gained from their response to the border surge crisis not to mention wasting an opportunity to restore some integrity to our immigration laws and their sole authority to craft them. Not only would this fulfill a key campaign promise, it would begin to ameliorate the fiscal and security burden that the current policies have imposed on American communities. But it doesn't look like that's going to happen.

Contact: Marguerite Telford
202-466-8185, mrt@cis.org

Oregon's unauthorized immigrants clustered around Portland

WASHINGTON — Unauthoriized immigrants in Oregon are largely clustered in and around big cities, as they are nationwide, which could pose a challenge for advocates hoping to reach those in rural areas who may qualify for programs giving them temporary legal status.

Almost two-fifths of those in Oregon eligible for deportation relief live in its two largest counties, according to new projections by the Migration Policy Institute. Of the estimated 64,000 of Oregon's 124,000 immigrants who qualify, either as parents of lawful residents under President Barack Obama's recent executive order or as someone who came to the U.S. as a small child, 25,000 live in Multnomah and Washington counties.

This mirrors the national trend, where 3.5 million of the 5.2 million immigrants who are eligible for the two programs reside in just 117 of the country's 3,143 counties, according to an analysis of census data released Thursday by the Migration Policy Institute, a Washington-based nonpartisan think tank that advocates intelligent management of international migration.

The vast majority of those eligible — more than 75 percent — live in the 10 states with the largest immigration populations, which include California, Texas, New York and Washington, but not Oregon.

An overwhelming share of those eligible reside in a handful of counties. It's not just a handful of states, it's a handful of counties," said Jeanne Batalova, a senior policy analyst and demographer with the institute.

Outreach efforts are easier in urban and suburban areas with large immigrant populations, particularly when they predominantly speak Spanish, she said. In Los Angeles County, which contains almost one-tenth of the unauthorized immigrant population for the entire nation, radio ads on Spanish-language stations are an effective way to alert people to their potential eligibility for the programs.

Unauthorized immigrants in Oregon (53 percent) are more likely to have lived in the U.S. for 10 years or longer than those nationwide (47 percent), the institute found. They are also more likely to speak English not well or not at all (53 percent in Oregon, 51 percent nationally) and less likely to have finished high school (57 percent versus 50 percent).

Financially, a higher percentage of Oregon's unauthorized immigrants (36 percent) live below the poverty line than do those nationwide (31 percent).

These factors can pose significant obstacles that prevent unauthorized immigrants from coming forward to apply for the government programs,...
 

Oregon joins legal support of Obama's immigration action

Brief submitted by 12 states counters lawsuit filed by 25 other states in federal court.

Oregon has joined Washington and 10 other states in defense of President Obama’s executive action shielding up to 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation...

The statement, initiated by Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, was filed in connection with a lawsuit brought by 25 other states against Obama’s Nov. 20 action.

The case is pending in U.S. District Court in Texas. A hearing is scheduled Thursday.

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum issued a statement Wednesday explaining her reasoning to intervene:

“The president used his full legal authority and discretion to address critical immigration issues facing our country...

Judges and courts can use arguments submitted in friend-of-the-court briefs to bolster their reasoning in writing their decisions.

The judge in this case, Andrew Hanen, is more likely to side with the challenge brought by Attorney General Greg Abbott of Texas — soon to be that state’s governor — and other states that filed the suit on Dec. 3. The initial list of 17 has grown to 25.

But it’s likely that the proceedings will end up in the federal appellate courts....

In addition to Oregon and Washington, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, Vermont and the District of Columbia have joined to defend Obama’s action.

Decisions to intervene in such cases are made by attorneys general, who are popularly elected in 43 states.

Of the 25 states challenging Obama’s action, 21 have Republican attorneys general; all 12 states supporting his action have Democratic attorneys general...

If Obama’s authority for executive action is upheld, Oregon and other states will consider whether work permits issued to these immigrants will constitute legal presence in the United States, a status enabling them to apply for driver’s licenses in many states.

Under a similar program created by Obama under a 2012 executive order, immigrants who were brought to the United States illegally as children qualified for work permits. Virtually all states, including Oregon, considered them proof of legal presence for issuance of licenses.

Oregon voters Nov. 4 rejected a 2013 law granting driver’s licenses to those who met driving knowledge and skills tests but cannot prove legal presence. Ten states have such laws, which are permitted under the federal Real ID Act if the licenses are clearly marked as invalid for federal purposes.

 

Please attend and ask Sen. Wyden about defunding executive actions on immigration

Alert date: 
2015-01-15
Alert body: 

If possible, please attend and express your views on President Obama’s unilateral, unconstitutional executive amnesty. Senator Wyden recently voted in favor of funding it.

Read about the dangers and unknown variables in the President’s amnesty plan here: http://cis.org/much-of-obamas-lawless-immigration-scheme-still-unknown. Earlier, in 2013, Sen. Wyden voted in favor of S.744, the bill giving amnesty to millions of illegal aliens while also vastly increasing legal immigration, at this time of widespread unemployment and underemployment among citizens.

Josephine County Town Hall »

Jan 17 2015 10:00AM

Rogue Auditorium, Rogue Community College
3345 Redwood Hwy, Grants Pass, OR

Klamath County Town Hall »

Jan 17 2015 3:30PM

OIT College Union Building
3200 Campus Drive
Klamath Falls, OR

Lincoln County Town Hall »

Jan 18 2015 1:00PM

the Commons at Oregon Coast Community College
400 SE College Way
Newport, OR

 


The following are some questions you might ask Sen. Wyden. If you’re able to question him or make comments to him, please tell OFIR what his response was.

1. Our immigration system is not “broken;” enforcement of the immigration laws is what is broken! That is the reason we have millions of illegal immigrants. Citizenship and the rule of law must be cherished and respected by all, or our nation is on a slippery slope into the culture of corruption from which many immigrants try to escape. Administration claims of good enforcement are false. Senator, what are you doing to strengthen U.S. immigration law enforcement?

2. There have been 7 major amnesties passed by Congress from 1986 to 2000, each resulting in ever-increasing numbers of illegal immigrants. Now another huge amnesty is being pushed. We need enforcement of the immigration laws, not another amnesty.

3. Unemployment and underemployment persist as major problems in Oregon and the U.S. Businesses can and do hire illegal aliens at substandard wages in construction, agriculture, hotels, restaurants. Why don’t you do more to stop the hiring of illegal aliens? Why don’t you work to make E-Verify mandatory for all employers?

4. 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.

 

5. Your 25-year voting record in Congress on immigration issues is F as shown by NumbersUSA. This grade is based on official tallies of votes on bills. Whose interests do you think should come first in U.S. immigration policy? Those of immigrants or those of citizens? The record says you favor the interests of immigrants and their employers.


 

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