Congress

Not certain how your candidate stacks up on immigration issues?

Alert date: 
May 7, 2016
Alert body: 

On the radio the other day, I heard Michael Medved touting to his audience that only a tiny portion of the American public is actually concerned about illegal immigration.  I disagree with him!  Often, if given a choice about concerns that voters have, illegal immigration will not be the first words out of their mouths.

But, voters will say they are concerned about terrorism, national security, JOBS, stagnant wages, over-crowded schools, high taxes, drugs, gangs, crime, the culture of corruption, the environmental impact on our environment of increased population and on and on.  Every one of their concerns is directly impacted by - hold on to your hat - illegal immigration and excessive legal immigration.

This election cycle, it's more important than ever before, to fully understand your candidate's position on the issue of illegal immigration and excessive legal immigration.  If you aren't asking, you may be surprised - and disappointed.

OFIR encourages our members to visit a candidate's website and discover if a detailed statement is posted about immigration,  If there is not, please contact that candidate and ask them to make a public statement on their website.  If, after a few pokes and reminders, there is still nothing posted, that might give you a clue as to their commitment to solving the problem.

OFIR has prepared, and now updated, information about Presidential candidates that may be useful to you. Information about candidates in state-wide races  may be helpful to you in approaching those candidates at upcoming events.  If you have more, credible information that can be substantiated, please share with OFIR.  As always, OFIR strives to be as accurate as possible in any information that we provide.

Another source of information is the Abigail Adams Candidate Comparison Guide

OFIR encourages you to learn more about the candidates from many sources.  OFIR invites candidates to let us know if there is anything they would like to add in our postings.

Call your Senators! Protect your family and your community!

Alert date: 
April 22, 2016
Alert body: 
 

Call your Senators and urge them to oppose a vote on crime bill as currently written

There are a number of new reports surfacing that the Senate may try to move a highly-flawed criminal justice reform bill over the next few weeks. NumbersUSA takes no position on crime reform, but because the bill, as currently written, would largely benefit non-citizens who are incarcerated in federal prisons, and the Obama Administration has shown little interest in deporting criminal aliens, we're urging Congress not to bring the bill to the floor for a vote.

The Criminal Justice reform bill, S.2123, would reduce the sentences for certain individuals who have been convicted for federal crimes; that's an important distinction to point out -- this bill would only impact federal prisons. It would have no impact on state, county, or local jails.

According to federal data, 25% of all federal trafficking convictions and 77% of all federal drug possession convictions in 2015 were handed down to non-citizens. The criminal alien who killed California Detective Michael Davis, Jr. and Deputy Sheriff Danny Oliver was convicted of federal drug offenses before being released from prison.

In FY2015, the Obama Administration released 60% of the criminal aliens it came in contact with. If S.2123 passes in its current form, it would result in the release of thousands of more criminal aliens onto the streets. Several open-borders groups have already petitioned the Obama Administration, asking for any criminal aliens who are released should the law be passed be considered for Deferred Action (protection from deportations).

Please call your two U.S. Senators and urge them to oppose a vote on S.2123, the criminal justice reform bill because it could potentially release thousands of criminal aliens onto the streets.

Capitol Switchboard -- (202) 224-3121

You can call your Senators by dialing the Switchboard number above and asking the operator to be connected to your Senators' offices.

 

Supreme Court must rebuke Obama's self-coronation: Texas AG

The president of the United States of America has declared that unlawful conduct is lawful.

It sounds unbelievable when you say it out loud, doesn’t it? The president, the person we trust to take care that the laws are faithfully executed, has declared illegal conduct to be legal?

But in 2014, President Obama did just that. He declared that four million unlawfully-present immigrants were now lawfully-present. How? Because he says so.

Unfortunately for the president, the Constitution does not let him do that. And on April 18, Texas will lead a coalition of 26 states before the United States Supreme Court to stop President Obama’s illegal immigration policy.

This lawsuit should not be groundbreaking. It is a question that was decided at the nation’s founding. Can one person unilaterally change the law?

Of course not. Our Founders drafted the Constitution to make clear that the people, through their elected representatives in Congress, have the authority to decide immigration policy for the United States.

In 2011, President Obama understood this. When asked about immigration reform, he addressed his supporters honestly, explaining that “I know some people want me to bypass Congress and change the laws on my own ... But that’s not how our system works. That’s not how our democracy functions. That’s not how our Constitution is written.”

But in 2014, the president was singing a different tune. He announced to the world, with a flick of his pen on an executive order, “I just took an action to change the law.”

The president had it right the first time. He did not have the power to unilaterally change the law. He does not have the power to override the will of the people as vested in our Constitution.

As James Madison wrote in Federalist No. 47, “The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands ... may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.”

Make no mistake, this is about more than just immigration. If this blatant power-grab goes unchecked, nothing would stop a president from issuing an executive order dissolving the rights of gun owners in violation of the Second Amendment, nullifying the religious freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment or abolishing any other right that we hold dear.

Madison warned against one person deciding for the entire nation what the law shall be. It is the antithesis of who we are as Americans. In this country, the people, through their representatives, decide the law — not one person.

Or as President Obama once put it, “I am president. I am not a king. I can’t do these things just by myself.”

Exactly.

Ken Paxton is the Attorney General of Texas.

Obama's immigration order overreaches: Our view

Sometimes it seems the Supreme Court’s main purpose these days is to resolve disputes between Republicans and President Obama.

Toward the end of Obama’s first term, the court ruled on a challenge to his signature health care law. On Monday, as Obama approaches the end of his second term, the justices are set to consider his executive order that would allow millions of undocumented workers to avoid deportation.

Obama won the first of these cases. The court ruled, correctly in our view, that Obamacare's insurance mandate did not violate the Constitution. The president's backers hope and believe that the court will take a similar tack in U.S. v. Texas, finding that the case is a political squabble dressed up as a legal dispute.

That, however, would be a mistake.

To be sure, Obama’s quest to reform the immigration system is a worthy cause. Keeping millions of undocumented immigrants in a state of legal limbo makes little sense.

Like his predecessor, George W. Bush, Obama backed legislation to grant these immigrants a path to legal status while beefing up border enforcement and making needed changes to the legal immigration system. That legislation passed with bipartisan support in the Senate but ran into a buzz saw of opposition from conservatives in the House.

Faced with legislative gridlock, the president acted unilaterally. Obama’s 2014 order, known as the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans, combined with a predecessor order he issued two years earlier, would allow as many as 5 million of the estimated 11 million undocumented people to remain in the United States without fear of deportation.

While courts have typically given great deference to presidents in matters of immigration, this is simply too sweeping a policy change to exclude the legislative branch. It does the right thing in the wrong way.

The order has many flaws. Because it could be rescinded by a future president, it would not give immigrants the certainty they'd need to come out from the shadows and fully participate in their communities. Because it addresses only undocumented workers, it would do nothing for backlogs in legal immigration and a shortage of skilled workers.

The order's biggest flaw, however, is the precedent it would set by giving the president sweeping authority to interpret immigration laws virtually any way he or she sees fit. The same people who think Obama should have broad powers over immigration enforcement will feel a lot differently if a Republican wins the White House in November.

Imagine what orders Ted Cruz or Donald Trump would issue if elected president. Trump has advocated mass deportations, temporarily banning entry of foreign Muslims, and building a border wall financed by confiscating the remittances that undocumented workers attempt to send to their families back home.

In an interview with NBC News this year, Trump said he wouldn't hesitate to issue executive orders, noting that Obama had “led the way” with his actions.

The court would be wise to limit the president's authority in this area, and leave Congress and the White House to work out through the legislative process how to handle undocumented immigrants, as maddening as that might be.

USA TODAY's editorial opinions are decided by its Editorial Board, separate from the news staff. Most editorials are coupled with an opposing view — a unique USA TODAY feature.
 

Main result of current prison reform bill likely would be release of criminal aliens into U.S. communities (with no deportations)

Unfortunately, the legislation being considered by Congress in response to concerns about overly-long prison sentences for Americans has been crafted to primarily benefit criminal aliens. (Those are not Americans but citizens of other countries who have been imprisoned for committing serious crimes in the U.S.)

That's the conclusion of our legislative affairs team after several weeks of scrutinizing documents and reports, and of meeting with a number of experts on the issue.

NumbersUSA takes no position on issues of sentencing reform for Americans.

But we have to get involved with the current sentencing reform legislation (companion bills S. 2123 and H.R. 3713) because most of the people who would benefit from it would be criminal aliens who would be helped to avoid deportation and to re-enter the job market to the detriment of struggling American workers.

Reports are surfacing in Washington that both chambers of Congress are preparing this spring to pass S. 2123 and H.R. 2713 which were approved by the respective Judiciary Committees last October.

Speaker Paul Ryan has called passing the legislation a priority. (See more on Ryan below.)

As currently written, the legislation would result in the massive release of criminal aliens from federal prisons into the streets. It could alternatively be called the Criminal Alien Prison Release Act of 2016, but that bill title probably wouldn't garner many votes in Congress.

The bills would retroactively reduce the minimum sentencing requirements for all individuals (regardless of their citizenship or immigration status) convicted of certain federal crimes. It would only apply to federal prisons, which comprise 9% of the entire incarcerated population in the United States.

Its impact on reforming sentencing guidelines for U.S. citizens would be minimal.

In a letter sent to Sen. Jeff Sessions last fall, the Federal Bureau of Prisons reported that 77% of individuals convicted of federal drug possession charges and more than 25% of individuals convicted of federal drug trafficking charges in FY2015 were non-citizens. Since these are the individuals who would most likely be released, you can see our concern with the legislation. Further, there is no requirement in the legislation that Immigration and Customs Enforcement take custody of a criminal alien who is released and remove them from the United States, even when theirconviction by current law should result in their immediate removal under current law.

In October of 2015, the Obama Administration released 6,600 inmates from federal prison after the U.S. Sentencing Commission revised its guidelines. One-third of those released were non-citizens. Shortly before the release, the Center for Immigration Studies uncovered a letter written by 14 immigration-expansionist organizations to the Department of Homeland Security, pleading with the Administration to consider the criminal aliens for prosecutorial discretion under Pres. Obama's 2014 executive actions.

"We urge ICE not to rush to judgment on these immigrants' cases, but instead to commit to ensuring individualized due process in each case. ...

"Each of these immigrants, including those with an "aggravated felony" and those with final removal orders, must be individually assessed for [Prosecutorial Discretion]. The 2014 DHS civil enforcement priorities memorandum specifies that removal of Priority 1 immigrants may be deprioritized if "there are compelling and exceptional factors that clearly indicate the alien is not a threat to national security, border security, or public safety and should not therefore be an enforcement priority."

The full letter can be read here.

Given the Administration's history on interior enforcement, the bills, as written, would allow tens of thousands of deportable criminal aliens to return to the American communities they victimized in the first place. Just last year, the Administration released 90,000 criminal aliens from custody -- roughly 60% of all criminal aliens it came in contact with. In fact, the criminal aliens who were responsible for the 2015 killing of Kate Steinle and the 2014 murders of California Detective Michael Davis, Jr. and Deputy Sheriff Danny Oliver had been earlier convicted for the same class of federal drug crimes that lawmakers seek to reform through this legislation.

Unfortunately, the provisions of the bills that would result in the release of criminal aliens are central to the efforts of both House and Senate-- and key to the Democrats' support of the bills. Unless the criminal alien issues are addressed, NumbersUSA must call for rejection of the legislation. Sentencing reform efforts should focus on new legislation that isn't a Trojan horse for yet another kind of amnesty.

Local American communities (disproportionately Black and Hispanic) into which released criminal aliens likely would return should not be asked to bear this burden under an Administration that has eviscerated immigration enforcement.

RYAN GETS A PRIMARY CHALLENGER

House Speaker Paul Ryan has learned that he'll face a Republican challenger in the August 9 Wisconsin primary. Not only has Wisconsin businessman Paul Nehlan thrown his name into the race, but he's also focusing on the immigration issue hoping to rekindle some of the voter angst that lead to Rep. Dave Brat's upset of former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in Virginia in 2014.

Earlier this week, Nehlan completed a NumbersUSA immigration reduction survey and earned our True Reformer status. You can view the grid here.

Ryan has a troubled history on the immigration issue. He's a passionate supporter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership that would greatly increase the number of foreign workers allowed to work in the U.S. He's also pushed for work permits for illegal aliens and expanding legal immigration.

During Tuesday's GOP Presidential Primaries, Sen. Ted Cruz and Donald Trump combined for 83% of the vote in Ryan's district. Cruz and Trump have immigration positions vastly different from Ryan's. But Nehlan's positions are closer aligned with Cruz and Trump, so we'll be keeping a close eye on this race over the next 5 months.


 

Rep. Bonamici to host Townhall meetings near you

Alert date: 
March 31, 2016
Alert body: 

Townhall meetings coming this month to a location near you

This is a great opportunity for you to attend and ask specific immigration related questions.  Invite a friend or neighbor to join you.

Forest Grove Town Hall Meeting

Apr 6, 2016 in Forest Grove, OR

Astoria Town Hall Meeting

Apr 9, 2016 in Astoria, OR

St. Helens Town Hall Meeting

Apr 11, 2016 in St. Helens, OR

Congressional Art Competition Reception

Apr 25, 2016 in Beaverton, OR

Portland Town Hall Meeting

May 7, 2016 in Portland, OR

Sherwood Town Hall Meeting

May 7, 2016 in Sherwood, OR


 

You're invited! Senator Merkley to Hold Town Hall in Washington County Saturday, March 12

Alert date: 
March 9, 2016
Alert body: 

Senator Merkley will hold a Town Hall for Washington County constituents on Saturday, March 12, in Tualatin. Please attend, if possible, and ask questions or make comments concerning immigration issues.

In his announcement, he says: "I invite all residents to come and discuss what we need to do to strengthen our state and our nation."  This is a great opportunity for you to attend and ask specific immigration related questions.

What: Washington County Town Hall

When:  Saturday, March 12, 2016, 3:00 PM

Where: Tualatin High School, 22300 SW Boones Ferry Road, Tualatin, OR 97062

NumbersUSA gives Sen. Merkley a grade of F for recent years 2013-2016.  We recommend that you view and print out a copy of his voting report to give to him:

https://www.numbersusa.com/content/print/my/congress/1341/printreportcard//

If you are able to attend the meeting and speak or ask a question, please share the information with OFIR at ofir@oregonir.org.

Backsliding on communicable diseases brought to the US by illegal aliens

Rick Oltman has described, in no uncertain terms, the threats brought right into our nation's living room by the utter disregard for the well being of the citizens of this great country.

----------------------

A Weapon of Mass Destruction – A Weapon of Cultural Destruction?

By Rick Oltman, February 29, 2016

Back as early as the mid-1990s, parents of grade schoolers in California were learning that diseases that were once believed to have been eliminated were back in the public schools.  Head lice was epidemic in many schools.  Products, once discontinued, were brought back to market to deal with the disgusting infection.

Measles and whooping cough were spreading rapidly.  To many Californians, the cause was obvious:   illegal alien students were bringing these infections back into the schools...

Scarlet fever also reappeared.

A polio-like disease caused partial paralysis in California children.

Remember H1N1, aka “swine flu,” from a few years ago?...

We seemed to have escaped widespread infection from Ebola.  Will it be the same with the Zika virus?

More recently, as a result of the massive influx of (not only) illegal alien children from Central America who were not being medically screened, the U.S. has had outbreaks of other illnesses that were once eradicated; TB:  Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Chickenpox and Smallpox.

MDR – TB, multiple drug resistant tuberculosis, rampant in South East Asia, has been coming across the southern border for years.

Multiple drug resistant diseases are the result of improper use and overuse of antibiotics.  Evolution and natural selection can produce organisms that we cannot defeat.  And, in an environment where diseases can travel halfway around the world in a single day, the possibility of an outbreak of a deadly epidemic is as real as your worse science fiction nightmare.

However, just this week, Health and Human Services has announced that in a month, on March 28th, three sexually transmitted infections will no longer bar you from entering our country....

What is a Weapon of Mass Destruction (WMD)?

WMD is often referred to by the collection of modalities that make up the set of weapons:  chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive.

WMD is defined in U.S. law (18 USC §2332a) as “Any weapon involving a disease organism.” ...

Now, ask yourself, “What possible benefit to America is there in allowing people infected with communicable diseases to come into our country, legally or illegally?  What possible explanation can there be for a government to be so irresponsible as to expose our populace to any disease like those listed above?”

Read the full article at USInc.com

Townhall meetings coming your way

Alert date: 
February 8, 2016
Alert body: 

Next week, Representative Kurt Schrader will be hosting town hall meetings around the district  These meetings are a chance for you to visit, talk about what's been going on in Washington, and find out ways that his office can be of service to you.

Oregon City Town Hall - Tuesday, February 16th, 6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Providence Willamette Falls Community Center Auditorium
519 15th Street
Oregon City, OR 97045

Salem Town Hall - Wednesday, February 17th, 6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Salem Library - Loucks Auditorium
585 Liberty Street SE
Salem, OR 97301

Military Academy Day Open House - Saturday, March 5th, 10 a.m. - noon*
West Linn High School
5464 W A Street
West Linn, OR 97068
*Presentation begins at 11 a.m.
 

Concern over refugee re-settlement widespread

Americans are the most compassionate people on earth.  Yet, who is looking out for the best interests of Americans?  Clearly, citizens across the country are growing ever more concerned and worried for the impact that thousands of immigrant refugees will have on our country, our culture, our jobs, our environment, and ultimately, our personal safety in our own country.

Letters from across the country paint a vivid picture of the worry folks are facing every day. 

If you are able, please write a Letter to the Editor of your local paper.  Be concise, be passionate and be accurate in your statements.  Let OFIR know if you get a letter published and we will add it to our OFIR website's letter section.

 

 

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