driver's license

Didn't Obama Hear Oregon’s Warning Shot on Immigration?

Will Democrats ever realize that increased immigration is not only bad policy, but a political loser as well?

“We are all Republicans, we are all Federalists” said Thomas Jefferson in his first inaugural. It was a gracious touch, a rhetorical olive branch to his vanquished foes. Too bad he didn’t mean it.

Jefferson immediately went about killing off the party of his longtime nemesis, Alexander Hamilton, while his vice president, Aaron Burr, went about killing Hamilton.

After last week’s midterm election, President Obama and Senate Majority Leader-elect Mitch McConnell offered similar rhetorical olive branches. While it’s unlikely the president and the senator from Kentucky will face off on the dueling grounds of Weehawken, their words of equanimity were about as sincere as Thomas Jefferson’s back in 1801.

In his post-debacle presser, President Obama told the nation “I hear you.” But while the president said all the right things about working with the new Republican reality in Washington, he also offered two thorns for every rose pedal.

Once again President Obama threatened executive action on immigration if “Congress won’t act.”

But Congress did act on immigration. The House refusal to pass the Senate’s 2013 Pathway to Citizenship bill was an action. The Senate bill was rejected as a byzantine mess presenting a logistical nightmare at best and at worst yet another incentive for millions to migrate to this country illegally.

The president and supporters of “comprehensive immigration reform”—Washington-speak for amnesty for illegal immigrants—might not like the action Congress took, but act they did.

On Nov. 4, the American people validated Congress’s action by re-electing anti-amnesty candidates and adding to their numbers. Senate Democrats who supported the immigration bill went down hard: Arkansas’ Mark Pryor, North Carolina’s Kay Hagan, Alaska’s Mark Begich. And when Louisiana holds its runoff in December, Mary Landrieu will likely join the club despite her recent flip on the Keystone XL pipeline and just about every other issue she had previously supported. If the new edition of Mary Landrieu shows up in the Senate, the Republicans win either way.

In Oregon, one of the bluest of blue states, a state ballot measure may be the canary in the coal mine President Obama ignores at his own peril.

Yet, a draft of a 10-point executive order leaked to Fox News indicates the president plans to grant as many as 5 million undocumented immigrants permission to stay in the country by extending DACA immunity (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) to the parents of the so-called DREAMers—kids who were brought to this country illegally by their parents. The president’s action would also apply to the parents of children born in the U.S. to undocumented immigrants.

To mute the blowback, action could come next week. The first howl you’ll hear will come from Mary Landrieu, who will have a hard time spinning her way past this one.

If President Obama goes down this road, he will be issuing a slap in the face to Senate Republicans that might not result in pistols at 20 paces, but guarantees a political duel to the death once the new Congress convenes in January.

While issues other than immigration contributed to the electoral disaster inflicted on the president’s party, to turn a deaf ear to the anti-amnesty message delivered at the polls is to deny reality.

Case in point: Oregon, one of the bluest of blue states, where a state ballot measure may be the canary in the coal mine President Obama ignores at his own peril.

On May 1, Gov. John Kitzhaber signed Senate Bill 833, granting undocumented immigrants the right to drive in his state.

But a funny thing happened in the Pacific Northwest: More than 70,000 Oregonians signed a hastily organized petition drive and qualified Measure 88, which would repeal Senate Bill 833, for the November ballot.

Sponsored by Oregonians for Immigration Reform, an anti-amnesty group, the “Save Oregon’s Driver’s License” campaign scored the most significant anti-amnesty victory ever, beating the pro-driver’s license forces 66 percent to 33 percent. It got more votes, in fact, than either Gov. Kitzhaber or incumbent Democratic Senator Jeff Merkely, who both easily won re-election. It even outpolled a successful pro-pot measure.

In total, 941,042 Oregonians voted to deny driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants.

Does President Obama hear this?

“The public supports a pathway to citizenship” is repeated with the regularity of a metronome by Democrats and the corporatist wing of the Republican Party determined to keep a steady supply of cheap labor flowing into this country. But if you ask the American public a straight up question—“Do you support amnesty for illegal immigrants?”—you get a very different response.

According to an April 2013 ABC News/Washington Post poll, 80 percent of American adults support “stricter border control to try to reduce illegal immigration.” This includes 93 percent of Republicans, 76 percent of Democrats, 83 percent of independents, 74 percent of blacks, and a whopping 61 percent of Hispanics.

Polls are only as good as the poll question, and I’m skeptical of nearly every immigration-related poll. But this can be said with certainty: The public clearly supports a secure border, and it’s impossible to just brush off the Oregon vote.

Then-Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano assured the nation “the border is secure” before leaving to become chancellor of the University of California. President Obama continues to make the irrelevant claim “the border is more secure than ever.” But the truth revealed itself this year when thousands upon thousands of unaccompanied children simply walked to this country. How secure could the border possibly be if 5-year-olds can penetrate it?

We need meaningful immigration reform and we can get it quickly if only the pro-amnesty forces will separate border security from the pathway to citizenship. Secure the border first, as well as America’s ports, harbors, and especially airports—where one-third of undocumented immigrants enter.

Once the administration has demonstrated effective control of the border, then Congress will resolve the myriad other issues related to immigration, starting with normalizing the status of the millions of DREAMers caught in legal limbo through no fault of their own.

But we’ll never have a solution as long as the two parties try to sell both simultaneously.

In 1986 Congress passed the Simpson-Mazzoli Act, the so-called Reagan Amnesty that promised border security in exchange for a “one time only” amnesty for 3 million undocumented immigrants.

The immigrants got their amnesty and the United States got 12 million to 20 million more undocumented immigrants.

We cherish the notion that this country is a nation of immigrants and understand the American Dream is regenerated by new arrivals from all over the globe. It’s maybe the most American thing of all.

But Americans also overwhelmingly support the rule of law—and understand a nation that doesn’t control its own borders is a nation in name only.

Thomas Jefferson also warned in his first inaugural that not “every difference of opinion is a difference of principle.” But for millions of Americans, the border debate is matter of principle and won’t be burned a second time on the altar of Democratic Party political expedience or multinational corporate profits.

Judge tosses lawsuit over driver’s licenses for Dreamers in Nebraska

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit challenging the state of Nebraska for denying driver’s licenses to Dreamers who have received temporary authorization to stay and work in the United States.

The plaintiff suing the state is Mayra Saldana, a 24-year-old Dreamer born in Mexico who has been residing in Nebraska since she was 2 years old. Last years, she was authorized by the U.S. government to remain in the U.S. for a renewable two-year period under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. She was also granted a work permit and a Social Security number.

The latest government statistics show 2,250 Dreamers living in Nebraska have been approved for the DACA program. A total of 521,815 Dreamers have been approved nationwide.

Saldana sued the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles Director Rhonda Lahm in June after the agency denied her a driver’s license even though she had a Social Security number and was authorized to live and work in the U.S. She argued that the DMV policy denying her a driver’s license violates the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution.

But on Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Laurie Smith Camp ruled that the state had not violated Saldana’s equal-protection rights in denying her a driver’s license.

Smith Camp wrote in her ruling that there was “uncontroverted evidence” that the Nebraska DMV was following the state’s statute and issuing driver’s licenses and state identification cards only to people with a lawful status, as determined by the federal government and verified through the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) program.

“Saldana is not similarly situated to persons having lawful status in the United States with respect to her qualification for a Nebraska driver’s license, and Lahm has not denied Saldana equal protection of the law,” Smith Camp wrote.

The Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning, who defended the state’s denial of driver’s licenses to Dreamers who’ve been approved for the DACA program, praised Wednesday’s ruling.

“We’re pleased the court dismissed the case and recognized illegal immigrants don’t qualify for Nebraska driver’s licenses,” Bruning said Wednesday. “Today’s ruling validates the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicle’s denial of applications from those without lawful status.”

The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund represented Saldana in the lawsuit. Thomas A. Saenz, MALDEF’s president and general counsel, once referred to the Nebraska DMV’s policy denying driver’s licenses to DACA recipients as a “blatantly discriminatory policy.”

Alonzo Rivas, an attorney for MALDEF in Chicago, is not ready to give up on the case. He is considering other options in response to the judge’s ruling on Wednesday, according to the Omaha World-Herald.

Nebraska and Arizona are the only two states denying driver’s licenses to Dreamers who’ve been approved for the DACA program. Like in Nebraska, Dreamers in Arizona also filed a lawsuit last year, challenging the state for denying driver’s licenses to DACA recipients. That case is still pending in court.


 

Oregonians voted for people and issues, not party lines

Last week's election gave me hope for Oregon.

Not because of the overall results. They were unsurprising.

Rather, I am heartened that thousands of Oregonians voted for individuals and issues, instead of along straight party lines.

If you look at county-by-county election results, you'll see vast differences. For example, Marion and Polk counties voted for Republican Dennis Richardson for governor but Democrat Jeff Merkley for U.S. senator.

Measure 88, which would have made driver cards available to undocumented Oregonians, passed in only one county — Multnomah — and lost overwhelmingly statewide. Meanwhile, Measure 89, the state Equal Rights Amendment, was approved statewide amid support in Northwest, Southwest, Central and Northeast Oregon counties. Measure 90, the open or "top-two" primary, lost in every county.

As for Measure 91, legalizing marijuana, Polk and Marion counties voted against it but it passed statewide. Its support was in the Portland metro area, the coast, and Lane, Deschutes and Jackson counties. The measure barely failed in Josephine County.

I worry about what legalization will mean for Oregon.

But I am reassured that Oregonians displayed individuality and independence on Tuesday.

Other thoughts:

• This election season produced some of the worst-run campaigns I've witnessed.

One was Republican Monica Wehby's ill-fated attempt to unseat the liberal's liberal, Jeff Merkley.

Every candidate, especially a challenger, should learn from Wehby's mistakes:

1. Hire top-notch campaign staff. My sense is that staffers and consultants who understand Oregon do better than outsiders.

2. Know the issues before you even consider running. Wehby displayed a stunning unfamiliarity with most state and federal matters, which was a key reason that the Statesman Journal Editorial Board endorsed Rep. Jason Conger over her in the Republican primary.

3. Have a solid — non-plagiarized — plan for what you would do if elected. That plan must be understandable, significant and pragmatic. Give voters good reasons to vote for you. Opposition to the opponent is an insufficient reason.

4. Practice debating; master the art of debate and of back-and-forth politics, instead of taking criticisms personally. Both Kitzhaber and Richardson generally impressed me in this regard.

5. Expect your personal life to become public, so know your flaws and skeletons and reveal them before your opponent and the media do.

6. Respect the opponent. Set that standard for your campaign staff and volunteers.

By the way, the Merkley campaign's incessant attacks on Wehby bugged the heck out of me. One Merkley aide was even texting me on weekends to complain about Wehby.

• Some pro-Measure 88 campaigners looked down on the opponents, and it showed. The pro campaign got outwitted and outworked. The opponents had dug far deeper into the potential impacts of the driver cards.

• As with other journalists I know, I am basically a-political. I registered with a political party simply so I could vote in primary elections. I cannot afford to get invested in the outcomes, because my job is to deal with whichever side prevails.

So it was surprising to get a nasty, accusatory post-election email from a campaign consultant who's been around long enough that he should know better: Losing one's temper is not the optimum way of building credibility.

Which brings me to this tip, which is suitable for non-election consumption as well: Never put anything in an email that you wouldn't want to see on a billboard.

Or in a newspaper.

More information

To view statewide and county-by-county election results, go to oregonvotes.gov/results/2014G/index.html.
 

Oregon’s Immigration Hawks

Enough is enough. An important bloc of voters made their voices heard on Tuesday. Their message: Quit rewarding people who violate our immigration laws. They chose a sovereign nation over an illegal-alien sanctuary nation, and they told politicians in both parties loud and clear: Put Americans first.

Will D.C. listen?

These voters are tired of politicians creating magnets for illegal immigrants. They’re tired of preferential treatment for defiant border crossers, visa overstayers, and deportation fugitives. They’re tired of the heavy costs and consequences of the government’s systemic refusal to protect its borders and fully implement interior enforcement.

Pay attention, both parties in the Beltway: These aren’t voters in a red-state bastion. They’re fed-up voters in bright-blue Oregon — a whopping 941,042 of them, to be exact — who overwhelmingly rejected a ballot measure to provide special driver’s licenses “without requiring proof of legal presence in the United States.”

When Democratic governor John Kitzhaber and radicals in the state legislature tried to push through illegal-alien driver’s cards against the will of the people, the people struck back and forced a full public vote and electoral accountability.

“Citizens expect our lawmakers to uphold our laws, not work at finding ways to circumvent them,” said the group Protect Oregon Driver Licenses. “Oregon is the only state in the country that [gave citizens the] opportunity to vote on giving driver cards to those who cannot prove legal presence in the United States.” If only every state had the power of initiative and referendum. Ten states – California, Connecticut, Colorado, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Vermont, and Washington, plus the District of Columbia – “have had the law forced upon them with little or no recourse available to them.”

Listen up, D.C.: The Oregon proposal went down in flames by more than a two-to-one margin. More voters weighed in on Measure 88 than on any other single candidate or question on the ballot, including the campaigns for governor, U.S. senator, and marijuana legalization.

Who supported Measure 88? Entitled ethnic lobbyists, immigration lawyers, American-worker-betraying labor unions such as the SEIU and UFCW, the ACLU, the militant Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan, agricultural interests, NARAL, far-left church leaders, soft-on-illegal-immigration newspaper editorial boards, and some business-pandering Republicans.

Pro-amnesty actress and Barack Obama campaign-finance bundler Eva Longoria’s “Latino Victory Project” forked over $50,000 to the pro–Measure 88 PAC. The open-borders campaign raised a whopping $500,000-plus from its deep-pocketed Big Government/Big Business/Hollywood patrons.

Who opposed the referendum? Grassroots citizens and a majority of commonsense sheriffs in Oregon who were outspent ten to one.

The police, sheriffs, and border-patrol agents who opposed Measure 88 forcefully connected the dots between immigration enforcement and homeland security. As I’ve reported repeatedly over the years, driver’s licenses are tickets into the American mainstream. They allow residents to establish an identity and foothold into their communities. They help you open bank accounts, enter secure facilities, and, yes, board planes.

Remember:

- The 9/11 hijackers obtained some 364 separate pieces of identification, including driver’s licenses, in order to conduct their murderous business. Hijackers Hani Hanjour and Khalid Almihdhar conspired with illegal-alien day laborers at a Falls Church, Va., 7-Eleven to obtain government-issued photo IDs. Three other hijackers obtained IDs at an Arlington, Va., DMV.

- In Boston, suspected al-Qaeda agent and illegal alien Nabil al-Marabh obtained a license permitting him to drive semi-trucks containing hazardous materials, including explosives and caustic materials.

The anti–Measure 88 law-enforcement officers were joined by Derek Hernandez, vice president of the Western Region National Border Patrol Council, and Maria Espinoza, national director of the Remembrance Project. Espinoza is a Mexican-American activist whose group “is dedicated to honoring and remembering Americans who have been killed by illegal aliens.” As she pointed out to Oregonians: “Americans are neither allowed nor do they expect being able to provide unverifiable documentation when applying for licenses, jobs, voter registrations, loans, or any of the many activities requiring proper identification. Why should illegal aliens be afforded this ill-begotten privilege?”

Pro–Measure 88 advocates disingenuously argued that the law was “pro–public safety” because it would allow Oregon to know who is living in the state. But Espinoza correctly notes that Mexican-government offices embedded in the U.S. continue to issue shady “matricula consular” identification cards “without proof of identity, in their efforts to achieve quasi-legal status for Mexican illegal aliens in the United States.”

As President Obama and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce conspire in Beltway backrooms to provide tens of millions of work permits for illegal aliens through administrative fiat, the new GOP majority on Capitol Hill better heed the defeat of Measure 88.

Cynthia Kendoll, president of Oregonians for Immigration Reform, spoke for law-abiding voters across the country who are “sick and tired of big business, special-interest groups, and unions controlling our government.” They’re tired of government-manufactured chaos, government-sponsored double standards, and government-imposed benefits for millions of law-breakers who supply cheap labor and cheap votes to bipartisan special interests. Illegal-alien driver’s licenses are a catalyst for politically driven amnesty, Mexico’s poverty-exportation plan, and corporate wage suppression.

American voters of all backgrounds, political affiliations, and incomes don’t want any part of that racket. Enough.

Make D.C. Listen: Voters Reject Illegal Alien Rewards

Enough is enough. An important bloc of voters made their voices heard on Tuesday. Their message: Quit rewarding people who violate our immigration laws. They chose a sovereign nation over an illegal alien sanctuary nation, and they told politicians in both parties loud and clear: Put Americans first.

Will D.C. listen?

These voters are tired of politicians creating magnets for illegal immigrants. They're tired of preferential treatment for defiant border-crossers, visa overstayers and deportation fugitives. They're tired of the heavy costs and consequences of the government's systemic refusal to protect its borders and fully implement interior enforcement.

Pay attention, both parties in the Beltway: These aren't voters in a red-state bastion. They're fed-up voters in bright blue Oregon -- a whopping 941,042 of them, to be exact -- who overwhelmingly rejected a ballot measure to provide special driver's licenses "without requiring proof of legal presence in the United States."

When Democratic Gov. John Kitzhaber and radicals in the state legislature tried to push through illegal alien driver's cards against the will of the people, the people struck back and forced a full public vote and electoral accountability.

"Citizens expect our lawmakers to uphold our laws, not work at finding ways to circumvent them," said the group Protect Oregon Driver Licenses. "Oregon is the only state in the country that (gave citizens the) opportunity to vote on giving driver cards to those who cannot prove legal presence in the United States." If only every state had the power of initiative and referendum. Ten states, including California, Connecticut, Colorado, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Vermont and Washington, plus the District of Columbia, "have had the law forced upon them with little or no recourse available to them."

Listen up, D.C.: The Oregon proposal went down in flames by more than a 2-to-1 margin. More voters weighed in on Measure 88 than any other single candidate or question on the ballot, including the campaigns for governor, U.S. senator and marijuana legalization.

Who supported Measure 88? Entitled ethnic lobbyists, immigration lawyers, American worker-betraying labor unions like the SEIU and UFCW, the ACLU, the militant Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan, agricultural interests, NARAL, far-left church leaders, soft-on-illegal-immigration newspaper editorial boards, and some business-pandering Republicans.

Pro-amnesty actress and Barack Obama campaign finance bundler Eva Longoria's "Latino Victory Project" forked over $50,000 to the pro-Measure 88 PAC. The open-borders campaign raised a whopping $500,000-plus from its deep-pocketed Big Government/Big Business/Hollywood patrons.

Who opposed the referendum? Grassroots citizens and a majority of common-sense sheriffs in Oregon who were outspent 10-to-1.

The police, sheriffs and border patrol agents who opposed Measure 88 forcefully connected the dots between immigration enforcement and homeland security. As I've reported repeatedly over the years, driver's licenses are tickets into the American mainstream. They allow residents to establish an identity and foothold into their communities. They help you open bank accounts, enter secure facilities and, yes, board planes.

Remember:

--The 9/11 hijackers obtained some 364 separate pieces of identification, including driver's licenses, in order to conduct their murderous business. Hijackers Hani Hanjour and Khalid Almihdhar conspired with illegal alien day laborers at a Falls Church, Va., 7-Eleven to obtain government-issued photo IDs. Three other hijackers obtained IDs at an Arlington, Va., DMV.

--In Boston, suspected al-Qaida agent and illegal alien Nabil al-Marabh obtained a license permitting him to drive semi-trucks containing hazardous materials, including explosives and caustic materials.

The anti-Measure 88 law enforcement officers were joined by Derek Hernandez, vice president of the Western Region National Border Patrol Council, and Maria Espinoza, national director of The Remembrance Project. Espinoza is a Mexican-American activist whose group "is dedicated to honoring and remembering Americans who have been killed by illegal aliens." As she pointed out to Oregonians, "Americans are neither allowed nor do they expect being able to provide unverifiable documentation when applying for licenses, jobs, voter registrations, loans or any of the many activities requiring proper identification. Why should illegal aliens be afforded this ill-begotten privilege?"

Pro-Measure 88 advocates disingenuously argued that the law was "pro-public safety" because it would allow Oregon to know who is living in the state. But Espinoza correctly notes that Mexican government offices embedded in the U.S. continue to issue shady "matricula consular" identification cards "without proof of identity, in their efforts to achieve quasi-legal status for Mexican illegal aliens in the United States."

As President Obama and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce conspire in Beltway backrooms to provide tens of millions of work permits for illegal aliens through administrative fiat, the new GOP majority on Capitol Hill better heed the defeat of Measure 88.

Cynthia Kendoll, president of Oregonians for Immigration Reform, spoke for law-abiding voters across the country who are "sick and tired of big business, special interest groups and unions controlling our government." They're tired of government-manufactured chaos, government-sponsored double standards and government-imposed benefits for millions of law-breakers who supply cheap labor and cheap votes to bipartisan special interests. Illegal alien driver's licenses are a catalyst for politically driven amnesty, Mexico's poverty exportation plan and corporate wage suppression.

American voters of all backgrounds, political affiliations and incomes don't want any part of that racket. Enough.

Election night celebration

If you were unable to attend the Election Night celebration - we missed you! But, we took pictures for you!

Nervous energy quickly evaporated into high spirits as the results began to come in. 

It's BIG WIN for the NO on 88 campaign with 68% of the vote - our opponents only 32%.

 

Oregon Voters Reject Illegal Alien Driver’s Licenses

Voters in Oregon overwhelmingly rejected a law passed in 2013 that would grant driver’s license cards to illegal aliens. (Oregon Live, Nov. 5, 2014) Ballot Measure 88, which put Senate Bill (“S.B.”) 833 up for voter approval, was defeated by a landslide of 68% of voters in favor of vetoing S.B 833, with only 32% in support of the law. (Id.) The defeat of Measure 88 marks a huge victory for true immigration reformers in Oregon and nationwide. Currently, eleven states grant driver’s licenses to illegal aliens. However, activists in Oregon were the first state to hold their elected representatives accountable and put the question on the ballot.

Opposition against Measure 88 was entirely a grassroots effort. Oregonians for Immigration Reform, a local group whose mission is to support enforcement of immigration law, initiated the referendum of the law by working tirelessly to gather over 71,000 signatures in just a few months to get Measure 88 on the ballot. (Breitbart, Oct. 21, 2014) Supporters for the Measure included illegal alien lobby groups, labor unions, and businesses that profited off of the availability of cheap, illegal labor. (Oregon Live, Nov. 4, 2014) True immigration reformers raised only $37,000 to fight Measure 88, compared to the $421,000 raised by the illegal alien lobby to support it. (Breitbart, Oct. 21, 2014)

The movement to defeat Measure 88 gained momentum in April when sheriffs representing all 36 counties in Oregon came out in opposition to the Measure. (Oregon Live, Sept. 22, 2014) Sheriffs of Oregon Political Action Committee, which represents Oregon sheriffs, issued a press release stating: “The Sheriffs of Oregon support the citizens veto referendum #301 to overturn S.B. 833. We urge a NO vote.” (Id.) Tom Bergin, current Clatsop County Sheriff and former President of the Oregon State Sheriff’s Association, added, “It is wrong to provide special driver’s licenses to people who cannot prove legal presence in the United States. For Oregon to do so, will only enhance the ability for criminal behavior, thus creating a larger risk to our citizens public safety. The Sheriffs of Oregon urge you to oppose this Measure.” (Id.)

Supporters of illegal alien driver’s licenses appealed to public safety concerns, arguing S.B. 833 would improve public safety and increase the number of insured drivers on state roads and highways. (Portland Tribune, Oct. 16, 2014) These arguments, however, lost credibility after the law enforcement adamantly spoke up against the law. Dave Driscall, a retired Salem Police officer, described Measure 88 as “just a way for a select group of people to avoid Oregon law. It will not increase traffic safety or lower the number of uninsured drivers in this state. If allowed to stand Oregon could become a safe haven for criminals and terrorists.” (Oregon Live, Sept. 22, 2014) Indeed, a study published in the Journal of Insurance Regulation in 2011 reported that the average percentage of uninsured motorists is actually higher in states that have no lawful presence requirement for obtaining driving privileges. (National Association of Insurance Commissioners)

True immigration reform activists in the state were thrilled to learn of the outcome of the referendum. (Statesman Journal, Nov. 4, 2014) Cynthia Kendoll, president of Oregonians for Immigration Reform, commented, “We wanted to get it to the ballot, and we wanted to let Oregon voters decide this issue. I think they’ve spoken loud and clear.” (Id.) Kendoll stated the outcome was a victory for those “sick and tired of big business, special interest groups and unions controlling our government.” (Oregon Live, Nov. 4, 2014)
 

It's TOO late to mail your ballot - use a drop off location

Alert date: 
November 2, 2014
Alert body: 

The Secretary of State’s Elections Calendar for November 4 says: “Official drop sites open 8 hours or more and until 8 PM for depositing cast ballots. County Clerk’s office open 7 AM - 8 PM for issuing and depositing ballots.”

Want to find a drop site near you? You can visit http://www.sos.state.or.us/dropbox/ and see an interactive map showing ballot drop box locations all over Oregon.

Candidate Tootie Smith sent out a list of links to drop box locations in the following counties. If you live in any of these counties, you can click on name of the county and get a list of locations for drop boxes in that county.
Lincoln County
Tillamook County
Polk County
Marion County
Clackamas County
Multnomah County

Most other county government websites also list locations of drop boxes in that county. You might enter in an internet search box, the name of your county and state, and when you see the homepage for the county government, use their search box to enter the term ballot drop sites, or browse the Elections section. For example,

Yamhill County, http://www.co.yamhill.or.us/content/ballot-drop-sites

Washington County, http://www.co.washington.or.us/AssessmentTaxation/Elections/CurrentElection/current-ballot-drop-sites.cfm

Jackson County, http://jacksoncountyor.org/clerk/Elections/Upcoming-Current-Elections/General-Primary-Elections/ArtMID/5084/ArticleID/1095/Official-Drop-Site-Locations

Measure 88 hurts Oregon's unemployed

Campaigns are often won or lost based on slogans or a clever turn of a phrase.  But, the cold hard facts are often hard to "market" to the casual voter.

Read here the David Cross article posted on OregonLive.com regarding the impact of illegal immigration on Oregon's unemployed and how Ballot Measure 88 compounds the problem.

Lax Immigration Policies May Have Shielded Killer of California Deputies

The man accused in Friday's horrific killing and carjacking spree near Sacramento, Calif., which resulted in the deaths of two sheriff's deputies and the wounding of two others, is a citizen of Mexico who was deported twice previously, but who apparently has been living in the United States for more than a decade.

Thanks to fingerprint sharing made possible by ICE's Secure Communities program (which DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson has indicated he wants to scale back), authorities were able to quickly determine that the man arrested had given them an alias. ICE has issued a statement saying that the accused is Luis Enrique Monroy-Bracamonte, and that he was deported in 1997 after a conviction in Arizona for possession of narcotics for sale, and again in 2001.

Unfortunately, the Secure Communities identification system seems to be the only part of our immigration system that has worked properly against this violent criminal.

According to news accounts, after he illegally re-entered the country after deportation, Monroy-Bracamonte lived and worked for years in Arizona, where he married Janelle Marquez Monroy-Bracamonte, reported to be a U.S. citizen. At some point they moved to the Salt Lake City, Utah, area, which is notably more hospitable to illegal residents. While working as a house painter and lawn mower there, Monroy-Bracamonte apparently racked up more than 10 misdemeanor traffic offenses and citations between 2003 and 2009 under an alias. In addition, he reportedly had a record of one traffic ticket and three small claims court filings for debt in his real name, also in Utah.

Had these offenses occurred in Arizona or other places where local law enforcement agencies are encouraged (and required in Arizona since 2012) to look into the identity and immigration status of lawbreakers, Monroy-Bracamonte might have come to the attention of local police and ICE a long time ago. But Salt Lake City Police Chief Chris Burbank has said such policies are "ridiculous" and "you actually increase crime when you enforce these kinds of laws." Who looks ridiculous now? Chief Burbank also has been active with a (very small) group of police chiefs lobbying against immigration enforcement and for amnesty.

Monroy-Bracamonte appears not to be your average illegal worker off on a weekend road trip with his wife. They were quite well armed for their trip to Sacramento, packing an AR-15 assault rifle and at least two pistols. Monroy-Bracamonte killed Sacramento County deputy Danny Oliver by shooting him in the forehead as he approached their car, which was parked in the lot of a Motel 6 that is notorious for criminal activity, and where they were registered as guests. They led officers on a six-hour chase, during which Monroy-Bracamonte killed detective Michael David Davis, Jr., and wounded two others before officers used tear gas to smoke him out of hiding in a house in Auburn, Calif.

Photographs reported to be of Monroy-Bracamonte suggest that he is a member of the criminal gang known as Mexican Pride and associated with the Sinaloa drug cartel.

Mexican Pride has been on ICE's radar screen for some time. Dozens of Mexican Pride members and associates have been arrested by ICE agents over the years, and the agency's arrest records show concentrations in Arizona, southeast Washington state, Colorado, and the Washington DC/Northern Virginia metro area. Mexican Pride members often have violent criminal histories, including assault, weapons offenses, drug dealing, burglary, robbery, and more. Federal gang intelligence reports say Mexican Pride is also involved in prostitution and human trafficking. The gang's membership includes Central Americans as well as Mexicans and U.S. citizens.

Unfortunately, ICE leadership under the Obama administration has pulled back on ICE's highly effective anti-gang programs in the last few years, and American communities – and families – are now paying the price.

ICE's National Gang Unit records show that 20 percent fewer gang arrests were made in 2013 than in 2012. And more and more of the ICE gang arrests have been occurring overseas rather than within the United States.

Whereas ICE agents once could work closely with local law enforcement agencies to target deportable gang members pro-actively with surge and street operations, now policies from ICE headquarters dictate that gang members are off-limits for enforcement until they are convicted of a serious crime. The result is that foreign gang members now can more easily avoid arrest, have little fear of immigration enforcement, are more likely to obtain benefits or relief from removal, are much less likely to face deportation, and are more likely to return after deportation. Liberal ICE detention policies have led to the release of gang members arrested by ICE investigators, which can enable them to escape prosecution. ICE agents also face limitations that are stricter than most other federal and local investigators on how they may use social media; such tools might well have enabled ICE to target Monroy-Bracamonte earlier.

So far ICE has been tight-lipped with information on Luis and Janelle Monroy-Bracamonte, referring questions to the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department. The following questions remain to be answered:

1 - Has Luis Monroy-Bracamonte had other encounters with immigration authorities since his removal in 2001?

2 - What are the circumstances of his 2001 removal? Did it follow another arrest, and which agency made that arrest?

3 - Did Janelle Marquez Monroy-Bracamonte (or anyone else) seek to sponsor Luis for a green card? Has he received any immigration benefit or exercise of prosecutorial discretion?

4 - Law enforcement agencies should be asked to disclose Monroy-Bracamonte's entire criminal history and record of civil infractions and charges.

5 - Does Janelle Monroy-Bracamonte have a criminal history?

6 - What identification documents did Monroy-Bracamonte provide to the officers who arrested him? Did they include a legally issued driver's license that he obtained in Utah or another state? Or did he use fraudulent documents?

7 - Did any Utah law enforcement officers ever inquire or investigate his identity or immigration status? If so, was he referred to ICE?

The answers to these questions may guide lawmakers and local law enforcement agencies to adopt, or reinstate, more effective enforcement practices that prioritize public safety over protecting criminal aliens.

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