E-Verify

CAUSA gets it wrong - again

CAUSA, in a continuous effort to obscure the facts about their true intentions issued an open letter

Please take a moment to read the letter and be certain to scroll to the bottom of the letter to read the names of all the elected officials that have apparently decided that violating their oath of office in order to serve at the will of illegal aliens instead of their American citizen constituents is just fine.

As President of OFIR, I have written a response  to the letter which was published in the Medford Mail Tribune.

 

 

OFIR's Pizza and Politics event packs the house

Three special guest speakers and yummy pizza drew a packed house for OFIR's Pizza and Politics meeting Saturday, October 10th.

Oregon Republican Party Chairman Bill Currier, Representative Mike Nearman (an OFIR Board member) and Representative Greg Baretto spoke on a number of immigration related topics.  Visit the OFIR photo gallery.

 

It's time for PIZZA and POLITICS - OFIR meeting, Saturday, Oct. 10 at 2:00pm

Alert date: 
2015-09-29
Alert body: 

Please join us Saturday, October 10 at 2:00pm at the Best Western Mill Creek Inn in Salem, OR and get caught up with what's happening locally and across the country in immigration politics all while enjoying some delicious pizza.

Donald Trump, like him or not, has blown the lid off the immigration conversation and in so doing has forced candidates to address the immigration issue head on....finally!

Because of Trump's campaign trail comments and his surge in the polls because of those comments, OFIR and immigration organizations and activists across the country are in a phenomenal position to make real headway in stemming the flow of illegal aliens into our country.

At the meeting, special guest Oregon Republican Chairman Bill Currier will be there to explain how the ORP plans to actively face down the immigration issues we struggle with here in Oregon.

Representative Mike Nearman and Representative Greg Baretto will be joining us to explain what's happening in the Oregon Legislature.

OFIR has been busy working to advance 2 initiatives. We will be talking about our progress on both of them and how you can help.

OFIR and our fantastic members and friends must be ready with renewed energy and resources to take advantage of the opportunities before us and to tackle the important challenges we will be facing in this coming election year.

Please consider bringing along a contribution to OFIR and take advantage of our $15,000 matching grant?


 

Debate Prep on Immigration

By Mark Krikorian, Center for Immigration Studies, September 16, 2015

Participants in the two Republican debates later today are certain to be asked about their views on illegal immigration and the Middle Eastern refugee crisis. The answers are not difficult, and yet one candidate after another flubs them. Here's a template for answering the first question, with the second to follow.

Actually fixing immigration will be hard work, but explaining it isn't – or shouldn't be. And yet, from Trump's saying whatever pops into his head, to Carson's frivolous assurance that he would seal the border within a single year, to Jeb's detailed plan to enforce the rules after amnestying all the illegals, and to the clichéd boasts by the rest that they will "secure the border," the candidates' responses to illegal immigration queries do not speak well to their political skills.

At the risk of sounding like a middle-school English teacher, they need to introduce the problem, offer three concrete solutions that are understandable, hold together, and make sense both politically and as policy, and then conclude by showing how they point to the future:

Well, Hugh, I'm glad you asked that question. Until we have in place an enforcement system that will prevent the settlement of another 12 million illegal aliens, we're not even going to talk about what to do with the ones already here. We're not going to amnesty them and we're not going to launch a dragnet to find them. If they're arrested for something else, I'll make sure we have resources in place to deport them, but in the meantime my administration would focus on the three things we need to have in place before we even talk about the illegals already here.

First, we need nationwide E-Verify, so when a company hires somebody, and is filling out the paperwork for Social Security and the IRS, they also check, using this free online system, whether the new employee is telling the truth about who they are. The system's already in place, it's used millions of times every year, including by the great folks at (insert name of company in your state), and unlike the Obamacare website, it actually works. But it's optional now and needs to be rolled out nationwide, so that all our businesses and workers are playing on an even playing field.

Second, we need a check-out system for foreign visitors. One thousand new illegal aliens will settle in our country today, and most of them will have come in legally on some kind of visa, but just stayed when their time was up. Better fencing at the border won't fix that. Right now, we're pretty good at checking people into our country, but after that, it's the honor system. Heck, we don't even send a text message thanking them for visiting our country and reminding them to make sure they head home on time.

Finally, we need to undo the damage President Obama has done to law enforcement. For state and local police (insert reference to your state here), the ability to partner with immigration authorities is vital to public safety. And yet this president has dismantled the arrangements between local cops and immigration agents, winked at sanctuary cities, and even punished towns and states that have tried to do the right thing.

Once those three goals are met – not on paper in Washington, but in fact, in the real world – then we'll take another look at the illegal immigrants already here. And there's likely to be a lot fewer of them, simply owing to attrition. In fact, of the illegals here today, fully two and a half million have moved here since President Obama was inaugurated. If he had just done his job, this whole problem would be much smaller and less wrenching. In a (fill in name) administration, we will finally work our way out of this mess.

It's a little long for a debate response when there are eleven people on the stage, but even in abbreviated form it's concrete, coherent, and concise.

http://cis.org/krikorian/debate-prep-immigration

A $15,000 matching grant spurs donor contributions - don't miss your opportunity to double your contribution!

Alert date: 
2015-10-13
Alert body: 

Contributions are rolling in - don't miss your opportunity to DOUBLE your contribution - up to $15,000 total!

A matching grant will help OFIR fight to STOP illegal immigration here in Oregon and across the country.

Our generous donor will match your contributions to OFIR of any size up to $15,000 total!  Imagine that - if you contribute $20 it magically becomes $40 or contribute $100 and it magically becomes a $200 contribution! 

OFIR fought very hard to defeat Ballot Measure 88 and our resources are running low.  Your contribution now will help OFIR stay in the game during the critical, upcoming election cycle.

Please consider a generous contribution today and double your money.  This wonderful opportunity just doesn't happen every day!

OFIR appreciates each and every one of our members.  We understand that some of you may not be able to contribute financially.  There are lots of things you can do to help http://www.oregonir.org/how-you-can-help-ofir

But, we hope that those of you that can, will dig deep and give generously.  We need your help now - and your contribution to OFIR will be doubled - up to $15,000.  It's a WIN - WIN!

You can also go online http://www.oregonir.org/donate-ofir to contribute or mail your contribution to:

OFIR

PO Box 7354

Salem, OR 97303

Thank you!

Don't miss out on this GREAT OPPORTUNITY to double your contribution to OFIR!

Rep. Bonamici to hold Town Halls

Alert date: 
2015-08-25
Alert body: 

For those of you living in Congressional District 1:

Representative Suzanne Bonamici has scheduled 6 town hall meetings in August and September, beginning on August 29 in McMinnville.

Her announcement states:  “It’s critical that I hear from my constituents about issues affecting them,” Congresswoman Bonamici said. “These town hall meetings provide me with a useful perspective that informs my work. I always appreciate hearing from my constituents about their ideas, concerns, and questions.”

OFIR encourages members in Congressional District 1 to attend one of these meetings and discuss immigration issues.  Rep. Bonamici is rated F- by NumbersUSA on her voting record on immigration bills in the current Congress, and D- overall for her years in Congress, 2012-2015.  In 2015 alone, she voted 4 times for amnesties to illegal aliens.  The particular bills are listed here.

You might wish to read the useful tips posted on NumbersUSA’s website for constituents’ effective participation in town halls.  We suggest that you express to Rep. Bonamici your concerns about her consistent support for illegal aliens and illegal immigration and her apparent disregard of the consequences for citizens and the viability of our nation. 

If you wish, you can print copies of her voting records here, and give them to her.

Here is the Townhall schedule:

LOCATION

DATE & TIME

McMinnville: 
Chemeketa Community College
(Yamhill Valley Campus)
Building 1, Rooms 101-103
288 NE Norton Lane
McMinnville, OR
97128

 

Saturday August 29
10:30-11:30 a.m.

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

 

Saturday August 29
1:30-2:30 p.m.

St. Helens:
St. Helens Public Library
375 S 18th Street
St. Helens, OR
97051

Monday August 31
11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Cornelius:
Centro Cultural
1110 N Adair Street
Cornelius, OR
97113


Monday August 31
5:30-6:30 p.m.

Portland:
Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital Auditorium
1015 NW 22nd Avenue
Portland, OR
97210


Tuesday September 1
6:00-7:00 p.m.

Warrenton:
Warrenton Community Center
170 SW 3rd Street
Warrenton, OR
97146


Sunday September 13
1:30-2:30 p.m.


 

Last weekend for the 150th Oregon State Fair!

Alert date: 
2015-08-29
Alert body: 

Don't miss out on the fun!  Plan to attend the Oregon State Fair  running through Labor Day.

Oregonians for Immigration Reform (OFIR) is hosting a booth at the State Fair again this year.  We encourage you to drop by and say hello, we are located in the Jackman Long building.  Learn more about what's happening here in Oregon and across the country and meet a State Rep. and Senator or a talk show host or any of our other wonderful volunteers!  Visit our photo gallery!

If you have not yet joined OFIR, we encourage you to do so.  It has been decades since the immigration issue has attracted such attention.
 

Weaken the magnet of jobs: Opposing view

Border enforcement isn’t just about the Mexican border.

The frontier with our southern neighbor really is better controlled than it used to be, though that’s not saying much, considering how laughably inadequate enforcement was in the past.

But it’s immigration security overall that we need to worry about, both at the border and the interior. Better border fencing is indeed necessary, but our efforts in non-border areas haven’t even risen yet to the level of “laughably inadequate.” Until they’re addressed, we shouldn’t even be discussing what to do about illegal aliens already here.

The three biggest weaknesses are worksite enforcement, visa tracking, and state and local partnerships with federal authorities.

Weakening the magnet of jobs is key to deterring illegal immigration. The online E-Verify system enables employers to check whether new hires are telling the truth about who they are — but it’s only voluntary. Only by making E-Verify a universal part of the hiring process can we even begin to claim to be serious about enforcement.

People who come here legally on visitor visas but never leave are now the main source of new illegal immigration, accounting for nearly 60% of the 1,000 new illegal aliens a day settling here. We do a better job of checking people in as they arrive, but we don’t track departures. That means we don’t know which visa holders have remained illegally — despite the fact that Congress has mandated such a visa-tracking system eight times since 1996.

It should go without saying that any illegal alien arrested for local crimes should be deported. Yet the Obama administration has dismantled the infrastructure for cooperation between the feds and local law enforcement. Rebuilding these relationships, and protecting cities from predatory lawsuits by anti-borders groups such as the ACLU, is imperative.

Politicians who want legalization of the illegals now, while promising to get around to improving enforcement in the future, are offering the same bad deal as the infamous 1986 amnesty. “Enforcement first” is the only acceptable approach.
 

$2.25 million ICE fine shocks tree fruit industry

A major Washington tree fruit company has agreed to pay $2.25 million in penalties to close several years of ICE audits of its workforce that at one point found 1,700 unauthorized workers. The company is not free from possible future audits, ICE says.

PRESCOTT, Wash. —The Washington tree fruit industry has been rocked by one of its largest companies, Broetje Orchards of Prescott, agreeing to pay $2.25 million in civil penalties to conclude a federal investigation of its workforce.

The settlement was reached for civil violations of federal law related to verifying U.S. employment eligibility of workers, according to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

It is the largest civil penalty by ICE on record against any business in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska and one of the larger fines against an agricultural company nationally, said Andrew Munoz, Seattle ICE spokesman.

Broetje Orchards issued a news release saying it has agreed to pay the $2.25 million with no admission of wrongdoing and no allegation or finding of criminal conduct.

In March 2012, ICE notified Broetje Orchards that it had nearly 1,700 workers not authorized to work in the U.S., Munoz said.

A follow-up audit last summer showed that while the company had significantly reduced the number, nearly 950 unauthorized workers remained, Munoz said. Broetje Orchards acknowledged that, he said.

ICE pursued a fine of $2.5 million based on $2,250 per employee, plus an additional amount for the “aggravating factor” that employees had not been terminated after the notice, Munoz said. Negotiations reduced that to $2.25 million in the agreement signed June 2, he said.

Broetje waives any right to appeal and is cleared of any further civil or criminal liability up to June 2, Munoz said.

“We come out of this agreement hoping Broetje continues on a path of compliance, but the agreement does not preclude future audits for criminal enforcement,” he said.

“ICE weighs various factors when considering the appropriate penalty, including the interests of the community and local economy,” said Raphael Sanchez, ICE’s chief counsel in Seattle. “We believe this is a reasonable conclusion that holds this business accountable but does not cripple its ability to provide jobs to lawful workers.”

In its news release, Broetje Orchards said it was pleased to get the process behind it and get back to growing fruit.

“This case nevertheless highlights what is clearly a dysfunctional and broken immigration system,” the company said. “We urge our industry and our state’s congressional delegation to take the lead to support and pass immigration reform legislation. The agricultural labor shortage needs to be fixed, and now.”

The company said it would make no further comment.

Broetje Orchards packs more than 5 million boxes of apples annually and has more than 6,000 acres of apples and cherries, according to its website.

It has more than 12 million square feet of fruit storage and packing space and employs 1,000 seasonal workers during peak harvests and 1,100 year-round employees.

Other agricultural employers in the four-state region have been fined by ICE in recent years, Munoz said. He said he doesn’t know how many. Penalties usually are less than $100,000 and typically between $5,000 and $50,000, he said.

ICE issued 11 notices of intent to fine in the four states in 2014 and 25 in 2013, he said. Those were all businesses, not just agriculture, he said. There were 12 final orders in 2014 totaling $176,000 in fines in the four states and 31 in 2013 totaling $763,000, he said.

“A majority of cases don’t result in any type of penalty or administrative action” when we see good faith, proactive efforts, Munoz said.

In reacting to the news, the president of another Washington tree fruit company, said: “This deal is scary. We will get to the point with these raids where we just won’t have enough people to get our crops picked and packed.”

The $2.25 million is a lot for any company to pay and probably 80 percent of the workers in most packing houses are illegal, said the president, who asked for anonymity.

“This is a symptom of the fact we’ve been unable to get anywhere on immigration reform. There are a lot of growers in the same position as Broetje. They all need to have a way to get a legal workforce instead of play the games of the past 20 years,” said Mike Gempler, executive director of the Washington Growers League in Yakima.

Solutions are available, such as the 2013 Senate bill, but greater use of H-2A foreign guest workers alone won’t solve labor shortages, he said.

Labor is tighter than last year, particularly in the Wenatchee area, he said.

“The large fine against an outstanding grower further demonstrates that the majority of the seasonal agricultural workforce is not work authorized, as if we need further proof,” said Dan Fazio, director of WAFLA, a farm labor association in Olympia.

“Immigration reform is the domestic social issue of our time. We need to get it right. Congress must reform immigration laws to make it easier for seasonal workers who are sponsored by great employers to enjoy the dignity of legal presence while they work in our fields and the administration needs to stop playing politics with the issue and work with Congress,” Fazio said.

This year’s labor shortage looks like 2006, a bad year, Fazio said. The recession reduce shortages for a few years after 2007, he said.

“People are scared they don’t have enough. We’re getting calls from lots of growers,” he said.

WAFLA probably will assist growers in hiring 10,000 H-2A workers this year compared to more than 7,000 last year, he said. The statewide total may hit 15,000, up from 9,077 last year, he said.

More hops and pear growers and smaller growers are using H-2A on shared contracts, he said.

Norm Gutzwiler, a Wenatchee grower, said he’s “dumbfounded” by the penalty against Broetje.

“Our system is broken and somehow it needs to be fixed so people can work. That’s a heavy fine to be levied against anyone,” he said.

“People will be more conscientious and try to do the right thing but people have been trying to do the right thing for years. I’m sure Broetje had people checking I-9 (employment eligibility) forms,” he said.

Gutzwiler said growers he’s talked to have had enough pickers for early cherries and that he hopes it will be adequate through cherry harvest as pickers move up from California after finishing the crop there.
 

Your letters and commentaries help spread the word

Many of us are neck deep in politics.  They call us activists - or worse.

Many of us are very informed, but prefer to stay out of the fray and simply be supportive at the ballot box.

But, the vast majority of people are uninformed voters.  And, in large part, it's because of the "low information voter" that we are in the predicament we find ourselves now.

Letters to the Editor, commentaries and opinion pieces are critical in reaching out to people who only glance at the newspaper - occassionally.  Or take a peek online once in a while.

Please read through the fantastic collection of letters written by folks inspired to simply speak up and express their frustrations!

A well written opinion piece by OFIR founder and longtime member Elizabeth VanStaaveren is a good example!

A recent commentary by OFIR member Rick LaMountain is a great place to start.

 

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