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OAN recognizes six public officials as 'Friends of Nurseries'

November 7, 2013, Wilsonville, Ore. -- The Oregon Association of Nurseries will recognize six Oregon elected officials as "Friends of Nurseries" at its 2013 Convention, to be held Friday at The Oregon Garden resort in Silverton, Ore.

The six include three Republicans and three Democrats. They are Gov. John Kitzhaber (D), U.S. Rep Kurt Schrader (D-Oregon Fifth District), Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek (D-Portland), State Sen. Bill Hansell (R-Pendleton), State Sen. Chuck Thomsen (R-Hood River), and State Rep. Cliff Bentz (R-Ontario).

"The Oregon nursery industry is the largest single segment in Oregon agriculture, with $745 million in sales in the most recent year that was tracked," OAN Executive Director Jeff Stone said. "Our association is more than 800 businesses strong, and all of them make a positive difference in Oregon's economy. That's why we wanted to give these public officials some much-deserved recognition. All of them have shown positive leadership, ensuring that Oregon remains a great place for nurseries to do business."

Gov. Kitzhaber was recognized for taking the lead on creating a new water supply fund for irrigation, natural resource protection and other uses. He was also recognized for putting together a task force that led to creation and passage of a four-year driver's card bill. Finally, Kitzhaber has maintained critical natural resource and extension funding at the state level, which the industry relies on for sharing knowledge and managing pest and disease threats.

Rep. Schrader has been consistent ally on the Farm Bill and comprehensive immigration reform. He has secured funding for research and pest and disease issues, and successfully pushed the USDA to rescind a discriminatory order that denied Oregon growers equal marketplace access. Schrader is currently serving on a House-Senate conference committee regarding the federal Farm Bill.

Speaker Kotek provided critical support so that the water supply bill and driver's card bill could move forward.

Sen. Hansell was a key figure in the passage of the water supply bill and also sponsored the driver's card bill.

Sen. Thomsen also sponsored the driver's card bill and provided critical support to help get it passed.

Rep. Bentz helped put together a compromise that moved the water supply bill forward when few thought it could pass. It ended up passing with just one dissenting vote between the two legislative chambers.

The awards will be announced at Friday's convention. At that convention, outgoing OAN President Carson Lord of Tree Frog Nursery (Silverton, Ore.) will pass the gavel to President-Elect Matt Gold, who will assume office. Gold and a 23-member board will guide the association's direction and priorities for 2014.

The Oregon Association of Nurseries, based in Wilsonville, represents more than 800 wholesale growers, retailers, landscapers and suppliers. Nursery products are the biggest sector in Oregon agriculture, with annual sales of $745 million in 2012. Oregon's nursery industry is a traded sector; nearly 75 percent of Oregon-grown nursery plants are shipped out of state. To learn more, visit www.oan.org or call 503-682-5089.

 

Rep. Schrader to Hold Town Hall Events in Oregon City, Keizer

Alert date: 
2013-10-09
Alert body: 

You are invited to attend one of Representative Kurt Schrader's upcoming October town hall events in Oregon City and Keizer. Town hall events are excellent opportunities for you to ask questions about issues pending in Congress or the community.

The massive amnesty bill, S744 ,working its way through Congress is a threat to our nation's sovereignty. Unemployed Americans should be the first consideration of our elected officials and they clearly won't be if this bill is passed.

Please attend one of these meetings and ask Rep. Schrader to stop this bill in the House, when it arrives, and ask him not to send it on to conference.

Should the government be shutdown during these events, Schrader will not be able to attend in person.   However, he will hold these town hall events from Washington, D.C. via Google Hangout live video feed.

Oregon City Town Hall
Wednesday, October 16th
6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Providence Willamette Falls Education Center
519 15th St., Oregon City 97045

Keizer Town Hall
Thursday, October 17th
6 to 7 p.m.
Keizer Civic Center
930 Chemawa Rd. NE, Keizer 97303

 

Questions for Legislators at upcoming Townhall meetings - they want to know what's on your mind

In the 2013 regular session of the Oregon State Legislature, all Democrats present voted for HB 2787, a bill to grant instate tuition to illegal aliens, and also for SB 833, the bill giving driver cards to illegal aliens.

In the House, 5 Republicans voted for the instate tuition bill: Cliff Bentz, Vicki Berger, John Huffman, Mark Johnson, Julie Parrish. In the Senate, these 3 Republicans voted for instate tuition: Bill Hansell, Bruce Starr, Chuck Thomsen.

Voting for driver cards to illegal aliens were these Republican House members: John Davis, Vic Gilliam, Bob Jenson, Mark Johnson, Greg Smith, and these Republican Senators: Herman Baertschiger, Brian Boquist, Ted Ferrioli, Larry George, Bill Hansell, Chuck Thomsen.

If you have an opportunity to attend a town hall, or to speak elsewhere to your state senator and representative, please tell them about your concerns regarding illegal immigration. We are listing some suggested questions that could be raised with your legislators, particularly with all Democrats and those Republicans who voted for instate tuition and driver cards for illegal aliens.

 
1. A legislator’s main responsibility is to put the interests of citizens first. It is not in the public’s economic interest to encourage illegal immigration by giving accommodations to illegal immigrants and making life here comfortable for them. Unemployment and very low wages are serious problems in Oregon now. In August, over 150,000 Oregonians were unemployed; our unemployment rate was 8.1%, well above the national rate of 7.4%. The U-6 unemployment rate, which includes part-time workers who want full-time work, and discouraged workers who’ve given up active job-search, was 16.9% according to the latest figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Are you O.K. with forcing unemployed and underemployed citizens to compete with unlimited numbers of illegal aliens for jobs?

2. Employers should not be allowed to hire illegal labor. Instead of passing laws to give illegal aliens instate tuition and official driver privileges; you could have worked in the last session of the Legislature to make E-Verify mandatory for all employers in Oregon. This would open up jobs for citizens and legal immigrants and discourage illegal immigration. Will you promote a requirement for employers to use E-Verify for current work forces as well as new hires?

3. The rule of law is the foundation for good government. It is undermined when illegal immigrants are allowed to enter and remain in this country unimpeded, and encouraged to remain here by giving them benefits paid for from public funds. How can citizens respect law when they see it so flagrantly ignored by illegal immigrants and their employers, and legitimized in the Legislature by bills accommodating illegal immigration?

4. Giving driver cards to illegal aliens will not improve safety – quite the opposite. There is no way the Oregon DMV can accurately certify the identity of the thousands of illegal aliens who will apply for driver cards. Identify theft and falsified documents are common, and hard to detect. Besides the illegal aliens now living here, others from the 45 states that don’t give driver licenses to illegal aliens will come to Oregon to take advantage of our weak law. Safety concerns focused only on possible traffic accidents miss the larger risks. Do you care about the dangers of terrorism from holders of fraudulent driver cards issued in Oregon?

5. Before the 2008 Driver License law was passed requiring proof of citizenship for driver licenses, the state did issue licenses to illegal aliens. There is no evidence that the roads were safer then than in the 5 years since the 2008 law was passed. Therefore it’s not logical to expect greater safety now by again giving illegal aliens official driver cards. Do you think it’s worth weakening the secure driver license law enacted in 2008 for an only nebulous degree of safety from traffic accidents?

6. Expenses for attending college are daunting for most citizens, and places in public colleges are necessarily limited by taxpayer funds available for maintaining higher education. The claims by some that giving instate tuition to illegal aliens will have no effect on enrollment of citizens are illogical and unbelievable. Why should our citizen young people have to step aside to make room for illegal aliens who will be in competition with them for college enrollment? -- There was no effort by leaders in the Oregon Legislature to curtail or stop illegal immigration when there are many such steps available to state legislatures, and other states have passed such laws protecting citizens.

Legislators want to hear from you at upcoming Townhall meetings

Alert date: 
2013-09-21
Alert body: 

Our state legislators hold town halls from time to time, inviting constituents to attend and express their civic concerns. As OFIR learns about the town hall schedules, we will alert members and encourage attendance. Town halls are a great opportunity to meet your legislators and question them in person. If you learn of town halls scheduled for your district, please send the information on to OFIR.

Read more about questions to ask State Legislators at upcoming townhall meetings.


 

Congressman Cotton explains the catastrophic pitfalls of S744

If Congress would simply take their eyes off the next election for a moment, they might learn something invaluable from Congressman Tom Cotton in his recent letter to the editor published in the "There Shall Be Open Borders" Wall Street Journal. The immigration legislation Congress is pondering will change our country forever and in ways that will be detrimental to the country forevermore.

The importance of this legislation demands and deserves thoughtful consideration and even more importantly it deserves a NO vote.

Call and thank Congressman Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) for his strong stand. You can call him at his Washington DC office (202) 225-3772.

Eye-popping billboard zings famous Republican

A brand-new Georgia billboard proclaiming South Carolina’s alleged affinity for illegal aliens is raising eyebrows this week.

The sign, posted in Canton, Ga., declares: “South Carolina welcomes the undocumented. Sen. Lindsey Graham says his state has a labor shortage and wants more immigrants. For job tips, call his office at (864) 646-4090. Located in Pendleton, S.C. Only 2 hours from Atlanta!”

Sen. Graham, R-S.C., sits on a bipartisan committee that just passed a sweeping immigration-reform bill.

“These people must have been off the planet for the last five years,” said D.A. King, an immigration activist with the Dustin Inman Society who paid for the billboard. “We don’t need more workers. We need more jobs.”

King blasted the immigration bill, claiming illegal aliens will have an easier time getting jobs in the U.S., while making it more difficult for American citizens to find or hold onto employment.

“I think unemployed Georgians are already kicking and screaming,” King told WGCL-TV, the CBS affiliate in Atlanta.

“If you want an answer, go to the unemployment office and ask someone in line if they think adding 20 million more workers to the American workforce in the next several years is a good idea.”

The CBS station went to the Cobb-Cherokee Department of Labor office, and found that most people did not wish to comment on immigration, but did say they were desperate for work.

“With less income coming in, I have two kids to take care of, a husband and a household so it’ll be a struggle,” said Tangela Roach, who recently lost the second part-time job she had.

“I’m very concerned,” said Brooke Daugherty. “I’m a single parent. I’m very concerned to find a job immediately.”

King is hoping his billboard brings national attention to immigration reform and the negative impact it could have.

“Most of us want our borders enforced, our laws enforced and our jobs back,” King said.

King’s activist group was named for Dustin Inman, a 16-year-old American boy killed by an illegal alien in a traffic crash on Father’s Day weekend in 2000.

Dustin was on his way to a weekend of fishing in the North Georgia mountains with his parents.

Despite being in the U.S. illegally, the driver of the car that killed Dustin, Gonzalo Harrell-Gonzalez, was able to obtain a valid North Carolina driver’s license using his Mexican birth certificate and a Mexican Matricula Consular ID card.


Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2013/07/billboard-has-eye-popping-message-on-illegals/#97j4e6KUmqKZxMxD.99

House leaders vow to overhaul, replace Senate immigration bill despite Dem pressure

House Republicans insisted Sunday that they plan to change key elements of the Senate-passed immigration bill, signaling a protracted and rocky battle ahead despite one Democrat's pronouncement that in the end the House will cave and pass the Senate bill anyway.

Republican Rep. Bob Goodlatte, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee who is playing a major role in the chamber's consideration of immigration policy, on Sunday addressed what is perhaps at the heart of the impasse.

He said the House, which is drafting its own plan, cannot agree to a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants. Rather, he wants a "pathway to legalization" -- in other words, allow some illegal immigrants a shot at a green card, but not full-fledged citizenship.

The pathway to citizenship, though, is a cornerstone of the Senate-passed bill, and any Democrat-backed plan. Increased border security, better enforcement of businesses and an expansion of the legal immigration system make up the rest of the bill.

Putting the issue in stark terms, Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., told "Fox News Sunday" that if Republicans strip the pathway to citizenship, "no Democrat" would support it.

The confrontation over the pathway to citizenship and other planks of the bill could continue to frustrate lawmakers on both sides, and in both chambers, as they try to sustain the momentum from this past week's Senate vote.

The bill passed Thursday with a strong majority of 68 senators voting in favor. Schumer cited the bipartisan support for the bill, as well as the motive of political survival, in claiming that House Speaker John Boehner would ultimately be compelled to pass it.

"I believe that by the end of this year, the House will pass the Senate bill," Schumer said.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, speaking on NBC's "Meet the Press," also suggested that Republicans' desire to "win a presidential race" would guide them toward supporting some version of the legislation.

But what's in store for the bill might not be so clear. And there is no easy resolution to the stand-off over the proposed pathway to citizenship.

House Republicans, in the near-term, are approaching the immigration overhaul in a piecemeal fashion, tackling a series of smaller-scale bills meant to address what the Senate covered in one massive piece of legislation.

Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., also speaking on "Fox News Sunday," rejected Schumer's prediction.

"I was moved almost to the point of tears by Senator Schumer's concern for the future prospects of the Republican Party," Gowdy said, sarcastically. "But we're going to not take his advice."

He added: "The Senate bill is not going to pass in the House. It's not going to pass for myriad reasons."

He, like other House Republicans, questioned Senate promises that their bill would offer legalization to illegal immigrants in the near-term while eventually building border security and immigration enforcement for employers.

Boehner spokesman Michael Steel also told FoxNews.com that the speaker and his caucus have been "perfectly clear" on their intentions.

"The House will not simply take up and pass the Senate bill," he said in an email. "Our legislation will reflect our principles, particularly on border security. Wishful thinking, frankly, is not a strategy for getting a bill to the president's desk."

Schumer methodically made his case Sunday for why he thinks Boehner will, in the end, bring the Senate bill to the floor.

Aside from citing the various political pressures weighing on the speaker, Schumer said the strategy of passing smaller-scale bills would not work. He said, for instance, that Democrats would not support an enforcement bill without the promise of a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants. Factor in Republicans who refuse to support any immigration bill, Schumer said, and those bills cannot pass.

He claimed Boehner would ultimately be left with a choice between doing nothing and bringing the Senate bill to a vote, relying largely on Democrats to pass it.

Goodlatte, though, insisted that Republicans would take a "step-by-step" approach.

Speaking on CNN's "State of the Union," he said "we want to see enforcement improved and actually enforced, and we want to find the appropriate legal status for people who are not here lawfully."

Asked about his opposition to the pathway to citizenship, he explained he didn't want a "special pathway to citizenship, where people who are here unlawfully get something that people who have worked for decades to immigrate lawfully do not have."

Federal panel: Neb. city's immigration law legal

A federal appeals panel on Friday upheld an eastern Nebraska city's ban on renting to people who aren't in the U.S. legally, opening the door for the town of Fremont to begin enforcing its law and offering implications for other cities with similar ordinances.

Fremont voters handily approved a measure in 2010 that bans hiring or renting to people who can't prove they are in the country legally.

Last year, U.S. District Judge Laurie Smith Camp ruled that parts of the ordinance denying housing permits to those not in the country legally were discriminatory and interfere with federal law. But the city has been enforcing its requirement that businesses use federal E-verify software to check on potential employees.

On Friday, two judges of a three-member panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected that reasoning, leading the majority to reverse the ruling and vacate the lower court's injunction against that part of the ordinance.

Judge James Loken wrote that the plaintiffs failed to show the law was intended to discriminate against Latinos or that it intrudes on federal law.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs said they will confer with their clients before determining whether to ask the full 8th Circuit to review to the case.

The ruling appears counter to decisions in other courts on similar local laws, said Aaron Siebert-Llera, an attorney with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund who represented several U.S.-born Latino home renters and a Fremont landlord who challenged the ordinance.

Siebert-Llera noted that two other federal appeals courts ruled against the communities of Farmers Branch, Texas and Hazelton, Pa., which have similar laws targeting landlords and employers to dissuade them from renting to or hiring people in the country illegally. Both cities have appeals pending before the full federal circuit courts.

"You've got the U.S. Senate passing sweeping immigration reform. You've got this huge, nationwide change going on," he said. "Then you have a decision like this coming out."

The American Civil Liberties Union, which also sued over Fremont's ordinance, bashed the 8th Circuit opinion.

"The court majority failed to recognize that Fremont's attempt to exclude undocumented immigrants from the city's borders is not only un-American, it's unconstitutional," said Jennifer Chang Newell, an attorney for the ACLU's Immigrants' Rights Project.

Eighth Circuit Judge Steven Colloton agreed with the reversal and vacating of the injunction, but said the plaintiffs lacked standing in the case, meaning they did not show how they had been or could be harmed by Fremont's law.

Siebert-Llera took issue with that opinion, noting that one of the plaintiffs showed she was forced to buy a mobile home, because she could not find anyone who would rent to in Fremont.

In a dissent, Judge Myron Bright agreed with the lower court that parts of the ordinance interfere with federal law.

"The ordinance will impose a distinct burden on undocumented persons by preventing them from renting housing in Fremont," Bright wrote. "This denial of rental housing is paramount to removal from the city. And, as the Supreme Court has made clear, removal is entrusted exclusively to the federal government."

Kris Kobach, a Kansas attorney who represented Fremont and helped draft its ordinance and others around the country, lauded Friday's opinion and said it will have implications for both Farmers Branch and Hazelton as appeals courts look at their ordinances.

"And I think it has indirect implications for cities all across the country, and certainly cities in Nebraska, that may wish to take similar steps to stop the negative effects of illegal immigration," Kobach said.

Kobach said as soon as next week, the city will begin enforcing the part that requires all renters in the city to apply for an occupancy permit and denies those permits to people not legally in the country.

The ordinance stirred a whirlwind of controversy in June 2010, when roughly 57 percent of Fremont voters who turned up at the polls supported it. The measure catapulted the city into the national spotlight and spurred comparisons with Arizona and other cities embroiled in the debate over immigration regulations.

Fremont, about 35 miles northwest of Omaha, has seen its Hispanic population surge in the past two decades, largely due to the jobs available at two meatpacking plants just outside the city. Census data show the number of Hispanics soared from 165 in 1990 to 3,149 in 2010.

It's unknown how many immigrants not legally in the country may live in Fremont. According to census figures, 1,259 noncitizens live there, but that figure includes people living in the U.S. legally.

Fremont city officials declined to comment Friday, saying they wanted time to review the ruling.

An invitation to join us Tuesday, May 21 at the Capitol

Alert date: 
2013-05-17
Alert body: 

Please join OFIR this coming Tuesday, May 21st from 11:00am - 1:00pm on the front steps of the Capitol Building in Salem.

We will be participating in the National 1986 Remembrance Day, which is designed for us all to reflect on the impact of the mass amnesty bill passed in 1986.

Speakers will address the National Amnesty bill now circulating through Congress and highlight the most egregious aspects of the bill.

Legislators Rep. Kim Thatcher and Sal Esquivel will speak about the impact of illegal immigration on Oregonians.

Also, as many of you already know, a referendum to STOP SB833 (a law issuing driver privilege cards to illegal aliens) before it is enacted has been filed by  "Protect Oregon Driver Licenses" .

Your help is needed to collect signatures of Oregon's registered voters.  We need 58,142 signatures by mid September (90 days after the last day of this Legislative session).  Our goal is to get SB833 on the ballot and give Oregon's citizen's a voice on the issue...with their NO VOTE in November 2014.

On tuesday, at the Capitol, "Protect Oregon Driver Licenses" will have packets with all you need to collect signatures.  Please stop by and pick one up.  We need all hands on deck to get the signatures we need by the deadline.                                                                                                                                              

Caution:  Because the Legislature is still in session, signatures may NOT be collected on Capitol grounds. 

Your financial contribution would be greatly appreciated, too. The costs involved in operating such an undertaking are enormous.  We would appreciate your help with a contribution of any size to help offset these expenses.

Please plan to join us Tuesday, May 21 from 11:00am - 1pm on the steps of the Oregon Capitol.  You are welcome to bring appropriate signs, banners, flags to help spread the message...NO AMNESTY, NO PATH TO CITIZENSHIP, NO EXCEPTIONS.

See you there! 

New immigration bill has more waivers and exceptions per page than Obamacare

“The revised [Gang of Eight] 867-page bill contains multiple changes from the first 844-page version, released April 18, but Democrats have not announced any delay to the committee review of the complex bill that begins next week. The bill includes roughly 1.14 waivers or exemptions per page. By comparison, the 2,409-page Obamacare law includes 0.78 waivers and exemptions per page… NumbersUSA has estimated that 33 million extra people would be able to apply to live in the United States because of the immigration bill, under the terms of the original draft.”

The Senate’s “Gang of Eight” has released a new version of the immigration bill that contains 999 references to waivers, exemptions and political discretion.

The revised 867-page bill contains multiple changes from the first 844-page version, released April 18, but Democrats have not announced any delay to the committee review of the complex bill that begins next week.

The bill includes roughly 1.14 waivers or exemptions per page. By comparison, the 2,409-page Obamacare law includes 0.78 waivers and exemptions per page.

The Obamacare law contains 1,882 mentions of “unless,” “notwithstanding,” “except,” “exempt,” “waivers,” “discretion” and “may.” “Waiver” is mention 209 times in the law.

The new draft of the immigration bill — which will allow officials much control over the supply and cost of labor needed by American companies — has 85 mentions of “unless,” 150 uses of “except,” 18 inclusions of “exempt,” 92 mentions of “waiver,” 42 offers of “discretion,” 47 use of “notwithstanding” and 618 uses of “may” in the 876-page bill.

The Daily Caller subtracted mentions of “may not” from both bills’ final tally of exemptions and options.

President Barack Obama backs the bill, and told reporters Tuesday that it “is going to be a historic achievement.”

The bill has been crafted by eight senators, led by New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, the third-ranked Democrat in the Senate.

Alex Conant, a spokesman for Sen. Marco Rubio, the leading GOP supporter of the pending immigration bill, did not respond when asked by email if Rubio will ask for a delay to let his fellow GOP senators and their staffers read and understand the new version.

Since January, Rubio has declared that senators and outside opponents of the bill will have plenty of time to review the bill’s contents and to urge changes.

“Senator Rubio has said from the outset that we will not rush this process, and that begins at the committee level,” Conant told The Washington Post April 12.

“The Judiciary Committee must have plenty of time to debate and improve the bipartisan group’s proposal. … We believe that the more public scrutiny this legislation receives, the better it will become,” Conant said.

“We don’t see anything really coming to the [Senate] floor before, at the earliest, sometime in May,” McCain told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren April 11.

“We want to give it plenty of time.”

Jessica Brady, a spokeswoman for the Judiciary Committee, declined Wednesday to say if the Democratic-run committee would delay the bill’s review.

Instead, she forwarded April 25 remarks by committee chairman Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy.

“When we next meet, the bill will have been publicly available for three weeks. So before we vote on any aspect of it we and the public will have had the bill for some time,” he said.  The bill is extremely complex.

For example, there are 47 mentions of the term “notwithstanding,” each of which creates an exemption to the bill or to existing law. On page 339 of the new bill, a paragraph requires the amnesty be extended to illegals who voluntarily left the United States or were deported.

“Notwithstanding section 212(a)(9) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(9)), an alien’s application for an immigrant visa shall be considered if the alien was excluded, deported, removed, or departed voluntarily before the date of the enactment of this Act,” says the paragraph.

Another section allows the families of deported illegals, including family members who never visited the United States, to apply for the amnesty.

The limited-immigration group NumbersUSA has estimated that 33 million extra people would be able to apply to live in the United States because of the immigration bill, under the terms of the original draft.

The group — which wants to reduce the current annual immigration rate of 1 million — has not released an estimate of how many people could arrive under the new draft.

Advocates for the bill have highlighted at least one change in the new version, which is the addition of language that is said to plug a gap created by the bill’s immediate elimination of the current E-Verify system and its projected creation of a new E-Verify system. E-verify is used by employers to gauge whether a job applicant has the right to work in the United States.

 

 

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