election

Voter Proof-of-Citizenship Law Gets Supreme Court Review

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to decide whether states can demand proof of citizenship from people registering to vote, taking up an Arizona case with racial overtones and nationwide implications.

The case, which the court won’t consider until after the Nov. 6 election, tests states’ power to impose requirements that go beyond the registration procedures set out by federal law. A U.S. appeals court invalidated Arizona’s proof-of-citizenship law.

That ruling would “interfere with the states’ ability to protect the integrity of their elections,” Arizona argued in court papers. It is one of at least four states -- along with Alabama, Kansas and Georgia that require would-be voters to show evidence of citizenship.

The case presents legal issues different from those in the voter-identification battles that have garnered headlines leading up to the November election. The new high court case doesn’t directly involve allegations of racial discrimination. Instead, it centers on the constitutional roles of the state and national governments in overseeing elections and on a 1993 federal law designed to increase voter registration.

The court will hear arguments early next year and rule by June.

Arizona’s law, approved by the state’s voters in 2004, provides options for meeting the proof-of-citizenship requirement. Acceptable documents include a driver’s license or other state-issued ID, a birth certificate, a passport and naturalization papers.

Leading Role

The San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals voted 9-2 to strike down the Arizona law, saying the Constitution’s elections clause gives Congress the leading role to set the rules for federal voting.

“The states are obligated to conform to and carry out whatever procedures Congress requires,” Judge Sandra Segal Ikuta wrote.

The 9th Circuit said the 1993 law bars the Arizona registration requirements. The federal measure establishes a national voter application and requires every state to “accept and use” it.

The law “does not give states room to add their own requirements” to the federal application, Ikuta wrote.

The 1993 law was informally known as the Motor Voter Law because of a separate provision that requires states to let residents register to vote when applying for a driver’s license.

Voter Advocacy Groups

The Arizona law was challenged by minority and voter-advocacy groups, including the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, the League of Women Voters of Arizona and the Inter Tribal Council of Arizona. The Obama administration backed the lawsuits at the lower court level.

The 9th Circuit upheld other parts of the Arizona law, including its requirement that voters show identification at the polls.

The Supreme Court hasn’t considered an elections clause case since 1997, when it struck down Louisiana’s system of holding a nonpartisan congressional primary in October, followed by a runoff in November if no candidate received a majority.

The Supreme Court said that system violated the federal law that requires all congressional and presidential elections to be held on a single November day.

Candidates Forum: Candidates for the Office of Oregon Secretary of State. Plan to attend this Friday.

Alert date: 
October 16, 2012
Alert body: 
 
OFIR recommends Knute Buehler for Secretary of State.
 
This year five candidates are vying to become the next Oregon Secretary of State. The Secretary of State is a constitutional officer and statewide elected official whose duties include serving as:
  • Auditor of public accounts
  • Chief elections officer
  • Keeper of public records
The Secretary is responsible for five divisions:
  • Executive
  • Archives
  • Audits
  • Corporations
  • Elections
The Secretary of State also serves on the State Lands Board and chairs the Oregon Sustainability Board. In Oregon, the Secretary of State is first in line of succession to the Governor. Please join us Friday, October 19, to meet the candidates:

KATE BROWN (Democrat) Secretary of State Kate Brown holds an under-graduate degree from the University of Colorado and attended Lewis and Clark College where she earned a law degree and a certificate in Environmental Law. She practiced family and juvenile law, taught at Portland State University and worked with the Juvenile Rights Project. She was appointed to the Oregon House of Representatives in 1991 and twice reelected. In 1996 she won a seat in the State Senate. In 2004, Kate Brown was chosen to serve as the Senate Majority Leader. In 2008, She was elected to serve as Oregon’s Secretary of State. Brown has received awards from the Oregon Commission for Women, the Military Voter Protection Project, and the Oregon State Firefighters Council, among others.

KNUTE BUEHLER(Republican, Independent)
Knute Buehler is the Republican and Independent Party Nominee for Oregon Secretary of State. This is his first run for public office. He is a physician and business owner, and attended Oregon State University where he became OSU’s first Rhodes Scholar. He earned a master’s degree in politics and economics from Oxford University, and attended Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. In Bend, Dr. Buehler helped build and manage a medical clinic that employs 170 staff members. He developed innovative computer assisted surgery techniques, and received patents for products widely distributed. Buehler serves on the boards of the Ford Family Foundation and St. Charles Medical Center. He has worked on initiatives to reform state election laws.

Bruce A. Knight (Libertarian)
Bruce A. Knight, of Portland, represents the Libertarian Party as its Secretary of State candidate. In 1996, he ran as a Libertarian for the District 3 Congressional position. Knight has an Associate’s Degree from the University of New York and has studied computer science and business data processing in various institutions. Knight is currently a team leader at the Portland State University Bookstore.

Robert Wolfe(Progressive)
Robert Wolfe is the Progressive Party’s candidate for the Secretary of State. He lives in Portland where he is the owner of The Oregon Pinot Noir Club, described by Wolfe as “the nation's most significant national retailer of Oregon Pinot Noir and other high-end Northwest wines.” Wolfe is a former, award-winning journalist and a prominent wine writer. Wolfe wants to “reclaim the initiative process, get big money out of Oregon politics, stop government incompetence and save the state forests from clear-cutting.”

Seth Woolley (Pacific Green)
The Pacific Green nominee for Secretary of State, Seth Woolley, lives in Portland after attending Willamette University in Salem. He is a software engineer with an extensive background in computer security auditing. Woolley describes himself as the only candidate with a strong, progressive platform based on healthier native forests, real election reform, and better, transparent auditing.

Please join us Friday, October 19, 2012, as we host the five candidates for Secretary of State at Willamette Heritage Center at the Mill in the Dye House. For lunch reservations email rsvp@salemcityclub.com before noon Wednesday, October 17, 2012. Parking is free. Doors open at 11:30 AM. For more information on this program please go to www.salemcityclub.com.



 

OFIR meeting this Saturday, Oct. 6th at 2:00pm

Alert date: 
October 5, 2012
Alert body: 

OFIR hosts PIZZA and POLITICS this Saturday at 2:00pm. 

Senator Bruce Starr will be our guest speaker, a candidate for the position of Commissioner, Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries. His opponent is the incumbent Commissioner, Brad Avakian, a former state legislator who is an outspoken supporter of driver privileges for illegal aliens, and who has done nothing to curb the hiring of illegal aliens.

Please join us and ask questions about how he intends to address the fact that while over 200,000 Oregonians are without jobs, nearly 100,000 illegal aliens are illegally employed.

Also, hear from OFIR President, Cynthia Kendoll, as she gives a wrap up of her experiences at the National Sheriff's Border School and Tour in El Paso, Texas just 2 weeks ago.

Your questions are always welcome!  Invite a friend, enjoy a slice a pizza and learn what you can do to help stop illegal immigration.

Questions?  Call 503.435.0141

This evening is your opportunity to make a difference - attend Keizer City Council Work Session, Monday, September 10th

Alert date: 
September 7, 2012
Alert body: 

Salem and Keizer members, friends and supporters,

Sometimes it feels like the issue of illegal immigration is too big and there is nothing one person can do.  But, here is a great opportunity right in our own backyard!

On Monday, September 10th, the Keizer City Council will have a Work Session at 5:45 p.m (OFIR suggests arriving earlier, if possible). The topic for the work session will be the City Council Rule that requires youth councilors to be electors when they turn 18 years of age. In essence the rules require that youth councilors must be U.S. citizens.

The city council has come under pressure from outside groups to allow “undocumented aliens” to become youth councilors. Of course people who are not in the US legally cannot become electors. The purpose of the program is that the city council wanted young adults to gain experience and hopefully someday they would then decide to get involved in their local government. OFIR believes the program should be open only to American citizens and not those in our country illegally.  Please plan to attend and bring a friend or neighbor.  It is OFIR's understanding that pro-illegal immigration groups plan to "occupy" this event.  If so, please to NOT engage in any combative language or yelling.  Be polite and respectful if called on to comment.  We want everyone to be safe!

What: The work session will be held in the Keizer Council Chambers.

When: 5:45 Monday, September 10. (go earlier if possible)

Where: Keizer City hall, 930 Chemawa Road NE, Keizer, OR 97303.

OFIR encourages you to attend the work session and let the city council know that

you support their rule requiring only people legally in the country be allowed in the program.

The work session will start at 5:45 p.m. (get there earlier, if possible)

If you have any questions please call the OFIR office at (503) 435-0141.

New Report is First and Only to Comprehensively Detail Obama Immigration Policy Record;

(Washington, D.C. July 24, 2012) In June, President Obama announced that he would administratively implement key provisions of the DREAM Act, effectively allowing upwards of a million illegal aliens to remain in the U.S. In doing so, the president unilaterally nullified numerous federal statutes and is implementing a law Congress has repeatedly rejected. However, as the latest report from the Federation from American Immigration Reform (FAIR) demonstrates, the president's action was not an aberration, but rather the culmination of his administration's assault on the enforcement of U.S. immigration laws.

 

President Obama's Record of Dismantling Immigration Enforcement provides a comprehensive analysis of the Obama administration's relentless effort to undermine the enforcement of most U.S. immigration laws. The study details dozens of incremental steps taken by the Obama administration to weaken and restrict immigration enforcement, acts of raw intimidation against state and local governments that have attempted to enforce our immigration laws, and a campaign of deception designed to convince the American public that immigration laws are being respected and executed.

"In just three and half years, under the guise of exercising executive discretion, President Obama has effectively rewritten U.S. immigration policy without approval from Congress, the body which the U.S. Constitution grants plenary authority over immigration law." charged Dan Stein, president of FAIR. "The Obama administration has imposed its policies and priorities without regard to the security of the nation, or the impact of non-enforcement on the interests of the American people. Remarkably, even as he has brazenly defied the authority of Congress over immigration policy, he has encountered almost no resistance from the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue."

Since taking office in 2009, the administration has:

 

  • Ceased meaningful worksite enforcement against employers who hire illegal aliens as well as the removal of illegal workers from the country.
  • Severely limited immigration enforcement in the interior of the country.
  • Undermined, and in some cases completely terminated, effective partnership programs with state and local law enforcement designed to identify and detain deportable aliens.
  • Turned the Department of Justice (DOJ) into the administration's attack dog, filing lawsuits against state and local governments that have adopted immigration enforcement laws, and used the Department's Civil Rights Division to harass local governments when the lawsuits fail. At the same time, DOJ has ignored actions by states and localities which defy the administration's attempts to remove criminal aliens.
  • Appointed advocates for illegal aliens to key policymaking positions within the Executive Branch.
  • Repeatedly misrepresented and manipulated data in order to convince the American people that immigration laws are being enforced.
  • Effectively nullified numerous immigration laws through excessively broad exercise of prosecutorial discretion.

"President Obama came to office pledging to enact a comprehensive amnesty for illegal aliens during his first year in the White House. He quickly recognized that neither Congress nor the American people were prepared to go along with his agenda," noted Stein. "Rather than respect the will of the American people and the constitutional authority of Congress to determine U.S. immigration policy, he has, through a series of incremental steps, gutted immigration enforcement and assured illegal aliens who have not committed serious felonies that they will be allowed to remain in this country.

"President Obama's Record of Dismantling Immigration Enforcement lays bare the tactics employed by this administration for all to see. It is now incumbent upon Congress to reassert its constitutional authority and ensure that laws that were enacted to protect the security and the interests of the American people are carried out," stated Stein.
 

Justice Department files objection to Texas voter ID law

The Justice Department is objecting to a new photo ID law in Texas for voters, saying the state has failed to demonstrate that the the law is not discriminatory by design against Hispanic voters.

The department's head of the civil rights division, Tom Perez, wrote a a six-page letter to Texas' director of elections saying that Texas has not "sustained its burden" under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act to show that the new law will not have a discriminatory effect on minority voters. About 11 percent of Hispanic voters reportedly lack state-issued identification.

Perez wrote that while the state says the new photo ID requirement is to "ensure electoral integrity and deter ineligible voters from voting" the state "did not include evidence of significant in-person voter impersonation not already addressed by the state's existing laws."

Perez added that the number of people lacking any personal ID or driver's license issued by
the state ranges from from 603,892 to 795,955, but of that span, 29-38 percent of them are Hispanic.

"According to the state's own data, a Hispanic registered voter is at least 46.5 percent, and potentially 120.0 percent, more likely than a non-Hispanic registered voter to lack this identification," Perez wrote.

"Even using the data most favorable to the state ... that disparity is statistically significant," he said.

Perez noted that the Texas law allowed voters to show military ID, a U.S. citizenship certificate, a U.S. passport or a license to carry a concealed handgun, but the state did not provide any statistics noting how many people lack state ID but have the other allowable forms.

"Nor has the state provided any data on the demographic makeup of such voters," Perez wrote.

Texas is the second state to have its voter ID law challenged. The Justice Department already blocked a similar law from taking effect in South Carolina

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/03/12/justice-department-files-objection-to-texas-voter-id-law/#ixzz1ov1f3rWJ
 

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Administration Appoints New Lobbyist for Illegal Aliens

In an effort to quell accusations by the open borders lobby that the Administration has not gone far enough with its administrative amnesty program, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced last week the creation of a new “public advocate” position for illegal aliens. Senior ICE Advisor Andrew Lorenzen-Strait, who was appointed as the new advocate, will serve as a point of contact for aliens in removal proceedings, community and advocacy groups, and others who have concerns, questions, recommendations or other issues they would like to raise about the Administration’s executive amnesty efforts. (ICEPress Release, Feb. 7, 2012)

The ICE announcement attempted to portray the creation of the Public Advocate position as part of the normal course of business.  “The creation of the Public Advocate position is another milestone in ICE's ongoing work to enact significant policy changes and improvements to focus the agency's immigration enforcement resources on sensible priorities…” ICE stated in its press release. (Id.

The new advocate will report directly to the Director of Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO), Gary Mead. According to the agency’s website, the public advocate’s role will entail:

  • Assisting individuals and community stakeholders in resolving complaints and concerns with agency policies and operations;
  • Proposing changes and recommendations to fix community-identified problems and concerns;
  • Alerting agency leadership to potential community stakeholder concerns with current or proposed agency policies and/or operations; and
  • Maintaining a collaborative and transparent dialogue with community stakeholders on the agency's mission and core values.  (See ICE Website, Feb. 11, 2012)

Ironically called a “public” advocate, ICE created the new role solely to placate amnesty advocates in an election year. Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), called the Administration’s creation of the new position outrageous. “This is just further proof that the Obama administration puts illegal immigrants ahead of the interests of Americans,” he further added in a press release. “The Obama administration’s lack of immigration enforcement allows illegal immigrants to steal jobs away from American workers and now their in-house lobbyist for illegal immigrants costs U.S. taxpayers more money.” (Rep. Smith Press Release, Feb. 7, 2012)

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