Oregon lawmakers push to repeal sanctuary state designation, make English official language

...Gov. Kate Brown, Senate Majority Leader Ginny Burdick, D-Portland, House Majority Leader Jennifer Williamson, D-Portland, and House Speaker Tina Kotek, D-Portland -- have all said they would not allow legislation rescinding Oregon's sanctuary state designation to progress. On the contrary, Brown has signed an executive order strengthening Oregon's laws shielding undocumented immigrants and ...

Williamson said in a statement Wednesday that she's "appalled" House Republicans would consider repealing the state's sanctuary designation.

"Oregon is better than this," she said. "This bill only serves to further divide and polarize our state, to scapegoat and threaten our immigrant populations."

House Bill 2917, sponsored by Esquivel, Nearman and Rep. Bill Post, R-Keizer, would require state agencies and contractors they hire to use the federal E-Verify system, which allows employers to check that prospective laborers are legally allowed to work in the United States. Read more about Oregon lawmakers push to repeal sanctuary state designation, make English official language

Support Sal Esquivel for State Rep. event - Thursday, July 28

Alert date: 
July 6, 2016
Alert body: 

Re-elect Sal Esquivel for State Representative – District 6

Please join us for dinner - Thursday, July 28, 2016


Special guests Mike McLane, Dennis Richardson and Sal Esquivel


Learn the latest in Oregon politics and where we stand in the upcoming election.

A prior opponent has filed so now we have ourselves a race!


Representative Esquivel is a tremendous asset to

Oregonians for Immigration Reform and supports their efforts

to STOP illegal immigration.


He enthusiastically supported the successful Measure 88 referendum

and volunteered to serve as Chief Petitioner



No host cocktails at the Rogue Valley Country Club


Delicious dinner is served


Cost per person - $100

Table Sponsors - (10 seats per table) $1,000

Team Captains - fill your table at $100 per person


We appreciate your support for Sal and look forward to seeing you!

For more Information - Contact Jan at 541.621.7175

Petition title irks immigration reform group

Oregonians for Immigration Reform on Wednesday announced it would challenge the Oregon Attorney General's retitling of a ballot initiative it is sponsoring to make English the official language of the state.

Cynthia Kendoll, president of the group, which last year defeated a referendum to provide driver's cards to residents of the state who could not prove legal residence, said Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum is "obstructing democracy by sabotaging a citizens' petition OFIR is sponsoring."

Jim Ludwick, another spokesman for the group, said it should be the goal of the attorney general's office to make sure a ballot title is "understandable."

"But this is not. It's not even close. This is gobbledygook," Ludwick said.The issue began, Ludwick said, when the group collected the required 2,000 sponsorship signatures to qualify an English Ballot Initiative for the November 2016 ballot. The Secretary of State's office is required to create a title that will appear on petitions for signatures and in the official Voters' Pamphlet.

He said Oregon Secretary of State Jeanne Atkins' original title was "Requires government actions/communications in English (with specified exceptions), limits laws allowing non-English documents/services."

Ludwick said the American Civil Liberties Union and others challenged the secretary-of-state title, and the attorney general's office issued the following rewrite: "Changes state/subdivision (undefined) laws regarding English/other-language use and requirements; exceptions; authorizes lawsuits."

Kendoll didn't mince words. "The Attorney General is trying to confuse voters. The intent of the ballot title is to give voters an idea of what the initiative is about. This one fails miserably."

She noted that 31 states have English as their official language, and most were accomplished through legislative action. Six states have taken it to the ballot, Kendoll said, and all of them have had clear language.

"They say something along the lines of 'should English be the official language of Arkansas,' for instance. "This isn't even close to being clear," Kendoll said. She said no one who reads the ballot descriptions "could possibly know that the underlying ballot proposal would make English the default language of government operations in Oregon."

David Rogers, executive director of the ACLU of Oregon, said the attorney general's office did exactly what was required of it by law. He said the ACLU of Oregon last week filed a friend of the court brief with the state Supreme Court in support of the AG's office.

"If OFIR finds the revised title confusing it's because the measure is confusing and poorly written. Its ambiguity is incredible. If this measure passes, the chances of unintended consequence is extremely high."

Kendoll said opponents to the initiative are intentionally slowing the process. "They know what they're doing. They know we can't collect signatures until we get a ruling and this ballot title is certified," Kendoll said. This official foot dragging "eats up our time to collect signatures. It's a lot harder to collect signatures in December or January," she added.

To qualify for the November 2016 ballot, Oregonians for Immigration Reform must have its signatures collected and turned in to the Secretary of State's office in early July.

"The good news is that this is the No. 1 issue in front of GOP candidates running for president. It's the one everyone is talking about," Ludwick said. Read more about Petition title irks immigration reform group


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

Alert date: 
October 13, 2015
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:


PO Box 7354

Salem, OR 97303

Thank you!

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

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.

  Read more about Your letters and commentaries help spread the word

Should Oregon police issue commands in Spanish when facing a suspect at gunpoint?

Three McMinnville police officers faced off with Juventino Bermudez-Arenas as he held the large blade he'd just used to kill a 20-year-old Linfield College student.

Officers pulled their guns. One, who spoke Spanish, reached for her Taser but dropped it and grabbed her pistol as Bermudez-Arenas lowered his head and his hands and appeared to move forward.

Seconds before they fatally shot the 33-year-old Mexican man, police yelled, "Get on the ground," and, "Drop the knife," again and again.

They yelled their commands in English, the dominant language in the U.S...

Police agencies nationwide have worked over the past 20 years to improve how they work with victims and suspects who understand limited English. Departments have taught officers basic language and culture courses, distribute pocket-size phrase books and provide plasticized cards with Miranda rights translated.

But few have woven bilingual commands into tactical training for encounters such as what the McMinnville officers faced...

Some law enforcement officials bristle at the idea that officers fall short if they don't use bilingual commands. They say many incidents – such as the Nov. 15 shooting of Bermuduz-Arenas – happen too quickly and officers must rely on training.

"People don't come with tags around their necks saying 'I speak this,' or 'I speak that,'" said Capt. Dennis Marks of the McMinnville Police ...

Marks said his department has had Spanish language training in the past, some successful and some not...

"As an officer," he said, "I've been in situations where you give (non-English speakers) commands and they respond, whether that's putting their hands up or getting on the ground."

But that's not enough, some law enforcement and researchers say, when it comes to both protecting the public and officers themselves.

"Law enforcement doesn't have the luxury of assuming that everyone is totally healthy and with it," she said, "and understands what is meant by showing a gun or acting something out."

Cadets in the Tulsa (Oklahoma) Police Academy learn 27 commands in Spanish during their five-month training course. As part of their final exam, cadets must defuse a series of situations, ranging from a missing-child call to a high-risk car stop, using only Spanish commands.

Some law enforcement agencies say it's dangerous to have police who speak only a little Spanish, leaving a suspect or crime victim thinking they're working with a fluent officer. But Officer Jesse Guardiola, who created the program in Tulsa, doesn't agree...

He says his officers learn how to say they only know limited Spanish. But ultimately, he added, the training is intended so officers can do everything possible to achieve a good outcome in the stressful seconds of a potentially life-and-death call.

Or take towns with large numbers of residents who speak different languages, such as Woodburn, home to both large Spanish and Russian communities.

"There's an expectation today that a law enforcement officer is a Swiss Army knife," Gabliks said. "They're supposed to be able to respond to any incident at anytime with all tools available that anybody else has."

That's not realistic, he added, pointing out how some remote rural communities have no local police at all.

"It doesn't mean that our law enforcement wouldn't like to have those tools or that training," he said. "They're just not available to them."...

Spanish arrest commands

The National Institute of Justice offers training for police on basic arrest commands in Spanish.


¡Alto! (¡AHL-toh!)

Don't move!

¡No se mueva! (¡noh seh MWEH-vah!)

Drop it!

¡Suéltelo! (¡SWEHL-teh-loh!)

Hands up!

¡Manos arriba! (¡MAH-nohs ahr-REE-bah!)

Be quiet!

¡Silencio! (¡see-LEHN-see-oh!)

Show me!

¡Enséñeme! (¡ehn-SEHN-nyeh-meh!)

Answer me!

¡Contésteme! (¡kohn-TEHS-teh-meh!)

Stop or I'll shoot!

¡Pare o disparo! (¡PAH-reh oh dees-PAH-roh!)... Read more about Should Oregon police issue commands in Spanish when facing a suspect at gunpoint?

Senators propose comprehensive immigration changes

WASHINGTON (AP) — Two senators on opposite sides of the aisle are proposing comprehensive changes to the immigration laws that would include a pathway to citizenship for the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants now in the United States.

Democrat Chuck Schumer of New York and Republican Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who promoted similar proposals on separate Sunday news shows said that no path to citizenship would be available until the country's borders were secure.

Only then could those in the U.S. without authorization "come out of the shadows, get biometrically identified, start paying taxes, pay a fine for the law they broke," Graham told CBS' "Face the Nation." ''They can't stay unless they learn our language, and they have to get in the back of line before they become citizens. They can't cut in front of the line regarding people who are doing it right and it can take over a decade to get their green card." A green card grants permanent residency status — a step toward citizenship.

Schumer told NBC's "Meet the Press" that he and Graham have resumed talks on immigration policy that broke off two years ago and "have put together a comprehensive detailed blueprint on immigration reform" that has "the real potential for bipartisan support based on the theory that most Americans are for legal immigration, but very much against illegal immigration."

Graham, however, made no mention of working with the chairman of the Senate Judiciary subcommittee on immigration, refugees and border security.

Immigration policy, largely ignored during President Barack Obama's first four years in office, has re-emerged as a major issue as Republicans seek ways to rebound from their election performance. More than 70 percent of Hispanic voters supported Obama, who has been more open than Republicans to comprehensive overhaul of immigration laws.

Three days after Tuesday's election, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said it was time to address immigration policy. He urged Obama to take the lead in coming up with a plan that would look at both improved enforcement of immigration law and the future of the estimated 11 million people living in the country illegally. Boehner, however, did not commit to the citizenship issue.

Graham said that the "tone and rhetoric" Republicans used in the immigration debate of 2006 and 2007 "has built a wall between the Republican Party and Hispanic community," causing Hispanic support to dwindle from 44 percent in 2004 to 27 percent in 2012.

"This is an odd formula for a party to adopt, the fastest growing demographic in the country, and we're losing votes every election. It's one thing to shoot yourself in the foot, just don't reload the gun. I intend not to reload this gun when it comes to Hispanics. I intend to tear this wall down and pass an immigration reform bill that's an American solution to an American problem," he said.

Both senators said the overhaul would include developing a secure document to assure employers they're hiring people authorized to work in the country, and allowing legal immigration for needed workers at all skill levels. The path to citizenship would require immigrants to learn English, go to the back of the citizenship line, have a job and not commit crimes.

Graham said the overhaul would have to be done in such a way that "we don't have a third wave of illegal immigration 20 years from now. That's what Americans want. They want more legal immigration and they want to fix illegal immigration once and for all."

In exit polls on Tuesday, The Associated Press found 65 percent favored offering most illegal immigrants workers in the United States a chance to apply for legal status, more than double the number who said most should be deported. Even among Republicans, the party associated with crackdowns on illegal immigration, about half favored a path toward staying in the U.S.
  Read more about Senators propose comprehensive immigration changes

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