Homeland Security

Oregon's unauthorized immigrants clustered around Portland

WASHINGTON — Unauthoriized immigrants in Oregon are largely clustered in and around big cities, as they are nationwide, which could pose a challenge for advocates hoping to reach those in rural areas who may qualify for programs giving them temporary legal status.

Almost two-fifths of those in Oregon eligible for deportation relief live in its two largest counties, according to new projections by the Migration Policy Institute. Of the estimated 64,000 of Oregon's 124,000 immigrants who qualify, either as parents of lawful residents under President Barack Obama's recent executive order or as someone who came to the U.S. as a small child, 25,000 live in Multnomah and Washington counties.

This mirrors the national trend, where 3.5 million of the 5.2 million immigrants who are eligible for the two programs reside in just 117 of the country's 3,143 counties, according to an analysis of census data released Thursday by the Migration Policy Institute, a Washington-based nonpartisan think tank that advocates intelligent management of international migration.

The vast majority of those eligible — more than 75 percent — live in the 10 states with the largest immigration populations, which include California, Texas, New York and Washington, but not Oregon.

An overwhelming share of those eligible reside in a handful of counties. It's not just a handful of states, it's a handful of counties," said Jeanne Batalova, a senior policy analyst and demographer with the institute.

Outreach efforts are easier in urban and suburban areas with large immigrant populations, particularly when they predominantly speak Spanish, she said. In Los Angeles County, which contains almost one-tenth of the unauthorized immigrant population for the entire nation, radio ads on Spanish-language stations are an effective way to alert people to their potential eligibility for the programs.

Unauthorized immigrants in Oregon (53 percent) are more likely to have lived in the U.S. for 10 years or longer than those nationwide (47 percent), the institute found. They are also more likely to speak English not well or not at all (53 percent in Oregon, 51 percent nationally) and less likely to have finished high school (57 percent versus 50 percent).

Financially, a higher percentage of Oregon's unauthorized immigrants (36 percent) live below the poverty line than do those nationwide (31 percent).

These factors can pose significant obstacles that prevent unauthorized immigrants from coming forward to apply for the government programs,...
 

Oregon joins legal support of Obama's immigration action

Brief submitted by 12 states counters lawsuit filed by 25 other states in federal court.

Oregon has joined Washington and 10 other states in defense of President Obama’s executive action shielding up to 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation...

The statement, initiated by Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, was filed in connection with a lawsuit brought by 25 other states against Obama’s Nov. 20 action.

The case is pending in U.S. District Court in Texas. A hearing is scheduled Thursday.

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum issued a statement Wednesday explaining her reasoning to intervene:

“The president used his full legal authority and discretion to address critical immigration issues facing our country...

Judges and courts can use arguments submitted in friend-of-the-court briefs to bolster their reasoning in writing their decisions.

The judge in this case, Andrew Hanen, is more likely to side with the challenge brought by Attorney General Greg Abbott of Texas — soon to be that state’s governor — and other states that filed the suit on Dec. 3. The initial list of 17 has grown to 25.

But it’s likely that the proceedings will end up in the federal appellate courts....

In addition to Oregon and Washington, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, Vermont and the District of Columbia have joined to defend Obama’s action.

Decisions to intervene in such cases are made by attorneys general, who are popularly elected in 43 states.

Of the 25 states challenging Obama’s action, 21 have Republican attorneys general; all 12 states supporting his action have Democratic attorneys general...

If Obama’s authority for executive action is upheld, Oregon and other states will consider whether work permits issued to these immigrants will constitute legal presence in the United States, a status enabling them to apply for driver’s licenses in many states.

Under a similar program created by Obama under a 2012 executive order, immigrants who were brought to the United States illegally as children qualified for work permits. Virtually all states, including Oregon, considered them proof of legal presence for issuance of licenses.

Oregon voters Nov. 4 rejected a 2013 law granting driver’s licenses to those who met driving knowledge and skills tests but cannot prove legal presence. Ten states have such laws, which are permitted under the federal Real ID Act if the licenses are clearly marked as invalid for federal purposes.

 

Please attend and ask Sen. Wyden about defunding executive actions on immigration

Alert date: 
2015-01-15
Alert body: 

If possible, please attend and express your views on President Obama’s unilateral, unconstitutional executive amnesty. Senator Wyden recently voted in favor of funding it.

Read about the dangers and unknown variables in the President’s amnesty plan here: http://cis.org/much-of-obamas-lawless-immigration-scheme-still-unknown. Earlier, in 2013, Sen. Wyden voted in favor of S.744, the bill giving amnesty to millions of illegal aliens while also vastly increasing legal immigration, at this time of widespread unemployment and underemployment among citizens.

Josephine County Town Hall »

Jan 17 2015 10:00AM

Rogue Auditorium, Rogue Community College
3345 Redwood Hwy, Grants Pass, OR

Klamath County Town Hall »

Jan 17 2015 3:30PM

OIT College Union Building
3200 Campus Drive
Klamath Falls, OR

Lincoln County Town Hall »

Jan 18 2015 1:00PM

the Commons at Oregon Coast Community College
400 SE College Way
Newport, OR

 


The following are some questions you might ask Sen. Wyden. If you’re able to question him or make comments to him, please tell OFIR what his response was.

1. Our immigration system is not “broken;” enforcement of the immigration laws is what is broken! That is the reason we have millions of illegal immigrants. Citizenship and the rule of law must be cherished and respected by all, or our nation is on a slippery slope into the culture of corruption from which many immigrants try to escape. Administration claims of good enforcement are false. Senator, what are you doing to strengthen U.S. immigration law enforcement?

2. There have been 7 major amnesties passed by Congress from 1986 to 2000, each resulting in ever-increasing numbers of illegal immigrants. Now another huge amnesty is being pushed. We need enforcement of the immigration laws, not another amnesty.

3. Unemployment and underemployment persist as major problems in Oregon and the U.S. Businesses can and do hire illegal aliens at substandard wages in construction, agriculture, hotels, restaurants. Why don’t you do more to stop the hiring of illegal aliens? Why don’t you work to make E-Verify mandatory for all employers?

4. Did you know that between the Censuses of 2000 and 2010, 80% of population growth resulted from immigration (immigrants plus the children of immigrants). The U.S. is already overcrowded. After more than 4 decades of unprecedentedly high immigration, we need a pause, a moratorium on immigration, or we face a steep decline in the quality of life for everyone. If you are truly concerned about our environment, you should work for major reductions in immigration.

 

5. Your 25-year voting record in Congress on immigration issues is F as shown by NumbersUSA. This grade is based on official tallies of votes on bills. Whose interests do you think should come first in U.S. immigration policy? Those of immigrants or those of citizens? The record says you favor the interests of immigrants and their employers.


 

Don't stop! Keep the pressure on Congress!

Alert date: 
2015-01-13
Alert body: 

We have all fought hard to stop President Obama's scheme to give social security cards and work permits to millions of illegal aliens.  Don't stop!  Keep the pressure on and demand that Congress de-fund his plans.

Tomorrow, the House of Representatives will be voting on two very important amendments. If the amendments succeed, it will be the first step to ending Obama's executive actions on immigration.

We need all activists on social media tweeting and using Facebook to pressure GOP Members to vote with the American worker and against amnesty for illegal aliens.

Throughout the evening keep the pressure on Republican Representatives.

House GOP takes broad aim at Obama immigration policies

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans plan to take broad aim at President Barack Obama's immigration policies next week, including votes to overturn protections for immigrants brought illegally to this country as kids.

The plan emerging Friday satisfies demands from the most conservative lawmakers ...

Conservatives in the GOP caucus pressed leadership to go further, and also shut down an earlier 2012 program that has granted work permits to more than 500,000 immigrants brought here illegally as kids. Other changes would undo Obama directives to immigration agents that had sought to limit deportations of people with no significant criminal record...

Obama's directives in November gave temporary relief from deportation to about 4 million immigrants in the country illegally, along with permits allowing them to work legally in the U.S. They applied mostly to immigrants who'd been in the country more than five years and have kids who are citizens or legal permanent residents....

The developments come in the first week that Congress was back in session under full Republican control. Yet there's no guarantee that the Senate, where minority Democrats still exercise considerable sway, would accept the House legislation. And Obama could very well threaten to veto it.

At the same time, Democrats say Republicans are courting electoral disaster in the 2016 presidential election by passing legislation that could alienate many Latino voters.

Many of the same House conservatives who voted against Boehner for speaker earlier this week in a failed overthrow attempt were declaring victory Friday at the shape the immigration legislation was taking.

"I liked what I heard," said Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, after a closed-door meeting of House Republicans to discuss the legislation.

"I really appreciate the process of allowing all of us to have some input," said Gohmert, a frequent critic of House Republican leaders. "One of the things that has really been lacking for the last eight years is having more input like we've finally gotten in this bill, so this is a good thing."

___

Associated Press writers Stephen Ohlemacher, Alan Fram and Charles Babington contributed to this report.

Contrary to Administration Claims, Surge Border-Jumpers Not Being Deported

WASHINGTON, DC - Only a tiny fraction of the families and children who crossed in the border surge of 2012-14 are being returned to their home countries, despite Obama administration claims that the cases are a priority, according to a Houston television station's investigative report. Only a few of the illegal family or child arrivals are qualified to stay in the United States, and the vast majority (91 percent) have simply absconded from their proceedings after release and joined the resident illegal population, where they are no longer a priority for enforcement under the new, expanded "prosecutorial discretion" policies.

The station’s report focuses on statistics from the immigration courts for the family unit cases that were completed between July 18 and October 28, 2014, which are a sub-set of more than 65,000 total family unit arrivals in 2014.

View the entire CIS article at: http://cis.org/vaughan/contrary-administration-claims-only-tiny-fraction-surge-border-jumpers-deported

From these numbers the Center for Immigration Studies has determined that:
 

  • The number of family units arriving illegally was larger than the number of UACs during this time period, although the administration, its allies, and the media typically described the surge as an influx of children.
  • At least 92 percent of the family arrivals in this sample of cases were released after apprehension rather than detained in the border area.
  • Nearly all of those released (5,575 out of 6,093 total families and UACs, or 91 percent) subsequently failed to appear at their immigration hearings and are now part of the illegal population.
  • According to these figures, 43 percent of those family members classified as "detained" (nine people) also failed to appear for their hearings, suggesting that they actually were released at some point.
  • Even under the current very generous interpretations of immigration law, only 3 percent of these illegal aliens were found qualified to stay in the United States (204 out of 6,093 completed cases).
  • Only 314 of the 6,093 cases completed (5 percent) were present for their hearing and could actually be removed by authorities after receiving the order from the judge.

DHS year-end enforcement statistics show a continued steep drop in deportations, in direct contradiction to administration claims. Jessica Vaughan, the Center’s Director of Policy Studies, writes, “It's not clear to me what is smart or effective about a massive and costly catch-and-release scheme that has resulted in the illegal resettlement of tens of thousands of illegal aliens, with taxpayers now picking up the tab for schooling, health care, housing, public safety, and other expenses, and which has only increased the incentives for more people to try to enter illegally.”

Senator Wyden is coming to town(hall) meetings near you in January

Alert date: 
2014-12-17
Alert body: 

Plan to attend one of these meetings in early January. 

Upcoming Town Hall Meetings

Jan 02

Deschutes County Town Hall »

Jan 2 2015 10:00AM

Deschutes County Services Building – Barnes/Sawyer Rooms
1300 NW Wall
Bend, OR

Jan 03

Clackamas County Town Hall »

Jan 3 2015 11:00AM

Camp Withycombe
15300 SE Minuteman Way
Clackamas, OR

Jan 03

Multnomah County Town Hall »

Jan 3 2015 2:30PM

PCC Southeast Campus
2305 SE 82nd and Division
Portland, OR

Jan 04

Marion County Town Hall »

Jan 4 2015 1:00PM

Marion County Courthouse
555 Court St. NE
Salem, OR

Jan 04

Washington County Town Hall »

Jan 4 2015 4:00PM

Beaverton City Library (Main Branch) – Auditorium
12375 SW 5th St
Beaverton, OR

Jan 05

Benton County Town Hall »

Jan 5 2015 10:00AM

Philomath High School – Auditorium
2054 Applegate St
Philomath, OR

Jan 05

Lane County Town Hall »

Jan 5 2015 2:00PM

Sheldon High School – Auditorium
2455 Willakenzie Rd
Eugene, OR

 

District court declares Obama immigration action unconstitutional

Earlier Tuesday, a federal court in Pennsylvania declared aspects of President Obama’s executive actions on immigration policy unconstitutional.

According to the opinion by Judge Arthur Schwab, the president’s policy goes “beyond prosecutorial discretion” in that it provides a relatively rigid framework for considering applications for deferred action, thus obviating any meaningful case-by-case determination as prosecutorial discretion requires, and provides substantive rights to applicable individuals. As a consequence, Schwab concluded, the action exceeds the scope of executive authority.

This is the first judicial opinion to address Obama’s decision to expand deferred action for some individuals unlawfully present in the United States. [I've now posted the opinion here.]

The procedural background of the case is somewhat unusual. The case involves an individual who was deported and then reentered the country unlawfully...

This isn’t the only case...two-dozen states have filed suit challenging Obama’s recent immigration policy reforms. Led by Texas, these states claim that the president as exceeded the scope of executive authority in this area.... even if the states don’t have standing, the legality of the president’s actions could nonetheless be decided in federal court.

UPDATE: Here are some additional thoughts on the ruling.

It is quite unusual for a district court to reach this sort of constitutional issue in this sort of case. Indeed, Judge Schwab appears to have reached out quite aggressively to engage the lawfulness of the President’s actions...

On the merits, I understand the concerns that motivate Judge Schwab’s reasoning, but I am not persuaded... President Obama’s actions are broader in scope, but not clearly different in kind from what his predecessors have done and to which Congress has acquiesced.

It is true, as Judge Schwab notes, that the President’s announced policy identifies broad criteria for deferring removal of individuals unlawfully in the country. This would appear to make the action somewhat legislative, but I don’t think it’s enough to make the action unlawful. The new policy does not preclude the executive branch from revoking deferred action in individual cases and does not create any enforceable rights against future executive action...

President Obama’s action may be broader than many are comfortable with, and it is understandably hard to stomach given all the President’s prior statements disclaiming authority to take these steps — but such concerns are rooted in customary political norms, not judicially enforceable constitutional rules.

GOP Spending Bill Gives Nearly $1 Billion To Aid Border Migrants

The GOP’s draft 2015 “omnibus” spending bill reportedly includes $948 million to help poor and unskilled Central American migrants establish themselves in the United States, but includes no effective restrictions on President Barack Obama’s plan to provide work permits and tax payments to millions of resident illegal immigrants.

That new spending works out to $16,928 for each of the 56,000 youths, young adults and children who crossed the border during the 12 months up to October 2014.

Prior to October, Obama’s officials sent only 1,901 of the migrants back home to Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua, according to a federal report.

Much of the $948 million may also be used to care for the next wave of illegals who could flood across the border during the summer. The influx in the summer of 2015 is expected to be large, because Obama is offering work permits and social security numbers to at least five million illegals already in the country.

The $948 million fund is part of the one-year, $1 trillion 2015 spending plan described in a late-night report from The New York Times.

The GOP leadership has given merely lip service to supporting the opposition among GOP legislators and much of the public to Obama’s welcome for foreign migrants, and is now refusing to direct the Department of Homeland Security not to spend any funds on implementing the Obama amnesty.

Instead, the leadership, led by House Speaker John Boehner, drafted a bill imposing a 60-day spending limit for Obama’s immigration agencies.

The planned 60-day spending limit is largely symbolic, because the most important immigration agency can operate on fees paid by the illegals.

“Leadership is basically giving in to every facet of Obama’s amnesty. We’re giving up an astonishing amount of leverage on every issue imaginable,” said one Hill aide.

The struggle between Boehner’s business wing and the populist conservative wing, has received little coverage in the established media, even though GOP legislators are calling for the public to protest their leadership’s policies. Top GOP officials have said they would like to pass their own amnesty and foreign worker bill in 2015.

Obama’s amnesty, announced Nov. 21, minimizes enforcement of immigration law against all 12 million illegals in the United States, and creates enforcement loopholes for new migrants coming over the border or flying into U.S. airports on temporary visas.

The plan also puts many illegals on a fast-track to citizenship, and increases the inflow of university-trained migrants who can gain citizenship if they compete for any professional jobs sought by U.S. college graduates.

The cost of Obama’s amnesty is expected to reach $2 trillion over 50 years, or roughly $22,000 per new U.S. college graduate.

In 2014, Obama’s agencies accepted the children, youths and adults delivered to them at the border by paid escorts, before providing them with health screenings and air transport to parents and family members throughout the United States.

Obama’s deputies are also spending at least $7 million to provide free lawyers to the migrants so they can win court cases to remain in the United States. Up to 1,901 were sent home by October.

The money likely will also be used to support family units of women and children that cross the border.

In fiscal 2014, roughly 66,000 people in family units crossed the border. Only 582 were repatriated before October. Nearly all were allowed to apply for residency, and either attend American schools or apply for work permits.

US judge ruling on Obama immigration changes criticized gov't leniency on kids crossing border

WASHINGTON — The federal judge assigned to rule in the lawsuit over President Barack Obama's changes to immigration rules last year accused the Obama administration of participating in criminal conspiracies to smuggle children into the country by reuniting them with parents living here illegally.

... Homeland Security Department should be arresting parents living in the U.S. illegally who induce their children to cross the border illegally...

"DHS has simply chosen not to enforce the United States' border security laws," the judge wrote. ...

Hanen was assigned through an automated system to be the judge who will preside over a lawsuit filed by 20 states trying to block Obama's expansive executive actions to spare nearly 5 million people living in the U.S. illegally from deportation...

Last December, Hanen wrote a 10-page order in an immigrant smuggling case in which he his frustration over four cases in a month in which a child who arrived in the U.S. illegally alone was reunited with a parent also in the country illegally.

"Instead of arresting (the child's mother) for instigating the conspiracy to violate our border security laws, the (Homeland Security Department) delivered the child to her — thus successfully completing the mission of the criminal conspiracy," Hanen wrote.

...The order highlighted the growing problem of unaccompanied child immigrants being caught at the border in South Texas. During the fiscal year that ended in September, the government apprehended more than 68,000 unaccompanied children at the border....

Texas is leading a coalition of states suing the government. It argued in the lawsuit filed last week that Obama's decision "tramples" key portions of the Constitution. The states, including Arizona, Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana and the Carolinas, aren't seeking monetary damages but want Hanen to block the president's actions...

"Texas is uniquely qualified to challenge the president's executive order, and South Texas is at the epicenter of where border security is of concern for Texas and the entire nation," Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said in a statement. Abbott was elected last month to be the next governor of Texas.

The Justice Department, which is defending the case, declined to comment on the case.

Obama announced the executive actions in November, saying lack of action by Congress forced him to make sweeping changes to immigration rules on his own.

The administrative actions don't provide legal immigration status or green cards to those in the country illegally, but millions of eligible immigrants will be able to apply for permission to stay in the country for up to three years and get a work permit.
 

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