illegal aliens

True Immigration Reform Must be Rational, Affordable, and Manageable

H.L. Mencken once observed that “complex problems have simple, easy to understand, wrong answers.” In the aftermath of the 2012 elections, both political parties seem poised to implement a simple, easy to understand, and disastrous solution to our nation’s complex immigration problem.

There is no disputing that immigration reform is urgently needed. The problem is that the framework for reform, long offered by the Democratic Party and now belatedly embraced by the leadership of the Republican Party in the aftermath of an electoral defeat, is essentially our existing policy on steroids. If we are ever going to have an immigration policy that enjoys broad public support, we must start by making it work for the broader public interest. True reform must result in a policy that is rational, affordable, and manageable.

Making Immigration Rational

A rational immigration policy would select immigrants based on their likelihood to succeed in a post-industrial 21st century economy. We must, therefore, end our current policy of chain migration that results in the admission of millions of people whose skills do not meet the needs of our economy. The system must be redesigned to admit more limited numbers of people who bring unique skills, talents, and education that will expand the productive potential of the American economy.

A rational immigration policy must include a “stress test” that assesses the impact of immigration on American workers and makes adjustments accordingly. Certainly, during times of sustained high unemployment, U.S. immigration policies must have a mechanism for reducing the influx. The impact of perhaps tens of millions more people competing for jobs in the manufacturing, construction, and service sectors would signal the death knell of the blue collar middle class.

Making Immigration Affordable

A more rational immigration policy would also be a more affordable one – an important consideration for a nation with a $16 trillion accumulated debt that grows by upwards of $1 trillion annually. U.S. households headed by immigrants are 50 percent more likely to rely on some form of government assistance than those headed by a native born resident.

Any tax revenues generated by immigrants who arrive here poorly educated and poorly skilled lag far behind the costs required for their education, health care, and housing. When the costs associated with means-tested benefits for their U.S. born children are factored in, the price tag for maintaining the current system is unsustainable. Alternatively, immigrants who are selected based on their skills are far more likely to be self-sufficient and net tax contributors.

Making Immigration Manageable

Future flows of immigration must also be manageable. The sheer volume of today’s immigration flow – more than 1 million legal admissions each year and hundreds of thousands of guest workers – make the system virtually impossible to manage effectively. Only by reducing the influx, establishing clear criteria for admission, closing loopholes or frivolous avenues for backdoor admissions, and streamlining the adjudication process can we once again reassert control over immigration.

Manageability also requires having systems in place that minimize the possibility that people who break the rules can succeed. Most importantly, we must eliminate the strongest magnet to illegal immigration – the availability of jobs to illegal aliens. To accomplish this, all U.S. employers must be required to check the work eligibility of the people they hire using the E-Verify system

Finally, it must be moral. Americans must be confident that all laws will be enforced consistently, and not be held hostage to the political agenda of whatever administration holds office. As we have witnessed in the past several years, the integrity of our immigration policy can be undermined by a president who simply decides he will not enforce laws that do not serve his political aims.

Unfortunately, the deal now being discussed in Washington is neither rational, affordable, manageable nor moral. Its centerpiece is a massive, expensive, and chaotic amnesty plan to be followed by the expansion of family chain migration to satisfy Democratic special interests, while piling on some additional skilled worker visas to appease business interests.

True "reform" means solving today's problems in a manner that prevents any recurrence down the line. Is anyone willing to provide this kind of leadership? After years of fruitless effort to truly reform our nation’s immigration policies, it seems the two parties may find agreement on one idea– a concept that is simple, easy to understand, and wrong. Read more about True Immigration Reform Must be Rational, Affordable, and Manageable

Criminal Aliens in State Prisons as of Oct. 1, 2012

According to the Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) Inmate Population Profile dated October 1, 2012 DOC indicated there were 14,234 prisoners incarcerated in DOC’s 14 prisons.

Not included in DOC’s October 1st Inmate Population Profile was DOC data indicating there were 1,242 foreign nationals (criminal aliens) incarcerated in its prison system.

All 1,242 criminal aliens incarcerated on October 1st by DOC had United States (U.S.) Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), detainers. The U.S. DHS–ICE is responsible for indentifying whether a DOC inmate is a criminal alien or a domestic inmate. If an inmate is identified as being a criminal alien, at U.S. DHS–ICE’s request, the DOC places an “ICE detainer” on the inmate that directs DOC officials to transfer custody to ICE following completion of the inmate’s state sanction.

Criminal aliens made up approximately 8.72% of the DOC October 1st prison population.

Comparing DOC criminal alien incarceration numbers from October 1, 2007 (985 criminal aliens) and October 1, 2012 (1,242 criminal aliens), the DOC prison system incarcerated 257 criminal aliens more than it did on October 1, 2007, a 26.09% increase.

A review of the 1,242 criminal aliens in DOC prisons by number per county and percentage (%) per county equated to the following: 0-Baker (0.00%), 14-Benton (1.13%), 91-Clackamas (7.33%), 7-Clatsop (0.56%), 2-Columbia (0.16%), 8-Coos (0.64%), 3-Crook (0.24%), 0-Curry (0.00%), 19-Deschutes (1.53%), 5-Douglas (0.40%), 1-Gilliam (0.08%), 0-Grant (0.00%), 2-Harney (0.24%), 7-Hood River (0.56%), 50-Jackson (4.02%), 12-Jefferson (0.97%), 7-Josephine (0.56%), 11-Klamath (0.88%), 0-Lake (0.00), 67-Lane (5.39%), 8-Lincoln (0.64%), 29-Linn (2.33%), 11-Malheur (0.88%), 282-Marion (22.70%), 7-Morrow (0.56%), 286-Multnomah (23.03%), 1-OOS (0.08%), 19-Polk (1.53%), 0-Sherman (0.00%), 3-Tillamook (0.24%), 21-Umatilla (1.69%), 2-Union (0.16), 0-Wallowa (0.00%), 4-Wasco (0.32%), 229-Washington (18.44%), 0-Wheeler (0.00%), and 34-Yamhill (2.74%).

Your listeners should be aware the types of crime committed against their fellow Oregonians by the 1,242 criminal aliens.

A review of the 1,242 criminal aliens in the DOC prison population by numbers per crime and percentage (%) per crime equated to the following: 4-arsons (0.32%), 129-assaults (10.39%), 28-burglaries (2.25%), 28-driving offenses (2.25%), 175-drugs (14.09%), 1-escape (0.08%), 4-forgeries (0.32%), 153-homicides (12.32%), 50-kidnappings (4.02%), 71-others (5.72%), 175-rapes (14.09%), 79-robberies (6.36%), 233-sex abuses (18.76%), 93-sodomies (7.49%), 12-thefts (0.97%), and 7-vehicle thefts (0.56%).

Lars Larson Show listeners should also be aware of the source of the preceding crimes, the country of origin of the 1,242 criminal aliens in DOC prisons.

The self-declared counties of origin of the 1,242 criminal aliens in the DOC prison population by numbers and percentage (%) per country equated to the following: 8-Canada (0.64%), 11-Cuba (0.88%), 17-El Salvador (1.37%), 31-Guatemala (2.49%), 12-Honduras (0.97%), 8-Laos (0.64%), 1,018-Mexico (81.96%), 99-others (7.97%), 6-Russia (0.48%), 14-Ukraine (1.13%), and 18-Vietnam (1.45%).

Beyond the DOC criminal alien incarceration numbers and incarceration percentages, per county and per crime type, or even country of origin, criminal aliens pose high economic cost on Oregonians.

An individual prisoner in the DOC prison system costs approximately ($84.81) per day to incarcerate.

The DOC’s incarceration cost for its 1,242 criminal alien prison population is approximately ($105,334.02) per day, ($737,338.14) per week, and ($38,446,917.30) per year.

None of the preceding cost estimates for the DOC to incarcerate the 1,242 criminal aliens include the dollar amount for legal services (indigent defense), court costs, nor cost estimates to cover victim assistance.

An unfortunate fact, the State of Oregon is not fully cooperating with the U.S. DHS–ICE to fight crime committed by criminal aliens who reside in Oregon.

In year 2007, a United States Department of Justice (USDOJ) report titled “Cooperation of SCAAP (State Criminal Alien Assistance Program) Recipients in the Removal of Criminal Aliens from the United States, U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Inspector General Audit Division, Audit Report 07-07, October 2007, Redacted-Public Version” identified the State of Oregon as having an official “state sanctuary statute,” ORS 181.850 Enforcement of federal immigration laws.

The USDOJ, the federal governments top law enforcement agency, identified Oregon as a “sanctuary” for criminal aliens.

The State of Oregon should no longer be classified by U.S. federal government law enforcement as having an official “state sanctuary statute” for criminal aliens, nor should Oregon be a sanctuary for criminal aliens to kill, rape, or maim Oregonians.

Report by David Olen Cross, for delivery on the Lars Larson Show, Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012. Read more about Criminal Aliens in State Prisons as of Oct. 1, 2012

Report: Two-Thirds of Jobs Under Obama Went to Immigrants

Two-thirds of those who have found employment under President Obama are immigrants, both legal and illegal, according to an analysis that suggests immigration has soaked up a large portion of what little job growth there has been over the past three years.

The Center for Immigration Studies is releasing the study Thursday morning, a day ahead of the final Labor Department unemployment report of the campaign season, which is expected to show a sluggish job market more than three years into the economic recovery.

That slow market, combined with the immigration numbers, could explain why Mr. Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney have struggled to find a winning jobs message in some of the country's hardest-hit postindustrial regions.

"It's extraordinary that most of the employment growth in the last four years has gone to the foreign-born, but what's even more extraordinary is the issue has not even come up during a presidential election that is so focused on jobs," said Steven A. Camarota, the center's research director, who wrote the report along with demographer Karen Zeigler.

His numbers are stark: Since the first quarter of 2009, the number of immigrants of working age (16 to 65) who are employed has risen 2 million, from 21.2 million to 23.2 million. During the same time, native-born employment has risen just 1 million, to reach 119.9 million.

It's a trend years in the making: Immigrants are working more, and native-born Americans are working less.

In 2000, 76 percent of natives aged 18 to 65 were employed, but that dropped steadily to 69 percent this September. By contrast, immigrants started the last decade at 71 percent employment and rose to a peak of 74 percent at the height of the George W. Bush-era economic boom. They since have slid down to 69 percent amid the sluggish economy.

Competitive advantage

The Center for Immigration Studies, which wants the government to impose stricter limits on immigration, based its numbers on the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey.

Alex Nowrasteh, a policy analyst at the Cato Institute, which favors letting the markets rather than the government control the flow of immigration, said Mr. Camarota's numbers are "making a mountain out of a molehill."

He said delving into specific numbers explains why immigrants have done better over the past four years: They generally gravitate toward parts of the economy that have picked up faster in the nascent recovery.

"Most of the areas of the U.S. economy that are hiring right now, like agriculture and high-tech industries, are those where immigrants have always been overly represented," Mr. Nowrasteh said.

He also said immigrants are quicker to jump into the rebounding job market while native-born Americans, who under federal law have more welfare options and access to unemployment benefits, are slower to find work.

Mr. Nowrasteh and Mr. Camarota said another factor could be immigrants' mobility.

Natives have roots wherever they live, and it may take higher wages to get them to move for jobs, even if their homes are in depressed areas. Immigrants already have uprooted themselves and can more easily pick places where jobs are available.

Indeed, Mr. Camarota's numbers show that most of the immigrant employment growth went to new arrivals, not to foreign-born residents already in the United States — a figure that suggests immigrants already settled here were having some of the same difficulties as the native-born.

There is some bright news: an uptick over the past year among native-born Americans accounting for two-thirds of all new employment growth.

Full overhaul

Net immigration — both legal and illegal — averaged more than 1.1 million in the 1990s and slightly less than 900,000 in the past decade.

Mr. Camarota said it didn't slow much despite the economic downturn.

"We have a situation where the job market — the bottom fell out, yet we kept legal immigration relatively high without even a national debate," he said. "As a consequence, a lot of the job growth has been going to immigrants."

Immigration has been a touchy political issue for more than a decade, and while all sides agree that the system is broken, efforts to overhaul it in 2006 and 2007 fell short.

This campaign, Mr. Romney and Mr. Obama have talked about streamlining the legal immigration system to allow in more high-tech workers. Mr. Romney has said he wants to "staple a green card" to every advanced degree in science, mathematics or engineering earned by an immigrant.

Beyond that, Mr. Obama has vowed to make legalizing illegal immigrants a major push in a second term — and has said if he wins re-election, he thinks Republicans will embrace that goal, realizing that otherwise, Hispanic voters will reject the GOP.

Mr. Romney has talked about legalizing a small number of illegal immigrants, though he has been studiously vague about his specific plans in an effort to try not to alienate voters on either side of the issue.

Mr. Obama did take action this year to grant many illegal immigrants up to 30 years of age a tentative legal status that prevents them from being deported and authorizes them to work in the United States.

Some Republicans in Congress have criticized Mr. Obama's policy, saying it violates his powers and will mean more competition for scarce jobs.

Mr. Romney has said he would not rescind any stays of deportation that Mr. Obama issues but wouldn't issue any new ones himself.

The current system doles out legal visas based on family ties or employment prospects or even a random lottery designed to increase the diversity of those coming to the United States.

In 2007, senators proposed scrapping the legal system and replacing it with a points-based system that would assign a desirability grade to would-be immigrants. Work skills would have gained under that system.

But that proposal, along with the rest of the bill, collapsed amid a bipartisan Senate filibuster.

Mr. Nowrasteh at the Cato Institute said those decisions shouldn't be left up to bureaucrats anyway.

"The government can't pick winners and losers when it comes to green-energy firms like Solyndra, so what makes you think it can pick winners and losers when it comes to immigration?" he asked rhetorically.

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State gov race brings attention to immigrant driver's licenses

SEATTLE (AP) - The races for governor and attorney general have brought renewed attention to a proposal that would create a two-tiered driver's license system in Washington to address the issue of driving by immigrants who can't provide proof of legal U.S. residency.

Washington and New Mexico remain the only two states in the country not to require proof of legal U.S. residency when applying for a driver's license.

Under the proposal known as the Utah model, a person who can't prove U.S. residency can get a permit that allows them to drive, but that document is not a valid identification.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna backs the idea, and attorney general candidates Republican Reagan Dunn and Democrat Bob Ferguson speak of it favorably.

"The idea that you should be able to obtain (a key identity document) without proving you're a legal resident of the country is seriously mistaken," McKenna said during a debate in Yakima earlier this month.

McKenna's opponent, Democrat Jay Inslee, has said he prefers keeping Washington's current system in place.

Over the years, this has been a contentious issue in Olympia that pits immigrant advocacy groups against conservatives.

Immigrant groups argue that when illegal immigrants have access to driver's licenses, it creates safer roads and allows them to purchase insurance. Opponents say that failing to ask for proof of U.S. residency invites identity fraud and could end up putting noncitizens in the state's voter rolls.

In Utah, one industry that relies heavily on immigrant labor hasn't seen much change since the law there was passed in 2005.

"Certainly there are labor shortages in our agricultural community, but we didn't feel (the driver's license law) had a significant impact," said Sterling Brown, vice president of public policy at the Utah Farm Bureau Federation. "It has not had an immediate or significant impact on the agriculture community."

According to Utah Driver License Division data, the number of people applying for the Driving Privilege Card has steadily climbed since 2005, from 21,600 to 38,997 in 2011. It peaked at 43,000 in 2008. That same year a state audit found that more than 75 percent of people who had the driving permit also had active car insurance, comparable to the 82 percent rate of drivers with a regular license.

But now immigrant rights groups in Utah are worried about information sharing between the state and the federal government.

In the 2011 legislative session, lawmakers changed the law to mandate the state to notify U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement if an applicant has a felony on this record. If the individual applying has a misdemeanor warrant outstanding, the state notifies the agency who sought the person's arrest.

Luis Garza, executive director of Comunidades Unidas, says he's concerned that people with minor offenses such as traffic infractions will be caught in the dragnet. He's also worried about the database of people applying for the driving permits being leaked.

Beyond that, the system creates a two-class society, he said.

"They have big red letters saying for 'driving privilege only'," Garza said. "Anyone who shows that card - who may or may not be undocumented in the country - is a second class citizen."

In 2010, the Utah Legislature created another driving permit for noncitizen legal residents, who initially could get the Driving Privilege Card. Still, nearly 160 legal immigrants have the permit.

It's not just immigrant rights groups who oppose the two-tier system. In 2011, a Republican state senator wanted to undue the law because he saw the driving permit as a magnet for illegal immigrants.

In Washington, numerous bills to require proof of U.S. residency have been filed but have never made it the floor of any legislative chamber in recent memory. A bill using the Utah model was introduced in 2011, but did not make it out of committee.

In 2010, the Department of Licensing answered some of the concerns about driver's licenses by narrowing the documents that it now requires to provide proof of Washington residency. It now requires proof of a valid Washington residence address if an applicant doesn't provide a verified Social Security number. The proof documents, such as rental agreements, will be copied and verified by the agency before a permanent license is issued.

"First and foremost, we believe the current system works and we want as much as possible that DOL doesn't become ICE," said Toby Guiven, public policy director at OneAmerica, an immigrant advocacy group.

According to Department of Licensing data, fewer out-of-state people who didn't provide a Social Security number have sought to obtain a driver's license in Washington in the last two years, suggesting the department's new restrictions are deterring illegal immigrants from other state from getting a license here.

The department's data shows that in 2011, 9,237 people didn't provide a Social Security number when obtaining a license. In all of 2010, more than 23,000 did not. As of October of 2012, more than 5,000 have.

Guiven argued that creating a new system would add costs to the state budget, new bureaucracies and more wait time at the local DMV office.

In Utah, wait lines did increase shortly after the new law was passed, but subsequently decreased, according to an audit.

One unsolved issue around driver's licenses is the arrival of the federal REAL ID act. It was passed in 2005, but its implementation has been delayed since then. The latest deadline for states to come into compliance is January of next year. But officials expect that deadline to be extended.

Department of Licensing spokeswoman Chris Anthony said the Department of Homeland Security has asked for so far an update package for the state at the end of October, but that's it so far.

She added that state lawmakers passed a measure that prohibited the department from acting on REAL ID until the federal government provided money.

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Kansas case puts face on 'total identity theft'

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) -- When Candida L. Gutierrez's identity was stolen, the thief didn't limit herself to opening fraudulent credit and bank accounts. She assumed Gutierrez's persona completely, using it to get a job, a driver's license, a mortgage and even medical care for the birth of two children.

All the while, the crook claimed the real Gutierrez was the one who had stolen her identity. The women's unusual tug-of-war puts a face on "total identity theft," a brazen form of the crime in which con artists go beyond financial fraud to assume many other aspects of another person's life.

The scheme has been linked to illegal immigrants who use stolen Social Security numbers to get paid at their jobs, and authorities fear the problem could soon grow to ensnare more unsuspecting Americans.

"When she claimed my identity and I claimed it back, she was informed that I was claiming it too," said Gutierrez, a 31-year-old Houston elementary school teacher. "She knew I was aware and that I was trying to fight, and yet she would keep fighting. It is not like she realized and she stopped. No, she kept going, and she kept going harder."

A 32-year-old illegal immigrant named Benita Cardona-Gonzalez is accused of using Gutierrez's identity during a 10-year period when she worked at a Topeka company that packages refrigerated foods.

For years, large numbers of illegal immigrants have filled out payroll forms using their real names but stolen Social Security numbers. However, as electronic employment verification systems such as E-Verify become more common, the use of fake numbers is increasingly difficult. Now prosecutors worry that more people will try to fool the systems by assuming full identities rather than stealing the numbers alone.

For victims, total identity theft can also have serious health consequences if electronic medical records linked to Social Security numbers get mixed up, putting at risk the accuracy of important patient information such as blood types or life-threatening allergies.

Federal Trade Commission statistics show that Americans reported more than 279,000 instances of identity theft in 2011, up from 251,100 a year earlier. While it is unclear how many of those cases involve total identity theft, one possible indicator is the number of identity theft complaints that involve more than one type of identity theft — 13 percent last year, compared with 12 percent a year earlier.

Nationwide, employment-related fraud accounted for 8 percent of identity theft complaints last year. But in states with large immigrant populations, employment-related identity fraud was much higher: 25 percent in Arizona, 15 percent in Texas, 16 percent in New Mexico, 12 percent in California.

Prosecutors say that the longer a person uses someone else's identity, the more confident the thief becomes using that identity for purposes other than just working.

Once they have become established in a community, identity thieves don't want to live in the shadows and they seek a normal life like everybody else. That's when they take the next step and get a driver's license, a home loan and health insurance.

"And so that is a natural progression, and that is what we are seeing," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Brent Anderson, who is prosecuting the case against Gutierrez's alleged impostor.

Gutierrez first learned her identity had been hijacked when she was turned down for a mortgage more than a decade ago. Now each year she trudges to the Social Security Administration with her birth certificate, driver's license, passport and even school yearbooks to prove her identity and clear her employment record.

She spends hours on the phone with creditors and credit bureaus, fills out affidavits and has yet to clean up her credit history. Her tax records are a mess. She even once phoned the impostor's Kansas employer in a futile effort to find some relief.

Both women claimed they were identity theft victims and sought to get new Social Security numbers. The Social Security Administration turned down the request from Gutierrez, instead issuing a new number to the woman impersonating her. And in another ironic twist, Gutierrez was forced to file her federal income tax forms using a special identification number usually reserved for illegal immigrants.

"It is such a horrible nightmare," Gutierrez said. "You get really angry, and then you start realizing anger is not going to help. ... But when you have so much on your plate and you keep such a busy life, it is really such a super big inconvenience. You have to find the time for someone who is abusing you."

When Gutierrez recently got married, her husband began researching identity theft on the Internet and stumbled across identity theft cases filed against other illegal immigrants working at Reser's Fine Foods, the same manufacturer where Cardona-Gonzalez worked. He contacted federal authorities in Kansas and asked them to investigate the employee working there who had stolen his wife's identity.

The alleged impostor was arrested in August, and her fingerprints confirmed that immigration agents had encountered Cardona-Gonzalez in 1996 in Harlingen, Texas, and sent her back to Mexico.

Cardona-Gonzalez did not respond to a letter sent to her at the Butler County jail, where she is awaiting trial on charges of aggravated identity theft, misuse of a Social Security number and production of a false document.

Her attorney, Matthew Works, did not respond to phone calls and emails seeking comment. Court filings indicate the two sides are negotiating a plea agreement.

Citing privacy issues, the Social Security Administration declined to discuss the Gutierrez case. Reser's Fine Foods did not return a message left at its Topeka plant.

Anderson expects more cases of total identity theft "because we all know what is going on out there — which is thousands and thousands of people who are working illegally in the United States under false identities, mostly of U.S. citizens, and very little is being done about it. But we are doing something about it, one case at a time."

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Your tax dollars at work

Oregon is home to a thriving nursery industry.  However, many of these businesses take advantage of Brad Avakian (Bureau of Labor and Industries Commissioner) and Oregon's lax enforcement of labor laws.  They often rely on workers that are in the U.S illegally.  Now, to add insult to injury, your tax dollars are being used to educate nursery workers, so they will be better educated for their employers. Read more here.

Wouldn't Oregon's tax dollars be better spent to educate Oregon's unemployed youth, our returning veterans or our low skill workers that want to work, but either don't have specialized skills or simply can't find a job?

Oregon needs a strong Bureau of Labor and Industries Commissioner.  Vote for Bruce Starr for BOLI Commissioner.
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Immigrants’ Job Picture Brighter Under Obama Than For the Native Born

Under the Obama Administration, immigrants have fared better at finding jobs than the native born. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data indicate that as of August 2012, over 1.7 million immigrants found jobs during Obama’s term while only 418,000 native-born Americans did.

According to the BLS’ monthly household survey, immigrants garnered about three out of every four jobs added since January 2009 even though they are only one-sixth of the workforce. Between August 2011 and August 2012, immigrants won one out of every three newly-added jobs. During that period, native-born Americans gained 1.436 million new jobs, while immigrants acquired 788,000.

A separate BLS survey of employers indicates that immigrant job gains essentially equaled the number of new jobs added to economy since January 2009. Steven Camarota from the Center for Immigration Studies found that there was a net gain of 1.5 million new jobs between January 2009 and August 2012 while 1.5 million immigrants, legal and illegal, short-term and long-term arrived in the United States and found jobs.

The situation could worsen for the native born given the Obama Administration’s decision to grant work permits and deportation amnesty to as many as 1.7 million illegal aliens under the age of 31. The Migration Policy Institute estimates that fifty-eight percent of this group of illegal aliens are already working or seeking work, but having legal access will enable them to compete for a broader range of jobs with citizens, including higher paying ones.

The percentage of working-age Americans with jobs dropped from 60.6 percent in early 2009 to 58.4 percent in August 2012. That means about 3.9 million fewer working-age Americans are in the workforce. They are not included in unemployment numbers because they are no longer seeking work.

According to BLS, there are about 23 million unemployed and underemployed Americans now while about 8 million illegal aliens and another 16 million foreign-born immigrants hold jobs. Read more about Immigrants’ Job Picture Brighter Under Obama Than For the Native Born

Deputies borrow garden tractor to assist in arrest of burglary suspect

Two Marion County sheriff’s deputies borrowed a garden tractor to arrest a burglary suspect Thursday morning.

The owners of Frank Henny and Sons Nursery interrupted a man trying to steal a tractor from their business, 9295 72nd Ave. NE about 8:30 a.m.

The burglary suspect, later identified as Demitry Naumov, 25, of Mt. Angel, had reportedly ridden his bicycle to the business and loaded his bike into the rear of the John Deere Gator and was trying to start the vehicle when the owners found him.

Spokesman for the agency Don Thomson said that initially, Naumov was cooperative with the owners and agreed to wait for law enforcement. However, as deputies approached, Naumov ran away into a nearby field, Thomson said.

Deputies tried to search the rough field, setting up a perimeter. To help with the search, the owners allowed deputies to use a tractor to navigate the field and ultimately capture Naumov.

Naumov was found in possession of methamphetamine and charged with the crime along with three counts of unlawful entry into a motor vehicle, possession of burglary tools and second-degree burglary.

Deputy Martin Bennett reports that he's seen an increase in the number of thefts and attempted thefts involving Marion county farms and those thieves are focusing on the equipment and vehicles regularly stored in open barns and sheds. Bennett recommends that precautions be taken to protect the valuable property.
 

Demitry Naumov - ICE hold
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Teen’s secret tied to fatal crash

Lack of immigration papers prompted a Churchill High School student to flee a traffic stop on March 7, causing an accident that killed two people, his attorney said on Thursday.

Emanuel Herrera-­Gutierrez, 16, was sentenced to 75 months in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree manslaughter for recklessly causing the deaths of Toni Lynn Bryson and Richard Lee Taylor. Defense attorney John Kolego said his client was not a legal resident of the United States, despite living here nearly all his life.

“He knew this dark secret that he had, that he was undocumented, even though he’d been here since he was 2,” Kolego said in an interview after the sentencing. “And when he was pulled over by the police officer, the fact that he was undocumented, the fact that he could potentially cause problems for his whole family, just led to pure panic. ... He just panicked and took off. Unfortunately that led to the deaths of two people and to two police officers being injured.”

Herrera-Gutierrez was driving his parents’ 2000 Nissan Maxima 90 miles per hour when he ran a red light at West 11th Avenue and Bertlesen Road and slammed into a vehicle driven by Taylor, prosecutor Dave Hopkins said at the sentencing. Taylor, 62, and his passenger Bryson, 43, were both ejected and died of their injuries at a hospital.

The Nissan then careened into a Eugene police patrol car that happened to be sitting at the red light, Hopkins said, injuring officers Kyle Evans and Joshua Sundquist. The impact caused the Nissan’s engine to catch fire, and both jumped out to render aid, the Lane County deputy district attorney said.

“Officer Sundquist, with one (injured) arm dangling, gets a fire extinguisher to put out the fire,” Hopkins said.

Herrera-Gutierrez was initially unresponsive when Evans tried to check on him, but when the teen came to, he tried to start the car again instead of trying to get out of it, the prosecutor said.

Herrera-Gutierrez probably will face deportation after completing his sentence, Kolego said.
It’s not clear what country the teen was born in. Nearly a dozen people who appeared to be his family members attended the sentencing, but did not respond to a reporter’s interview request. Several of them wept quietly throughout the proceeding.

No relatives of Taylor or Bryson were in the courtroom, though one of Bryson’s sisters made a statement by telephone from her home on the Oregon Coast.

“We loved our sister, and she had four children and they lost their mom,” Dory Thurman told Lane County Circuit Judge Karsten Rasmussen. “We will have to live with this for the rest of our lives. I’m sorry that everybody has to suffer for the choices (Herrera-Gutierrez) made that night.”

Kolego said the teen’s undocumented status also helped set those events in motion. Because of it, he was unable to get a driver’s permit and license, as most of his peers were doing. Wanting to drive, he waited until his parents were asleep that night and took their car out without permission.

He made another in a “series of catastrophic choices” when he decided to speed on the Randy Papé Beltline, Hopkins said. An Oregon State Police trooper saw Herrera-Gutierrez driving “about 100 miles an hour” and began pursuing him shortly before the 12:33 a.m. crash, the prosecutor said.

The teen initially pulled over just past the Barger Drive overpass, Hopkins said. But as soon as the trooper got out of his vehicle, Herrera-Gutierrez took off southbound toward West 11th Avenue, where he turned east and accelerated toward the site of the impending crash.

Hopkins told Rasmussen that the teen never asked about the condition of Bryson and Taylor, despite seeing them receiving medical attention at the crash scene and later being taken to the same emergency room as Taylor.

Under Oregon’s Ballot Measure 11, he was charged as an adult and will serve the mandatory minimum sentence of 75 months for second-degree manslaughter. He will do so in the custody of the Oregon Department of Corrections rather than the Oregon Youth Authority, despite his young age, his lack of criminal record and the fact that drugs and alcohol were not involved in the crash.

Kolego told the judge that his client was not indifferent to the harm he’d caused, but was dazed after suffering a concussion.

After the hearing, the defense attorney expressed hope that Herrera-Gutierrez would be incarcerated at the state’s MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility in Woodburn until age 18, and “hopefully, if he continues to behave himself, will remain isolated from hardened prisoners” after that. Kolego said Lane County juvenile detention officials have said they’ve never had a young inmate as well-behaved as his client.

“This is a really decent kid who made a horrific decision when he was too young to fully appreciate the risk he was putting other people in,” the defense attorney said. Read more about Teen’s secret tied to fatal crash

Illegal migrants across U.S. taking protests to defiant new level

A growing number of undocumented immigrants in Arizona and other states are taking immigration protests to a new extreme, staging acts of civil disobedience by deliberately getting arrested in order to be turned over to federal immigration officials.

Often wearing T-shirts declaring themselves "undocumented and unafraid," the protesters have sat down in streets and blocked traffic, or occupied buildings in several cities including Phoenix and Tucson.

Dozens of protesters have been arrested, but in almost every case, federal immigration officers have declined to deport those in the country illegally. Protesters say they are planning more acts of civil disobedience, including possibly in Phoenix.

The acts are intended to openly defy stepped-up immigration enforcement that has led to record deportations over the past three years.

In Arizona, protesters are focused now on enforcement of a portion of the state's Senate Bill 1070 immigration law.

By getting arrested, immigrants say they are making a point: Illegal immigrants who are part of this country shouldn't have to live in fear of being deported and deserve to live here legally. They also think immigration authorities are less likely to deport illegal immigrants arrested in public because the government doesn't want the negative attention.

"Honestly, I can tell you I have never felt as free as when I was sitting in the middle of the street and when I was chanting 'undocumented and unafraid,' " said Daniela Cruz, 21. She is one of six undocumented immigrants arrested in March after blocking an intersection in front of Trevor G. Browne High School in west Phoenix.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials say unwanted publicity has nothing to with the agency's decision not to take action against the protesters. In most cases, the agency has issued statements saying the protesters simply did not meet the agency's priorities of deporting criminals, recent border crossers and egregious immigration violators.

Still, undocumented immigrants could be taking a chance if getting arrested leads to a criminal record that could prevent them from gaining legal status in the the future.

Frustration spurs action

The rise of civil disobedience shows how some immigrant groups are turning to more-extreme measures out of frustration that the marches, work stoppages, voter drives and boycotts of the past have not worked. Reforms that include a proposed legalization program for millions of undocumented immigrants have not passed Congress, and deportations keep going up.

Last fiscal year, ICE deported a record of nearly 397,000 immigrants. ICE is on a pace to deport as many or more this fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30. Comprehensive immigration reform likely won't be addressed again until next year at the earliest.

"Immigration reform has been on the national agenda for more than 10 years with no progress, and so, I think that is one of the reasons we are seeing an uptick in the level of civil disobedience," said Chris Newman, legal-programs director for the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, an advocacy group in Los Angeles that has worked with groups that engage in civil disobedience.

Carlos Vélez-Ibánez, director of Arizona State University's School of Transborder Studies, said the rise in civil disobedience is the result of a new crop of leaders who are inspired by some of the tactics of the civil- rights and Chicano movements of the 1960s and 1970s.

"In this case, people are putting themselves in harm's way to make the point of the unfairness of these laws," Vélez-Ibánez said.

Steven Camarota, research director at the Center for Immigration Studies, a think tank in Washington, D.C., that supports tough immigration enforcement, doesn't think civil disobedience now will sway public opinion to the degree that the civil-rights movement did.

"It's not clear to most Americans that this is analogous to the civil-rights movement," Camarota said. "In the civil-rights movement, you had American citizens demanding equality. In this case, you have people who aren't supposed to be in the country demanding the rights of citizens, and to most Americans, or at least a large fraction, that is not roughly the same thing."

Groups use e-mail, social media

Groups such as the National Immigrant Youth Alliance, Dream Activist and Puente Arizona, which is based in Phoenix, are only a few years old or less. But they have quickly built national followings through the use of websites, Facebook, e-mail blasts, Twitter and YouTube videos to promote civil disobedience. They also attempt to rally public support for individual cases of undocumented immigrants facing deportation.

Jonathan Perez, 25, a member of National Immigrant Youth Alliance, said he has seen an evolution in the undocumented-immigrant movement.

"Two or three years ago, people wouldn't come out. They were even afraid to be on camera," said Perez, an undocumented immigrant from Colombia who lives in Los Angeles.

Then, growing numbers of undocumented students known as "dreamers" began appearing on television and in front of Congress to tell their stories in hopes of generating support for the Dream Act, a bill that would allow undocumented immigrants to gain citizenship if they attended college or joined the military.

The turning point came in May 2010, when a group of protesters dressed in caps and gowns staged a sit-in at the Tucson offices of Sen. John McCain, Perez said. Among the four protesters arrested were three who were in the country illegally. It was the first time students had deliberately gotten arrested and risked deportation in an act of civil disobedience, according to Perez and other activists familiar with the incident.

Protests heat up

Since then, civil disobedience in Arizona and around the country has steadily increased.

Among the most recent examples:

On July 24, four undocumented immigrants were arrested after stopping traffic at an intersection outside the Sandra Day O'Connor U.S. Courthouse in Phoenix. They were protesting Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's tough stance against illegal immigrants on the same day he was at the courthouse defending himself against a racial-profiling lawsuit accusing his office of targeting Latinos to search for illegal immigrants.

On Sept. 4, 10 undocumented immigrants, including three from Arizona, were arrested when they blocked a busy intersection in downtown Charlotte, N.C., on the first day of the Democratic National Convention. The protesters said they wanted to push President Barack Obama to legalize illegal immigrants instead of deporting them.

On Sept. 7, four undocumented immigrants and two supporters were arrested while blocking traffic in Los Angeles. They were trying to pressure Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca to stop working with federal immigration authorities to identify and arrest illegal immigrants.

More civil disobedience may now be on the way. Local police are about to begin enforcing the so-called "show me your papers" provision of SB 1070 following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in June that rejected an argument that the provision is unconstitutional.

That provision requires police officers to check the legal status of a person stopped or arrested under certain conditions during investigations or traffic stops.

To protest the law, organizers from Puente Arizona say they are considering civil disobedience, including getting arrested by blocking streets.

"It's empowering," said Carlos Garcia, director of Puente Arizona. "But what it really comes down to is challenging the law itself and us being able to tell the stories of undocumented people and why they are risking everything."

In July, Puente created a Facebook page to drum up support for the "UndocuBus." About two dozen undocumented immigrants rode the 1970s-era passenger bus on a six-week trip across the country that began in Phoenix and ended in Charlotte. Along the way, the bus, painted bright turquoise with butterflies and the slogan "No papers no fear" on the sides, made stops in 15 cities, including Knoxville, Tenn.

In that city four of about 50 protesters blocking a city street were arrested on Aug. 28. They were protesting the local sheriff's participation in a federal program that gives local police the authority to enforce federal immigration laws.

The UndocuBus' trip culminated with a protest that blocked an intersection near the site of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.

Among the 10 people arrested there was Phoenix resident and UndocuBus rider Gerardo Torres, 41, an undocumented immigrant from Aguas Calientes, Mexico.

Torres, a handyman, said it wasn't until the night before, during a meeting at a local church, that he decided to get arrested.

"I wanted to prove the point to the (undocumented) community that when we are together and we are united, we have a lot of power," said Torres, who said he has been living in the country illegally since 1993, when his six-month tourist visa expired.

Torres conceded, however, that he knew the chances of being put into deportation proceedings were slim because he has no criminal record.

Since June 2011, ICE has revamped its deportation priorities to focus more attention on removing illegal immigrants with criminal records instead of those with clean records and strong community and family ties.

After spending about 10 hours in jail, Torres was released. ICE declined to pursue deportation against the 10 protesters.

ICE officials declined to be interviewed.

In a written statement, Amber Cargile, an ICE spokeswoman in Phoenix, said the agency "fully respects the rights of all people to voice their opinions."

"We recognize that our nation's broken immigration system requires serious solutions, and we continue to work with Congress to enact reform," Cargile said.

Since the acts of civil disobedience started, immigrant groups say, ICE has taken deportation action against only one protester, Miguel Guerra-Montana, 35. The Phoenix resident is one of four undocumented immigrants arrested after they sat down and blocked an intersection in front of the federal courthouse in downtown Phoenix.

In the statement, Cargile said ICE issued Guerra-Montana a notice to appear before an immigration judge and released him on bond after a federal database check revealed he had entered the country in January 2002 on a visitor's visa but failed to leave after the visa expired.

"ICE uses discretion on a case-by-case basis, taking enforcement action based on the merits of an individual's case and a comprehensive review of specific facts," Cargile said. An immigration judge will decide whether Guerra-Montana should be deported.

Guerra-Montana said he wanted to be placed in deportation proceedings. That would give him the chance to ask an immigration judge to let him remain in the U.S. legally. He has hired a lawyer and plans to argue that he should be allowed to stay because he has lived in this country for more than 10 years and two of this three children were born here.

He sees that as a better alternative than being stopped by police and turned over to ICE.

"I did this because I was tired of always having to hide," he said.

Although ICE has not pursued deportation against most of the protesters, they are still taking a chance by getting arrested.

In September, Cruz, the undocumented immigrant arrested in March for blocking the intersection at Trevor G. Browne High School, went to court to fight two misdemeanor charges. A judge found Cruz guilty of the two charges. Now, she has a criminal record.

Cruz said she doesn't know if her record will hurt her chances of applying for any future legalization program or for President Barack Obama's deferred-action program, which lets young undocumented immigrants apply to stay and work temporarily in the U.S. without the threat of deportation. The guidelines for applying rule out undocumented immigrants convicted of felonies, serious misdemeanors or three or more misdemeanors. Department of Homeland Security officials have said applicants for deferred action with records of disobedience will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

But Cruz has no regrets.

"To me, even after I was found guilty, it was more than 100 percent worth it," she said. "We showed our community that once we come out, we are a lot safer."
  Read more about Illegal migrants across U.S. taking protests to defiant new level

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