illegal immigration

Immigration activists seek the right to drive legally

Sindy Avila came to the United States from Mexico when she was 2.

Kassandra Marquez was born in the United States, but just a few months after her parents arrived from Mexico.

What drew them and about 100 others to a rally Tuesday at the Capitol was the issue of reinstating Oregon driver’s licenses for immigrants who lack proof of legal presence in the United States.

Oregon lawmakers are expected to consider legislation soon to change the 2008 law requiring such proof to receive licenses and identification cards.

“We stand together in solidarity with our parents and valued members of our community to let our politicians know that we need driver’s licenses,” Avila said at the rally. “They are a necessity for people to go to work, to provide food for their families and to contribute to our community.”

Marquez’s mother was five months pregnant with her when her parents crossed the border.

“My father goes to work daily, living in fear of getting detained by the police,” she said. “This affects me and my family, because he is our only provider for our household. It is my fear that one day, while he is driving to or from work, I will not be able to see him again.”

Several others told their stories, mostly in Spanish, but withheld their last names.

The rally was organized by Oregon Dream Activists, which sponsored a similar rally Oct. 30 after several students walked from Portland to Salem over four days to call attention to their cause.

At the Oct. 30 rally, Gov. John Kitzhaber was the target of advocates who thought he could reverse the 2008 law via an executive order. Kitzhaber has since announced his support of changing the law, and supporters at Tuesday’s rally hid his name from a banner proclaiming “Restore Our Licenses Now.”

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The same federal law also allows states to issue licenses that are “clearly marked” as invalid for federal purposes.

Washington and New Mexico are the only states with such licenses not requiring proof of legal presence, although Washington also issues an “enhanced” license that can be used for travel to and from Canada, as well as federal purposes. Residents of other states must obtain U.S. passports for Canadian travel.

Utah issues driving privilege cards that must be renewed annually.

Kitzhaber announced 11 months ago, in a message delivered at a May Day rally, that a task force would try to come up with solutions. He has not said what form the legislation may take.

“This bill is important for a significant segment of our economy,” he said at a news conference on Feb. 11.

“We want a driver’s license that is not discriminatory,” said Marco Mejia of Jobs with Justice, a group based in Portland, during the rally.

Immigrant-rights groups say that many drivers without immigration documents cannot obtain or renew their licenses, forcing them to use public transportation or forgo licensed driving.

But Oregonians for Immigration Reform, which has been critical of federal immigration policy, has defended the 2008 law as a safeguard against the abuse of licenses.

Mira Conklin, who spoke for the Interfaith Movement for Immigrant Justice, said national borders are drawn by humans, not God.

“It’s a line that tries to tell us that a person born on one side of that line has more value than a person born on the other side — and we know that’s not true,” she said. “We know we all have value. Let’s work together to change the law.”

Peter Parks, a retired longshoreman and a spokesman for Jobs with Justice, said state legislation for driver’s licenses is only a step toward federal legislation for comprehensive immigration-law changes. “We have to keep moving,” he said.

Marco Mejia addresses those attending the Oregon Dream Activists rally on the Capitol steps, on Tuesday, Mar. 26, 2013, in support of restoring driver's licenses without having to show proof of legal presence in the United States.

What’s next

A bill is expected to be introduced soon that would allow issuance of Oregon driver’s licenses and identification cards without requiring proof of legal presence in the United States. A Senate committee heard but did not advance similar legislation in 2011.

House Bill 3226, which would allow issuance of licenses and cards to those who have been granted deferred status by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, is pending in the House Rules Committee. Oregon officials already have determined that limited-term licenses can be issued to participants in the Deferred Action-Childhood Arrivals program authorized by President Barack Obama last year

Senate Rejects Amendment to Deny Amnestied Illegal Aliens ObamaCare

In a telling vote early Saturday morning, the Senate rejected an amendment (#614) by true immigration reformer Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) to the Senate's 2014 budget bill that would deny illegal aliens ObamaCare and Medicaid in the event Congress passes an amnesty bill later this year. (The Hill, Mar. 23, 2013)

"My amendment would simply say if you are here illegally and then get lawful status, you do not qualify for ObamaCare and Medicaid," explained Sen. Sessions ahead of the vote. (The Hill, Mar. 23, 2013) Long-time pro-amnesty Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), a member of the Senate "Gang of Eight" who was recently investigated for hiring an illegal alien intern, argued against the Sessions' amendment, saying "current law already explicitly excludes undocumented people from receiving benefits." (Id.)

Although illegal aliens are prohibited from receiving subsidized healthcare under ObamaCare, non-immigrants and immigrants (green card holders) are allowed coverage. This means that if Congress grants amnesty to the 11-12 million illegal aliens currently in the U.S., those aliens will be eligible for subsidized healthcare from day one of legalization. So far, the Senate "Gang of Eight" proposal does nothing to prohibit illegal aliens from receiving these benefits.

Republican Senators Susan Collins (ME) and Lisa Murkowski (AK) voted with the Democrat majority to deny the sensible reform measure 43 to 56. To see whether your Senators voted to support subsidized healthcare for amnestied aliens, check the vote here. To find your Members of Congress to tell them to oppose Obamacare and other benefits for amnestied aliens, click here.

Senator Merkley to hold Town Hall meetings

Alert date: 
2013-03-31
Alert body: 

Below is the current list of Senator Merkley’s Town Halls. If possible, please attend one near you, and ask questions about immigration. Some suggested questions are listed after his scheduled itinerary.  If you are able to ask a question, or if the issue is addressed at the meeting, please share the comments with OFIR.

“Senator Jeff Merkley will update constituents on his work in Washington, DC and answer their questions and invite their suggestions about how to tackle the challenges facing Oregon and America.” -- http://www.merkley.senate.gov/oregon/townhalls/

April 1, 2013 @ 10:00 AM

Josephine County Town Hall

234 SW L St. Grants Pass, OR 97526 Get Directions

 

April 1, 2013 @ 2:00 PM

Curry County Town Hall

550 Chetco Lane, Brookings, OR 97415 Get Directions

 

April 1, 2013 @ 7:00 PM

Jackson County Town Hall

307 W Wagner St, Talent, OR 97540 Get Directions

 

April 2, 2013 @ 10:00 AM

Lake County Town Hall

513 Center Street, Lakeview, OR 97630 Get Directions

 

April 2, 2013 @ 2:30 PM

Klamath County Town Hall

7390 S 6th Street, Klamath, OR 97601 Get Directions


Some Questions for Sen. Merkley at Town Hall meetings, April 2013

 

1. 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. We need E-Verify mandated, to ensure that all employed persons are here legally. E-Verify is accurate and ready for expansion. Will you work to make E-Verify mandatory?

 

2. Unemployment persists as a major problem 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?

 

3. States that have E-Verify laws have seen a decline in the illegal alien population. This shows that many illegal aliens will leave if they cannot find jobs. There’s no need for mass deportations and no one is advocating that. There is no need for another amnesty. Simply require implementation of E-Verify and honestly enforce other immigration laws. This would bring decreases in numbers of illegal aliens and also discourage others from attempting to enter illegally.

 

4. Giving benefits to illegal aliens such as driver’s licenses, in-state tuition, etc. legitimizes their presence here. This downgrades the value of citizenship and respect for law. Citizenship and the rule of law must mean something or our nation is on a slippery slope downward into the kind of dictatorships that rule in the so-called 3d world.

 

5. 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. Are you willing to say No to the lobbies constantly pushing for amnesties and more immigration?

Representative Bonamici to hold Town Hall meetings

Alert date: 
2013-03-31
Alert body: 

Listed below is the current schedule of Representative Bonamici’s Town Halls meetings. If possible, please attend one near you, and ask questions about immigration. Some suggested questions are listed after the schedule. If you get the opportunity to ask a question, or the topic of illegal immigration is discussed, please share those comments with OFIR.

Bonamici Announces Spring Town Hall Meeting Schedule - Events in Seaside, Warrenton, Beaverton, Forest Grove, Columbia City, Portland, Sherwood & McMinnville

“I understand how important it is to listen to the people I represent and to take their ideas back to Washington,” said Bonamici. “These events offer a great opportunity for me to answer questions, get feedback, and listen to the concerns of Oregonians throughout the district.”

Schedule details follow:

Seaside Town Hall Meeting
Date: April 1, 2013
Time: 10:00-11:00am
Location: Seaside City Hall, 989 Broadway, Seaside, OR 97138

Warrenton Town Hall Meeting
Date: April 1, 2013
Time: 6:00-7:00pm
Location: Warrenton Community Center, 225 South Main Avenue, Warrenton, OR 97146

Beaverton Town Hall Meeting
Date: April 20, 2013
Time: 1:00-2:00pm
Location: Beaverton City Hall, Council Chambers, 4755 Southwest Griffith Drive, Beaverton, OR 97005

Forest Grove Town Hall Meeting
Date: April 20, 2013
Time: 4:00-5:00pm
Location: Forest Grove Community Auditorium, 1915 Main Street, Forest Grove, OR 97116

Columbia City Town Hall Meeting
Date: April 21, 2013
Time: 12:45-1:45pm
Location: Columbia City Community Hall, 1850 Second Street, Columbia City, OR

Portland Town Hall Meeting
Date: April 21, 2013
Time: 3:00-4:00pm
Location: Ecotrust, Billy Frank, Jr. Conference Center, 721 NW 9th Ave, Portland, OR 97209

Sherwood Town Hall Meeting
Date: April 22, 2013
Time: 5:30-6:30pm
Location: Sherwood Police Department, Community Room, 20495 SW Borchers Drive, Sherwood, OR 97140

McMinnville Town Hall Meeting
Date: April 29, 2013
Time: 6:00-7:00pm
Location: Chemeketa Community College, Yamhill Valley Campus, Building 1, Room 101, 288 NE, Norton Lane, McMinnville, OR 97128

Some Questions for Rep. Bonamici at Town Hall meetings, April 2013

1. 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. We need E-Verify mandated, to ensure that all employed persons are here legally. E-Verify is accurate and ready for expansion. Will you work to make E-Verify mandatory?

2. Unemployment persists as a major problem 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?

3. States that have E-Verify laws have seen a decline in the illegal alien population. This shows that many illegal aliens will leave if they cannot find jobs. There’s no need for mass deportations and no one is advocating that. There is no need for another amnesty. Simply require implementation of E-Verify and honestly enforce other immigration laws. This would bring decreases in numbers of illegal aliens and also discourage others from attempting to enter illegally.

4. Giving benefits to illegal aliens such as driver’s licenses, in-state tuition, etc. legitimizes their presence here. This downgrades the value of citizenship and respect for law. Citizenship and the rule of law must mean something or our nation is on a slippery slope downward into the kind of dictatorships that rule in the so-called 3d world.

5. 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. Are you willing to say No to the lobbies constantly pushing for amnesties and more immigration?

Senator Wyden to hold Town Halls

Alert date: 
2013-03-31
Alert body: 

Here is the current list of Senator Wyden’s Town Halls. If possible, please attend one near you, and ask questions about immigration. Some suggested questions are listed after the schedule.  If you’re able to ask a question, please send OFIR (ofir@oregonir.org) a note about the response. Thank you.

Wyden Schedules Six Eastern Oregon Town Halls in Harney, Grant, Baker, Union, Wallowa and Malheur Counties

The public is Invited to Meetings in Burns on April 2,  John Day and Baker City on April 3,  La Grande and Joseph on April 4 and Ontario on April 5

PORTLAND, OR – Oregon Senator Ron Wyden will hold his annual town halls in Harney, Grant, Baker, Union, Wallowa and Malheur counties from April 2 to April 5. The meetings will be held in the cities of Burns on April 2, John Day and Baker City on April 3, La Grande and Joseph on April 4 and Ontario on April 5. Wyden has been holding town halls in every Oregon county every year beginning in 1996.

Harney County Town Hall Meeting
Date: Tuesday, April 2, 2013; Time: 5 p.m.
Location: Harney County Senior Center, 17 S. Alder, Burns

Grant County Town Hall Meeting
Date: Wednesday. April 3, 2013; Time: 9 a.m.
Location: Grant Union Junior-Senior High School, 911 S Canyon Blvd.. John Day

Baker County Town Hall Meeting
Date: Wednesday, April 3, 2013; Time: 1:30 p.m.
Location: Baker High School Auditorium, 2500 E Street, Baker City

Union County Town Hall Meeting
Date: Thursday, April 4, 2013; Time: 10 a.m.
Location: La Grande High School, Auditorium (Use Second Street entrance)
708 K Avenue, La Grande

Wallowa County Town Hall Meeting
Date: Thursday, April 4, 2013; Time: 2 p.m.
Location: Joseph Charter School, 400 E. Wm. E. Williams Ave., Joseph

Malheur County Town Hall Meeting
Date: Friday, April 5, 2013; Time: 10:30 a.m. (MDT)
Location: Ontario High School Gymnasium, 1115 Idaho Avenue, Ontario

-----------------------------------------

Some Questions for Sen. Wyden at Town Hall meetings, April 2013

1. 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. We need E-Verify mandated, to ensure that all employed persons are here legally. E-Verify is accurate and ready for expansion. Will you work to make E-Verify mandatory?

2. Unemployment persists as a major problem 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?

3. States that have E-Verify laws have seen a decline in the illegal alien population. This shows that many illegal aliens will leave if they cannot find jobs. There’s no need for mass deportations and no one is advocating that. There is no need for another amnesty. Simply require implementation of E-Verify and honest enforcement of other immigration laws. This would bring decreases in numbers of illegal aliens and also discourage others from attempting to enter illegally.

4. Giving benefits to illegal aliens such as driver’s licenses, in-state tuition, etc. legitimizes their presence here and rewards illegal behavior. Citizenship and the rule of law must be cherished and respected, or our nation is on a slippery slope into the culture of corruption from which many immigrants claim to be escaping. What are you doing to strengthen U.S. immigration law enforcement?

5. 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. Are you willing to say No to the lobbies constantly pushing for amnesties and more immigration?

Who's REALLY in charge?

A recent letter sent to Causa supporters:

On behalf of all of us here at Causa Oregon, we want to thank you for all your work and support. While there are still some big fights to win this year, we have accomplished so much in the first three months of 2013.

With your help, we have forged new alliances with our sisters and brothers in the LGBT, labor, faith, business and education communities. Together, we've harnessed the political power to pass the ten-year-long struggle for tuition equity in Oregon and gained national recognition for our collaborative work in registering new Americans to vote. And, just this week it was announced that Causa, the Act Network and our allies were successful in forcing the Multnomah County Sheriff to end his policy of detaining undocumented immigrants for low-level crimes and non-violent misdemeanors.

It's only three months in to 2013 and together we're already making historyThank you for being a tireless ally in our mission to promote the rights of Latinos and immigrants in Oregon. Together, we are ensuring a healthy, vibrant American democracy.

In Solidarity,

Francisco Lopez
Executive Director

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I would like to take a moment to address the "successes" listed in the letter:

1.) Causa appears to be a group whose mission is to cause the ruling bodies of our state to CAVE IN to their demands.

2.) Causa appears to be a group that, by hooking up with legitimate minorities with issues, they hope that the public won't notice that they are advocating for the RIGHTS(?) of those in our country illegally. 

3.) Illegal aliens perpetrate crimes in far greater numbers than their 'legal' peers.  Yet, they seem to feel they shouldn't be in jail and that they deserve special treatment from the Multnomah County Sheriff....and he obliged their demand.

4.) The last line was the worst:  Thank you for being a tireless ally in our mission to promote the rights of Latinos and immigrants in Oregon. Together, we are ensuring a healthy, vibrant American democracy.

First of all, Latino's and legal immigrants have rights.  Do Latino's have special rights?  Causa simply chooses to drop the word ILLEGAL from their immigrant vocabulary and hopes that no one will notice.  After all, who doesn't want to help an 'immigrant'?  And, to make matters worse, claiming they are ensuring a healthy, vibrant American democracy is just a LIE!  Here in Oregon, the cost of services to illegal aliens tipped the BILLION dollar mark.

Since when do any of us get to pick and choose which laws we obey and which laws we ignore?  People who come here illegally are breaking immigration laws.   If they work, they are breaking labor laws. If they steal, buy, or borrow a social security number, they are committing identity theft. But, shhhh...don't say anything about that....that's not nice.  They are bringing the culture of corruption from their homeland, right to our front door.

But, all that aside, the thing that bothers me the most, are the lawmakers that are bending over backwards to work with groups like Causa.  That's the most disappointing of all!  Elections are a great opportunity to clear the decks!

Played like a fiddle

It's been a rough month for those of us working to stop the move to legitimize the presence of illegal aliens in our country. Sadly, we lost a 10 year battle against giving instate tuition benefits to students here illegally. We tried to negotiate with both the House and Senate Education Committees and nearly all the Legislators, either in person, by phone or email.

OFIR brought good, reasonable suggestions to the table. But, it was as if they could smell blood in the water and they didn't need to give an inch in any negotiations. Democrats sensed they could ram the bill through with lightening speed without any amendments that would protect Oregon students and Oregon taxpayers.

It was really quite sickening to hear the debate on the Senate floor as several Democrats and even a Republican gushed about giving every opportunity to students here illegally. They made no mention of the fact that these students and their families have likely "gamed the system" for years. They have stolen identities, have been working illegally, maybe even being paid under the table and are likely driving without licenses or insurance. But, aside from all that, the most important point is they are here illegally! When we have elected officials working so hard for the special benefits for illegal aliens, citizens have to wonder what's next!

I fear that we have taken the first step onto a very slippery slope. If our Legislators do not hear utter rage from their constituents now, the next move will be drivers licenses for all...legal, illegal...who cares!

Find out what happened in Tennessee and New Mexico when they started giving driver licenses to illegal aliens. It wasn't pretty!

 

OFIR founder challenges Congressman Schrader's facts

Congressman Kurt Schrader wrote a guest commentary that was almost nauseating in its inaccuracies and misplaced emotional rhetoric.

OFIR founder, Jim Ludwick challenged his 'facts' and schooled the Congressman in the reality of unchecked illegal immigration.  Read Jim's Guest Opinion.

 

 

OFIR founder challenges Congressman Schrader's facts

Kurt Schrader wrote a guest commentary that was almost nauseating.

OFIR founder, Jim Ludwick challenged his 'facts' and schooled the Congressman in the reality of unchecked illegal immigration.  Read Jim's Guest Opinion.

 

 

Man gets 25 years in child's death

A 24-year-old Keizer man will serve 25 years in prison in connection with the 2011 death of his girlfriend’s 4-year-old son.

Marion County Presiding Judge Jamese Rhoades handed down the sentence Tuesday to Gerardo Chavarria, who changed his plea to guilty to charges of manslaughter and two counts of criminal mistreatment of Sebastian Iturbe, waiving his right to a trial.

A jury trial had been scheduled for the first week of April. Chavarria’s convictions will result in his deportation from the United States after he finishes his sentence.

After a change to the indictment, which changed a murder charge to manslaughter, Rhoades asked Chavarria what he did the day of Nov. 5 that made him feel he was guilty of causing Sebastian’s death.

“The day this happened I had just gotten up. I was drinking beer, watching TV with Sebastian,” Chavarria said. “He did something, I don’t remember what, that knocked over the bottle of beer. For whatever reason I got angry, and I hit his head against the floor.”

The gasps of Sebastian’s mother, Erika Iturbe, and her parents rang out in an otherwise quiet courtroom as Chavarria said he pounded the boy’s head against the floor with his hands. Sebastian then became quiet, he said, and he put the boy to bed.

“I got nervous. I didn’t know what to do,” Chavarria said.

He said he took Sebastian to Salem Hospital two to three hours later. The boy was later transferred to Oregon Health and Science University where he died of blunt force trauma to the head Nov. 6, 2011.

According to documents written by Keizer police, Chavarria first told a detective that Sebastian fell and hit his head outside the family’s basement.

Medical staff said the boy’s injuries weren’t consistent with that kind of fall.

According to the statement, Chavarria later said he pushed the boy with a plastic child carrier and saw him fall down the stairs, hitting his head multiple times.

Chavarria recounted two other incidents in court in which he caused injury to Sebastian, including one when he hit the boy with a belt and another when he hit the boy on the shoulder with his sandal.

District Attorney Walt Beglau said that he wanted to bring the case back to Sebastian.

Through organ donations, Beglau said, Sebastian saved three separate lives.

“It’s hard to describe with words what Sebastian’s death has caused on his mother and family who are here today,” he said. “For his family, it’s been loneliness, anger that comes and goes and irrepressible grief.”

Erika Iturbe and her parents were each given an opportunity to speak in court.

“We miss his laugh, his smiles ... I will never get to hear him say ‘I love you Mommy,’ ” Erika Iturbe said to Chavarria, who looked away and hung his head. “I can’t say I forgive you because I don’t. I hate you with all my heart.”

Chavarria refused the opportunity to speak in court, but after the hearing, his attorney Stephen A. Lipton spoke on his behalf.

“He is genuinely remorseful,” Lipton said. “He’s getting a sentence better than what he had the right to expect.”

Before the hearing, Rhoades viewed a home video of Sebastian playing and singing to his sister.

“It’s difficult to talk to you knowing you killed this beautiful little boy,” Rhoades said to Chavarria. “He was a delightful little boy and a beautiful child and now he’s gone.”

As recommended by deputy district attorney Jodie Bureta, Rhoades imposed a 25-year sentence, one she felt was not hard enough.

“Twenty-five years may not be enough, but it is what the court will impose,” Rhoades said.

NOTE:  Gerardo Chavarria - ICE hold
 

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