illegal immigration

Real Border Control Has to Come First in Any Immigration Deal

A bipartisan group of eight U.S. senators has proposed an immigration reform plan that appears to broadly reflect what voters would like to see. But there's a catch.

Most Americans (56 percent) want our nation to have a welcoming policy of legal immigration. With such an approach, the only people who would be excluded are national security threats, criminals and those who would seek to live off our generous system of welfare and other benefits. Sixty-one percent of Republicans favor such a policy, along with 55 percent of Democrats and 52 percent of unaffiliated voters.

But while favoring such a welcoming policy of legal immigration, voters want to stop illegal immigration. Eight out of 10 think this is an important policy goal, including 58 percent who say it's very important. Once the borders are secure, people are quite willing to support almost any proposal to legalize the status of illegal immigrants already in this country: 64 percent see this as an important goal, including 33 percent who say it's very important.

With this background, it's no surprise to find initial support for the plan rolled out by the senators. It provides a combination of improved border security with a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants already here. Fifty-nine percent of voters nationwide favor the approach, while only 18 percent are opposed. Most Republicans, Democrats and unaffiliated voters are on board.

Especially popular is the inclusion of strict penalties for employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants. Sixty-four percent support this provision. Voters have long been supportive of penalizing employers and landlords who profit from illegal immigration. They would rather punish them than penalize the immigrants. For most Americans, it's easier to understand why people would want to better themselves by coming to America than to tolerate U.S. companies that knowingly encourage them to break the law.

Yet despite the broad support for the outlines of the bipartisan legislation, the prospects for its passage are far from clear. The reason has little to do with the immigration issue itself and everything to do with the lack of public trust in the government. If the proposal were to become law, only 45 percent of voters believe it is even somewhat likely that the federal government would make a serious effort to secure the borders and reduce illegal immigration. That figure includes just 15 percent who think the government is very likely to make such an effort.

As on most issues, Democrats are far more trusting of the government. Two-thirds of those in the president's party think the government is likely to enforce the entire law. However, 69 percent of Republicans and 56 percent of unaffiliated voters think the government is unlikely to follow through on the provisions to reduce illegal immigration.

Overcoming this skepticism is the key to maintaining support for any comprehensive reform. Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, one of the group of eight, has said that the enforcement provisions will have to be working before the pathway to citizenship can be opened. That's consistent with public opinion. But Rubio and his colleagues have their work cut out convincing voters that the plan really will work that way.

To find out more about Scott Rasmussen, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2013 SCOTT RASMUSSEN

DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM

Be at the Capitol - Tuesday, Feb. 26 - DRUG WARS: Silver or Lead screening

Alert date: 
2013-02-22
Alert body: 

If you couldn't make it to the showing of DRUG WARS: Silver or Lead last month, you're in luck.

Tuesday, February 26 from 9-11am, OFIR will be showing the documentary again at the Oregon State Capitol Building - Room 257.

Every concerned citizen should attend and find out what's really happening. This is not an issue confined to the US-Mexican border. Like a cancer, it's spreading throughout the entire US. Citizen APATHY is one of the greatest tools used by drug cartel operatives. Now, they want our drivers licenses!

Your attendance is encouraged! Before or after the event, please plan to visit your Senator and Representative. Tell them about your concerns. If they aren't available, make an appt. for a later date (or make one before you come).

The Capitol is YOUR building and the people inside should be working for Oregonians. Your Legislator has regular visits from lobbyists and advocates working to advance the agenda of illegal aliens. Have they seen you? If not, you should introduce yourself and tell them YOU are a constituent. Thank them if they are working to protect Oregon jobs and American sovereignty.

NOTE: Bring quarters for the meter (75 cents an hour). Plan to stay at least the first hour and a half...the last half hour will be Q&A. The documentary is 1 hour and 21 minutes long.

Hope to see you there!

OFIR president to speak at Pachyderm luncheon Thursday

Alert date: 
2013-02-18
Alert body: 

Cynthia Kendoll of Salem, president of Oregonians for Immigration Reform, will speak at the next luncheon of the Valley Pachyderm Club.

The luncheon will start at noon Thursday [February 22nd] at the Scottish Rite Center, 4090 Commercial St. SE, Salem. Reservations are requested by Wednesday; call (503) 585-9525 or email robert@mosqueda.com.

OFIR has been outspoken against legislation [HB 2787 / SB 10] allowing in-state tuition rates for students in the country illegally.

 

Oregon tuition equity bill gets amended

Oregon lawmakers will have to wait until next week to advance a bill that would allow some students without immigration documents to qualify for in-state tuition.

On Friday, the House Committee on Higher Education and Workforce Development made a few changes to House Bill 2787, mainly clarifying what proof students would need to submit to show they intend to become a citizen or lawful permanent resident.

Proof would include an official copy of the student’s application to register with a federal immigration program, federal deportation deferral program or a statement of intent that the student will seek to obtain citizenship. Students would also need to show they have applied to become a taxpayer.

“We wanted to make sure that these are the students that are going to benefit from tuition equity, but felt that perhaps there was some looseness in the language that might cause unintended consequences,” said Rep. Michael Dembrow, D-Portland, chairman of the education committee.

Since the bill was amended, lawmakers have to wait for a fiscal analysis on the new version of the legislation before they can vote on the bill.

House Republicans got some of what they wanted changed, but not all.

The amendments supported by Republicans did not include a statement of intent as part of how students could prove they intend to become a citizen or lawful permanent resident.

It also included a section that states a public university may not give admission preference to students who benefit from the bill over that of Oregon residents.

“House Bill 2787 doesn’t call for it or infer it but there can be and is a concern that in addition to offering in-state tuition the Oregon University System could considerably lower the bar for admission or create some sort of special exemption,” said Rep. Mark Johnson, R-Hood River.

He said it was clear from hearing from minority students that they don’t want any kind of special academic treatment from the bill.

Dembrow said he would not support that amendment because the language is too vague and would set the state up for unintended consequences.

(Page 2 of 2)

Split by a vote along party lines, those package of amendments did not move out of committee. Some Republicans then voted for the alternative package of amendments after the ones they proposed failed.

Francisco Lopez, executive director of the immigration-rights group Causa Oregon, said both parties met each other half way.

“In the end, all those amendments became a bipartisan effort,” he said. “I think that tells you the level of quality of this conversation.”

One change lawmakers from both parties agreed on was providing an exception to the bill’s residency requirements for students who leave the state to serve in the U.S. military for more than three years.

Under the bill, the State Board of Higher Education is only allowed to offer in-state tuition to students that have received a high school diploma no more than three years before they enroll in a public university.

The Oregon University System estimates that about 38 students would take advantage of the opportunity to pay in-state tuition in the 2011-13 biennium and 80 students would use the program in 2015-17.

With more students paying in-state tuition and fees at Oregon public universities, the revenue impact would be about $334,820 for the 2011-13 biennium and $1.5 million for the 2013-15 biennium, according to the original bill’s fiscal statement.

OUS would report to the Legrickislature and presiding officers on the number of students that applied and the fiscal impact before July 1 of every year, under the amended bill.

“Of course, the idea is that we have opened the opportunity for any resident of the state of Oregon that wants to go to a public university,” Lopez said.

Lawmakers are expected to pass the bill out of the House Committee on Higher Education and Workforce Development on Monday.

It would then head to the House floor.
 

OR Legislature puts the law before the horse

Rep. Michael Dembrow and his band of co-horts are attempting to usurp Federal law by not only allowing foreign nationals, most likely illegally in our country to remain here, but now they want to give them an instate tuition benefit so they can attend college here.

I have asked this question repeatedly and not gotten an answer:                                                                                                                                                      How will these students and their parents pay for college?  Several students testified that they or their parents are working 2 or 3 jobs already.             Is that not another law being broken?

Is it just me...am I the only one who thinks we have we become too 'tolerant' of these lawbreakers?  To think that we can sit in the State Capitol Building - the hub of lawmaking in Oregon - surrounded by kids that freely admit they are here illegally and so are their parents and siblings.  They admit they are working several jobs (and most likely driving to those jobs without a license or insurance). And nothing happens to them.  "Living in the shadows", haha...it wouldn't appear so.

Barely allowing testimony from the opposition at yesterdays hearing, these legislators hope to pass a bill that would allow these student lawbreakers to be awarded the opportunity to pay instate tuition at our colleges and universities. 

Then what?  We will have subsidized the college education of illegal aliens who will be competing for jobs with college graduates that are US citizens.                Sounds like people need to stop and think first.  This is a bad idea.

When does this stop?  When do we finally say enough is enough?

 


 

Action on tuition bill set Friday

In-state tuition for students without immigration documents is on a fast track in the Oregon House.

After hearing testimony for two hours Wednesday, mostly from supporters, the House Higher Education Committee plans to consider action Friday on House Bill 2787. Approval would advance it to a vote of the full House, which shelved similar bills in 2003 and 2011 after they passed the Senate.

Hugo Nicolas, who testified for similar legislation two years ago while a senior at McNary High School, spoke in favor of the current bill. He is attending Chemeketa Community College and working at two jobs, hoping to transfer to the University of Oregon and then return to Salem.

“I deserve a shot at the American dream,” he told the committee. “Let me enhance my talents. Today we may be undocumented, but tomorrow, we want to lead the way to be the next generation of entrepreneurs that will energize this state.”

Edith Gomez is a sophomore at the University of Oregon, but only because her visa status was changed and she was granted special permission for in-state rates that are a third of out-of-state rates.

“I can’t help but think of others who are not so lucky,” she said.

Senate President Peter Courtney, D-Salem, is the chief Senate sponsor of the current bill and also sponsored Oregon’s first such bill in 2003 at the request of Woodburn High School’s principal.

“It would be a great disservice to our state and our people if we allow the next generation of brilliant minds to go uncultivated simply because we refuse to acknowledge they are as much a part of Oregon as much as we are and our kids are,” he said.

Courtney said that students without immigration documents are simply not attending state universities.

But Gabriela Morrongiello, a sophomore at Oregon State University and chairwoman of its Young Americans for Freedom chapter, argued that lawmakers should not defy a 1996 federal law.

“Should the Oregon Legislature ignore federal law and confer such privileges, it must also give the same benefits to out-of-state students” such as herself, who is from California. “Failure to do so may result in a class-action lawsuit.”

Twelve states, including California and Washington, have such laws.

Cynthia Kendoll of Salem, president of Oregonians for Immigration Reform, questioned some provisions of the bill relating to how students prove they are seeking legal status in the United States.

“Wouldn’t it make more sense to wait until the federal immigration issue is resolved before pushing to pass a state law that could easily contradict the federal law?” she asked. “Banking on a federal amnesty to make enforceable the provisions of this bill is reckless and shortsighted.”

Kendoll also complained afterward that aside from her group and three public opponents, most of the testimony was given by the bill’s supporters. Three hundred students, mostly in support, filled overflow rooms and part of the galleria.
 

Immigration reform is not about semantics

It seems everyone has some advice for beleaguered Republicans these days, especially when it comes to Hispanic voters and the issue of immigration.

Among the many groups and interests who may or may not have the best interests of the Republican Party at heart is the Hispanic Leadership Network, which bills itself as a coalition of Hispanic Republicans. In an appeal to congressional Republicans, the HLN suggests that the party’s rhetoric on immigration policy is the decisive impediment to winning more of the Hispanic vote.

As alluring as it might be for Republicans to believe that they are a catch-phrase or two away from cutting into the Democrats’ sizeable advantage among Hispanics, it is simply not the case. For starters, the Republicans’ difficulty with Hispanic voters predates recent immigration debates. Mitt Romney’s poor showing among Hispanics was not significantly out of line with what other GOP presidential nominees have polled over many decades.

The Republicans’ “Hispanic problem” is not an immigration-related one; it is an economic one. Every poll of Hispanic voters has found that jobs and the economy top the list of concerns expressed by these voters and that by overwhelming majorities they favor the Democrats’ solutions. Immigration policy ranks far down the list of concerns for most Hispanic voters.

The HLN offers up an appealing list of euphemisms that Republicans might use as they engage in the looming policy debate about immigration reform. Euphemisms may make it easier for Republicans to compromise core values. But engaging in euphemism will not impress Hispanic voters who are voting against Republicans in large numbers for reasons that have nothing to do with amnesty for illegal aliens. And it certainly will do nothing to benefit American workers and taxpayers who will bear the brunt of the truly destructive policy euphemistically labeled “comprehensive immigration reform.”

Republicans should not shy away from using the term amnesty for what is being proposed. It is what it is, even if illegal aliens have to jump through a few hoops, endure a slap on the wrists, and wait awhile to become citizens. The HLN’s preferred term, “earned legal status,” ignores the fundamental truth that the most important criterion for earning legal status is having broken the law. Not only that, while illegal immigrants are going through the process, they will get to remain here, be eligible to compete for most every job available, and enjoy many public benefits including ObamaCare.

Another helpful rationalization suggested by the HLN is removing the word illegal (either as a noun or adjective) from the immigration debate lexicon. Such people should be referred to as “undocumented immigrants,” Republicans are urged. The problem, of course, is that the term is not only inaccurate, but utterly divorced from reality. Being an immigrant to the United States is not a status people can bestow upon themselves, any more than being a congressman, senator, doctor, or a lawyer is.

The people who would benefit from amnesty are citizens of other nations who either entered or remained in this country in violation of our laws. Like all human beings, they need to be treated with respect and dignity, but that should not preclude us from calling what they are – illegal aliens – or demanding that they comply with our laws.

Warm and fuzzy language should not obscure the most important consideration of how we address immigration reform. Illegal immigration is harmful to the well-being of American workers and taxpayers, and is a potential threat to our security. Amnesty would only validate the harm that has already been inflicted and compound it over time. In particular, Hispanic Americans who often compete directly with illegal aliens for jobs, wages, and educational opportunities as they endeavor to get ahead, stand to lose the most.

Instead of adopting empty feel-good rhetoric, Republicans need to offer a compelling message for why enforcing our immigration laws would be enormously beneficial to low-income Americans, including Hispanics. There is a clear choice that needs to be made in dealing immigration. Either we can prioritize people who broke our immigration laws and the narrow political and economic interests that benefit from them, or we can do what is right for Hispanic citizens and legal immigrants, and their children.

A realistic chance at upward mobility, not mass amnesty, is precisely what Hispanic voters say they want. A rational immigration policy, not patronizing language, is the Republicans’ best hope for winning the votes of Hispanic Americans.

Dan Stein is president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform.

 

 

Congress...are you listening?

Elizabeth Van Staaveren hits the nail on the head with her message of attrition through enforcement in her recent letter published in the Statesman Journal.  Let your elected officials know that another sweeping amnesty solves nothing.  True enforcement of existing laws is where we begin solving the illegal immigration issue.

OFIR launches billboard campaign

When you are out and about driving in Salem, please keep your eyes on the road...but, try and sneak a look at OFIR's new digital billboard. For the next week, it will run on Mission St. and 17th St. 

OFIR is hoping to catch the attention of Legislators on their way to the Capitol. 

Throughout the month it will move around town, so keep an eye out for it.  If you see it, let OFIR know what you think of it!  

OFIR would appreciate your feedback and your ideas for future campaigns.

If you would like to see more billboards, consider a contribution to OFIR to help defray the cost.  OFIR members' past donations have made this campaign possible.

DACA - just another form of amnesty

One of OFIR's original founders, Elizabeth VanStaaveren spells out the meaning behind the madness of the DACA -  Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.  Read the full article here.

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