immigration

January 20th forum will discuss refugees coming to Salem

Alert date: 
2016-01-15
Alert body: 

A public forum on Jan. 20 will discuss 50 refugees who will be coming to Salem starting in February and continuing through September.

The forum, known as the Refugee Forum on Jobs and Literacy, is scheduled from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Anderson Room of the Salem Public Library, 585 Liberty St SE.

Francisco Lopez, a refugee from El Salvador, will host the event.

During the event, there will be speeches and presentations made by various organizers from Catholic Charities and local groups, as well as a panel of three refugees who live in Salem currently, followed by a Q&A session.

Organizers will discuss what services and programs are already in place for the refugees and what help they need from community members and volunteers. Any unresolved issues will be addressed during the Q&A period.

Organizers said they would like to form task forces during this period should further work need to be done.

They will primarily be discussing employment, education and English-language learning, cultural transition, and transportation.

There will be other activities and refreshments as well. This event is free and open to the public.

By Natalie Pate


 

50 refugees to come to Salem in February


Fifty refugees from various countries will be coming to Salem between February and September.

Catholic Charities is leading the effort to find housing and services for the refugees.

Jennifer Barischoff has helped resettle hundreds of refugees from around the world and was looking for more feasible ways to help them in Oregon.

Housing in Portland is limited and expensive, she said, so she started exploring Salem.

Salem offers a lot of advantages over other areas of Oregon for refugees, she said.

Salem housing is less expensive, employment at entry-level positions is more available and appealing, and it is a smaller, calmer city, something that can be beneficial to someone who has been through a traumatic situation and for someone who doesn't have any prior networks, she said.

Catholic Charities has helped resettle four or five families in Salem in the past year.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service's Office for Refugee Resettlement. Such funding goes toward the Match Grant Program, which has worked with the Catholic Charities program in Salem.

The conference recommended 50 people to go to Salem since it is a new program.

Due to the conflict in Syria, the United States is expected to take in 85,000 refugees this year, up from the average of 70-80,000 a year the country has maintained in recent years, Barischoff said.

She said Catholic Charities, on average, helps to resettle about 350 refugees per fiscal year statewide. This year, they will be helping an additional 100 refugees to resettle in Oregon.

Although several governors asked President Obama last year to reject all refugees from Syria, at least temporarily, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said in November the state would accept and "open the doors of opportunity" to refugees.

Catholic Charities staff and volunteers will work to provide the refugees with secure housing and furnishings, food with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program  and health insurance with the Oregon Health Plan, a Social Security card, a rapid employment program and more.

They will provide English language programs and are partnering with local businesses and organizations to help them find work within four to six months of being in Salem.

The incoming refugees are from multiple countries, Barischoff said, including Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Burma, and Syria, though this is an estimate at this time.

Ultimately, Barischoff wishes for one thing for the refugees: a "renewed sense of hope for (their lives) and future(s)."

"It's hard to emphasize how it feels to go from a place of fear and trauma, one in which your life is in limbo, to a feeling of safety, where you can plan for the future and your life is no longer on hold," she said.

Pritam Rohila is one of the five dozen volunteers working to help the refugees coming to Salem this year.

Rohila came to the United States in 1967 and said he understands what it feels like to be in an unfamiliar place and have a deep desire to connect with what you know and love.

"I came voluntarily," Rohila said. "They did not. They came under threatening conditions. They are coming under duress.

"Producing a sense of home for them is much more important."

Post Mortem on Omnibus spending bill

 
The Republican leadership in Congress has shown itself uncaring about the prospects of citizen workers for job opportunities and adequate wages.  Neither Republican nor Democratic party leadership is working in the best interests of citizens, and both appear to cooperate in selling citizens short.  John Miano of the Center for Immigration Studies, details here their shocking conduct in pushing the Omnibus spending bill through with hidden giveaways to powerful, greedy businesses that have no regard for U.S. citizens’ well-being.
 
Oregon's Rep. Greg Walden voted to fund Obama's amnesty executive orders, the open border acceptance of Syrian refugees, continued funding for sanctuary cities and a quadrupling of the number of H 2-B low-skilled workers, from 66,000 to 264,000 this year.
 
Joining with Walden in passing this bill were Oregon’s Representatives Earl Blumenauer, Suzanne Bonamici and Peter DeFazio. Voting against the bill: Rep. Kurt Schrader.  Thank you, Congressman Schrader.
-------------------------------------------------
Speaker Ryan's Unpersuasive Response on H-2B Visas 
By John Miano, Center for Immigration Studies, December 23, 2015
 
[Slightly condensed version:]
 
On Monday I was one of many to write about the travesty of Paul Ryan's corrupt business-as-usual-in-Washington budget bill [passed on Dec. 18]. Yesterday [Dec.22], Speaker Ryan responded to the critics, a response that shows how deprived of reality the leaders are in Congress.
 
The main area of contention is the changes to the H-2B visa program. (My colleague David North also addresses Ryan's assertions about the program.)
 
The speaker's response starts off with the heading, "And Nothing Was 'Slipped' into the Bill Either."
 
To which I have to ask, how stupid does Speaker Ryan think we are?
 
The increase in H-2B visa is located on page 701 of the budget bill, nestled between two appropriations, with no heading, and no mention of H-2B. Only the few people who know that 8 U.S.C. 1184(g) deals with visa quotas would have a clue reading this passage would know that this provision has nothing to do with appropriations:  …
 
This visa increase could not have been slipped into the bill any better.
 
The title of Speaker Ryan's post is "No, the Omnibus Doesn't Quadruple Visas for Foreign Workers." 
 
As I explained, the increase falls within a range of between doubling and quadrupling the visas available. I also explained why these numbers are theoretical and that an actual quadrupling is unlikely.
 
Speaker Ryan goes on to say that that the increase is "Only 8,000 Workers". In support of this he cites a letter from the director of the Congressional Budget Office (a letter written the same day as Ryan's posting), that states "8,000 additional workers would be in the United States" under this increase.
 
Again the speaker misses the point. If the intent of the provision is only to increase the number of workers by 8,000, why does not the bill simply state that it increases the number of workers by 8,000?
 
The answer is obvious: the bill is written that way so that, as I wrote before, "to make the actual size of the increases obscure and debatable."
 
The speaker said of the increase that it is "Only Temporarily." True enough, that increase is for only one year; does the speaker's assurance mean he'll make sure it's not renewed next year? In addition, the speaker did not mention the other H-2B provision designed to undermine the wages of H-2B workers, found at page 888. That provision is permanent. (I discuss it toward the end of Monday's posting.)
 
The speaker goes on to downplay the visa increase because "it was introduced as part of the base appropriations bill funding the Department of Homeland Security." Pray tell, Mr. Speaker, why was a provision to increase the number of H-2B guestworker visas approved by the Appropriations Committee – and not the Immigration Subcommittee – when it has nothing to do with appropriations?
 
Again, we all know the answer to that question: By giving lobbyists special access to the appropriations process, their pet provisions get slipped into the budget, where they will not be considered separately; once in a budget bill, such a provision is nearly certain to pass.
 
That Mr. Speaker, is corrupt government.
 
We might be able to understand if you said that you were new in the office, that you did not yet have firm control over the budget process, and that in the future you were going to put a stop to allowing special interests to get their pet provisions slipped into the massive budget.
 
But no, here you are defending the corrupt practices that Americans have become sick of. Mr. Speaker, by doubling down on corruption here, you have demonstrated that you epitomize the problem in Washington and are not part of the hoped-for solution.
 

Oregon election law trumps Portland's anti-Donald resolution

PORTLAND — The Portland City Council planned to pass an anti-Donald Trump resolution, but has changed it on the advice of the Secretary of State's Office.

The resolution passed by the City Council on Wednesday focuses more on supporting the Muslim and immigrant community...

City officials said the Secretary of State told them a staff-prepared resolution should not use Trump's name...

The city's original resolution aimed to "censure Donald Trump" and referred directly to Trump...

The resolution that passed says Portland doesn't tolerate hate speech and welcomes all immigrants and refugees...

Portland officials said the resolution doesn't mean the city supports any particular candidate...

This post includes only excerpts from the original article.

How the Statue of Liberty is wrongly used to push unlimited immigration

For many years, a poem at the base of the Statue of Liberty has been cited as a reason why the U.S. should welcome unlimited numbers of people.  The true history of the Statue of Liberty is lost in the immigration myth attached to it.  The myth is false and certainly does not represent a reasonable immigration policy.

Various historians have written good histories of the monument.  An especially detailed, documented account was written by Elizabeth Koed and published in The Social Contract, Spring 1992 issue, as “A Symbol Transformed – the Statue of Liberty.”   
 
Again today the Statue of Liberty is being used to advocate open-ended immigration and as a club to silence those who don’t agree.  However, this nation and its citizens have the moral right to set strict controls over immigration and require that the immigration laws be enforced.  Here are excerpts from Frosty Wooldridge’s blog about the famous poem that’s been a propaganda bonanza for open-borders lobbyists for too long.  He proposes removing the poem from the Statue.
 
Let’s Rescind Poem at Base of Statue Of Liberty: Too Deadly Today
By Frosty Wooldridge, December 1, 2015
 
EXCERPTS:
 
In 1886, France gifted the United States with “The Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World” as a token of friendship.  It represented a universal symbol of freedom and democracy.
 
France did not conceive of the Statue of Liberty as a symbol of immigration, but it became an icon as immigrant ships passed under the torch heading for Ellis Island.
 
In 1903, officials placed Emma Lazarus’ poem at the base of the statue.  “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.  Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me.  Your wretched refuse of your teeming shore. I lift the lamp beside the golden door.”
 
In 2015, we citizens of America must shut the door to endless immigration.  We must close the “lamp beside the golden door” because we cannot sustain or survive the projected 100,000,000 (million) added immigrants by 2050—a scant 35 years from now.  We cannot endure the sociological changes already erupting and exploding across our civilization today:  Boston Marathon bombers, Fort Hood killings, FGM, honor killings and Sharia Law being practiced in Minneapolis, Minnesota; Detroit, Michigan and into Garland, Texas. 
 
We cannot maintain our own citizens with 48 million subsisting on food stamps.  We cannot care for our own veterans.  We cannot feed our own people with 1 in 7 children going hungry daily. We cannot continue endless “free” breakfasts and lunches for endless millions of refugees in our schools.  (Source: www.FeedingAmerica.org
 
We cannot continue to fool ourselves that we possess the ability to solve our $19 trillion national debt—yet absorb 1.2 million legal immigrants annually.  We cannot employ millions of immigrants that lack a basic education or skills to live in a first world country—when 10 million of our own citizens cannot secure jobs.  We cannot survive the ethnic tensions created by incompatible religions and ethnic groups undermining the “American Dream”.  …
  
Who stands at the gates of reason as to a human armada that grows beyond the gates of hell while it floods into every first world country in the world?  Why should we become the next Germany, United Kingdom, Norway, Sweden, Belgium, Holland, Italy, France, Spain and Austria?  Why hasn’t Saudi Arabia, much richer and closer than our country, absorbed millions of Syrian refugees in that part of the Muslim world?  …
 
If you look at all the discussions on energy, water, resources, catastrophic climate destabilization, social unrest, ethnic tension, religious anger----our civilization, in order to save ourselves, must demand a total shutdown of all immigration, NOW!  We must rescind the 1965 Immigration Reform Act. We must take Lazarus’ poem off the Statue of Liberty just as we outlaw Model T Fords off our expressways.  …
 
Definition of slogan:  “Immigration Shutdown Now means the American people want a total shutdown on all legal and illegal immigration. That means we want all illegal immigration stopped by arresting, prosecuting and jailing employers of illegal aliens. We deport all illegal aliens by taking their jobs away and as we catch them.  We want English mandated as our national language. We demand a cessation of Muslim immigration in order to protect our culture, language and way of life. We can’t save the world but we can save or destroy our civilization.  We demand a stable population that allows everyone to live, work and thrive into the 21st century. Especially our children.”    FHW
-----------------------------------------------
 
Beneath an insert of a NumbersUSA graph of population projections, Wooldridge adds:
“… Our way of life remains completely out of bounds to Islam. This 4-minute video explains our plight:  https://www.youtube.com/embed/6PzT8vEvYPg.”  The video shows Ann Corcoran, of Refugee Resettlement Watch, explaining why the increased immigration of Muslims is a danger to the U.S.
 
Wooldridge also cites two very good videos produced by NumbersUSA on how excessive immigration has caused huge population growth in the U.S. and many associated problems, problems that will grow steadily as population levels create increasingly unsustainable conditions.  
 
1.  Immigration, world poverty and gumballs – updated 2010.  6.07 minutes.
Also on YouTube: 
 
2.  Immigration by the numbers – off the chart.  9.31 minutes.
 

Syrian refugees - a crisis in the making

The United States is easily the most compassionate country on earth.  But, will our blind compassion ultimately be our downfall? 

Read this in-depth article about the Syrian refugee crisis and our national security, then decide for yourself if the American people are being duped by the very government whose job, first and foremost, is to protect us.

Fred Elbel, director of Colorado Alliance for Immigration Reform (CAIRCO) has compiled an extensive number of sources for his compelling article.

Oregon's Governor, Kate Brown, is one of a diminishing number of Governor's who are welcoming the refugees to Oregon.  OFIR urges you to contact the Governor's office and express your opinion about her decision.


 

Just two weeks left to take advantage of your Oregon year end tax credit

Alert date: 
2015-12-16
Alert body: 

December is half over and we are now in the last two weeks where you can take advantage of Oregon state's political tax credit for donations to the OFIR Political Action Committee.

We encourage you to send a contribution to OFIR PAC before year's end. Please don't forget - write your check today or go to the OFIR website and contribute to the OFIR PAC. If you don't use your political tax credit before December 31 - the state will use the money for its own purposes. You have a choice and we hope you will choose the OFIR PAC.

If you are unfamiliar with the Oregon Political Tax credit, let me explain. Oregon residents can make a contribution to one Oregon Political Action Committee per year. Through Oregon's political tax credit, married couples filing joint Oregon Income Tax Returns receive a dollar for dollar credit of up to $100 - (it's $50 for singles and married couples filing separately) - for contributions to a Political Action Committee like OFIR PAC. This is your opportunity to divert a portion of your tax obligation to OFIR PAC and not to the State's coffers.

This is not a tax deduction but a credit. If you owe money on a joint tax return, you would owe $100 less as a married couple filing jointly. Of course, you may contribute in excess of the deductible amount, and we encourage you to do so, but you may deduct only the allowable limit.

Please write your check to OFIR PAC, or visit the OFIR website and donate online at http://www.oregonir.org/donate-ofir. If you click the DONATE button on this email and fill out the form, your contribution will automatically be credited to the OFIR PAC.

Checks can be mailed to OFIR PAC, PO Box 7354, Salem OR 97303.

Checks must be made to OFIR PAC - checks made out simply to OFIR are not eligible for the state income tax credit and, under IRS rules, are not tax-deductible, but we would still welcome your contribution to OFIR!

All OFIR officers and Board members are volunteers serving without pay and we have no paid employees other than a part-time bookkeeper. As one of the most active immigration organizations in the country, we must have funds for necessary expenses such as email and website services, printing and postage, annual fees to Oregon SOS and DOJ, meeting room expenses, reimbursement for gasoline and other miscellaneous expenses incurred for travel within the state.
 
Mounting initiatives involves large expenditures for printing, postage, websites, fees to lawyers and accountants, and more, yet we have much to gain from successful initiatives. Our winning Protect Oregon Driver Licenses campaign has been a template for other successful ventures across the country. OFIR has attracted the attention and interest of many state activist groups as well as national immigration organizations.
 
We are currently facing extremely dangerous threats related to immigration here in Oregon and across the country. A healthy, robust budget is a basic requirement for continued efforts to establish sensible immigration policies that serve the public interest and well being.

As you may remember, a matching grant offer is now in effect; whatever you give will be matched dollar for dollar, by a generous donor, up to $15,000.

I can truly say OFIR couldn't have accomplished what we have without the help, support and cooperation of each and every one of you. I wish I could personally thank each of you.

If you have not yet contributed to OFIR and the work we are doing - please consider doing so before the end of the year so that you can take advantage of the Oregon Tax Credit. We need all hands on deck at this time. Please, give generously but only what you can afford!

Remember to make your check out to OFIR PAC!  Thank you!

Pew report shows attrition of the illegal population is possible

 
Is the era of mass migration from Mexico really "at an end"?
 
That's the claim of a new report from the Pew Research Center titled "More Mexicans Leaving Than Coming to the U.S." It finds a net decline of the Mexican population of 140,000 from 2009 to 2014. Herewith a few thoughts.
 
First of all, the claim of negative Mexican immigration is only possible because Pew counts the U.S.-born children of Mexican immigrants as "Mexicans." They estimate that 900,000 Mexican-born people returned to Mexico over that period (plus 100,000 U.S.-born kids), offset by 870,000 Mexicans moving into the U.S. (Pew didn't weigh in on legal status, but the majority of each group are certainly illegals.) Given the likely margin of error – the estimates are based on combining a number of different surveys – that means the number of actual Mexicans coming and going were basically the same. Only by counting American citizens as foreigners can the "decline" narrative be sustained. But U.S.-born children are either Americans or they're not; you can't switch based on how it affects your argument.
 
The second caveat is that these numbers are out of date. A couple of months ago my colleague Steve Camarota looked at the immigrant population from 2010 to 2014 and found basically the same thing as Pew – the Mexican-born population (legal and illegal) was flat over that period, staying at about 11.7 million. (See Table 1 here.) But newer data, through the second quarter of 2015 (see Table 1 here) shows a big jump from the previous year, registering the highest quarterly total ever. The numbers are from different sources, so they don't match up, but the upward trend is unmistakable. It could be this was a one-time blip; we'll have to wait and see what further surveys show. But it's too early to say definitively that we've passed Peak Mexican Immigration.
 
But these caveats aside, the findings are quite encouraging. The vast majority of the 900,000 Mexican immigrants who returned home over the five-year period did so voluntarily. (Didn't Mitt Romney have a term for that?) This is further proof that the border isn't some kind of ratchet, permitting only one-way travel. Pew identified three reasons for the self-deportations: a weak U.S. economy, stricter border enforcement, and the desire to reunite with family. That last factor is itself connected to enforcement, since it's now easier to reunite with family by going home, rather than bringing them here.
 
So, in short, we can shrink the illegal population, and without jackboots and boxcars. If it's possible under Obama's feckless management of immigration, how much more so under someone actually interested in upholding America's borders?
 
A related point concerns the 870,000 new Mexicans who moved here over the five-year period. This is consistent with another report by Camarota showing that the total illegal population (of all nationalities) has remained about flat under Obama, but that 2.5 million of those here now arrived since Obama was inaugurated. A roughly comparable number stopped being illegal, mostly by leaving, plus some deaths and some legalizations.
 
So, if the president had engaged in steady enforcement of immigration laws, even more than the 900,000 would have gone home, while fewer than 870,000 would have arrived, meaning the illegal population could have shrunk on his watch.
 
So a simple agenda for our rulers: Nationwide E-Verify for new hires, track and penalize new visa overstays, criminally prosecute every new border infiltrator, deport every illegal arrested by local police. No dragnets, no "Operation Wetback," just steady, consistent, conventional law enforcement. The Pew report suggests that if we do all that, the illegal population will shrink appreciably. Then – and only then – might we be open to hearing your ideas about amnesty for long-term, non-violent illegal aliens.
 

Debating immigration in sound bites

 
The GOP presidential candidates’ debate in Milwaukee highlighted the difficulty in dealing with sensitive immigration issues in sound bites. The moderators phrased questions aiming at getting ‘yes” or “no” responses. But, only someone who does not understand the issue would be comfortable with a sound bite response.
 
One of the most heated exchanges in that debate occurred over the question whether the candidate, if elected president – would deport the 11-12 million illegal aliens. The thrust of the questioning was to provoke a split between those who would support some legalization program, i.e., amnesty, for the illegal alien population and those who refuse to accept another general amnesty like that enacted in 1986.
 
Attempting to provoke a “yes” or “no” response plays into the hands of the supporters of amnesty because it allows them to characterize their opponent as cold-hearted and unrealistic. Those who rejected amnesty were derided as unrealistic as well as uncaring by establishment candidates who apparently believe they can win more Latino votes by embracing some form of amnesty.
 
This debate format makes it difficult for a candidate to take a nuanced position that demonstrates that he or she understands the human impact of deportation and has weighed the negative impact of deportation on the aliens as well as their families which may include U.S.-born children against the negative impact that illegal immigration has on the U.S. public.
 
A more nuanced discussion is one that amnesty supporters try to avoid because they do not want to concede that there are negative impacts on society in general and individual Americans from illegal immigration.
 
So, how could a presidential candidate answer the amnesty “yes” or “no” question?
 
“Our immigration law is designed to protect Americans from unwanted immigration, and if we continue to accept illegal immigration through amnesties like the one in 1986, we will perpetuate the harm to Americans that has come from the job competition, crowding of schools, criminality and demands on scarce social service resources that should be available for our neediest citizens.”
 
Q. “So you support rounding them up and sending them home?
 
A. “When our law enforcement officers at all levels find persons in the country illegally they should get those aliens into deportation proceedings. And efforts to deny competition for jobs from illegal workers need to be made more effective so that future illegal immigration is discouraged and current illegal residents realize that their future lies in returning to their home country.”
 
Q. “So you support breaking up families by deporting the parents of U.S. citizen kids?
 
A. “The ‘mixed-status’ families issue is a false dilemma. It is based on a misreading of the 14th Amendment. The children born to illegal aliens in the U.S. should not have ever been considered U.S. citizens. In any case, they have the parents’ nationality and can accompany the parents when they leave voluntarily or are deported.

Toward making English the official tongue

“Almost 1 in 10 adults of working age in the U.S. have limited proficiency in English, more than 2.5 times as many as in 1980.”   — 2014 report by the Metropolitan Policy Program of the Brookings Institute

The study from the Washington-based Brookings Institute showing that workers’ English skills are steadily declining is a shocker, especially since immigrant workers and their children will account for most of the growth in our nation’s labor force in coming decades....investing in English instruction “is critical to maintaining a skilled workforce.”

In a recent analysis by the American Community Survey, a huge surge was recorded in those who speak Chinese, Spanish, Arabic and Urdu, Pakistan’s national language. Consider that alarming trend, and then reflect on the latest Center for Immigration Studies report, released in early October.  ...63.2 million U.S. residents — native-born, legal immigrants and illegal immigrants — now speak a language other than English at home...

No wonder Donald Trump and several other presidential candidates are addressing the issue of English. ...a recent Rasmussen poll found that approximately 84 percent of likely voters agree that English should be designated by Congress as the official language of our government operations.

With President Obama’s executive “deferral” order that essentially grants amnesty to millions of illegal aliens — which means giving them work permits and photo IDs — the problem of limited English or non-English speakers going into the workforce is only going to get worse. The order will serve as a magnet to draw a new wave of illegal immigration. 

...(To cite just one example, the school system in DeKalb County, Ga., says approximately 150 different languages are spoken among its students. Translators, obviously, have to be hired.)

...an executive order signed by President Bill Clinton (E.O. 13166) requires federal agencies and funds recipients to provide translations and interpreters for non-English speakers in their native language — at taxpayer expense...

The predictable result? There are a growing number of accidents on our highways attributable to the fact that all too many immigrants, both legal and illegal, don’t understand traffic signs in English...

... The Texas city of El Cenizo changed its official language from English to Spanish. Miami-Dade County in Florida operates with both official English and Spanish. How long is it going to be before activists start demanding simultaneous translations of all proceedings in Spanish in some state legislatures or even in the U.S. Congress? Accommodating such a demand would naturally lead to calls for the same treatment by other linguistic groups...

The United States is one of the few countries in the world without an official language. Sixty-five countries located mostly in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean have already designated English their official language. Why shouldn’t we?

Thirty-one states have enacted English as the official language of government laws. That’s a wonderful trend, but a statute is needed at the federal level. That’s why Republican Rep. Steve King of Iowa has reintroduced the bipartisan English Language Unity Act, which would make English the official language of the federal government. H.R. 997 has already garnered 63 co-sponsors.

It would be a welcome and effective pushback to the steady decline of Americans’ English skills if the new Congress — reflecting the will of the vast majority of Americans — finally voted to make English our official language for all governmental operations.

Robert Vandervoort is the executive director of ProEnglish.

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