national legislation

Main result of current prison reform bill likely would be release of criminal aliens into U.S. communities (with no deportations)

Unfortunately, the legislation being considered by Congress in response to concerns about overly-long prison sentences for Americans has been crafted to primarily benefit criminal aliens. (Those are not Americans but citizens of other countries who have been imprisoned for committing serious crimes in the U.S.)

That's the conclusion of our legislative affairs team after several weeks of scrutinizing documents and reports, and of meeting with a number of experts on the issue.

NumbersUSA takes no position on issues of sentencing reform for Americans.

But we have to get involved with the current sentencing reform legislation (companion bills S. 2123 and H.R. 3713) because most of the people who would benefit from it would be criminal aliens who would be helped to avoid deportation and to re-enter the job market to the detriment of struggling American workers.

Reports are surfacing in Washington that both chambers of Congress are preparing this spring to pass S. 2123 and H.R. 2713 which were approved by the respective Judiciary Committees last October.

Speaker Paul Ryan has called passing the legislation a priority. (See more on Ryan below.)

As currently written, the legislation would result in the massive release of criminal aliens from federal prisons into the streets. It could alternatively be called the Criminal Alien Prison Release Act of 2016, but that bill title probably wouldn't garner many votes in Congress.

The bills would retroactively reduce the minimum sentencing requirements for all individuals (regardless of their citizenship or immigration status) convicted of certain federal crimes. It would only apply to federal prisons, which comprise 9% of the entire incarcerated population in the United States.

Its impact on reforming sentencing guidelines for U.S. citizens would be minimal.

In a letter sent to Sen. Jeff Sessions last fall, the Federal Bureau of Prisons reported that 77% of individuals convicted of federal drug possession charges and more than 25% of individuals convicted of federal drug trafficking charges in FY2015 were non-citizens. Since these are the individuals who would most likely be released, you can see our concern with the legislation. Further, there is no requirement in the legislation that Immigration and Customs Enforcement take custody of a criminal alien who is released and remove them from the United States, even when theirconviction by current law should result in their immediate removal under current law.

In October of 2015, the Obama Administration released 6,600 inmates from federal prison after the U.S. Sentencing Commission revised its guidelines. One-third of those released were non-citizens. Shortly before the release, the Center for Immigration Studies uncovered a letter written by 14 immigration-expansionist organizations to the Department of Homeland Security, pleading with the Administration to consider the criminal aliens for prosecutorial discretion under Pres. Obama's 2014 executive actions.

"We urge ICE not to rush to judgment on these immigrants' cases, but instead to commit to ensuring individualized due process in each case. ...

"Each of these immigrants, including those with an "aggravated felony" and those with final removal orders, must be individually assessed for [Prosecutorial Discretion]. The 2014 DHS civil enforcement priorities memorandum specifies that removal of Priority 1 immigrants may be deprioritized if "there are compelling and exceptional factors that clearly indicate the alien is not a threat to national security, border security, or public safety and should not therefore be an enforcement priority."

The full letter can be read here.

Given the Administration's history on interior enforcement, the bills, as written, would allow tens of thousands of deportable criminal aliens to return to the American communities they victimized in the first place. Just last year, the Administration released 90,000 criminal aliens from custody -- roughly 60% of all criminal aliens it came in contact with. In fact, the criminal aliens who were responsible for the 2015 killing of Kate Steinle and the 2014 murders of California Detective Michael Davis, Jr. and Deputy Sheriff Danny Oliver had been earlier convicted for the same class of federal drug crimes that lawmakers seek to reform through this legislation.

Unfortunately, the provisions of the bills that would result in the release of criminal aliens are central to the efforts of both House and Senate-- and key to the Democrats' support of the bills. Unless the criminal alien issues are addressed, NumbersUSA must call for rejection of the legislation. Sentencing reform efforts should focus on new legislation that isn't a Trojan horse for yet another kind of amnesty.

Local American communities (disproportionately Black and Hispanic) into which released criminal aliens likely would return should not be asked to bear this burden under an Administration that has eviscerated immigration enforcement.

RYAN GETS A PRIMARY CHALLENGER

House Speaker Paul Ryan has learned that he'll face a Republican challenger in the August 9 Wisconsin primary. Not only has Wisconsin businessman Paul Nehlan thrown his name into the race, but he's also focusing on the immigration issue hoping to rekindle some of the voter angst that lead to Rep. Dave Brat's upset of former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in Virginia in 2014.

Earlier this week, Nehlan completed a NumbersUSA immigration reduction survey and earned our True Reformer status. You can view the grid here.

Ryan has a troubled history on the immigration issue. He's a passionate supporter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership that would greatly increase the number of foreign workers allowed to work in the U.S. He's also pushed for work permits for illegal aliens and expanding legal immigration.

During Tuesday's GOP Presidential Primaries, Sen. Ted Cruz and Donald Trump combined for 83% of the vote in Ryan's district. Cruz and Trump have immigration positions vastly different from Ryan's. But Nehlan's positions are closer aligned with Cruz and Trump, so we'll be keeping a close eye on this race over the next 5 months.


 

Oregon Freedom Rally - Saturday, February 6

Alert date: 
January 25, 2016
Alert body: 

If you are interested in seeing Michelle Malkin, Dinesh De'Souza, Todd Starnes and Rep. Greg Walden and hearing what they have to say about the upcoming elections, then you won't want to miss the Oregon Freedom Rally at the Oregon Convention Center, Saturday, February 6 from noon - 3:00pm.

Register on line and get more information here.

OFIR will be hosting a table at the event.  Please stop by and say HELLO!

 

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.
 

25 years of helping foreigners take US citizens' jobs

 
Citizen workers today find themselves in competition with millions of foreign workers, here both legally and illegally.  How did this happen?  Aren’t Congress and Presidents supposed to work in the best interests of Americans?  Unfortunately too many elected government officials do not.  
 
The article below traces how immigration policy has changed in recent decades to the disadvantage of citizens, and names some of those responsible.
 
Today, when presidential candidates are seeking approval from voters, we have better means of assessing their true positions than in the past.  We encourage voters to learn as much as possible about candidates at all levels. NumbersUSA’s ratings for Congress and presidential candidates are an important resource; these ratings are based on voting records in Congress and examination of public statements made by the candidates.  The presidential debates are being reviewed and analyzed by NumbersUSA, FAIR’s ImmigrationReform.com, and the Center for Immigration Studies to discover and report candidates’ thinking and intentions on immigration.  Pertinent information is reported on their websites. 
 
Twenty-Five Years of Helping Foreigners Take American Jobs
By Ian Smith, December 13, 2015, in PJ Media 
 
Twenty-five years ago, President George H. W. Bush signed into law the Immigration Act of 1990. Instead of reforming the corrosive effects of the Immigration Act of 1965, an act that birthed the mass immigration system we have today, the 1990 act made the situation dramatically worse and make it less likely Americans would fill American jobs.
 
The act raised the annual immigration ceiling from 530,000 to 700,000 (excluding other types of legal entry like refugee admissions) while creating a coterie of new immigrant and guestworker visas, mostly for semi-skilled and unskilled workers.
 
Perhaps the most controversial creation of the 1990 act was the H-1B guestworker program. This “grandfather of all American worker sellouts,” according to Michelle Malkin and John Miano in their latest book on the subject, is taken up mostly by bachelor degree-holders from India (where such degrees take only three years) and, according to critics, was really designed not for the “best and brightest” but simply for “ordinary people, doing work.”
 
Crucially, the 1990 act entrenched U.S. immigration policy with a system completely indifferent to the nation’s general labor conditions. The act’s selected intake numbers were not a product of any careful labor market study and, like now, in no way recognized the actual labor-needs of the country.
 
The number of immigrant-visas based on employment (rather than family connections) almost tripled from 54,000 to 140,000 while the number and size of non-immigrant guestworker programs increased dramatically.
 
In a study of the bill years after it was implemented, Cornell labor economist Vernon Briggs noted that between the year of its passage and its implementation there were one million fewer workers employed in the country. As he put it, “[c]ertainly the last thing that the slumping economy needed was an infusion of an additional inflow of immigrant job seekers of this enlarged magnitude”—Briggs rightly sees immigration policy as essentially a labor policy and has long suggested that immigrant visa allotments be adjusted annually according to economic conditions.
 
Still, the rhetoric surrounding the 1990 act’s passage was that the country was facing a massive “skills shortage.”
 
“It was a myth,” says Briggs. In reality, he notes, “If labor shortages did occur, industry leaders feared, higher wages would be required to hold present workers and to entice younger workers to aspire to enter these skilled occupations…[f]acing the reality of such a free market outcome, industry leaders sought to find a way for government to artificially swell the skilled labor pool.” In other words, the act was largely designed to insulate corporate executives from market discipline.
 
Regarding the H-1B, its effects were confirmed immediately after the act was passed. As Alan Merten, chairman of the fifteen-member industry and academic panel, the Committee on Workforce Needs in Information Technology, summarized, “we feel [the number of H-1Bs] is so large that we are totally dependent on it and it depresses wages.”
 
This "dependency" on low-wage foreign professionals wasn’t limited to IT executives apparently. When the House passed legislation to increase the H-1B cap to nearly 200,000 in 2001 it chose to do so by a voice vote which allows one’s vote to be kept secret.
 
When asked about the voice vote, then-Senator Robert Bennet (R-Utah), a lead sponsor of the Senate-version of the bill, said frankly, “a whole lot of folks are against [the bill], but because they are tapping the high-tech community for campaign funds, they don’t want to admit that in public.” On these sorts of bills, he said, “everyone signs up so nobody can be in the position of being accused of being against high tech.”
 
Bennet’s H-1B increase was approved by a vote of 96-1 in the Senate. On the House vote, Congressman Thomas Davis of Virginia, a state that’s always been one of the biggest H-1B-employers, candidly stated, “this bill may not be popular with the public but it’s popular with the CEOs.”
 
Why it’s popular with CEOs isn’t a mystery. There’s no reason why corporations, at least big, publicly traded ones, should like hiring in a tight competitive labor market. This is especially true for Big Tech firms, which are typically asset-light and have a high level of operating costs going to labor. Most would expect that the pressure on CEOs to meet analysts’ profit estimates each quarter will trump any free-market ethos they may have every time. Why else would the industry spend billions on lobbying and public relations related to immigration? Big Tech’s message to the American public might as well be, “the free market for thee, not for me.”
 
The 1990 act cemented in place the corporatization of our immigration system, producing disastrous externalities ever since. Cutting wages by artificially expanding the labor supply increases private wealth at the public’s expense, acting like a highly regressive tax on the lower and middle classes.
 
Two and a half decades of this "immigration tax" has doubtlessly attributed to today’s growing income inequality with over half the nation now earning less than $30,000 a year. What will we be the state of American labor if we let the immigration status quo persist for another 25 years? For the American worker and our tech professionals in particular, true reform of our immigration system cannot wait.
 
Ian Smith is a lawyer with the Immigration Reform Law Institute, Washington DC.

A Quick Peek at the House Funding Bill

The House of Representatives has weighed in on its 2,000-plus page version of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016, H.R. 2029 – which is an amendment to the Senate's amendment of the House's original version, if you follow that.

From an immigration perspective, it's a cornucopia of disappointment. If establishment politicians are wondering why the presidential campaigns in both parties have tilted toward non-establishment outliers as represented, left and right, by Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump or Ben Carson, then they need only look at their own handiwork to find the answer.

The American electorate is not so completely filled with ingénues or naifs that we don't recognize Congress's institutional incapacity to take on hard issues in any meaningful way, leaving the vacuum to be filled with various and sundry executive pronouncements from the Obama administration in every avenue of public life.

It is in no small measure this fecklessness and failure of will on the part of our legislative branch that has led even establishment conservative stalwarts such as George Will to bemoan the rise of a huge and constitutionally-unmentioned fourth branch of government – the bureaucracy, which he describes as "the administrative state".

I have neither the patience nor desire to devote to an analysis of the entire omnibus bill represented by H.R. 2029, but here are a few highlights:

  • Transfers $4 million from the Immigration Examinations Fee Account of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) in the Department of Justice (DOJ). That account is where fees collected from aliens for the filing of various applications are deposited, so as to ensure that adjudication of their applications is self-funding. EOIR is the name of the DOJ agency which handles immigration court removal hearings. USCIS is quite flush with cash these days, because for years it has been skimming money off these immigration fees to build a “reserve fund” that it had hoped to use to administer the president’s plan to issue work permits to millions of illegal aliens, which was blocked by a federal court.
  • Appropriates $476 million in Byrne state and local law enforcement grant funds but does not in any way require that those state or local agencies comply with immigration detainers or not enact "sanctuary" policies of the type that have resulted in so many murders by illegal aliens in the recent past. (See here and here.)
  • Appropriates $210 million for State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP) funds – again, with no caveats that to receive the money, state and local governments must honor detainers and take no steps to impede immigration law enforcement.
  • Appropriates an additional $187 million in COPS grants to state and local law enforcement agencies for hiring and retention of officers. Once again, no caveats on the funding to require cooperation with federal immigration agents in enforcing the laws against alien criminals.
  • Provides $9.2 million to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, which recently exceeded its statutory mandate and did a one-sided hatchet job on the federal immigration detention system.
  • Provides $385 million to the Legal Services Corporation without specifying that such funds may not be used in support of aliens in removal proceedings, contrary to Section 292 of the Immigration and Nationality Act – although the appropriation language very specifically outlines other areas in which the money may not be used contrary to statute.
  • Appropriates the DHS Office of the Secretary almost $137.5 million for operations and executive management provided that Congress receives within 30 days of enactment two reports – one on the biometric entry-exit system, and one on visa overstays. (Note that both of these reports are already statutorily required, and so demanding that the law requiring the overdue reports to be complied with seems in many ways an exercise in both redundancy and futility.)
  • Appropriates more than $447 million for border fencing, infrastructure, and technology.
  • Also provides more than $802 million to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for a variety of purposes including salaries and benefits – but also for unmanned aerial systems (drones), even though the DHS Inspector General has repeatedly panned the program as ineffective, with weak internal controls and repeated cost overruns without evidence of value. (See here and here.)
  • Appropriates more than $5.79 billion to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for operations, equipment, and salaries, subject to several provisos. One of them is that $5 million will be withheld until the ICE director briefs Congress on the agency's efforts to increase the number of state and local law enforcement agencies participating in the "Priority Enforcement Program" (PEP).

    The problem with this proviso is that by mere mention of PEP, Congress legitimizes it even though it was created as a part of the administration's constitutionally dubious "executive action" memos. At the same time, merely demanding a "report" in return for release of the money provides the spinmeisters at DHS and ICE a prime opportunity to put together a pseudo-document purporting to show the wonders of the program notwithstanding its obvious shortcomings and the fact that many sheriffs and police chiefs dislike it intensely, or have rejected it out of hand.

  • Provides U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the immigration benefits-granting agency, nearly $119.7 million, most for administration of the E-Verify system. (As noted above, most of USCIS is funded out of its fee account.)

These are just a few of the immigration provisions contained in the omnibus bill that give me pause (or outright heartburn).

If you look for anything in this measure that defunds, or even pushes the pause button on, the refugee or asylum programs, which are exceedingly vulnerable to fraud and misuse, including potentially by terrorists, you will look in vain. You won't even find anything directing DHS or its subordinate agencies to tighten up vetting procedures in the wake of the San Bernardino attack.

It would be easy to try to forgive or overlook many of the shortcomings of the bill, immigration-related or otherwise, by pointing to its inordinate size and breadth, and saying that one can't micro-manage everything in an omnibus government spending bill. But the fact is that, when they want, congressional legislators are quite happy to micro-manage. Take a look, for instance, at this gem hidden on page 215 of the bill:

Sec. 529. To the extent practicable, funds made available in this Act should be used to purchase light bulbs that are "Energy Star" qualified or have the "Federal Energy Management Program" designation.

No, the reality appears to be something entirely different than simple information overload. It seems to me that we have a Republican majority in both chambers of Congress with few principles in which they believe strongly enough that they are willing to call out the White House and take a stand, particularly if those principles carry with them any degree of controversy – which the subject of immigration inevitably does.

Reflecting on what the bill does – and, importantly, what it doesn't even attempt to do – I'm led to conclude that when House Republicans elected Paul Ryan as Speaker, they got exactly what they wanted, and what they expected: a John Boehner Mini-Me. What, then, was the point in unseating Boehner in the first place?

 

Stop Obama's dangerous refugee resettlement program

Alert date: 
November 18, 2015
Alert body: 
from Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)
 
 
[Please read this alert on Fair's Immigration Blog to access links not shown below.]
 
After last Friday’s deadly terrorist attacks in Paris, President Obama said he will continue his plan to resettle thousands of Syrian refugees in American communities. The President’s decision ignores warnings from our own intelligence services that there are significant vulnerabilities in the refugee vetting process.
 
The events in Paris prove it is nearly impossible to adequately vet all Syrian refugees for terrorist ties. We know at least one of the Paris terrorists possessed a Syrian passport that was registered as having passed through Europe last month. Alarmingly, Serbian police just detained an individual attempting to use the identical passport of the one found on the Paris terrorist! There is no telling how many forged documents are out there. With ISIS having used the migration crisis to infiltrate and harm our European allies, it would be reckless for the Obama administration to continue resettling Syrian refugees.
 
Fortunately, Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX) is upholding his duty to defend the American people against all enemies foreign and domestic by driving the effort in Congress to block President Obama’s Syrian refugee resettlement program.
 
Rep. Babin is leading a letter to House leadership and Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) asking that Congress include specific reforms, security measures, and oversight requirements for the refugee resettlement program in the year-end Omnibus spending bill. The letter includes the tenets of his H.R. 3314, the Refugee Resettlement Accountability National Security Act -which FAIR supports-by calling for this program to be suspended in its current form until these reforms are implemented and Congress agrees to resume the program by joint resolution.
 
Call Your Representative NOW!
Urge them to sign the Babin letter
 
Even though the Babin approach is the only way to ensure that our refugee program will not be exploited, House GOP leadership appears to be taking a different approach. Instead, they have scheduled a vote TOMORROW on a flawed bill that will do absolutely nothing to stop or defund refugee resettlement. Authored by Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX), the bill merely calls for the administration to certify that any refugees brought here from Iraq and Syria are not terrorists.
 
This is insufficient! As long as Obama says they are not terrorists he can bring in as many as he wants. The bill maintains the false assumption that it is possible to properly vet refugees from the Middle East, provided new processes are put in place. This ignores the realities of the situation on the ground as well as susceptibility to radicalization once they arrive.
 
Call Your Representative NOW!
 
Tell him or her:
 
• You DEMAND that Congress act to stop the resettlement of Syrian refugees;
• You SUPPORT the Babin approach and EXPECT your Representative to sign onto the letter;
• It is impossible to properly vet Syrian refugees for terrorist ties;
• You OPPOSE efforts by GOP Leadership to pass the Hudson bill because it fails to address the underlying problem.
 
There is no time to waste! Congressman Babin has a Friday, November 20th deadline for signatures. It is essential that a lot of Representatives sign on so show GOP leadership that this approach has broad support.
 
We at FAIR stand with Rep. Babin and believe it is time for Congress to utilize its power of the purse to stop the Obama administration’s dangerous Syrian refugee program. Therefore we are urging all of our members, activists, and supporters to immediately call their Representatives and demand that they sign Rep. Babin’s letter.
 
Make your voice heard! To find your Representative, click here.
Sincerely,
-FAIR
 

OFIR President returns from Washington DC conference

OFIR President Cynthia Kendoll has just returned from the Writer's Workshop conference held in Arlington, VA. 

A plethora of experts laid out sound, compelling arguments about why and how we need to regain control of our borders, ramp up interior enforcement and actually enforce our immigration laws.  Topics included:

Job competition and falling wages

The human cost of illegal alien crime

The disregard for the rule of law and our own government is the worst offender

Importing refugees, the impending threat to National security and who is paying for it all

The environmental strain with an increasing population

What borders?  Are we enforcing our own laws?

The status of lawsuits regarding immigration and Executive Amnesty etc.

And, much, much more...

All of the speakers were very interesting, knowledgeable and passionate about their topic, but most compelling of all were the gut wrenching stories of two men - one lost a son, the other lost his brother.  Both were ruthlessly murdered by illegal aliens. 

Maria Espinoza, who leads the charge of The Remembrance Project organized a press conference at the National Press Club as she geared up for the National Remembrance Day, which was Nov. 1.

At the conference, Cynthia was one of several leaders invited to host a round-table discussion.  The two initiatives OFIR is working to advance in Oregon were the topic of discussion.  Both initiatives, making English the Official language in the State of Oregon and requiring employers with 5 or more employees to use E-Verify are currently working their way through the legal challenge process. 

When it becomes available, OFIR will post a link to the streaming video of all of the presentations.  To view past Writer's Workshop video's click here.  Last year (2014), Cynthia addressed the conference and told about the Measure 88 campaign.

Thousands of Alien Felons Are Being Released from Prison

WASHINGTON, DC - The Center for Immigration Studies examines sentencing reform legislation now before Congress and finds provisions of concern that could lead to the release of dangerous criminal alien offenders.
 
The Obama administration has announced the pending release of 6,000 felons from federal prisons, of whom an estimated 2,000 are non-citizens. This is the first wave of releases; the total number of serious alien drug offenders released could exceed 13,000.
 
A bill under consideration in the Senate Judiciary Committee, known as the "Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015," S.2123, proposes to go down the same path and shorten the sentences for repeat cross-border drug traffickers, manufacturers, and distributers caught in the future.
 
Dan Cadman, a Center fellow and author of the analysis, said, "It is beyond incomprehensible that Senate leaders would attempt to fast-track a sentencing reform bill painted with such a broad brush that tens of thousands of aliens will be released from federal penitentiaries with no assurance of prompt deportation putting public safety at great risk."
 
The present bill affects sentences going forward, and also is retroactive in effect, which could make it easier for some alien offenders to challenge their deportation.
 
Equally concerning, it does not ensure that released alien prisoners will be detained while in deportation proceedings following their release. Since 2013, the administration has freed more than 76,000 convicted criminal aliens while in deportation proceedings, resulting in an uncounted toll of new crimes.
 
Several specific provisions will shorten the sentences of aliens who are repeat offenders convicted for trafficking illegal drugs into the United States from abroad, and for those caught serving as drug mules. In addition:
 

  • Courts will be required to seal juvenile offenders' records, including those
  • The bill shortens the sentence for those also charged with illegally possessing or using a firearm to effect the crime (often drug trafficking), from 25 down to 15 years.

"The immigration and public safety priorities of the Republican-led Senate will be apparent if this bill is rushed through like the Trans-Pacific trade and Iran sanctions bills, while Sen Vitter's solid anti-sanctuary bill, S.2146, languishes," said Cadman. "The tragic death of Kate Steinle and so many others seems to have already been forgotten."

Contact: Marguerite Telford
202-466-8185, mrt@cis.org

Rep. Bonamici to hold Town Halls

Alert date: 
August 25, 2015
Alert body: 

For those of you living in Congressional District 1:

Representative Suzanne Bonamici has scheduled 6 town hall meetings in August and September, beginning on August 29 in McMinnville.

Her announcement states:  “It’s critical that I hear from my constituents about issues affecting them,” Congresswoman Bonamici said. “These town hall meetings provide me with a useful perspective that informs my work. I always appreciate hearing from my constituents about their ideas, concerns, and questions.”

OFIR encourages members in Congressional District 1 to attend one of these meetings and discuss immigration issues.  Rep. Bonamici is rated F- by NumbersUSA on her voting record on immigration bills in the current Congress, and D- overall for her years in Congress, 2012-2015.  In 2015 alone, she voted 4 times for amnesties to illegal aliens.  The particular bills are listed here.

You might wish to read the useful tips posted on NumbersUSA’s website for constituents’ effective participation in town halls.  We suggest that you express to Rep. Bonamici your concerns about her consistent support for illegal aliens and illegal immigration and her apparent disregard of the consequences for citizens and the viability of our nation. 

If you wish, you can print copies of her voting records here, and give them to her.

Here is the Townhall schedule:

LOCATION

DATE & TIME

McMinnville: 
Chemeketa Community College
(Yamhill Valley Campus)
Building 1, Rooms 101-103
288 NE Norton Lane
McMinnville, OR
97128

 

Saturday August 29
10:30-11:30 a.m.

Tualatin:
Tualatin High School Library
22300 SW Boones Ferry Road
Tualatin, OR
97062

 

Saturday August 29
1:30-2:30 p.m.

St. Helens:
St. Helens Public Library
375 S 18th Street
St. Helens, OR
97051

Monday August 31
11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Cornelius:
Centro Cultural
1110 N Adair Street
Cornelius, OR
97113


Monday August 31
5:30-6:30 p.m.

Portland:
Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital Auditorium
1015 NW 22nd Avenue
Portland, OR
97210


Tuesday September 1
6:00-7:00 p.m.

Warrenton:
Warrenton Community Center
170 SW 3rd Street
Warrenton, OR
97146


Sunday September 13
1:30-2:30 p.m.


 

Illegal immigration top GOP talking point at New Hampshire presidential forum

MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — The Republican Party's presidential class called for aggressive steps to curb illegal immigration, seizing on a delicate political issue as more than a dozen White House hopefuls faced off in New Hampshire on Monday night for a pointed preview of the first full-fledged debate of the 2016 primary season...

The candidates focused their criticism at Democrats instead of each other.. They addressed several contentious issues, immigration topping a list that included abortion, climate change and foreign policy.

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who may not qualify for the upcoming formal debate, called the flow of immigrants crossing the border illegally "a serious wound."

"You want to stanch the flow," he said as his Republican rivals watched from the front row of the crowded St. Anselm College auditorium. On those immigrants who have overstayed visas, Perry charged, "You go find 'em, you pick 'em up and you send 'em back where they're from."

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum went further, calling for a 25 percent reduction of low-skilled immigrants coming into the country legally.

"Everyone else is dancing around it. I'm going to stand for the American worker," Santorum declared...

Trump, who launched his presidential bid by calling Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals, declined to attend the New Hampshire event. He cited criticism from the local newspaper host, yet he is expected to play a prominent role in Thursday's formal debate, where only the GOP's top 10 candidates — as determined by national polls — will be allowed on stage.

Monday's event was broadcast live on C-SPAN and local television stations in Iowa and South Carolina — states that, along with New Hampshire, will host the first contests in the presidential primary calendar next February...

Just one woman was featured on stage Monday night: former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, who is unlikely to qualify for Thursday's higher-profile debate.

Democrats are also eager to debate Republicans on immigration.

GOP leaders have acknowledged the need to improve the party's standing among the surging group of Hispanic voters. Yet while many Democrats favor a more forgiving policy that would allow immigrants in the country illegally a pathway to citizenship in many cases, many Republicans focus on border security.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, once a lead salesman for a comprehensive immigration overhaul, said Americans want the border fence completed and more border security agents before there's any discussion of what to do with those 11 million immigrants in the country illegally.

Others offered a softer tone on the divisive issue Monday night.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich said "law-abiding, God-fearing" immigrants in the country illegally should be allowed to stay. Those who break the law, he said, "have to be deported or put in prison."

Bush said fixing the nation's immigration system is a key part of his plan to help the economy grow 4 percent each year. He also called for reducing legal immigration, particularly the number of people allowed to enter the country on family petitions...

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker called the move "a buzz saw to the nation's economy."

"I want to balance a sustainable environment with a sustainable economy," Walker said.

Several candidates involved Monday night won't make the cut for Thursday's debate...

Fiorina charged that Clinton has repeatedly lied during investigations into her use of a private email server and an attack on an American embassy in Libya while she was secretary of state.

"These go to the core of her character," Fiorina said.

"We have to have a nominee on our side who's going to throw every punch," she continued. "This is a fight."..

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