population

SB 833 is harmful to Oregon and the U.S. and should be voted down

by Elizabeth Van Staaveren

In 2007, when the events of 9/11 and the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission were fresh in the public mind, Governor Kulongoski issued an Executive Order calling for stricter requirements for issuance of driver licenses. He also called upon the Legislature to enact legislation giving the requirements statutory authority.

In our own state, abuses on a significant scale had already been discovered in the sale of fraudulent driver licenses to out-of-state illegal aliens. "It appears that criminal organizations ... are using Oregon's permissive standards in order to assist persons to illegally obtain" licenses, Governor Kulongoski’s order explained.

In February 2008, a new Oregon driver’s license law was passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in both chambers of the Legislature. It required driver's license applicants to prove U.S. citizenship or legal residence. The law has worked well and citizens have had the security of knowing that illegal aliens and any criminals among them could not easily use Oregon as a source for falsifying their identity.

Why abandon this security in an increasingly dangerous world? It was very irresponsible of Gov. John Kitzhaber to yield to the pleas and demands of illegal alien advocates and actually sponsor a group of them to fashion SB 833 behind closed doors without allowing any input from citizens who represent the public interest. It was not only irresponsible but dangerous, because among the illegal aliens there are many who drink and drive recklessly and have killed or maimed innumerable innocent citizens in road crashes. Furthermore, the deadly drug trade flourishes in Oregon because illegal aliens are either directly involved themselves or can be forced by drug lords to aid them. Even more formidable are the international terrorists who take advantage of weak state driver license laws to embed themselves into a community and hide their massively crippling plans.

Citizenship is meaningless if illegal immigrants are allowed to enter and remain in this country encouraged and unchallenged. SB 833 accommodates and legitimizes illegal aliens, thus tarnishing the value of U.S. citizenship and saying to the world: citizenship matters little or not at all -- anyone can come here any time, and settle.

Already wages are depressed because of the volume of illegal immigration. Our less-educated citizens have to compete for jobs against illegal aliens who will work for a pittance and dare not protest working conditions to an employer. Citizens are losing out and many remain unemployed for long periods, a devastating situation for them, while they watch illegal aliens working at every construction site, in landscaping, agriculture, hotels, restaurants, and various other places.

A recent Gallup poll showed that more than 100 million people worldwide dream of a life in the U.S., and would come here if they could. The U.S. is the no. 1 desired destination for potential migrants. Of course we cannot admit all of them. Immigration laws are essential and must be enforced; otherwise the U.S. is on a disastrous path to overpopulation and chaos. Extending driver licenses to illegal aliens will only expedite the disaster.

This particular bill, SB 833, has been loosely written to allow many crucial decisions to be made by the DMV, an agency which is under political pressure from any Governor in office at the time. As the Oregon State Sheriffs’ Association stated in their testimony on SB 833, a driver privilege card should be “very clearly different from the current Oregon Identification Card and Oregon Drivers License. While the current language does provide some direction, Sheriffs believe the statute should be more specific. … Some of these requirements should be statutory rather than strictly administrative.”

The Sheriffs Association also stated that they think “obtaining a driving privilege document should be a robust and rigorous process and … they should be renewed annually. Sheriffs believe a four-year term is too long. …”

Instead of spending time making life here more comfortable for illegal aliens, our legislators should assist the federal government in enforcing the immigration laws. There are many things that states can do to help.

SB 833, granting driver privileges to illegal aliens, is harmful both to Oregon and to this country. Citizens should contact their legislators and urge them to reject SB 833.

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.

 

 

You can help stop this: Oregon Taxpayers Foot $1 Billion Annual Bill for Illegal Immigration

The Oregon State government spends over one billion dollars providing services to illegal aliens each year.

Please, help OFIR defeat drastic moves by the 2013 Legislature to further the foothold of illegal aliens in our state.  How you ask?

Did you know you can make a contribution to fight illegal immigration today? Then, next year, via the Oregon political contribution credit, your state government will refund your contribution to you? I hope you'll take advantage of this opportunity by sending a contribution to the Oregonians for Immigration Reform Political Action Committee -- OFIR PAC.

The Oregon political contribution credit is easy and convenient. Here's how it works. If, by 12/31/2012, you contribute up to $50 as an individual or $100 as a couple to OFIR PAC, you can write off your contribution on your 2013 Oregon income tax return. What this means: your contribution will reduce your state income taxes by $50 to $100 -- in effect, cost you nothing.

It's your choice...you can give it to the government or you could contribute to the OFIR PAC.

You can contribute online or mail to:

OFIR PAC

PO Box 7354

Salem, OR 97303

Thank you for your support!

 


 

Senators propose comprehensive immigration changes

WASHINGTON (AP) — Two senators on opposite sides of the aisle are proposing comprehensive changes to the immigration laws that would include a pathway to citizenship for the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants now in the United States.

Democrat Chuck Schumer of New York and Republican Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who promoted similar proposals on separate Sunday news shows said that no path to citizenship would be available until the country's borders were secure.

Only then could those in the U.S. without authorization "come out of the shadows, get biometrically identified, start paying taxes, pay a fine for the law they broke," Graham told CBS' "Face the Nation." ''They can't stay unless they learn our language, and they have to get in the back of line before they become citizens. They can't cut in front of the line regarding people who are doing it right and it can take over a decade to get their green card." A green card grants permanent residency status — a step toward citizenship.

Schumer told NBC's "Meet the Press" that he and Graham have resumed talks on immigration policy that broke off two years ago and "have put together a comprehensive detailed blueprint on immigration reform" that has "the real potential for bipartisan support based on the theory that most Americans are for legal immigration, but very much against illegal immigration."

Graham, however, made no mention of working with the chairman of the Senate Judiciary subcommittee on immigration, refugees and border security.

Immigration policy, largely ignored during President Barack Obama's first four years in office, has re-emerged as a major issue as Republicans seek ways to rebound from their election performance. More than 70 percent of Hispanic voters supported Obama, who has been more open than Republicans to comprehensive overhaul of immigration laws.

Three days after Tuesday's election, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said it was time to address immigration policy. He urged Obama to take the lead in coming up with a plan that would look at both improved enforcement of immigration law and the future of the estimated 11 million people living in the country illegally. Boehner, however, did not commit to the citizenship issue.

Graham said that the "tone and rhetoric" Republicans used in the immigration debate of 2006 and 2007 "has built a wall between the Republican Party and Hispanic community," causing Hispanic support to dwindle from 44 percent in 2004 to 27 percent in 2012.

"This is an odd formula for a party to adopt, the fastest growing demographic in the country, and we're losing votes every election. It's one thing to shoot yourself in the foot, just don't reload the gun. I intend not to reload this gun when it comes to Hispanics. I intend to tear this wall down and pass an immigration reform bill that's an American solution to an American problem," he said.

Both senators said the overhaul would include developing a secure document to assure employers they're hiring people authorized to work in the country, and allowing legal immigration for needed workers at all skill levels. The path to citizenship would require immigrants to learn English, go to the back of the citizenship line, have a job and not commit crimes.

Graham said the overhaul would have to be done in such a way that "we don't have a third wave of illegal immigration 20 years from now. That's what Americans want. They want more legal immigration and they want to fix illegal immigration once and for all."

In exit polls on Tuesday, The Associated Press found 65 percent favored offering most illegal immigrants workers in the United States a chance to apply for legal status, more than double the number who said most should be deported. Even among Republicans, the party associated with crackdowns on illegal immigration, about half favored a path toward staying in the U.S.
 

Destination Washington D.C.

OFIR's President will travel to Washington D.C. to attend two conferences.  There will be numerous opportunities to meet and network with people from all over the country interested in stopping illegal immigration.  A summary of conference events will be posted on the website upon her return.

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