taxes

Representative Bonamici to hold Town Hall meetings

Alert date: 
March 31, 2013
Alert body: 

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

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

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

Schedule details follow:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. There have been 7 major amnesties passed by Congress from 1986 to 2000, each resulting in ever-increasing numbers of illegal immigrants. Now another huge amnesty is being pushed. We need enforcement of the immigration laws, not another amnesty. We need E-Verify mandated, to ensure that all employed persons are here legally. E-Verify is accurate and ready for expansion. Will you work to make E-Verify mandatory?

2. Unemployment persists as a major problem in Oregon and the U.S. Businesses can and do hire illegal aliens at substandard wages in construction, agriculture, hotels, restaurants. Why don’t you do more to stop the hiring of illegal aliens?

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

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

5. Did you know that between the Censuses of 2000 and 2010, 80% of population growth resulted from immigration (immigrants plus the children of immigrants). The U.S. is already overcrowded. After more than 4 decades of unprecedentedly high immigration, we need a pause, a moratorium on immigration, or we face a steep decline in the quality of life for everyone. Are you willing to say No to the lobbies constantly pushing for amnesties and more immigration?

Who represents us? Clearly, it's not these two gentlemen!

There comes a point in life when what one thinks just doesn't line up with what's actually happening. 

In all my years of striving to be a responsible citizen, a good, honest person and a strong parent, I thought that our elected officials were working for the best interests of, if not me and my family specifically, our country as a whole.

I thought that, even though I didn't always agree, ultimately our sovereignty as a nation would prevail and that our lawmakers would work to make our country even stronger.

I confess...I have been an idiot! 

It seems that if you were born and raised here in the U.S., or, if you emigrated here through the proper channels, work hard, pay your taxes, never break a rule...let alone a law, your entire life, then you are a chump! 

Elected officials want nothing to do with you and will dismiss your comments about impending legislation regarding illegal immigration as vehement opposition.

Apparently, a far better way to capture the attention of our lawmakers is to sneak into this country, steal an American citizen's identity, drive without a license or insurance, work without permission and perhaps even commit multiple other crimes like selling drugs, drunk driving, assault, rape and even murder.  Then, and only then, will you garner the full, positive attention and time of the people elected to protect the United States and her citizens.

What I see now are pathetic, gutless politicians being led around by their noses by illegal alien advocates and businesses that prey on an undocumented workforce.  It's actually quite shameful and I feel embarrassed for them. 

Other industrialized nations have already realized that excessive immigration (legal or illegal) does not work and results in high unemployment, depressed wages, flooded entitlement programs, poor working conditions and more.  I would hope that our elected officials would realize that they are encouraging a culture of corruption right here in Oregon and now, they are inviting it right into our Capitol.

OFIR has posted two recent letters in the Oregon section of our website.  One letter is from Oregon Senator Chuck Thomsen and the other letter is from Congressman Kurt Schrader.

If you have received correspondence from your elected officials, please share it with OFIR and we will post it on our website for everyone to see. Read more about Who represents us? Clearly, it's not these two gentlemen!

Rep. Kurt Schrader: Faith, politics and immigration reform

I just returned from Congressman John Lewis’ Faith and Politics Pilgrimage to Alabama and was deeply moved by the experience.

Fifty years ago, courageous Americans stepped out of their comfort zone and confronted an unjust segregation system that not only debased black America but white America as well.

I was struck by the intimate stories of complacency toward an immoral social norm by white businessmen and the church. I was amazed by the bravery of the black youth who saved a foundering downtown economic boycott in Birmingham, despite the water hoses and dogs of Bull Connor. I was entranced by the bravery of two black students willing to face a hate-filled Gov. George Wallace and a thousand others at the college doors in Tuscaloosa. I was overwhelmed with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s epiphany at the kitchen table in Montgomery late one night that he must conquer his fears and do what is morally right. I was in awe of the marchers on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma who knew they faced violent opposition on the other side, but marched and suffered horribly anyway.

Much like then, America now faces another soul-searching moment surrounding an outdated, irrational and dehumanizing immigration system. One hundred years ago, America took all comers to its shores. Now our byzantine immigration system encourages would-be immigrants to put their livelihoods on the line in order to seek the American dream. It makes criminals out of business owners and farmers for hiring folks to do work that no one else will do; work that Americans benefit from and take for granted every day. And it generates an unconscionable trade in human beings and human rights violations that operate in dark shadows, often beyond our legal and law enforcement systems.

The discussion about immigration is not about documented and undocumented immigrants. It is about the very nature of who we are as Americans — our beliefs, our morals and our need to share the unalienable rights our immigrant forefathers bequeathed upon us 238 years ago. The loud lack of acceptance among a vitriolic few diminishes hope in aspiring Americans and undermines the progress we have strived for since our country’s inception. Is this our Christian theology? Are these the values of our Declaration and Constitution? Is this how we raise our children?

Merchants and farmers whisper to me that they need and value their employees as individuals and they are critical to the fabric of a recovering American economy. But these voices must be raised loudly and convincingly in your community, in the papers and with your state and federal representatives. As Dr. King often quoted, “Evil triumphs when good men do nothing.”

While individual churches and their charities have exhibited great acts of kindness toward many vulnerable families who have immigrated to our country, the leaders of organized religion must collectively demand an end to an unjust system — a system that separates husbands, wives and children for years; a system where getting to the “back of the line” means waiting 20 years; a system that allows a two-caste system for worker rights in this country.

I am pleased to see young people, particularly in Latino communities, begin to step up like the African-American youth did 50 years ago. Their bravery in stepping up without legislative guarantees and solely on the president’s executive order on the Dream Act is courageous. They captured America’s attention with their votes in this last election. Without Mano y Mano and thousands of youth-oriented groups like it across America, we would not be having the discussion of comprehensive immigration reform today in Congress.

What remains is for Congress to have our own epiphany. To do right no matter the political cost and march across that bridge despite some vehement opposition at home. As Dr. King said in his letter from his Birmingham jail cell, “Injustice anywhere, is a threat to justice everywhere ... Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere in this country.” Read more about Rep. Kurt Schrader: Faith, politics and immigration reform

Senators aim to reach bipartisan immigration deal next week

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Eight senators aim to cap months of talks next week with a comprehensive deal to overhaul the U.S. immigration system, a member of the bipartisan group said on Thursday.

Democratic Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey, a longtime reform advocate, said once the agreement is done, aides will draw up legislation that could be considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee in April.

"That's our goal," Menendez told Reuters. "We hope to agree on all of the major issues, hopefully, by the end of next week. But it could slip a bit," he said, perhaps by a couple of days or so.

"I'm not rigid about anything other than getting it right," Menendez said.

The timetable Menendez spelled out mirrored one that the group suggested earlier this year. It said it aimed to have a bill in March and a vote by the full Democratic-led Senate in June or July.

The eight senators - four Democrats and four Republicans - announced a "framework for comprehensive immigration reform" in January and have been working to flesh it out.

There are an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States, many of them living in the shadows while seeking work and trying to avoid detection.

The eight senators have tried to draft a plan that would include a pathway toward U.S. citizenship for undocumented immigrants while strengthening border security.

They also want to create a more effective system to guard against U.S. employers hiring undocumented immigrants, and develop a program to better forecast and meet future U.S. workforce needs in a bid to curb illegal immigration.

The eight senators came together shortly after the November 2012 election results reflected the growing power of Hispanic voters and their pleas for immigration reform.

"There have been hard and tough negotiations, but it has been done all in the spirit of achieving the goal, in which compromise has been made on both sides," Menendez said.

The senators have worked with the encouragement of the White House and reached out to members of the Republican-led House of Representatives.

This week Obama met separately with Republican and Democratic lawmakers, mainly to talk about budget deficit concerns. But immigration reform also was discussed.

On Wednesday, Obama told a closed-door meeting of Senate Democrats that immigration was "'something that we can get done,'" Democratic Senator Benjamin Cardin of Maryland said.

On Thursday, Republican Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona, a member of the group of eight, said he thanked Obama for "playing a role that's behind the scenes."

Flake said the issue of future immigration to the United States is a sticking point for Democrats, and that Obama could build support for that part of the pending immigration bill.
  Read more about Senators aim to reach bipartisan immigration deal next week

Dorchester Conference 2013

Over 200 people attended the 49th annual Dorchester Conference in Seaside, Oregon March 8, 9 and 10th.  The conference is great opportunity for conservatives to get together, talk politics and have some fun.  Check out our photos. Read more about Dorchester Conference 2013

Rep. Esquival hits the nail on the head

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OREGON.com IBLOGS

Tuition equity unfair to citizens
 

The session has taken off like a rocket. Our office is flooded with meeting requests and we have been surprised by a number of visitors from home.

Tuition Equity –HB 2787 allowing Oregon students who are here illegally to pay in-state tuition for Oregon colleges.

As many of you know this is a difficult issue for me. I open my arms to anyone who wants to come to America but obeying the law is first and foremost. By encouraging students to stay here illegally, Oregon violates federal law.

“It is a violation of law for any entity to conceal, harbor, or shield from detection in any place, any illegal alien who is in the United States in violation of law. Harboring means any conduct that tends to substantially facilitate an alien to remain in the U.S. illegally.

If you are a U.S. citizen from another state you have to pay approximately $114,000 for out-of-state tuition – but Oregon colleges will accept students here illegally at approximately $32,000 per year. Basically I see this legislation as a direct discrimination against U.S. citizens.

In 2009 when I presented the legislation to allow U.S. veterans to receive instate tuition in Oregon schools there was a fiscal cost to the state of more than $7,000 per student per year. Interesting enough with HB2787, the carrier stated there was no fiscal impact involved. In other words it costs Oregon to have U.S. veterans attend at in-state rates but doesn’t cost for illegal students?

HB2787 passed the House 38-18.

Rep. Sal Esquivel

http://blogs.esouthernoregon.com/southern-oregon-legislators/2013/02/28/tuition-equity-unfair-to-citizens/

  Read more about Rep. Esquival hits the nail on the head

Join conservatives March 8 - 10 at the Dorchester Conference

Alert date: 
March 1, 2013
Alert body: 

The Dorchester Conference is your opportunity to speak to dozens of conservative lawmakers from here in Oregon and from Washington DC.

The conference will be held in Seaside, OR at the Seaside Convention Center March 8 - 10...Friday evening, all day Saturday and Sunday morning.  If you don't want to pay to attend the conference, just visit the exhibit hall and and see all the booths packed with information.  Legislators, Congressman, past Governors, and many political candidates will be there, too.

They are anxious to talk with you and share their ideas and hear yours.

Plan to come for the day...or the whole weekend. 
 

OSU student spells out the flawed thinking of the instate tuition benefit - HB 2787

Gabriella Morrongiello, a sophomore at Oregon State University, and chairman of the OSU Young Americans for Freedom testified before the House Committee of Higher Education at the hearing for HB 2787.  She was poised and eloquent.  Following her testimony she submitted an article about the proceedings to the Barometer (the OSU campus paper), who felt it was too controversial to publish. 

So, she submitted the article to the New Guard which is the national blog sponsored by the Young America's Foundation.  Read Gabriella's article here.

  Read more about OSU student spells out the flawed thinking of the instate tuition benefit - HB 2787

OFIR member Cliff Girod explains the "inequity" of tuition equity

OFIR member Cliff Girod wrote and outstanding op ed which was recently published in the Statesman Journal.
  Read more about OFIR member Cliff Girod explains the "inequity" of tuition equity

Tuition equity bill goes to Senate

In-state tuition for immigrant students without documents, which made it through the Oregon House by a big vote Friday, drew differing reactions from participants in the long-running debate.

“I can finally go home, look my parents in the eye and say, ‘Mom and Dad, I can go to a four-year college,’” said Hugo Nicolas, a Chemeketa Community College student who was one of many students present in the House gallery for the vote.

“It means more freedom for me — and more responsibility,” said Nicolas, who testified last week for passage of House Bill 2787. “So I’m going to have to work harder to shoulder my investment.”

A 2011 graduate of McNary High School, Nicolas hopes to transfer to the University of Oregon, where he plans to study economics and Chinese.

Victor Mena was able to transfer from Portland Community College to Portland State University, where he is studying criminal justice and hopes to join the Navy.

“I grew up here ever since I was 3,” said Mena, whose change of visa allowed him to attend Portland State. “Maybe tuition equity does not affect me anymore, but it will definitely affect a lot of other potential students.”

The 38-18 vote moved the bill to the Senate, where Jim Ludwick of McMinnville, a spokesman for Oregonians for Immigration Reform, said, “it’s likely to pass — they’ve got the numbers.”

The Senate passed similar bills in 2003 and 2011, but the House let them die without a vote. Senate President Peter Courtney, D-Salem, is the chief Senate sponsor of the current bill.

They are cowards using children as their shields to get something like this through,” Ludwick said after the vote. “This is just a denigration of the value of citizenship.”

Ludwick said immigrant students without legal presence can attend state universities now at out-of-state rates, which are three or four times higher than in-state rates that are partly subsidized by the state.

Although the bill does not make them eligible for state grants, Ludwick said, “Does anyone doubt that is the next step?”

The bill would allow state universities to charge in-state tuition if students meet specified conditions, including five years in U.S. schools and three in Oregon, graduation from high school or its equivalent in Oregon, and proof of intent to seek citizenship or legal status in the United States.

“They did not choose to come here; they were brought here,” said Rep. Michael Dembrow, D-Portland, the bill’s floor manager. “They have no other country to go to, but they have plenty to offer this state. Unfortunately, they have become collateral damage of this country’s immigration debate.”

The bill was backed by the Oregon University System, student and immigrant-rights groups, and the state’s major business associations.

“It brings hope to current and former students in my hometown,” said Rep. Betty Komp,D-Woodburn, whose House district is the only one in the 2010 Census to have a majority of racial and ethnic minorities.

Rep. John Huffman, R-The Dalles, said critics’ arguments that the university system would lose income from out-of-state tuition rates are wrong: these immigrant students are not attending and paying now. “You can’t lose something you don’t already have,” he said.

The House, on a party-line vote, defeated a Republican-backed substitute that would have set an expiration date, limited in-state tuition to those already here on the date it takes effect, and required students to be enrolled in a federal program for delayed deportations.

“It holds the university system to the same standard that all of our employers must comply with,” said Rep. Gene Whisnant,R-Sunriver.

The state bill would not by itself confer the authority for students to seek work permits in the United States.

But under a program of delayed deportations approved by President Barack Obama last year for those who arrived illegally in the United States as children, known by its acronym DACA, some participants are eligible for work permits. The state bill would recognize participation in the federal program as their proof of intent to seek legal status.

Five Republicans, including Rep. Vicki Berger of Salem, joined 33 Democrats to pass the bill.

Among those voting for it were Democratic Reps. Joe Gallegos of Hillsboro and Jessica Vega Pederson of Portland. Republican Rep. Sal Esquivel of Medford voted no.

Twelve other states, including Washington and California, have similar laws. A federal Dream Act — which passed the U.S. House in 2010 but died after a filibuster threat in the Senate — could become part of federal immigration legislation in the works.

Gov. John Kitzhaber, who is en route to Washington, D.C., for a conference, said he looks forward to signing the bill.

“By removing roadblocks to their post-secondary education, we open new opportunities to them and the opportunity for our state to capitalize on the investment we've made in these students through the K-12 system,” he said in a statement.

Hugo Nicolas, of Salem, testifies before the Oregon House Committee on Higher Education and Workforce Development at a public hearing on House Bill 2787, which would allow some students without immigration documents to qualify for in-state tuition rates. / KOBBI R. BLAIR / Statesman Journal

How they voted

How Mid-Valley representatives voted on House Bill 2787, which allows in-state tuition rates for students without immigration documents. A proposed substitute failed on a party-line vote.

Vicki Berger, R-Salem Yes
Kevin Cameron, R-Salem No
Brian Clem, D-Salem Yes
Vic Gilliam. R-Silverton No
Betty Komp, D-Woodburn Yes
Sherrie Sprenger, R-Scio No
Kim Thatcher, R-Keizer Excused
Jim Thompson, R-Dallas No
Jim Weidner, R-Yamhill No

What’s next:

House Bill 2787, which passed the Oregon House on a 38-18 vote Friday, goes to the Senate. The bill is likely to be assigned to the Senate Education Committee. Read more about Tuition equity bill goes to Senate

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