taxes

Gov't spent $18 billion on immigration enforcement

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration spent more money on immigration enforcement in the last fiscal year than all other federal law enforcement agencies combined, according to a report on the government's enforcement efforts from a Washington think tank.

The report on Monday from the Migration Policy Institute, a non-partisan group focused on global immigration issues, said in the 2012 budget year that ended in September the government spent about $18 billion on immigration enforcement programs run by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the US-Visit program, and Customs and Border Protection, which includes the Border Patrol. Immigration enforcement topped the combined budgets of the FBI; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Drug Enforcement Administration and U.S. Secret Service by about $3.6 billion dollars, the report's authors said.

Since then-President Ronald Reagan signed the Immigration Reform and Control Act in 1986 — which legalized more than 3 million illegal immigrants and overhauled immigration laws — the government has spent more than $187 billion on immigration enforcement. According to the report, "Immigration Enforcement in the United States: The Rise of a Formidable Machinery," federal immigration-related criminal prosecutions also outnumber cases generated by the Justice Department.

The 182-page report concludes that the Obama administration has made immigration its highest law enforcement priority.

"Today, immigration enforcement can be seen as the federal government's highest criminal law enforcement priority, judged on the basis of budget allocations, enforcement actions and case volumes," MPI Senior Fellow Doris Meissner, a co-author of the report, said in a statement released with the report.

Critics are likely to bristle over its findings, especially those who have accused the administration of being soft on immigration violators.

"There has been some progress," said House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul of Texas. "But the bottom line is that we are far from having operational control of our borders, particularly the Southwest border, and there are no metrics to quantify progress."

Meissner said since the 1986 law was passed, immigration enforcement "is a story of growth. The sum of its parts is growth."

Demetrios Papademetriou, MPI's president, said that the authors reviewed immigration enforcement policies and spending from 1986 on amid ongoing disagreements in Congress on whether border security and enforcement efforts needed to be solidified before reform could be tackled.

"No nation anywhere in the world has been as determined, has made as deep and expensive a commitment to or has had as deep a reach in its enforcement efforts as the U.S. has had," Papademetriou said. "The reach spans from local court rooms and jails all the way to the ability of goods and travelers to the United States to actually be able to travel to the United States."

According to federal budgets reviewed by MPI, CBP spent about $11.7 billion on its enforcement operations while ICE had a budget of about $5.9 billion in 2012. US-Visit accounted for about $307 million.

As spending has risen in recent years, the number of arrests at the border has steadily dropped. In 2011, agents made about 327,000 arrests at the southern border, the fewest in nearly 40 years. The Homeland Security Department also removed a record 396,906 immigrants that year. In 2012, nearly 410,000 people were removed from the United States.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has repeatedly touted those statistics as evidence that the border is now more secure than ever.

Experts have attributed the drop in arrests to a combination of factors, including record numbers of Border Patrol agents stationed along the Mexican border. Meissner said that the growth of illegal immigration in the U.S. is now at a standstill.

The report also highlighted workplace enforcement changes from raids targeting illegal immigrants to paperwork audits designed to root out employers who routinely hire illegal immigrant workers and the volume of people removed annually.

The report by MPI's Meissner, Muzaffar Chishti, Donald Kerwin and Claire Bergeron, comes amid renewed interest in immigration reform from Congress and the White House. In the immediate aftermath of the November election, congressional Republicans suggested the time was right to begin reform talks anew. President Barack Obama, who won a record share of Hispanic voters, renewed a previous pledge to make immigration reform a priority.

In the lead up to the election, Obama made several administrative changes to the immigration system, including launching a program to allow some young illegal immigrants to avoid deportation and work legally in the country for up to two years. His administration also refocused enforcement efforts to target criminal immigrants and those who posed a security threat. And just last week, the administration announced a rule change to allow some illegal immigrant spouses and children of U.S. citizens to stay in the country while they ask the government to waive 3- or 10-year bans on returning to the United States. Immigrants who win the waiver will still need to leave the country to complete visa paperwork, but will be able to leave without fear of being barred from returning to their families for up to a decade. The rule, first proposed last year, goes into effect in March.

Republican lawmakers have widely criticized the policy changes, routinely describing them as "backdoor amnesty." Many of those same lawmakers have said the border needs to be secured before reform can be taken up.

Take advantage of the Oregon Tax Credit before year's end

Alert date: 
2012-12-22
Alert body: 

Do you know you can make a contribution to fight illegal immigration today and 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.

We need your financial help. 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.

Please send your contribution today and early next year, see it refunded to you in the form of lower taxes.  Thank you!

Contribute online or send to:

OFIR PAC

PO Box 7354

Salem, OR 97303

Changes loom for illegal migrants

Alamo, Texas -- President Barack Obama‘s health care overhaul threatens to roll back some services for the country’s estimated 11 million illegal immigrants if clinics and hospitals are overwhelmed with newly insured patients and can’t afford to care for as many poor families.

The law envisions that 32 million uninsured Americans will get access to coverage by 2019. Because that should mean fewer uninsured patients showing up at hospitals, the program slashed the federal reimbursement for uncompensated care.

This hurts the people who have found care through the country’s expansion of community health clinics, which offered free or low-cost care with help from the federal government.

For years, Sonia Limas would drag her daughters to the emergency room whenever they fell sick. As an illegal immigrant, she had no health insurance, and the only place she knew to seek treatment was the hospital or community health clinics.

When the reform has been fully implemented, illegal immigrants will make up the nation’s second-largest population of uninsured, or about 25 percent. The only larger group will be people who qualify for insurance but fail to enroll, according to a 2012 study by the Washington-based Urban Institute.

And since about two-thirds of illegal immigrants live in just eight states, those areas will have a disproportionate share of the uninsured to care for.

In communities “where the number of undocumented immigrants is greatest, the strain has reached the breaking point,” Rich Umbdenstock, president of the American Hospital Association, wrote last year in a letter to Obama, asking him to keep in mind the uncompensated care hospitals gave to that group. “In response, many hospitals have had to curtail services, delay implementing services, or close beds.”

The federal government has offered to expand Medicaid, the joint state-federal health program for the poor and disabled, but states must decide whether to take the deal. And in some of those eight states — including Texas, Florida and New Jersey — hospitals are scrambling to determine whether they will still have enough money to treat the remaining uninsured.

Realistically, taxpayers are already paying for some of the treatment provided to illegal immigrants because hospitals are required by law to stabilize and treat any patients that arrive in an emergency room, regardless of their ability to pay. The money to cover the costs typically comes from federal, state and local taxes.

A solid accounting of money spent treating illegal immigrants is elusive because most hospitals do not ask for immigration status. But some states have tried. California, home to the nation’s largest population of illegal immigrants, spent an estimated $1.2 billion last year through Medicaid to care for 822,500 illegal immigrants.

The New Jersey Hospital Association in 2010 estimated that it cost between $600 million and $650 million annually to treat 550,000 illegal immigrants.

And in Texas, a 2010 analysis by the Health and Human Services Commission found that the agency had provided $96 million in benefits to illegal immigrants, up from $81 million two years earlier. The state’s public hospital districts spent an additional $717 million in uncompensated care to treat that population.

 

A slightly longer and different version of this article is available.

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!

 


 

Cost of illegal aliens in Oregon has passed the BILLION dollar mark

Alert date: 
2012-12-11
Alert body: 

In a new report just released by FAIR, the true cost to Oregon taxpayers is spelled out in a clear, concise and difficult to contradict report showing that illegal aliens in Oregon now cost taxpayers over a billion dollars every year.  That is after deducting what they do contribute in the form of any paid taxes.

The average Oregon household headed by a U.S. citizen pays about $728 annually to cover the costs of the state’s illegal alien population.  Read the full report.

We must never give up. We must never stop fighting. America's future depends on it.

Alert date: 
2012-11-07
Alert body: 

It's a sad and frustrating day for all of us who have worked so hard to protect this great country from unfettered illegal immigration and excessive legal immigration.

"Unfortunately, neither the candidates nor the media drew attention to the deleterious impact that high immigration levels have on American workers," said Marilyn DeYoung, Chairman of the Board of CAPS. "There is no difference between outsourcing, sending American jobs overseas, and ‘insourcing,’ bringing in foreign workers to take American jobs."

While Americans reelected Obama based on their preference for his economic policies, they do not embrace his plans for amnesty. Furthermore, they want to see laws enforced at the workplace through mandatory use of the free, accurate and easy to use E-verify program.

"True immigration reform means securing our borders and reducing immigration to reasonable levels that protect American workers. In 1996, Barbara Jordan and the U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform called for lower levels of legal immigration and tough measures against illegal immigration. It made sense then; it makes sense now," stated DeYoung, who served on the President’s Commission on Population Growth and the American Future in 1970.

Our nation's sovereignty depends on citizens caring enough to protect what they have.

Vote today!

Vote for Bruce Starr for Labor Commissioner.  If your ballot is still kicking around the house, it's not too late to vote, but it might be too late to mail your ballot.

Simply locate a drop site and deliver your ballot before November 6 at 8:00pm.

This election will be a turning point.  Many elected officials fail to respect and uphold the laws of our state.  The result is that those in our country illegally are becoming emboldened ….demanding drivers licenses, Oregon jobs, instate tuition benefits and more all while costing taxpayers over $700 million dollars in services every year.

We need strong leadership...

Vote Bruce Starr for Labor Commissioner.

Send your ballot in today and be certain to sign the outside envelope, as well!

 

 


 

Driver licenses for illegal aliens create bigger problems

Governor Kitzhaber has stated, in no uncertain terms, that he wants to restore driving privileges to illegal aliens living and working in our state.  Perhaps he should take look at what Washington State is dealing with due to their "welcome mat" approach to illegal aliens.  Read more here.

The Fiscal Burden of Illegal Aliens on Washingtonians

Executive Summary

Washington's accommodating policy towards illegal aliens has resulted in a fast growing illegal alien population and a rapidly increasing fiscal burden on the state's taxpayers. With the state budget adding an additional $2.7 billion of debt this year, the need to reduce the costs to the taxpayer from illegal immigration should be obvious to lawmakers.


This study, examining what illegal immigration costs Washington taxpayers, includes the following findings:
 

  • The state's taxpayers bear an annual burden of more than $2.7 billion as a result of an estimated 275,000 illegal aliens plus nearly 104,000 U.S.-born children of illegal aliens of whom about 78,000 are school-aged.
  • The combined K-12 fiscal burden for the children of illegal aliens in regular instruction and supplemental instruction amounts to nearly $1.6 billion annually.
  • Justice and law enforcement costs result in a net outlay of about $176 million. These outlays include policing, court and prison costs.
  • Health care and social assistance programs add additional costs of $652 million.
  • The average Washington household headed by a U.S. citizen bears an annual burden of about $970 to cover the costs of the state's illegal alien population.
  • Illegal aliens pay relatively little in taxes because of their low earnings and work in the underground economy. We estimate they pay about $203 million in state and local taxes — 7.4 percent of the estimated burden.
Read the full report in pdf format.


 

Limits Placed on Immigrants in Health Care Law

WASHINGTON — The White House has ruled that young immigrants who will be allowed to stay in the United States as part of a new federal policy will not be eligible for health insurance coverage under President Obama’s health care overhaul.

The decision — disclosed last month, to little notice — has infuriated many advocates for Hispanic Americans and immigrants. They say the restrictions are at odds with Mr. Obama’s recent praise of the young immigrants.

In June, the president announced that hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants who came to the United States as children, attended school here and met other requirements would be allowed to remain in the country without fear of deportation.

Immigrants granted such relief would ordinarily meet the definition of “lawfully present” residents, making them eligible for government subsidies to buy private insurance, a central part of the new health care law. But the administration issued a rule in late August that specifically excluded the young immigrants from the definition of “lawfully present.”

At the same time, in a letter to state health officials, the administration said that young immigrants granted a reprieve from deportation “shall not be eligible” for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Administration officials said they viewed the immigration initiative and health coverage as separate matters.

Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and human services, said in the Federal Register that the reasons offered for the immigration initiative “do not pertain to eligibility for Medicaid,” the children’s health program or federal subsidies for buying private health insurance.

Nick Papas, a White House spokesman, said the deferred-deportation policy “was never intended” to confer eligibility for federal health benefits. The White House describes that policy as “an exercise of prosecutorial discretion,” allowing law enforcement officers to focus on immigrants who pose a threat to national security or public safety. Administration officials declined to elaborate as to why beneficiaries of the new immigration policy were ineligible for coverage under the new health law.

The move might help Mr. Obama avoid a heated political debate over whether the health law is benefiting illegal immigrants. The possibility of such benefits has drawn criticism from many Republicans, including Representative Joe Wilson of South Carolina, who shouted “You lie!” as Mr. Obama addressed the issue before a joint session of Congress in 2009.

The restrictions on health coverage may also save money by limiting the number of people who receive health insurance wholly or partly from the federal government. Federal subsidies for insurance under the new health care law are expected to average $5,300 a year for each person subsidized in 2014, and the cost is expected to rise to $7,500 a person in 2022, the Congressional Budget Office says.

Several immigration lawyers and health policy experts have criticized the restrictions, saying they will make it more difficult to achieve the goals of the health law and the immigration initiative, which Democrats consider two of Mr. Obama’s most significant achievements.

Jennifer M. Ng’andu, a health policy specialist at the National Council of La Raza, a Hispanic rights group, said: “We do not understand why the administration decided to do this. It’s providing immigration relief to children and young adults so they can be fully integrated into society. At the same time, it’s shutting them out of the health care system so they cannot become productive members of society.”

Ricardo E. Campos, 23, of Wheaton, Md., an illegal immigrant who came to the United States from El Salvador at the age of 12, applied for the deferred-enforcement program two weeks ago with help from a community organization, Casa de Maryland.

He is attending a community college and said he desperately needs affordable health insurance. After doctors discovered that he had bone cancer, he underwent a 36-hour operation in 2009 and was in a wheelchair for a year.

“I want to become a doctor, in internal medicine or oncology, so I can save lives just as my life was saved,” Mr. Campos said.

“What if one day the cancer comes back and I don’t have health insurance? That’s scary.” (Just before his surgery, Mr. Campos got coverage through a state-sponsored plan with high premiums, after commercial insurers had turned him down.)

Under the new federal health law, insurance subsidies are available not only to citizens, but also to low-income immigrants “lawfully present” in the United States. That group will still include green card holders and people granted asylum.

The Pew Research Center estimates that up to 1.7 million unauthorized immigrants could eventually seek deferrals of deportation under the exercise of executive authority announced in June by Mr. Obama. Those immigrants will continue to be able to receive health insurance from employers, but many are likely to struggle to obtain coverage if they do not have a job that provides it.

In the absence of a significant change in immigration law, young immigrants granted temporary relief from deportation have no clear path to green cards or citizenship.

When he announced the new immigration policy in June, Mr. Obama hailed the patriotism and promise of young “dreamers” — illegal immigrants who could have gained legal status under a bill known as the Dream Act, which has been bottled up in Congress for 11 years. Mr. Obama said the young immigrants were Americans at heart and should be able to work legally and live openly in this country without fear of being expelled.

Marielena Hincapié, the executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, an advocacy group for low-income immigrants, said: “We had been working closely with the administration, so we were quite surprised and shocked by the new restrictions on health coverage. This is a shortsighted, reactionary and bad public policy.”

Republicans in Congress have criticized the deportation deferrals as a form of backdoor amnesty for immigrants who broke the law by entering the United States illegally or by overstaying visas. They say Mr. Obama does not have the legal authority to do what he did — a claim also made in a lawsuit by 10 immigration law enforcement officers who are challenging the policy in Federal District Court.

The politics of the issue cut in several directions. The Gallup tracking poll shows Mr. Obama with a wide lead over his Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, among Hispanic voters. At the same time, administration officials have tried to avoid alienating swing voters who are concerned about illegal immigration, and they have emphasized steps taken to secure the borders.

In the primary campaign, Mr. Romney said he would veto the Dream Act because it could create a magnet for illegal immigration. Ryan M. Williams, a spokesman for Mr. Romney, said Mr. Obama’s deferred-deportation policy had “ruined an effort in Congress to forge a bipartisan long-term solution” for illegal immigrants brought here as children.

Some immigrants and their allies worry that the restrictions on federal health benefits could be used to justify similar actions by state officials. Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona, a Republican, has issued an executive order denying driver’s licenses and public benefits to young immigrants who are granted relief from deportation.
 

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