taxes

US Schools Brace for Flood of Central American Immigrant Students

At least 30,000 migrant Central American students are heading to classrooms across the country this fall, bring low levels of education that will bring down classroom averages, and overwhelm already struggling school districts, educators are warning.

The Obama administration announced earlier this month that some 30,340 foreign youths and children had been distributed, with the bulk, 4,280, remaining near where they crossed the southern border in Texas, reports The Daily Caller.

Other high numbers of students headed to Virginia, which received 2,234 youths, Maryland, with 2,205, North Carolina, with 1,191, and New Jersey, getting 1,504.

Even more students may be showing up in the classrooms, with more than 100,000 migrants being distributed nationwide.

In many cases, such students have "very, very limited amounts of education [and] in some cases, they cannot count to 10,” Caroline Woodason, assistant director for student support at the public schools in Dalton, Ga., told The Dalton Daily Citizen. "They can’t turn on a computer. They’ve never even seen a computer. Also, they, in most cases, cannot speak English or Spanish."

The students instead speak Mam or another language that is specific to their home regions, and Woodason said there is no way they can participate in U.S. history, biology, or other high school courses without special preparation.

By law, high school students may remain in school until they are 22 years old. Dalton officials have formed a "Newcomer Academy" at one school to help deal with the Central American students' challenges. To qualify, students must prove to be non-proficient in English and three years behind academically.

Education specialist Robin Hambly in Fairfax, Va., told The Washington Post "teachers [are] dealing with children not just learning English but years below expected grade/achievement level." Early this year, her school district had 5,192 Central American students, up 22 percent since 2011.

And many of the students are facing more than just academic challenges, said Hamby.

The youths are escaping harrowing journeys to come north to escape lives filled with gang violence and poverty in their home countries, and are struggling.

"These kids were homesick and heartbroken," said Hamby.

"There's no way a [foreign] child is going to be able to come to school ready and able to learn if we don’t address some of the other issues they’re facing,” Debra Duardo, executive director for human services for the Los Angeles Unified School District, told the Chicago Tribune.

But educators are finding that the foreign-born students are, in most cases, appreciative of their opportunity to learn and find a safe haven in America's classrooms.

"I haven't learned much here, but know with the school I will learn," Marlon, a 16-year-old Honduran who arrived in February, told the Tribune. The boy's name was withheld because of his age, and he now lives with relatives in the New Orleans area.

Speaking Spanish, Marlon said that so far, he hasn't "learned much here, but know with the school I will learn. I think it's good to learn English here. If the judge allows me to stay, I can get a job if I speak English, and opportunity."

New York to Issue ID Cards for Undocumented Immigrants

New York City’s 500,000 undocumented immigrants will be able to open bank accounts, visit libraries and use medical clinics, thanks to an official municipal identification card approved by the City Council.

The measure, backed by Mayor Bill de Blasio, passed in a 43 to 3 vote today with two abstentions. The photo IDs will display the holder’s name, birth date, address and -- at the cardholder’s option -- a self-designated gender.

“It sends a simple and clear message that we are a city that believes in including everyone,” Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said before the vote. “We don’t accept that some people can be left out because of their immigration status, how they identify their gender or whether they may be homeless.”

In a city where 40 percent of residents were born outside the U.S., politicians may gain support backing legislation that would help undocumented newcomers lease an apartment or apply for school or city services. Democrats outnumber Republicans by more than 6 to 1 , and as much as 20 percent of party voters are Latino, said Jerry Skurnik, a New York-based demographic-political consultant.

“Hispanics who are citizens and voters are pro-immigration; they want their families, friends and countrymen to come here,” Skurnik said in an interview. “And in a liberal city like New York, most people are pro-immigration anyway.”

New Haven

Similar cards have been created in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New Haven, Connecticut, which began its program in 2007 in response to a series of street robberies of undocumented immigrants who carried cash because they lacked access to banks. The victims’ status made them reluctant to report the crimes, said Officer David Hartman, a New Haven police spokesman.

New York’s program would be the largest in the U.S., costing $8.4 million when it goes into effect next year, decreasing to $5.6 million annually over the next three years, Mark-Viverito said. The city will seek sponsors to offer discounts and other inducements for residents to carry the card so that its use would expand beyond undocumented immigrants, Mark-Viverito said. Details of how the card would be administered are still being worked out, she said.

“If you can’t sign a lease, if you can’t get a bank account, if you can’t do the basics, if you can’t even prove who you are, it doesn’t feel like you truly belong,” de Blasio, a 53-year-old Democrat, said in April, in support of the card.“These half-million New Yorkers are building this city alongside all of us every single day, and we will do better by them.”

Foreign Passport

Documents that would be acceptable to apply for a card include a U.S. or foreign passport, a domestic or foreign driver’s license and a birth certificate or proof of foreign military service. An applicant would also have to show proof of city residence, such as a utility bill or bank statement.

Aside from immigrants, those supporting New York’s bill include transgendered individuals who want the right to identify themselves as they see fit, regardless of what their birth certificate or driver’s license may say.

Democratic Council members Mark Treyger and Alan Maisel ofBrooklyn were among several who raised concerns that the program could create a list of undocumented immigrants who could be targeted for deportation.

To contact the reporter on this story: Henry Goldman in New York at hgoldman@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Mark Schoifet at mschoifet@bloomberg.netStephen Merelman, Pete Young

 

Primary Election Day - VOTE!

Alert date: 
2014-05-16
Alert body: 

It's too late to mail your ballot - please drop it in a designated drop box.  VOTE - it's your right and your responsibility!


 

Had enough? Want to get involved? Learn how this Saturday!

Alert date: 
2014-01-22
Alert body: 

SOUND AWESOME? ...IT IS! Attend the Western Liberty Network's Second Annual Leadership and Training Conference and Expo.

The event's theme is “TAKE THE OFFENSIVE!” and will start at 9:00AM on Saturday, January 25th, 2014 at the Sheraton Airport Hotel located at 8235 NW Airport Way in Portland.

You can take in a full day of training that will give you the tools you need to be a more effective activist or volunteer. Additional courses will be offered to those interested in applying or running for local public office, those interested in building their local grassroots organizations, and for veterans who want to participate more effectively in the communities they helped to protect.  Cynthia Kendoll - OFIR President and Authorized Agent for the Protect Oregon Driver Licenses successful veto referendum campaign, will be speaking about how to manage a grassroots referendum or initiative campaign. Click on the agenda link for time and location of each break out session.

Before the debate, awards will be presented to leading activists and grass roots organizations.

STOP PLAYING DEFENSE...learn how you can go on the offense to create the change we are all working toward.

On January 25th you can see the first major US Senate candidate debate of 2014 hosted by national news personality Lars Larson. You can also see presentations by candidates running for Oregon governor, and enjoy a Mexican buffet lunch prepared by an award winning restaurant.

KXL Radio, the Lars Larson Show, Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon Capitol Watch, the National Federation of Independent Businesses, I-Spy Radio, and author and entrepreneur Sam Carpenter are sponsoring the debate. The night before the conference there will be a reception at the hotel free to all registrants featuring live music and hot appetizers. This promises to be the premiere grass roots training event of the year. Registrants can submit questions to be asked during the debate and will assist in enforcing time limits. This is going to be a FUN, INFORMATIVE, and INSPIRING.

To REGISTER, click HERE or go to the www.westernlibertynetwork.org website to download a full agenda and click on the “REGISTER NOW” button when you are ready to register.

 

 

 

 

 


 

Tick, tick, tick...time is running out!

Alert date: 
2013-12-29
Alert body: 

As we bask in the glow of the holiday lights, soon to come down, surrounded by piles of unwrapped gifts, yet to be put away, all while vowing never to eat so much Christmas candy again, OFIR wants to remind you one more time about a great opportunity!

Just how often does an awesome win – win opportunity come your way? You can help your favorite Oregon Political Action Committee and it won't cost you a dime! But, you must hurrythis opportunity ends December 31, 2013.

The choice is yours - you can do nothing and let the government take your money and do what they do best. Better yet, you can send your contribution to OFIR PAC and let us put it to work for you in the fight against illegal immigration here in Oregon and across the country.

The New Year promises to bring a new fight in the continuous effort by Congress to pass a mass amnesty bill. Active, grassroots organizations like OFIR have been successful in stopping any bills from getting through Congress again this year. Contributions from our members have kept us involved and in the fight.

Oregon residents can make a contribution to one Oregon Political Action Committee per year. Through Oregon's political tax credit, married couples filing joint Oregon Income Tax Returns receive a dollar for dollar credit of up to $100 - (it's $50 for singles and married couples filing separately) - for contributions to a Political Action Committee like OFIR PAC.

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

OFIR has become one of the most active immigration groups in the country.

Please send your PAC contribution to:

OFIR PAC

P.O. Box 7354

Salem, OR 97303

For even greater convenience, you can contribute online at: http://www.oregonir.org/donate-ofir

You know how OFIR will squeeze every dime out of your contribution! We have an all volunteer Board and incredible members who volunteer their time and talents to OFIR!

If you have not yet taken advantage of this unique opportunity, please do so before the end of the year so that you can get credit for your OFIR PAC contribution against any taxes you owe in 2013. Don't miss out - it's a win – win for everyone!

If you have already contributed – thank you for your support!  We will put your contribution to good use.

It's a WIN - WIN, but there are only three weeks left

Alert date: 
2013-12-07
Alert body: 

How often does an awesome win – win opportunity come your way? You can help your favorite Oregon Political Action Committee and it won't cost you a dime!  But, you must hurry – this opportunity ends December 31, 2013.

Oregon residents can make a contribution to one Oregon Political Action Committee per year. Through Oregon's political tax credit, married couples filing joint Oregon Income Tax Returns receive a dollar for dollar credit of up to $100 - (it's $50 for singles and married couples filing separately) - for contributions to a Political Action Committee like OFIR PAC.

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

The choice is yours - you can do nothing and let the government take that money and do what they do best. Better yet, you can send your contribution to OFIR PAC and let us put it to work for you in the fight against illegal immigration here in Oregon and across the country.

The New Year promises to bring a new fight in the continuous effort by Congress to pass a mass amnesty bill. Active, grassroots organizations like OFIR have been successful in stopping any bills from getting through Congress again this year. Contributions from our members have kept us involved and in the fight.

OFIR has become one of the most active immigration groups in the country.


Please send your PAC contribution to:

OFIR PAC

P.O. Box 7354

Salem, OR 97303


For even greater convenience, you can contribute online at: http://www.oregonir.org/donate-ofir

You know how OFIR will squeeze every dime out of your contribution! We have an all volunteer Board and incredible members who volunteer their time and talents to OFIR!

If you have not yet taken advantage of this unique opportunity, please do so before the end of the year so that you can get credit for your OFIR PAC contribution against any taxes you owe in 2013.  Don't miss out - it's a win – win for everyone!

 

Gloss is for lips - not for politics

If it weren't so infuriating it might even make me laugh. It's the regular practice of "glossing over" the facts to make the case for wrong doing.

A recent case in point is the announcement by Oregon Association of Nurseries of their favorite six legislators who have helped them to game the system even further and all at the tax-payer's expense.

The six include three Republicans and three Democrats. They are Gov. John Kitzhaber (D), U.S. Rep Kurt Schrader (D-Oregon Fifth District), Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek (D-Portland), State Sen. Bill Hansell (R-Pendleton), State Sen. Chuck Thomsen (R-Hood River), and State Rep. Cliff Bentz (R-Ontario). These six elected officials took an oath of office to uphold the laws of the state and federal government. But, we'll gloss over that for now.

It's no secret that OAN is big business here in Oregon. It is clearly no secret, even to the casual observer, that OAN is apparently heavily invested in the use of an illegal work force. Hence their prominent position and support of SB 833 - the new law giving state issued ID in the form of driver privilege cards to illegal aliens. But, we'll gloss over that for now, too.

What is the real cost to Oregon's citizens, businesses and taxpayers?

An example:

One young man comes to Oregon illegally to work. He brings with him not only his pregnant wife and 3 children but the mind set that it's alright to break our immigration laws to come here and work.  After all, we're going to give him a driver privilege card so it must be ok - right?

The nursery business gets the benefit of the one (cheap) illegal worker which may even be using a stolen identity (perhaps yours) to get hired. Or, the employer may knowingly hire an illegal worker making it easier for them to exploit or cheat him or even pay him under the table avoiding costly employer tax contributions. But, we'll gloss over that for now. as well.

The taxpayer, however, foots the bill for the rest of his family to the tune of one billion dollars in 2012 according to a recent report by FAIR. The children will be enrolled in public school (most likely in an expensive ELL program). And, once the baby is born (often referred to as an anchor baby) and at taxpayer expense, then the real bonanza begins. Benefits begin to flood to the family and they are now living on easy street compared to life in their home country. But, we'll gloss over that for now, too.

Actions by many in our state government send a loud and clear message that this is OK - Oregonians must want this kind of business model here in our state because we keep re-electing the people who pass this kind of legislation -right? 

Businesses will lie, cheat, game the system and make a boatload of money on the backs of hard working, tax paying, honest citizens and even the unemployed get screwed while they pull it off.  Our Legislature supports this - it's the American way, right?  But, let's gloss over that, while we're at it.

It all makes me sick!  I'm ashamed of our Governor and the Legislators that support SB 833. I'm sick of our elected officials working to make life easier for people willfully breaking our laws and businesses that capitalize on weak enforcement of our employment laws. I'm sick of government officials picking and choosing which laws to enforce and which to ignore for their own benefit. I'm sick of our elected officials GLOSSING OVER the hard facts in order to make life easier for people in our country illegally, all while thumbing their noses at honest, hardworking citizens.

I refuse to gloss over the facts about SB 833 and the real truth about giving driver cards to illegal aliens. I'm proud to be the Authorized Agent of Protect Oregon Driver Licenses and will work hard to get this insidious legislation overturned when it's on the ballot in November 2014. Let Oregon voters decide!

They're Not Going To Take It Anymore: New Generation Of Immigrant Advocates Take Radical Approach

The frustration, say immigration advocates, is reaching a fever pitch.

That is why, many say, recent weeks have seen activists use chains and pipes to tie themselves to the tires of buses that carry immigrants slated for deportation to court, block traffic on Capitol Hill and get arrested, surround Tucson police when they targeted two immigrants during a traffic stop, and chain themselves and block the entrance of a federal detention center.

More such actions, they vow, are coming.

“It's absolutely out of frustration and impatience,” said Marisa Franco, campaign organizer for the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, which helped coordinate some of the more provocative actions. "Immigrant communities who are losing 1,100 loved ones every day to deportation cannot wait for Congress to end its political games or for the President to rediscover his moral compass," she added.

The people will take power back into their own hands and set a true example of leadership that the Beltway will have to follow.

- Marisa Franco, National Day Laborer Organizing Network

"The people will take power back into their own hands and set a true example of leadership that the Beltway will have to follow,” Franco vowed.

The more radical approach to protesting the record number of deportations that that have occurred under the Obama administration, and the stalled efforts in Congress to work on an immigration reform bill, differs from the more traditional nature of immigration demonstrations.

They consisted, in public, chiefly of vigils, rallies, and marches. On the private level, more established immigration advocacy organizations leaned heavily on telephone and email campaigns, press conferences, and direct communication with members of Congress and their staffs.

“These organizations stopped having faith in any progress for immigration reform,” said Michael Young, who is a sociology professor at the University of Texas. “They’re distancing themselves from the national, more moderate organizations that said you have to worry about this will come off or how it will play to the national, broader audience.”

After seeing the DREAM Act, a measure that called for giving a path to legal status to undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as minors, pass the House in 2010 but then die in the Senate, and see immigration reform efforts practically fizzle this year in Congress, Young said, “they got to where they don’t care.”

Many feel that being measured, Young said, has yielded no results.

“That’s what the ‘good immigrants’ have been doing for years, and what has it won them,” he said. “The Obama administration has deported almost 2 million people.”

Younger immigrants, known as DREAMers, began walking away from the more mainstream advocacy movement about three years ago, after seeing the defeat of the DREAM Act in Congress.

“They were raised by the [mainstream advocacy] groups, which helped [DREAMers] with their message,” Young said. “But then they started seeing them as compromised, and leaving them made them feel unleashed.”

Some of the more provocative DREAMer groups started using terms such as “non-profit industrial complex” to refer to the more Old Guard organizations that were involved with immigration reform efforts.
The more recent actions have focused on fighting deportations – mano a mano, and, often, at the local level, experts say.

They’ve also branched out beyond DREAMers.

Last Friday, the actions outside a federal courthouse in Tucson prompted a judge to cancel deportation proceedings.

Some 15 people were arrested after immigration rights activists blocked two buses bringing suspected illegal immigrants to a federal courthouse in Tucson. A few days later, on Tuesday, officers in Tucson pepper-sprayed members of a crowd trying to prevent U.S. Border Patrol agents from detaining two people who originally police encountered during a traffic stop.

The Tucson Police Department dispatched 100 officers to deal with protests at two locations, something that Sgt. Chris Wildmer told reporters entailed pulling them off patrols throughout the city.

“Something has to give,” he said, according to local media.

Demonstrators also have held hunger strikes and demonstrations outside offices of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, taking the battle right to the source.

They are assailing members of Congress, of both parties, and Obama, who made a campaign promise in 2008 to reform immigration in a way that would, among other things, provide a path to legal status for many of the nation’s 11 million undocumented immigrants.

“The promise the President made in 2008 is now so empty that people have forgotten he even made it,” Franco said. “Unless he actually uses his authority to provide real relief, he'll only be remembered as the Deporter-in-Chief.”

Officials of immigration organizations that lean on traditional ways of pushing for change say they understand the underlying frustration that is driving the more aggressive tactics.

They say they do not plan to change their style, and they say they will not criticize the more radical approach.

“The landscape has changed so much because enforcement has been so intense,” said Angela Kelley, vice president for immigration policy at the Center for American Progress in Washington D.C. “Communities are feeling the impact of the increased deportations. They go right to the heart of so many communities. That’s translating into more vigorous advocacy and the sense that ‘I’ve got nothing to lose.’”

Obama plans immigration push after fiscal crisis ends

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama said on Tuesday that stalled immigration reform would be a top priority once the fiscal crisis has been resolved.

"Once that's done, you know, the day after, I'm going to be pushing to say, call a vote on immigration reform," he told the Los Angeles affiliate of Spanish-language television network Univision.

The president's domestic agenda has been sidetracked in his second term by one problem after another. As he coped with the revelation of domestic surveillance programs, chemical weapons in Syria, and a fiscal battle that has shut down the U.S. government and threatens a debt default, immigration has been relegated to the back burner.

But Obama, who won re-election with overwhelming Hispanic backing, had hoped to make reforms easing the plight of the 11 million immigrants who are in the United States illegally.

In June, the Senate passed an immigration overhaul, but House of Representatives Republicans are divided over the granting of legal status to those in the country illegally, a step many see as rewarding lawbreakers.

Although the president had sought comprehensive reform, he said last month he would be open to the House taking a piece-by-piece approach if that would get the job done.

Obama on Tuesday blamed House Speaker John Boehner for preventing immigration from coming up for a vote.

"We had a very strong Democratic and Republican vote in the Senate," he said. "The only thing right now that's holding it back is, again, Speaker Boehner not willing to call the bill on the floor of the House of Representatives."

Boehner said the sweeping Senate bill would not pass the House and has said the lower chamber would tackle the issue in smaller sections that would include stricter provisions on border protection


 

Salem Man Says Illegal Alien Prison Data is Worth a Look

SALEM -- Every month for the past four years, David Cross has been sending emails to Oregon sheriffs, lawmakers and the media.

In his spare time, Cross collects information documenting the financial impact of foreign nationals in Oregon prisons and jails. He says all his data comes from reputable sources.

Cross says the latest figures show 8% of the state's prison population is made up of people who are in the country illegally and have committed crimes here.

He says the federal government does not fully reimburse the state for all costs. Cross says his research shows the annual cost to Oregon taxpayers is $36,000,000.

Not all the people who receive emails from Cross take time to read them. Still, he feels that even just one voice can make a difference.

NOTE:  Read David's jail reports and much more.

 

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