Dems defy Oregon voters on funding illegal immigrants

Richard F LaMountain_thb

by Richard F. LaMountain

What will it take for the Legislature’s Democratic majority to heed Oregonians’ will?

Last year, via Ballot Measure 88, Oregon voters rejected the illegal-immigrant driver cards the Legislature approved in 2013.  The magnitude of that rejection — the margin was almost two-to-one — made clear: the vote transcended the issue of driver cards to constitute a broad mandate against state-government benefits for illegal immigrants.

In the 2015 session, however, the Democratic majority legislated as though Measure 88’s outcome had been the opposite — passing laws, indeed, that give many illegal immigrants a better shot at taxpayer-funded educational aid than most American citizens.

Senate Bill 932, which Gov. Kate Brown signed Aug. 12, credentials certain illegal immigrants — those who entered the United States as minors and graduated from Oregon high schools — to compete against U.S. citizens for need-based Oregon Opportunity Grants to the state’s colleges.  And to aid them in doing so, House Bill 2407, which Brown signed in early July, gives them race-based preferences over American students seeking the same.

How?  HB 2407’s text authorizes the state Office of Student Access and Completion to “prioritize awarding Oregon Opportunity Grants to qualified students . . . whose circumstances would enhance the promotion of equity guidelines published by the Higher Education Coordinating Commission.”  Those guidelines, wrote Sen. Doug Whitsett, R-Klamath Falls, in Eugene’s Register-Guard newspaper, are based upon an “equity lens” whose purpose is to maximize “funding for students from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups.”

And foremost among those “underrepresented” groups?  Illegal-immigrant youths, who are overwhelmingly Hispanic — a fact which will, thanks to HB 2407, give them preference for Oregon Opportunity Grants over white and, in many cases, Asian-American applicants.

What possessed the Legislature’s Democratic majority to pass laws that so blatantly contradict Oregonians’ clear mandate against benefits for illegal immigrants?

Answer: A radical, dogmatic belief that illegal immigrants should enjoy the rights and privileges of American citizens — a belief outlined in a June letter to Salem’s Statesman Journal newspaper signed by all 35 House Democrats.  “Keeping our state a great place to live — a place where all working families have a chance to get ahead and where everyone is treated equally — will require us to reject the poisonous idea that some families matter more than others,” the letter proclaimed.  “All Oregonians deserve to be treated with respect and humanity, regardless of their . . . citizenship status.”

And for the Legislature’s majority party, evidently, such “respect and humanity” require favoring illegal-immigrant students over American youths for taxpayer-funded educational grants.

What the Democrats miss: Whatever the circumstances of their arrival here, illegal immigrants are not, as the House majority caucus asserts, “Oregonians.”  They are, rather, foreign nationals here in violation of U.S. immigration law — law that was instituted by the American people via the representatives they elected to Congress.  And when Oregon’s Democratic Legislature grants benefits to those illegal immigrants, it undermines the interests of the Americans to whom it owes its foremost responsibility — the Americans, indeed, who via Ballot Measure 88 signaled their overwhelming opposition to such benefits.

In 2016, voters should elect a new majority party to the state Legislature — one which will respect both the electoral mandates and the interests of Oregon’s U.S. citizens.

Richard F. LaMountain is a former vice president of Oregonians for Immigration Reform and served as a chief petitioner of Ballot Measure 88, the 2014 referendum via which Oregon voters rejected illegal-immigrant driver cards.

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Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Illegal Immigration, OR 78th Legislative Session | 13 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • bifford

    Did this legislation contain an emergency clause thus precluding voters from repealing it? Any Republicans voting for it? If so, please list them. By providing information like this, it better ex p loses those responsible.

  • Eric Blair

    The emergency clause does not preclude voters from repealing legislation. The law goes into effect before any initiatives can challenge it.

  • Jack Lord God

    Look, we sat through the re-election of John Kitzhaber, a man whom it was quite clear before the election was going to be indicted. Didn’t mater, slap a D after the candidates name and it’s brain off and pull the lever. I expect full enhancement of all benefits granted to illegal aliens to proceed apace with nary a peep from the populous. It’s a combination of ignorance and apathy really.

  • Sally

    Just because they are illegal doesn’t mean they don’t need our help.

  • HBguy

    You say:…”. The magnitude of that rejection — the margin was almost two-to-one — made clear: the vote transcended the issue of driver cards to constitute a broad mandate against state-government benefits for illegal immigrants.”
    You are assuming way too much here. All BM88 did was say no drivers licenses. If you’d like to out up a more comprehensive xenophobic ballot measure that does what you’d like to prove your theory of what voters really intended, you should do so.

    • thevillageidiot

      so you are in favor of putting a minority person in need ahead of your child in need? Affirmative action works well to keep minorities up with privileged white people. even if the privileged are poor. advancement by race not ability.

      • HBguy

        All I said was that BM88 was about drivers licenses and the author is assuming way too much here.
        As to your example, you are presenting a false choice.

  • cecil91

    Liberals are so obsessed with equality that they won’t be satisfied until we all think alike and we are all look-alike hermaphrodites with the ability to clone ourselves.

    • Native noting common sense

      Aye CA rumba! Props and kudos attend oregongrown’s following post.

  • oregongrown

    Re: “In the 2015 session, however, the Democratic majority legislated as though Measure 88’s outcome had been the opposite — passing laws, indeed, that give many illegal immigrants a better shot at
    taxpayer-funded educational aid than most American citizens.”

    In the 2013 session with Oregon democrats giving illegals instate tuition and with that the Oregon democrats raised the bar in discrimination saying they allow illegals instate tuition when they are not even legal citizens of this country, while at the same time discriminating against LEGAL citizens the same deal. And in that session, these lying Democrats said that NO, illegals would not get financial aide. But see how they have lied. Again.

    In a short two years that big money grab has skyrocketed to Oregon taxpayers giving them everything FOR FREE! Except none of it is free. Someone has to pay.

    2013-Kitzhaber shoved this down our throats (just as he did with Oregon Drivers licenses, which voters overturned) Now look at what it has morphed into. (Just like PERS, made a monster by greedy Oregon government)

    From The Oregonian Newspaper

    “Starting next school year, illegal immigrants who were brought to the
    U.S. as children and graduated from an Oregon high school would pay the subsidized college tuition charged to Oregon residents. That’s a savings of about $20,000 a year.”

    “allowed undocumented students who have been in the country at least five years and in Oregon at least three to pay resident tuition rates at the state’s seven public universities.
    Students also would have had to demonstrate they were actively working toward U.S. citizenship to qualify for the lower tuition. ”

    “One of the issues with the bill was that it wasn’t clear how students would show they were working toward citizenship. Lopez, of Causa, estimates that 15,000 to 17,000 Oregon youths are eligible”

    So it went from In-State Tuition to FREE.

    So now the propaganda the Democrats spread tries to disguise the real cost and the INEQUITY of this shameless abuse of power, power play, but the Oregon democratic party.

    Now, in 2015 Brown’s office is saying:

    “Under SB 932, those students would also be eligible for state tuition
    grants worth about $2,000 a year. So far, it’s estimated just 75
    students have availed themselves of the in-state tuition rates offered
    in the 2013 “tuition equity” law.” (That’s because they want to pay NOTHING- they feel that is their entitlement as illegals.)
    Let’s do math: 15,000 x $2000 = $300,000,000 -THREE HUNDRED MILLION dollars. In brand new costs to taxpayers. That is taking money from legal Oregon citizens and forcing them to pay for illegals.

    And these are the people that run the state of Oregon.

    Excellent article by Richard F. LaMountain

  • Ron Swaren

    Chris Dudley would have been elected Governor in 2008—-except Libertarians and Constituitonalists siphoned off enough votes to make him barely loose. The L’s and C’s had ZERO chance of being elected, they knew it, why did thy do it?

  • Tank_Commander

    Listed below are several of the arguments that have been used to try and justify illegal immigration. Next to each is the reason why that argument has no merit.

    1) They are an economic necessity – Not true. The idea that a bunch of desperately poor, uneducated, unskilled, non-English speaking foreigners are an economic necessity is ludicrous. In fact, when you compare cost vs. benefit, it is obvious that they are not only NOT a necessity, they are not even an asset. Rather, they are a liability and a huge one at that, costing the taxpayers $14,000 average per each illegal family.

    2) They do work Americans won’t do – Not true. They do work Americans won’t do for $7 an hour (especially if Americans can collect welfare and unemployment instead). Of course, if you got rid of the illegals, the jobs wouldn’t pay $7 an hour. The people who wanted the work done would have to paya wage that was attractive enough to get Americans to do the work. And it might even be enough to get Americans off the unemployment and welfare dole and back into the taxpaying workforce!

    3) We benefit from all that “cheap” labor – This is nonsense. The only people who benefit from the cheap labor are the unscrupulous people who hire illegal immigrants. Taxpayers are left holding the bag. Ultimately, it is they who must pay to support all the Americans who have been put out of work by illegals and must also provide billions of dollars in services and benefits to the illegals

    4) They are just trying to make better lives – Aren’t we all? The difference is that most of us understand that we DO NOT have a right to acquire by illegal means those things that we find difficult to acquire by legal means. And we certainly don’t have the right to do it in a foreign country.

    5) It is impossible to round up and deport the illegals – We don’t have to. All we have to do is remove the incentives that brought them here in the first place. No jobs. No housing. No taxpayer financed services or benefits (including education). Once we remove the incentives that brought them here, they will leave on their own.

    6) Immigration control is racist / xenophobic – This is just another play of the race card by people who have no other cards to play. Immigration control is the world-wide status quo. There is
    nothing racist about it. Furthermore, the USA welcomes LEGAL immigrants of all races and ethnicities from all over the world who have gone through the legal immigration process. This is not just a bad argument, it is an attempt to create racial hatred and division.

    7) We are a nation of immigrants – This is the “BIG LIE”. The vast majority of Americans are native-born. I am not an immigrant. Nor were my parents. Nor were my grandparents. We are a nation that has, historically, allowed and even encouraged LEGAL immigration. And we continue to do so. The issue at hand is illegal immigration, which has nothing to do with legal immigration.

    8) They are people. We must treat them humanely – Yes & yes. But lets not pretend like they are victims who were dragged here kicking and screaming against their will. Nothing could be further from the truth. They came of their own free will and for their own benefit and they broke the law to do it. People should not be rewarded for breaking laws and committing crimes. Sending them home is the right thing to do. There is nothing “draconian” or “mean-spirited”
    about it.

    9) It is wrong to break up families- Yes. Unfortunately, families are often broken up by criminal activity. If you don’t believe it, just drop by any prison or jail on visiting day. We can’t keep families together if some family members choose to participate in criminal activity.

    10) They work & contribute to our society – So do I. And if I break the law and commit crimes, I can expect to pay a penalty of some kind. Anything from a small fine to the death penalty. I do not receive a reward. Why should we treat foreign criminals better than our own citizens?

    • Truth Renown


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