Press Release from Rep. Linda Flores & Rep. Kim Thatcher, February 15, 2007
“I believe new immigrants are good for America”¦but mark my words, unless we handle this well, immigration of this sweep and scope can threaten our union.” Those are the words of former President Bill Clinton speaking at a commencement ceremony at Portland State University.
The need for enforced and updated immigration laws isn’t just an Oregon phenomena, and it’s surely not a partisan issue. Last year a total of 84 new immigration laws were enacted in 32 states across the country, more than double the number from the year before.
While immigration is a federal issue, states like Oregon play a critical role because they implement and manage many of the programs handed down by the feds. In Oregon, the Governor and all the agencies he oversees have systematically created loopholes allowing illegal immigrants access to our state programs. As a result, we really have no idea how many illegals are receiving taxpayer-funded services. In some cases, it is against the law for us to even ask if someone is in Oregon legally or not!
We know we’re fighting an uphill battle against a liberal agenda that is out of step with average Oregonians. This session we’ve created a common sense approach to deal with Oregon’s illegal immigration problem. We’ve introduced the Sensible Immigration Reform Package. There are ten bills in the package. They represent a good first step in Oregon’s ability to make positive changes to protect the integrity of our state services.
We hope these concepts build even more steam for meaningful immigration reform in Oregon. They are not lip-service for campaign ads — they represent a thoughtful approach to dealing with an issue that is important to a majority of Oregonians. To see the list of bills go to the news section on our web pages. www.leg.state.or.us/flores or www.leg.state.or.us/thatcher
Prior to the start of session we approached House Speaker Jeff Merkley about forming a special committee on immigration reform so bills could be debated in a central location. That didn’t materialize and now Legislative Leadership is saying they will deal with the immigration issue “later”. There’s a good chance these bills will be swept under the rug. Don’t let that happen. We need your help. Let your legislators, the Speaker of the House and the Senate President know immigration reform is important to you.
To contact your local lawmaker, Go to the Oregon Legislature’s web page www.leg.state.or.us.