What happened in the Oregon Legislature
July 9, 2017
The Oregon Legislature adjourned Friday afternoon, July 7.
But not before taking full advantage of their hefty majorities to further impede enforcement of federal immigration laws, to provide even more tax-funded services to illegal aliens, and to make it much more difficult for citizens to have their views reflected in legislative actions.
HB 3464, “privacy” for illegal aliens
HB 3464, granting “privacy” to illegal aliens, sheltering them from questions about their immigration status, passed on the next to last day of the session, July 6. It had been rushed through the legislature at jet-speed with only one public hearing, June 8. It was passed by the House on June 20 and by the Senate on July 6.
The vote in the House was 35 Yeas (all by Democrats) to 23 Nays (all by Republicans). Two Republicans were excused from voting (Reps. Cliff Bentz and Dallas Heard). In the Senate, the vote was 16 Ayes (all by Democrats) and 13 Nays (all by Republicans). Sen. Betsy Johnson, Democrat, was excused from voting.
This bill, HB 3464, serves as a kind of backup for illegal immigration advocates in case the pending initiative to repeal ORS 181A.820 should succeed, and it may be necessary to mount an initiative to repeal the new “privacy” law as well as the earlier sanctuary law (ORS 181A.820), because proponents of HB 3464 inserted the Emergency Clause in their bill to prevent a citizen referendum which is a less demanding way of overturning bad laws.
SB 229, “relating to elections”
Also on July 6, the Legislature passed another very harmful bill, SB 229, “Relating to elections: declaring an emergency.” Secretary of State Dennis Richardson had earlier issued a warning about the bill, which triggered a hostile response from bill advocates. He also sent a very good statement as testimony to the Senate Rules Committee Hearing.
He said “[this bill] manipulates the election process and keeps voters in the dark. … It is a political ploy to undermine accountability by increasing power for politicians at the expense of the people.”
The bill changes the process for initiatives enabling the Legislature to control the timing of initiatives, the ballot title and other features that take power away from voters and centralize it in the hands of legislative leadership. The press release issued by Oregon House Democrats obfuscates the issues in SB 229 so thoroughly that the average reader would never understand what is at stake.
The vote on July 6 in the House: 34 Ayes (all from Democrats) and 25 Nays (all Republicans). One member, Democrat Deborah Boone, was excused.
The vote on July 6 in the Senate: 16 Ayes (all from Democrats) and 14 Nays. All 13 Republican Senators voted Nay, and they were joined by Sen. Betsy Johnson (D) who also voted Nay.
SB 558, “Cover All Kids”
This bill extends medical care coverage to children regardless of immigration status. It is another expensive benefit favoring and incentivizing illegal immigration using taxpayer funds. The vote on July 3 in the Senate: 21 Ayes, 8 Nays, 1 Excused (Sen. Baertschiger, Republican). The 8 Nays were all from Republicans. All Democrats voted Aye and these Republicans joined them: Senators Boquist, Ferrioli, Kruse, and Winters.
The vote on July 7 in the House: 37 Ayes, 23 Nays. The 23 Nay votes were all from Republicans. All Democrats voted Aye and 2 Republicans did also: Reps. Huffman and Olson.
What we can do now
We need to find good candidates for office and help them get elected by volunteering to help with their campaign and/or contributing resources, as well -- candidates who understand the importance of immigration law enforcement and will work for the best interests of citizens. Too many legislators and administrative officials are now devaluing citizenship, encouraging illegal immigration, endangering our lives and well-being. Education of voters is necessary. OFIR will continue to do everything possible to help inform the public.
Many thanks to OFIR members who respond to alerts, contact their legislators, and share knowledge of immigration issues with others
Immigration is a simple subject in some ways yet quite complex in administrative and policy matters. There’s a lot to learn. If your group is interested in learning more about immigration issues and how you can help here in Oregon and across the country, OFIR leadership members are happy to speak at your upcoming gathering. Please contact us with your request: firstname.lastname@example.org or 503-435-0141.
OFIR President, Cynthia Kendoll will be our guest speaker on August 3, 2017 in Springfield. Click here for full details.