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Thursday, April 17, 2014

ACT Network Praises Sheriff Staton for Courageous Decision on ICE Detainers

ACT Network Praises Sheriff Staton for Courageous Decision on ICE Detainers

Portland, Ore. -- Activists Coming Together for Justice and Dignity (the ACT Network) applauds yesterday’s announcement from Sheriff Staton that the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) will stop honoring requests from federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to hold an individual in the jail without probable cause.  The ACT Network expresses great gratitude to Sheriff Staton for his leadership and his announcement, which recognizes the harm to public safety and community trust in law enforcement when local agencies choose to entangle with ICE.

“With this great step, Sheriff Staton has chosen to put the community first,” said Nicole Brown, Field Director for the Center for Intercultural Organizing and spokesperson for the ACT Network.  “The harmful practice of local law enforcement honoring ICE holds has been devastating.  Families will stay together and be stronger because of this decision by the Sheriff.  It will have meaningful impact on how witnesses to and victims of crime interact with law enforcement, and that’s better for all of us in Multnomah County.”

Today’s announcement by Sheriff Staton comes on the heels of an influential court decision in Clackamas County, where a local federal judge said that in that case the county violated the U.S. Constitution by honoring an ICE hold.  Clackamas County Sheriff Craig Roberts and Washington County Sheriff Pat Garrett have also announced their intention to suspend the practice of honoring ICE holds.

“We have seen examples of cities and counties across the country standing up to ICE by enacting policies limiting ICE holds,” said Marco Mejia, Organizer at Portland Jobs with Justice and an ACT Network spokesperson.  “Multnomah County is now saying ‘enough is enough,’ and won’t do ICE’s work for them either.  Sheriff Staton made the right decision and we thank him for it.”

Participating organizations in the ACT Network hope that the decision to stop honoring ICE holds in Multnomah, Clackamas, and Washington Counties will influence sheriffs across the state to do the same thing.

The ACT Network invites members of the community to join them for a forum on ICE detainers on Thursday, April 24th from 6-8pm at PCC Cascade, Terrell Hall Room 122.  Community members will share their stories of the impact of ICE detainers on themselves, their families, and their communities, and people will gather in celebration of these positive developments in Multnomah, Washington, and Clackamas Counties. 

The ACT Network is a collection of organizations that collaborate and work for the social, political, and economic inclusion of immigrants and disenfranchised communities, regardless of their immigration status. We are worker and immigrant rights groups, civil rights advocates and lawyers, faith leaders, community groups, and youth.

Causa, a member of the ACT Network, is Oregon's Statewide Immigrant Rights Organization and the largest Latina and Latino civil and human rights and advocacy organization in the Pacific Northwest. We work to defend and advance immigrant rights through coordination with local, state, and national coalitions and allies. For more information, visit

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Republicans need to show some concern, urgency in solving our immigration crisis says Oregon Immigrant Rights Leader

Republicans need to show some concern, urgency in solving our immigration crisis says Oregon Immigrant Rights Leader

Salem, Ore. -- As the immigration crisis reaches an appalling new high with two million immigrants-- who are mothers, fathers, workers--deported over the last six years, House Democrats announced a new tactic to urge a vote on immigration reform. Yesterday, House Democrats put 30 House Republicans on notice—including Oregon’s Rep. Greg Walden — who have publicly supported immigration reform, yet have done nothing to move legislation for a permanent solution forward.

Below is a statement from Andrea Miller, Executive Director of Causa, Oregon’s Statewide Immigrant Rights Organization:

“Although we're encouraged by support from House Democrats who clearly want to find a solution to our immigration crisis, it is Representative Walden who needs to show Oregonians that he is advocating for our families and communities. It's time that he listens to his constituents, to listen to the majority of the country who overwhelmingly support immigration reform, and leave his partisan excuses behind.”

“Representative Walden has said before that he supports reform. Where is Representative Walden now? How long will he make our families wait, as 1,119 families are ripped apart every day because of senseless deportations?”

“In Congressman Walden’s very own district, the Ramos-Tapias Family still suffers after their mother -- a single parent and mother of three U.S. citizen children -- was deported in 2012. The oldest child of 19 had to drop out of a job training program and move back home to help take care of his younger sisters of 11 and 15.  Years later, the distress, fear and instability from the loss of their mother continues with them today.”

"The votes exist in the U.S. House to pass immigration reform today, but House Republicans are blocking it. If Congressman Walden truly supports reform and wants to show us he is on the side of keeping families together, he should sign on to the discharge petition for HR 15 or introduce his own bipartisan bill.”

“It is good to see that there’s actually some urgency in Washington--we just need to see it from the House Republicans, and it should start with Representative Walden. Doing nothing is not an option, otherwise they should be prepared for the backlash by Latino, Asian, and immigrant voters at the ballot box in 2016 and beyond."

Immigration reform will give Oregon’s economy a much needed boost. There is a cost to House Republicans' inaction that is hurting our economy from bouncing back and recover. Immigration reform activists will continue to watch the Representative closely. Doing nothing on immigration reform is a failure of his leadership and to our country.


CausaOregon's Statewide Immigrant Rights Organization is the largest Latina and Latino civil and human rights and advocacy organization in the Pacific Northwest. We work to defend and advance immigrant rights through coordination with local, state, and national coalitions and allies. For more information, visit

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Undocumented Immigrants Contribute Billions in Taxes

The following article was originally posted at Immigration Impact, a project of the American Immigration Council. The American Immigration Council’s mission is to strengthen America by honoring our immigrant history and shaping how Americans think about and act towards immigration now and in the future.
Undocumented Immigrants Contribute Billions in Taxes
Written by
Death and taxes, according to Benjamin Franklin, are the only things in life that are certain. And despite the prevailing myth perpetrated by nativist groups, there are plenty of undocumented immigrants facing the certainty of taxes on April 15. They pay billions in state and local taxes every year that help to fund benefits they are often unable to receive. Tax Day is a good reminder that if the House passed legislation to create a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, then it would increase the amount being paid in taxes each year while also creating a more fair system for immigrants.
One way that undocumented immigrants already pay taxes is through the day-to-day taxes of living in this country. According to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP), undocumented immigrants paid an estimated $9.4 billion in the state property and sales taxes that fund schools, police and fire stations, roads, and public services within each state. Everyone who lives in or visits our country pays these taxes when they fill up their gas tank and buy items like a car,  house, or clothes.
As people who have filed taxes know very well, income taxes require reporting income. Payroll taxes are what employers are required to pay on their employees (such as Social Security and Medicare contributions). Undocumented immigrants, and many other people who don’t have Social Security numbers, report income through their Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN). Both state and federal governments receive taxes on undocumented immigrant’s income and employment. ITEP estimates that “at least half” of undocumented immigrants pay state income taxes even though they lack legal status—an amount that totaled $1.24 billion in 2010. The Center for American Progress (CAP) estimates that “one-third of unauthorized immigrants working in the formal economy” pay more than $13 billion in payroll taxes.
What is true of both income and payroll taxes is that if Congress passed immigration reform, these numbers would only increase. ITEP’s numbers estimate that state income taxes would rise to $2.8 billion if immigration reform and CAP argues that reform would add $109 billion in combined federal, state, and local taxes over a ten year period. Legal status would “provide a net contribution” to the Medicare trust fund “for the next three decades,” totaling an estimated $155 billion. Social Security’s trust fund would increase as well, to $606 billion. That number, as CAP points out, “is enough money to fund the retirement benefits of 2.4 million native-born Americans.”
These numbers are part of the reason why CBO scores for both HR 15 and S. 744 have shown such benefits for the U.S. economy. The Senate has already passed comprehensive immigration reform. If the House does as well, then the U.S. could have a working immigration system and more money in the public treasury on Tax Days to come.
Photo by Alan Cleaver.
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