Letters and Op-Eds
Welcome to the OFIR Letters and Op-Eds section. Here you can read Letters to the Editor and Op-Eds that have been published in various newspapers and news sources.
In the Jan. 18 article “Stalled wages stump experts,” the authors listed a variety of factors depressing U.S. workers’ wages, but there was not one word about a major culprit. I’ll let another “expert” explain:
“The number of immigrants added to the labor force every year is of a magnitude not seen for over a century and threatens to further depress the wages of blue-collar Americans.”
So said Barack Obama in 2006, before he became president. Like so many other of his past pronouncements, he’s done a complete 180-degree turn with his recent massive amnesty-by-decree.
His 2006 warning is borne out by recent U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics. As of November 2014, there were still 1.7 million fewer native-born workers employed than in 2007. But 2 million immigrants, legal and illegal, were added to the workforce in the same period.
I can’t blame anyone for wanting a better life, but the U.S. can no longer open its borders to the world’s dispossessed and downtrodden without major consequences. The president, most of the Oregon congressional delegation, business lobbies and unions (yes, unions) have thrown American workers under the bus with their ongoing drive to bring more immigrant labor to the United States.
As long as American workers and voters refuse to hold those perpetrators accountable, nothing will change.
Why do people who write on economics and the labor market, such as Tim Nesbitt ("Will new minimum wage laws overcome stagnation?" Jan. 2) overlook excessive immigration as a factor in stagnant and falling wages? He and the authors of the University of Oregon study described in "Aid to low-wage workers costs $1.7B a year," (Jan. 9) appear to be unaware of the effects of large-volume immigration on citizen workers.
An increase in the number of workers leads to lower wages — that's a basic economic theory clearly observable in real life...
Here in the U.S., employers can now hire illegal workers with impunity. Corporations use visas to legally bring in thousands of professional workers, claiming special expertise when these workers are less competent than the displaced citizens...
Many unemployed computer professionals who are citizens tell sad stories of being required to train their foreign replacements ...
The situation for less-educated citizens who seek work in unskilled occupations is desperate. An African American caller to C-SPAN's "Washington Journal" recently expressed his frustration with the displacement of young blacks by illegal immigrant workers: "This is completely destroying the black community," he said.
The AFL-CIO is an empty shell compared to what it used to be in the days when it actually cared about the welfare of the average American worker. Now they and other unions have abandoned citizens for an international-workers-of-the-world approach...
Oregon's congressional delegation has a poor record on this subject. Anyone can view their grades online, ...
If current rates of immigration continue, 127 million more people will be added to the population by 2050....
Immigration policy affects nearly every aspect of life in the U.S. At present, it is the main trigger of population growth. Population size is a vital factor in preserving a healthy natural environment, and the current volume of immigration affects the level of wages possibly more than any other factor.
Elizabeth Van Staaveren, of McMinnville, is a longtime member of Oregonians for Immigration Reform.
Professor Elliott Young’s article was long on emotion and short on intellect, attempting to sway the immigration debate according to who deserves the most sympathy, an appeal that amnesty enthusiasts never extend to citizens (President Obama got it half right on immigration, guest column, Dec. 11).
Young’s cliches disintegrate if we apply them to Americans who willfully break the law. For instance, should citizens have to “hide in the shadows” and “look over their shoulder” for committing crimes? Aren’t they only seeking a better life? And why should they ever be incarcerated if it separates them from their families? What kind of social justice makes people follow laws they don’t like?
Obviously, society would implode if citizens demanded the same exemptions from the law as do undocumented immigrants and their supporters, but these activists stubbornly ignore the plight of Americans suffering the effects of undocumented immigrant crime, representational theft, welfare costs, stolen jobs and depressed wages. Their form of social justice means shaming citizens into accepting mobocracy.
Would Young defend Americans if we illegally flooded into Mexico in the same numbers, demanding citizenship and government benefits? I doubt it. He would call that Yankee imperialism.
In a Dec. 23 guest viewpoint, Lorenzo Oloño bemoaned the rejection of Measure 88 in the November election. Measure 88 was defeated because the vast majority of voters understood the implications of giving an official state-issued driver card to individuals who could not prove they are legally in the country.
Nearly 1 million Oregonians voted “no” on Measure 88 — almost double the number of “yes” votes. Thirty-five of Oregon’s 36 counties voted it down. In 18 counties, the vote was more than 80 percent against it. Measure 88 lost in all five of Oregon’s congressional districts. A majority of Oregon Democrats, Republicans and independents voted against issuing driver cards to illegal aliens.
The Yes on Measure 88 campaign raised $611,000, outspending opponents roughly 10 to 1. One group, Latino Victory Project, with support from a Hollywood TV star, gave a $50,000 donation to the pro-driver-card measure.
Measure 88 was debated in public forums, in newspapers, on the radio, in the Voters’ Pamphlet and on TV. Voters had a good understanding of the issue and a clear choice.
Proponents of Measure 88 made many false and misleading statements. Proponents stated that the driver card could not be used to board a plane. That was not true. Nico Melendez, Western Transportation Security Administration spokesman, stated that the agency would accept it as proof of identity.
Proponents claimed that an applicant would be required to buy auto insurance. David House, public affairs spokesman for the Driver and Motor Vehicle Services Department, refuted that claim. Nothing in Measure 88 would have required driver card applicants to have auto insurance.
Proponents falsely claimed that American citizens who lost their birth records would benefit from the Measure 88 driver card. Once again, the DMV refuted that argument.
When the Oregon Legislature tried to hijack the Measure 88 ballot title process from the state Supreme Court, The Register-Guard opined against it (“Don’t tinker with the title,” Feb. 28, 2014). A day earlier The Statesman-Journal named the Oregon House “Loser of the Week” for “mocking voters by interfering with a referendum on whether to let undocumented residents drive in Oregon.”
Oloño takes issue with the term “illegal alien.” It’s not a pejorative term — it is a descriptive term that is found in the nomenclature and case law of the federal government. Wikipedia’s definition: “An illegal alien is a non-citizen who is present in a country unlawfully or without the country’s authorization.” That’s far more descriptive than the politically correct term, “Undocumented.”
Oloño is a student at Willamette University, an expensive private institution. What if 1,000 “undocumented students” crowded into classrooms demanding to attend classes without going through the proper enrollment procedures or paying tuition? Would Oloño be so open-minded? Would he call them “undocumented Willamette University students?” Oloño writes that illegal aliens “already have taken the initiative of earning their place in the fabric of our communities.” No, they haven’t. If they are illegally in our country, they have not “earned” a right.
We are a nation founded on the rule of law. President John Adams said, “We are a nation of laws, not a nation of men.” Oloño seems to feel that certain people are above the law and they can pick and choose what laws they like and disobey those laws they don’t like. Acceptance of such a view would cause the United States to become a nation exactly like the ones from which illegal aliens flee.
Jim Ludwick of McMinnville is communications director of Oregonians for Immigration Reform.
Editor’s note: This guest column is in response to Lewis & Clark history professor Elliott Young’s Dec. 11 My View column, “President Obama got it half right on immigration.”
“Our immigration system is broken” ... we hear this line repeatedly, and it’s usually cited as a reason for granting amnesty to undocumented immigrants.
Rarely do we hear discussion of what broke our immigration system, but that’s a very important point to consider before attempting to “fix” the system.
Lax to no enforcement of current immigration laws is why we now have 11 million or more undocumented immigrants in the country, with politicians and open-borders advocates crying that our immigration system is broken and urging amnesties as a remedy. If the immigration laws had been adequately enforced over recent decades, we wouldn’t have a problem of illegal immigration or any arguments about amnesties.
Congress was persuaded in 1986 to grant a general amnesty. Proponents claimed it would be a one-time-only measure and that, henceforth, border security would prevent further undocumented immigration. However, enforcement promises were forgotten, and six more major amnesties followed, the last one in 2000. At least these were amnesties passed by Congress in its constitutional role as lawmakers.
Now, President Obama, in defiance of his inaugural oath to enforce the laws written by Congress, has ordered his appointees in the Department of Homeland Security to give amnesty to millions of undocumented immigrants. And the claims that the Obama amnesty affects no more people than the number who gained amnesty under President Bush’s executive action of 1990 are false.
A careful analysis of the Bush amnesty of 1990 shows that no more than 50,000 people, at most, gained legal status. Also, Bush’s action was related to — and supplemented — an amnesty passed by Congress. Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies calculates that the likely amnesty component of Obama’s 2014 unilateral edicts is 100 times larger than its supposed precedent. As he notes, “Some precedent.”
Why pretend to have an immigration system? We might as well dispense with the Border Patrol, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the DHS if immigration laws are not to be enforced. Repeated amnesties have undermined immigration laws and devalued citizenship. Lax immigration law enforcement has led to depressed wages, unemployment and underemployment of citizens, rapid increases in population, overcrowding, and burdensome costs for social services.
Some order and stability could be restored by returning to enforcement of the laws against undocumented immigration.
In addition to undocumented immigration, there are other major immigration problems that need to be addressed, including excessive levels of legal immigration, fraud and abuse in visa programs, and refugee/asylum fraud. Each of these problems should be considered separately by Congress and given careful attention, not mixed in with amnesties in a huge “comprehensive” bill.
Amnesty advocates like to point out that 11 million undocumented immigrants can’t be deported en masse, but no one is calling for that. There are better ways to reduce the size of the undocumented immigrant population.
The federal E-Verify program should be made mandatory for all employers for current work forces as well as new hires. That would motivate undocumented immigrants to leave and discourage others from coming illegally. Publicly-funded benefits other than emergency medical care should not be given to undocumented immigrants. Congress should pass a law ending the practice of birthright citizenship, which arose through misreadings of the Constitution. Citizenship at birth should derive from that of the parents.
There’s an important basic question that too many people never seem to think about: What level of immigration is optimal for the U.S., considering the necessity for a balance of population, environment and quality of life? Immigrants accounted for 80.4 percent of population growth between the 2000 and 2010 censuses. The nation’s immigrant population, legal and illegal, hit a record 41.3 million in July 2013, an increase of 1.4 million since July 2010.
If immigration continues as the Census Bureau expects, the nation’s population will increase from 309 million in 2010 to 436 million in 2050 — an increase of 127 million (41 percent). That projected increase of 127 million is larger than the combined populations of Great Britain and France. It also exceeds the entire U.S. population in 1930.
Because of all these reasons, another amnesty is certainly not the way to fix our “broken immigration system.”
Elizabeth Van Staaveren of McMinnville is a longtime member of Oregonians for Immigration Reform. She previously lived in the Washington, D.C., area, where she was employed by the U.S. Department of Labor.
Ted Hunt's letter (Dems should rein in Obama, Dec. 8) is utter nonsense.
Ted wants Republicans to hand their election win back to the Democrats and act as if it never happened. Good luck on that, Ted.
Ted says in his letter (concerning illegal immigration) that "the Republicans should ignore the situation and let the Democrats rein in this president, disavow his actions, and restore the balance of power between the legislative and executive branches." To borrow your letter's next line, Ted, why on Earth would the Democrats do this?
Mr. Hunt, you are either a Democrat or a dangerously naive Republican. If it is the latter, go to your computer and find Wikipedia. Once there, type into the search box "Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965." After reading the Wiki write-up on this legislation, you will understand exactly why Republicans cannot leave immigration to the Democrats. Democrats want America's whites to go the way of the dinosaurs, and they are using immigration, both legal and illegal, to do it. Read the piece and see if you don't agree.
The president has insulted the intelligence of “we the people” once more with the signing of his very controversial immigration changes. Many of us do not believe he actually has the authority to do any of what he has been doing without congressional approval.
His claim that the legal lawmakers are not doing their jobs is ridiculous. The way our Constitution was written, they are doing exactly what was intended. The president wants them to blindly rubber stamp the dumb and unfair things he wants.
Most Democrats seem to be totally willing to act like his sheep. Some have proved many times they should never have been in any position of power or control. One female in particular shows how stupid she is almost every time she opens her mouth.
I am so hopeful of changes coming in the new year. I am only one of many who voted for this president the first time. We were wooed with his campaign promises, but we were not dumb enough to vote for him twice. Many of us wonder why he hasn’t been impeached long before now.
Only time will tell if we have the people in place to follow through with doing what needs to be done and undo as much as possible of the wrong this administration has done. If they can’t or don’t, may God help us.
One more thought: I question just who “the American people” are that the president says want what he wants. Are any of them among those who have to pay the price for his wants?
Dear Mr. Wyden,
As an Oregonian living abroad in Russia for the last 20+ years, I have been able to look at our state and our country from the outside looking in...
Unfortunately, it appears there are interests within our government that want to restructure things in a way that was not intended by our founding fathers and the Constitution they so wisely planned out. Our system was built on fairness, trust and honesty by God-fearing, wise people.
President Obama, in his efforts to single-handedly create an amnesty program for illegal immigrants, has appeared to overstep his powers and authority by not working with Congress to agree on an approach...
...Circumstance, emotions or any other excuse as to why a person is illegally present in the US (or any other country for that matter) do not justify breaking the law. If you sneak under the fence in Russia, they deport you and you don't get to come back - ever. Not much discussion on that front. So why should we in the US allow the rules to be bent or overlooked as we do now?
If we collectively want to change immigration law or policy for a given reason, that should be left up to the people via our representatives and senators..
As a constituent, I respectfully ask you to stand up for what is just and right in terms of the way President Obama is addressing immigration...
I appreciate your time and consideration.
Recently in this space, I included a view about the possibility of the Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives passing a hybrid “Cromnibus” budget bill that would involve funding of the federal government until next October while still allowing Congress to defund Obama’s executive amnesty early next year.
Scratch that premise. I was very, very wrong.
The only immediate way to stop Obama — and Establishment Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner — is to send a short term “Continuing Resolution” funding bill to the Democrat–controlled Senate this week. The House should also send language attached to the bill that forbids use of any funds to go to any action that issues work permits, Social Security Numbers and quasi-legal presence to a single illegal alien.
Without a huge and immediate expression of vocal public outrage, the Republicans in the House who are in league with the Chamber-of-Commerce- controlled-Speaker have no intention of using their inherent power to stop Obama — or to preserve the Constitution.
How bad is it? When asked about the defunding, Boehner said he would not commit to bringing up a bill in 2015 to strip critical funding to the Department of Homeland Security when Republicans have control of both houses of Congress.
Little over a month since the election in which Republicans ran and won as pro-enforcement conservatives, the Republican chairman of the powerful House Rules committee, Pete Sessions of Texas, revealed last week that House Republican leaders intend to give permanent legal status to most illegal aliens in the country.
Sessions said that we may soon see GOP legislation ensuring that “not one person” who is in the country illegally and has not committed a violent crime is “thrown out.” Got that? No? Let me help: He means that immigration laws only apply to people who have already crossed our borders illegally or overstayed a visa and then killed, robbed or raped someone. Otherwise … “Y’all come. We have plenty of jobs and our schools, welfare systems and common language are doing just great. And we need more low-income Democrat voters!”
Thanks to Breitbart News, we know that Sessions also made it clear that House Republican leaders want to have a “well understood agreement about what the law should be and how we as communities, and farm communities, and tech communities, create circumstances where we can have people be in this country and work, and where not one person is quote ‘thrown out’ or ‘deported’ — where we do keep families together, but what we do is we do so under a rule of law of an understanding.”
The Republican leadership plan, according to Sessions: “even in our wildest dream, would not be to remove any person that might be here unless they were dangerous to this country and committed a crime ... that was never even in a plan that I thought about.” Got it now?
On subverting the Constitution and starting the illegal executive amnesty ball rolling down a path to open borders, these Republican congressional leaders could easily be labeled “Obama-Republicans.” The vote on whether to fund Obama’s amnesty with a $1 trillion omnibus funding bill is going to happen this week. I am urging my Rep to vote “HELL NO.”
No matter their email alerts, recent posturing and their bombast, by close of business Friday, we will all know which side our own congressman is really on.
Something that must be repeated over and over until it is as important to and as well understood by the average American as ‘Dancing with the Stars:’ Once Obama issues a work permit and Social Security Number to an illegal alien, that process will likely never be undone. No “victim of borders” is ever going to see the process reversed. The Establishment Republicans and the liberal media would not allow it to happen. Honest.
Obama has already rented taxpayer-funded offices in Virginia and started the hiring process for federal workers to process his amnesty.
The time to stop this pathway to eventually swelling the Democrat voting rolls and a one-party America is today.
I would write more, but I need to call my congressman’s office.
D.A. King of Marietta is president of the Dustin Inman Society Twitter: @DAKDIS
It is so sad that the News-Register editorial board wrote the editorial titled “President produces a reasonable response” — sad because you demonstrate that you don’t know or care that the president has created a constitutional crisis with his unlawful executive order regarding illegal immigrants. Executive orders are administrative tools for the functioning of the executive branch, not a license for the president to decree law. With very little research you can find Obama saying the same thing in the past. It is true that other presidents have abused the executive privilege, but none to this extent.
For the record, Article I of the Constitution gives Congress, not the president, the power to “establish a uniform rule of naturalization.”
Your sympathies are all with the illegal immigrants who flout the rule of law that made this country a place where they want to come. Why not consider all the people who want to come here who are spending thousands of dollars, waiting in line and trying to respect our rule of law to come here legally? Obama has just shown those people the finger.