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.

By:
From the Baker City Herald editorial board. The board consists of editor Jayson Jacoby and reporter Chris Collins.
Baker City Herald
2018-08-31

We think Oregon voters should repeal the state’s 31-year-old “sanctuary” statute by approving Ballot Measure 105 on the Nov. 6 ballot.

That said, we’re not bothered by Baker County Sheriff Travis Ash’s decision to not join 16 of his 35 counterparts who signed a letter that urges voters to pass Measure 105. The letter was written by Clatsop County Sheriff Thomas J. Bergin.

In a written statement, Ash said he declined to sign Bergin’s letter because Bergin cited as an example the recent murder of Mollie Tibbetts in Iowa. The man charged with her murder apparently is a Mexican national living illegally in the U.S.

“I didn’t agree with using the Mollie Tibbetts family’s personal tragedy for political purposes,” Ash wrote, “especially without knowing how they felt about it.”

It seems that Tibbetts’ father, Rob, would not think much of Bergin’s letter. Rob Tibbets, while giving his daughter’s eulogy, said “the Hispanic community are Iowans. They have the same values as Iowans.”

Ash didn’t take a position on whether he supports or opposes Measure 105.

But he said that whether or not voters approve the measure, “it will not affect the way we do business at the Baker County Sheriff’s Office.”

Ash, who also oversees the Baker County Jail, said his policy, which he says is consistent with Oregon’s current law, is to notify federal immigration officials if an inmate who is in jail on other charges is also suspected of being in the country illegally.

But Ash also wrote that such situations are “rare.”

That’s not necessarily the case, however, in some of Oregon’s more populous counties.

We agree with Knute Buehler, the Republican candidate for governor, who said he will vote for Measure 105 because he believes repealing the sanctuary law will eliminate confusion and potential discrepancies in how individual counties deal with illegal immigration issues.

Opponents of the measure contend its passage would encourage police to engage in the noxious tactic of racial profiling. But the 1987 “sanctuary” law is not the only bulwark against profiling. In 2015 Gov. Kate Brown signed a law — one we support — that creates a database of profiling complaints against police, and an independent task force to review those complaints.

By:
Louis H. Bowerman
Portland Tribune
2018-08-09

While reading the article "Mayor says Occupy ICE protests 'absolutely' made a difference" (July 31, 2018), I thought, really! Surely you jest.

As I continued to read the article, I turned on network news from New York and saw a different story. Piles of garbage were everywhere, posing an environmental nightmare, plus needles also were everywhere. And ICE faced an obvious threat from thugs; when they reportedly contacted the city for help, our mayor told police to stand down, which I found disturbing.

Since when do you distinguish between who you protect and who you don't, which left ICE officers in a bad place, which I find outrageous. They are federal officers doing a dangerous job and risking their lives every day. Each day, ICE has a job to do protecting us from criminals who enter this country illegally and pose a threat to all of us.

I am not opposed to immigration of anyone as long as it is done legally. However, I do not support anyone who enters this country illegally and expects certain rights and in some cities are allowed to vote when they are not here legally.

So, who paid the $12,000 to clean up all the garbage left by the demonstrators? City residents or demonstrators? What everyone saw on TV didn't paint the best picture of our beautiful city.

 

By:
Rich Carson
The Portland Tribune
2018-08-02

A My View by Elizabeth Van Staaveren ("Immigrants the cause of many ills," June 14) was quite interesting and with well-stated views about her position on immigration issues.

I think that a lot of the problems could be solved by adopting the same immigration policies that are expressed by the Mexican consuls.

As one who has applied and received a residence visa and passport from Mexico, it is apparent to me that the United States is much, much too easy on immigration entry. On my letter from the Consulado De Mexico, they outline the following requirements: completed application; valid passport; two passport-size photos (without glasses); a notarized letter of good conduct from the Oregon State Police and one photo copy; a letter from your bank stating how long you have been doing business with them, the different kinds of accounts you have and your monthly deposits, please bring bank statements; minimum monthly earnings of $1,000 (several years ago, so must be much higher now) and $500 for each additional dependent. You are not permitted to engage in any remunerative activity (if a Mexican national can do the job, you cannot); if you drive a car into the country, you drive it out and not take an airplane.

Moreover, there is a fee structure that must be in cash, money order or cashier's check.

Bringing in electronic and other equipment is highly regulated and customs taxes are quite strict and expensive.

Controls of immigration would appear to have to have a positive side effect in the rental market. Apartments would see an increase in vacancy rates and the laws of supply and demand would tend to force the price of rental housing to be reduced.

Rich Carson, Beaverton 

By:
Michael Robinson
Statesman Journal
2018-08-02

There seem to be many who are upset about the crackdown on illegal immigration.

These individuals assert the United States is a nation of immigrants, but deny the historical fact that controlled, legal immigration enabled our safe growth and prosperity.

These same people lock their doors at night and are careful who they invite into their homes because they enjoy their safety and privacy.

Perhaps they should open their doors to all and invite everyone to share their food and bank accounts. Perhaps when their homes were trashed and their bank accounts emptied they would realize the foolishness of an open, borderless welfare state.


 

By:
Rick Johnson, Newberg
News-Register, McMinnville OR
2018-07-13

U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici’s July 2 bulletin describes the Oregon congressional delegation’s visit to see first hand the 123 immigrant detainees at the federal prison in Sheridan. In the bulletin, she states twice, “It is not a crime to come to the United States and request asylum”

She is correct, but we do have rules on how to do that. My questions for Bonamici are: Did you ask these 123 detainees how they got into the country and at what point they requested asylum? Did they follow our laws in their effort to obtain asylum?

While there has been an uproar about how our southern border is being protected, Bonamici indicated the largest group of detainees is from India. She said these detainees were “planning to request asylum because they faced severe religious persecution in India.”

Rep. Bonamici: Just how did these people arrive here? Could they have overstayed visas or sneaked across the border, both illegal acts justifying their deportation?

The congresswoman then outlines the plight of two Spanish-speaking men, one who had been shot twice and the other who suffered an open leg wound. She says both men responded negatively when she asked if they had been seen by a doctor.

Rep. Bonamici: Did you bother to verify this claim with prison officials? If not, I am highly skeptical.

There was more to the bulletin ­ about ongoing issues with our southern border, the removal of children from their parents and our country’s heritage as a nation of immigrants.

I don’t dispute any of that, but do find it disingenuous. That’s because the problems date back generations, but our politicians use them to gin up their bases instead of working toward solutions.

I ask all members of the entire delegation to work both sides of the aisle and do the job you were elected to do.

Rick Johnson, Newberg

By:
Richard F. LaMountain
Portland tribune
2018-07-06
"Sanctuary policies," says Luis Balderas Villagrana, "do not ... encourage criminal disobedience" ("New PSU student body president a 'Dreamer," June 7). What?
 
Via sanctuary policies, state and local governments tell illegal immigrants — foreign nationals who have made a conscious decision to violate U.S. immigration law — that they'll work to shield them from the consequences of their lawbreaking. How can that do anything but encourage criminal disobedience?
 
"I see these policies," Balderas Villagrana continues, "as protesting the federal government on their (sic) neglect to fix our immigration system founded on racism and stereotypes."
 
Nonsense.
 
First: The main "fixes" our immigration system needs are simple — to enforce existing laws that aim to vet foreign nationals before they enter our nation, and to remove foreign nationals who have circumvented that vetting or remained here after their visas have expired. 
 
Thanks to President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, both these fixes are in the works.

Second: Immigration laws are not "founded on racism and stereotypes." They apply equally, regardless of race, to all foreign nationals who seek to come here. Their purpose is not punitive, but to assure an orderly influx of immigrants which, in numbers and quality, accords with the needs of the American people.

Sanctuary policies mock Americans, their country and their laws. Be part of the solution: Sign the petition (at StopOregonSanctuaries.org) to help put a measure onto Oregon's November ballot that will enable voters to repeal the state's illegal-immigrant sanctuary law.         

 

By:
Earle Culbertson
The Oregonian
2018-07-03

If I commit a crime, I go to jail. "Commit the crime, do the time," no hesitation. Whether or not my family depends on me to survive is not a concern. They are just out of luck and nobody cares. But then, I am a legal citizen and must follow all laws. If I were an illegal alien, I could select only those laws that please me, and if I do get caught it is "inhumane" to take me away from my family.

At one time, we were a nation of laws. Now they apparently apply only to persons who are legal citizens. This is a very sad situation and there seems to be no interest in holding the illegal invaders to task. The persons guilty of putting their children in danger are the illegal invaders, not our government. If it is perfectly acceptable to separate families of legal citizens, why is it such a crime to separate families of illegals who break laws?

By:
Tony Alvarez
The Oregonian
2018-06-17

In regard to your June 7 article, " Debate over detained migrant kids heats up as number tops 10,000," about children being separated from parents illegally entering our country I offer this observation. An American citizen who leaves a child alone in a hot car for two hours will get arrested for child endangerment and have his or her kid taken away by Child Protective Services. Meanwhile, an illegal immigrant who drags their children through the hot desert with inadequate food and water only to make them an accomplice of violating U.S. border law is supposed to be rewarded with assistance from social services and maybe even sanctuary immunity from arrest.

It's these egregious double standards that are tearing our country apart.

Tony Alvarez, Gresham

By:
Elizabeth Van Staaveren
Portland Tribune
2018-06-14

This nation's history of generously helping so-called 'underdeveloped' nations to improve their lot is probably unparalleled among nations of the world. We do not need to feel guilty about limiting immigration to protect the viability of our nation and the quality of life for U.S. citizens.

"Dreamers" are much in the news now. I have a dream, too. I'm dreaming of my country and its citizens having a good quality of life — clean, safe cities; honest administrators; little congestion anywhere; pure air; plenty of good, pure water; thousands and thousands of acres of beautiful forests and farmlands; peace and trust among residents.

In my lifetime I've seen this in reality, or very close to, from 1923 to the mid-1960s, when things began to change. The major uncredited trigger for change was the immigration law of 1965 sponsored by Sen. Ted Kennedy that opened the gates to virtually unlimited legal immigration and set the stage for ever-greater population increases through tolerance and encouragement of illegal immigration.

A nation cannot exist without borders and tight controls over how many and which noncitizens may enter and reside. Today, we see the effects of overpopulation, caused not by high birth rates among native-born citizens, but by excessive immigration.

Public conversation is all about rising costs of land, housing, schools and education, overcrowded roads, traffic congestion, large numbers of destitute citizens living on the streets. These problems are mainly caused by overpopulation due to excessive immigration.

Nearly every day, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection report large-scale seizures of illicit drugs coming into the country from foreign sources. How many other shipments get through undiscovered? Even the "opioid crisis" is heavily involved in international drug trafficking aided by illegal immigration.

Congress is responsible for the immigration situation. Oregon's senators and most of our representatives always support increases in legal immigration, benefits for illegal immigrants, and lax-to-no enforcement, thus enticing further illegal immigration. See their immigration voting records on NumbersUSA's website.

We need mandatory E-Verify throughout the country to check on the employment eligibility of new hires, yet Oregon's members of Congress either oppose this worthwhile program or do nothing to promote it.

The federal E-Verify program has operated successfully now for over 10 years. Every worker can easily examine his/her own record in E-Verify and correct any errors that might be found. It's time to require use of the program by all employers. This one step would remove the greatest incentive to illegal immigration — jobs. There are plenty of citizens to do this country's work.

We should continue to welcome a reasonable number of immigrants, reducing the present annual level of over a million yearly to around 200,000, and giving preference to immigrants who have some special skill or attribute that might be wanted here.

This nation's history of generously helping so-called "underdeveloped" nations to improve their lot is probably unparalleled among nations of the world. We do not need to feel guilty about limiting immigration to protect the viability of our nation and the quality of life for U.S. citizens.

Oregon voters now have an opportunity to help stop illegal immigration by supporting Initiative Petition 22, Stop Oregon Sanctuaries, currently being circulated. If enough signatures are collected by the end of June, the initiative will be on the November ballot.

See the SOS website at www.stoporegonsanctuaries.org.

Elizabeth Van Staaveren is a co-founder and longtime member of Oregonians for Immigration Reform. 

By:
Wayne Thompson
Gazette-Times
2018-06-07

I found your June 3 article "Sanctuary Repeal Effort Challenged" interesting. I didn't know there was a petition circulating to repeal the sanctuary law.

I visited the website of one of the mentioned groups, Oregonians for Immigration Reform. It doesn't seem like a hate group to me. It seems like a common sense group. I gleaned a lot of information from it. In the recent past when our elected officials in Salem gave driver's licenses to illegal immigrants it was Oregonians for Immigration Reform that took the issue to the voters. And Oregon voters by almost a 2-to-1 margin said no driver's licenses for illegal aliens. Does that make Oregon voters haters ? Why should we extend any assistance, benefits, or rights to people who sneak into our country? I know the story, they come here seeking a better life. Half the world would like to come here for a better life. Do it legally. Get in line and wait your turn.

I also learned that illegal aliens cost Oregon taxpayers more than a billion dollars a year.

You can send Oregonians for Immigration Reform a donation that will cost you nothing. It's a registered political action committee. Visit its website, sign the petition.

Should we continue to remain a sanctuary state and coddle illegal aliens? Let the voters decide. That's called democracy. And democracy is hated by some liberals.

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