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.
Jorge Navarro was correct that undocumented immigrants are ineligible to receive food stamps (letters, May 10). Undocumented (illegal) immigrants are also generally ineligible to work in the United States and are ineligible to be here in the first place. But those prohibitions have been virtually meaningless.
The same is true of the supposed food stamp exclusion, thanks largely to phony identification and government agencies that don’t enforce the law.
A case in point: A 31-year-old undocumented immigrant was sentenced in Portland last December for heroin dealing, weapons possession and food stamp fraud. She’d been receiving $1,100 per month in public benefits, including food stamps.
Navarro characterizes as liars those who raise the issue of undocumented immigrants on the public dole. He’s the one who needs to get his facts straight. Undocumented immigrants can and do receive public benefits. That’s especially true in Oregon, which has put out the welcome mat for undocumented immigradavnts.
A state Department of Human Services brochure tells food stamp applicants that the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement will not be contacted about their applications. The Legislature, including the entire Lane County Democratic delegation, has given undocumented immigrants access to in-state college tuition and restored their driver’s licenses.
Oregon voters are clearly OK with our status as a sanctuary state because they keep sending representatives to Salem who make those decisions. Those of us who want our immigration laws enforced appear to have lost that battle — at least for now.
We all know our immigration system needs improvement but rewarding lawbreakers is not the answer. To do so would be a slap in the face to everyone who has gone through the legal immigration process.
Jim DeMint of the Heritage Foundation has said: “A true immigration reform would create a lot of benefits for America ... but to get those benefits we don’t have to offer this blanket amnesty for those who came here unlawfully.”
I firmly stand against any legislation that rewards illegals with services paid for with my tax dollars. The U.S. Senate is currently working on legislation that would give benefits across the board to people who have never paid a dime in taxes and broke our laws just being in our country to start with.
The Senate doesn’t know anything about these people at all, their backgrounds, their criminal histories, their medical problems ... nothing, but would reward them with amnesty all the same. I don’t know what it would cost to “round up the usual suspects,” deport them and see to it they stay there, and I don’t care either; it is the right thing to do and it needs to be done sooner, not later.
What the folks in Washington, D.C., seem to be doing is capitulating to an invasion, nothing short of that, an attack on our very soil ... unbelievable!
ERIC W. LUNDBERG
In less than a month, draft legislation granting driver’s licenses to people here illegally became law. Next year Oregon joins a handful of other states in doing so.
Making it more convenient for people to live here unlawfully also invites a contingent of illegally present individuals to come here and cause serious harm to Oregonians.
Take the situation of Craig and Judy Cox from Newberg. In 1980, Judy was hospitalized and left with seizures for life after the car she was traveling in was hit by a drunken driver in the country illegally. A family friend in the car lost her life.
Fast-forward 27 years: Another person living here illegally drove drunk, then slammed his van into the Coxes’ car, killing 66-year-old Judy and depriving 72-year-old Craig of his beloved wife.
This is just one instance that demonstrates that we need to be cautious about who can drive on Oregon roads. Additionally, if someone consciously chooses to break immigration laws, what other laws might they disregard?
Shortly after Judy’s tragic death in 2007, in order to address concerns about fraud and other criminal activity, the Legislature changed the law to require proof of legal status to obtain a driver’s license. A former administrator for the state Traffic Safety Commission also related to me the big problem Oregon had with fatal and injury crashes involving drivers without legal presence.
Besides claiming increased public safety by returning to the old system, supporters of the recently passed law say that granting driving privileges to people here illegally will ensure more drivers are insured. However, Oregon Department of Transportation studies show “no apparent impact on unlicensed/uninsured driving” following the change five years ago.
Testimony from some of the advocates said these new driver cards “help Oregon residents follow the law by providing their identity” and other things. Isn’t it hypocritical for these same advocates to want illegal immigrants to “follow the law” for licensing but not for immigration? Why can’t the rest of us pick and choose which laws we want to abide by without facing consequences? Where do we draw the line?
A constituent recently wrote, “We’re going to document the undocumented.” Issuing Oregon driver’s licenses to people who aren’t legally present is like granting state-sanctioned permission to be on our roads and, therefore, in our country.
Supporters argue undocumented residents are just seeking a better life for their families. However, good intentions don’t outweigh the fact that they are disobeying the law. So, let’s fix federal law to help good people from other countries navigate the process to live in the U.S. legally. Immigration can be great for our country. Breaking the law is not.
I’m concerned the new driver’s licenses will not positively impact the number of insured drivers on the road, will roll back public safety, will encourage more people to live here illegally, and will give state-endorsed documentation to the undocumented.
Rep. Kim Thatcher, R-Keizer
Rep. Kim Thatcher, R-Keizer, represents House District 25. Contact her at 503-986-1425 or email@example.com.
Recently, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida appeared on seven Sunday talk shows to sell his "comprehensive immigration reform" bill. While making a compelling case, he did not talk about the bill's glaring omission, the most important provision of all, birthright citizenship.
The Fourteenth Amendment was added to the Constitution after the Civil War to prevent local authorities from excluding African-American children from obtaining U.S. citizenship. The amendment suggests children born on American soil be granted citizenship, and then cites some exceptions.
Yet Rubio promotes a guest worker program with no changes to the current interpretation of the amendment, so a child born to a guest worker would gain automatic citizenship. Once that happens, the child qualifies for all the benefits any other citizen would be granted (food stamps, welfare, Obamacare).
At that point the entire family becomes permanently anchored on American soil — the genesis of the term "anchor baby." During his seven Sunday interviews, Rubio didn't mention the birthright citizenship, and none of the interviewers did either. It seems conspiratorial; at best it's shoddy journalism. And it's a good reason for the American public to oppose Rubio's bill with all the energy and outrage they can muster.
— Robert Bennett, Grants Pass
Hold your horses, Oregon — enough is a enough!
Regarding the recent decision to allow illegal aliens the right to obtain a driver’s card (without the requirement of insurance):
Have you politicians and lawmakers lost your ever-loving minds? You are supposed to be representing the voters and looking out for our best interest! Is that what this is? Not!
I am an Oregon citizen; born and raised, a registered voter and a taxpayer. When was I asked if I thought this was beneficial to me and my state, I sincerely feel you all dropped the ball on such an important topic. Shame on all of you.
Your making this decision, without asking the voters of this state, is appalling and inexcusable. How dare you make us not only blindly accept having undocumented aliens here, but now we are supposed to kiss their cheeks and allow you to issue them a driving card that has no insurance requirement?
I have had an Oregon driver’s license since 1969 and always renewed it at the Coos Bay DMV. For my most recent renewal, I had to provide my birth certificate — I have never had to do so before! The DMV tells me I have illegal aliens to thank for this outrage. Now you not only want me to provide them with the right to drive but to not require they obtain insurance?
I am required to have insurance, not only to obtain a license, but to renew it as well. But they don’t? You’re just going to trust that they will voluntarily go out and spent money to obtain insurance that they are not required to have like I am? Get a grip.
Here’s a thought: Deport them. When you do so, bill their country for the deportation costs. Then their country can demand payment from them. Maybe this would kill multiple birds with one stone — ya think?
Outraged, documented, insured, registered voter, birth certificate provider and U.S. citizen.
I want to comment on the letter by Betty Orr (April 30).
First of all I do want to forget the D word. You asked if we remembered when the debt was incurred; I guess you were referring to President Bush, so how about a little bit of history for you:
When Bush left office in 2008 our national debt was about 8 trillion, and your President Obama said that was unpatriotic; now only a little over four years later the debt is $17 trillion, he has increased the national debt more than all of our presidents combined. And on illegal immigrants, I for one am a little tired of the woe is me on all of them, I had to get my driver’s license renewed last year and had to take in my birth certificate and Social Security card and proof of where I lived; now the state is going to give all of them a license with no proof of anything.
They seem to get whatever they want; that is why they come to this country, to get free stuff, like food stamps and welfare, so again I am tired of people saying poor immigrants.
Driver’s cards for illegal immigrants is another slap in the face by our so-called elected representatives who ignored all the polls that told them the people did not want this to happen.
Only those who directly benefit from this bill were behind it.
But once again, our all-knowing legislators who think they know what’s best for us, ignored us and pushed through this bill. Then Gov. Kitzhaber signed it at a May Day rally.
When will we wake up and stop these people? No matter how many times they are told that the people don’t want something, they, with their infinite wisdom, do it anyway.
And why call it a driver card and not a license? They are still going to be out there driving their cars and trucks. One hopes that they will obtain insurance like the rest of us.
Michael A. Kammer
The bill to give driver cards to illegal aliens, SB 833, was touted as a safety measure. Despite the pious claims of proponents, these driver’s cards will not improve safety — quite the opposite. There is no way the DMV can accurately certify the identity of the thousands of illegal aliens who will apply.
Beside the illegal aliens now living here, others from the 45 states that don’t give driver licenses to illegal aliens will come to Oregon to take advantage of our weakened law. Identity theft and falsified documents are common, and hard to detect.
Some say the Oregon Legislature can’t do anything about illegal immigration in our state. On the contrary, there are numerous things that states can do to help the federal government stop illegal immigration.
The Legislature could pass a mandatory e-verify law, requiring Oregon employers to hire only citizens or legal residents. E-verify is accurate and ready for expansion. Claims that it isn’t come from those who profit from illegal labor either politically or financially and at the expense of citizens.
Elizabeth Van Staaveren
Last Wednesday's paper on illegal immigrants driving lights a fire under me. The young man says it's a right to be able to drive and have his license? I was always brought up to know that driving is a privilege, not a right.
When you break the law by coming to this country illegally, you have no rights. When you break the law and drive without a license or insurance, you deserve to get a ticket and possibly go to jail.
I hope that by having the illegal immigrants register for a license that it locates them and punishes them for breaking the law. People who obey the law and follow the rules get the privilege to drive, etc. It's time the law protects us citizens and punishes those who disregard it.
Russ Vedder, Central Point
No wonder it’s hard to have an honest debate on immigration or any other issue of ideological contention; the argument from the left is at best bereft of examination, at worst dishonest.
The Gazette-Times editorial on the mind-numbingly foolhardy vote to grant yet another perk to illegal aliens is another example (May 1, “Limited licenses a move in the right direction”).
Praising state lawmakers for voting to issue driver’s licenses to illegals based upon flimsier evidence of identity than is afforded to actual citizens, the editorial’s author, Mike McInally, says he has no patience with opposing arguments, choosing to ridicule the very legitimate concern that granting licenses to lawbreakers will only serve to create more lawbreakers:
“The idea that someone would risk their life and liberty ... ” he says, “simply to access a card that allows limited driving privileges strikes us as silly, to use a generous adjective.”
I think the idea that illegals risk much life and liberty a stretch and the thought that adding another perk on top of “anchor babies,” “tuition equity” (not afforded to actual citizens) and — as of now limited driver’s licenses — isn’t going to be yet another incentive to invite further illegal activity to be utterly dense, to use a generous adjective.
Any misgivings an illegal immigrant might have about crossing the border will be mitigated by those fools too impatient with legitimate arguments to think about what their misguided policies will cost us down the road, including jobs and opportunities for people who legitimately live here.