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.

The Bulletin

President Barack Obama is poised to announce, probably Friday, his version of immigration reform. Like his earlier move in the field, in which he deferred deportation of many immigrant children in the country, this one will be put in place without benefit of a specific law setting out his plan.

Not that he’ll say that. Rather, he’s likely to point to advice from supporters that says, in effect, “if you don’t like the current law, Mr. President, you may simply ignore it and do as you wish.” And while we agree wholeheartedly with the need for real immigration reform, what the president is likely to propose is hardly the way to go about it.

Predictions are that Obama will give deportation deferrals and work permits to the undocumented parents of American citizens or legal permanent residents, according to The New York Times. Parents will have to have been in the country five years to qualify, and estimates are that 5 million undocumented residents will do so.

What he does not plan to do, apparently, is to make those awarded the new status eligible for such things as the Affordable Care Act health care subsidies or other need-based programs available to some noncitizen residents. That, we suspect, is a purely political decision. Unhappy as an order barring benefits is likely to make a substantial chunk of Americans, one granting benefits would upset them even more.

Again, we agree with the need for immigration reform.

A presidential executive order hardly qualifies, however. Its provisions may evaporate in as little as two years, for one thing, leaving those who qualified in a more precarious position than before. As Obama himself has said, they can be overturned by Congress immediately, if Congress so wishes, or rescinded by him or his successor.

While Obama’s actions may or may not, in fact, be strictly legal, they certainly violate the spirit of American government, in which Congress writes laws, sometimes at the president’s behest, and the president signs and enforces them. There’s good reason for that progression: It requires substantial bipartisan buy-in to make dramatic changes to the status quo.

An executive order sidesteps any effort to get that buy-in. Instead, it’s likely only to make current divisions on the subject worse.

Jerry Ritter
The Register Guard

Once again The Register Guard’s editors have shown they are badly out of touch with Oregon voters on the issue of illegal immigration (“Move on immigration,” Nov. 14).

Did the editors read the election results in the Nov. 5 newspaper? Did any of them digest the voters’ crystal-clear message of Measure 88? Apparently not.

Up against what the American Civil Liberties Union called “an unprecedented coalition of supporters” that outspent opponents 11-to-1 in a deep-blue state, opponents dealt a 2-to-1 thrashing to the illegal immigrant driver card measure.

Now President Obama plans to issue what amounts to a massive amnesty for illegal immigrants. I expect Oregon’s entire congressional delegation will also ignore the voters and support the president.

I thought I’d seen the depth of arrogance and hubris in the Oregon Legislature’s and Gov. Kitzhaber’s efforts to ram the driver card measure down our throats. I was obviously mistaken.

In their Nov. 14 editorial the editors predicted a “formidable backlash.” At least they got something right.

Braxton Johnson
The Register Guard

I feel compelled to respond to Catherine Rampell’s Nov. 13 column (“Voter ID laws may have had an effect”).

She stated, “Voter suppression efforts may have changed the outcome of some of the closest races in the mid-term elections last week.” The “efforts” she referred to were attempts to meet the constitutional requirement that all voters must be U.S. citizens.

Rampell went on to state that having to prove one is a citizen of our country costs “both time and money.” In my opinion, no money could be better spent.

She also said that in Kansas 21,000 people tried to register to vote but failed because they lacked the “necessary documentary proof of citizenship.”

If someone can’t prove they’re a citizen, they shouldn’t be trying to vote.

In Oregon, a measure to allow illegal immigrants to have driver cards had less to do with driving than with voting.

Voting’s one of the most sacred privileges we have in our country and every U.S. citizen should fulfill that obligation.

The Democrats didn’t take a shellacking on Nov. 4 because they didn’t get enough non-citizens to vote, they lost because the American people are sick and tired of the failed socialist agenda of the Obama administration and the billions of taxpayer dollars it has wasted.

Lying to the American people from the top didn’t translate into winning votes at the state level for politicians who supported those lies — although, it seems to still work in Oregon.

Jonathon J. Cooper and Nicholas Riccardi
The Register Guard

PORTLAND, Ore. — The fate of a little-noticed ballot measure in strongly Democratic Oregon serves as a warning to President Barack Obama...about the political perils of immigration policy.

... Oregon voters ... decided by a margin of 66-34 to cancel a new state law that would have provided driver's licenses to people who are in the United States illegally...

The state law had seemed to be popular...

...Immigrant rights groups outspent their opponents 10-1.

Still, the measure failed in every county but the state's most liberal one, Multnomah, home to Portland. Even there it trailed significantly behind other Democratic candidates and causes.

"It was really the epitome of a grassroots effort," said Cynthia Kendoll, one of the activists who led the campaign against licenses. "There's such a disconnect between what people really want and what's happening."

Obama made his postelection pledge on immigration despite the drubbing that Democrats took across the country. He said he had to act because Congress has deadlocked on immigration for years...

Eleven other states have granted driver's licenses to people in the U.S. illegally, and 17 allow them to pay in-state tuition at public universities.

But Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies in Washington, D.C., which advocates more restrictions on immigration, says voters often are befuddled by complex immigration proposals and polling questions, overstating the actual support for an immigration overhaul.

The Oregon vote, he said, is proof of that.

"Whenever the public gets that sort of clear-cut, black-and-white issue for tougher controls — even in Oregon, when they're legalizing dope — they support them," Krikorian said. "It really highlights how this issue is not a Republican-liberal issue like, say, taxes and abortion, but an up-down issue, elites versus the public."...

Oregon immigrant rights groups argue that the issue wasn't as clear as opponents are suggesting after the fact...

Because relatively little money was spent on the campaign, voters did not know why they should preserve the licenses, said Andrea Miller, director of the Oregon immigrant-rights group Causa.

"This was a very nuanced, very complex measure," Miller said. "Just because someone voted no doesn't mean they don't accept the immigrant community. It doesn't mean that they don't want immigration reform. It means they don't want that particular solution for Oregon."...

This article may also be found on The Drudge Report at:  http://apnews.myway.com/article/20141116/us-immigration-oregon-3fe495c4a...

Taylor Armerding
Niagara Gazette

The supposed silver lining for Democrats after their mid-term-election bloodbath – in which they sank in the House to the smallest minority since the 1930s and also lost control of the Senate – is that they still “won on the issues.”

This after President Obama declared that even though he wasn’t on the ballot, his policies were. This even though Democratic candidates, who fled in panic from both Obama and his policies, took a worse “shellacking” than they did four years earlier.

This after President Obama declared that if Republicans wanted to change his avowed “transformation” of the country, they should “go out and win an election.”

Ah, but when it came to ballot questions, Democrats contend, voters chose the Democratic positions.

Well, if by that they mean that four states approved government-mandated increases in the minimum wage, they’re right. And I suspect that is the kind of trade Republicans would be delighted to make every election: Come 2016, we’ll win the presidency and expand our majorities in both houses of Congress, and you guys can win a couple more ballot questions.

But even that claim is flimsy. The minimum wage ballot questions - which drew bipartisan support, by the way - weren’t the only ones out there. For some reason, I haven’t heard Dems talking much about what happened in true-blue Oregon (one of the few states to offer the liberal dream of assisted suicide) to Measure 88, a ballot referendum seeking approval for “special” driver’s licenses to be issued to illegal immigrants “without requiring proof of legal presence in the United States.”

The question drew even more votes than one about legalizing marijuana. And it went down by a ratio of more than 2-to-1. That’s even though those in favor – a coalition of left-leaning lobbyists, activists, labor unions and Hollywood stars – outspent the opponents 10-to-1. What was that about Republicans trying to “buy” elections?

Maybe the vote had something to do with President Obama’s regular refrain that he wants to preside over a country where “everybody plays by the same rules.”

Natural-born citizens have to provide valid documentation to get a driver’s license, not to mention a host of other things like getting a job, registering to vote, qualifying for a loan and getting on an airplane.

So perhaps the president, who is planning to change the rules for about 4.5 million people who have no “proof of legal presence in the United States,” should think about it. The “American people,” a label he gives only to those who support him, given a chance to weigh in on an issue like that, are fiercely opposed....

Yet, Obama remains in his apparently comfortable cocoon of denial. The losses, the president said this past week, weren’t because his policies were wrong but simply because he hadn’t sold them, or explained them, effectively.

This kind of false modesty is a paper-thin veneer for his real message to American voters: You voted wrong because you just didn’t understand.

Indeed, that was the message from his cadre of loyal opinion writers, who contend that voters are too dumb to understand what is good for them. That was the message from Jonathan Gruber, the MIT professor and one of the architects of Obamacare, who said last year that the law had to be sold with lies because voters were too stupid to be trusted with the truth.

This reminds me of various meetings of city and town boards that I used to cover, when various groups would come before them seeking something. The boards would listen. They would ask for public comment. Sometimes they would approve requests and other times would deny them. Almost invariably, those on the losing end would contend that the only reason they were rejected was because the board “didn’t listen” or “didn’t understand.”

In other words, “if you really listen to me, then you will agree with me.”

That kind of arrogant elitism is an issue, as well. And it is one that will continue to be a loser for Democrats.

Ira Mehlman

Immigration was on voters’ minds when they went to the polls last Tuesday. But immigration was on the ballot in only one state in the 2014 elections. In Oregon, Measure 88 gave voters the opportunity to ratify or reject the Legislature’s 2013 decision to grant driver’s licenses to illegal aliens.

In solid blue Oregon, they rejected it by a whopping 67 percent-33 percent margin. They rejected it in 35 of Oregon’s 36 counties. Measure 88 was rejected by voters in conservative eastern Oregon, and in liberal western Oregon. In fact, the ballot measure to override the Legislature and governor on driver’s license for illegal aliens drew more votes than any candidate seeking statewide office in Oregon.

The results of the 2014 midterm elections are being correctly interpreted as a repudiation of President Obama and his political agenda. Few of those of those policies have been more in the public’s eye, or more unpopular, than his handling of immigration. This summer’s surge of illegal aliens, who responded to his virtual non-enforcement policies by pouring across the border, combined with the president’s promise to abuse his executive authority to grant de facto amnesty to millions of illegal aliens, have solidified the perception that the administration’s policies are radically out of step with the public interest.

Adding insult to injury in recent years, an increasing number of state and local governments have extended new benefits and protections to illegal aliens, over the objections of citizens and taxpayers. In Oregon, one of the bluest states in the nation, voters decided to fight back.

Measure 88 was put on the ballot by citizen volunteers who collected 58,000 signatures from voters all across Oregon in just 90 days. The initiative faced stiff opposition from the state’s political establishment, business elite, and union leaders, who convinced the Legislature and Gov. John Kitzhaber to ignore public opposition and grant licenses to illegal aliens.

The Oregon vote is not an anomaly; rather it represented the unfiltered voice of the American people on an issue that is at, or near the top of their list of concerns. Immigration was a key issue in many House and Senate races in last week’s elections. In key races that determined control of the Senate, the candidate, or the incumbent who lost supported amnesty for illegal aliens.

The message of the voters appears to have fallen on deaf ears in the White House. Less than 24 hours after the polls closed, President Obama, who famously said in 2009 that, “Elections have consequences,” defiantly reaffirmed his intent to ignore the consequences of the 2014 elections and act alone on immigration. According to national exit polling, 74 percent of voters (including an outright majority of Democrats) oppose the president acting on his own to grant amnesty to illegal aliens, and 56 percent believe Congress should shut-off funding to him if he tries.

If last week’s elections handed Republicans a mandate for anything, it was to serve as a bulwark against Obama’s unbridled use of executive action to implement policies that enjoy little public support. Since Obama himself has advertised to the world that his next, and most audacious, assertion of executive authority will be to grant legal status and work authorization to millions of illegal aliens, the new Republican majority will not have to wait long to prove to the American people that they are worthy of their trust.

Seventy-eight percent of voters who turned out last week cited immigration as an important issue in deciding who to vote for. While other issues also weighed in people’s voting choices, it is impossible to ignore the fact that in every Senate race where the seat flipped from blue to red, the incumbent, or the candidate (in the case of open seats) supported amnesty for illegal aliens.

As is the case after every election, the pundits and the political strategists will all have their own theories to explain the results. The pro-amnesty business lobby, which has close ties to the Republican leadership, will doubtless deny the groundswell of opposition to amnesty.

They’ll certainly try. But what they cannot explain away is Oregon. In deep blue Oregon, immigration was on the ballot and voters gave a resounding thumbs-down to rewarding illegal immigration.

William Gheen - President of Americans for Legal Immigration PAC

While Obama plans to violate the US Constitution again by decreeing a larger amnesty for millions of illegal aliens, his fear of impeachment is low since many Republican "leaders" are trying to assist him by passing a "secure the borders first" bill that would have the same border, law, and nation destroying impact for American citizens.

Yet, two election miracles that occurred in 2014 may give the American public what we need to break through this national trap the elites have crafted around us that furthers the illegal alien invasion of our American homeland.

The truth is that a large majority of Americans oppose immigration reform amnesty for illegals, and since the top Democrats and Republicans alike continue to support such plans regardless of election and poll results, it means most Americans are currently enduring taxation without representation on a systemic scale. And this creates an intolerable situation in America which was founded on the principle that our citizens would have the entire Constitution to assure that would never happen here again!

The two election miracles of 2014 were the defeat of Eric Cantor and Oregon's defeat of Measure 88, both of which prove most Americans do not support immigration reform! Both of these stunning upsets can be used to help elected officials understand the true views of Americans and the true power of the immigration issue in campaigns.

Miracle 1: Measure 88 Destroyed 2 to 1

In the deep Democrat blue state of Oregon where Republicans and conservatives have little chance of winning statewide elections, anti-illegal immigration groups succeeded in getting a state law designed to provide licenses for illegal immigrants put on the ballot for referendum.

These state level groups like Oregonians for Immigration Reform (OFIR) notified national groups like ALIPAC, Overpasses for America, and NumbersUSA about their effort, and the national groups in turned reinforced their ground game.

The elites backing the costly and deadly illegal alien invasion of America weighed in with massive financial support to try to pass Measure 88 and out funded those opposed by more than 10 to 1. But on election night the Americans of Oregon representing every race and political party smacked down Measure 88 by a vote of 66% (no) to 34% (yes)! The raw vote was 906,862 Oregon citizens voting no on Measure 88 while 458,916 voted yes!

In a nation where the campaign that spends the most wins, the Measure 88 upset was nothing short of an election miracle!

And the message is clear that the vast majority of Americans oppose licenses for illegal immigrants and oppose immigration reform that would give illegals a path to citizenship and a license to drive along with voting rights! ALIPAC's large collection of polls about illegal immigration (click here) were proven correct while contradicting propaganda polls were proven false.

All the designer polls making the false claim that most Americans favor a pathway to citizenship were proven wrong because otherwise, why would Oregonians oppose licenses for illegals 2 to 1 then turn around and give them licenses, welfare, and voting rights via immigration reform decrees from Obama or legislation from Republican leaders?

The strategic power and usefulness of state level groups in the fight against illegal immigration was so apparent in Oregon that ALIPAC is creating a national list of groups. This list is currently under construction (click here) and will be used to direct more activists, volunteers, and donors towards good state level groups fighting illegal immigration.

Now, we need activists to take the details about how and why Measure 88 to was voted down 2 to 1 in liberal Oregon and saturate state and federal lawmakers in the states that have recently started giving licenses to illegals including California which intends to give 1.4 million licenses out to illegals!

The current 10 states willfully giving licenses to illegal immigrants are...

California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Vermont and Washington, plus the District of Columbia.

Obama's first Amnesty decree that Congress took no action to prevent or reverse known as DACA Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals allows illegal aliens to get licenses in most states. This is how North Carolina recently detected large numbers of illegals registering to vote at DMV locations! (click for details)

Miracle 2: Eric Cantor Destroyed by Immigration Reform

The second known election miracle of 2014 was the defeat of Eric Cantor in his GOP primary in Virginia when challenger Dave Brat took him down. Cantor fell because he was honest with voters and told them he did indeed support "immigration reform." Other politicians such as US Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) escaped the wrath of Republican voters by lying about their positions saying "No Amnesty" and then supporting that lie with millions of dollars of marketing.

The reason the Dave Brat victory over Eric Cantor was an elections miracle is because political scientists have proven that the campaign that spends the most wins more than 90% of the time! Yet Dave Brat running in opposition to immigration reform as a central campaign issue took down immigration reform amnesty supporter Eric Cantor by a huge margin of 56% to 44% on election night.

Winning by more than 10% points is the definition of an electoral landslide!

Yet Eric Cantor used pro immigration reform amnesty Wall Street funds to outspend Dave Brat 41 to 1! Eric Cantor spent more money on steak houses ($168,000) than Dave Brat did on almost his entire campaign. Brat raised $206,000 through May 21, and at least an additional $16,600 after that, while Cantor raised $5.1 million, and another $298,000 afterward!

The terms "immigration reform" and "secure the borders first" have become synonymous with amnesty for illegal aliens since both are in constant use by politicians like Eric Cantor, John Boehner, John McCain, etc. and by media spokesmen for amnesty backer Rupert Murdoch's Fox News like Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly.

Both terms are now toxic with the public that has realized that "secure the borders first" means "secure the borders never," and the entire game plan and intent of the mega wealth supporters of the costly and deadly illegal alien invasion of America is to overthrow American citizens and our Republic. The plan behind more than 12 million illegal aliens being assisted into America involves displacing and replacing us in our homes, jobs, and elections with imported immigrants who have antagonistic views of the remnants of European colonization.

Stopping and reversing amnesty and illegal immigration is a matter of national and personal survival because the end game of this elite plot involves the destruction of our national borders and identity, and may also involve the slaughter of many more Americans than the current few thousand being killed by BushObamaClinton's current population of illegal immigrants in America.

Using Cantor and Measure 88 Defeats to Stop Immigration Reform Amnesty

But the American public may have been given a chance to politically fight our way out of this well financed trap we are in that involves us being surrounded on all sides by those that own most of the DC politicians, media, and Internet technologies surrounding and spying on us like Google and Facebook.

We want to encourage every America to educate themselves on the details of the two election miracles of the 2014 elections and to use this knowledge to bombard lawmaker offices with this information on a sustained basis to drive them away from Obama's plan to decree amnesty and the GOP leadership's plan to pass immigration reform amnesty.

If enough citizen activists will properly utilize the hard won battles against Eric Cantor and Oregon's Measure 88 properly, these examples can have great power to influence others!

We need every elected official from Obama on down to the local dog catcher to be aware of what the American public was really saying to our government when so many of us spoke out against illegal immigration and any form of amnesty with our votes in the 2014 elections!

The defeat of Eric Cantor and Measure 88 can mean the defeat of immigration reform amnesty if groups and citizen activists properly understand and utilize these two election miracles of 2014!

Mary Elbert
Mail Tribune

The most laughable argument in favor of Measure 88 — the proposition to extend driving privileges to illegal aliens — has to be the contention that giving illegal aliens driver's cards will compel them to buy insurance. Who in their right mind thinks people who illegally enter the country and happily use fake identification to gain employment and leech into government programs will voluntarily buy insurance?

It didn't work in New Mexico or Tennessee. The experience of licenses to illegals in Tennessee was so horrendous they quit doing it, and Gov. Susana Martinez in New Mexico has been frantically trying to end the insanity of licensing illegals there. A recent poll by the "Albuquerque Journal" found 75 percent of those polled opposed issuing licenses to illegals. One of the major reasons was the aliens who were supposed to buy insurance did not.

Surprise, surprise — vote no on Measure 88.

Keith R. Kraft
The Register Guard

Those who support Measure 88 claim issuing driver cards to illegal immigrants will make us safer. Really?

Then please explain why Oregon sheriffs, whose primary job is to protect us, oppose the measure.

The claim that Measure 88 is good for business has a ring of truth to it, especially for those whose businesses employ illegal immigrants and take advantage of them by providing substandard wages.

Driver cards give an appearance of credibility and trustworthiness by providing a de facto government document.

The requirement that applicants must prove residence in Oregon for at least a year means only that they’ve managed to avoid the national immigration service for a year.

Applicants must also provide proof of identity and date of birth.

Any valid birth document would include place of birth, but if the document indicates a place of birth other than the United States, the person processing the driver card would be violating federal law that makes it illegal to aid or abet illegal immigrants.

Aside from our Native Americans, we’re all immigrants or the sons and daughters of immigrants who arrived legally and were welcomed in our great country.

However, even Lady Liberty, who welcomed our huddled masses, put some restrictions on entry. For the protection of her citizens, she denied entry to criminals and those with certain infectious diseases.

God bless those past immigrants, as well as those who continue to arrive from all over the world and become American citizens.

Jim Ludwick

Ten reasons why citizens should vote NO on Measure 88:

1. The Oregon Sheriffs Political Action Committee voted against giving driver cards to illegal aliens. In their April 16, 2014 press release they stated, “Offering theprivilege to drive to people who are breaking the law makes no sense to those of us who enforce the law.” “It just doesn’t pass the ‘common sense’ test. Oregon Sheriffs urge voters to oppose the [measure].”

2. The bill doesn't make the state safer, as proponents claim. It makes Oregon LESS SAFE. There is no way the DMV can accurately certify the identity of the thousands of illegal aliens who will apply for driver cards.

3. The most important document Mexican drug cartel dealers might possess is a valid state driver card or license. It would enable them to drive up and down I-5 easily and sell their drugs. If a state police officer happened to pull them over for a traffic violation, and the drug dealer produced his Oregon driver card, the officer might not have probable cause to search the vehicle.

4. Advocates of measure 88 claim it would require everyone to buy auto insurance. That is false. David House, Public Affairs Director of the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles stated, “Liability insurance is a not a requirement for driving privileges including an instruction permit, driver license or the proposed Driver Card that is under SB 833/Ballot Measure 88 in the November 4, 2014 election.”

(Editor's note: this statement could not be independently verified)

5. Why should American citizens be held to a higher standard than illegal aliens? All illegal aliens would have to do to get a driver card is to show a Mexican Matrícula Consular identification card and some possibly counterfeit rent receipts. Citizens must produce proof of their citizenship plus several other documents.

6. Rewarding illegal aliens only encourages more immigration. Oregon taxpayers already pay over $1 billion annually for services to illegal aliens here. S.B. 833 will greatly increase this financial burden by encouraging more people to come to Oregon.

7. Citizenship is meaningless if illegal immigrants are allowed to enter and remain in this country encouraged and unchallenged. S.B. 833 accommodates and legitimizes illegal aliens, thus tarnishing the value of U.S. citizenship and saying to the world: citizenship matters little or not at all -- anyone can come here any time and settle.

8. Already wages are depressed because of the volume of illegal immigration. Our less-educated citizens have to compete for jobs against illegal aliens who will work for a pittance and dare not protest working conditions to an employer. Citizens are losing out and many remain unemployed for long periods, a devastating situation for them, while they watch illegal aliens working at every construction site, in landscaping, agriculture, hotels, restaurants, and various other places. This is WRONG. Citizens’ interests should come first. Stop helping illegal aliens instead of citizens!

9. Instead of spending time making life here more comfortable for illegal aliens, our legislators should assist the federal government in enforcing the immigration laws; there are many things that states can do to help. Granting driver privileges to illegal aliens, is harmful both to Oregon and the country.

10. Either we are a nation of laws, or we are just another third-world country where the elite get to pick and choose what laws to enforce and which to ignore.

Remember to vote NO in November against Measure 88.