Letters and Op-Eds

Paul Jaudes, Salem
The Oregonian

In 1824, Thomas Jefferson wrote, “Men by their constitutions are naturally divided into two parties: 1. Those who fear and distrust the people, and wish to draw all powers from them into the hands of the higher classes. 2. Those who identify themselves with the people, have confidence in them, cherish and consider them as the most honest and safe, although not the most wise depositary of the public interests.

“In every country these two parties exist, and in every one where they are free to think, speak, and write, they will declare themselves.”

Where stands Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney?

Most of Courtney’s fellow Democratic lawmakers support House Bill 2015, which would grant driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants. This would overturn 2014’s Ballot Measure 88, with which Oregon voters defeated such licenses by a 2-to-1 ratio.

A recent Zogby Analytics poll showed that by 63% to 30%, voters continue to oppose illegal-immigrant driving privileges.

Courtney determines which bills reach his chamber’s floor. He should insist that if the Senate passes HB 2015, it be referred to the ballot for Oregonians’ vote. By doing so, he can show us where we Oregonians stand with him.


Don Giambersio, Klamath Falls
The Oregonian

The number of illegal immigrants the news reports tell us are coming into this country are those caught. How many are not being caught? And Congress does nothing about it! Why have a border? Why, for that matter, are we wasting all that money on TSA checks? If terrorists want to come in, all they have to do is go to the border. Probably already have.

We just celebrated the 75th anniversary of D-Day. Will there be enough real Americans left in this country to celebrate the 80th? Or will they be celebrating the fall of America, by the invasion Congress failed to stop? God bless America – please!


Richard F. LaMountain
The Oregonian

Excerpts only.

The keenest observation in the history of politics is that of English historian Lord John Acton: "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Nowhere is that truth on fuller display than in the effort by Oregon Democrats -- now possessing supermajorities in the Legislature -- to nullify state voters' recent, overwhelming mandate against driving privileges for immigrants who are here illegally. …

But last year, via Ballot Measure 105, Oregon voters defeated an attempt to repeal the state's sanctuary law -- a result, unsurprisingly, that was construed broadly by apologists for illegal immigration. …

What's followed, predictably, is this: In the Legislature's 2019 session, almost every House Democrat has cosponsored Rep. Diego Hernandez's House Bill 2015, which would give Oregon's illegal immigrants the driving privileges Oregonians rejected decisively not a half-decade ago.

We encourage you to read the full article here.

Scott McGraw
Salem Statesman Journal

To our governor, and particularly our lawmakers holding supermajority power:

Our constitution and the laws enacted by the United States pursuant to it are the law of our entire country — U.S. Constitution, Article VI. Our legal representatives at both the state and federal levels have vowed to support our constitution.

Amendment 10 sets forth the ability of the states and the people to enact laws — which must not conflict with our constitution and federal laws enacted thereto. Article 9 states, as of Jan. 1, 1808, only federal lawmakers can make laws about immigration, and they have enacted such laws. The states and the people have the direct power to enact laws, so long as they do not conflict with our constitution. That is the 10th Amendment, completing our Bill of Rights.

Yet, our state and several of our cities have enacted laws granting sanctuary to illegal immigrants. And, while the people of Oregon promptly voted to overturn a recent Oregon driver license law, our governor and Legislature are working to again grant driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants and also to further interfere with federal authorities regarding illegal immigrants coming before our courts. No means no. Listen!

From the Baker City Herald editorial board. The board consists of editor Jayson Jacoby and reporter Chris Collins.
Baker City Herald

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.

Louis H. Bowerman
Portland Tribune

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.


Rich Carson
The Portland Tribune

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 

Michael Robinson
Statesman Journal

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.


Rick Johnson, Newberg
News-Register, McMinnville OR

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

Richard F. LaMountain
Portland tribune
"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."
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.