Letters and Op-Eds
Garcia-Cisneros release: Regarding "Garcia-Cisneros freed after deportation case" (Aug. 22): I don't understand...
...how Cinthya Garcia-Cisneros can commit a hit-and-run offense and not serve time. ...how the U.S. government can allow her to stay in this country, or to apply for a work permit and a Social Security number...how a law professor can say that being held by immigration authorities is a "tremendous deprivation of physical liberty." What about the deprivation of physical liberty of the two dead girls? Are these victims even considered in this matter? I am angered by the wanton disregard for law in this country.
Democrats are famously skilled in snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, but one of President Obama’s latest proposals for immigration reform is more like surrendering without a shot being fired.
The idea, popular with business groups, would double the number of work visas for well-educated foreign workers (e.g., H-1B visas). So instead of dealing with the problem of millions of undocumented workers in our country (without whom agricultural production would collapse), the president’s proposal is to solve the “problem” of high-tech companies not having enough cheap, skilled labor.
By hiring ambitious young professionals trained in other countries, high-tech companies in the U.S. can keep wages depressed and avoid having to train those who are already citizens to do the work instead.
By shifting corporate “ownership” to overseas holding companies, paying few corporate taxes, and having capital gains taxed at a lower rate than other earnings, corporate America has made it clear they have zero interest in investing in American education and know-how.
Instead, the administration comes up with new education proposals that do little besides making it easier for students to go into debt.
This “reform” enriches the elites on the backs of American citizens. Not that Congress will actually do anything, but at least a few Democrats still work hard for the interests of working- and middle-class citizens.
I’ve given up hope on Republicans ever crossing their corporate overlords. But maybe their knee-jerk opposition to Obama on this proposal will put them on the right side by accident.
Juan Carlos Valle had everything backward (“Road safety is paramount in debate on driver’s cards,” Aug. 18).
For American citizens, driving’s a right, not a privilege. A citizen can forfeit that right through repeated violations of the rules or by physical or mental incapacitation, but no government official at any level has the authority to arbitrarily deny a citizen the inherent right to drive. Government only has the authority to regulate.
On the other hand, if King Kitzhaber chooses to allow people who are in our country illegally — in violation of our immigration laws — to drive, he’s granting them a privilege. When the king grants a special consideration to favored subjects (the king’s friends) that’s not available to others, that’s a privilege.
There was a time when the United States made an effort to control immigration. When Angel Island and Ellis Island opened in 1891 immigrants were examined and anyone who was found undesirable, such as having a contagious disease, was quarantined and the steamship company had to return that person to their port of embarkation at its expense.
Since efforts to control our borders have been all but abandoned by Washington, any attempt to return to the rule of law is viewed by people such as Valle as the “ugly head of bigotry.” It’s the same race card that’s been played recently in Ferguson, Mo.
Those of us who worked to refer Oregon’s illegal immigrant driver’s card bill, Senate Bill 833, to the voters (Measure 88 on the Nov. 4 ballot) expect the name-calling, unfounded accusations and questionable conclusions proffered by Juan Carlos Valle in his Aug. 18 column (“Road safety is paramount in debate on driver’s cards”).
But are we “bigots” because we want to see our laws enforced?
Nobody I know on our side ever made “unfortunate, misguided and inaccurate portrayals of residents as criminals and lawbreakers.” “Residents” are not in violation of U.S. immigration laws.
Valle’s central themes are that the purpose of the bill is “road safety” and illegal immigrants should have the same privileges as legal residents.
The safety argument doesn’t wash; if it were about safety the Legislature and the governor wouldn’t have seen the need to craft the bill largely in secret and the Democrats wouldn’t have mounted a cynical, failed attempt to confuse voters by altering the ballot title.
The real purposes of the bill were to appease vocal supporters of illegal immigrants and to help employers who hire them.
The state Department of Motor Vehicles found “no major impact on the rate of unlicensed and uninsured drivers” between the periods when illegal immigrants couldn’t obtain driver’s licenses and periods when they could. Furthermore, if it were about safety, the Oregon sheriffs’ PAC wouldn’t have come out against the measure.
It’s not about safety, it’s about respecting the law. Vote “no” on Measure 88.
Current policies creating chaos
The president, in my opinion, has committed a traitorous act. By his actions, he is allowing access on our southern border by all comers, including terrorists, drug dealers, gang members, and countless unsponsored men, women and children.
His foreign policy is just as anti-American, by allowing Iran ample time to successfully build an atomic bomb that would put every country, including ours, at the risk of total annihilation.
Along with his misrepresentations pertaining to the Veterans Affairs, the Internal Revenue Service, Benghazi and ObamaCare, impeaching Obama is really not enough punishment for the chaos he has caused.
But in spite of Obama, I still believe America is the best example of people exercising God’s living rights of Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
The East Oregonian August 9 letter to the editor by Merlyn Robinson, “U.S. Senate couldn’t even follow an angelic prophecy,” is almost a prophecy itself!.
Merlyn’s satire is quite truthfully right on spot: America’s House and Senate are asleep at the switch. All of these elected people are supposed to protect the American people in sworn oath, just as our military personnel, from enemies foreign and domestic.
America’s place in world affairs and history is no accident. No other nation on earth has accomplished what America has done, and I’m not talking about standard of living; I’m talking about the Christian gospel of salvation that American missionaries took to the world in the late 18th-20th centuries.
For some time now America’s churches as well as its government have lost their moral compass. Churches were to be a refuge for lost sinners to find salvation of soul, and our government, being founded my men of God, for a country where people were free to worship God without king or dictator to tell them how to do that.
When a nation like America, one out of many, turns from the God of heaven who planted this nation and protected her during formation and through great wars, and takes the ways of others through adultery of spirit and flesh (worldliness).
This present administration is the most corrupt to ever lead this great nation. The president’s platform of “change” is a change to what? A Saul Alinsky, Cloward and Piven welfare system?
This is why we are seeing a run on our southern border, organized chaos being sanctioned by this administration. So, Merlyn, it is believable the course of government action we see at our southern border: It’s part of Obama’s change for America.
Wake up, America! An enemy is in the camp.
RE: “Honduran teens, mom navigate life after U.S. reunion” on 8/11/14 and “Flow of child immigrants slows along Texas border” on Aug. 3 in the Democrat-Herald.
If an upstanding U.S. citizen leaves her child in the car for three minutes while fetching take-out supper or dry-cleaned clothing, she stands a good chance of getting prosecuted for a felony. If an amoral parent from Honduras abandons her children for several years to enter the U.S. illegally, she gets a sympathetic writeup from the Associated Press...
Denia Zelaya, the Honduran mother who left her 13-year-old daughter to be raped by gangbangers, should be shot. And then deported...her moral code can be summed up as Looking Out For Number One.
...do not leave their troubles behind, they bring their troubles with them to share with the unwitting American people. There is nothing virtuous about immigrants who ignore our laws, abandon their family members...
...Ethically challenged interlopers like Zelaya threaten to make the USA into a Third World spithole, too.
A comment on the article about the Honduran illegal alien’s 12-year lawbreaking adventure:
So he has been given an education his illegal family did not have to pay for.
He was given free meals; his family was given benefits from human services through the state, all the while he is here illegally with his illegal family.
You know life is tough, and the U.S. does not need to be the fall-back for every person who is having a difficult life in their own country. Amazing that there are so many people who legally enter the U.S. and do what needs to be done legally. Yet these illegals continue to violate every law and than scream, whine and complain about being deported to their home country.
If you are having such a difficult time in your country, then fix your country and stop leeching off the U.S.
... Obama and the Democratic Party's push for amnesty for immigrants who are in the United States illegally shows complete and utter contempt for unemployed U.S. citizens.... Amnesty will ...will impact the poorest communities, often comprised of people of color.
...Capitalism and the free market have done more to pull people out of poverty than any government handout or program.
The surge of tens of thousands of Central Americans to our southern border is the predictable and inevitable consequence of government actions that encourage illegal immigration.
For that encouragement, President Barack Obama bears most of the blame. Culpable too, however, are policies enacted by states — such as driving privileges for illegal immigrants, more on which is below.
But first things first. “In his time in office,” USA Today correspondent Alan Gomez wrote recently, Obama “has stopped the worksite immigration raids … and created a program that has granted protected status to more than 500,000 undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children.” That program, writes U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., “declare(d) to the entire world that America will not enforce its immigration laws against those who enter the country as minors.”
Of Obama’s “record” deportations? The Los Angeles Times’ Brian Bennett: “Deportations of people apprehended in the interior of the U.S. … dropped from 237,941 in Obama’s first year to 133,551 in 2013.” Of last year’s deportees from the interior, some 80 percent had serious criminal convictions.
But under Obama, “minor criminals, even chronic reoffenders, reckless or drunk drivers, those with families, those rejected for green cards, anyone claiming to have been brought as a child, and relatives of veterans are all considered off-limits for enforcement,” writes Jessica Vaughan of the Center for Immigration Studies. The result? “If you are a run-of-the-mill immigrant here illegally,” says John Sandweg, past acting director of the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, “your odds of getting deported are close to zero.”
All this has been duly noted by Central Americans. Indeed, the El Paso Intelligence Center reported recently, many of them arriving at the border have told U.S. Border Patrol agents their “primary reason for migrating to the United States was the perception of U.S. immigration laws granting (them) free passes or permisos” — a perception doubtless fed by Obama’s long history of immigration leniency.
As if that weren’t enough, many state governments have offered another layer of inducements to illegal immigration. California, for instance, has restricted businesses’ ability to discipline or terminate employees who worked for them using false Social Security numbers. Illinois has provided illegal immigrants substantial health and child care benefits above and beyond federal emergency care mandates. A number of states, including Oregon, offer illegal immigrants in-state college tuition; Texas qualifies them for college financial aid.
But perhaps the state policy most beneficial to illegal immigrants — and the most powerful magnet drawing them to the 11 states that offer it — is access to legal driving privileges. Case in point: Eddie de la Cruz of Hermiston’s Hispanic Advisory Committee told the East Oregonian recently that many of Oregon’s illegal immigrants have left for (in the newspaper’s words) “states where they are allowed to drive to work legally.”
In May 2013, Oregon’s Legislature passed and Gov. John Kitzhaber signed a bill enacting driver cards for illegal immigrants. But opponents forced a referendum onto this November’s ballot that will enable Oregonians to approve or deny those cards.
If they vote “yes,” they will make Oregon what Obama and many states governments have made the nation as a whole: a more attractive destination for illegal immigrants. If they vote “no,” they will demonstrate to the nation that they will not add to the kinds of policies that caused, and perpetuate, the border surge.
Policymakers everywhere will be watching closely. With their vote, Oregonians should tell them: Stop creating the incentives that attract illegal immigrants to our home.
— Richard LaMountain served as a chief petitioner of the referendum effort to repeal immigrant driver cards. He lives in Portland.