Letters and Op-Eds

By:
David Huff
OregonLive.com
2015-08-20

Employing illegal aliens: When are politicians and law enforcement in this country going to focus on the real issue of illegal aliens? ...

They need to focus on why illegals come to America. It's for jobs. If there are no jobs, there is no reason to come here illegally.

...The problem lies with those who employ them. If you go after and stop the employers of illegal aliens, there will be no jobs. If there are no jobs, then there is no reason to come here illegally.

But that would require arresting an American to stop an illegal alien from sneaking into this country. Do we dare do that? Let's not forget that these American employers are criminals after all.
 

By:
Jerry Ritter
The Register Guard
2015-08-14

Patricia Michaelson-Duffy made some inaccurate or misleading statements in her Aug. 8 column favoring the recall of state Sen. Floyd Prozanski (“Prozanski a good example of why Oregon has recall law”).

I’m not aware that Prozanski ever voted to give illegal immigrants “free college tuition.” He and his fellow Democrats supported in-state college tuition for illegal immigrants, while denying that benefit to legal U.S. residents from other states.

They voted to give Oregon Opportunity Grants to illegal immigrants, thus eliminating that opportunity for some deserving U.S. students because there isn’t enough money in that program to serve all who qualify.

And they attached an emergency clause to that bill (Senate Bill 932) to prevent a referendum because they knew what would have happened had it been taken to the streets, as was done with their illegal immigrant driver’s card bill.

Regarding the emergency clause, Prozanski isn’t alone in his guilt. Both parties abuse that process. There are few bills that warrant an emergency clause, but I’m told it’s now default language when legislative counsel drafts bills. An initiative is in the works to rein in that practice.

Finally, Michaelson-Duffy claimed that “Oregon’s values are not defined by liberal politicians.” All you have to do is observe who gets re-elected time after time, regardless of political blunders, to see the error in that statement.

I suspect Prozanski will have his legislative job for as long as he wants it.
 

By:
Rep. Mike Nearman
Oregon Catalyst
2015-08-08

The idea seems pretty clear to me. I don’t want to cause any trouble. I just want to put the question to the voters, “Do you want English to be the official language of the State of Oregon?”

I’m one of the chief sponsors of an initiative petition, sponsored by Oregonians for Immigration Reform (OFIR), to do just that.

It’s not as if this is unusual. Currently 31 states have English as their official language – including California and Idaho. 

There are 138 languages spoken in Oregon and if you want to be successful – however you define successful for yourself – you should probably learn to speak English. Furthermore, it’s expensive and inefficient for the state to have to operate in multiple languages. So, let’s get out the clipboards, start collecting signatures and have a vote on it.

Not so fast.

As you know, the Attorney General (AG) creates a ballot title for each initiative. Citizens of Oregon who expect fairness should be outraged at the ballot title received from Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum for the initiative to make English the official language of the State of Oregon:

“Changes state/”subdivision” (undefined) laws regarding English/other-language use and requirements; exceptions; authorizes lawsuits”

It doesn’t seem possible to come up with a less clear explanation of “English is the official language of the State of Oregon”. Apparently, English is not the official language of the AG’s legal department. What is clear is that the government of one party rule has no intention of letting this idea have its day and get a fair shot with voters. That’s too bad.

The next step is for OFIR to appeal the ballot title to the Oregon Supreme Court, where one hopes the AG’s title will fail to pass the laugh test. If not, the same outrage should be directed at the members of the Court. Remember, these people all serve in elected offices, and many were originally appointed by the governor. You might want to hold them accountable.

The good news is that Oregonians for Immigration Reform is considering having a contest to see who can come up with the most emoticons or smileys derived solely from the characters used in AG Rosenblum’s ballot title. :) Have a nice day.

State Representative Mike Nearman (R-Independence) is a board member with OFIR and speaks English well enough to write a halfway-decent ballot title. He can be reached at Rep.MikeNearman@state.or.us.

By:
Elizabeth Van Staaveren
OregonLive.com
2015-08-08

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., dares to venture into a taboo subject for Democrats and most Republicans: He advocates reducing the current extremely high volume of legal immigration. In a recent interview, Sanders said, "Open borders? ... That's a right-wing proposal, which says essentially there is no United States. ... You know what youth unemployment is in the United States of America today? If you're a white high school graduate, it's 33 percent, Hispanic 36 percent, African American 51 percent. You think we should open the borders and bring in a lot of low-wage workers, or do you think maybe we should try to get jobs for those kids? ... I think from a moral responsibility we've got to work with the rest of the industrialized world to address the problems of international poverty, but you don't do that by making people in this country even poorer."

Many studies prove that excessive immigration has adversely affected the wages and job opportunities of citizens. Employers exploit the visa system, which is riddled with fraud, to import foreign workers and dismiss citizens....

Sanders might have mentioned the effects of exploding population numbers on our natural environment, the loss of forests and farmland to ever-expanding housing and related infrastructure, or the overcrowding in cities and the complications of governance for so many people....

U.S. voters do not want the population increases caused by these enormous levels of immigration. Many honest polls say so, and yet congressional leaders of both parties ignore citizens' needs and opinions and work ceaselessly for more and more legal immigration...

In the 2016 presidential race, Sanders is one of the many contenders. He's currently rated F- by NumbersUSA, which compiles records of votes and public statements by candidates on immigration and displays them on their website. His voting record doesn't actually match the support for less immigration that he recently expressed, but he's done a great service to the public just to talk about it. Hopefully, he and Donald Trump will break the taboos on critical examination of our recklessly expansive legal immigration policies. They both speak frankly; how refreshing that is.
 

By:
Wayne Mayo
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
2015-08-06

Donald Trump isn’t fleecing anyone, courting and cajoling others for endorsements or leaving town the minute he’s elected.

Regarding Daniel Henninger’s “Trump in River City” (Wonder Land, July 30): I loved “The Music Man” as a child. But as much as I liked Robert Preston as Professor Harold Hill, he was a sleazy cad looking to fleece anyone he could, reaching out for instant credibility by aligning himself with Marian, the librarian.

Donald Trump isn’t fleecing anyone, courting and cajoling others for endorsements or leaving town the minute he’s elected. Unlike Prof. Hill, we know Mr. Trump—his father, where he was born and raised, what he’s been doing, who his friends are and aren’t.

Mr. Henninger says it’s just the economy, and he who frames the argument best wins. But it’s more. It’s a general feeling among working stiffs like me that “free trade” is costing us. It’s the lack of wage increases because the borders are always letting illegal entrants in who will offer to do our work cheaper and on weekends. Mr. Trump has addressed the border and offers import restrictions should there be cheating in international trade. I also like the way he argues in interviews, which is hugely entertaining.

Finally, Mr. Trump has been in the real world doing deals. He’s made enemies. We’re going to hear from them.


 

By:
Richard F. LaMountain
Oregon Catalyst
2015-08-03

In the 2015 legislative session, majority Democrats denied Oregonians their right to refer many bills to a public vote -- almost certainly, in at least some instances, because they feared voters would reject those bills if given the chance. Here's the story of one such bill -- and of how voters, in 2016, might get an opportunity to stem future such lawmaking abuse.

Senate Bill 932, which was approved by the House and Senate early this month and currently awaits Gov. Kate Brown's signature, credentials illegal-immigrant college students to compete with U.S. citizens for taxpayer-funded Oregon Opportunity Grants. This is objectionable enough: Plenty of Oregonians, as we'll see, went on record last year as opposing state-government benefits for foreigners here illegally.

But there's more: SB 932's sponsors saddled the bill with an "emergency clause" -- and with the evident intent of assuring that voters wouldn't again get the chance to take such firm official stand against illegal immigration.

The Oregon constitution stipulates that "no act shall take effect until ninety days from the end of the session at which the same shall have been passed, except in case of emergency; which emergency shall be declared in . . . the law." Such declaration, known as the "emergency clause," speeds a bill's enactment into law. Though, in recent years, few bills containing the clause have addressed true emergencies, its use is common: according to Lewis and Clark senior lecturer emerita Chana Cox, in the 2015 session 46 percent of bills (as of early June) contained an emergency clause. Among those that passed: House Bill 2177, which automatically registers as voters all citizens holding Oregon driver licenses, and SB 941, which expands background checks on people transferring guns. SB 932's emergency clause declares the bill effective "on its passage" -- which means it will become law the moment Brown signs it.

What's the official reason for SB 932's emergency clause? So its intended beneficiaries, bill sponsor Sen. Michael Dembrow (D-Portland) told Eugene's Register-Guard last spring, can (in the newspaper's words) "access opportunity grants in the coming school year."

But here's the rub: Absent a successful referral -- for which, we'll see, there is a high bar -- those beneficiaries would have been able to seek and win grants even if SB 932 hadn't had an emergency clause. For the next Oregon Opportunity Grants that will be available -- for the school year of 2016-17 -- the state government's Office of Student Access and Completion urges interested parties to submit their applications as soon after January 1, 2016 as possible. Had, then, Dembrow forsworn the emergency clause, and in SB 932's text merely stipulated that the bill take effect no fewer than 90 days from the end of the session (which will be early October), its beneficiaries still would have had ample time -- some two-and-a-half months -- to have prepared and submitted their applications within OSAC's suggested time frame. (For those who would argue that SB 932 needed the emergency clause because sessions' adjournment dates are never certain, consider: In the past 130 years no session has extended beyond late August, and most recent sessions have concluded by early July.)

Might, then, there have been an unspoken reason for SB 932's emergency clause?

Perhaps. When a bill contains an emergency clause, once signed it is not merely sped into law: the clause also forecloses Oregonians' ability to try to give their fellow citizens the chance to approve or disapprove it via referendum.

The reason? To refer a bill to voters, its opponents must engage in a constitutionally-stipulated and time-consuming process: collect the signatures of registered voters numbering at least 4 percent of the votes cast for governor in the last election. This must be done within 90 days of a legislative session's end -- not coincidentally, the same length of time it takes bills that don't have emergency clauses to become law. If a bill's opponents collect the requisite signatures, the bill, rather than become law after 90 days, remains unenacted until after the referendum vote, which affirms or rejects it as law. But when an emergency clause stipulates that a bill, once signed, becomes law immediately, it forecloses the referendum possibility.

Could this have been the real reason for SB 932's emergency clause?

Consider: In spring 2013, the legislature approved and Gov. John Kitzhaber signed SB 833, which would have authorized driver cards for illegal immigrants. But the bill's opponents collected sufficient signatures to refer it to the November 2014 ballot, at which voters rejected it. The magnitude of that rejection -- the margin was almost two-to-one -- made clear: the vote transcended the issue of driver cards to constitute a general mandate against state-government policies that offer benefits to illegal immigrants.

Even after voters' annihilation of driver cards, however, Oregon's legislative Democrats remain virtually unanimous in their support of illegal-immigrant "rights." Case in point: A recent letter to Salem's Statesman Journal newspaper, signed by all 35 House Democrats, contended that "keeping our state a great place to live" will require that all Oregon residents are "treated equally" regardless "of their . . . citizenship status."

So it is reasonable to ask: Was an emergency clause written into SB 932 with the specific intent of keeping it from being referred to voters and, potentially, meeting the same fate as illegal-immigrant driver cards?

Only Sen. Dembrow and SB 932's co-sponsors can answer that question. Whatever their answer would be, however, the bill's story illustrates the need to rein in the emergency clause's future use.

For the November 2016 ballot, a measure has been filed to do just that. If passed by voters, the "No More Fake Emergencies Act" -- Initiative No. 49 -- would enact a constitutional amendment that would require most bills containing emergency clauses to receive the votes of two-thirds of the members of each the House and the Senate to pass. This would restrict legislators' ability to use the emergency clause to thwart potential referenda of bills they believe would be defeated if put to popular vote -- a cynical, antidemocratic practice that poisons public confidence in the lawmaking process and, indeed, perverts the relationship between legislators and the Oregonians who elect them.

To reach the ballot, by July 2016 Initiative No. 49 will need the signatures of more than 117,000 registered voters. In days to come, the Catalyst will inform readers of how to print and sign an online petition to help qualify the initiative -- and in doing so to help restore the voice of the citizen, as manifested in the referendum, to its preeminent place in Oregon's representative democracy.
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Richard F. LaMountain, a former vice president of Oregonians for Immigration Reform, served as a chief petitioner of the 2014 referendum via which Oregon voters rejected the 2013 bill that sought to grant driver cards to illegal immigrants.

By:
David Olen Cross
Herald and News
2015-07-26

Donald Trump, a resident of the State of New York, billionaire real-estate developer and current Republican candidate for President of the United States, making campaign kickoff remarks about illegal immigrants from Mexico deserves some serious examination:

“The U.S. has become a dumping ground for everybody else’s problems. When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best.

“They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. . . .“They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists,” he said, adding, “And some, I assume, are good people.” – Donald Trump

Why would Mr. Trump a man who was born in Queens, New York, who surely visited in his 69 years Liberty Island, home of the Statue of Liberty, and Ellis Island, America’s east coast immigration processing center of the late 19th to mid 20th century, make such remarks about illegal immigrants from Mexico?

I can’t claim to know the heart of the Donald Trump, but I will speculate on Trump’s views on illegal immigrants.

Liberty and Ellis islands are on U.S. Register of Historic places. They are and were symbolically the lighthouse of liberty beckoning and the entry port of legal immigration to America, particularly to a person like Trump who was raised in Queens, a borough of New York City.

Queens is close enough for a man interested in the history of immigration to this country to make a short trip southwest down Long Island to Brooklyn and look west across Upper New York Bay at the iconic sites.

Trump most likely has taken the ferry ride to the Statue of Liberty and while touring the Statue site he must have read the bronze plaque cast with 1883 sonnet written by Emma Lazarus titled “The New Colossus.” Its last paragraph says this:

“ ‘Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she

With silent lips. ‘Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!’ “

Trump after reading that would know as a student of circumstantial current and past immigration history that immigrants entering Upper New York Bay metaphorically by boat is the legitimate gateway to America while 5.9 million illegal Mexican immigrants sneaking across the country’s southern border with Mexico violate federal law and invade the nation’s sovereignty.

Donald Trump in preparation for his candidacy for president of the United States very likely knows that the U.S Federal Bureau of Prisons holds 33,108 Mexican nationals, — 15.9 percent of the federal government’s prison inmates.

Furthermore, Trump is also likely aware that there are 18,307 federal prisoners incarcerated for immigration crimes, 9.3 percent of the federal prison population.

Recently, Trump met with families of victims of illegal immigrant crime in California; Trump knows the life-changing impact on families who have lost their loved ones killed by illegal immigrants primarily from Mexico.

Americans should thank Donald Trump for speaking so frankly on the topic of illegal immigration and for making it one of the top campaign issues in the 2016 presidential election.

David Olen Cross of Salem writes on immigration issues and foreign national crime. He is a weekly guest on the Lars Larson Northwest Show. He can be reached at docfnc@yahoo.com or at
 

By:
Elizabeth Van Staaveren
Statesman Journal
2015-07-23

In response to the July 19 front page article and editorial, Statesman Journal, why make a mountain out of a molehill?

When Donald Trump said he liked heroes that didn’t get captured, he expressed a fairly universal sentiment.

The tales of heroes who succeed in their battles and are triumphant are more appealing and inspiring than the tales of those who were captured and endured harsh treatment.

This doesn’t demean service people who were prisoners of war. It’s an impolitic statement but true.

The GOP and Sen. McCain’s campaign supporters capitalize on his war service.

Democrats and GOP rivals of Trump seize upon any of his words that can be twisted to hurt him because he has had the courage and the love of country to speak out strongly against illegal immigration, a kind of sacred cow among many, but a detriment to citizens and our country’s survival.

I say, right on, Donald Trump!
 

By:
David Olen Cross
East Oregonian
2015-07-21

Donald Trump of New York, billionaire real estate developer and current Republican candidate for president, made campaign kickoff remarks about illegal immigrants from Mexico deserves some serious examination: “The U.S. has become a dumping ground for everybody else’s problems. When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with them. ... They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists,” he said, adding, “And some, I assume, are good people.”

Why would Mr. Trump, a man who was born in Queens, New York, who surely visited in his 69 years Liberty Island, home of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, make such remarks about illegal immigrants from Mexico?

I can’t claim to know the heart of the Donald Trump, but I will speculate on Trump’s views on illegal immigrants.

Trump most likely has taken the ferry ride to the Statue of Liberty and while touring the Statue site he must have read the bronze plaque cast with 1883 sonnet written by Emma Lazarus titled “The New Colossus.”

Trump after reading Lazarus’ “The New Colossus” would know as a student of circumstantial current and past immigration history that immigrants entering Upper New York Bay metaphorically by boat is the legitimate gateway to America while 5.9 million illegal Mexican immigrants sneaking across the country’s southern border with Mexico violate federal law and invade the nation’s sovereignty.

Donald Trump in preparation for his candidacy for President of the United States very likely knows that the U.S Federal Bureau of Prisons holds 33,108 Mexican nationals, they are 15.9 percent of the federal government’s prison inmates.

Furthermore, Trump is also likely aware that there are 18,307 federal prisoners incarcerated for immigration crimes, 9.3 percent of the federal prison population.

Recently, Trump met with families of victims of illegal immigrant crime in California; Trump knows the life-changing impact on families who have lost their loved ones killed by illegal immigrants primarily from Mexico.

American’s should thank Donald Trump for speaking so frankly on the topic of illegal immigration and for making it one of the top campaign issues in the 2016 presidential election.
 

By:
Geraldine Eckel
Chieftain
2015-07-21

They can build fences to keep out people at the White House, and to keep the prisoners in prison. Why can’t they build fences at our border to keep out illegal immigrants.

I am glad Donald Trump has entered the race to at least bring up some of our problems.
 

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