Letters and Op-Eds

Judy Fralia-Mantello

Sanctuary cities: Regarding "San Francisco pier slaying victim shot with federal agent's gun, AP source says," (OregonLive, July 7): I have always been against sanctuary cities — more so now after the killing of a young American citizen by a five-time-deported illegal immigrant in California. How heartbreaking for this family. American citizens are being killed daily by illegal immigrants...

I was upset when I saw a chart of states with sanctuary cities and realized that Oregon was listed. Why are Oregon cities protecting illegal immigrants from our laws instead of protecting us as American citizens? I called the governor's office...Hmm. I have also sent emails to my state senator and representative...

Today I received an email from "Oregonians for Immigration Reform" telling me that Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton has introduced a bill that would deny federal grants for sanctuary cities...

Now let's see how Oregon Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley vote on this. I have already contacted their offices to ask they support this bill.

As a born-and-raised Oregonian, I'm ready to have something put on the ballot that would ban sanctuary cities here in Oregon. "We the people" sent a message last November by defeating a measure that would have provided driver's cards to illegal immigrants. Time for another message to be sent.

Jerry Ritter
The Register Guard

The liberal media are having a field day with Donald Trump’s incendiary comments regarding illegal immigrants. Trump claims that illegal immigrants (most of whom are Latino) commit a disproportionate amount of crime, including murder, rape and drug dealing. But how much of what Trump said is actually false?

According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, about 24 percent of federal prison inmates are noncitizens — nearly double their demographic percentage. In the Oregon state prison system, approximately 8 percent of the inmates have U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement holds placed on them — again, nearly double their demographic percentage as estimated by Pew Research. The inmates include 144 serving time for murder, 171 for rape, 98 for sodomy and 201 for sexual abuse. The High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area team estimates that almost all the cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine brought into Oregon comes courtesy of Mexican drug gangs.

The recent murder of Kathryn Steinle, allegedly by Francisco Sanchez, brings the issue clearly into focus. Sanchez has seven prior felonies. He was allowed to remain in the country by the government of a sanctuary city (San Francisco) and by a president and Congress who refuse to enforce immigration law. Steinle’s blood is on their hands. The president claims that our borders are secure. Nonsense. Sanchez illegally entered the U.S. and was deported at least five times.

Trump’s comments were inflammatory, to be sure, but were they factually inaccurate? Look at the statistics and judge for yourselves.

John Englebrecht
Statesman Journal

State Rep. Joe Gallegos and 34 other House Democrats were wrong to publish the letter in the Statesman Journal without giving some supporting information.

The letter read more like a gossip column about Joe Arpaio and illegal immigration than fact. It was just sympathy for the illegal immigrants and an effort to belittle Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

After contacting the office of the governor of Arizona, reading the laws about immigration and visiting the Southwest states, I know that Arizona has severe problems with illegal immigrants, crime and the associated costs. I have to wonder if any of that was considered in Joe Gallegos’ letter.

Do the representatives remember the march where the Mexican flags were predominant? After much criticism, they switched to the American flags. Remember the students at California’s Montebello High School took down the American flag and put up the Mexican flag. Is there a greater display of disrespect for this country?

Which is it going to be state Rep. Joe Gallegos, “Mexican or American”?

If I had known of the rally at the state Capitol, I would have been there in support of Joe Arpaio and all legal immigrants.

The Register Guard

The Register-Guard has a duty to be impartial. In his June 24 letter, Sen. Floyd Prozanski stated he wouldn’t let anyone treat Oregonians as second-class citizens.

That statement was so contrary to Prozanski’s actions that a member of my family submitted a letter in response, which hasn’t been published.

Why was it contrary? On June 25 Prozanski voted in favor of providing Oregon Opportunity Grants to illegal immigrants. Last year, only 20 percent of those who applied for the grants received them. Now they’ll have to compete with illegal immigrants for the scarce grants.

In 2013 Prozanski voted in favor of giving illegal immigrants drivers’ cards, which require less identification than that required of drivers who are legal residents. Oregon voters rejected a drivers’ card ballot measure by 2-1 in last November’s general election. Also in 2013, the senator voted in favor of reducing college costs for illegal immigrants but not for legal residents.

Those actions strongly support the view that Prozanski’s treating legal Oregon residents as second-class citizens, and that’s shameful.

The Register-Guard has failed to report that view. It also maligned me in a June 11 editorial and said I should accept the will of the majority. Why?

I’m pursuing an effort to recall Prozanski because he’s violated his oath of office, is out of touch with his constituents and has shown an utter disregard and lack of respect for the legal residents of this state.

I won’t back down. Shame on The Register-Guard for its actions.

David Burns
East Oregonian

As many of you, I first took Donald Trump’s bid for president as just another chance to show his overgrown ego. I don’t see it entirely that way any more, and his poll ratings have climbed despite his rhetoric.

His comments on Mexico brought a strong backlash from corporate sponsors and the Latino population. His honest talk, however, also woke up the segment of the U.S. population that has been quiet, but now is fed up. The concept of continued thousands of impoverished people, from mostly poor Latin countries, coming here so they can have a better life has to end somehow.

Yes, we are all immigrants to some degree, but the poor old USA simply can not absorb this huge influx forever. Part of the reason our country is great is that there are still some places to breathe, get away and enjoy the serenity and beauty of our open spaces. I don’t want apartments covering every square acre to house this continually increasing population. Besides, the USA already has critical issues with enough water, power, and food.

The trouble is that Trump is about right. Way too many immigrants are illegal and do bring in drugs and crime.

Take illegal Franciso Sanchez, for example. He has at least a dozen aliases, seven prior felony convictions in the U.S., and has been deported five times. He was recently released again, on probation. Kathryn Steinie, 32, was just walking on Pier 14 in San Francisco with her dad and a friend. She had no connection to Sanchez at all. He walked up behind her and shot her in the back. The bullet pierced her aorta and she died. It was a totally random shooting — just for fun, I guess. Unfortunately, this is not an isolated case. Remember too, San Francisco is a “sanctuary city” that affords protection to illegal immigrants.

Every president since in recent times has promised to fix the immigration problem. Not one of them has done anything that works. So, good for you Donald Trump. Finally someone who doesn’t have to be “politically correct” all the time and has so much money he can afford to be outspoken and independent. He is saying what a lot of Americans think.

Richard F. LaMountain
Statesman Journal

I hope all Oregonians read the June 27 letter from Rep. Joe Gallegos and his 34 House Democratic colleagues about the recent state Capitol rally which, they alleged, "celebrat[ed] the inhumane treatment of immigrants who've come to America merely looking for the opportunity to work hard for a better life."

Here's the letter's "best" line: "Keeping our state a great place to live – a place where all working families have a chance to get ahead and where everyone is treated equally – will require us to reject the poisonous idea that some families matter more than others."

So Oregon's House Democrats consider as "poisonous" the "idea" that they have more responsibility to American families than they do to non-citizens' families. They don't believe those citizens, the people who elect them, "matter more than others." Instead, they believe "everyone" in Oregon (including, as their letter makes clear, illegal immigrants) should be "treated" as "equally" as Americans.

What a great place that kind of thinking will make Oregon!

Joe Gallegos, send that letter to all the state's newspapers. If you do, we'll see a new majority party elected to the House in 2016.

EJ Montini

Criminal illegal aliens must be deported before they attack hardworking citizens like 21-year-old Grant.

I don't know anyone who wasn't horrified and heart-broken when news broke that 21-year-old Grant Ronnebeck, a good kid working hard, was shot dead while clerking at a QuikTrip store in Mesa in January.

I don't know anyone who wasn't angry and outraged to learn that the man eventually charged with the murder, Apolinar Altamirano, was in the country illegally and already had been convicted of felony burglary.

Good people disagree about a lot when it comes to immigration issues.

But I don't know anyone who wants to allow immigrants convicted of serious crimes to stay here...

Since Grant's death we've learned that 121 undocumented immigrants who were released while awaiting deportation after committing crimes were later charged with homicides between 2010 and 2014....

Allowing convicted criminals or those who are caught up in cases involving serious crimes to remain in the country not only puts people at risk,...

EJ Montini is a columnist at the Arizona Republic, where this column was first published.

Dallas Miller

Regarding the June 27 letter from Oregon Rep. Joe Gallegos and his gang of 34 Democrats, he is/they are deeply saddened that Oregonians who normally value hard work and better futures for their children should support the laws against illegal immigration.

He says the rally for support of the law is really supporting inhumane treatment and detention of these wonderful law-breakers.

As a state representative, he is a lawmaker, yet he criticizes and harangues people who support the law and practically confers sainthood on illegals.

People often follow emotion.  It would be expected that an elected representative would support the law and not throw the bombs of racism and inhumanity at people who attend a peaceful rally supporting immigration law.


Cynthia Kendoll
Statesman Journal

How disappointing to read the Statesman Journal’s coverage of Saturday’s grassroots rally on the steps of the state Capitol with Sheriff Joe Arpaio. The prominent photo coverage of the event would have your readers believing the actual scheduled event was the counter-rally.

Almost no mention was made about the purpose of the rally or of the dozen other speakers who addressed the enthusiastic crowd of nearly 200 (twice what was reported).

A state senator, three state representatives, an Oregon sheriff, the chair of the Oregon Republican Party and leaders of many grassroots organizations spoke at the event. But their remarks were apparently ignored as irrelevant to make room for quotes from a masked man and those attempting to disrupt the rally by drowning out legitimate viewpoints with which they disagreed.

No mention was made of the rude and disruptive behavior of the group. Bullhorn-guided chants, blowing whistles and yelling continued throughout entire event.

It makes me wonder what the Statesman Journal coverage would have been like if the situation were reversed.

Your readers did not get complete or balanced information.

Jim Elvin
Statesman Journal

Salem is being blessed with the presence of the most-dedicated person in law enforcement in the United States and we have local citizens making derogatory remarks about him in the Statesman Journal.

It sure makes a person wonder if they would prefer no law enforcement at all.

Sheriff Arpaio from Arizona has a lot of respect and admiration from most law-abiding citizens for the great job he's doing. I can certainly understand why the criminals and the illegal aliens don't like him, but I was very surprised by the remarks from the liberals and by the fact that the Statesman Journal gave them so much ink.

I would like to think that most liberals support good law enforcement and I don't know how anyone could find a better person in this field than Sheriff Arpaio.