Work toward a solution

Letter date: 
Friday, July 13, 2018
Letter publisher: 
News-Register, McMinnville OR
Letter author: 
Rick Johnson, Newberg
Letter body: 

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