Letters and Op-Eds

Welcome to the OFIR Letters and Op-Eds section.  Here you can read Letters to the Editor and Op-Eds that have been published in various newspapers and news sources.

Gary Bales
Statesman Journal, Salem
I find it amusing the way activists and politicians misuse the English language to promote their agendas. They like to refer to people entering the USA from other countries without permission as illegal or undocumented immigrants when, in fact, there is no such thing.
An immigrant is someone who applies and, after going through the legal process, receives permission to enter a country. Those who ignore the process and enter without permission are committing a crime and are criminals.
These people continue to commit other crimes when they take up residence and employment. If they give a false SSN, they are committing identity theft, which is a felony. If they do not have a Green Card or SSN, they cannot file state or federal tax returns which are also crimes. In total, that is six crimes they are committing.
There is a saying amongst criminals: “If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.” Unless they fell out of a plane, their actions were intended and criminal and they shouldn’t cry or beg when caught.
Bob Curtis
Statesman Journal, Salem
I read with interest and dismay the article about Salem becoming an “inclusive city.” I wonder why city leaders would call it “inclusive city” rather than what they mean: “sanctuary city.”
I fully support legal immigration and law and order. Without law and order, we would become an anarchy. Anyone, including cities, could pick and choose to follow any law, or not, as convenient.
The subject of sanctuary cities or organizations is popular right now because of the political environment, but law and order are not, and should not, be based on popularity or expediency. I would not trade our system for any other.
An issue I fear is that if cities such as Salem can pick and choose what federal laws to follow or enforce, what would happen if we get city officials who have issues with federal laws such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) or the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)?
If not responsible for creating the slippery slope to anarchy, Salem has jumped onto the slope with both feet, only because it is the popular thing to do, not the right thing to do.
Bob Curtis, Salem
Frank W. Brown

There are two definitions of idiocy.

Webster defines idiocy as “something notably stupid or foolish.”

My definition of idiocy is the state of Oregon joining the lawless suit against President Trump’s travel ban. The Constitution is clear that the president controls immigration as part of his duty to protect the United States.

This lawsuit will fail, and Oregon’s government will look like idiots. Liberalism is, indeed, a mental illness.

Don Carson
The Register-Guard

Ruby Bennett was spot on with her March 8 letter (“Can’t pick and choose to obey laws”). Illegal is illegal.

I’m tired of hearing all these illegal-immigrant-lovers harping about why we shouldn’t deport people who sneak into this country. And why are they referred to as “immigrants” and “undocumented workers”? What part of “illegal alien” do you not understand?

Twenty seven years ago, I went to a foreign country to marry a girl I’d been corresponding with. I came home and started the lengthy process mandated to get her into this country. Ten months later, including time and the hassle to go see a U.S. congressman, I was able to send for her. A few months after she arrived, we had to go for an interview to see if we were living as man and wife. As you can imagine, this all cost more than a few shekels.

So now these anti-Trumpsters want to let all those folks who came here without due process just stay and suck the life out of the United States. I realize many of the illegal immigrants came here with good intentions, but there’s a right way, and a wrong way, to come to this country. Do you suppose the government, or the illegal immigrant supporters, are going to pay back the monies extracted to get our legal wives here?

Why don’t we use people who are caught sneaking across the border, to build “The Wall?” For first-time offenders, 30 days at the build site. Second time, six months. Third time, you stay on the wall until it’s finished.


Richard F. LaMountain

Since President Donald Trump's election, the boards of Portland Public Schools and Portland Community College have declared their schools 'sanctuary' institutions that will seek to protect illegal-immigrant students from federal authorities. In doing so, the schools flout 8 U.S. Code 1324, which criminalizes 'any person who ... attempts to conceal, harbor, or shield from detection' illegal immigrants.

"Education," observed English philosopher Herbert Spencer, "has for its object the formation of character." And character, said Theodore Roosevelt, is "the decisive factor in the life of an individual and of nations alike."

What, then, will the effect be on young Americans and their nation when the adults charged with helping mold that character sow contempt for U.S. law?

Since President Donald Trump's election, the boards of Portland Public Schools and Portland Community College have declared their schools "sanctuary" institutions that will seek to protect illegal-immigrant students from federal authorities. In doing so, the schools flout 8 U.S. Code 1324, which criminalizes "any person who ... attempts to conceal, harbor, or shield from detection" illegal immigrants. More, they set an example that could profoundly harm both the youths entrusted to them and the nation at large.

As per Spencer, a central obligation of schools is to imbue students with good character. Without such character, they cannot become responsible adults.

In the civic realm, adults demonstrate character and responsibility via respect for their nation's sovereignty, the sine qua non of which is control of its physical border; for the representative democracy through which Americans make laws, which includes those that regulate the influx of foreign nationals; and for the authorities they empower to compel observance of those laws.

But perhaps the most fundamental attribute of responsible civic adulthood is this: The understanding that a stable, orderly society is served not by championing the interests of lawbreakers and enabling disobedience of laws with which one disagrees, but by seeking to change those laws through our fair and deliberative representative system.

What, then, do school policymakers tell the youths in their charge when they flaunt immigration laws enacted by their fellow Americans? What do they tell those students about a sovereign people's right to self-determination, border control and public order?

By their "sanctuary" example, do schools help mold those youths into responsible adults who respect orderly representative decision-making? Or do they further the anything-goes, "no borders" mentality that has the potential to undo the nation those youths live in and someday will lead?

The answers are clear. Schools' "sanctuary" policies subvert, and indeed work to negate, the fundaments of our representative self-government — the most important of which is our sovereign right to determine who enters our nation, when, and in what numbers. In doing so, they set a destructive example for the youths in their charge.

In May, Portland-area residents will elect directors to the PPS and PCC boards. Before casting their ballots, they should determine the candidates' positions on their schools' "sanctuary" policies and support only those who favor their repeal. And they should insist, in the future, that those schools strive to inculcate in students the character that breeds respect for Americans' national sovereignty and popular self-rule.

Ruby Bennett
Register Guard

I am growing tired of the continued hubbub over President Trump’s promise to deport the illegal aliens from our country. I am hoping that all illegals will be sent home.

We are a country of laws. If we weren’t, our country would be in the same disarray that the countries that the illegals are running from.

I stand behind President Trump’s intent to withhold all federal funds from sanctuaries. The idea that our state and our cities and counties declare themselves sanctuary areas is enough to make me sick to my stomach.

Since when do we pick and choose which laws we obey? The state and others choosing to protect criminals (and they become criminals when they sneak across our border, overstay their visas and steal Social Security cards and other ID) is disgraceful.

The citizens of this state have a right to the monies from the government to pay for necessary services for our safety and well being. And as far as President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, the parents are the culprits for bringing their children here and our government is not responsible for making their poor decisions right. We should adopt the same rules for our country that Mexico has. Read them sometime. Very interesting.

As far as their contributing to our economy is concerned, during my years as a district manager for a large tax firm none of them paid taxes. Dependents would pop up until they wiped out their tax liability. They received money back in the form of child tax credit or earned income credit. Or, if nothing else, a refund of any tax was withheld.

Elizabeth Van Staaveren

Efforts are underway to prey on public sympathy and gain legal status for the so-called DACA immigrants, who claim to have been brought here while they were young children and to have had no part in the decision to immigrate illegally.

First, the U.S. is not responsible for their being here illegally; the parents or other sponsors are responsible for the "children" being here illegally. Somehow, the parents seem to be forgotten in the pleas for exception.  If the "children" were deported, their illegally present parents could also be deported and thus the family would not "be torn apart."

Also, these wonderful children who have never known life outside the U.S. could take their talents and assets to the countries where they are citizens, and benefit that country.

Imagine what a huge burden and expense it would be to try to verify the claims of millions of persons that they were brought to the U.S. as children, involuntarily, and at what time they came, and their true age at arrival.

Most of the claims could not possibly be verified.  Such attempts are not worth the expense to taxpayers; this country is already indebted by trillions of dollars.

We should not feel guilty about deporting illegal aliens. They are citizens of another county and they owe it the respect and loyalty to return and help it according to their abilities.  If they wish later to immigrate to the U.S., they can follow the legal procedures prescribed for admittance.

Dan Davison

I read with interest that some schools saw their attendance drop to less than 50 percent during last Thursday's "Day Without Immigrants" demonstration.

Imagine what ongoing class sizes and the cost of education would be if we hadn't committed to schooling all of these foreign students. This comes during the continuing cry for more money for our schools.


Register Guard

We’ve had a new president for all of 30 days, and the liberal hypocrisy is appalling. Immigration officers have detained and deported hundreds of illegal immigrants — 75 percent of them with criminal records, including homicide, rape and child molestation.

The mainstream media would have you believe it’s just hardworking men and women. So liberals want these people on our streets? I don’t recall any outrage by the media when Obama deported more than 400,000 illegals in 2013 alone.

Obama deported close to 2.5 million, the most of any president. I hope Trump keeps up the good work.


Richard F. LaMountain
Wilsonville Spokeman

Are foreign high-tech workers a boon to our state? So says (contra the facts, as we'll see) the Michael Bloomberg-founded Partnership for a New American Economy. In its recent study "The Contributions of New Americans in Oregon," PNAE asserts that foreign-born workers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics are "not just a crucial piece of Oregon's STEM workforce now" but "likely to power it in the future."

As the new year begins, many high-tech firms are readying applications (which they may submit beginning April 1) to import foreign STEM workers via the federal H-1B visa program. Since 2005, each year the program has allowed at least 85,000 workers holding bachelor's and post-graduate degrees to enter the United States. The many Oregon firms that have utilized the H-1B program include Nike, Intel, Tektronix, Lattice Semiconductor and Mentor Graphics.

"Despite making up 9.8 percent of the state's population," reports PNAE, the "foreign-born . . . made up 14.2 percent of STEM workers in the state in 2014." One reason for this, the study suggests, is "the country's ongoing shortage of STEM talent ... (T)he large interest in [the H-1B program] indicates Oregon employers likely were having real trouble finding the workers they needed on U.S. soil."

As we'll see, however, companies' "large interest" in H-1B workers turns on something else entirely. For our country boasts an ample supply of U.S.-born, STEM-educated citizens — untold thousands of whom are being displaced by foreign competition.

"Overall, our colleges and universities graduate twice the number of STEM graduates as find a job each year (in) the STEM workforce," Rutgers University professor Hal Salzman told a U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee panel last winter. "Of the entire workforce, only about a third of those with STEM degrees are employed in STEM jobs." In 2014, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that "74 percent of those who have a [STEM] bachelor's degree ... are not employed in STEM occupations."

In their recent book "Sold Out," Michelle Malkin and John Miano, citing a study by Bright.com's then-chief scientist David Hardtke, wrote that in one recent year there were "1.34 qualified domestic workers for every one position where a company had indicated an intent to hire a foreign worker through the H-1B program."

Still, PNAE persists. "Every time a state gains 100 foreign-born STEM workers with graduate-level STEM training from a U.S. school," claims its study, "262 more jobs are created for U.S.-born workers there in the seven years that follow." The obvious question: Wouldn't an influx of similarly-qualified American-born STEM workers have the same effect?

The truth, as reported recently by a research team led by Notre Dame University economist Kirk Doran, is this: "New H-1Bs substantially and statistically significantly crowd out median employment of other workers."

Contra PNAE, then, our country boasts an abundance of STEM-educated U.S. citizens — who are hurt, not helped, by infusions of foreign high-tech workers. Still, report Malkin and Miano, "foreign guest

workers account for one-third

to one-half of all new [information technology] hires."


Simple: money. "The U.S. Department of Labor," Howard University professor Ron Hira has written, "has affirmed ... H-1B workers can legally be paid much less than American workers." In the IT sector alone, he noted, "firms that rely mostly on H-1Bs are able to generate net profit margins of 20 to 25 percent . . . where we would expect profit margins of six to eight percent." Results like this, writes NumbersUSA's research director Eric Ruark, make clear: the real reason companies use H-1B is "not to supplement American workers but to supplant them."

Today in Oregon, reports the state Employment Department, almost 200,000 people — the great majority of them U.S. citizens — are unemployed, underemployed or "marginally attached to the labor force." Among them: STEM workers displaced by lower-cost foreign competition. To them, and to unemployed Americans in other states, our elected officials owe their first and foremost responsibility. Let's hope President Trump — who has pledged to champion the interests of American workers — and his allies in Congress reject the thinking of the Partnership for a New American Economy, rein in the H-1B program, and work instead to maximize America's and

Oregon's native-born STEM talent.

Richard F. LaMountain, a Cedar Mill resident, is vice president of Oregonians for Immigration Reform (oregonir.org).