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.

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).


Jim Elvin
Statesman Journal

If we could eliminate our U.S. citizenship, perhaps we might get better representation from those we’ve elected to represent us here in Oregon, such as Gov. Brown, Sens. Wyden and Merkley, Reps. Blumenauer and Schrader and a few others.

It appears that these folks don’t think the illegal aliens should be required to obey our laws and that we should finance their every need, while our budgets remain out of control.

While it’s our responsibility to elect intelligent people who will represent us, it’s obvious that we have failed our responsibility also.

Those who are supporting sanctuaries for these lawbreakers should wake up. The alarms are already ringing. So please stop hitting the snooze button and represent us as your job requires.

Does the future hold any hope for our country with the kind of leadership we have here in Oregon?


Shannon Olsen
Portland Tribune

I was troubled last week seeing the CEO of Intel in the Oval Office glowing with President Trump, while talking about finishing the creation of a plant in Arizona.

Intel (and many other businesses) already pay little to no taxes in many states, including Oregon. What was not mentioned were the recent layoffs in Oregon. Intel has a history of promising jobs in exchange for massive tax breaks and other benefits, then later issuing layoff notices, keeping skeleton crews here to ensure their assistances. The remainder of employees are laid off, jobs are shipped overseas to the Philippines and other low cost countries, and then are replaced with contract employees, who receive no benefits and are subject to release at will. It seems to me this shell game gives the president and CEOs great press, while the taxpayers pick up the bill, and employees lose jobs, benefits and stability. The elimination of regulations for these companies also hurts the public on environmental and safety issues. It impacts employment since it is not just regulations being done away with, it is the people doing these jobs. I do not feel the American pride in this.


Register Guard

The court in Washington state and the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals have opened the doors to any enemy of our nation. The judges have invited those members of the jihad movement to use false identities to come in and establish themselves in various communities so that they can cause harm to any citizen at some later date of their choosing.

If you believe that all immigrants are peace-loving, there are a couple of documents you should read. But first, keep in mind that Iran has declared the United States to be a nation of infidels, and their leaders speak daily of bringing harm to us.

The articles you should read are “The Management of Savagery” at bit.ly/18KFxb2 and Hamas Covenant 1988 at bit.ly/1meoOAe, Article Seven. Also, check out yhoo.it/2kwNE49.

Whether you love or hate President Trump, it is his job to protect the citizens of the United States. It is not his job to protect the citizens of other nations. Individuals opposed to President Trump should never place themselves in a position of having to say “I never thought this would happen to me and my family.”


Stephen A. Moser
Statesman Journal

Well when our high government position are picked solely by Washington and Multnomah counties and bypasses the rest of the voters, you get the likes of Gov. Brown. Proclaiming Oregon to be a sanctuary state!

Has it ever crossed her mind that her real job is to care more about the actual citizens of this state? Citizens who pay the taxes, citizens who have been reduced to third-class waifs, who have been told money is short and wait in line for any “leftovers” not needed by benefactors of her social engineering?

The answer is no, because it is more sexy to progressives to care about people from other countries.

This is a mystery to me as, like most of you, I was raised to believe “charity begins at home.”

Progressives don’t care that most of these folks hate us, our culture, our country and especially our Constitution. They ask us to change our way of life for the invaders and give up everything we hold dear, least we offend the very people we have to care for lock, stock and barrel.

Keep it up, progressives; you are becoming irrelevant. This is the reason you lost the election.