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
The Register Guard
May 29, 2018

In a May 15 editorial, The Register Guard extended “kudos” to a group of University of Oregon students affiliated with the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanx de Aztlan, or MEChA. In a letter to the university’s general counsel, the MEChA students had objected to the “O” logo of Oregonians for Immigration Reform — a group that advocates policies to stem illegal immigration — as too closely resembling the university’s “O” logo.

The impetus for MEChA’s letter: OFIR’s recent designation by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a “hate” group. MEChA’s letter, in turn, inspired the university to threaten to sue OFIR for trademark infringement.

We’ll discuss the SPLC and the logos in a moment. But first, let’s take a closer look at MEChA.

The “A” in “MEChA” stands for “Aztlan” — an imaginary nation comprised of a number of Western states including Oregon. Who, maintains MEChA, has the right to this territory?

“Aztlan belongs ... not to the foreign Europeans,” proclaims MEChA’s website (www.chicanxdeaztlan.org). “The Chicano inhabitants ... of Aztlan” are intent on “reclaiming the land of their birth... . We do not recognize capricious frontiers on the bronze continent... . We declare the independence of our mestizo nation.”

The kicker: “Por La Raza todo. Fuera de La Raza nada.” Translation: “For The Race, everything. For those outside The Race, nothing.”

This is the group that accused OFIR of trying to “normalize a message of hate”? This is the group whose bidding is done by a university that trumpets fealty to “diversity” and “inclusion”?

MEChA’s letter to the university “bodes well,” posited the editorial, for its members’ “potential as future leaders.” Well, fine — if one considers good “future leaders” members of a group whose website advocates a race-based “reconquista” of Oregon.

As for the SPLC? It exists mainly to slander patriotic Americans and the organizations that represent them as racists and xenophobes. Via “distortion, smear, and character assassination,” writes Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter Jerry Kammer, the SPLC “seeks to stifle one of democracy’s most vital functions, the vigorous discussion of important public issues.” Intelligent, informed people don’t take the SPLC seriously — and neither should The Register-Guard or the UO.

And OFIR’s logo? The May 18 Register-Guard printed the university’s and OFIR’s logos side by side. Take a look. Where’s the resemblance? Other than being the same letter of the alphabet, there isn’t any — which is why OFIR has informed the university it will retain its logo.

And now, finally, to OFIR itself.

OFIR is as mainstream as it gets. Its mission, simply, is to advocate for an immigration policy that puts respect for law and the interests of U.S. citizens first. Its members are upstanding, hardworking Americans from all walks of life — and include Hispanics and immigrants. If the SPLC considers OFIR members “haters,” it must think the same of the 63 million Americans, comprising majorities or winning pluralities in 30 of the 50 states, who elected a president who champions stronger border control and an end to illegal-immigrant sanctuary policies.

“Chicano is our identity,” MEChA members have declared. OFIR could not be more different. Its members believe our nation’s identity turns not on race, but on shared citizenship and devotion to country.

The MEChA students, the editorial stated, “chose to channel their ... frustration into a constructive response.” Well, Oregonians frustrated with sanctuary policies that mock American law and sovereignty can do the same.

OFIR activists are collecting signatures to qualify a measure for the November 2018 ballot that would enable voters to repeal Oregon’s illegal-immigrant sanctuary law. To find out more, visit www.StopOregonSanctuaries.org
OFIR is confident that its message of patriotism and respect for law — and, yes, of inclusion — will triumph over MEChA’s message of anger, separatism and rejection of those outside “La Raza.”

Richard F. LaMountain of Portland is a former vice president of Oregonians for Immigration Reform.

Cynthia Kendoll and Richard F. LaMountain
East Oregonian
April 22, 2018

On the issue of illegal immigration, what will it take for the Legislature to heed Oregonians’ will?

Just more than three years ago, in the November 2014 general election, Oregon voters rejected Ballot Measure 88 and the illegal-immigrant driver cards the Legislature had approved in 2013. The statewide margin was almost two-to-one; more than 983,000 Oregonians including a majority in 35 of 36 counties and 80 percent in Umatilla County voted no. The magnitude of Ballot Measure 88’s rejection made clear: The vote transcended the single issue of driver cards to constitute a broad mandate against all forms of state-government benefits for illegal immigrants.

Did lawmakers get the message? They did not. Ever since, they’ve legislated as though Ballot Measure 88’s outcome had been the opposite.

In 2015, lawmakers credentialed many illegal-immigrant university students to compete against American citizens for taxpayer-funded Oregon Opportunity Grants. In 2017, they extended Oregon Health Plan coverage to 14,000 additional illegal immigrants and broadened existing “sanctuary” protections.

And in the session that ended last month, via House Bill 4111, lawmakers granted illegal immigrants enrolled in former President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program the right to renew Oregon driver licenses this despite the unequivocal outcome of Ballot Measure 88, via which Oregonians rejected driving privileges for all illegal immigrants without exception.

Earlier this month, Gov. Kate Brown signed HB 4111 into law. Oregonians have every right to be angry. What, they may ask, can we do to make lawmakers hear and heed the mandate of Ballot Measure 88?

One way is to send the same message again. Activists affiliated with Oregonians for Immigration Reform are circulating petitions to qualify a measure for the November 2018 ballot to repeal the “sanctuary” law which keeps Oregon’s police and sheriffs from using their money, personnel and equipment to detect or apprehend reputedly “non-criminal” illegal immigrants. If, by early July, 88,000 registered Oregon voters sign OFIR’s petition Initiative Petition 22  voters will be able to strike that law from the books.

If they did, that would be two citizen-initiated ballot measures in four years via which Oregonians gave a thumbs-down to laws that benefit illegal immigrants. Would lawmakers, then, finally get the message and stop introducing and voting for such legislation? Those with safe seats in liberal urban districts probably would not. But those in competitive “swing” districts ever cognizant that the next election is just around the corner may, perhaps in sufficient numbers to make the difference.

Ours is a government of, by and for the people. So send your elected representatives the message they need to hear. This spring, sign the IP 22 petition. And in November, vote to repeal the sanctuary law. By doing so, you’ll take another step to force our lawmakers to listen to us and to stop enacting policies that encourage illegal immigration to our state.

Cynthia Kendoll is president of Oregonians for Immigration Reform. Richard F. LaMountain is the group’s former vice president. To sign Initiative Petition 22, go to www.StopOregonSanctuaries.org

Lyneil Vandermolen, Tualatin
The Oregonian
April 12, 2018

Gov. Kate Brown's refusal to allow the Oregon National Guard to help stop the strangely spontaneous column of dubious refugees marching through Mexico to forcibly storm our border is an example of her contempt for the rule of law. Her apparent indifference to the likelihood of terrorists or smugglers embedded in the crowd is intolerable. Her dismissal of American welfare is even evident in her official phone greeting, which addresses stakeholders (illegal aliens) first and ordinary citizens second. 

Brown may consider American citizens to be ordinary, or even irrelevant, but we pay for the troops meant to defend us against aggressive frontal assaults on our border. Brown's refusal to use them seems like an attempt to increase the number of  stakeholders needed to supplant us ordinary American voters.


Jerry Ritter
Register-Guard, Eugene
March 8, 2018

State Sen. Lee Beyer’s Senate Committee on Business and Transportation just flipped a big middle finger to Oregon voters. It approved an amendment to House Bill 4111 that at least partially nullifies the voters’ overwhelming 2014 decision (Measure 88) to deny driver licenses or cards to anyone who cannot prove legal presence in the United States.

There were no exceptions granted by the voters. Under the amended bill, a person “is not required to provide proof of legal presence in the United States” if certain conditions are met and if the person provides certain documents to the Department of Motor Vehicles. But the department is prohibited from verifying the documents.

Supporters claim the bill applies only to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients. However, neither the term “DACA” nor its translation appears in the language. They further assert this action “has nothing to do” with Measure 88. It has everything to do with Measure 88.

A bogus “emergency” clause was included to prevent another voter rebellion.

The legislators — mostly Democrats — promoting this amendment clearly couldn’t care less about voter mandates. They’ve seen that voters will return them to office election after election no matter what they do. That’s the real travesty here.

Jerry Ritter, Springfield


Jim Ludwick
News-Register, McMinnville OR
February 23, 2018

On May 1, 2013, Gov. John Kitzhaber signed into law a bill to grant illegal aliens official Oregon driver cards. As soon as the ink was dry, Oregonians for Immigration Reform, with which I have long been affiliated, filed paperwork for a referendum to overturn the bill.

No one gave us a chance. Every newspaper in Oregon, including the News-Register, came out in opposition. And we were outspent 10 to 1 in the campaign.

In the end, though, Oregon voters overturned the law 66 percent to 34 percent. Thirty-five of Oregon’s 36 counties voted against driver cards for illegal aliens.  Seventy-three percent of Marion, Polk and Yamhill voters said no to Oregon driver cards for illegal aliens.

Recently, when federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement asked Multnomah County Sheriff Mike Reese to provide the release date for multiple-time illegal alien deportee Sergio Martinez, who had been charged with 18 separate crimes, he refused. Upon release, Martinez went on to rape one woman and sexually assault another.

Martinez has since been convicted and sentenced to 35 years in prison. The incarceration cost, an estimated $1 million, will be borne by Oregon taxpayers.

These brutal assaults on two women and the cost of the illegal alien’s subsequent incarceration are directly related to Oregon’s sanctuary policy, which protects illegal alien criminals from being turned over to ICE for deportation. To remedy that, Stop Oregon Sanctuaries is collecting signatures on a repeal measure, Initiative Petition 22.

Oregon voters can help protect citizen safety by signing IP 22.

A single signature sheet can be downloaded at stoporegonsanctuaries.org. Simply print out the sheet, sign it and mail it.

Jim Ludwick


Lyneil Vandermolen
Blue Mountain EAGLE
February 10, 2018

The U.S. has granted six amnesties since the big Simpson/Mazzoli amnesty of 1986. In each case, the federal government has refused to agree to future immigration enforcement without granting amnesty first. Then it ignores enforcement. By now, most citizens know that granting amnesties so that we can earn the right to enforce our laws later is like negotiating with burglars to get some of their stuff back — someday, maybe.

HB 4760 would change that. It ends the visa lottery and chain migration. It would build a wall and begin an e-verify program to turn off the job magnet. The bill would also reduce legal immigration to allow our entry-level citizens to get a first shot at jobs. It even legalizes 675,000 DACA recipients and their immediate families as a humanitarian gesture.

True to form, Oregon Congressman Greg Walden is ignoring it. His seven-term history is full of lip service for immigration reform as long as it doesn’t stand a chance of passing. But unless our government finally serves citizens first, it will only enshrine the precedent of mob rule. So, will Congressman Walden co-sponsor HB 4760?

Steve Weaser
January 29, 2018

Mayor Wheeler's shrill speech/rant in Washington, D.C., makes painfully obvious his disconnect from reality. He accuses the U.S. Department of Justice of doing precisely what the U.S. Constitution requires them and him, per his oath of office, to do. Mayor Wheeler said it is "unconstitutional" and "dangerous" (for whom?) for the federal government to enforce immigration laws in the face of half-baked "sanctuary" laws passed locally. Sanctuary laws reasonably result in an increased risk of crime committed by illegals.

From their first day in office, Mayor Wheeler and Portland city commissioners have violated their oaths of office and the city's charter by allowing homeless camping on Portland Parks property along with all the crime and environmental destruction they cause. They're standing on a "state of emergency," voted on but never proven to exist. Our angry-at-the-feds mayor and city council need to publish the exact criteria used to justify that vote so we, the people, can decide for ourselves if they get a pass on violating two constitutions and a city charter.

Al Phillips
The Bulletin
January 26, 2018

Oregon should obey the law

I read recently that the Department of Justice has included Oregon on the list of jurisdictions that the DOJ wants documentation regarding arrested illegal immigrants. A request by the way, that they have every right to demand. The fact that Oregon’s elected officials have allowed Oregon to be included in such a request is absolutely outrageous! And that Oregon, essentially, must now prove that it is not violating federal law is an embarrassment, or should be, to every man, woman and child in this state. What part of automatically enforcing federal law does Oregon’s elected officials not understand?

And, if in fact it becomes evident that Oregon has not followed federal law on this issue (which is what I’d bet will occur), by what stroke of genius gives them that right? And politicians in charge should be held personally accountable; which is exactly what would happen if you or I violate federal law.

This is one more of myriad indications in my view of decades of hollow and unrealistic and, in this case, potentially, if not actually, illegal positions being piled upon this state by liberal-minded people controlling our state’s government. If there ever was a serious time to “drain the swamp” here, borrowing a line from Trump, that time is now. Frankly, it’s long past that time.

Sharon McVay
January 7, 2018

A message from Gov. Kate Brown 2016: "I believe in a thriving Oregon; one that is resilient and sustains the well-being of current and future generations; where all Oregonians have opportunities to reach our full potential: We must continue our efforts to expand health insurance coverage until every Oregonian is covered."

Illegal aliens seem to prosper, not so much Oregonians. Oregon college students must provide their own health insurance. Illegal aliens do not. HB 3391 provides taxpayer-funded abortions to women who are living in the state illegally. The bill also provides funding for other health care services free of charge who are living in the state illegally.

Make this Democrat governor and her Democrat legislature work to come up with a genuine plan for taxpaying Oregonians for a change. $25 million of a new insurance premium tax will be borne by the K-12 public schools. Where do the cuts fall? Demand an answer.

Small businesses cannot keep up with the taxes and expenses imposed on them to cover the mistakes and poorly managed monies made by our governor. Her special interests love the profit put into their pockets for special favors upon demand. The governor passed new taxes benefiting campaign donors while taking $78 million in healthcare tax dollars from individuals, college students, small businesses, non-profits and public school (HB 2391; parts of which have been referred to Oregon voters as Measure 101).

Vote no on this measure. Do not keep funding this government's way of life at the cost of legal Oregon residents and their families. Read your Voters Pamphlet!

Tom Shuford
News Topic - North Carolina
January 7, 2018

In 2012 President Obama deferred immigration enforcement for illegal aliens claiming arrival before age 16. Obama's unconstitutional "executive action" is known as DACA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. By 2014 Central America had gotten the message. Unaccompanied minors began surging through Mexico over the U.S. border.

DACA expires in March. Democrats want a permanent amnesty for 800,000 DACA recipients. Trump wants a wall and tightened rules for legal immigration. President Trump (tweet, Dec. 29): "The Democrats have been told, and fully understand, that there can be no DACA without the desperately needed WALL at the Southern Border and an END to the horrible Chain Migration & ridiculous Lottery System of immigration etc."  Let's look at Trump's demands:
THE WALL: Israel built impenetrable walls in recent years. One result is this headline in an Israeli newspaper on Jan. 1: "Steps to prevent illegal migrants from entering Israel 100% effective in 2017." Zero illegal entries are remarkable for a wealthy country in a poor region. Israelis took other protective actions, but walls are crucial.
CHAIN MIGRATION:  "For over 50 years, naturalized citizens have been able to petition for the immigration of parents, adult siblings, and adult sons and daughters, all of whom can bring their own spouses and children. When those spouses and children naturalize, they may, in turn, sponsor further relatives, and so on."  (Mark Krikorian, Center for Immigration Studies).
An immigrant should be able to sponsor only a spouse and minor children. Chain migration of extended families drives most legal immigration. Chain migration has shifted source countries for immigration from Europe to Latin America and Asia.
DIVERSITY VISA LOTTERY: The U.S. selects by lottery 50,000 people annually from under-represented, often terror-prone countries. Then they bring relatives by chain migration.
Three terrorists in November and December incidents, Sayfullo Saipov and Akayed Ullah in New York City and Ahmed Amin El-Mofty in Pennsylvania, were "gifts" to America from the Congresses who voted for chain migration in 1965 and for the Diversity Lottery in 1990.
Unlike the tax reform bill, the Senate will need 60 votes for immigration legislation. At least nine Democrat senators will have to vote to slow huge annual inflows of future Democrat voters from chain migration and from the diversity lottery. The prospect of a DACA amnesty, a passionate cause for Democrats, might tempt a few Democrat senators to deal with Trump.