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.

Elizabeth Van Staaveren
The Oregonian
June 26, 2017
At any time now the Oregon Senate may vote on HB 3464, a bill to protect illegal aliens and help them remain comfortably in Oregon or travel elsewhere in the United States should they choose.
This bill was fast-tracked by House leadership, announced on May 31, rushed through and passed on June 20 after one hearing by the House Rules Committee.
What does this bill do to the value of citizenship? Why should anyone respect laws if law breakers worldwide are given a wholesale welcome to this country? That is what HB 3464, which provides "privacy" for illegal aliens, would do. It's an attempt to nullify federal immigration laws and cripple their enforcement.
Already, many people have died in terrorist attacks made easy by poor immigration controls, and already excessive immigration has driven population beyond environmental carrying capacity.
Gov. Kate Brown and Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum requested this disastrous bill. They are aiding and abetting illegal immigration, in disregard of their primary obligation: the safety and well-being of citizens.
Are there any Democrats with the spine to object? Not in the Oregon House apparently; all 35 aye votes were from Democrats. Citizens, take notice!
Elizabeth Van Staaveren
June 23, 2017

In the letter sent by “Concerned friends” to the Keizer mayor, most readers will notice a gaping hole in the “friends” argument for making Keizer a “welcoming and inclusive city.”

“Inclusive” is a current buzzword used to obscure the fact that some people are defying the basic right of our nation to control immigration. Should such people be welcomed and made to feel included?

A nation that doesn’t have respected and enforced immigration controls, quite simply, cannot endure. The U.S. has clear borders, and a federal immigration system.

Every person entering the U.S. is supposed to be inspected by federal agents before being admitted.  The agents will check that the person is either a returning citizen, or has a valid visa or other official proof of identity giving that person the right to enter.  Anyone who sneaks in uninspected, or overstays a visa, is by law defined as an illegal alien.

Sadly, many Americans have died overdosing on drugs smuggled into the U.S. across our southern border by vicious illegal alien gang members now entrenched in Oregon. Our country has suffered deadly terrorist attacks made easy by poor immigration controls. Excessive immigration has increased U.S. population beyond environmental carrying capacity, threatening natural resources.

 Our new president is dedicated to restoring integrity in immigration management.

Oregon and Keizer should cooperate in these efforts, not try to stop them.

David Brown
ALBANY Democrat-Herald
June 22, 2017

Rep. Andy Olson is working to look out for America and Oregon, and has called for help to citizens to contact your legislators to help defeat House Bill 3464.

Olson has written: "In summary, HB 3464 would make it nearly impossible for state and local law enforcement to cooperate with federal immigration officials and allow illegal criminal immigrants, even those convicted of the most serious crimes, to escape immigration enforcement."

This bill, if passed, would further erode national security, and prevent law enforcement from doing their job. It is direct conflict with federal regulations. It is a further step to making Oregon a "home base" for persons in this country illegally.

Cynthia Kendoll
Statesman Journal
June 20, 2017

Thirty years ago, lawmakers made Oregon the first sanctuary for illegal immigrants: A law, Oregon Revised Statute 181A.820, enjoins the state's police and sheriffs from "detecting or apprehending persons whose only violation of law is that they are persons of foreign citizenship present in the United States in violation of federal immigration laws."

Today, the House of Representatives' Democratic majority goes even further. Gov. Kate Brown and Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum and 28 House Democrats have introduced House Bill 3464, to prohibit, "except as required by state or federal law," Oregon's "public bodies" -- its various governments, its schools, and its law-enforcement agencies -- from sharing with federal immigration authorities illegal immigrants' addresses, contact information, workplaces, schools of attendance, and scheduled court appearances if such information was intended to be used "for the . . . enforcement of federal immigration laws."

HB 3464 is harmful for several reasons: undermining the rule of law generally, and U.S. immigration law specifically, and by shielding criminal aliens from detection.

HB 3464 weakens our national security. "With the FBI investigating nearly 1,000 active terrorism cases in the U.S., federal agents are stretched thin and depend heavily on information provided by state and local officials," notes Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform. "By impeding communication with federal immigration officials, HB3464 will create an environment where terrorists and other criminal aliens can go undetected and uninterrupted.  Are the sponsors of this bill prepared to accept responsibility for the more serious crimes committed by people here illegally?

Another important reason the Legislature should reject the bill: It would savage Oregonians' recent and clear electoral mandate against illegal immigration.

In 2013, the Legislature passed SB 833 – a bill providing state issued photo ID, in the form of a driver card and without proof of legal presence. Fifty-eight members of the House and Senate -- almost two-thirds of the Legislature -- voted in favor.

Outraged citizens filed a Citizen's Veto Referendum (Measure 88) to overturn SB 833. It was a bitter fight, the Legislature even attempting to hi-jack the ballot title issued by the Attorney General. They failed miserably - being excoriated by all seven of Oregon's major newspapers.

Oregon voters, in 2014, seized the opportunity to tell law-makers loud and clear that they didn't want the state to provide special privileges to people here illegally.  Voters rejected Measure 88 by a massive two-to-one margin, defeating it in 35 of Oregon's 36 counties and all five congressional districts.

The question, then, via HB 3464, should a few dozen legislators contradict the anti-illegal immigration mandate sent by almost a million of their constituents?  Of course not. To do so constitutes hubris and arrogance, but also undermines Oregon's system of checks, balances, and popular self-rule.

HB 3464 is a bad bill.  It endangers citizens and violates Oregonians' clearly-stated electoral will. Lawmakers should kill it posthaste.

Cynthia Kendoll is president of Oregonians for Immigration Reform. She can be reached at http://www.oregonir.org/

The Register Guard
June 7, 2017

Here they go again: After Oregonians made crystal clear their feelings regarding public benefits for illegal immigrants via Measure 88 in 2014, Democrats in the Legislature are once more thumbing their noses at the electorate.

They’ve just introduced House Bill 3464 at the request of Gov. Kate Brown and Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum. Among other provisions, it would prohibit a government agency from inquiring about an applicant’s citizenship status in determining eligibility for public benefits, except as required by state or federal law. It also further cements Oregon’s “sanctuary state” status.

All the sponsors of this “illegal immigrant support act” are Democrats, including many of Lane County’s Democratic legislators. And because the sponsors know fully well that legal Oregon residents would likely disapprove, they added a bogus “emergency” clause solely to prevent a referendum.

The sponsors also concluded from Measure 88 that as Democrats in a deep blue state, their jobs are secure no matter how out of touch they are with the public on this matter. But given demonstrated public opinion and with the state supposedly facing a $1.4 billion deficit, how can such arrogance possibly be justified?

It’s time for Oregon to become a sanctuary state for Oregonians, not foreign nationals. HB 3464 is irresponsible.

Elizabeth Van Staaveren
Statesman Journal
June 5, 2017

Oregon’s Gov. Kate Brown and Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum have apparently never learned the basics of civics or history. They don’t seem to understand that Oregon is not a nation; it’s part of the United States.

The United States is a nation ruled under federal laws that apply to all states. One primary duty of a nation is to protect its citizens by controlling which and how many citizens of other countries may enter it. This is done through immigration laws that require official inspection of all persons entering the country. Those who sneak in without inspection or overstay their visas are here illegally.

Through HB-3464, a bill to “protect privacy” of undocumented immigrants , Gov. Brown and AG Rosenbaum defy federal law. They are pushing for an end to limits of any kind on immigration. But a nation cannot exist with open borders. Already due to excessive immigration, population has grown beyond environmental carrying capacity, and many people have died in terrorist attacks made easy by poor immigration controls.

State officials and legislators should be thinking about what is best for the residents of this state and citizens of our country, and stop trying to dismantle federal immigration laws that are good and necessary.

Elizabeth Van Staaveren
Portland Tribune
May 25, 2017
While Tom Shillock (Letters, May 11) describes well some of the problems associated with the tiny house movement, there's a more fundamental issue at play here that no one seems to recognize.
What happens to the quality of life when our population continues its explosive path at the rate of one person added every 14 seconds, with no end in sight? The U.S. Census population clock tells us we have one birth every eight seconds, one death every 12 seconds, one international migrant (net) every 32 seconds. 
People don't like to be crowded together like ant colonies. Witness the perennial zoning battles when developers want to build more density into established neighborhoods.
The easiest recourse is to reduce immigration. It is the major cause of overpopulation. In recent years, depending on the methodology used, immigration directly and indirectly accounted for 60 to 80 percent of U.S. population growth.
Our natural environment is increasingly being damaged by overpopulation, which affects water resources, air quality, climate and every aspect of social and economic issues. 
Tiny houses are just a Band-Aid when major surgery is needed.
Tim Fox
The Bulletin, Bend
May 17, 2017
I recently was watching Fox News (Tucker Carlson to be precise); he was interviewing a guest, and she said something about immigration that I’ve heard time and time again. She basically said that Trump’s border wall shows he hates and has no tolerance toward immigration. 
This feeling not only is wrong, but it makes me angry that many think this. Let me explain it. 
Recall that Trump said the wall will have a door. That’s symbolic of legal immigration, similar to having a guest coming to your front door and using the doorbell or knocking. Politely coming to your abode — that’s doing it the correct way. But someone arriving and using the back door or breaking in uninvited is the impolite way of entry. 
That’s an analogy for illegal immigration, and that’s what the wall is there to prevent. That’s what Trump and many (including me) hate. Trump doesn’t hate immigration; he hates illegal immigration. 
Many don’t brand illegal immigrants with the term illegal. Instead, they choose the PC route to brand them with a term that basically calls a drug dealer an unlicensed pharmacist! Illegal is illegal! Like your leader Barack Obama said, “You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig!” 
Jerry Ritter
The Register-Guard
May 11, 2017

For two days in a row (May 9 and 10) The Register Guard’s editors have referred to “anti-immigrant sentiment” that supposedly propelled Donald Trump to the presidency. Why do the media, most of them left-leaning, insist on labeling as “anti-immigrant” those who want our nation’s laws enforced?

Unlike these media, most Americans get the difference between legal and illegal immigration. We saw this even in deep blue Oregon when voters, by a 2-to-1 margin in November 2014, overturned the Oregon Legislature’s ill-advised bill giving driver cards to illegal immigrants. But Oregonians in general can hardly be accused of being “anti-immigrant.”

What do you think would happen if Oregon’s status as a sanctuary state were put to a vote? The Legislature has a pretty good idea. That’s why every illegal immigrant support bill since the driver card fiasco has included a bogus “emergency” clause solely to prevent the voters from taking the same action.

I agree that “no human being is illegal.” However, some of them commit unlawful acts, including those who cross our borders illegally. Those of us who want our nation’s laws enforced are not “anti-immigrant” but are demonized by the left nonetheless.

Nicky A. Sprauve
Blue Mountain EAGLE
May 9, 2017

After seeing what happened in Portland with the May Day march, I believe the responsibility lies 100 percent with Gov. Brown. She has declared our state a “sanctuary state.” This gives every anarchist a license to destroy, pillage and burn the private and public property of our state. When the governor tells people that they do not need to obey the laws of our country, then you see the results of that action. It was on full display May 1.

I believe that any public official that declares their community a “sanctuary” community is not really working for the safety of that community. Portland was definitely not safe. I am appalled that our politicians are lumping immigrants and illegal immigrants in the same category. I believe the people of Oregon are for immigration, but they are not for illegal immigration. When the politicians say you can ignore the law when it comes to illegal immigration, then the anarchists believe they have a license to do just what we saw on May 1.

I believe that any public official that declares their community a “sanctuary” community, and that goes all the way to the governor, should resign, be recalled or voted out of office now.