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.

Wayne Mayo
The Bulletin
April 20, 2013

It’s obvious the “Bipartisan Path to Immigration Reform," as reported in the Wall Street Journal on April 16, offers little if anything regarding true border security. From the narrative’s “first in line" point offering drones to patrol the borders followed immediately by the comment, ‘... only yards from us in downtown Nogales, Ariz., a young woman climbed an 18’ fence right before our eyes ..." it’s clear the six senators dismissed a barrier that absolutely stops everyone. Come now, senators.

Israel has one that stops, well, everyone.

With Boston as a backdrop, when will Congress realize America demands as much protection as Israel? It’s America that’s been dubbed “the great Satan" after all.

Someday we may suffer an explosive device much deadlier, smuggled through our porous borders. Imagine the chaos that would ensue. Trillions will be lost.

Wayne Mayo



David Cross
April 19, 2013

The Legislature should reject Senate Bill 833 that would grant some form of Oregon driver license to foreign nationals illegally in the state under the pretense of the legislation being an issue of public safety.

In an annual report filed Jan. 1 by DMV administrator Tom McClellan — a report required since passage of Senate Bill 1080 in 2008 that required legal presence to obtain a driver’s license — he imparts, “Four years after implementing a legal presence requirement in Oregon, changes in driver licensing requirements have not had a major impact on the rate of unlicensed and uninsured driving.”

In reality, before passage of that legislation, the issuing of a driver’s license some illegal aliens didn’t seem to motivate them in the name of public safety to obtain automobile insurance or in some cases even have a valid driver license. Here is short history of seven victims whose lives were extinguished violently and prematurely by illegal alien drivers who chose to drive impaired and recklessly:

Judyth Anne Cox, 66, of Newberg was killed in Yamhill County on Dec. 3, 2007 by Ignacio Merendon-Zerega, a Mexican national illegally in the state. Merendon-Zerega had six prior DUIIs, most occurring in Marion County. He had no driver license or insurance.

Carma Colleen Smith, 52, of Dayton was killed in Yamhill County on May 11, 2008 (Mothers Day), by Leonel Zurita-Loeza, a Mexican national illegally in the state. Zurita-Loeza was on a diversion for a previous DUII at the time. He had a driver license but no insurance.

Justin Daniel Dougherty, 23, was killed in Lane County on March 4, 2008, by Eduardo Gutierrez-Duarte, a Mexican national. Gutierrez-Duarte had a previous DUII in 2004. He had a driver license but no insurance.

Kay Blaser, 26, was killed in Clackamas County on Oct. 12, 2008, by Fernando Deanda-Moreno, a Mexican national illegally in the state. Deanda-Moreno had neither a driver license nor insurance.

Barbara Jean Bier, 52, was killed in Polk County on Nov. 21, 2008, by Martin Martinez-Aguilar, who had a driver license but no insurance.

Albert Lloyd Rowland, 53, was killed in Multnomah County on May 13, 2010, by Mexican national Alvaro Lugos-Ponce. He had no driver license or insurance.

John Zupan (founder of Zupan’s Markets), 66, was killed in Multnomah County on Aug. 30, 2011, by Edy Porfirio Reynoso-Ramirez, a Mexican national illegally in the state. He had no driver license or insurance.

The driver licenses of the previously mentioned illegal aliens (whose licenses were issued prior to 2008’s SB1080) have been revoked or suspended. But their criminal driving history may not prevent them from driving again in the state. Particularly problematic with SB 833 is the legislation might allow some of them to use a Mexican matricula consular card to re-obtain a valid license.

If past history is any indicator of human behavior, SB 833 is legislation that could once again open up Oregon’s freeways, highways, roads and streets to the slaughter of its citizens by foreign nationals illegally present in the state.

It is unconscionable that any legislator would be willing to sponsor or support such irresponsible and dangerous legislation as SB 833 under the guise of it being a public safety issue.

David Olen Cross of Salem writes on the subjects of illegal immigration and foreign national crime. Contact him at docfnc@yahoo.com.

Gordon Johnson
April 18, 2013

I just read the story about issuing driver’s licenses to non-U.S. citizens.

I think if immigrants not in the United States legally need a driver’s license so badly, they should become a citizen first, then apply for a license. I don’t understand how it would create safer roads if they get their license. Does having that license in their pocket automatically make them drive better?

What kind of training are they going to get? You can be sure it will be paid for by legal citizens.

Immigration laws need to be enforced first. Then, as immigrants become citizens, they can apply for a driver’s license legally.

Gordon Johnson


Fred Brown
April 17, 2013

I am unable to come to a conclusion on the issue of driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants.

On the one hand, what part of illegal do we wish to reward with legal driving privileges? On the other, requiring a license will at least allow a stab at ensuring driving ability for most everyone on the road.

I do have a suggestion for the Legislature, though. State law requires auto liability insurance. Perhaps it should be written into the law that if an undocumented person is found to be driving without adequate insurance, then that person will be immediately turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for deportation.

Once the word of that enforcement tool gets around, there will probably be a higher proportion of undocumented aliens with insurance than the general driving population.

Fred Brown



Rep. Esquival
April 5, 2013

Civil society is based on the concept of rule of law. But the rule of law means less when laws can be deliberately ignored – when people are given permission to disobey the laws.

Senate Bill 833 is a good example of this, as it essentially rewards illegal behavior.

If passed, SB 833 would create short-term driver privilege cards for undocumented Oregon residents.

There is no doubt that this is a nation of immigrants. For many generations, hard-working people from all over the world have helped make the United States the nation that it is.

But those immigrants went about obtaining their citizenship the right way. My family was among them.

The bottom line is, people who entered this country illegally have broken the law.

By considering laws like SB 833, we are doing a huge disservice to those who would wish to go through the proper processes to obtain citizenship, like millions of Americans have done over the years – not to mention a disservice and the chipping away of the laws of the land.

I understand that people need to drive to work, and that those who immigrate here are doing so to provide better economic opportunities for their families. But SB 833 takes the wrong approach to this issue, and I intend to vote against it when given the chance.

Oregonians deserve better than to have their civil society and its rules of law undermined by poor legislation.


Jerry J. Ritter
April 4, 2013

Taxpayer-subsidized in-state college tuition for illegal aliens. Restoration of driver’s licenses for illegal aliens.

What can we next expect from Gov. John Kitzhaber and the Democrats in the Legislature? A decree to begin pledging allegiance to the Mexican or some other foreign flag?

Jerry J. Ritter



The Bulletin Editorials
April 3, 2013

Iimmigrants without legal documentation could get Oregon driver’s licenses if legislators approve a bill filed Tuesday.

Senate Bill 833 would create a new four-year, “short-term" license for those who meet all other license requirements except proof of legal residence.

Although the licenses would carry an unspecified “distinguishing feature," there can be little doubt that they would be confused with standard licenses and further hamper efforts to distinguish legal from residents from those here illegally. It’s not the right way to solve the nation’s immigration problem.

Supporters say the change would improve public safety because immigrants who are here illegally could be licensed and insured drivers. The Oregonian reports the bill came from a work group convened by Gov. John Kitzhaber, and is a priority of Latino groups, who argue it would help the state’s economy by allowing Oregon residents to get to work and to participate fully in the economy.

Rep. Kim Thatcher, R-Keizer, anticipated this bill when she wrote in the Keizertimes, a community newspaper, last fall. She said similar legislation had been defeated in a previous session, but the governor’s support could increase its chances in 2013.

Thatcher said current law is important in the battle against identity theft and fraud, and that immigrants who are here illegally “are breaking the law by being in the country. Why should we encourage their actions by issuing a state-sanctioned permission slip to stay here?" she wrote.

She worried that agencies would accept the new driver’s licences “as a legitimate form of ID, opening doors to other services, whether it’s bank accounts, welfare benefits, you name it."

Indeed, SB 833 doesn’t do enough to prevent such confusion. It leaves to the Department of Motor Vehicles the task of labeling the licenses. The Oregonian reports one idea is to print “Short Term" in a corner of the new licenses. That’s clearly insufficient.

Immigration reform is a critical national need, but it shouldn’t be handled piecemeal by state legislatures in a way that further confuses legal and illegal. Legislators should once again say no to this idea.

Pete Dane
March 31, 2013

The headline “License To Thrive” on March 27 was sensational and tugged at ones heartstrings because of the plight of the protesters.

The federal law restricting driver licenses for undocumented residents seems responsible and reasonable. The flood of undocumented people into this country, and the subsequent high cost of social services, limit the chances for even a modest sustainable economy and environment.

If there is a question of residency status, then those persons should follow the standard legal avenues to resolve the issues, like everyone else.

It’s selfish to demand certain favors from the governor.

Pete Dane


Jim Ludwick
March 21, 2013

Rep. Kurt Schrader wrote in his March 11 guest opinion, “One hundred years ago, America took all comers to its shores.” He is wrong.

One hundred years ago, the nation had laws like today to protect the country from unwanted immigration and turned back aliens who had communicable diseases, were paupers or were fanatics.

He wrote, “Our byzantine immigration system encourages would-be immigrants to put their livelihoods on the line in order to seek the American dream.” He is talking about aliens who break our immigration laws and says that it is our fault because we don’t let everyone who wants to come in do so legally.

He wrote, “It makes criminals out of business owners and farmers for hiring folks to do work that no one else will do.” You are a criminal only if you deliberately break the law and hire illegal workers willing to be exploited at wages so low they are unattractive to legal workers. Rep. Schrader also ignores that there is a legal visa entry system for an unlimited number of temporary agricultural workers.

And he had the audacity to liken marches by illegal aliens calling for an amnesty to the civil rights marches to end racial discrimination and to suggest that the issue is religious by calling for an “epiphany” by lawmakers.

Rep. Schrader needs to become more informed of the facts before he pontificates, and he should have more compassion for U.S. citizens who are harmed by illegal immigration and be less influenced by illegal residents and those who benefit from depressed wages caused by their presence.

Peter M. Appleton
March 9, 2013

Two articles appeared in the March 5 issue of the Statesman Journal — one dealing with a situation in Oregon and another with a situation in California — yet both articles dealt with the same subject, namely how health insurance authorities related to people who speak languages different than English.

My question is, why relate to such people at all? Why not let people know that they have to speak English in order to get health insurance? Here I thought that we were an English-speaking country.

Clearly all of the (viable anyway) schemes being talked about in Washington, D.C., to provide a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants contemplate that those people will have to learn English in order to qualify.

Is there any doubt that a person who walked into a DMV in Mexico City and asked to take the test in English would be laughed out of the place? Yet here we bend over backwards to accommodate people who choose not to speak English.

If it is good enough for Washington, D.C. politicians, it should be good enough for us. I just don’t get it.

Peter M. Appleton