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.

Ted Krempa
Mail Tribune
February 10, 2013

In the past several weeks, the MT has published many letters critical of Sheriff Winters' comments that he intends to uphold the Second Amendment and that he may not enforce any new legislation that violates gun owners' rights.

Now, we have ultra-liberal Representative Buckley planning state legislation to reward illegal aliens (and the correct term is "illegal," not "undocumented") with driver's licenses and in-state tuition benefits. Illegally entering this country is a clear violation of federal law, yet Buckley and his progressive ilk have no problem in rewarding lawbreakers in exchange for votes.

Once again, another glaring example of the liberal double standard brought to you by "the people who know what's best for you," the Democratic Party. I wonder if those who criticize Sheriff Winters will be equally outraged at Buckley's misguided legislation.

— Ted Krempa, Medford

February 9, 2013

It doesn’t surprise me that Peter Courtney is trying to get taxpayers to pay for college tuition subsidies for illegal aliens. They seem to be his favorite constituency.

Voters who re-elect Courtney anyway need to know whether this program is open to the massive fraud inherent in illegal alien schemes. For instance, what proof will the state require that the students have been in Oregon and the U.S. for the required time? What ID will they provide -- a flimsy matricula consular card?

The onus is on Peter Courtney and the state to prove ineligible illegal aliens will not be able to game the system, although history shows that citizens usually lose ground in compromises with illegal immigrants.

Lyneil Vandermolen


Elizabeth Van Staaveren
February 6, 2013

Why should citizens accept yet another huge amnesty?

In recent years, seven major amnesties have been passed by Congress. The result? Constantly increasing numbers of illegal immigrants.

Proponents’ promises of better law enforcement were never kept. There is no reason to think another amnesty would be different. The more than 11 million illegal immigrants given citizenship now would simply be replaced by other illegal immigrants, probably in even larger numbers.

Don’t call it comprehensive immigration reform. It’s amnesty when millions of illegal immigrants are given legality for meeting a few flimsy, unenforceable, fig-leaf “requirements.”

No one really knows how many illegal aliens are in the U.S. There are good reasons to believe the figure is much higher than the Department of Homeland Security estimates.

Attrition through enforcement is the most cost-effective, humane way to reduce the size of the illegal population and to discourage others from illegal entry. A 2012 Pulse Opinion Research poll showed that 78 percent of Americans favor mandatory E-Verify and enforcement of workplace verification laws. E-Verify is accurate and ready for expanded use.

We need E-Verify, not amnesty.

Elizabeth Van Staaveren



Alex W. Sundberg
February 5, 2013

It’s back: comprehensive immigration reform.We know what that means. It’s political-speak for amnesty and eventual citizenship for people in our country illegally.

Both parties are clamoring for Latinos’ favor. Corporatist Republicans love cheap illegal labor and its downward pressure on citizen wages. Elitist Democrats lust after millions of potential votes. Activists and the media have cleverly and successfully rebranded these uninvited guests as victims.

So the conversation begins. Rhetoric at the ready, conclusions foregone, epithets locked and loaded.

Absent are the voices of working-class citizens who suffer the negative effects of illegal immigration. If they speak up, they are branded racist. Absent also are the voices of those who wait patiently for years to enter our country legally.

A study by George Borjas, Harvard economist, shows that cheap immigrant labor has reduced the wages of American workers performing low-skilled jobs. These citizens pay dearly.

Who speaks for them?

Alex W. Sundberg



Joe Guzzardi
February 3, 2013

President Obama’s choice of Nevada to announce his all encompassing amnesty program is curious.

Nevada’s 10.2 unemployment rate is the nation’s highest. Las Vegas, where Obama spoke, has a 10.4 percent unemployment rate. Nevada unemployment is so acute that more than four and a half years have passed since a single construction worker showed up at the unfinished $4.75 billion Echelon mega resort.

In a statement last month President Obama’s partner in crime, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, said that while he’s encouraged by Nevada’s unemployment drop from last month’s 10.8 percent, “We must stay focused on creating jobs and strengthening our state’s middle class to maintain this positive momentum.”

Platitudes aside, the amnesty that Obama and Reid so covet is a job killer that hurts the American lower and middle classes. Giving work authorization to more than 11 million illegal aliens frees them to compete legally with Americans for increasingly fewer jobs.

To date, only sketchy details have surfaced about the proposed legislation. But the drift is clear: amnesty for all, more non-immigrant worker visas and plenty of unchallenged gobbledygook about the pending legislation’s wonderfulness without even a passing reference to its perils. Also thrown in to the mix to appease GOP skeptics and doubting Americans are the bold lies that the administration will provide stronger border security and more internal enforcement through an electronic system. Unmentioned, however, is that Congress blocked a 2011 bill to mandate E-Verify, the Legal American Workforce Act, that would have checked new hires for legal status.

Anyone who buys the idea that enforcement will be increased hasn’t been paying much attention. When the Immigration Reform and Control Act passed in 1986, Congress made the same empty promises. Today the nation has more than 11 million illegal aliens.

The federal government has dozens of sound immigration laws that are ignored daily. During the last three years, Obama has voided enforcement through a series of executive orders that have stayed deportation for tens of thousands. In a law suit upheld by a Texas federal district court, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents sued Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and ICE director John Morton for their directive that forced them to release detained aliens. Only a fool would believe that the restrictive portions of new legislation would be obeyed.

In the meantime, the border patrol also has to contend with more outrages that prevent them from carrying out their sworn duty. Officials from the Customs and Border Protection’s San Diego sector has promised to look into labor and immigration advocates’ complaints that officers are targeting illegal alien day laborers---exactly the job they were hired to perform. In other words, the border patrol is investigating agents who enforcing the law.

Realistically, the battle has just begun. The proposal is no more than a five-page outline. In some congressional corners and throughout grassroots America, resistance is already strong. When the argument begins about whether to include recently amnestied aliens at the cost of billions more in the trillion dollar Affordable Health Care Act, support will dwindle further. The more Americans learn about the radical amnesty proposal, the tougher the fight for its proponents.

Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1986. Contact Joe at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org

Elizabeth Van Staaveren
January 29, 2013

From its earliest days, President Obama’s administration has ignored U.S. immigration laws and imposed its own immigration agenda without respect to the legislative process. The DACA program (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) illustrates Obama’s autocratic and unwise immigration policies.

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), was for 6 years, through December 2012, Chair, House Judiciary Committee, overseeing immigration issues. He presented a critique at a panel discussion, Amnesties: Past, Present, Future, on January 14 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., hosted by the Center for Immigration Studies. Citizens should read his full statement. Here are some of the salient points.

Tracing the history of the DACA program, he pointed to the Dec. 2010 memo by top DHS officials, leaked to the media, which suggested that administrative powers be used to legalize millions of illegal immigrants, including those eligible under the proposed Dream Act.

When Rep. Smith, as Chair of the Judiciary Committee, asked DHS for further information, his immigration subcommittee staff was told that the memo was simply a “brainstorming exercise."

However, in June 2012, DHS officially announced an administrative amnesty, DACA, for illegal immigrants who had come to the U.S. before the age of 16.

It immediately became clear that there was little advance planning for implementation of the program. Announced on a Friday, with a stakeholder conference call held the following Monday, the heads of USCIS, ICE and Customs and Border Protections replied to question after question: Not yet decided.

Nevertheless, on August 15th, 2012, USCIS began implementation of DACA. “If history is any indication, DACA will be accompanied by significant levels of fraud,” said Rep. Smith. “Remember that it is estimated that nearly two-thirds of the applications for special agricultural workers in the 1986 amnesty were fraudulent – two-thirds.”

While USCIS lists types of acceptable proof of each of the requirements, there is no requirement that these records be certified or validated. Identity documents can easily be forged even on a home computer. Tellingly, DHS retains the flexibility to decide whether or not to prosecute fraud for fraud crimes.

“Furthermore,” states Rep. Smith, “ the administration claims that DACA provides no path to citizenship, but advanced parole is a loophole in DACA that again contradicts the administration’s reassurances. …”

From June to October 2012, as chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Smith sent 11 letters to DHS, USCIS and ICE, regarding DACA and its implementation. He received only one formal response to these letters. It appears the White House instructed DHS not to respond to letters from Congress.

Rep. Smith’s conclusion: “The DACA process is President Obama’s test run for a mass amnesty. Given the lack of detail, transparency and attention to fraud prevention, such a mass amnesty will provide legal status and ultimately voting privileges to potentially millions of unqualified illegal immigrants. This cannot be good for our country, our democratic institutions or our rule of law. …”

Citizens should contact their legislators and urge them to stop these unlawful amnesties.

Elizabeth Van Staaveren is a member of Oregonians for Immigration Reform. She can be contacted at ofir@oregonir.org

Wade Truex
January 27, 2013

When horrible things happen to other humans, it is natural for us to feel anger, fear and sadness. A school shooting evokes the protector in all parents, and causes kids to have doubts about their safety that they should never have to feel. There is not a single American in this country worth their salt who wants to see another act of gun violence.

Obviously there are two types of people out there: those who believe that limiting firearms is going to prevent gun violence, and those who believe that it will not.

People have criticized Tim Mueller for declaring that he will not enforce federal gun laws, but they are probably not aware that the state of Oregon was first in refusing to enforce federal laws (see OR 181.850, which blatantly refuses to assist the federal government in enforcing the federal immigration law). Tim Mueller is simply pointing out that federal laws do not always make sense on a national level, and the majority of Linn County’s voters agree with him.

Obama’s gun laws are cosmetic, and nothing he is proposing will prevent any gun violence whatsoever. People who approve outlawing certain guns or ammunition fail to understand that if you make a law against something it only applies to law-abiding citizens. Most of the people who think that we should legalize drugs are in favor of gun control! Look at that on paper, and ask yourself: Would you rather have a person under the influence of drugs in charge of the classroom, or one with a weapon to protect them?

Wade Truex


Ed Dowty
January 25, 2013

The Register-Guard’s Jan. 18 editorial stated that elected officials have no authority to defy federal laws. The laws Linn County Sheriff Tim Mueller vowed to defy were created by the president. Our Constitution is built on the proposition that the president isn’t the author of laws, but their chief enforcer. The U.S. Constitution has no provision for the executive branch to pass laws, only the legislative branch has that power.

The editorial also stated that our elected officials have the right, and responsibility, to resign if they can’t (or won’t) carry out the responsibilities of their offices; those responsibilities start with enforcing all the laws — not just those conforming to political ideologies.

The incumbent president has insisted on selective enforcement of federal immigration law.

Last June he decided to no longer enforce the laws affecting 800,000 young illegal immigrants brought into our country as children by their parents. He defended his action by announcing it was “the right thing to do.”

After Washington and Colorado voted to legalize recreational marijuana use, Obama said he won’t enforce prohibitions on the sale and possession of marijuana because he has “bigger fish to fry.” The president also is ignoring the law defining marriage as between a man and a woman, signed by President Clinton.

I’ve seen no editorial outrage, demand for recall or warnings about the consequences of selective enforcement of those laws. Why the velvet-glove treatment of a president who’s not carrying out his sworn duties?

Cynthia Kendoll
January 25, 2013

How many Oregonians know that Mexican drug cartels seek to addict U.S. grade-school children to cheap, potent new drugs?

How many know cartels’ technology is 10 years more advanced than the U.S. Border Patrol’s and that cartels even track border patrol movements by satellite?

And how many know that cartels are entrenched in Oregon, distributing heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine through major hubs in Portland, Salem and Eugene?

Late last year, I learned this and more from the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Joe Arabit, former FBI agent Richard Valdemar and other experts at the National Sheriffs Border School in El Paso.

Here’s what we face:

Mexican cartels have infiltrated America’s cities and may control 90 percent of drugs entering our country. In Oregon, the state Department of Justice reported recently, “Mexican-based drug-trafficking organizations ... dominate the illicit drug market,” with 66 such organizations active in our state. And they fuel an epidemic: “The latest federal reporting shows that Oregon ranked fourth in the U.S. for reported rates of past-month illicit drug use by people ages 12 or older,” maintains DOJ.

One of the biggest threats, heroin, killed 143 Oregonians in 2011 — a 60 percent increase over 2010. Its source?

“West Coast heroin arrives almost exclusively from Mexico along the Interstate 5 corridor,” reported the Portland Tribune last year.

Cartels invade our public lands, too. In Oregon forests, The Oregonian reported, “Mexican-backed drug-trafficking organizations ... have been a public menace for a number of years, primarily by illegally growing and defending patches of marijuana.” In 2010, one marijuana operation, containing 900 plants, was busted by sheriff’s deputies in Linn County.

And in Salem? Many local residents will remember now-imprisoned drug lord Jorge Ortiz-Oliva, “whose principal operation,” The Oregonian reported, “was in Salem.” Ortiz-Oliva “presided over one of the biggest drug operations ever uncovered in Oregon. He ran a small, armed empire of distributors with connections to the Nocupetaro drug cartel in Mexico” and “had established more than 20 meth superlabs in Marion County,” the paper reported.

As noted by the Encyclopedia of Immigration, among cartel operatives are “thousands of undocumented immigrants” who “work as couriers, smuggling narcotics and other banned drugs into the U.S.” Recently, drug-dealing illegal immigrants have been apprehended in Portland, Milwaukee, Independence and Medford. Even remote Sherman County is not immune.

One way to ease cartels’ grip on Oregon would be to induce illegal immigrants here now, to leave, and to deter those elsewhere from coming. Unfortunately, however, one of Gov. John Kitzhaber’s new initiatives — to restore illegal immigrants’ access to Oregon driver’s licenses — would encourage just the opposite.

Before the 2013 session of the Legislature resumes on Feb. 4, Salem residents should urge their senators and representatives to oppose this action. Every day, Mexican drug cartels endanger Oregonians. But knowledge and action beget power. By educating ourselves — and pressuring elected officials to fight the cartels’ invasion — we can help chase this scourge from our state.

Cynthia Kendoll of Salem is president of Oregonians for Immigration Reform. She can be reached at ofir@oregonir.org.

Cynthia Kendoll, president of Oregonians For Immigration Reform, toured the Arizona-Mexico border Feb. 19-25, 2012 through a program hosted by the Center for Immigration Studies. / CAPI LYNN | Statesman Journal

Film showing

Rusty Fleming, who embedded himself with a Mexican drug cartel to film and produce the documentary “Drug Wars: Silver or Lead,” will screen the film at 1 p.m. Saturday in the Loucks Auditorium at the Salem Public Library.
The public is invited and admission is free.


Steve Nofziger
January 24, 2013

Sheriff Mueller is doing the right thing by standing up to the president who cannot just by executive order make laws. This is the job of the Congress.

Several people have stated their outrage and even the mayor of Albany thought she should get into the middle. My question for these people is, where is your outrage when the president said he would not enforce our immigration laws? Where is your outrage when our governor on his own refuses to allow a convicted murderer to be put to death?

Tangent, OR