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
Wilsonville Spokeman
February 22, 2017

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
February 21, 2017

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
February 21, 2017

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
February 13, 2017

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
February 10, 2017

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.


Gabriel P. Reid
Register Guard
February 10, 2017

People will always find fault in anything and everything that even remotely goes against their own agenda or the agenda of a collective that they are a party to. For years, everyone screamed about George W. Bush, then about Barack Obama, then a year after the 2012 elections everybody from both sides was jumping ship and identifying as “independent.”

It’s no fluke that Donald Trump’s unprecedented rise to power went nearly without challenge. It’s no mistake he won the presidency. More people voted for this man than will ever admit it because he worked for, and earned, the title that he now holds. This man drew record crowds and rewrote the rules of engagement where geopolitical warfare is concerned. He alienated himself from the establishment being a part of the “establishment” himself and used every trick in the book to convince electors that he was the answer to a troubled and divided nation. And he is.

We can argue and debate the semantics of his candidacy all we want. But thus far the man has accomplished more than many are willing to admit.

For the first time in a long time, the American people are engaged in this nation’s politics. We are looking at, talking about, and addressing many issues that are extremely important to this nation but often easily overlooked.

We can only wait and see what comes next. I myself am optimistic. Love him or hate him, agree with him or not, he is inadvertently doing exactly what an American president should be doing.


Jerry Marr
Statesman Journal
February 10, 2017

Our state legislators are trying to find ways to fill a $1.7 billion deficit.

Our roads are going to pot, our schools are seriously underfunded and there are a lot more worthy expenses that need funding. Now our state’s leadership wants us to become a sanctuary state and lose our federal funding.

Breaking the law is just that: breaking the law.

Let’s get our own financial budgets in order first, then consider other needs. I wouldn’t go borrow money to help someone intentionally breaking the law and let my own family go without food or rent.

Let’s get real. Leaders, do the job the people voted you into office for. Please fund the needs of the citizens of the state of Oregon first.


Richard Methvin
Statesman Journal
February 10, 2017

How can we have a $1.7 billion deficit that the Legislature is trying to deal with while our governor is telling the federal authorities that Oregon does not need any federal aid?

The deficit can only result in cutting services and entitlements, regardless of how much taxes are added on. But apparently, the governor saw it necessary to make Oregon a target of the Trump Administration.

As a lifelong Oregonian, I resent the governor issuing an order that causes my family and I to now potentially violate numerous laws at state and federal levels.

Am I now to understand it is OK to hire undocumented workers with no green card? Is it OK to rent to undocumented applicants? Do we need to hold state and federal withholdings from these people? Will the state of Oregon be hiring undocumented workers? Am I still going to be fined for hiring undocumented workers? If I can’t ask to see their green card, how would I know?

If I’m an undocumented worker and no one can ask me for documentation, what is to stop me from going into any government office and demanding entitlements?


Helen Kelso
Statesman Journal
February 10, 2017

Gov. Brown is not representing the opinions of the majority at all by going against everything Trump is trying to do.

We want secure borders, doing away with sanctuary cities and removing illegals who are clogging up the courts with drunken driving convictions and causing many wrecks.

What is it about “illegal” that you don’t understand?


Jim Walz
Statesman Journal
February 10, 2017

Apparently, our governor has found it necessary to implement an executive order concerning a possible Muslim ban in the U.S.

There is no such ban and likely will not be one.

I am sure that the governor is aware that in 1987, Oregon became a sanctuary state by order of the Legislature and that such an executive order is unnecessary. Her actions only fuel the protests around the country and our state that make it unsafe to travel to areas like Portland where riots seem to rule the day.

I expect more from our governor that would help to quell the unrest and make our streets safer. Instead, she has chosen to use her office as a bully pulpit to make the discontent worse. Shame on her.