Learn more about refugee resettlement - Saturday, August 13

Alert date: 
August 9, 2016
Alert body: 

MARK YOUR CALENDAR - BONUS summer meeting Saturday, August 13th at 2:00pm

OFIR appreciates how busy everyone is with family vacations, visiting relatives, camping trips and BBQ's!

But - you won't want to miss our BONUS summer meeting when we host a very special guest speaker that will answer the questions you have about refugee resettlement

Paul Nachman of Montanans for Immigration Law Enforcement will provide the information we need to understand the refugee resettlement that is happening in Oregon and across the country.  The issue of the resettlement of thousands of Syrian refugees at a time when it is impossible to vet them should trouble everyone.

Jacob Daniels, Donald Trumps Oregon campaign manager will be dropping by to share the candidate's immigration platform with us, as well.

Please join us - bring a friend along with you - Saturday, August 13 at 2:00pm at the Best Western Mill Creek Inn, 3125 Ryan Dr. SE, Salem, just across from the Salem Costco.

The upcoming election is too important - we must get educated before we vote.  Please plan to attend.  Call if you have questions 503.435.0141

Please forward this invitation to a friend.

NOTE:  OFIR will be hosting a booth at the Oregon State Fair - please stop by and say hello!

Americans First — National Think-Tank Briefs Media on Immigration's Impact on America

WASHINGTON, D.C.– A media briefing by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) highlighted the issues of illegal aliens, legal immigration, and the economic, job, social, cultural, and political costs caused to average Americans. These factors have made these issues national topics of discussion during this presidential election.

...to attend a one-day seminar hosted by CIS. On the night before the seminar, Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) spoke at a reception for the attendees at the National Press Club. He addressed re-shaping immigration policy so that it serves the interest of Americans.

Americans want to know who is coming into the country, and why, and they want to know how it is affecting their bottom line. They want to know how it is affecting the “America” they grew up in. Americans are also insecure about the intentions of those who come into our country and about the crimes they perpetrate.

Americans want to know if the refugees, asylees, and immigrants allowed in our country will “assimilate” to America, or if they will demand that our society conforms to their culture...

Salaries have not increased for years, job benefits are being cut, including health benefits. The amount of taxes U.S. citizens have to pay for social services benefits, and for educating the children of illegal aliens, matters to Americans in a day when wages, health benefits, and job opportunities are shrinking. The federal government is demanding that more and more immigrants be allowed in the country, and the government is increasing the number of visas to allow foreigners into the country to work.

Organizations like the Center for Immigration Studies is helping educate the public on these issues by educating those who have the ability to communicate to vast numbers of Americans.

The Center for Immigration Studies describes its organization as “an independent, non-partisan, non-profit, research organization.” They explain, “Since our founding in 1985, we have pursued a single mission – providing immigration policymakers, the academic community, news media, and concerned citizens with reliable information about the social, economic, environmental, security, and fiscal consequences of legal and illegal immigration into the United States.”

CIS says that the information collected by the Center over the past twenty-five years “has led many of our researchers to conclude that current, high levels of immigration are making it harder to achieve such important national objectives as better public schools, a cleaner environment, homeland security, and a living wage for every native-born and immigrant worker.”

The seminar covered research relating to the issues of the impact of immigration on Americans, immigration and public security, the present number of deportations, removals, and apprehensions, along with other immigration-related issues.

The website for the Center for Immigration Studies says that many of their researchers are “animated by a ‘low-immigration, pro-immigrant’ vision of an America that admits fewer immigrants but affords a warmer welcome for those who are admitted.

Lana Shadwick is a writer and legal analyst for Breitbart Texas. She has served as a prosecutor and associate judge in Texas. Follow her on Twitter @LanaShadwick2.
  Read more about Americans First — National Think-Tank Briefs Media on Immigration's Impact on America

Does a U.S. President have the right to exclude Muslims?

This is an important question today, after yet another atrocity, the murders of 49 innocent citizens in Orlando on June 12, and the serious wounding of many others.  Just last December, after the attacks in San Bernardino, the same issue arose: can the President exclude certain groups from immigrating to this country?
As a result of the accumulation of terrorist attacks in the U.S., the issue of excluding Muslims from immigration to this country is being debated now in the Presidential campaign.  Candidate Donald Trump has proposed banning Muslims from entering.
The well-qualified legal scholar, James R. Edwards, says that restoring meaningful ideological exclusion policies is long overdue.  The McCarran-Walter Act of 1952 allowed for the policy, but in following years the Act has been amended and changed.
In a January 2016 blog, Edwards calls radical political Islam today’s foremost external threat to America’s existence.  Earlier he had authored a 24-page research paper published by the Center for Immigration Studies, Keeping Extremists Out: The History of Ideological Exclusion and the Need for Its Revival.  A section of his paper discusses the history of the McCarran-Walter Act. 
A recent article in the Daily Caller by reporter Alex Pfeiffer lists results of a review of past Presidential orders showing that all of the last 6 Presidents, including Pres. Obama, have used executive authority to block entry of certain classes of people.
Pfeiffer lists 6 actions by Pres. Obama, also 6 each by Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. Pres. George H.S. Bush used the authority only once, Ronald Reagan 4 times, and Jimmy Carter once.  Pfeiffer describes the circumstances of use by each of these Presidents.
Law Professor Jan Ting of Temple University is quoted in the The Daily Caller article as saying  that “absolutely and without any doubt” existing law allows restricting immigration of certain nationalities or religious groups.
In a December 8, 2015 Daily Caller article by Christian Datok, lawyer and Power Line blogger John Hinderaker was interviewed.  He said categorically that a U.S. President has the right now to exclude certain groups. Citing Section 212(f) of the Immigration and Naturalization Act, Hinderaker stated that Congress has specifically given the president the authority to block immigration from majority Muslim countries as early as today, if he wanted to.
Here is the complete legal reference copied from NumbersUSA’s blog on the subject:
Section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) says that "Whenever the president finds that the entry of aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, the president may, by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or non-immigrant's or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate."

OFIR President attends American Principles Liberty Summit in Fresno, CA

Cynthia Kendoll, OFIR President was invited to attend the American Principles Liberty Summit Conference in Fresno, CA Saturday, May 21, 2016.  the conference was fast paced with over 40 speakers and as many vendors booths to visit.

Interesting, knowledgeable speakers covered topics ranging from 2nd and 5th amendment rights, radical Islam and terrorism, legal and illegal immigration, the upcoming general elections and much, much more.

  Read more about OFIR President attends American Principles Liberty Summit in Fresno, CA

Islamic attacks spreading

News of the terrorist attacks in Brussels is alarming.

Our friends at Colorado Alliance for Immigration Reform have collected several pertinent references on the problem of radical Islamic terrorism.   Thanks to Fred Elbel for sharing his list, which is reproduced below.
Please consider contacting our Congressional delegation and tell them -- do not open up America to the Islamic terrorists.  Click here to get contact information for Oregon's delegation. 
From the Colorado Alliance for Immigration Reform:
Here are some recent articles reflecting on current international events:
This is the most succinct and readable synopsis of islam that I have come across: Mohammed, Islamic History, and the Bloody Future of the West, Alex Charles, Real Facts Media
Another good synopsis: Essential Islam, by Dr. Brad Lyles, Canada Free Press

Are we getting the whole story about refugee resettlement?

News Times

Influx of refugees would affect needy Oregonians

March 16, 2016

by Richard F. LaMountain, a Cedar Mill resident, serves as vice president of Oregonians for Immigration Reform.

The work of Medical Teams International — the Tigard-based group that aids, among other refugees, Syrians who have fled to Greece and Lebanon — merits Oregonians’ support. What does not, however, is the view of Jeff Pinneo, the group’s CEO, that many of those refugees should be brought to America (“Syrian refugees need our help,” News-Times, March 2).

One major reason: destitute Syrians, some 10,000 of whom the Obama administration hopes to resettle in the United States this fiscal year, would compete for the jobs and housing needed by our own poorest citizens. Given Gov. Kate Brown’s recent statement that Oregon “will ... open the doors of opportunity” to those refugees, a good number of them may come here — to a state in which some 16 percent of residents, as the U.S. Census Bureau estimated recently, already lives in poverty.

How would Syrian refugees impact those neediest Oregonians?

For many in our state, well-paying, full-time work remains elusive. Earlier this year, the Oregon Employment Department reported that 200,000-plus state residents were unemployed, “marginally attached to the labor force” or “employed part-time for economic reasons.” In Washington County, wrote Pamplin Media’s Peter Wong earlier this month, “40 percent of ... jobs are either low-wage or part-time.”

But local refugee-assistance groups, among them the taxpayer-subsidized Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization, work aggressively to place refugees into local jobs. Would it be fair to needy Oregonians, who lack the advocacy and support networks new refugees have, to import Syrians to compete with them for decent livelihoods?

Also consider: Our region is gripped by an affordable-housing crisis. In Portland last year, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported, “the Portland Housing Bureau ... found the median rent for a one-bedroom apartment was $1,182.” The city has a shortage, OPB noted, of some 24,000 units “affordable to the lowest-income renters” (those available for $750 a month or less).

Every night in Portland, The Oregonian reported last month, some 1,900 people sleep on sidewalks, in doorways and under bridges.

And yet, according to the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement, in a recent five-year period close to a quarter of refugees received housing assistance. Do low-income Oregonians need an influx of poor Syrians to vie with them for affordable shelter?

And what of Oregon’s schoolchildren? Late last year, the state legislature’s Joint Special Committee on Public Education Appropriation determined that the 2015-17 elementary and secondary State School Fund, at some $7.4 billion, was almost $1.8 billion short of the amount needed “to reach the state’s educational goals.” Why, then, should we import Syrian children, most of whom would need expensive supplemental English instruction, to siphon off education dollars needed by the state’s American children?

“Since 1975,” notes the Oregon Department of Human Services, “tens of thousands of refugees have resettled in Oregon.” Accepting more today, however, would harm many of our youngest and poorest fellow citizens. Let’s applaud Pinneo’s help for refugees abroad, but resist his suggestion that we bring them here. Instead, let’s work to improve the lives of our own neediest — the fellow Americans to whom we owe our first and foremost responsibility.

Read the original article.


OFIR member Paul Nachman, is a retired physicist, volunteers in a research group at Montana State University-Bozeman and is a founding member of Montanans for Immigration Law Enforcement (www.MontanaMILE.org).

The Missoulian

Be skeptical of refugee supporters' claims

March 17, 2016

Mary Poole of Soft Landing Missoula opened her Feb. 25th opinion (“Facts show Missoula can safely welcome refugees”) by asserting that her subject is “surrounded by a lot of misinformation.” She followed that with her own barrage of misleading information.

For example, on the subject of vetting prospective refugees for the dangers they may pose to us, Poole highlights the “18- to 24-month multi-step process” that’s involved. But as Kelly Gauger of the State Department’s Refugee Admissions office explained last October, “We’re not spending 18 months doing security checks. … At any given time, we’ve got something like a quarter-million people churning through the system.” In other words, it’s like everyone’s experience at the Motor Vehicle Department—you wait in line for an hour, yet your own business takes just a few minutes.

Poole also thinks that the vetting agencies have matters well under control, quoting FBI Director James Comey that “we have gotten much better as an intelligence community at … checking our databases in a way that gives us high confidence.” That’s a very incomplete picture, though, as Comey testified to the House Homeland Security Committee in October: “We can only query against that which we have collected. And so if someone has not made a ripple in the pond … on a way that would get their identity or their interests reflected in our databases, we can query our databases until the cows come home, but nothing will show up because we have no record of that person.”

Beyond the specific matter of refugee resettlement, today’s U.S. government demonstrates seemingly universal incompetence, from Transportation Security Administration airport screeners’ 95 percent failure rate at intercepting test contraband to the slack immigration vetting of San Bernardino shooter Tashfeen Malik to the Environmental Protection Agency’s flooding Colorado’s Animas River with orange, toxic mine waste. So who believes that, with hard-to-investigate refugees, suddenly the feds will perform?

Then there’s the matter of International Rescue Committee’s specific designs on Missoula; Poole reports that IRC considers the city a good candidate to absorb about 100 refugees per year. What the enthusiasts at Soft Landing—and the Missoula County commissioners, who support the idea—might not realize is that, once it’s started, they’ll have zero control over the process. That’ll be up to the State Department and IRC.

In the experience of many small cities around the country (e.g. Amarillo, Texas; Springfield, Massachusetts; Manchester, New Hampshire), the resulting local impacts can be daunting and onerous. After a spell, they find their schools and social-services agencies begging for relief from the influx.

Consider the ordeal of Lynn, Massachusetts, a city of 90,000 just north of Boston with a school district serving 15,000 students. Lynn’s schools took in about 500 students from Central America between 2011 and 2014. One might think such an increase in school population of “only” 3.5 percent wouldn’t be a big deal, but that’s not how it’s worked out for the city.

As Mayor Judith Kennedy told an audience at the National Press Club in August 2014, her health department had to curtail inspection services to afford the surge in immunizations needed by the schools’ new arrivals. She had to end an effective, gang-suppressing community-policing program to free up resources for the schools. With many of the arrivals illiterate in any language, the schools needed many more classroom aides along with interpreters. (The school district’s website broadcasts the availability of translation services in Arabic, Creole, Khmer and Spanish.) Altogether, Kennedy had to shrink every other department’s 2015 budget by 2 to 5 percent from its 2014 level to accommodate a 9.3 percent increase in school funding.

(Lynn’s influx includes—besides refugees—illegal aliens and ordinary immigrants, but all three categories of arrivals from third world countries impose comparable burdens on taxpayers.)

Such costs for translators and interpreters are an unfunded mandate the national government levies on states and localities, applicable to court proceedings, too. The requirement is open-ended. For example, in 2014 Manchester, New Hampshire, got in trouble with the feds in a school-expulsion case by failing to provide an interpreter for Dinka, the language of South Sudan.

For these and other reasons, Montanans might view Soft Landing’s proselytizing for refugee resettlement with great skepticism.

Read the original article.

  Read more about Are we getting the whole story about refugee resettlement?

Silence is consent! Speak up in a letter to the editor

February 27, 2016 12:00 AM

Pope hypocritical in decrying Mexico wall

I find it ironic that Pope Francis, as head of the Roman Catholic Church, an organization that makes millions of dollars and owns vast properties and pays no taxes, has the nerve to tell us that building a wall is wrong while living in a walled city.

He says we should take in immigrants while the Vatican takes in none.

If we do not secure our borders we will lose all that is great about this country. I am not against immigration, I am against illegal immigration.

When I lock the door to my house at night, it is not because I hate the people outside, it is because I love the people inside.

Jack Jokinen



Mail Tribune

Letters to the Editor, Feb. 27

A citizen's lament

How does a country allow its own citizens to leave? Has it no pride in its own people? Perhaps, it has no pride in itself! Has it done anything to encourage the people to stay? Or, has it maintained the "status quo?"

Mexico is the country that comes to mind immediately. Corruption, drugs and the cartel, and a huge facade of "macho" are all I hear about Mexico. And much talk about immigration. Also, other countries have established factories to assemble products as a place of employment. But what industry has the government initiated on its own?

Have their sanitation and transportation problems been solved? Are they going to let the country be known as the drug capital of the world? When have they sent equipment, medical supplies or other necessities of life to a country that has had a disaster? Where else can their people be assisted, and often encouraged, and many times "scammed" into heading for the United States? Finally, why is our justice system, along with the incarcerated population, being increased by Mexican nationals?

This citizen's lament was written on Jan. 6, but never mailed. Then, on Feb. 14, the Catholic Pope asked basically the very thing I am asking!

Tom Ehrhart




THE Advocate

Letters: Hypocritical pope protected by own wall

Feb. 26, 2016; 5:32 p.m.

The Vatican is legally a separate country, and the pope is its head of state. The chief executive of that small country has chosen to inject himself into an American election by criticizing one candidate for wanting to build a wall to stem the flow of illegal immigration.

To not appear hypocritical, I’m sure Pope Francis will soon be taking down the huge wall that surrounds his own little country.

When the refugees pour in, he can set up camping tents and Port O-Lets for them in St. Peter’s Square.

M. R. Franks
Attorney at law




LETTER: Why are we rewarding illegal immigrants?

4:01 p.m. EST February 25, 2016

Once again the Press has taken the side of “illegal” immigration with its Feb. 22 article “Fate of NJ immigrants rests with Supreme Court.” Not once was the word “illegal” used to describe people who were able to sneak across our border “illegally.”

Yes it is “illegal” to sneak into our country. They are breaking the law. Since when does the U.S. ignore federal laws that make it “illegal” to sneak across our border?

A man pictured in the article has four children, pays no taxes and probably didn’t pay anything toward a medical bill when they were born. Nor does he pay anything towards their care or schooling.

Who does pay? I pay, and you pay. My taxes and medical insurance, etc., all bear the brunt of this “illegal” immigrant’s “illegal” entry into our country. Rather than enforce our laws, the Democrats are going to give all of those “illegals” a free pass so they can get their vote.

Now New York City wants to give them the right to vote without any identification. It gets worse by the day.

Obama and his cohorts are trying to pass laws that make it OK to come here “Illegally” and to forgive those who have already done it. With the illegals’ votes, the Democrats will control our country for years to come.

Don Mullins
Long Branch




Cruz will be tough on illegal immigrants

February 25, 2016, 12:31 PM

Are you concerned about how illegal immigration is hurting our country, but want to know which presidential candidate we can trust to enforce our immigration laws?

Being from Maryland, I can assure you that we can't trust former Gov. Mayor O'Malley to enforce our immigration laws. In violation of existing federal law, Mr. O'Malley signed a bill in 2011 requiring Marylander taxpayers to pay two-thirds of the cost of a college education for illegal aliens who already received free taxpayer-supported education in the state's K-12 schools. He knew that when they graduated, they would try to work illegally in Maryland, but he wanted that.

At least we could trust Mr. O'Malley to be consistent in his beliefs — unlike Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. Mr. Rubio co-sponsored a very similar bill in Florida and in January said he "stands by that vote." He also says he wants to use e-verify and have businesses that hire illegal aliens fined.

How does that work? Mr. Rubio supports Floridians paying in full for 12 or more years of primary and secondary schooling for those living in Florida illegally, and then co-sponsored a bill to have two-thirds of their college costs paid for by Florida taxpayers. Where does he want them to work after Americans have paid tens of thousands of dollars for their education?

Maybe Mr. Rubio thinks we should encourage illegal aliens to stay in our country by paying for their education, but then when they are ready to give back, they should move back to their country to work legally. Or perhaps he doesn't really believe in e-verify, as he claims, at all.

As the Chairman of MDPetitions.com, I helped gather over 130,000 referendum signatures to take Maryland's bill to pay college costs for illegal aliens to the ballot. I care deeply about how this issue will affect the future of our country, and I trust NumbersUSA as a source of factual information regarding which presidential candidate would work to enforce our existing illegal immigration laws.

Senator Ted Cruz earned the highest rating for immigration enforcement from NumbersUSA out of all of the current presidential candidates, with an A score. Contrast that with Mr. Rubio's ranking of D.

Don't be fooled by name-calling or who can talk louder. Look at the facts. The facts are clear: Senator Cruz's record proves his commitment to enforcing our nation's immigration laws.

Neil C. Parrott, Hagerstown

The writer, a Republican, represents Washington County in the Maryland House of Delegates.



Savannah Morning News

Letters to the editor Thursday

Posted: February 24, 2016

Immigration creates burden for American taxpayers

Illegal immigration has affected our country in many ways. Jobs, housing, healthcare, security, education, law enforcement (jail, sanctuary cities, murder, police, courts, rape), insurance, traffic accidents, pollution, translators, the Federal budget, those living on borders to Mexico, food banks, unemployment benefits, food stamps, welfare, alien smugglers, fire, trash, drugs, kidnapping, wages, anchor babies, HUD properties, U.S. money sent back to the illegals’ country and earned income tax credit. These are probably but a few expenses that are picked up by the taxpayers. Not every occurrence listed affects everyone, because each state is different and therefore, the costs vary from state to state.

I am talking about illegals, the word defining these aliens and/or immigrants and not those who have entered our country the legal way.

Focusing on Georgia, the facts are as follows. An estimated 624,000 illegal aliens and their U.S. born children live in Georgia. They cost the taxpayers $2.4 billion. They pay an estimated $142 million in taxes collected by the state. This leaves a burden of nearly $2.26 billion and results in $768 per household headed by a U.S. citizen in additional taxes.

1. Education costs $1.67 billion and American teachers can’t get a raise?

2. Healthcare costs $318 million and American people can’t afford their medical bills?

3. Law and Justice costs $195 million and American families have trouble paying their lawyers.

4. Public Assistance costs $77 million and Americans are having trouble finding jobs.

5. General Government Services cost $138 million and Americans are having trouble getting adequate services.

This information is documented by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), which can be found on the Internet.

Richmond Hill




Pope Francis doesn’t get United States

Wednesday, February 24, 2016 10:58pm

In his remark regarding Donald Trump’s wall against illegal immigration, Pope Francis showed a disturbing lack of understanding of what the United States is all about. Said the pope, talking about walls without bridges is not Christian.

What Thomas Jefferson termed “separation of church and state” is one basis of our Constitution. A more specific statement of this separation principle was issued by our Senate in 1797: “The United States is not, in any sense, founded on Christian religion.”

My first reply to the pope would be: In the United States, deterrents against illegal acts (in this case illegal immigration) have no obligation to be Christian or in any other sense religious. To that I would add that we are not obligated to be Christian in our attitude to those who break our laws. And another point: The pope was wrong about the lack of a bridge. The wall along our border with Mexico would be a barrier against illegal immigration. The bridge would be immigration by legal process. Put another way: If you want to immigrate to the United States, don’t try to jump the wall. Instead, use the bridge. That’s why it’s there.

Additionally, now a note of irony in the pope’s assessment of Trump’s wall. In his most often quoted assertion that there should be no relationship between church and state, Jefferson specified “a wall of separation” between the two.

Finally, the pope spoke hypocritically: That is, his pontification was judgmental. I recall that Jesus Christ, from whom the term Christian derives, cautioned us not to judge lest we be judged.

Tom Wright



LEXINGTON Herald Leader

FEBRUARY 23, 2016 6:46 PM

No to Muslim refugees

When there were a lot fewer people in this country, movement within was easier. I never heard of a case of road rage. Water quality was good to excellent; no one was looking for a good drink out of a bottle of water sold by a grocery. No one said anything about climate change or global warming.

I believe this country was full a long time ago. You don’t keep adding people to a full boat or elevator. I’m definitely against immigration.

Those who say “we are a nation of immigrants, so let in the Muslims” disregard the cultural differences. Europe let in many Muslim refugees recently, and a payoff was many sexual assaults during New Year’s celebrations.

The night that President Barack Obama had a meeting about more gun control and more background checks, a radical Muslim shot a Philadelphia police officer with a gun stolen from the police. Some seem to believe all is OK if only one percent of Muslims are radical or can be radicalized.

If there are 3 million Muslims in this country and one percent become radical, there are 30,000 bad ones. Is that OK with you?





Who pays for this education mandate?

FEBRUARY 23, 2016, 3:46 PM

Last year the Obama Administration's Justice Department filed a brief concerning illegal immigrants. According to the brief, it is not necessary to "document" your citizenship to enroll in public schools. On the other hand, the James City County-Williamsburg School system is proposing a new budget and there is a debate over need for another school. How do these stories tie together?

The proposed budget spends over $10,000 per child in James City County. According to my research the "illegal immigrant" population in James City County is approximately 1.2% which means James City County residents pay approximately $1.3 million a year to educate "illegal immigrants." The math looks like this:

11,000 total students X 1.2% of "illegals" = 132 students in JCC schools

132 students X 10,000 cost per student = 1.32 million dollars spent

Obama's policy mandates the citizens of James City County educate the children of "illegal immigrants" who, by the way, chose to violate the sovereignty of our border. It seems to me that James City County should send Obama a bill for $1.32 million a year, to cover this unfunded- mandate, after all, border security is the federal government's job.

I have one question for those who stand for "illegal immigration." It is undeniable that the immigrant who comes to our country illegally has broken the law. If the powers that be allow this transgression, which law can I disregard, as an American citizen, without prosecution?

Richard K. White




Refugees: Remember, charity begins at home

February 23, 2016

Charity begins at home. Once the needs of all Montanans deserving assistance in securing proper shelter, nutrition, education and employment have been met, it may then be time to review accepting undocumented and unvetted individuals from foreign lands into our state.

Ravalli County commissioners understand that, since being purged of liberals in past elections. Yet, a band of the usual suspects from Hamilton are in the process of securing signatures in support of Syrian refugee settlement in our area, via a MoveOn.Org-type petition. Politics at the county commission in Missoula are different than Ravalli, as is the city council thought process and other liberal agenda in that community.

A strong voice to accept refugees from unknown backgrounds into our area is both disgusting and disturbing, but what else can be expected from the liberal Democrats, in any community? Let each county take care of the needs of those less fortunate within their boundaries, before accepting those from out of country. Most certainly, charity begins at home.

Dave Hurtt,



Denton  Record - Chronicle

Letters to the editor, February 23

Pope should reserve judgment

There is a certain irony in Pope Francis urging America to accept more immigrants and warning us not to build a wall to keep them out. Vatican City, with a wall surrounding it, has some of the strictest regulations against immigration and has accepted one family this year — from Greece.

In the letter this paper published from Mr. John Ziegler, he states that the wall was built long before Francis became pope. True. But he is the pope. He can tear down that wall should he please. Further, Mr. Ziegler, in a letter that got everything wrong, says the pope did not attack Donald Trump directly but made a generic statement about people wanting a wall not being Christian. But the pope said specifically Mr. Trump is not Christian — a judgment he might want to reserve for our Lord on Judgment Day.

Paul Knopick,




LETTER: Crack down on those who hire illegal immigrants
February 23, 2016

The recent comments of Pope Francis concerning our treatment of those who try to get across our southern border and candidate Donald Trump’s reaction are very disturbing.

Trump and other Republican candidates want to stop illegal immigration, which most of us want. However, most of those who come across our border come to get a job and provide food for their families. But, we do not enforce our laws that prohibit the hiring of illegals because most of our companies want cheap labor. We have effectively recruited illegal immigrants, and putting up a fence at the border, before we change our policies concerning their employment, would be criminal.

If the pope really understood the carrot we provide to entice people across the border, he would have offered much stronger comments. While I’m not a Catholic, I recognize that the pope is a very special and decent human being.

Until recently, companies could argue that they didn’t have a timely way of checking information provided by prospective employees, but we now an Internet-based system.

We must enforce our laws against hiring anyone who is here illegally. But we must not treat those who we enticed across the border to provide cheap labor as criminals. Those who have provided cheap labor and did not commit crimes while here deserve special consideration and some path to citizenship.

Larry M. Smith



Tuesday, February 23, 2016 at 3:15 a.m.

A meaningful solution

I think enough is enough, hearing about how we are going to have a wall to keep out illegal immigrants and how each candidate is going to stop illegal immigration. A wall is just one way we could combat part of the immigration problem.

What about immigrants who come here legally but overstay the visit, slip into oblivion and become illegal? Candidates, what's your plan to control and stop this real problem? Not every illegal immigrant is walking over the desert or swimming in. Many are walking in with valid papers, through customs and border control, but disappearing after allowed visits.

Take away the incentive to be here illegally and working. Create a vetting system for employers, people like me to check the status of a potential worker. If an employer fails to check the employee and is found to have an illegal worker, fine the employer $100,000 per offense. Don't give employers a slap on the wrist. Make it true pain, not just the cost of doing business. Employers hire these workers and often pay no taxes out of their pay, hurting all of us.

This is a very simple, commonsense approach. Why isn't our leadership fixing it? Don't be duped by the talk. Ask for solutions that are meaningful and make sense. I hope business lobbyists wouldn't oppose such legislation, nor our political leaders, as this would bring us true control.

Also, if it's about fear of terror, why no talk about a wall on our Northern border? I don't want such, but why are we only looking at one border and making such talking points?

This is just a humble opinion from an employer and immigrant. I came here legally and became a citizen who also served in the military and now lives the American dream.

Bob Speiss


Pope Francis’ questioning of Donald Trump’s faith over immigration stance

By DP Opinion
The Denver Post
February 22, 2016

When the pope is willing to open Vatican City, which is defined as an independent country, to unlimited immigration, then he will have a right to criticize Donald Trump for trying to stem the flow of illegal immigrants into the United States. Until that time, the pope should confine himself to church doctrine rather than injecting himself into the U.S. presidential election.

John Dellinger, Aurora

This letter was published in the Feb. 23 edition.



Trump plan to secure borders mis-characterized by pope

FEBRAURY 22, 2016, 6:44 PM

I am neither a Donald Trump supporter nor a Catholic, but I am confused by the pope's recent comments in which he called into question Trump's Christianity.

Does anybody else find it odd that Pope Francis would question the faith of a candidate who supports the enforcement of immigration laws, but has not questioned the faith of those who support abortion on demand and the harvesting of baby parts?

Last I checked, the Catholic Church was against such practices. Although I admire and respect Pope Francis very much, it sounds like he should have reflected more before commenting. Perhaps if he looked into the matter more thoroughly, he would find that the U.S. has welcomed more immigrants and refugees legally into their country than any other country in the world.

The idea that an effort to prevent "illegal" immigration somehow precludes one from being Christian is unfair. I do not know the state of Trump's faith, but, in my opinion, the pope's recent litmus test is fraught with inconsistencies.

Of course, caring for those less fortunate is a Christian calling, but if the pope feels that protecting sovereign borders is not "Christian," than perhaps he should tear down the walls of the Vatican and allow refugees to take up residence in that state without restrictions.

Susan Meloff, Coral Springs


  Read more about Silence is consent! Speak up in a letter to the editor

In a time long, long ago, our national sovereignty came first

In a new US Inc. blog post that smacks of the sarcasm of disbelief, Rick Oltman explains the new guidelines by which immigrants are accepted into our country.

Read the full blog post:  http://usinc.org/give-me-your-tired-poor-and-militant-and-well-pay/


  Read more about In a time long, long ago, our national sovereignty came first

Concern over refugee re-settlement widespread

Americans are the most compassionate people on earth.  Yet, who is looking out for the best interests of Americans?  Clearly, citizens across the country are growing ever more concerned and worried for the impact that thousands of immigrant refugees will have on our country, our culture, our jobs, our environment, and ultimately, our personal safety in our own country.

Letters from across the country paint a vivid picture of the worry folks are facing every day. 

If you are able, please write a Letter to the Editor of your local paper.  Be concise, be passionate and be accurate in your statements.  Let OFIR know if you get a letter published and we will add it to our OFIR website's letter section.


  Read more about Concern over refugee re-settlement widespread

50 refugees to come to Salem in February

Fifty refugees from various countries will be coming to Salem between February and September.

Catholic Charities is leading the effort to find housing and services for the refugees.

Jennifer Barischoff has helped resettle hundreds of refugees from around the world and was looking for more feasible ways to help them in Oregon.

Housing in Portland is limited and expensive, she said, so she started exploring Salem.

Salem offers a lot of advantages over other areas of Oregon for refugees, she said.

Salem housing is less expensive, employment at entry-level positions is more available and appealing, and it is a smaller, calmer city, something that can be beneficial to someone who has been through a traumatic situation and for someone who doesn't have any prior networks, she said.

Catholic Charities has helped resettle four or five families in Salem in the past year.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service's Office for Refugee Resettlement. Such funding goes toward the Match Grant Program, which has worked with the Catholic Charities program in Salem.

The conference recommended 50 people to go to Salem since it is a new program.

Due to the conflict in Syria, the United States is expected to take in 85,000 refugees this year, up from the average of 70-80,000 a year the country has maintained in recent years, Barischoff said.

She said Catholic Charities, on average, helps to resettle about 350 refugees per fiscal year statewide. This year, they will be helping an additional 100 refugees to resettle in Oregon.

Although several governors asked President Obama last year to reject all refugees from Syria, at least temporarily, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said in November the state would accept and "open the doors of opportunity" to refugees.

Catholic Charities staff and volunteers will work to provide the refugees with secure housing and furnishings, food with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program  and health insurance with the Oregon Health Plan, a Social Security card, a rapid employment program and more.

They will provide English language programs and are partnering with local businesses and organizations to help them find work within four to six months of being in Salem.

The incoming refugees are from multiple countries, Barischoff said, including Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Burma, and Syria, though this is an estimate at this time.

Ultimately, Barischoff wishes for one thing for the refugees: a "renewed sense of hope for (their lives) and future(s)."

"It's hard to emphasize how it feels to go from a place of fear and trauma, one in which your life is in limbo, to a feeling of safety, where you can plan for the future and your life is no longer on hold," she said.

Pritam Rohila is one of the five dozen volunteers working to help the refugees coming to Salem this year.

Rohila came to the United States in 1967 and said he understands what it feels like to be in an unfamiliar place and have a deep desire to connect with what you know and love.

"I came voluntarily," Rohila said. "They did not. They came under threatening conditions. They are coming under duress.

"Producing a sense of home for them is much more important." Read more about 50 refugees to come to Salem in February


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