In Sen. Jeff Merkley’s recent virtual townhall, he dismisses concerns about rampant illegal immigration and repeats the adage that immigrants have lower crime rates than citizens.
One has to wonder what the senator would say to the parents of Mollie Tibbets of Iowa who was brutally stabbed to death in 2018 by an individual here illegally, or the parents of Sara Root killed by a man here illegally from Honduras who was street racing while legally intoxicated and ran into Sara’s car, killing her.
It is estimated by Pew Research that over 12 million individuals live in the U.S. illegally and the number is growing with more than 178,000 apprehended at the border in April.
According to the Oregon Department of Corrections, more than 6% of the felons in Oregon’s prisons are here illegally and cost taxpayers $33 million per year.
Under President Biden’s “open border” policies, many are simply released into the U.S.
A majority are looking for higher paying jobs, but if only 1% of the 12 million commit a serious crime, that adds up to 120,000 crimes that would not have been committed had these illegal migrants been prevented from entering the country.
Most citizens support legal immigration with reasonable numbers allowed in who will be vetted and required to learn about our government and laws.
What is occurring on our border now is a travesty and should reflect badly on our senators and president.
— Larry Nelson, Bend
This Memorial Day as I watched our city’s familiar ceremony, I was struck by a few things. First, the crowd of folks was smaller than ever — and this a trend. Second, the crowd of faces was aging. Third, and most importantly, I saw that the reason we few still show up no longer resonates with younger folk ... or even with older folk who have no service connections. Fourth, I glimpsed a future where nobody shows up — a Memorial Day become a sterile political ritual devoid of deep meaning.
I am not criticizing the lack of caring evidenced by others. They have not had the same life-changing experiences we had. How can you know how we feel about our comrades, living and dead, when you have never been part of a team where job performance is a matter of life or death...when you have never lost a loved one who was serving...when you have not spent years turning strangers into brothers and sisters; sharing long patrols and living a code of values that is uniquely military.
No, I don’t blame anyone... it just is. For my part, I am proud of my time in the service. I was able to help save the lives of my countrymen in time of war. These experiences shaped the rest of my life into something I am proud of. I am truly glad that we are not so deeply engaged in war anymore, but I think we are losing some of the glue that used to bond us.
— Anne Graham, Redmond
I am concerned about The Bulletin’s reporting focus and the safety of our community. Your Wednesday 5/26 edition contained a front-page story about the removal on Tuesday of a camp shelter next to a highway, while a more serious threat caused by a fire Monday at an apparent transient camp in the Deschutes River canyon received scant attention. The Bulletin published only a short press release from Bend Fire & Rescue inside the same edition.
The fire was caused by an explosion at a camp in the canyon below SW Bend neighborhoods. Bend Fire & Rescue responders had to downclimb a very steep and dangerous cliff face to reach the fire. Their quick response and the lack of wind avoided a disaster for the neighborhoods.
The Bulletin’s Wednesday and Thursday editions did not have any reportage on the cause of the explosion, any people cited, any hazardous material remaining, or the response of Bend authorities to this threat. This site had been reported to the authorities.
In contrast, the front-page story on the structure removal contained photos and multiple interviews with the camper and representatives from ODOT, code enforcement, and homeless services. The reporter quoted the representatives as expressing concern about the fire risk posed by a structure next to a highway. No one expressed concern about the fire risk posed by transient camps in hard-to-reach areas of the city.
The Bulletin should focus its limited reporting resources on the fire threat to neighborhoods posed by camps, and Wednesday’s edition is an ironic example of misplaced attention.
— Dave Norton, Bend