Do you have a point you’d like to make or an issue you feel strongly about? Submit a letter to the editor.

A poor city on a hill

Matthew 5:14, “You [Jesus] are the light of the world. A city that is set upon a hill cannot be hidden.” Americans have come to accept the image that the United States is that— a city on a hill— a beacon to mankind.

The Trump administration is defiling that image by separating children from parents on our southern border. Our city on a hill is on full display, as the whole world watches.

In his essay, “A Modest Proposal,” Jonathan Swift satirized a similar travesty. During the Irish Potato Famine, English “corn laws” prevented importation of cheap food, by employing high tariffs. And so, the Irish starved. Swift proposed selling Irish babies as food for “rich gentlemen and ladies.” Babies baked, boiled, stewed in a fricassee or a “ragoot.” Domestic English food producers were unmoved.

So as the Trump administration implements this brutal policy, where is the pushback from our evangelical Christians, our advocates for “family values,” our American “exceptionalists”? And those executing the policy, “Why, we are just following orders.”

Our city on a hill is, indeed, in plain view, complete with a Trump Tower. It is a water tower with a banner that reads, “Bitter Tears Within.”

Merle Cressy

Bend

Don’t embolden Bundys

The Bulletin’s editorial “Trump should pardon Dwight, Steven Hammond” (June 10) misses a crucial point. This is no longer just about Dwight and Steven Hammond. When Ammon Bundy occupied Harney County and seized the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in 2016, he held a community and a federal facility hostage at gunpoint, demanding the release of the Hammonds. Even now, Ammon Bundy continues to demand the release of the Hammonds. If President Donald Trump pardons the Hammonds, Ammon Bundy and the gun-toting militia who took over Harney County will definitely see the pardon as a huge victory and validation of their militant methods. They will vocally celebrate their perceived win, setting a terrible precedent that armed force against the federal government and an innocent community is an effective way to get what they want, namely a radical transfer of control over federal public lands. Whether or not one feels sympathy for the Hammonds, there is no question that their release now would embolden anti-public-lands militants and create more havoc and potentially more deaths, as happened with the takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Ammon Bundy’s choice to make the Hammonds into the poster children for his political agenda was grossly unfair to the Hammonds — at least as unfair as the actions of the federal courts. But we are stuck with that action. Now, a presidential pardon of the Hammonds would be colossally bad precedent, almost certainly inspiring more violent conflict across the West.

Peter Walker

Eugene

Protect all Oregonians

Sorry, euphemistically named Oregonians for Immigration Reform. The law on Oregon’s books that “prohibits state and local law enforcement agencies from working to detect and apprehend ‘persons whose only violation of law is that they are persons of foreign citizenship present in the United States illegally’” actually makes every person in this state safer. By separating the duties of local law enforcement from the (to my mind, onerous) duties of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, we protect the right of all residents of Oregon to report criminal acts without fear of deportation. This matters to all of us!

According to the American Immigration Council, between 2010 and 2014 there were 186,460 people living in Oregon, including 80,451 born in the United States, who live with at least one undocumented family member, and 1 in 12 children in our state was a U.S. citizen living with at least one undocumented family member (71,208 children in total). These numbers have likely grown with overall population in our state. These human beings are our neighbors, friends and colleagues. No person should fear reporting crime in our communities, nor be victimized by crime and yet fear seeking help from local law enforcement.

Numerous studies have also shown that immigrants — both legal and undocumented — have a much lower crime rate than American natives, so please do not subscribe to efforts by those like OIR to cynically obfuscate the purpose of Oregon’s sanctuary statute, demonize the other and compromise the safety of all Oregon residents.

Connie Peterson

Bend

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