Immigration reform needed

Since 2003, the year the United States invaded Iraq, our government has also directed huge amounts of money toward enforcement along the U.S. border with Mexico, and toward pursuit and removal of undocumented immigrants.

Between 2003-2018, the number of Border Patrol agents doubled, and the number of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents has nearly tripled.

During that period, spending on border patrol has ballooned from $1.5 billion to nearly $4.5 billion.

In return for these investments, we still see an average of one death a day, fractured families, and dozens of detainees languishing in jails without hope of case resolution.

Over $8 billion has been redirected from other budgets to fund expansion of border barriers. (For more information, see the website of the American Immigration Council.)

In short, taxpayer money under three administrations has been used to criminalize desperate people, while Congress has dithered on the question of immigration policy reform.

I urge our representatives — Rep. Greg Walden and Senators Merkley and Wyden — to roll back funding for inhumane enforcement and detention, and work toward a real immigration solution.

We are a nation of immigrants. The great majority of people who want to come here also desire the same things native-born Americans want — work opportunities that let them support families and help children pursue the dream that many of us have been blessed with by the accident of birth location.

We can do better. It’s long past time.

Tracy Hornung

Parkdale

Orange overlord

Greg Walden is a coward. Even when he doesn’t face re-election, he is too craven to vote against his orange boss. When Walden inevitably endorses a Republican for Oregon, keep in mind that endorsement comes from a man completely lacking in moral character. Those of us that believe truth and character matter must campaign hard this season to rescue our country from liars and cowards such as Greg Walden and his orange overlord.

Caleb Woodruff

The Dalles

Act in kindness

Recently I drove by Belmont Drive Missionary Baptist Church and noticed that their sign was extremely damaged. To see this vandalism happen in our community is very disturbing! I wrote in a Letter to the Editor months ago complaining about what was written on this sign. I never wanted damage to occur to this church sign. In fact, in recent months, the words have been less offensive to me. Most importantly, I have learned in the past months that I can make the choice to ignore the words and even the sign. Instead I can look at all of the many other things around me to enjoy as I drive along this stretch of road.

Vandalism is never justified! In fact, vandalism induces hate instead of kindness. Vandalism also hurts people such as those who attend the Belmont Drive Missionary Baptist Church. Do we want to be a community that encourages hate, or do we want to be a community of tolerance and acceptance that acts in a manner that we all have a right to our own beliefs? Now and throughout the months ahead is a time to be kind to your neighbor. I know many people who have shown a lot of kindness in this community every day.

Please act in kindness, not in violence and intolerance.

Nancy Johanson Paul

Hood River

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