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This nation's history of generously helping so-called 'underdeveloped' nations to improve their lot is probably unparalleled among nations of the world. We do not need to feel guilty about limiting immigration to protect the viability of our nation and the quality of life for U.S. citizens.

CONTRIBUTED - Elizabeth Van Staaveren"Dreamers" are much in the news now. I have a dream, too. I'm dreaming of my country and its citizens having a good quality of life — clean, safe cities; honest administrators; little congestion anywhere; pure air; plenty of good, pure water; thousands and thousands of acres of beautiful forests and farmlands; peace and trust among residents.

In my lifetime I've seen this in reality, or very close to, from 1923 to the mid-1960s, when things began to change. The major uncredited trigger for change was the immigration law of 1965 sponsored by Sen. Ted Kennedy that opened the gates to virtually unlimited legal immigration and set the stage for ever-greater population increases through tolerance and encouragement of illegal immigration.

A nation cannot exist without borders and tight controls over how many and which noncitizens may enter and reside. Today, we see the effects of overpopulation, caused not by high birth rates among native-born citizens, but by excessive immigration.

Public conversation is all about rising costs of land, housing, schools and education, overcrowded roads, traffic congestion, large numbers of destitute citizens living on the streets. These problems are mainly caused by overpopulation due to excessive immigration.

Nearly every day, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection report large-scale seizures of illicit drugs coming into the country from foreign sources. How many other shipments get through undiscovered? Even the "opioid crisis" is heavily involved in international drug trafficking aided by illegal immigration.

Congress is responsible for the immigration situation. Oregon's senators and most of our representatives always support increases in legal immigration, benefits for illegal immigrants, and lax-to-no enforcement, thus enticing further illegal immigration. See their immigration voting records on NumbersUSA's website.

We need mandatory E-Verify throughout the country to check on the employment eligibility of new hires, yet Oregon's members of Congress either oppose this worthwhile program or do nothing to promote it.

The federal E-Verify program has operated successfully now for over 10 years. Every worker can easily examine his/her own record in E-Verify and correct any errors that might be found. It's time to require use of the program by all employers. This one step would remove the greatest incentive to illegal immigration — jobs. There are plenty of citizens to do this country's work.

We should continue to welcome a reasonable number of immigrants, reducing the present annual level of over a million yearly to around 200,000, and giving preference to immigrants who have some special skill or attribute that might be wanted here.

This nation's history of generously helping so-called "underdeveloped" nations to improve their lot is probably unparalleled among nations of the world. We do not need to feel guilty about limiting immigration to protect the viability of our nation and the quality of life for U.S. citizens.

Oregon voters now have an opportunity to help stop illegal immigration by supporting Initiative Petition 22, Stop Oregon Sanctuaries, currently being circulated. If enough signatures are collected by the end of June, the initiative will be on the November ballot.

See the SOS website at www.stoporegonsanctuaries.org.

Elizabeth Van Staaveren is a co-founder and longtime member of Oregonians for Immigration Reform. She can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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