Letters: Support, rather than criticize, ICE officers
Your editorial of Sept. 3, "Lines our government shouldn't cross," omits mention of a third factor in the controversy over ICE agents' activities: You disregarded the interests of citizens in maintaining the sovereignty of our nation and sustaining a livable environment in the United States.
Open borders invite chaos; an orderly society is impossible without immigration controls that are enforced.
Did Andrade Tafolla, who, with the ACLU, is now suing the government for "humiliation," etc., ask ICE agents to show their identification, if none was immediately visible? It's hard to believe the agents had no ID or refused to show it.
Courts are one of the best places for ICE agents to arrest suspected illegal aliens, and are safer for all involved. ICE agents, by the nature of their work, cannot always emblazon their ID on their clothes.
No one in or near a courthouse should feel insulted to be asked for identification, especially now that hundreds of migrants daily are attempting to crash the U.S. borders, with many succeeding. Immigration must be controlled if a nation is to survive.
Support ICE officers; don't harass them.
Elizabeth Van Staaveren
Don't repeal kicker; put money to work
Oregonians' decision in 1980 to refund the kicker represents a deep distrust of government.
Nowhere is this distrust more evident than in politically conservative, rural parts of the state. Progressives believe any revenue surplus should be set aside for the government to use in less prosperous economic times. Conservatives believe that excess tax revenue should be returned to taxpayers; presumably because they do not trust the government to contain its size nor manage revenue fairly.
I suggest a compromise to benefit all Oregonians. A small portion of any state revenue surplus should be set aside in a rainy-day fund — say, 25%. The remainder should be allocated primarily to underserved rural communities, to spend as they see fit. If rural communities knew they would benefit disproportionately from government surplus, they would be more likely to support a repeal of the kicker.
The result would be improved infrastructure and publicly funded programs in rural Oregon, which would improve the quality of life. At the same time, the surplus money put aside in a rainy-day fund would benefit all Oregonians, stabilizing the state's budget in lean years, and avoiding drastic cuts to schools and police forces as occurred in 2003.
Even if the minority of funds were set aside, I, like many liberal Portland voters, would support such a plan to repeal the kicker.
STAR voting could solve urban-rural issues
Despite disagreeing on many key issues (as you point out in your Aug. 29 article "Two Oregons?"), Oregonians of all backgrounds come together in a shared ambition to fix the faulty underlying structures that make our politics divisive, corrupt and ineffectual.
For example, in Lane County, a coalition of multipartisan activists are collecting ballot signatures to repair the broken "choose one" voting system by implementing STAR voting, which would give voters the chance in future elections to vote their full honest opinion without risking throwing away their vote.
These kinds of nonpartisan systemic changes (such as tackling money in politics, gerrymandering and unfair voting systems) benefit Oregonians of all parties and communities, bringing together people who don't normally agree on much.
Uniting to mend our political processes now will allow us to have productive and sane discussions in the future as we decide how to best manage and protect the state we all love.
Go to starvoting.us to find out more.
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