Many groups have been 'illegal' in the past

by: L.E. BASKOW, Local educator Bill Bigelow has earned honors for his book “The Line Between Us: Teaching About the Border and Mexican Immigration.” One reader applauds his historical approach to a contemporary issue.

Thanks for the profile of teacher Bill Bigelow (Teacher hits on the big issues, July 6) and his historical approach to immigration.

Before we call immigrants 'illegal' let's consider our history. African-Americans were 'illegal' in Oregon's 1857 constitution, not allowed to live or work in the state.

Chinese were 'illegal,' prohibited from emigrating to America. Native Americans were once deemed 'illegal,' not allowed to speak their own languages or live on their own land. It was once 'illegal' for women to vote.

The same arguments were used back then: 'taking our jobs,' 'using our resources,' 'diluting our culture … '

No human being is illegal. Unjust laws can be changed. Those who ignore history are condemned to repeat it.

Jamie Partridge

Northeast Portland

Stand in line like the rest of us have to

While I empathize with the heartbreak felt by Susan Carter and her family (Family had little to celebrate, July 6), she seems to think that just because a person is an earnest and honest worker, his illegal act should be glossed over - while those less productive 'members' should be sent back to their home country.

But each independent country has its own laws that require respect. So 'big deal,' some guy sneaks into this country illegally like millions of others, right? Especially now that he's married to a U.S. citizen, right?

With all due respect, the sad state of her family was caused by the couple's own actions. They wanted to take a shortcut, instead of getting in line like everybody else.

People speak of a broken immigration system - yes, it is broken because the system is overwhelmed with so many wanting to get into this country. But what else can a country do, other than try to uphold its own laws and regulations? Abandon them and let in all who want to enter?

Laws do not customize to individual circumstances; otherwise there would be millions of loopholes for people to take advantage of. I write this as an another immigrant (legal) who waited in line.

Kai Peng

Northwest Portland

This family has plenty to celebrate

I was very disappointed that you chose to run the My View by Susan Carter (Family had little to celebrate, July 6).

Is this the level to which the immigration debate will descend - sentimental heart-tugging appeals from grandmothers? Did this piece add any relevant analysis or propose solutions to our present problems?

Perhaps you should have balanced this piece with coverage of families struggling with the unemployment and low wages caused by illegal immigration.

I spent July 4 with my wife, who also is an immigrant - a legal one. We stood in line, paid the fees and dealt with the frustrating federal bureaucracy. We certainly did celebrate Independence Day.

It's absurd for Carter to demean the patriotism of law-abiding Americans just because her grandson broke the law. My family's experience has been that those who play by the rules are indeed welcomed.

Andrew Fabbro


Couple should have followed the rules

If Susan Carter is saddened, she should address the problem with her granddaughter and her granddaughter's husband (Family had little to celebrate, July 6).

Our immigration laws have been in place since long before either one of them were born. I presume they were both consenting adults.

The U.S government did not drag the young man across the border illegally. Our country did not force the two of them to marry, and I am quite sure it had no input on their decision to have a child.

The young man acted like the usual 'illegal' by choosing which laws he wanted to obey and which he wanted to ignore.

Now that the law is involved, it's everyone's fault - except the two people who set the whole thing in motion. If I break the law I have to take responsibility and suffer the consequences, why should her grandson-in-law be treated any different from me?

Patt Stanek

Southeast Portland

Nurses' actions were 'illegal,' 'unethical'

I'm appalled that nurses would do such a thing as give medication, especially a narcotic, to a patient without getting an order from the doctor first (Nurses role in death probed, July 6). This is illegal and unethical.

As a registered nurse, I would not act without the direction of the patient's doctor. These two nurses committed a crime, and they should be punished. Just because they are nurses doesn't mean that they are above the law.

Any medication has the potential to cause harm or death if given without a doctor's supervision. To place blame on Providence St. Vincent Hospice is wrong - it must follow the same rules and regulations as other hospice programs. The two nurses took matters into their own hands and did not follow St. Vincent's protocol.

I became a nurse to care for people, to make their life better in a time of crisis and to ease the burden of old age - not to play God, which is exactly what these two nurses did.

Linda Hopkins


Nurses, board both must act ethically

I am a nurse. I have witnessed the great pain and suffering of those at their end-of-life experience. There is nothing more difficult than assisting those with intolerable pain.

Very often the helplessness and hopelessness of watching end-of-life suffering is only relieved for a family when their loved one dies and their relief turns to guilt.

Perhaps these nurses, Rebecca Cain and Diana Corson (Nurses role in death probed, July 6), were acting on behalf of Wendy Melcher. Perhaps they were responding to one human's cry for life to be over because the pain was too grave.

But those nurses are bound by the same licensing I am - the Oregon State Board of Nursing had an obligation to report this act.

Let's just say it: They took Melcher's life into their own hands and decided to assist with ending her life. This was not their place. Nor was it the board's job to protect the nurses.

This is outrageous and unthinkable behavior by two professionals and the very guardian of ethical standards and practice (the nursing board). The nurses should not be allowed to practice nursing. The board should be held accountable for this mockery of a system that is designed to protect us all.

I work with several hospice agencies and this publicity will only hurt the prevailing thought of many: that people go to hospice to die. This is so far from the truth. Hospice is a very wonderful and supportive system that aids families and dying people.

As for the Melcher family, it is regrettable that they have barely left their grief and now must endure the exposure of this wrong. I say to them, Bear this grief, for justice must be served. Stand for justice and expose what they did to your loved one.

Susan Rupp

Southeast Portland

What about right to be comfortable?

Regarding the June 20 Web story 'TriMet driver will face discipline for kicking two teens off bus,' it sounds like the girls were looking to create a spectacle, which is too bad.

What about the rights of the other passengers to not be subjected to behavior that made them uncomfortable? The driver was in a tough spot, and TriMet really should've supported him.

It's not about stifling freedom of expression, but choosing to have enough respect for yourself to not be so desperate for attention. Just because we can, doesn't mean we should.

Bonnie Hadley

Washington County

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