Jim Langhoff's letter calling Oregon a sanctuary state (Aug. 18) requires a rebuttal. When I worked in New York state social service agencies in the 1980s, many Spanish-speaking clients came from the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico. As such, they were born with American citizenship, and automatically entitled to work anywhere the U.S.
Confused by language barriers, government agencies' caseworkers often insisted on requiring clients to prove citizenship. Sometimes an applicant's truthful reply was, "I was delivered by a midwife in a rural field outside of San Juan. I never received a birth certificate."
After years of frustration, the clients brought a class-action suit, which they won. In essence, the court's decision, binding on all states, was: "If applicant replies that he's an American citizen, government workers must accept his word for it, not press him further, not deny him rights to work or receive benefits."
I encountered the same law's mandates years later when I worked for Oregon agencies. To the best of my knowledge, this decision has never been overturned, remains in force, and binding. Don't blame Oregon, or its government workers. It's the law of the land. — Florence Calderone Blake, Sams Valley
I don't live in Ashland, but was pleased to see that the people of Ashland are interested enough to put a new measure on the ballot for September.
Measure 15-79 would give Ashland a chance to reopen their library for two years with time to work on a new proposal to keep it open permanently. Clearly enough people there care about their children's futures, their community and the overall education of their residents.
Hopefully all of Jackson County will see their libraries open soon. When you live in a small community like I do, your library is your town! — Arlene Aron, Applegate
I read about Carly Torres, charged with taking her daughter around the area asking people for money for a fraudulent volleyball-camp scheme. I was one of Torres' victims, so I called the Medford Police Department number listed in the story.
After going through interminable menu loops ("If this is an emergency, hang up and dial 911. If you know the extension of the person you want ... blah, blah, blah") I finally reached the dispatcher. She said, "Oh yeah, I read about that in the newspaper; that's how we find out about things." She said she'd put me through to the detectives — but what did I reach there? A recording by a sergeant who was off duty for three days.
If the police want people to help solve crimes, here's a suggestion (are you listening, chief?): Print the full telephone number in the paper — including the appropriate extension — and the name of the officer handing the case. Ensure that the officer is on duty the day the story appears.
It doesn't seem like it would take a lot of detective work to figure that out. — Craig Callaway, Eagle Point
I heard on Fox News that Oregon is a sanctuary state and will not identify illegal aliens even when committing a crime. Who authorized this policy? I don't remember voting or even hearing about it.
It is against federal law to be illegally in the U.S., so it seems our great political folks did this without our knowledge. Who are these lawbreakers? Why do we want illegal people in our state? Doesn't make sense. — D. Witt, Eagle Point