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City councilor defends stance on immigrants
Eugene Register-Guard ^ | July 20, 2006 | Jack Moran

Posted on 07/20/2006 5:32:49 PM PDT by Graybeard58

SPRINGFIELD - City Councilor Dave Ralston says he's prepared to respond to critics offended by comments he's made in an e-mail calling for local legislation to crack down on illegal immigrants who he believes are "invading" the United States.

Ralston is holding firm to his position despite taking heat Wednesday from Mayor Sid Leiken for remarks Ralston sent last week to his fellow city councilors detailing his views on illegal immigration.

Ralston's outspoken comments are political dynamite at a time when illegal immigration is being debated intensely across the nation.

"We cannot continue to absorb the flow of illegal immigrants, many of whom benefit from government services that our citizens provide ... They want to invade and not assimilate ... Mark my words, this is a serious problem that we will have to deal with sooner or later and I am tired of being politically correct in order to not offend anyone," Ralston wrote in his July 13 e-mail to Council President John Woodrow.

Ralston made his comments in response to an e-mail the city received from a man named Michael Nave, who asked officials to consider a plan similar to a proposed ballot initiative in San Bernardino, Calif., that would penalize landlords who rent to illegal immigrants, and businesses that hire undocumented workers. The plan also would make English the city's official language and ban day-labor centers. At day-labor centers, people can hire workers without seeking proof that they are legally allowed to work in this country.

Woodrow said he shared Nave's e-mail with the rest of the Springfield council to determine whether a response was necessary. Woodrow said he and other councilors expressed opposition to views included in the message. But Ralston clearly felt otherwise.

Ralston said he supported the measures Nave described.

"This is MY country and I have a right to stand up for it," Ralston wrote. "Illegal immigrants are breaking OUR laws and getting away with it. Just try to go to one of their countries and do what they are doing here and see what happens. This is `America' and we speak English, love it or leave it."

After learning that Ralston's e-mail was circulating throughout the community, Mayor Leiken on Wednesday issued a strongly worded response stating his disappointment with the Ward 4 councilor's message.

"Personally, I cannot and will not condone the negative tone (Ralston) used in attempting to articulate his points," Leiken said. "I sincerely apologize if a vital segment of our community was left to question their place in Springfield. ... I cannot emphasize enough that Mr. Ralston's comments are the comments of one representative. Please do not let them negatively impact the important role of the Latino population in building a vibrant Springfield. As our community becomes more diverse, I am committed to moving the city forward toward acceptance of all who want to call Springfield home."

No one is sure of the size of Springfield's Hispanic population, but it appears to be growing rapidly. The 2000 Census put it at 3,600 people, or 6.9 percent of the population. But some say it is likely double or triple that because many Hispanics do not take part in the Census.

It is unclear how many illegal immigrants live in Springfield.

Ralston on Wednesday defended his written comments and emphatically stated that he has no negative feelings toward Hispanics in general.

"This has nothing to do with race," he said. "It has everything to do with being an American and having a threat to our lifestyle. I judge a person's character individually. Anyone who wants to make this out as a race issue is racist."

Carmen Urbina, a local Hispanic advocate and former director of Centro LatinoAmericano in Eugene, said she and other community members met on Wednesday to discuss the issue, but were not yet prepared to make a public statement. She said the group supports Leiken's response.

Mark Molina, a board member for the Latino Business Network and the Springfield Chamber of Commerce who earlier this year ran for a seat on the City Council, agreed with Leiken's assessment that Ralston's views do not represent those of other city officials.

"There are several city leaders who care immensely and intensely about what is transpiring in the city culturally," he said. "(Ralston) is entitled to his convictions and his freedom of speech, but they contradict the views and agenda of the city."

Ralston said he wouldn't be surprised if some members of the community are offended by his opinion. But he is unapologetic about the e-mail comments, and believes that most of his constituents share his views on illegal immigration.

"I feel strongly about this, and I'm well educated about the issue," he said. "I deal with facts, and I'm ready to defend myself any way I have to. I suspect I'm going to have this conversation with a number of people, and that's fine because I think the vast majority of people agree with me."

The issue of how to deal with illegal immigrants has sparked intense debate nationwide. A particularly thorny issue is whether and how to prevent illegal immigrants from using taxpayer-funded services, such as health care and education.

Leiken said he and Woodrow will meet Friday to discuss Ralston's request that the City Council contemplate a plan similar to the one under consideration in San Bernardino.

Woodrow pointed out that while a local law could be discussed, it probably would be unenforceable.

"It's a federal and state issue, and not a city issue," Woodrow said. "It's not something we should be looking at."

San Bernardino is one of several communities across the nation where laws to crackdown on illegal immigrants are being discussed. Last week, the Hazelton, Penn., City Council approved a plan to institute a citywide English-only policy and impose penalties on landlords who rent to illegal immigrants and business owners who employ them.

But in Ralston's view, the fact that most local governments won't touch the issue exacerbates the problem of illegal immigration.

Local governments "are so concerned about offending someone that they're making the situation worse," he said.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; US: Oregon
KEYWORDS: aliens; illegalaliens; imigration; immigrantlist

1 posted on 07/20/2006 5:32:52 PM PDT by Graybeard58
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To: Graybeard58

But in Ralston's view, the fact that most local governments won't touch the issue exacerbates the problem of illegal immigration.
Local governments "are so concerned about offending someone that they're making the situation worse," he said.
----
A society of weaklings that are more worried about the PC-gestapo, than they are about their city and country. Welcome to runaway liberalism and its touch of death to sanity and America.


2 posted on 07/20/2006 5:36:55 PM PDT by EagleUSA
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To: Graybeard58
""We cannot continue to absorb the flow of illegal immigrants, many of whom benefit from government services that our citizens provide ... They want to invade and not assimilate ...

This guy is right on point...it's an invasion, pure and simple. The issue of anchor babies needs to be addressed, also, which was intended NOT to cover foreigners in this country illegally, but rather those going through the process of citizenship legally, during which time a child is born to them....

3 posted on 07/20/2006 5:40:18 PM PDT by traditional1
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To: EagleUSA

Those who support illegal immigration truly support slavery. They are the racists when you get right down to it.


4 posted on 07/20/2006 5:49:47 PM PDT by TXBubba ( Democrats: If they don't abort you then they will tax you to death.)
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To: EagleUSA

"A society of weaklings that are more worried about the PC-gestapo, than they are about their city and country."

Exactly! The army that has invaded us aren't worried about PC and that's their advantage over us. They're using America's liberal manufactured guilt complex to scam us out of our tax money and our country. If they ever get the upper hand you'll see just how compassionate they are.


5 posted on 07/20/2006 5:53:58 PM PDT by dljordan
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To: gubamyster

ping


6 posted on 07/20/2006 5:54:18 PM PDT by DumpsterDiver
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To: traditional1

"It is unclear how many illegal immigrants live in Springfield."

At the rapid rate they reproduce, it's no wonder no one can get anccurate number. One generation takes 15 years and many have families with 5 or more children all supported by our tax dollars as soon as they are born in the U.S.


7 posted on 07/20/2006 6:00:32 PM PDT by conservativecrowfest
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To: Graybeard58
Personally, I cannot and will not condone the negative tone (Ralston) used in attempting to articulate his points," Leiken said

Nevermind that Ralston is right on the money. I'm sure that doesn't even register with the likes of Leiken.

8 posted on 07/20/2006 6:05:59 PM PDT by Prime Choice (Spaceship One never went into space. So shut up already. Sheesh.)
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To: TXBubba
Those who support illegal immigration truly support slavery. They are the racists when you get right down to it.

They are the plantation owners of the 21st century.

The thing that really ticks me off is the number of so called Republicans that fall into this group. I expect it from the DIMocrats, because they are elitists at heart.

9 posted on 07/20/2006 6:12:46 PM PDT by ChildOfThe60s (If you can remember the 60s...you weren't really there.)
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To: Prime Choice

it is a pity so many people in our own nation want to lose this war.


10 posted on 07/20/2006 6:14:37 PM PDT by no-to-illegals ('No' worked so well, perhaps another word is in order?)
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To: EagleUSA
But in Ralston's view, the fact that most local governments won't touch the issue exacerbates the problem of illegal immigration. Local governments "are so concerned about offending someone that they're making the situation worse," he said.

He's 100% correct.

11 posted on 07/20/2006 6:19:50 PM PDT by Marine Inspector (Government is not the solution to our problem; Government is the problem)
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To: TXBubba
Those who support illegal immigration truly support slavery. They are the racists when you get right down to it.

I wouldn't go that far, but I will say that I have wealthy, conservative, friends who admit that they like illegal immigration because it gives them cheap housekeepers, yard workers, and babysitters. They want a cheap, brown, servant class in the US. Same hypocrisy as the limousine liberals.

12 posted on 07/20/2006 6:30:36 PM PDT by teawithmisswilliams (Question Diversity)
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To: Graybeard58
"It's a federal and state issue, and not a city issue,"

This is the very same stupid answer our local moronic politicians give for ignoring the laws of the land re immigration. It is also very irritating that they will not react to the high costs of supporting, feeding and medicating illegals already here and more coming daily. Crime committed by illegals grows by the day, but they seem to be untouchable as far as the city council, the mayor and police agencies are concerned. Un-be-bloody-lievable! Aztlan is here and we don't know it yet!

13 posted on 07/20/2006 6:47:21 PM PDT by Paulus Invictus
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To: no-to-illegals
it is a pity so many people in our own nation want to lose this war.

They just don't realize that no amount of sucking up to the invaders won't get them any special favors after this nation is overrun. Same as the idiot liberals don't realize that they'll be the first ones that the Islamists will slaughter if they prevail in their onslaught against America.

14 posted on 07/20/2006 6:58:29 PM PDT by Prime Choice (Spaceship One never went into space. So shut up already. Sheesh.)
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Comment #15 Removed by Moderator

To: 1_Inch_Group; 2sheep; 2Trievers; 3AngelaD; 3pools; 3rdcanyon; 4Freedom; 4ourprogeny; 7.62 x 51mm; ..

ping


16 posted on 07/20/2006 11:29:58 PM PDT by gubamyster
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To: Paulus Invictus
This is the very same stupid answer our local moronic politicians give for ignoring the laws of the land re immigration. It is also very irritating that they will not react to the high costs of supporting, feeding and medicating illegals already here and more coming daily.

I agree. Putting the blame on the feds is a cop-out. The harm is local, and local politicians have a responsibility to serve the people who elected them -- not a bunch of foreign squatters.

17 posted on 07/21/2006 7:29:35 AM PDT by AppleButter
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To: Graybeard58

Eugene is home to the University of Oregon, a warped liberal college that has warped most of my home state. When I left Oregon for the Navy in 1971 everything was fine. When I returned in 1977 the place was almost unrecognizable. Now they have the Bottle Bill and assisted suicide and you can't even pump your own gasoline at a filling station. But there are still people like this who will stand up for the rest of the citizens even if he is vilified and harrassed. I call such men "patriots."


18 posted on 07/21/2006 9:47:04 AM PDT by Tarantulas ( Illegal immigration - the trojan horse that's treated like a sacred cow)
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To: AMDCB
two question.....why are the high powered weapons beginning to show up as calling cards on US streets in areas where these types of weapons have never been seen before?
if this invasion is peaceful, there wouldn't there be a need for high powered weapons would there?
19 posted on 07/21/2006 4:27:00 PM PDT by no-to-illegals ('No' worked so well, perhaps another word is in order?)
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To: no-to-illegals
one should be wondering is there a crowd somewhere behind those calling cards.
wink wink nod nod......don't fall back to sleep.....
20 posted on 07/21/2006 4:39:03 PM PDT by no-to-illegals ('No' worked so well, perhaps another word is in order?)
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Comment #21 Removed by Moderator

To: AMDCB
Columbia, and we aren't talking south America here either....Columbia, SC....now hello out there, that's right down the street from me, and my point is now I'm to accept vermin and no longer is the laws of the land enforced and the rebirth of the wild west appears again and I'm supposed to believe there are no weapons cashes inside of the US and I'm also to believe we aren't twiddling our fingers, we haven't 'un'crossed our fingers or was there another double-cross and who fired the first shots.....and then I'm to be the one blamed?

Yep, that's just my luck....happens every time....
my point is this.... if I am to witness high powered rifles, missile launchers (yep those types of weapons have been found too) then should I keep this just between me and you or should this be announced somewhere? and Should we ignore the increase in the varocity of the frequency?

yes, I 'un'derstand, I'm going to have to talk to one of your aids.....it figures.....yes mam, I'll hold......

22 posted on 07/23/2006 8:25:57 AM PDT by no-to-illegals ('No' worked so well, perhaps another word is in order?)
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