Immigration, immigrants, refugees, green cards, and illegals have often found their way into topics of discussion. Whether or not in each case the individual or group of individuals found acceptance or rejection had a lot to do with their point of origin. A welcome mat for western Europeans while the door is mostly shut for Asians.
My third generation Scotch-American father entered a community of Finnish immigrants, married my second-generation Finnish-American mother, and then along came me, an American who views the Finns as among the finest people on earth while my wife, a third generation Irish-American, affects my attention by affection.
In my youth, I lived in Germany as a civilian for more than a year as a student of their language. I was treated very well and adopted a caring for the German people that’s endured to this day. I lived in Canada for a few years although I left due to anti-American sentiments. I also lived and worked in Saudi Arabia for six years and adopted considerably less caring for the Saudis and other Arabs who were employed there alongside me. Although I never flouted it, things were difficult due to “Christian” on my passport. Fact is, for everyone, most of our views depend on how and where we were “built.”
What’s relevant to all of us and the quality of our lives here is this: How many new arrivals can the U.S. handle? And that goes for Oregon, too. Is it that our nation and state shall be the world’s dumping ground, filled with overflowing numbers from elsewhere who have not been able to keep their homelands livable. Here’s my view in direct terms: I don’t care from where anyone hails, their religion, their cultural tags, whatever, we’ve got enough people in Oregon and there’s very little room for more.
A handy example to underscore my exploding population concern looks at just one of Oregon’s metro areas, Portland and its suburbs, plus those folks who choose to live in Vancouver and environs, and down from PDX to Wilsonville and over the Willamette River immediately south of it. Then there are the continuously growing-more-congested metro areas of Bend, Eugene, Medford, Salem and others underway, the burgeoning growth around virtually every nook and corner that’s habitable by the human species.
When Portland is mentioned, Oregonians I know turn up their noses as they complain about the high costs of everything, lack of affordable rentals, the inching along or stalled traffic, the gangs and crime, the homeless and jobless, the road rage and the infernal difficulty of getting anywhere a person would want to go in that area. There are just too many people and the problems associated with it just get worse with each passing year, so much so that governance in most of Oregon’s places is already in constant crisis mode.
Meanwhile, every time an announcement is made about allowing more refugees into Oregon, an additional number arrive here or nearby. The impact of a bulging population (Oregon already attracts the likes of the Bundy gang, other American supremacists and native-born radical terrorists) spills over into every direction. Oregon is now close to devoured, while homes are built in fire-prone forests, farmland turns into housing developments and the radicals want to turn wildlife refuges and national parks into mining pits, beef-raising ranches, residential tracks, golf courses and shooting galleries. Wherever one looks, with a population of 4.3 million, we will have reached population infinity. Read far and wide is that, if we don’t get more refugees and increase the population, we won’t have the brain power and youth to sustain our way of life.
At present, we have those who want to protect and sustain sanctuary campuses/cities/and the state of Oregon with a no-matter-the-consequences attitude, while our state borders remain porous, illegals in number are everywhere, and crimes are committed in multiples every day. Oregon’s legislators could work together to control the state’s political and economic forces; unfortunately, too many of our Capitol-ensconced leaders, who could tackle direly-needed tax reform and control those charitable groups and sanctuaries that bring people here and then place them on taxpayer support in a state where the treasury’s already depleted, can only pretend to perform good works.
(Gene H. McIntyre’s column appears weekly in the Keizertimes.)