I read with dismay a letter that portrays my opinion against illegal immigration as racist, and portrayed my expressions of concern over hiring illegals as a joke [Inbox, WW, Oct. 1, 2008].

Let me assure Willamette Week and the author of the letter that my views on illegal immigration have nothing to do with racism. Understand this clearly: I am not anti-immigrant. Immigrants were instrumental in building this great country. I am, however, against the illegal hiring of illegal immigrants.

Workers—legal and illegal—pay taxes that support Social Security, education and other important services. However, harboring illegal workers and encouraging them to work illegally—as the City of Portland has done—denies legal citizens opportunities that should belong to those who play by the rules and live here legally.

Guest-worker programs allow seasonal workers to enter our country legally and work here LEGALLY.

I wish that WW would consider the issue rationally, rather than print letters that portray those who disagree with the City Council as racists. Illegal immigrants are exploited by those who hire them. Employers who hire illegal immigrants should be held accountable.

Reasonable citizens would likely agree that the illegal day-labor site should be shut down. Jobs should be given to those who are legally credentialed to work. The issue of race and racism is a means to inflame and persuade people not to truly analyze the issue. It is far too simple-minded to describe anyone that is against illegal immigration as racist.

Tom Wenning
Southeast Cora Street


Last week's story "Palin-Palooza" misidentified Jason Williams. He is the executive director of the Taxpayer Association of Oregon, not Oregon Taxpayers United.


regrets the error.