Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor for Aug. 23

How to submit a Letter to the Editor

The Olympian editor Dusti Demarest explains the guidelines for submitting a Letter to the Editor to the newspaper.
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The Olympian editor Dusti Demarest explains the guidelines for submitting a Letter to the Editor to the newspaper.

Immigration solution seldom mentioned

This past week, three bus loads of undocumented workers were rounded up by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement at Joseph Grendys’ chicken processing plant in Morton, Mississippi. But curiously, the owner and his managers were not charged at all. Something is not right!

It seems that criminally charging those who knowingly hire undocumented workers is a rare occurrence. The law does allow for both criminal and civil penalties for employers and owners. But it is not enough to deter them it seems.

What if the Department of Justice really went after them with enhanced penalties? Say $10,000 per employee for the first 10. And $100,000 per employee for the next 100. And prison time for owners and managers added on for greater numbers. Does anyone doubt that opportunities for undocumented workers would then quickly dry up? And if you can’t get hired, why sneak across the border? No need for walls.

Working in a chicken processing plant is not any American’s idea of a desirable job. So maybe in times of low unemployment we should have a guest worker program where temporary workers from outside the country could be hired for those jobs that Americans refuse to do. Jobs in agriculture, domestics, home nursing care, etc.

I find it odd that the GOP is not in favor of such an approach. Maybe because many of the offending employers are supporters? The Democrats don’t talk much about this either — maybe because they want amnesty for all?

So maybe this idea has merit?

John J. Roberts, Olympia

Sorry to hear of the passing of Les Eldridge

Sorry to hear of the passing of former Thurston County Commissioner Les Eldridge. He was always a gentleman and very gracious to me over the years, when I was an electronic journalist and then a Public Information Officer in Thurston County. Les never once asked me to change an article but did work with me many times to ensure the piece was factually correct.

I asked him once what the big story would be for an upcoming year. Les replied that it was — and always would be — the balance of economic development and private property rights with conservation and protection of the natural environment. Here it is decades later and Les is still right.

He also was one of the reasons that I finally finished my degree at The Evergreen State College.

Les’ public service in a variety of positions benefited all Thurston County residents, whether they realized it or not.

Rest in peace Les, and thank you!

John Tennis, Canby, Oregon
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