Readers React: Another Trump nominee whose life’s work runs counter to the agency he would lead

US President Donald J. Trump departs the White House, Washington, USA - 29 May 2018
President Trump departs the White House on Tuesday.
(Michael Reynolds / European Pressphoto Agency)

To the editor: Since when did a lack of empathy with the displaced and a lack of experience with refugees qualify someone to head the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration?

In anti-immigration activist Ronald W. Mortensen, we have yet another nominee by President Trump whose career demonstrates nothing if not disgust for the bureau he’s been nominated to lead.

The Senate must reject him lest tens of thousands in need go without and what little moral suasion the U.S. has left turns to dust.

Martin Zogg, Los Angeles


The writer is the executive director of the International Rescue Committee’s Los Angeles office.


To the editor: Mortensen is labeled as anti-immigration, even though he oversaw humanitarian aid for millions of suffering people around the world.

This isn’t extremism; Mortensen deserves praise for making a virtue of necessity. America’s 327 million people cannot solve the world’s problems by taking everyone in. Globally, more than 65 million people are displaced. Many more are undernourished or live in failed states.


Driven by immigration, California has nearly doubled its population over the past 40 years and outgrown its water security. But I doubt the Los Angeles Times will consider reducing immigration a polite topic for discussion, until Angelenos are displaced from their homes by water shortages — if even then.

Kenneth Pasternack, Santa Barbara

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