Forum, Jan. 30: A Question of Fairness on Immigration

Monday, January 29, 2018
A Question of Fairness

In response to the letter by Dr. William Rosen (“Proving They Can Make it Here,” Jan. 24): The letter represents a cheap shot that misstates the actual comments and actions of our president.

The writer rightfully endorses the contributions that immigrants from all over the world make in this country, at times against significant odds. The contributions of immigrants to this country, especially in matters of health care, are remarkable.

But the irony in the letter is rich, and so I would simply ask the writer these questions: How would his university feel if prospective students started showing up without applying and being accepted? How would other prospective students — those who had worked hard and followed the rules for admission — feel if they were forced to wait while an interloper took their place? What if the university then had to house, clothe and feed the students who hadn’t followed the rules — and their families as well?

Eric Gill


Holding the ‘Dreamers’ Hostage

Remember the “Dreamers”? They were the children whose entry into the U.S. without visas before their age of consent was a misdemeanor, not a felony. Now people who want fewer immigrants and only the “right” ones are calling them “illegals.”

That is not the only word anti-immigrants are using to confuse. They are holding the Dreamers hostage to broader immigration reform that eluded the George W. Bush and the Obama administrations by calling for fewer family unification immigrant visas, which they misleadingly frame as “chain migration.” Current immigration law permits an American citizen to petition for an immigrant visa for a spouse, minor children, and parents. There are no numerical restrictions for them, but they must meet qualifications specified in the law, like all immigrants. Other family-related immigrant visas include adult children and siblings of American citizens and a spouse and minor children of legal permanent residents, but they are limited in number. The latter categories have long waiting lists and accounted for some 25 percent of the roughly 1 million immigrants granted permanent status in 2014.

In 2001, when Congress first tried to pass the Dream Act, the U.S. had a healthy growth rate, slightly above the replacement rate, which is what an economy needs to grow and prosper. Immigrants contributed to a healthy demographic profile, but today we are below the replacement rate. The anti-immigrant advocates claim the Dreamers should not be given permanent status until the issue of legal immigration is addressed. But their proposals do nothing to provide for the workers the country needs. Yes, we can use educated immigrants, but we also need people in agriculture and elder care. What motivates those willing to harm the Dreamers with proposals that would harm our economy?

Facts matter, and some issues cannot be addressed accurately by tweets.

Evangeline Monroe


Stoking the Fires of Outrage

One has to chuckle at the uproar over the hapless Donald Trump’s potty-mouthed characterization of certain developing countries.

The outraged are evidently under the impression that millions of the inhabitants of those countries are eager to come to the U.S. where, for some unfathomable reason, there is no reciprocal eagerness, or even willingness, to migrate in the opposite direction due to the unbearably charming and congenial conditions which prevail in the virtual Edens that are their homelands.

(To forestall the inevitable charges of racism and/or various phobias, let me state that I consider the vast majority of immigrants who embrace assimilation to be better citizens than many native-born ones.)

When the fires of perpetual outrage can’t be stoked with anything of significance, it becomes necessary to resort to the insignificant or to the irrelevant.

Anthony Stimson


There’s No Longer Any Doubt

A basic tenet of good journalism is for reporters to present views from both sides of an issue equally whether it be a dispute at a school board meeting, abortion rights or the nuclear agreement with Iran. There are legitimate opinions, pro and con, on every controversy.

The exception to this rule is when an issue has been settled beyond debate. The Earth is not flat. It revolves around the sun. Evolution is a fact. Men did walk on the moon. President Obama was born in the United States.

There is now another indisputable subject. The president of the United States is a racist, a bigot and a xenophobe. There is no further need for balanced reporting about his position on a person’s race, ethnicity or country of origin.

Any lingering doubt on his views on people not like him have been forever removed following his disgusting comments about Haiti and the countries of Africa.

He has taken steps to revoke the status of Haitians and El Salvadorians living here following natural disasters and political upheaval in their countries.

He has repeatedly vowed to prevent the entry of Muslims into the U.S. He has removed protections for the Dreamers who were brought here from Mexico and Central America as children.

He questions the legitimacy of citizenship for the children of foreigners born in the United States (has he read the Constitution he has pledged to uphold?). And he wants an obscene amount of money to build an unnecessary, ineffective wall to keep out Mexican “rapists” (what happened to Mexico paying for the wall?).

After the election editorial boards across the country discussed at length whether to use the word “liar” when referring to the president and his casual disregard for the truth. Ultimately, most were convinced that it was appropriate.

It is now time for the words racist, bigot and xenophobe to be used routinely in describing this abomination of a president.

Lloyd Bunten