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December 5, 2013 at 7:34 PM
Immigrants play a vital role in our economy
I really appreciated Jan Vilcek’s guest column on immigration reform [“Reform immigration to fuel innovation,” Opinion, Nov. 30].
Because immigration reform has been in the news for so long, it was great to be reminded of the positive effects that immigrants have, especially for the economy. Not only are many innovative immigrants denied entry to the United States, but many immigrants play a vital role in agricultural industries.
A path to citizenship, as proposed in the bill that is currently before the House, or some other work visa would help to protect the rights of these workers who play such a vital role in our economy.
— Liam Kelly, Seattle
December 3, 2013 at 7:03 PM
We need to work together for comprehensive immigration reform
I appreciated your editorial in the paper. After reading it, I immediately called all mentioned Republican politicians: Doc Hastings, Jaime Herrera Beutler, Dave Reichert, and Cathy McMorris Rodgers and advised them to read your editorial and to work together for comprehensive immigration reform [“Get some real work done, Congress,” Opinion, Dec. 3].
I called because when I tried to email U.S. Rep. McMorris Rodgers my efforts were thwarted as I am not in her district.
I recommend that everyone call these delegates and let them know you want action. It’s the least we can do while immigration activists starve themselves on the National Mall to bring attention to this issue.
— Sybil Davis, Burien
November 28, 2013 at 11:30 AM
U.S. Rep. Reichert needs to join Republicans co-sponsoring H.R. 15 immigration bill
I’m calling on Congress to pass a path to citizenship for the millions of undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States, and to vote in favor of reform this year [“Detained legal residents urge hard line on immigration,” NWMonday, Nov. 18].
Millions of immigrants in our country want citizenship. But under our broken immigration laws, they have no way to earn it. I personally know some of these hardworking immigrants, and I think it’s hurting our country to keep them living in the shadows.
We need real solutions and rounding up 11 million people, asking them to self-deport, or creating a permanent noncitizen underclass is inhumane, not to mention completely unrealistic.
November 24, 2013 at 8:04 AM
Protest stunt at Bellevue only heightened tension
Guest columnists Pramila Jayapal and LeeAnn Hall grossly misrepresented the “GOP’s response to the Bellevue protest” [“Why immigration is a major issue for women,” Opinion, Nov. 16].
In fact, my response was swift and oft-quoted by news sources throughout the state: “We are happy to have dialogue with anyone on the important issue of immigration reform … anyone who wants to talk with me can call to schedule an appointment.”
Instead, the writers claimed the “GOP response” was a tweet from the former state party chair, Kirby Wilbur, who no longer lives in Washington state. Simply put, Wilbur’s tweet was a disgrace. While insulting his political enemies, he also insulted Republicans over an issue where there is common ground on both sides of the aisle.
November 22, 2013 at 7:33 AM
Conservatives need to vote on immigration legislation
Our broken immigration system is not a game, and deporting people from this country is not something to be taken lightly [“Conservative students to stage ‘immigrant game,’ Online, Nov. 18].
Deportation rips apart families, costs millions of taxpayer dollars and hurts our economy. The stated purpose of this misguided group was to “spark a campus-wide discussion about the issue of illegal immigration.” But if the conservative message is only more detention, more deportations and more money spent on border security, it does not solve the fundamental issue.
We need comprehensive immigration-reform legislation that does more than just arrest, detain and deport. Republicans in control of the U.S. House of Representatives have thus far refused to vote on immigration legislation with a path to citizenship. Similarly, Republicans in Washington state’s Senate have failed to bring our state’s own DREAM Act to a vote, which would enable aspiring citizens to have fair access to state-based financial aid. Hard-working young people in Washington continue to be relegated to the shadows, rather than be allowed to contribute as well-educated workers who could grow our economy.
September 26, 2013 at 7:02 PM
Immigration increases poverty
For clearly good reasons, The Seattle Times has editorialized and covered poverty in this country and region well for many years. [“Column: SNAP and the GOP’s war on the poor,” Opinion, Sept. 24.]
But it somehow misses a significant factor at work: circular poverty, the role immigration policy plays in it. We encourage it in a variety of ways and never recognize that such things as the “war on poverty” advocated by Lyndon Johnson in the 1960s accomplished nothing.
Just after the war on poverty was declared, we passed the 1965 Immigration Act, negating what had preceded it, when fewer immigrants were permitted entry, and most had an education equivalent to that of U.S. citizens. This had previously resulted in rapid assimilation without burdening our welfare system.
Johnson’s legislation was followed by a law that allowed in more of the world’s undereducated poor people. Now many of these immigrants are welfare recipients or those now meeting the poverty definition.
This information is important today, since Congress is debating immigration bill S. 744, which would provide legal status and allow entry to millions of mostly poor immigrants.
Why would Congress want to add millions of people living in poverty to the U.S.?
Richard Pelto, Kenmore
September 11, 2013 at 7:27 AM
Lornet Turnbull’s article on immigrants and health-care reform highlighted the challenges for many natives of the Micronesian islands residing in Washington. [“How will immigrants fare under Obamacare? It’s complicated,” page one, Sept. 5.]
It was a well-done story, shining a light on how history (atomic-bomb testing) relates to today’s health-care realities.
For the past two years, the Children’s Alliance has advocated with families from the Marshall Islands in order to make sure no child in our state goes without the nutritious food they need. This June, lawmakers partially restored a critical source of nutrition: the state Food Assistance Program.
But when a seriously ill, under- or unemployed person is in need of life’s basics, like health care or nutritious food, we shouldn’t check their papers first.
Parents must still feed their hungry children. That’s why we’ll call on lawmakers to fully restore the state Food Assistance Program in the 2014 legislative session.
Jon Gould, deputy director of the Children’s Alliance, Seattle
July 23, 2013 at 4:13 PM
Acceptance practices must change
It is unfortunate to see how limiting our educational institutions can be for individuals who cannot control their own circumstances. [“UW dream beyond his reach,” NW Monday, July 15.]
Simon Mendoza has been at the mercy of unforgiving medical schools due to his legal status, even though his choice in immigration was impossible.
These unfair acceptance practices, which discriminate against individuals who have the skill and talent imperative for a field such as medicine, should be reanalyzed and reconstituted in view of academic qualifications, not a status that ultimately has no educational merit.
Systems like Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), recognized at Loyola University in Chicago, should be employed by other schools.
Because there are other children like Mendoza, who arrived with their parents when they were too young understand or control the ramifications, it is vital that we work alongside them to give them the opportunity that they deserve to have.
Emily Kassebaum, Renton
July 18, 2013 at 7:04 PM
Most Americans are descended from immigrants
The problems and unfairness of our immigration laws have been on my mind for some time, and now the story of a victim of these laws reminds me of my family. [“Guest column: Trapped as the spouse of an H-1B visa worker,” Opinion, July 15.]
My grandfather came to the United States from Denmark as a young man in the mid-1890s. There is no record of his arrival in the US. Our best guess is that he just walked off a tramp steamer onto an obscure dock and decided to stay here.
He married, had four children, worked as a carpenter, and led a good and decent life. As a young boy, I recall him explaining why he didn’t speak Danish by saying that “we’re Americans — we speak American.”
He has been succeeded by generations of productive, taxpaying citizens. Many have college degrees, a few have master’s degrees, some have been more successful than others, but none have been criminals.
It’s fair to ask what could have happened if my grandfather (admittedly here illegally) and his immediate family had been subjected to the immigration laws and restrictions now in effect? We probably wouldn’t be here. I (part of the third generation) wouldn’t have had a successful career as a federal employee. My grandchildren wouldn’t have attended U.S. schools and earned academic awards.
It’s also fair to ask why our lawmakers can’t make immigration laws that reflect the economic and social realities of the 21st century; laws that eliminate the cumbersome, time-consuming, petty, and frustrating requirements for entry and citizenship that work only to the detriment of our economy, our society, and thousands of individuals.
Harry Petersen, Bellevue
Immigrants need to follow the rules
The Times opinion piece by Dakshina Thekkekalathil is a good example of what’s wrong with many who immigrate to this country.
She writes that “tagging along with my techie husband to America was a well-thought-out decision.” If it was such a well-thought-out decision, why is she complaining about the processes she found when she got here?
She states that “nobody is asking that all benefits be made readily available.” Really?
People who come to America need to follow the same rules our relatives followed when immigrating.
John Christensen, Edmonds
July 16, 2013 at 4:42 PM
Student has options
Simon Mendoza feels that he should be admitted to the University of Washington School of Medicine, despite having entered the country illegally. [“UW dream beyond his reach,” NW Monday, July 15.]
I have no sympathy for Mendoza. I am a senior citizen and I was accepted to two very fine universities, but could not attend them because my parents could not afford the tuition.
I attended a small college in the Midwest with a large scholarship, and I worked throughout my entire four years. I graduated with an A average, but I had a hard time getting a job because I was female. This was a time when newspaper help-wanted ads were divided into men’s and women’s sections. Nevertheless, I persisted in applying for men’s jobs, and finally landed a good one.
Mendoza has choices. He can wait for loopholes, or he can move to Mexico and go to school there.
Linda Thom, Coupeville
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