Letters to the editor – Wednesday (6-04-08)

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Immigration plan aids law officersAfter last summer’s immigration bill failed, in large part because it provided amnesty to 12 to 20 million illegal aliens, I refused to idly wait for Washington to address the urgent matters at hand ó strengthening security of our borders and enforcement of our laws. Not only have I been a leader in securing billions of dollars for border security and internal enforcement, but I also last year initiated the establishment of a statewide immigration enforcement plan for North Carolina ó the first of its kind in the nation.
Through partnerships with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), North Carolina sheriffs now have access to databases, training and other resources ó paid for by the federal government ó that enable them to determine the identity and legal status of arrested individuals. Under this plan, criminal illegal aliens are identified, apprehended and deported.
I refute your assertion in the May 30 “Darts and Laurels” column that this plan “shift[s] responsibility to county sheriffs.” Local law enforcement officers are already arresting those individuals who self-identify themselves through unlawful behavior ó but now they actually have the tools to identify the person in custody and partner with ICE to deport them if they are here illegally.
One ICE program called 287(g) has been successful in several North Carolina counties, but it is only one of many tools our statewide plan utilizes. ICE is providing resources, such as more agents for North Carolina and access to a support center for immigration status and identity information, to meet the needs of all sheriffs who wish to participate.
Several years ago around 25 criminal illegal aliens were deported from North Carolina monthly ó now that number is nearly 500. Our plan is working, and I am proud to help provide law enforcement officers with the assistance they need to protect our communities.
ó Sen. Elizabeth Dole
Dole represents North Carolina in the U.S. Senate.
Writing inspiration
While reading the article about the China Grove Elementary writing test scores (“Students’ writing scores jump,” May 25), I immediately noticed something missing from the text. Not once was Jane Fallis mentioned. As the curriculum coach at China Grove Elementary School, Mrs. Fallis played a huge role in the wonderful success of those fourth-grade writers.
Although the teachers did a remarkable job, it hasn’t been easy for them. That’s where Jane Fallis comes in. She guided the teachers on what they needed to do to get the fourth-graders to the next writing level. Leading up to the writing test, Mrs. Fallis had been a pillar of strength, offering unlimited words of encouragement to teachers and students. Not only did she tell the teachers what needed to be done, she jumped in head first with them every step of the way. As a parent volunteer based in the fourth grade, I have witnessed countless occasions when Mrs. Fallis would show up in the classrooms and give the students a pep talk about writing. Even though Mrs. Fallis would actually be teaching, the children never wanted her to leave their classrooms. She never failed to grasp and hold the attention of students. With her abundant enthusiasm about writing, Mrs. Fallis was able to get the students excited about writing as well.
Although the writing test is long over with, the joy that a visit with Mrs. Fallis brings hasn’t ceased. No matter what the situation, all of the students and teachers at China Grove Elementary can count on Mrs. Fallis to bring her bright smile and happy heart with her. She has never let them down.
On behalf of the proud parents, teachers, and fourth graders at China Grove Elementary, I thank Jane Fallis for a job very well done.
ó Lori Tatarka
China Grove
A June 2 letter from Ann Brownlee was in error in stating that Jeff Morris was “ruled out of order” during his testimony at a Feb. 28 public hearing by the N.C. Utilities Commission on Duke Energy’s proposal for a gas-fired generating facility at the Buck Steam Plant. According to a transcript of the Salisbury hearing, Utilities Commission staff attorney James Little at one point in Morris’ testimony objected to a statement about the Trading Ford Historic Preservation Association and the objection was upheld, but Morris was not ruled out of order, and he continued his testimony in support of the Duke proposal.