Letters to the editor — Monday (3-23-2015)
A double-standard on ‘secure borders’
When asked about immigration, Tea Party/Republicans typically reply that we must “first secure our borders.” That sounds good, until you start to look at what they really mean.
First of all, let’s look at the borders themselves. The Canadian border is about 3,500 miles, including four of the Great Lakes and over a thousand miles of open plains, making it porous to smugglers. The Mexican border is about half as long, a little over 1,500 miles, composed of the Rio Grande and a lot of barren desert. Geography alone makes it inhospitable and dangerous at best. The borders are protected by 2,156 Border Patrol agents in the North and 18,611 agents in the South, or about 1.6 agents per mile watching Canada and 12 agents per mile guarding against Mexicans (per Senator Burr’s office).
Who are they guarding against? To the North we see people much like ourselves, largely white, English speaking, with similar socioeconomic status and education. In the South we see brown skins, Spanish speakers, poor, unskilled and poorly educated. In short, nothing like us.
Are you starting to see a pattern here? While most Canadians are happy with their country, they are also free to come to the U.S. and to work here with few restrictions. Just as interesting, for smugglers of either people or drugs, the Canadian border is the easiest to penetrate. Every weekend during the summer pleasure boats crisscross both Lakes Erie and Ontario with little inspection or control. Quite a bit different from the Mexican border.
What does this say about the Tea party/Republican claim they are “securing our borders”? It’s true, but mostly (or entirely) securing against Latinos, who are trying to escape poverty and narco-terrorism. Visitors from Canada are welcomed to come for a better job or just to go shopping in Buffalo, New York, Sault Ste. Marie, Detroit or any other neighboring U.S. city.
I’ll leave the question of what “securing our borders” means to readers, but if actions speak louder than words the Tea Party/Republican’s actions speak much louder than their words.
— Jack Burke
Obama and Israel
I believe that Barack Obama not only dislikes Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but the nation of Israel itself. His antipathy for the Jewish state has been clear since his inauguration, and is well documented by John Podheretz of Commentary magazine. Obama now wishes to make the United States a vehicle for this hatred. He has deliberately mischaracterized Netanyahu’s recent statements about acceptable conditions for a two-state solution in the Jordan Valley area. His minions have accused Netanyahu of racism (an interesting feat in an all-Semitic land).
As a Christian, deeply committed to the survival of Israel, and with a life-long love of holy scriptures and of all Jews, I view this matter very seriously, and can assure Barack Hussein Obama that I will oppose any attempt to make the United States a party to his hatred of Israel, and that I will oppose him with every legal means at my disposal, with rock-ribbed tenacity.
— Stephen A. Owen