Make us your home page
Letters to the Editor

People should enter the United States legally

College dream drives an army | March 21, story

People should enter U.S. legally

Doesn't anyone understand the word "illegal," as in illegal immigrant? Your front-page story about Dan Garces appears as you intended: touching. But those who are cheering for him and others like him are missing an important point. That is, there is a legal way for people to enter the United States.

Garces didn't cause his problems. The well-meaning family folks who rescued him as an 11-year-old orphan bypassed the legal means of ensuring his future as a U.S. resident and citizen. Garces and an estimated 1 million school children are here illegally for one reason or another. And the U.S. taxpayers are footing the bill for all of them.

My wife is an immigrant. After we planned our marriage, I wrote to the U.S. Embassy in her city to find out the procedure we needed to follow for her legal entry into this country. She went to that office, followed the instructions for obtaining the necessary documentation and, after our wedding, was granted entry as the spouse of a U.S. citizen. From the time we crossed the border she was a legal resident and carried a green card. She subsequently applied for a was accepted as a naturalized citizen in a ceremony in Tampa.

The point is that there are legal means for becoming residents of the United States. Those here illegally need to spend their energies following those means instead of seeking ways to circumvent the system.

Ted Deisenroth, Largo

College dream drives an army | March 21

Immigrant students take a discriminatory focus

This front-page story describes how thousands of illegal immigrants are lobbying Congress to pass legislation that will enable them to jump ahead of those working through legal processes for immigration.

This legislation, the proposed Dream Act, is supported by this information-technology-savvy group of illegal persons, touting their desires to attend college and be the same as their friends. The idea seems so good and so fair. But these fervent believers are not talking about the discrimination they are supporting.

Discrimination? Yes. The Dream Act will discriminate against older illegal persons and those illegal persons in the "right" age group who cannot attend college or join the military. This story seems another tale of a special interest group, narrowly focused on their special interest.

Kathy Hunter, Lithia

College dream drives an army | March 21

Help is available

It is truly sad that so many students who have lived in the United States for a great part of their lives are denied the dream of college. Surely we must show our compassion and pass the Dream Act.

Still it sounds like Dan Garces could have become a lawful permanent resident if he applied for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status. This is a little-used path to residency designed to help children who have been abused, abandoned or neglected and it is not in their best interest to return to their native country. As an orphan, Dan may have qualified.

There many others like Dan who can be helped but are unaware of SIJS.

GLS CHILD, part of Gulfcoast Legal Services, is an immigration project that helps such children.

John E. Dubrule, Esq., director of litigation, Gulfcoast Legal Services Inc., St. Petersburg

Bill guts wetlands rules | March 21, story

Bordering on idiocy

That Florida House Bill 1349 has passed the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee indicates that our legislators are out of touch with reality. In simplistic terms, this bill allows the destruction of wetlands if an application has been "prepared and signed by … scientists, engineers, geologists, architects or other licensed professionals."

While I can see that geologists, if their specialty is groundwater, might have some minimal knowledge of wetlands impacts, to include engineers and architects as possible evaluators of impact borders on idiocy. Moreover, little is mentioned as to who "scientists" might be. Are we speaking of wetlands ecologists? Then we might have some true assessment of impacts, depending upon who employs them.

Sadly, many professionals will prepare such documents, believing that they are competent in their assessments. Compounding this is the fact that most consultants (biologists, geologists, wetlands specialists or environmental professionals) work under the aegis of large engineering consulting firms, blindly beholden to the growth of the development industry.

I see this as an effort by the GOP Legislature to provide last-chance favors to the developers before citizen-responsive candidates in the 2010 elections force them out of office. If the state Legislature passes such a bill or similar bill, I hope that Gov. Charlie Crist will veto it.

John C. Miller, Florida licensed professional geologist, Tampa

Bill guts wetlands rules | March 21, story

Let's start cleaning

Rep. Jimmy Patronis, R-Panama City, has sponsored HB 1349, which says, according to this article, that "anyone who wants to destroy a wetland simply needs to turn in an application that's been "prepared and signed by [certain] licensed professionals.' " Finally, a legislator who understands the need to streamline the process needed to develop Florida's remaining wetlands. The bill has already passed committee.

Patronis states that "sometimes you need to unplug these state buildings and clean them out and start over. Everything deserves a good cleaning out."

Bravo. I couldn't agree more. Let's start with Florida's Legislature. Let's start with Jimmy Patronis, R-Panama City.

Richard Downing, Hudson

End water giveaway | March 21, editorial

Make bottlers pay

Why do we give away one of our most valuable resources to companies that then sell it back to us at astronomical profit levels? Obviously, we're very gullible.

The proposed 6-cents-a-gallon tax seems a very moderate amount to charge private companies for our water. I think that any private corporation that takes water out of the aquifer should have to pay the state at least as much per cubic foot as the citizens who drink public utility water.

As for these water bottlers wanting the state to instead impose a sales tax on bottled water, that's the most absurd thing I've heard in a good while. They're already charging us a huge markup on a product that they get for free, and now these companies want to absolve themselves of blame by making the people pay sales tax on top of that! So we get to give them our water, pay them for it, and then pay for it again with a sales tax, because some people are upset that these companies are money-grubbing trolls that get the water for free in the first place. Unbelievable!

Mary Speer, Tampa

Psst, Mr. President, he's out of your league March 21

They are competitive

President Obama's remark comparing his low bowling scores to those of participants in Special Olympics was stereotyping that was both greatly disappointing and wholly inaccurate.

Thank you for your article about the Special Olympics bowler who has bowled five perfect games. Indeed, persons with intellectual disabilities can and sometimes do have exceptional athletic abilities the same as for persons without such disabilities. Special Olympics are competitive in nature and those who advance from the local to state level and beyond are those with such abilities.

President Obama might be surprised to learn that persons who compete in the international Special Olympic games rival — and sometimes exceed — the athletic performance of persons without an intellectual disability. I was surprised to learn this when Special Olympics CEO Tim Shriver made that remark during an inspirational presentation he gave in Florida that I was privileged to attend.

As the father of a Special Olympian bowler who has competed in Florida's State Games and whose scores have exceeded those of his nondisabled coaches, I truly hope that President Obama's unfortunate remark will lead to greater national awareness of the athletes, coaches and other volunteers, and sponsors of this wonderful program.

Douglas Jones, Largo

People should enter the United States legally 03/23/09 [Last modified: Monday, March 23, 2009 7:02pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours