The case of Jose Godinez Samperio | Jan. 6
An immigration quagmire
Your editorial on the case of Jose Godinez-Samperio was accurate as to the question of fairness to him. But it overlooked the larger point of the colossal waste of human capital that results from our outmoded immigration system, which permits these types of situations. There are hundreds of thousands of young people who are being penalized for the actions of their parents. In addition, the taxpayers and citizens of this nation will be bearing the ultimate cost of the degradation of this demographic for years.
Our office specializes in U.S. immigration and nationality law and represents many of these young people who are struggling to get on with their lives in the only country they know. Many of them are fluent English speakers who speak only a home-bound version of the Spanish language and who have no affinity with their country of origin. They are products of our school system and reflect the ambitions of their U.S.-born friends and family members.
It is ironic that while Godinez-Samperio's career is being hampered by the consequences of a law, he is a conservative, religious man who, under other circumstances, might be an archetypical member of the Republican Party. The current immigration law does this to us. We don't know who these recent immigrants are nor how they got here but we will need their help in order to maintain our nation's greatness.
Ramon Carrion, Safety Harbor
It's about rule of law
It's really simple: Are we a nation that believes in the rule of law, or not? Period.
Marilyn Renner, Dunedin
Sources of inspiration | Jan. 5
Time for a trip to California
I am glad someone has decided to bring this up. I have been asking for years why no one seems to be discussing looking at other successful piers around the country. I am so frustrated with the small-town way of thinking here and I am happy that the tide is turning.
I hope our new mayor will get the help he needs to take these decisionmakers on some field trips to California to see San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf, Monterey's Fisherman's Wharf, the Santa Monica Pier, etc. They should also look at the San Francisco Giants' baseball park on the waterfront downtown.
John Spiering, St. Petersburg
Affordable Health Care Act | Jan. 6
Stop bashing Obamacare
The president once said, "If you like your plan you can keep it." My wife has been a federal employee for 28 years and guess what, "We like our plan, and we kept it." Sometimes I wonder whether Congress and the Republican Party have amnesia regarding health plans. It's almost as if they have never purchased insurance.
We have not always kept our health plans over the years. There were years when our doctor no longer participated in the plan and we switched. Sometimes benefits were worse when you changed plans, sometimes you paid more when you changed, or sometimes there were other changes.
So I find it hypocritical to criticize the president for something that happens regularly with better and worse plans, and cheaper or more expensive plans dictated by insurance companies for years now. Remember HMOs and how they were going to rein in health costs? Please.
Things have not changed that much. If folks want cheaper plans fine, but why pay so much for so little? For example, my brother could not afford to purchase health care. Now he has a plan through Obamacare in which he pays less than $5 a month for himself and his family.
Everyone's situation is different, but don't tell me that the Affordable Health Care Act is not affordable to average citizens because from my perspective it is. It just feels cruel that the Republican Party would allow citizens to remain uninsured when they can barely make ends meet.
Guillermo Irizarry, Valrico
Kelly decries effects of leak | Jan. 6
Sick and tired of Jill Kelley
Is there any end to the arrogance of South Tampa socialite Jill Kelly? Does she really believe anyone in Tampa spends any time thinking about her and her contrived troubles? I think we are all more than a little tired of hearing about Jill. Yes, I feel familiar enough with Kelley to call her by her first name even though we have never met.
You want your privacy, Jill? Start by keeping your mouth shut. You claim your reputation and livelihood have been hurt. But you are responsible for your reputation. And what kind of self-respecting South Tampa socialite needs a livelihood, anyway? Finally, why does the Tampa Bay Times give Kelley so much ink? Does she buy extra copies of the newspaper to send to her family and friends out of town?
Please, Times. Please, Jill. We don't care about you. Try Detroit: The residents there need a distraction to help them get by as they face real daily problems.
John Robbins, Tampa
Road safety for all
The road is not just for cars
I am a newcomer to Tampa. But sometimes an outsider's insight can be helpful.
I am shocked by the disregard that drivers in the area seem to have for pedestrians, joggers and bicyclists. A regular item appearing in the Times is a story about a pedestrian or cyclist being struck and killed by car with a note that an investigation is ongoing but charges are not expected. Surely the driver is not always to blame, but it appears that the prevailing attitude here is that those on foot or wheel are fair game to larger, faster and often reckless cars and their drivers.
Perhaps a public education and enforcement campaign is in order to even the odds. By the way, while riding my bicycle on a recent morning along Dale Mabry Highway I was struck by a car. Fortunately, I lived to ride another day!
Andre Audette, Tampa