Letters to the editor

May 21, 2006

Common-sense approach needed on immigration

To the editor:

There seems to be a group that expects to march 11 million illegal aliens to the Mexican border in front of a wall of bayonets. This is a ridiculous fantasy that will not happen. These people are here, many of them are needed and we should use a good common sense approach to resolve the problems involved.

1. Identify the illegal aliens. No blanket amnesty.

2. Classify responsible workers, the irresponsible shiftless and the criminals.

3. Criminals illegally in this country should be sent back as quickly as possible - no trials, jail time or other waste of taxpayers' money. Their illegal status is sufficient justification. They can apply for legal entry if they can refute the criminal charge.

4. Give work permits for a three-year probationary period (in lieu of fines or other punishment) to those who have been in this country at least five years or more with proven stability and are vouched for by their employer. For permanent residence, they must apply on the same terms as any legal immigrant after the probationary period. The permit should be limited to occupations that have been using immigrant help, such as farming.


5. Sift out the rest on the same terms used for legal entry to this country with the same probationary period.

6. Limit benefits given at taxpayers' expense. Require health insurance by the employers. Exclude Social Security benefits for those without work permits.

A Mexican political figure has been quoted as saying that we took the Southwest from Mexico by force, but they were going to recapture it by peaceful means. It is alleged that Mexico has 10 or more regional offices in this country to assist illegal aliens. This should be investigated as it is an obviously illegal activity. These facts, together with the Bush failure to provide funding for more border guards, suggest a basis to suspect conspiracy with the Mexican government to flood us with illegal immigrants.

It may require separate legislation, but aliens should not be allowed to come into our country, use our medical facilities and then go home without paying the bills. This is a drain on all taxpayers. One approach might be to require consulates to guarantee payment of such bills. No guarantee - no medical service except emergency and transportation back to their country.

William F. Jones

At Grace United, we try to make a real difference

To the editor:

This letter is in response to the letter written by Mark McGlaughlin on Saturday, April 29. Mr. McGlaughlin, I don't know you, but I wish I did, because then I could tell you about the wonderful Jesus I know. The Bible we use at Grace United Methodist Church and the teachings of our fantastic minister tell us it is our commission to go into all the world and teach of Jesus' love and His "good news."

I'm not sure you are fully informed about the reason for our recent project of sending used shoes to other countries. One of our members and her 6-year-old granddaughter felt a tremendous burden when they saw a program on TV showing men, women and children walking on ice and snow in Pakistan in their bare feet, because they had no shoes.

They didn't just say, "Oh, that's a shame." They made some phone calls at their own expense to see what we could do about it. To me, that was a wonderful thing, to see a 6-year-old and her friends involved with a passion for helping others. In this world, where we see so much of a "take care of me first society," I find this encouraging because our children are the future of our country. I'm sure if any of our members saw someone in Hagerstown, Pennsylvania, West Virginia (or any other place in our great country) walking barefoot on ice, we would respond the same way.

I don't know if you go to church, Mr. McGlaughlin, but I would invite you to visit our church and see for yourself that we are trying to make a difference. Many of our members, do indeed, support all three of the ministries you mentioned, Salvation Army, Rescue Mission and Goodwill, and we realize they are very vital to our community. Many of our members are also involved in the REACH program, not only giving material goods, but also volunteering their time.

Our youth go to the shelter on a regular basis and prepare meals and spend time talking to the residents. We also have an after school program on Wednesdays during the school year (Camp Reach) for Winter Street School children where they can learn that Jesus loves them and where they are mentored and helped with homework. We have a clothes closet and food pantry open the first Saturday of the month, open to anyone in need.

We hold a movie night once a month, where the community is welcome for snacks and a good, wholesome movie. Last year, we donated more than 200 pairs of gloves to children at a local school because we heard many did not have gloves. You see, Mr. McGlaughlin, we do care very much about our community. We have two worship services and Sunday school on Sunday; Bible study on Thursday; and many other activities, so come check us out. By the way, we almost never close for snow.

Ecile Shaw

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