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Letters to the Editor - June 10

June 10, 2013

Immigration reform is a historic opportunity

To the editor:

The Senate is poised to consider an immigration reform bill that would create a comprehensive but fair pathway to citizenship for the approximately 11 million undocumented immigrants now living in our country. This bill was crafted with bipartisan support and represents a historic opportunity for our nation.

In April, the Border Security Economic Opportunity and Immigration Act was introduced by senators from both parties who had labored for months to craft it. This measure would strengthen our border security, create a fair legalization program and create a workable system to ensure that employers only hire legal workers in the future.

Immigration reform is a very important issue for our state’s future. Today, Maryland has an estimated 275,000 undocumented immigrants, accounting for 4.6 percent of our state’s population and 6.2 percent of the labor force, according to estimates by the Pew Research Hispanic Center.

Despite fears that immigrants will take jobs from Americans, numerous studies show that immigrants and U.S.-born workers generally do not compete for the same jobs. In fact, a 2009 study by the Cato Institute, a conservative think tank, found that immigrants have a positive effect on the workplace.

The business sector strongly supports comprehensive immigration reform. That’s because our economy is in need of highly skilled workers that can help stimulate growth and keep our nation at the forefront of innovation and invention. From 1990 to 2005, foreign-born nationals founded more than 25 percent of the technology startups in the United States, including Google, e-Bay, Yahoo and Intel. These companies now employ 220,000 people in the United States.

A key ingredient to passing immigration reform is fixing our broken border security system and ensuring our borders are secure. We also need to find a fair process that gives millions of undocumented immigrants an opportunity to emerge from the shadows and find a path toward citizenship if they wish to remain in this country.

Immigration reform also is about keeping families together and ensuring that immigration laws are respected. I want to commend my colleagues from both parties for coming together in crafting a bipartisan bill that creates a workable framework for comprehensive reform. Now the Senate needs to move forward in passing legislation that is both comprehensive and fair.

U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md.


Speed camera revenue to help Children’s Village

To the editor:

Children’s Village wishes to thank the Town of Hancock and the Town of Smithsburg for supporting the child-safety education program that is synonymous with the name Children’s Village.

In January, Hancock Police Chief T.J. Buskirk presented a check for $500 to Children’s Village from revenue generated by the speed camera in the town’s school zone. In June, Smithsburg Police Chief George Knight presented a check for $1,000 to Children’s Village from the Smithsburg speed camera program. Both gifts will support child safety in Washington County.

Since 1990, every county second-grade student — from public, private or home schools — has come to Children’s Village, free of charge, for two days of comprehensive life-safety education and skills training. More than 50,000 youngsters and their families are safer today, thanks to the Children’s Village experience. The program is all-inclusive and available to every child, regardless of income or need.

Unintentional injury is the leading cause of death for children under 14 years of age. In fact, every 60 seconds, 12 children in America are seriously injured from occurrences such as vehicle crashes, fires and burns, drowning, poisoning or choking (Safe Kids USA). Children in Washington County are fortunate that visionaries and funding partners came together more than 20 years ago to create a central child-safety campus to ensure our community could address such statistics. The success and longevity of the program speak to the continued commitment of many partners.

Speed camera revenue is slated to support public safety. Children’s Village thanks the towns of Hancock and Smithsburg for donating a portion of these funds to support the safety education of children throughout Washington County.

Rochelle Morrell, executive director
Children’s Village of Washington County Inc.


Who is really ‘getting their money’s worth?’

To the editor:

Where is the common sense? For a nation which touts itself as “broke,” we seem to have billions of dollars for yet another foreign adventure — in Syria. Yet, not a dollar is in sight for a .5 percent pay raise (the first in three years of our frozen pay) for we strapped, sequestered government personnel.

Who is really “getting their money’s worth” here? Not we taxpayers.

Joe Hammell
Waynesboro, Pa.

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