We encourage readers to submit letters to the editor on issues of interest to East Valley residents. Submissions should be no longer than 300 words, factually accurate and original thoughts of the writer. Please be brief and include name, address, city and phone number for verification. Letters and call-in comments may be edited for clarity and length.
Cops more than qualified to help
Roxana Bacon’s Nov. 15 piece on local police not being qualified or too busy for immigration enforcement is just lawyerly mumbo-jumbo and more legal claptrap sustaining the flood of illegal immigrants into this country.
The question of federal training for city, county and state officers is one of the silliest requirements ever dreamt up by the pro-immigration community. Any citizen with five minutes of instruction can identity 99 percent of the illegals that walk our streets and stand on corners waiting for work. First clue: They don’t speak fluent English or none at all.
State and local police officers, myself included, picked up illegals with monotonous regularity back in the 1960s and ’70s. It didn’t take long, and it certainly didn’t interfere with our other duties. Admittedly, since we’ve abandoned all responsibility for illegal immigration to the feds, the round-up would take longer today. Even so, in a few months the problem would return to a minimal one.
Leaving enforcement of our immigration laws entirely up to Washington is political hogwash and wishful thinking, requiring a U.S. Border Patrol force many times larger than what is truly needed. Just imagine what major crime would be like in the U.S. if the FBI had to go it alone without local assistance.
ROBERT O. MCCARTHY
IN OUR BARRIOS
Where do these 12 million to 20 million illegal immigrants live? Do they live in Sens. John McCain’s, Jon Kyl’s, Ted Kennedy’s or President George W. Bush’s neighborhoods? I think not; no, they live in our neighborhoods. Sometimes 15 people in one apartment. Leprosy, tuberculosis, whooping cough and other communicable diseases are again reappearing in our country. Can we blame this on the illegal immigrants, or is it just a coincidence?
When an immigrant comes in to our country through legal channels, they are subjected to a cursory health exam; however, this does not happen now, under Bush’s open border policy.
C. BARRY O'KEEFE
CHURCH AND STATE
Separation isn’t a myth here
Jack Salley should check the Arizona Constitution before he says that separation of church and state is a myth (per his Nov. 20 letter).
The Arizona Constitution clearly states: “No public money or property shall be appropriated for or applied to any religious worship, exercise, or instruction, or to the support of any religious establishment.”
In Arizona, separation of church and state is the law.
Time to limit fertilization
Today we have hope that we will never need to use true embryonic stem cells. I call on the voters of Arizona to contact their representatives to take a stand and draw up legislation that will limit in vitro fertilization. It is due to IVF that there are 400,000 unused embryos frozen in labs that will be destroyed as excess materials. Why is there no outcry for this waste of human life?
Our president and pro-life groups object to the parents donating these embryos for use by science (akin to organ donation). But where is their objection to the creation and subsequent destruction of these embryos? Where is their outrage? How can they justify the creation of 400,000 embryos doomed for destruction?
Please take a stand and take action now against IVF.
Congress must stop pending cuts
AARP urges Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., to take action this year to make improvements to Medicare. It’s time that Congress acts to protect beneficiary access to physicians. The failure to act will result in a 10 percent reduction in Medicare payments to physicians. Medicare beneficiaries’ access to available physicians will also be threatened.
Lawmakers need to address the need to hold down increases in premiums and other out-of-pocket costs, as well as find ways to help low income beneficiaries. Since 2000, the monthly Medicare Part B premium paid by beneficiaries has more than doubled. And for 2008, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has already announced a 3.1 percent premium increase.
Older Americans are willing to pay their fair share for Medicare. But we should not ask them to take on an increasing burden for a deficient physician payment system. On average, Medicare covers about half of a Medicare beneficiary’s annual health care cost. It’s not right to continue asking them to pay more for a system that is flawed.
As a member of the Senate Finance Committee, which will next week consider Medicare legislation, we urge Kyl to address these issues.
ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY
You’re not at Columbia anymore
I would like to remind Arizona State University president Michael Crow that he is no longer at Columbia University in New York, a private school. I would also like to remind him of the constitution of the state in which he resides, Arizona. Article 11, Section 6 of that guiding document states, “The university and all other state educational institutions shall be open to students of both sexes, and the instruction furnished shall be as nearly free as possible.” I know that there have been discussions about what that phrase means in practical terms, nearly since it was written.
The president is requesting a 9 percent increase in tuition for returning students next fall and a 16 percent increase for new students. This is after a near doubling of tuition in the past six years. ASU’s own research shows a steady increase of tuition as a share of per capita income. That tuition percentage was 8.1 percent in 1973-74, when I was attending the university and tuition was $400. That tuition percentage leaped to 14.8 percent in the 2006-07 academic year.
When Crow insists on repeated tuition increases which far outstrip inflation levels, as he is requesting again for next year, he is ensuring that tuition costs are taking an ever-increasing bite out of personal incomes. What part of that is “as nearly free as possible”? In more practical terms, how is a near-doubling of tuition as a percentage of personal income over the past 35 years keeping with the intent of the writers of Arizona’s constitution?