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Congress is to blame for immigration mess

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Congress is to blame for immigration mess

Anyone with a heart and a sense of justice supports the Othman family. “Al” Adi is caught in the gears of our slow-moving bureaucracy. The cold and unfeeling circumstances facing this family stir our emotions.

Emotions motivate us but rarely solve problems. Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution reads the president shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed. On that score, President Trump outperforms most recent presidents.

The same Constitution reads that Congress is responsible for legislation. Seven-term Rep. Tim Ryan and Vindicator Editorial Page Editor Bertram de Souza blame President Trump for the sorry state of our immigration system and the current state of the Othman family.

Fixing a problem is much more difficult than fixing the blame. But if you choose to fix the blame, be intellectually honest and blame Congress.

Joe LoCicero, Canfield

Othman case shows need for immigration reform

In America we could be better than this. In the wake of Al Othman being detained and subsequently deported from the United States, I’m compelled to ask who benefits from this action?

There is no doubt that immigration reform is required in our country. The question isn’t the reform; the question is this: Do the ends justify the means? Whether it be a questionable marriage, two misdemeanor convictions from over 20 years ago, a child who was brought to this country at an age when he was unable to decide his own fate, and countless others. We have all read the stories, watched the news and discussed these incidents. Often we see the injustice in these actions, not wanting to believe that this is going on so we will somehow justify it.

We convince ourselves that this is for the common good and that there are extenuating circumstances with every situation. Everyone is familiar with our history.

The United States of America is a republic founded on the belief that we can do better and be better. There are endless stories throughout our history of immigrants coming to this country to prosper. We live in a society governed by the rule of law, where postulate justice qualifies the infraction, where our public servants are elected to serve the common good void of self-interest or political gain. When we witness injustice and refrain from action, we simply quantify the injustice.

We the people of this great society are charged with the responsibility of its forbearance. We are not incapacitated by our lack of knowledge or our will to do better.

Simply it is not the time to do the right thing, it is right to do the right thing all of the time. Are we perpetuating a society where our children and grandchildren can prosper, or are we obliterating it? We can do better.

Elizabeth Christoff, Youngstown

Y’town riverfront park holds hope for Mahoning

I was glad to read in The Vindicator that they are starting to accept bids for the downtown amphitheater and riverfront park.

To me the amphitheater is the cherry on top; the main attraction is the park. I’m hoping the Mahoning River will be highlighted. I’d like to see the trees cut down along the banks with lighted walkways and a sign with facts about the river. This city might not exist without the river.

Later on, when the steel mills started, the city really grew. Sadly they polluted the river. Lowellville’s mayor secured grant money to have boating and docks on the river. Now it’s Youngstown’s turn. Idora Park had a ride called the Lost River; I’d call the Mahoning River the hidden river.

It’s hard to believe that a river actually runs through downtown Youngstown. Sharon has the fire on the water, which is a huge success, and Chicago dyes its river green for St. Patrick’s Day. The river has been here long before any of us and will be here long after we’re all gone. Wouldn’t it be great to some day get on a boat in Youngstown and ride out to Warren or some of the many other cities the river runs through.

It’s time to stop avoiding our past, the jokes and do something positive about the river.

Mike Cholensky, Youngstown

Trump administration rolls back labor progress

Donald J. Trump pitched himself during the campaign as the right choice for union workers. He bragged that he had good relations with labor unions during his real-estate career. He said that he wanted the AFL-CIO labor federation to endorse him for president, but the endorsement went to Hillary.

In less than a year as president, Trump has wiped away several of the policy gains that organized labor made during former President Barack Obama’s tenure. The anti union bunch Trump has chosen to fill crucial regulatory roles have already made it more difficult for workers to join unions and bargain collectively.

Trump’s policy reversals have drawn cheers from big business and made a joke of his campaign promises to organized labor. In the last weeks of 2017, Trump’s appointees on the National Labor Relations Board issued a bunch of decisions that rolled back workers and union reforms won in the preceding eight years. The NLRB is now conservative, and unions can look forward to decisions that will further weaken them.

Bud McKelvey, Hermitage, Pa.

Trump could redeem self with Gates Foundation gift

Reading the latest issue of Time magazine wherein Bill Gates is the guest editor and his wife, Melinda, has the last word, I wonder the following:

Given he is one of the most wealthy persons in the world, and he is devoting so much of his wealth to the good of the world by bringing clean water where it has not been available, vaccinations to millions of children, he and his wife are to be emulated and thanked for their concerns for humanity. They, of course, established the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation a number of years ago.

To help with the Gates’ endeavors and to donate his wealth for the good of the world, Warren Buffet is funneling his billions through the foundation. How can these people ever be thanked for their combined efforts to help humanity?

Now, we have a brainy genius in the White House and a self-described billionaire. My suggestion is that he also start funneling his billions through the Gates Foundation for the good of the humanity of the world. What better legacy can he leave?

Certainly, his legacy as being president will be something to be desired, so this idea will redeem him a bit. Of course, his billions may be tied up in debt all over the world, and perhaps that is the reason he insists his tax returns are of no interest and will not divulge them.

By his donations, he then can claim the deductions for charity that he hides now.

How about it, you brainy, stable genus multi-billionaire ?

Shirley A. Bartlett, Austintown

Why do supporters of abortion oppose ‘life’?

Thankfully, I never hear anyone trying to defend racism or sexual abuse of women. The majority of Americans know they’re wrong.

But it’s disturbing that anyone would still defend abortion. It’s gotten so bad that those who would defend abortion find even the word “life” to be unacceptable. That is disturbing.

It’s good to have life. It is God’s gift to us all. Live it and let others have it.

One’s own child especially should be called “good”.

Sylvia Koczwara, Youngstown