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.
Illegal immigration — Build a prison in Mexico
Here’s an idea. Instead of shipping illegal immigrants back to Mexico to only have them filter back into the U.S., let’s do this: Sentence them to prison time. Then negotiate a treaty with the Mexican state on the border to build a special prison that we will pay for to house these convicted illegals, including those who just cross illegally and those who commit felonies here. We would pay the costs of keeping theses undesirables out of our country. With the cost of building, maintenance and personnel at the level of Mexican labor cost we could afford to keep them in those prisons for say 12 months for first-time crossing offenses to several years for severe felonies.
Entitlements the real issue
In a Jan. 25 letter, Jane Orient implores readers “to study what our Founding Fathers teach.” Perhaps she should take her own advice rather than taking umbrage with birthright citizenship.
The 14th Amendment states: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.” While this does not entitle illegal immigrants “to force working Americans to help support their children,” their children are, and should be, citizens.
I think the issue Orient is dancing around goes far deeper than what she argues. The source of Orient’s frustration is perhaps that taxes go to fund our nation’s beloved entitlement programs. And while this money may help support some “honest” citizens, government handouts are rife with abuse and themselves are fundamentally flawed.
We as a nation need to realize that forcing working Americans, through coercion, to help support anyone’s children is wrong, regardless of whether they are a citizen.
Lost in translation
A few days ago I received an advertisement from Home Depot that had a coupon attached to it for $10. However, I could not determine what the coupon was for because it was written in Spanish. I feel that this is going too far.
If Home Depot is intent on providing consumer advantages to the Spanish-speaking people in this country instead of to English-speaking citizens, then perhaps, to show Home Depot’s support, they should move all of their stores to Mexico. And if they do, I will not care, because from now on, I am doing my shopping at Lowe’s!
Mesa chief all wrong
Kyle Jones (East Valley Voice, Jan. 19), I am really sorry that you choose to believe that we, who feel that Police Chief George Gascón is not doing the job he was hired to do, are ignorant of the facts and were fed wrong information. Gascón’s statements in the Tribune are, as you charge, rhetoric. Our rhetoric is obtained through articles that have been published in the Tribune. Are you telling me that the Tribune is misleading readers by reporting wrong information? Gascón said he did not need us voters. I think he is 100 percent wrong.
When Gascón said our elected Sheriff Joe Arpaio was picking on the cooks and gardeners, that’s the same as saying, “It is OK to break the law as long as it is a small law.” Like being in our country illegally. I am not picking on our police officers, the men and women who make up our police department; they are only as good as their chief — who refuses to cooperate with our elected officers.
I ran a small poll of 25 people, all legal U.S. citizens and registered Mesa voters. I asked them to evaluate not the police department but Gascón: Do you believe Gascón has proven himself to be a good civic leader? If the chief of police was an elected position, would you vote for George Gascón?
The answers to both questions were negative and the majority said they believe that he is not worth the thousands of dollars he is being paid over what was allotted for that position.
School finance — Bonding the only answer
Arizona is projected to have a $970 million deficit in fiscal year 2008 and a $1.7 billion deficit in fiscal year 2009, according to the Joint Legislative Budget Committee. Faced with numbers like that, it’s clear that the time for debate about how to pay for new K-12 school construction has passed. A move to long-term financing, or bonding, for new school construction and capital improvements beginning in 2008 is imperative. Our current method of paying cash for new schools is archaic. Long-term financing is used by families and businesses to acquire long-term capital assets. Local and state governments routinely and responsibly use it, too. In fact, Arizona is one of the few states in the U.S. that does not use long-term financing to pay for new school construction.
What once may have been a point of fiscal pride for this state is now a sign of irresponsibility and outmoded thinking, and borders on neglect of Arizona’s children. We must move to long-term financing to meet our long-term capital needs and put the approximately $400 million per year allocated from the general fund for new school construction back on the table to meet the critical day-to-day needs of this state — including allocating appropriate resources for education aimed at increasing student achievement.
Members of school boards from across the state have this question for Arizona’s legislators in ’08: Can you, in good conscience, continue to vote for bonding to build roads, government buildings and universities, but refuse to do so to provide safe, stimulating and appropriate buildings in which we can educate our children? If you claim to support K-12 education in Arizona, your answer must be “No.”
President, Arizona School Boards Association
Super bowl — Why does NFL need volunteers?
I cringe each time I hear or see one of the ads recruiting volunteers to assist with various functions related to the Super Bowl. This league is comprised of business organizations worth from $1.5 billion (the Dallas Cowboys) to $782 million (the Minnesota Vikings), according to a September 2007 Forbes report. The NFL has TV contracts with the various networks worth about $4 billion per year that run through the 2010 or 2011 season. The Super Bowl ads are additional revenue, selling for $3 million per 30-second spot this year.
And yet, with all of this money floating around, the NFL won’t spend $1 million or $2 million to pay the various people the committee wants to volunteer their time to assist with greeting, parking, setup of various venues, the halftime show, etc. Oh, that’s right; they are given a T-shirt. The Super Bowl is reported to bring $400 million to the Valley in spending related to the event. While the income from the event showcased in the taxpayer-funded venue is being shared by these 32 team owners and the corporate NFL, and the tourist dollars are split among various resorts, hotels, restaurants, clubs etc., who’s out there hobnobbing with the various officials to get the Valley more good deals like this in the future? Why, that would be our illustrious elected officials and corporate business leaders.
Regardless of the reason — you wanted to be part of the event, community pride, the possibility of meeting or seeing one of the rich and famous at the event — the volunteers are being used by the NFL to supplement their bottom line. This is why the rich get richer! I call on the NFL to pay the volunteers $10 per hour for their services instead of continuing their corporate greed.