Letters to the editor: July 18 - East Valley Tribune: Opinion

Letters to the editor: July 18

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Posted: Friday, July 18, 2008 11:07 pm | Updated: 9:58 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

'REASONABLE DOUBT'

Articles ignore deeper impact

I’m not a big fans of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. However, I am tired of the press misrepresenting his actions. The sheriff’s crime sweeps are referred to as “crime suppression/anti-illegal immigration” sweeps. The use of the term anti-illegal immigration is inaccurate and a review of the arrests made in those sweeps clearly shows that going after illegal immigrants is, at best, a secondary consideration.

You then say “illegal immigration arrests actually are costing county taxpayers millions of dollars.” I don’t doubt that conclusion but here’s a question for you: What’s the cost of doing nothing about the illegal immigration problem?

Illegal immigration affects our schools to the tune of several thousands of dollars per student. One thousand illegal immigrant students, a fraction of their likely enrollment in Arizona, cost taxpayers more than $4.5 million a year. It affects our cost of health care because health care providers have to make up the cost of providing free care to illegal immigrants by charging more to those with insurance or the ability to pay for health care services. The Phoenix area has one of the highest health care costs in the entire nation and illegal immigration is one factor driving those costs.

Let’s face facts. The impact of illegal immigration is particularly acute in a border state. Illegal immigration is an expensive problem. We can’t address the problem and related costs if we are unwilling to address the issue. The federal government, the governor, and most, if not all, of our city leaders are unwilling to address the issue and therefore, contribute to the problem and its related costs to citizens. The cost of the sheriff’s illegal immigrant enforcement to county taxpayers is peanuts compared to the overall costs of illegal immigration to Arizona citizens.

SCOTT J. THOMAS

MESA

Trib series sheds light

Great thanks for your series on Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s “crime suppression” program targeting illegal immigrants. The thorough research your reporters have done reveals not only the inefficiency of the program, but the damage it has done to other crime fighting and the extra constitutionality of its actions. It was beyond time to shine a light on the sheriff’s abuse of power.

Of course, you had to expect the sheriff’s apologists to quickly appear, as they have in the Vent and elsewhere, with their bogus “Sheriff Joe is the only one enforcing immigration laws in the Valley” mantra. Which goes to show that indeed you can fool most of the people some of the time. Or at least fool enough to be re-elected.

MIKE MCCLELLAN

GILBERT

Sheriff is doing what other won’t

I am a subscriber to your paper and I think what you are trying to do to Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is despicable. At least the voters and readers of your paper seem to realize what a problem the illegal immigrants have become.

We have a do-nothing federal government that, according to the poll numbers, has the lowest-rated Congress in history. The White House isn’t far behind. The governor of our state and, it seems, the media also, want to take no course of action.

The polls indicate that 80 percent of people want the illegal immigrants sent home or any place but here and what are you doing? You are trying to condemn the only man and force that are actually doing the job. Why in the world didn’t you turn your anger on these worthless mayors and police chiefs that are refusing to do the job wanted by the citizens?

You still don’t get it. Congress and the White House are getting low ratings because they won’t do the job.

You’re beginning to look and sound like that rag in Phoenix!

BOB MCDEVITT

MESA

Sheriff is saving people money

Your stories about Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and illegal immigrant sweeps are biased and unfair. The majority of us think he is doing a great job. Congress is doing little because, in order to get elected, lawmakers get campaign contributions from businesses that want cheap labor. The media is biased because they get advertising from businesses that want cheap labor. The only ones that want something done to stop illegal immigration, with its great cost, are the taxpayers.

Sure, it cost some money for this, but in the long run it will save us money. The cost of programs for illegals is enormous.

If the feds won’t take care of this problem, the states, counties and cities must. We are losing our country. I have received several e-mails from out of state friends saying what a great sheriff we have and how he is saving us money.

JERRY LENNEMANN

SCOTTSDALE

Look at the costs of illegal immigration

I strongly agree with the comments made by two people in Friday’s Vent. Since the Tribune is doing a five-day investigative series of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, maybe the next series can be about investigating the illegal immigrants. I’m sure it will take all of five days to disclose all the hidden costs illegals have made to our schools, health care and wages, not to mention that most of the money they make here does not go back into our economy, but across the border to Mexico.

DUREE WAKEMAN

QUEEN CREEK

Sweeps are unconstitutional

Bravo on your meticulously researched series about Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s illegal immigration unit. While illegal immigration is clearly a problem, the series reveals that the unit ignores probable cause and neglects Maricopa County crime victims in its single-minded and overpriced pursuit of immigrants.

Equally disturbing are the letter writers who continue to defend Arpaio and his organization despite the voluminous evidence of malfeasance that your reporters have uncovered. Do these supporters not read the articles? In each part of the series, Arpaio, his spokespeople, his political defenders, and his deputies have been provided ample opportunity to explain their actions, and each time, they admit — brag, even — they are ignoring the Constitution and neglecting other pressing criminal investigations, such as the rape case in El Mirage and the armed robbery in Guadalupe.

I’m sickened that a sheriff flouts public safety and the rule of law, and citizens look the other way. What part of “unconstitutional” don’t they understand?

JACQUELINE WHEELER

MESA

OIL

Let’s stop trying to drill out of messes

With much of the world suffering because of high fuel prices and the depletion of other non-renewable resources, we stand at a crossroads. We can either look to the past for solutions and try and drill and dig our way out of this mess.

Or, we can look to the future and develop renewable energy sources instead of drill. Reduce, reuse and recycle instead of dig. Sooner or later, the latter options will be forced upon the human race. Why not choose it now and secure the future for our children, animals, the environment? It’s easy to jump on the “drill ANWR and the coastlines” bandwagon — or Rosemont mine — without stopping to think that the oil and copper wouldn’t even come online for at least 10 years. It won’t do us any good right now.

Rosemont mine would offer 10 years of jobs followed by unemployment. All extra-active industries, mines, drilling for oil, etc., leave ugly blemishes in their wake when the workers leave.

Far better to develop new technologies to meet our needs. Technology keeps changing and thus would provide the workforce with unending opportunities for employment.

HELEN GEX GREER

TUCSON

MARRIAGE

Change license to ‘union’

I have no argument against two people who want to have their lives joined together, whether they are same-gendered or opposite-gendered. If two people love each other and want to be together and enjoy each other’s company, that should be their right. What happens in the private part of their lives is their business, it’s not my business, or anybody else’s, for that matter. I am not curious about it, neither am I threatened by it.

When I hear the word, “marriage,” I automatically think of a man-woman ceremony in which these people have decided to seal their relationship with promises to each other, and have it legalized by the state.

Now that same-gender relationships are being legalized by more and more states, I believe a better word for these unions is just that — “union.” Union is a descriptive, definitive word that would be easier for a lot of people who believe that “marriage” should be only a man-woman thing to accept. “Union” would allude to two same-gendered people who are legally united, with the privileges and responsibilities that the situation entails.

The fact that many people are gay exists. That’s never going to change. The fact that two people, straight or gay, who love each other and want to spend their lives together exists and won’t change, and the legality exists in many places. Get over it.

So, I say change the word and quit harping about it — spend your time and energy on something vital to saving the Earth and U.S.

RUTH YURICH

MESA

SOLAR ENERGY

Support industry in Ariz.

The July 1 article by Ed Taylor about the Valley losing nine solar companies who were looking to build here struck a sour note with me. Arizona needs more jobs, high paying technical jobs that won’t fade away in the future to another country. We have something here that could guarantee security for all the people of our state — sunshine. Being able to produce clean, low cost power in a resource hungry world is a valuable asset.

Our long-term future state economy would be secure if we were a center for manufacturing solar equipment, development of lower costs and higher technology for producing power, and selling the resulting power produced. Let’s all hope our lawmakers don’t just consider the solar initiative. Let’s tell them we want it passed.

VALERIE VALLELUNGA

MESA

MARICOPA COUNTY ELECTIONS

Saban shows his smarts

The July 5 article by Tribune writers Nick Martin and Dennis Welch on the new Smart car for the campaign of Dan Saban, Democratic candidate for Maricopa County sheriff: it may not be “tuff” but it is smart — there won’t be millions misspent on legal defense and wrongful death settlements.

As for the sheriff office’s tank — it has no engine, it has to be towed everywhere, it has no firing capability, it’s just for show — just as incumbent Joe Arpaio is all show.

Saban is a professional law enforcement officer not a publicity seeking showman like Arpaio. How about doing a story on his achievements?

DAN PIETZMEYER

PHOENIX

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