Recent letters to the editor from Gazette readers.
A part of history in Colorado Springs
Thanks, Gazette, for kicking off Black History month with George Will's column on Frederick Douglass. (Page A8, Feb. 1). It's a concise, comprehensive black history review, readable in just a few minutes.
I'd like to alert readers to the local connection with Frederick Douglass. Local resident and former Tuskegee airman, 94-year-old Franklin Macon, was raised here in Colorado Springs by two grandnieces of Douglass. Their names were Maude Gray Macon Loper and Ella Gray Bell. The accompanying photo of Macon and the two women was taken at 721 North Pine St. in Colorado Springs in 1938.
In 1931, Maude married a prominent black citizen of Colorado Springs - Frank Loper, whose many accomplishments led to a George Biddle portrait, which hangs at the Fine Arts Center.
Loper, born a slave on the Jefferson Davis plantation in 1850, became Franklin's step-uncle and also helped to raise him.
Separate Dreamers from DACA
I am writing in response to Michelle Malkin's column titled "Some unpredictable 'Dreamers' have demons," as well as to letters from Chuck Kelly and Nancy Ickes.
Xinran Ji's story is tragic, and my heart goes out to his family. However, Malkin's attempt to lump all Dreamers as dangerous killers is as ignorant as insinuating that Democrats blindly elevate "illegal immigrant 'Dreamers' above law-abiding. Americans." Suggesting that Democrats categorize all DACA recipients as "a holy, unassailable class of 'honor-roll students, star athletes, talented artists and valedictorians,'" is purely propaganda.
First, let us distinguish between DACA recipients and Dreamers. According to the USA Today, there are 3.6 million Dreamers, immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children. According to FactCheck.org, just under 700,000 Dreamers are DACA recipients.
To be approved for DACA, Dreamers had to have arrived in the U.S. before turning 16, have no serious criminal history, and be in high school or have earned a high school diploma or GED. Bottom line: a vast majority of those who have been given DACA status are productive, educated people.
Now, to answer Chuck Kelly and Nancy Ickes question, 'why haven't they applied for citizenship?' The answer is quite simple: They cannot apply for citizenship because they entered the country illegally (through no fault of their own). DACA does not give a path to citizenship.
Now I am not naïve. I know that a small percentage of the children who were brought to our country illegally have become criminals, even murderers like Xinran Ji's killers. These illegal immigrants should be returned to their country of origin.
During the State of the Union address, President Donald Trump put forth what I think sounds like a decent deal for the Dreamers. Let's give DACA recipients who have maintained a clean record a path to earned citizenship. They took a risk when they came forward to apply for DACA.
As for the rest of the Dreamers who did not take the risk coming forward to apply for DACA, I am less inclined to think we should give them a path to citizenship. Perhaps they should be given lawful permanent resident status if they meet the same standards as the DACA recipients. As for those who do not qualify because they have a criminal history, let's deport them.
And to prevent more childhood illegal immigrants, rather than building a ridiculous wall, let's strengthen our border security substantially.
Taking care of any shortfall
I have been wrestling with how to phrase this correctly so that the faint of heart won't pass out upon reading, but the best I can come up with is to just say it. The Gazette tells us that there is a "shortfall" of money in the CHIPS system. All the while, the politicians are dancing about trying to convince us of how humanitarian they are by giving away our money.
You want to solve the problem? OK, here goes:
Pick a number. I vote "3". Now, get the El Paso County "fathers" to get their collective heads out of their sitting places and authorize the sale of recreational pot within the county. Then add that "3" percent in sales tax for every bit of pot sold in the county and apply that 3 percent directly into the CHIPS system. If that still isn't enough, then add 3 percent to the sale of booze. I guarantee that will take care of any shortfall. Think of it this way: every time a stoner lights up, somewhere a child is smiling.
There, I solved your problem.
Dangerous health hazard
El Paso County is ignoring a dangerous health hazard in the Widefield, 80911 residential area. The house of a property owner burned down last year. The owner has not rebuilt or razed the ruined structure. Instead, the property owner has let homeless persons reside in the yard where they sleep in cars and tents. Men have been observed urinating in the front yard; who knows where solid human waste is deposited? Bags and bags of trash are piled up in the yard.
Children pass by the derelict homeless "shelter" twice daily. Elderly property owners feel unsafe, especially at night.
This situation is outrageous, and no one seems to care.
Why are the taxpaying citizens in the area treated as if their fears and concerns do not matter?