Congress must fund border security
Although I fault the Democrats in Congress for refusing (so far) to fund border security, President Donald Trump is not without fault either. He has not clearly articulated either the problem or solution, choosing instead to dumb-down the topic to the fourth-grade level of “build a great wall” and expecting Congress to salute smartly and fund it. Illegal entry control is but one element of immigration and refugee policy reform, border security/criminal intercept and humanitarian concern.
What should we do? First, let’s recognize that we have a 21st-century immigration and refugee problem, which will not be solved with laws and policies from 1952. Congress must fund border security — not just the southern border wall, but all our border/coastline management assets. To do less is irresponsible.
Second, revise the Immigration Act of 1990 to streamline and simplify immigration/green card policy, placing reasonable limits on the sorely abused Family-Based Immigration. Third, revise U.S. Refugee Law, eliminating the misguided “Diversity Visa Lottery Program” that has turned a generous humanitarian policy into a Pachinko game. Fourth, change E-Verify from a voluntary/no-fine and easily sidestepped program to one that is mandatory for every employer. Put teeth into the law: stiff fines for employers that make a practice of hiring ineligible workers. The result will be more job opportunities for legal residents.
Modernizing and strengthening our borders and related laws will reduce drug and human trafficking, improve the lives of legal immigrants, and make it even harder for terrorists and other criminals to enter the U.S.
Don’t allow open, unprotected borders
An open letter to Sen. Cory Gardner:
I am profoundly disappointed that you have broken ranks with President Donald Trump and your fellow Republicans and are unwilling to stand strong for border security!
I expect this of Sen. Michael Bennet, but I never dreamed that you would cave in to the Democrats and be willing to allow open unprotected borders to child and drug traffickers.
I sincerely hope you will reconsider this position and resolutely support the border protection that President Trump and innumerable border protection agents and officials have stated that we desperately need.
I will never comprehend why Republicans cannot understand that they need to stay united and vote in a dependable bloc like the Democrats do. By not standing together time after time after time, Republicans cede power and elections to Democrats.
Entire country has a say in elections
Oh, dear, it is clear that Susan Craig who wrote in to advocate abolishment of the Electoral College has no understanding of its use or of its importance. As a registered voter, whether I live in a remote cave or in a city of millions, my vote is counted in the same way. The votes are tallied according to the candidate voted for by each registered voter, with the final state tally being registered via the Electoral College for whichever candidate the state amassed the most votes. For the 50 states, there are 538 Electoral College votes available, so every state has a say in an election according to the final tally from all 50 states.
The population of a state determines the number of electoral votes each state has, so the fact that millions more voters live in New York than in Wyoming does not disenfranchise Wyoming voters who might have voted statewide for the candidate amassing the most electoral votes nationally. Or perhaps the candidate with the most electoral votes still lacks three electoral votes to win the election, and Wyoming with three electoral votes amassed more votes in that candidate’s column and so has contributed to the candidate’s victory, with the assistance of other states including New York with 29 electoral votes and California with 55 electoral votes, whose voters also supported the winning candidate.
But if the election had gone the other way, with hundreds more electoral votes going to the other candidate, Wyoming’s three Electoral College votes would not have been in the victory column, but it and voters in all losing states still would have had their votes counted in the Electoral College, which result makes an important statement.
If the Electoral College is eliminated, the enormous populations on the eastern seaboard and the West Coast will always overcome the votes of those in many other states, including smaller states like Wyoming, and even Colorado. As a lifelong Republican, I voted for Donald Trump, but the state voted for Hillary Clinton, so Colorado’s electoral votes went into Clinton’s column. Sometimes my candidate has won, and sometimes not, but I still have had my vote counted nationally by virtue of the Electoral College; the entire country critically has a say in every presidential election. If Craig and others succeed in having the Electoral College eliminated, it will not matter whether I live in a cave or in a large city, as a resident of Colorado I might never again have my vote in the winning column.
Anne T. Galbraith
More action expected from Congress
The newly elected House of Representatives, controlled by Democrats, looks like America, with a large amount of women and persons with various racial and ethnic origins serving the public. Contrast the House with the U.S. Senate ruled by Republicans, which consist mainly of middle-aged and old white men.
The Democrats in the House, unlike the former House-led GOP (gutless old patricians) aren’t afraid to stand up to Donald Trump. They know that more people voted for Trump’s opponent than for him and more people in the country hate him than love him.
The younger and more diverse House of Representatives can be expected to enact meaningful legislation, something the former Republican Congress was unable to do. 2019 is sure to see more action from Congress than 2018 did.
David J. Baker