Letters from the Issue of October 24, 2002

Bring back Robert Rosenberg!

The community should know that the board tried everything possible to continue working with Robbie Rosenberg. We never wanted it to end like this. It's a shame.

Lynn M. Bove

Miami Beach

Poor Miami: Politically Incorrect Truth

Too many refugees, too many babies: New Times's special report on poverty in Miami discussed why we lead the nation with regard to this ignominious distinction, but without revealing the true reasons ("We're Number One!" September 26 and October 3). Since political correctness seems to have precluded their exposure, I will do so here. Two factors -- immigration and the welfare state -- have exacerbated poverty in Miami. The United States is unwilling to implement the effective immigration policies of countries like New Zealand, which requires immigrants to possess needed skills and investment capital. Instead we allow low-skilled refugees from overpopulated regions to burden our welfare system, a system that enables the irresponsible proclivities of immigrants as well as our own deadbeats.

Why should we feel sorry for the woman who works at Wendy's, has five children, and wonders why she cannot make ends meet? I do feel sorry for the children, but taxpayers should not be liable for such irresponsibility. We know what causes pregnancy, after all.

The solution? Implement a more selective immigration policy in this crowded land of liberty and give tax credits for having fewer rather than more children. If you can't feed them, don't breed them.

David Horstman

North Miami

Poor Miami: Foreigner Fatigue

You can't compete with people who accept slave wages: So Miami is the poorest large city in the nation. Maybe a strong Immigration and Naturalization Service and national identification cards should be part of the solution. America is a unique nation of immigrants, but the fact is not everyone can become a citizen and live and work in this country.Our immigration policy was supposedly designed as a filtration system to protect the health and safety of our nation and to safeguard our communities from being overrun by foreigners unadapted to our laws. But too many people are flooding in. Presently there are an estimated 11 million illegal aliens in the United States. The door has been opened for virtually anyone of Hispanic origin to mingle freely in our cities and disenfranchise the legal population by taking jobs and working for slashed wages.

Here in Miami Beach, in the construction industry, I know it is the company that hires cheaper illegal labor that wins the bids. Restaurants, hotels, and retail businesses hire workers with false papers for cut-rate wages and skimmed tips. Federal, state, and local authorities must enforce existing immigration and labor laws. Lawbreakers must be fined, and those who are here illegally must be sent home as humanely as possible.

We must respect the human rights of all nations, as they must respect ours. There are many things we can do to help the world. For example, we can support organizations like the Peace Corps. But the rights and well-being of our legal citizens must be protected first in order to maintain our democracy.

Mark Buckley

Miami Beach

Just Whose Free Speech Is It?

In the Mursuli-Sims bout, I'll take Mursuli: I read Tristram Korten's article "Pro-Gay Pressure?" (October 10), and here's what I still don't understand: The Rev. Willie Sims is a paid employee of Miami-Dade County, employed as director of special projects and crisis response. His job, as that implies, is to promote well-being and "community relations" among the various ethnic and racial groups in our county. And yet he supported the repeal of a county ordinance that provides for all-inclusive protection under the law? On the other hand, you have Jorge Mursuli, who has a reputation for building bridges in this community and is employed by an organization that has as one of its central goals the defense of free speech for all, being accused by conjecture and hearsay of squelching someone else's free speech.

I happen to consider that a twisted violation of Mursuli's own free speech! Keep fighting the fight, Mursuli!

Ana Escribano-Cruz

Miami

Just Whose Community Is It?

I say it's everyone's -- gay, straight, rich, poor, white, black: It baffles the mind why someone like Rev. Willie Sims, whose work for Miami-Dade County is supposed to overcome differences in our community and create an atmosphere of understanding, publicly supported the repeal of an ordinance that provides protection for members of that community. Then he cries wolf and hires a pro-bono attorney to protect his right to free speech. Reverend Sims, free speech is not only defined as the ability to speak your mind, but also to exercise personal judgment regarding the effects of invoking your right to free speech -- especially when employed by a publicly funded county department whose mission is to provide equal services for all. I do not question your right to agree or disagree with homosexuality as a lifestyle, but as a representative of all the people in the county and as a reverend, it speaks poorly of you to encourage divisiveness.

As a gay man, I would like you to know I have given back to "your" community by working closely with local charity groups and national organizations such as Habitat for Humanity. I've done so because I felt it was my responsibility to give back something to the community I have had the privilege to be a part of. It is our community, Reverend Sims.

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