Letters from the Issue of July 9, 2009
The government is wrong: "Immigrant Crackdown" (Tim Elfrink, July 2) got it right. It is not just violent criminals who are put on immigration hold. I know three people who were deported for driving without a license.
The authorities are tearing families apart. My husband is an immigrant, and I am an American citizen; I fear all the time that he will be deported. Many people say, "Oh, well he shouldn't be here anyway," but my husband came to this country after war tore his nation apart. I should be able to love whomever I want without fear of him being taken away from our son and me. This country was born with immigrants; people forget that so easily. I love my country, but I hate the way people treat one another. America is supposed to be fair and the land of dreams. Lately it has become the land of ignorance.
The government is right: Maricopa County, Arizona, is the best area in the nation for reliable illegal alien crime statistics. The county sheriff, Joe Arpaio, has aggressively fought illegal alien crime. A report from County Attorney Andrew Thomas features these startling numbers for prosecuted felony cases in Maricopa:
In 2007, illegal immigrants accounted for:
• 21 percent of crimes committed with weapons.
• 34 percent of those sentenced for the manufacture, sale, or transport of drugs.
• 36 percent of those sentenced for kidnapping.
• 44 percent of forgeries.
• 50 percent of those sentenced for crimes related to "chop shops."
• 85 percent of false ID convictions.
• 96 percent of smuggling convictions.
Illegal immigrants make up 19 percent of those convicted of crimes in Maricopa and 21 percent of those in county jails, but only an estimated 9 percent of the county's population.
It is estimated that each violent crime costs citizens $20,000, and each property crime costs citizens $4,363 per offense.
Via web commentary
New Times is wrong: This article has a few discrepancies. First, let me begin with the line, "Can you say 'profiling?'" Secure Communities is a program that incorporates biometric identification (fingerprinting) to identify immigration violators. Now, how do you profile a fingerprint? Second, Secure Communities is not an Obama administration program. Julie Myers, who has been assistant secretary of homeland security for Immigration and Customs Enforcement since the Bush administration, started this program. Third, if someone is in the United States illegally, they should be sent back to their country. If you think the U.S. government is so tough, take a vacation to North Korea and illegally enter that country. See if they just give you a ride back home.
Well, I am happy to correct you. I am sad to report I lost a few brain cells while reading your article. That is the problem with the media today — you report your opinions instead of the facts.
Get Over It, Girl
It's your own fault: My advice to Playt Hard, who sent a letter to Magic Kitty City ("I Spy the Other Woman," Raina McLeod, July 2): You weren't played; it was an "open relationship." I can't understand why people open themselves to this. If you require monogamy, state it up front. If you need your own space, tell him he needs to find his own place and that each of you is a guest, not a rent-paying tenant with rights. That way, at the end of the day, both of you know where you stand.
Perhaps if you sobered up, you'd see the reality of your situation. You gave; he took.
Listen Up, Legislature!
Take action: "Piece of Mind" (Natalie O'Neill, June 18) reflects a mental health system of care that is essentially broken. Funding limitations and lack of adequate resources in the community have resulted in a woefully inadequate system of community-based treatment and services for people with severe mental illnesses and substance abuse disorders. Jackson Memorial Hospital serves more than 16,000 people annually, more than any other psychiatric emergency room in the nation.
The Florida legislature needs to approve a broader solution to attend to the welfare and safety of one of our community's most vulnerable populations. The Community Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment and Crime Reduction Act, which did not pass last session, needs to be passed. It has the potential to save the State of Florida millions of dollars and, more important, save the lives of those people who today cannot access community-based treatment and services.
Steve Leifman, Special Advisor on Criminal Justice and Mental Health
Supreme Court of Florida
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