Afghan answer isn’t only a military one

Outlining his Afghanistan strategy, President Donald Trump talked about weeding out terrorists, but he said very little to address one of the root causes of radicalization: global poverty [“A way forward in Afghanistan,” Editorial, Aug. 23].

Afghanistan is one of the poorest nations. Declines in aid and escalations of conflict have only increased the vulnerability of the Afghan people, 39 percent of whom live below the poverty line, according to the World Bank. This poverty is perpetuated as more conflict causes children to miss school and families to flee their homes.

To truly help Afghanistan, a smart military strategy must be coupled with well-funded development to ensure stable and inclusive prosperity for all. As former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates once said, “Development is a lot cheaper than sending soldiers.”

Amanda Quinn, West Islip

President Trump and the Dreamers

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals executive order should not be reversed [“A cruel reversal for Dreamers,” Editorial, Sept. 6]. Human decency demands as much.

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Under DACA, some 800,000 eligible immigrants trusted our government and signed on to the plan. For a new, ideologically different administration to betray these immigrants is nothing short of unconscionable.

DACA provides temporary relief from deportation and a potential path to legal status for children of immigrants here illegally who have grown up in this country and call it home. DACA recipients, or Dreamers, can pursue education and career opportunities that improve their lives and those of their families and their communities at large.

Some 10,000 Dreamers live in New York’s 1st Congressional District. When is our congressman, Lee Zeldin, going to step up and help protect them? He should well know that our nation was built on the backs of immigrants, indentured servants and slaves. Throughout our history, those who came willingly sought better lives for themselves and their families. Over the past few years, many immigrants have elected to serve our government, and in some cases, have sacrificed their lives for it.

Bruce Colbath, East Hampton

Editor’s note: The writer is a member of Resist & Replace, a political activist group.

Wow, President Trump sure knows how to show what a potent leader he is! Is there anything that could be more manly than picking on 800,000 young people who have no political power?

Well, he could try again to take away affordable health insurance and subsidies from poor and sick people who could otherwise not afford it.

William Hastback, Smithtown

Our president might be crazy, but he’s not stupid. He doesn’t want to send the Dreamers away, but instead wants to use them as a tool for immigration reform — and it’s brilliant.

The Dreamers will be the bargaining chip to overhaul the immigration system, starting with the right of citizenship beginning at birth. There are many who come to the United States while pregnant to get the most valuable document in the world: a U.S. birth certificate.

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Among developed countries, only the United States and Canada grant citizenship to those born within their borders, and this must stop. Immigration reform is badly needed, and I hope this will be the first step.

Bob Cavaliere, Port Jefferson Station

Let students avoid least favorite subjects

It’s no wonder that grade-school students opt out of standardized state tests [“Teach students to deal with test stress,” Letters, Sept. 8]. They are forced to take subjects they have no interest in. I have had grandchildren ask me why they have to study a subject when they’ll never use it.

It might be time to allow students to take subjects that they excel at. Some students are good at math and others at automobile repair. Put them on paths that will ensure their place in society.

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John Tarnagorski, North Massapequa

New housing would hit school budgets

Newsday has been reporting on developments in Nassau County, including Hicksville [“Transforming a crossroads,” Editorial, Aug. 13] and the Nassau Hub [“A new vision for The Hub,” Editorial, Aug. 20].

I agree that we need new, high-paying jobs on Long Island to employ our children graduating from college. Equally important is to provide new jobs for people who work in retail businesses that are being replaced by the internet.

However, I believe what’s being overlooked is the potential cost to school districts.

At the Nassau Hub, families moving into multifamily housing would likely attend Uniondale schools, where the cost to educate a child per year is $25,294. There is discussion of building 500 units or more.

In Hicksville, developers want to build mixed-use structures with housing, including 590 units at the former Sears site. Hicksville schools spend $22,821 per pupil.

My concern is that developers would walk away with a bundle of money, and the town and county and would get large increases in property tax revenue, but taxes from new residents wouldn’t fully cover the school costs, and longtime homeowners would be left paying more.

Gary Slavin, Oyster Bay