Each time I read about the invasion by unaccompanied children at our southern border, it reminds me of the 1980 Cuban Mariel boat crisis ["President to seek $2B for immigration," News, June 30].
At the time, Cuban President Fidel Castro allowed people to flee to America, opening his prisons and mental institutions as well and loading people onto boats destined for Florida.
Today, many of the unaccompanied children are teens; and according to some border agents, some are gang members. The federal government wants to spread these "children" across the United States.
When the government did this with the Mariel boat people in 1980, the crime rate in Miami skyrocketed. Let's not repeat history, please!
Peter Kelly, Medford
President Barack Obama has requested $2 billion to deter unauthorized border crossings and to expedite the process of returning illegal entrants. What is needed is a refugee tax, such as a 1 percent federal sales tax, to finance the new entries.
"Undocumented immigrant" is a misnomer. The proper title is refugee from the ravages of drug cartels, poverty, corruption, rape, murders and kidnapping.
Joseph Spadaro, Garden City
I am insulted by Ruben Navarrette Jr.'s column that suggests that Americans like me may be confused about minors crossing the border ["U.S. confused about 'border kids'," Opinion, June 20].
While I can sympathize with the plight of Central American minors' troubles in their homelands, giving them amnesty or refugee status won't change the end result. These minors have found a legal loophole and many won't be deported. They will compete with my children for fewer and fewer jobs.
I'm not confused. I know what's going on, and apparently so do these immigrants.
Anthony Bordano, Atlantic Beach
So the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services thought to house unaccompanied immigrant children in former Grumman Corp. building in Bethpage and four other facilities in New York? ["Shelter plan nixed," News, June 28]. This is what we, the taxpayers, are paying the federal government for? Ideas like this don't just fall off trees, officials make these decisions. This is so wrong.
Who would pay the expenses for this holding facility until President Barack Obama decides what to do next? They are children, not cattle, and they need to be sent back to their countries. Our borders need to be closed so that this immigration does not continue.
When I travel, I need a passport to get back into the United States, where I am a citizen. Yet this influx of people continues at will. What are they thinking in Washington? That's the problem, they're not.
Maia Gaiti, Bethpage
Since the insurgent group the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant is now in control of Iraq's border, perhaps U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson should consult with ISIS to get some tips as to how to secure our border.
Terence Kane, Long Beach
Friedman conviction should be set aside
I've made my life in the law, as a lawyer, law professor, and, for 33 years, as a New York State judge, now retired. Your article "New Friedman court filing on 1988 sex case" [News, June 25] takes us back to the convictions of two members of the Friedman family, Jesse and his late father, Arnold, who took his own life while in prison. The Friedman convictions are a cancer on the justice system that must be removed, and the sooner the better.
These two convictions of an arguably innocent father and son, and the ruination of a good family, resulted from community hysteria in Great Neck, which was whipped into moral panic by overzealous, incompetent, self-righteous and excessively ambitious police work, by abysmal prosecutorial deficiencies, and by puerile judicial oversight at trial.
Needed most now is official courage and integrity to do the right thing and excise these malignant convictions and try to give back to Friedman and his family what might be left of a semblance of a normal life.
William Erlbaum, Forest Hills
Editor's note: The writer is an adjunct professor at Brooklyn Law School and CUNY York College.
School district abandons veterans
I am disappointed that the Mineola school district didn't approve the school tax break for veterans.
Many school districts gave their veterans this tax break. The school board always wants us to vote yes on the school budget, but when it's time to help our veterans -- many of whom are old and on a fixed income -- they say no.
I hope veterans and their friends and family will take notice.
Artie Adair, Albertson
Editor's note: The writer served in the Vietnam War.