Letters: Turn back the border children

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When are we, as a nation, going to stop the charade about the tens of thousands of illegal children entering our country? ["Child migrant crisis poses legal hurdles," News, July 7.]

The claim is that we must help them because of an executive order former President George W. Bush issued. So? What is to stop our border patrol, and our military if necessary, from turning back this invasion -- because that's what it is. We must insist that these children not be allowed into our nation.

The problem is the Obama administration is not willing to effectively close our borders and protect our citizens from these incursions and the chaos they bring. These children are being used to get their parents and other relatives into this country and eventually become citizens. When that happens, which party do you think they will vote for? I am cynical enough to believe the Democratic Party is only too happy to see this happen.

These children could only get here with the help of Mexico and the nations where these children originate from. If conditions are poor there, does that make it our responsibility to let them in? I think not! We have enough unemployed and partially employed as it is.

Nicholas Dallis, Smithtown

Ah, the naivete of liberal writers like Lane Filler ["We should let immigrant children in," Opinion, July 2]. Espousing the noble causes of what this country stands for. Nice when he doesn't have to pay the bill!

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The liberal idea is that all are welcome illegally into this country, with no papers, ID or adequate vaccinations. Criminals, gang members and more are welcome.

Filler claims they will strengthen this country and fight for it! NOT! Illegal children cannot be allowed in because there is no plan to pay for them, medically treat them, feed and clothe them, or a facility large enough to house them. There is no money to give away for education, social services or legal guardianship.

The only solid solution is to process them for identification purposes to locate their country of origin, village and parents, and ship them back to that country as quickly as possible!

Larry Cowden, South Hempstead



Hasidic communities and growing tension

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I read with interest "Village's growing pains" [News, July 6] about the ultra-Orthodox Satmar Hasidic Jews in the Hudson Valley who want to annex another 507 acres. I have a relative who lives near Kiryas Joel, and she has recounted the growing dissension between the two factions.

This proposed takeover is tearing the Monroe community apart, pitting people against people -- which no doubt will trigger anti-Semitism when that's not the issue.

These land takeovers have happened on Long Island and in other areas near Westchester, too. ultra-Orthodox factions manage to get on school boards and then, focused on their own private agenda, vote against what is best for the community schools.

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Karen Blicker, Hicksville

Teach to the future, not to the test

I believe we are teaching for yesterday ["Challenging teacher tenure," Editorial, July 10]. Our educational system is rooted in a century-old model that straddled the agricultural and industrial ages. Jobs were plentiful, and most didn't require academic skills.

Educators were primarily those who succeeded in, and liked school, so they sought to maintain, not revolutionize it. Modest adjustments, like new math and whole language were ridiculed. The school culture was static and resistant to change, even as society was undergoing broad upheavals

Women started working. Latchkey kids rode yellow buses to empty houses. Race, poverty, immigration, dysfunction, politics and divorce all entered the schoolhouse.

Knowledge proceeded to double by the decade, as workers saw the lifelong career platform fade into a new employment world of musical chairs. The curriculum expanded slightly, but survived largely intact. Our world went digital, but our thinking stayed analog.

Even as we employ computers, smart boards and iPads, we clutch onto much of the yellowing curriculum and methods as if they were the owner's manual to success. Global comparisons scare us into action. But what to do?

We sense that something is wrong, but, rather than considering an educational revolution, we prescribe a program of evaluating and intimidating teachers. Regrettably, a reasonable definition of schooling has become the study of things that help one get through school, not life. We have spell-check. We need think-check.

As schools vigorously teach to the test, they should be teaching to the future.

Bruce Stasiuk, Setauket

Editor's note: The writer taught for 34 years in public schools.

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