New needs should shape immigration

As so many are not tired of pointing out, their grandparents would have been refused entry into the United States under the new guidelines proposed by the White House [“Trump backs plan to curb legal immigration,” News, Aug. 3].

While I disagree in principle with many of them, we are not the same country today as we were 100 or so years ago. Our times are not early post-industrial revolution. Our complement of states is complete.

Simply put, our needs are significantly different, as is our population mix. Opportunities are less labor intensive. Adaptation to new technologies requires a different skill set. No doubt that immigrants have contributed in the past and will again, but prudence demands a different selectivity.

Humanitarianism, as a national promise, must be addressed, for we must continue to be a welcoming compassionate nation.

Richard M. Frauenglass, Huntington

 

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Original immigrants came here but had to adhere to rules and regulations and were examined and documented [“No wall surrounds Statue of Liberty,” Letters, Aug. 6]. They were welcomed and still are, providing they apply legally. No one just dropped in.

Connie Kamen, Sound Beach

Tests deprive kids of quality instruction

In light of the recent Common Core Geometry Regents debacle, and in response to Newsday’s June 13 news story “Test times reduced,” it is necessary to be reminded that reducing test-taking time by one day for our youngest students in English Language Arts and math is insignificant. All faculty members involved in the preparation and implementation of these assessments lose countless hours of instructional time before, during and after the tests. This fact remains, and this time will not be decreased.

Many children who do not take the state tests are required to stay home until assessments end, or to stare into books for hours, when they should be receiving quality instruction. We need to ensure prime opportunities for all children, every day, regardless of parental choice.

As directed by their leaders, teachers “drill and kill” in preparation for the assessments even though there is no educational value in doing so. Children are deprived of authentic instruction. As long as these assessments continue to be cognitively inappropriate and poorly written, our children suffer. This is educational negligence in its highest form.

We need to listen to teachers and educational leaders who have passionately shared their voices, and who speak from decades of experience, and petition for change in every district and across our nation. We owe it to the children.

Lori Koerner,West Islip

Editor’s note: The writer is principal of Tremont Elementary School in Medford.

Concern over Trump agenda and actions

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President Donald Trump has accomplished little and has inflicted harm [“Don’t allow big cuts to EPA budget,” Letters, July 20].

He has attacked the environment and American Indians by installing Scott Pruitt as head of the Environmental Protection Agency, which has become the “Environmental Pollution Agency.”

The administration has rolled back regulations that curb methane and carbon dioxide releases, that protect pristine land and reduce smog. The administration has approved a pipeline that could pollute land sacred to the Sioux of North Dakota. Trump has proposed drastically reducing the budget of the EPA and encouraging coal production.

Steven Ross,Kew Gardens

 

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A writer stated that President Donald Trump “gets things done” [“Democrats just whine and whimper,” Opinion Aug. 6].

The only thing he has done was get his Supreme Court justice approved. He has not been able to get major legislation passed. For no valid reason, he just seems intent on undoing what President Barack Obama did. His proposals to change trade agreements, limit legal immigration, let Obamacare implode, etc., are bad ideas because he doesn’t know what he is doing. He has no understanding of economics, government, or health care and just thinks he’s better at “making deals.”

His supporters claim that he has accomplished so much because he falsely claims that he has, and they blindly follow him. It’s like the emperor’s new clothes. There is nothing of substance.

Lyn Mendelsohn,Oceanside