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Newsday letters to the editor for Monday, June 4, 2018

Central American immigrants after turning themselves in to

Central American immigrants after turning themselves in to U.S. Border Patrol agents. Credit: Getty Images / John Moore

Illegal immigration’s impact on the Island

The May 24 editorial, “Immigration’s real challenges,” is disingenuous. The problem is not immigration, it is illegal immigration. The problem is people who knowingly break the law to enter and stay in this country illegally. The problem is not that we need “comprehensive immigration reform”; the problem is that our immigration laws have not been enforced for decades.

You write, “People brought here illegally as young children, the Dreamers, can stay.” If that is done, what happens to the next people brought here illegally as children? Do they get to stay? Do their parents and relatives get to stay? When does it end?

You speak of the “schools that have been overwhelmed by the demand to educate children, who beyond speaking and reading no English, often have had little education at all.” Why have these schools been overwhelmed? It is because immigration laws have been ignored.

Enforce the laws! It will relieve the burden of these communities. The rights of American taxpayers should come before the wants of people in this country illegally.

Robert F. LaPorta,Melville

While “Immigration’s real challenges” accurately described the needs of communities such as Central Islip and Brentwood to receive additional public education funds, stakeholders should be aware of another means of providing funds to improve living conditions.

There is a $10 million state-funded Downtown Revitalization Initiative, and the Town of Islip has applied for those funds to modernize Central Islip’s Carleton Avenue corridor. That could help to provide better and more employment and enhance the area’s culture and economy. We will do whatever we are capable of to support that application, and hope that many others will do the same.

Steve Bard,

Central Islip

Editor’s note: The writer is the board president of Teatro Experimental Yerbabruja, a nonprofit organization that operates an arts center in Central Islip.

“Immigration’s real challenges” argues that President Donald Trump misses the point by discussing MS-13 at a roundtable meeting on Long Island. However, the editorial ultimately made the case for the basic tenets of his immigration policies.

Just because MS-13 has not killed anybody on Long Island in a year doesn’t mean the problem has gone away. Gang activity continues to afflict our communities and the rest of our nation. But the editorial board describes the real problem as “a wave of young people from Central America,” otherwise known as unaccompanied minors, placing a burden on our communities and towns. But wouldn’t the president’s proposals, including securing our borders, ending the visa lottery and limiting “chain migration,” help eliminate this problem?

The first step is to stop the cause: illegal immigration. Spending more money to accommodate immigrants here illegally is not the answer; it will only encourage more unaccompanied minors to come to Long Island. We must control illegal immigration while using our nation’s resources to help people who are here legally.

Rick Choinski,St. James

Albany should further restrict tanning beds

The New York State Senate has an opportunity to protect our state’s teens from a future of skin cancer. I hope it seizes this opportunity. The Assembly has passed legislation to close a loophole that allows 17-year-olds to use dangerous indoor tanning devices [“Tanning salon bill would ban minors,” News, May 31]. But the Senate hasn’t acted.

The American Cancer Society says almost 5,000 New York residents will be diagnosed with skin cancer this year. I am inspired to write this as a survivor of throat cancer. Also, I would not want my 17-year-old daughter to have access to tanning beds. If we do not protect them, our teens will be added to those numbers in the future.

Most kids don’t realize the dangers of indoor tanning. Tanning before the age of 35 increases the risk of melanoma by 59 percent. Major organizations including the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network are calling on the State Senate to pass this bill.

I, too, ask Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan and his colleagues to pass this bill before session adjourns. If we can protect our kids from skin cancer, shouldn’t we?

Michele Brodtman,Babylon

Editor’s note: The writer is a volunteer with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, located in North Babylon

Dental treatment can be expensive, too

I understand the cost of educating a dentist is high, but your story didn’t mention the fees dentists charge patients [“Dental work: Why fewer dentists are opening private practices,” Business, May 27].

I had a broken tooth and had to have a root canal in preparation for a tooth replacement. One root canal in 45 minutes cost me $1,450.


Michael Vigliotti,

East Setauket