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Immigration’s vexing issues

The Statue of Liberty celebrates its 130th birthday

The Statue of Liberty celebrates its 130th birthday on Oct. 28 2016. Credit: Getty Images / Drew Angerer

The United States spends about $138,000 to educate a child from kindergarten through 12th grade, according to the Census Bureau. The cost on Long Island is even higher.

With an estimated 800,000 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals individuals in the United States, that amounts to roughly $110 billion invested in their education. So why, after making such a huge investment, are we debating deporting Dreamers [“1.8M Dreamers could seek citizenship,” News, Jan. 26]?

Children brought to this country, not of their own volition, are subsequently enrolled in public schools where they receive world-class education at taxpayers’ expense. Does it make any sense to send these educated youths to countries they don’t know, whose language they haven’t mastered, after making such a huge investment? I don’t think so.

These young Dreamers are assets to our country. They represent the future workforce, and are overwhelmingly ready, willing and able to return in kind the opportunity we have afforded them.

Carl B. Viñas, Huntington

I want to commend Newsday on its excellent editorial about the immigration issue, “Shutdown masks a deeper question” [Jan. 23]. I can’t imagine any fair-minded American disagreeing with it. I wish I could make copies and hand it to the president and every member of Congress.

I’ve always thought that one of the fundamental questions facing American society in the 21st century is, what is the responsibility of those who have to those who have not? What is the responsibility of the haves to those who seek to join us to make a better life?

Only by answering these questions will we make America great again.

Paul Jacobs, Huntington

In light of this administration’s desire for more restrictive immigration, it seems it really does want to make America white again.

Howard Benjamin, Albertson

The country is in a moral and economic dilemma foisted upon us by the president, GOP and an ineffective Congress.

New York State needs to step up to protect our young people in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and those on temporary protected status who have become taxpaying assets to our economy and community.

The moral side of this dilemma is that we have people here with ties to their communities and families. We should not separate families with children, and spouses who are American citizens, but give them a path to citizenship.

Many have been here so long that it is either dangerous or cruel to send them back to situations where they no longer belong.

I propose that New York State allow these people to keep their driver’s licenses. Also, until a national fix can be legislated, the state should issue work permits so these immigrants can continue to function in our communities.

Judi Gardner, Huntington

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