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Letters: Disagreement on immigration crisis at border

Every day an invasion -- yes, an invasion -- of immigrants is walking into the United States illegally, and there isn't even a fence to stop it ["Immigrant kids need help now," Editorial, July 24].

"Give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses . . ." was a noble idea, but it is now an antiquated and unrealistic notion. The United States cannot afford the influx brought by illegal immigration. This country won't have the resources to keep up with this flood of people.

I'm not a conservative, just a realist. If we're not careful, the U.S. economy won't be much better than where these immigrants are coming from. Put up a fence and deal with the multitude of problems in this country, and stop worrying about the rest of the world.

Steve Viola, Bellmore

I am appalled that Americans are again rejecting children who are fleeing tyranny, danger and death. We are supposed to be the beacon of the world, the "City on the Hill" that accepts "your tired, your poor, your huddled masses." Yet, xenophobes and bigots have again thrown coals on the fire of hatred.

In Arthur D. Morse's 1967 book about the Holocaust, "While Six Million Died," the same voices can be heard discussing a proposal to bring 10,000 Jewish children who were fleeing Hitler into the United States. The discussion in Congress was vile: How can we accept these mongrels? These children of undesirable foreigners will become Communists and spies. They will never be loyal Americans. Anti-Semitism was alive in Congress.

It is amazing to me that we have not learned from the past. Refusing entry to the children from Europe in 1939 led to their deaths, and refusing entry to the children of Central America in 2014 might have the same result. Where is the compassion? Where are the voices of reason? Why must history repeat itself?

Norm Greenspan, Islip

Too soon to decide on vets' exemption

Two recent letters stated that the Mineola school board declined to pass the veterans partial tax exemption ["School district denies veterans discount," July 15]. I wish to clarify.

In February, the board was prepared to address the recently enacted exemption but was advised by counsel that an error existed in language of the state law that could affect the district's future ability to amend or withdraw the exemption. We have heard assurances from Albany that a bill to correct this language is progressing.

On another issue, we also understand that a bill from Assemb. Thomas Abinanti (D-Greenburgh) would place the financial burden of these exemptions on state, not local, taxpayers. Why is there no Senate version of this bill?

We found no need to rush a decision until the state clarifies the law and tax burden. Our board is taking a fully informed approach. We will again consider the partial tax exemption for veterans in the future.

Artie Barnett, Mineola

Editor's note: The writer is the president of the Mineola school board.

Don't ignore other instances of violence

I am perplexed that commentator David Rothkopf's piece, "The tragic slaughter of innocents" [Opinion, July 20] chose to highlight only the Mideast conflict and the downing of a passenger plane in Ukraine as examples of the senseless killing of innocent people.

I would hope that he did not highlight only these two examples as an intentional slight to the continuing killings of innocents throughout the world when the same day's paper reported that Boko Haram killed 100 people, 200 people were killed in Syria over three days, Baghdad attacks killed 27, and gunmen killed 21 in Egypt.

Where is the outcry and statement of indignation from the United Nations when hundreds of innocent lives are lost every day?

Whether due to acts of war, terrorism or religious fanaticism, aren't all innocent lives lost equal and tragic?

Claude Kasman, Nesconset

Where is Obama in Sunday cartoons?

Within days of Gov. Chris Christie being caught up in news stories surrounding the closing of traffic lanes at the George Washington Bridge, Newsday's Opinion page featured him in every one of its six editorial cartoons on Sunday, Jan. 12. Five were, as one might expect, very unflattering.

On the four Sundays from June 29 to July 20, as scandal and controversy swirled around Barack Obama, you did not print a single stand-alone image lampooning the president. We were treated to a drawing mocking five Supreme Court justices, and caricatures of former President George W. Bush, Pope Francis and U.S. House Speaker John Boehner.

Although cartoons unflattering to Obama have appeared on other days, you failed to publish such a cartoon in 24 opportunities in Sunday Newsday, your most widely circulated edition. I can't remember a president from either party ever getting a pass like this. It's not helping him, or the rest of us, for that matter.

Jim Soviero, East Setauket

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