Refugees walk through a deportation center.

Refugees walk through a deportation center. Credit: AP

A recent letter argued that the reason “immigrant parents bring their children” is to keep them “out of harm’s way” by avoiding “death, abuse by gangs and poverty” in other countries [“Consider the welfare of immigrant children,” March 2].

I submit that the predominant reason for illegal immigration is economic, and that is a virtually illegitimate reason to hop a fence.

Further, I’ve read that more immigrants here illegally are leaving this country, and fewer are coming in. Unless there has been a drastic change in the amount and kind of gang activity (not the case) in Mexico and other countries, then the reason for the outflow must be that economic goals have been accomplished. The people leaving here have already sent back their wages and thus have done what they came here to do.

Apologists for illegal immigration need to dramatize a rationale, so it’s always handy to throw in the imminence of danger to children.

Nicholas Saridakis, Hampton Bays

Anti-Semitic bias is still condoned

Hate crimes are in the news again — in particular, incidents against Jews [“Reward in hate cases,” News, March 11].

The media have reported swastikas scrawled and words of hate spewed in places including Nassau and Suffolk counties. In other places, cemeteries and synagogues have been vandalized.

Why do we act as though this is new? Prejudice against Jews has existed for hundreds of years. I’m 52 years old and was raised in Massapequa. When I attended elementary school, I had pennies thrown at me in the cafeteria. I was bullied for being different, as Jews were a minority in my school district.

The hate took different forms as I grew up. Well-meaning friends were astonished to find out my religion, commenting that I didn’t look Jewish. What should I have looked like?

Even now, people seem to think it’s OK to talk about cheap Jewish friends in front of me. If we take these prejudices so lightly, how are we to expect change?

Cheryl Wadsworth, North Massapequa

MTA’s interim head would be good pick

Interim Executive Director Veronique “Ronnie” Hakim would be an excellent choice to serve as the next chief executive of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority [“Who can keep the region on the move?” Editorial, March 5].

As NYC Transit president, she ran the nation’s largest bus and subway system. This positions her above any potential rival to run the MTA, the nation’s largest public transit system.

She also served as special counsel at NYC Transit and general counsel at MTA Capital Construction. Hakim worked on mega projects such as the Second Avenue Subway, East Side Access and the No. 7 subway extension to Hudson Yards.

She has the experience to hit the ground running on behalf of commuters and taxpayers.

Larry Penner, Great Neck

Editor’s note: The writer worked for the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration Region 2 New York office.

Very skeptical about self-driving cars

The column on the merits of robot autos on our roads and highways raises a number of questions [“Self-driving cars won’t be drunk . . .,” Opinion, March 8]: Will a driverless car be required to pass a standard driving test? Should robots be required to demonstrate knowledge of the rules of the road and of state laws?

Should a robot car prove its ability to parallel park, to make a three-point turn, to make a safe entry into traffic, to safely change lanes, etc.?

What about reading road signs and changing a flat tire? One must also ask whether insurance companies will insure robot cars.

WikiLeaks reports that our intelligence agencies can hack robot features of automobiles to cause them to crash, committing “nearly undetectable assassinations.” Can we really risk robot cars becoming tools of terrorists? I think not.

William J. Breuer, Malverne