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Letters: Immigration debate rages on

People of faith and community members march down

People of faith and community members march down Straight Path in Wyandanch in an interfaith show of support for the passage of an immigration reform bill that would putl 11 million people on a path to citizenship. (Oct. 27, 2013) Credit: Steve Pfost

I was disappointed that President Barack Obama's speech on immigration reform was so brief ["Obama forces the issue," Editorial, Nov. 23]. It didn't give him the opportunity to speak about the higher burden this will impose on taxpayers, or the fact that school and law enforcement systems will be stretched to their breaking points.

I was also hoping he would address terrorist threats like the Islamic State group and the ease with which they can get into the country now, more drugs in communities, and the frequent incursion of MS-13 gangs in our small communities.

Vince Iuliano, Holbrook

I chuckle when I hear politicians admonish immigrants to go to the back of the line. What line? There is virtually no line for people from South America, when the store seems closed through a quota system.

The plain truth is that the immigration system in the United States has never been fair for all people. Immigration laws have always been selective. One example is the National Origin Formula of 1921, which assigned quotas to limit immigration from Russia and southern Europe, and deemed immigrants from Asia unworthy of entry into the United States.

The current uproar is directed at one particular group, the ones from across our Southern border.

Frank Geffrard, Central Islip

My husband's great-grandfather emigrated from Lithuania to escape being forced into a labor camp, leaving his wife and three young children behind. He worked hard, saving every penny, and more than three years later, he sent for his wife and two sons; his daughter had died.

We are almost all the children of immigrants. The difference between past immigrants and the ones today is a matter of respecting our laws. The people who came here years ago to escape death and disease did so legally. Their homelands were no less dangerous than those of today's immigrants. They waited until they could afford to send for family members, instead of smuggling them in.

The immigration laws we have will work, but only if they are obeyed.

Dolly Kalhorn, North Babylon

What nerve! Opinions writer Clara Cortes states that she is here illegally ["How Obama's order changes my life," Opinion, Nov. 21]. She announces that she is a lawyer who could not afford to live in her own country, so she comes here knowing that she will not be able to practice law. We also read that she must commute for 2.5 hours to Brooklyn, where she cleans homes.

You would think that a lawyer would have a better grasp of reality. Who is she working for, and is she working for cash? Is she paying none of the plethora of taxes the rest of us pay on our earnings? Those taxes pay for her safety, her children's education and the roads she uses. Are we to feel sorry for her?

Roy Sperrazza, Melville

I really do understand that the vast majority of immigrants, both legal and illegal, come here with the intention of making better lives for themselves and their families. And I really believe that the United States needs to create a more inclusive work-visa program.

Though Clara Cortes entered the country illegally, she seems to be under the illusion that she should be entitled to legal status because she married a citizen and had a child. The fact remains, she broke our laws and entered the country illegally. What about all the people who wait their turn -- as my parents did -- and enter the country legally? Must they take a backseat to people like her?

Robert Gerhardt, Huntington Station