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Letters: Influx of immigrants heading for Island

Immigrant Long Islanders and supporters came together Wednesday,

Immigrant Long Islanders and supporters came together Wednesday, June 4, 2014 in Brentwood, calling on President Obama to stop the deportation of immigrants. (Credit: Jessica Rotkiewicz) Credit: Ed Betz

It's deplorable that our elected leaders in Congress continue to drain the U.S. Treasury for children dumped illegally over our Southern border ["Influx to continue," News, April 9]. Taxpayers like me provide thousands of dollars every year to keep the government functioning.

Each child costs thousands of dollars to educate, plus there is the potential expense of food stamps and other needs. In the meantime, we have struggling Americans and residents here legally who deserve to be helped but receive nothing. It's time for everyone, from President Barack Obama to Congress to state representatives, to have the courage to stand up and scream, enough is enough.

David Duchatellier, Elmont

Rep. Pete King (R-Seaford) said that, "Because of a failed federal policy, financial responsibility must fall on the federal government and not the Long Island taxpayer." This is flawed logic. There is not a failed federal policy, but an unenforced federal policy.

The latest immigration reform proposals in Washington specifically called for border security by means of a wall and strict enforcement. To date, these are largely incomplete. King's position implies that the burden should fall on the federal government. We taxpayers also pay federal taxes.

This tax burden infuriates most Americans. Furthermore, the influx is burdening school districts that are already struggling to meet budget needs.

Christopher M. Ré, Massapequa

It's no surprise that unaccompanied children continue to come to the United States in large numbers. As noted in this article, the root cause of these children's flight -- brutal violence in their home countries -- remains unchanged.

The article fails to mention, however, another crisis they face in the United States: the due process emergency in which roughly 70 percent of these children are unrepresented by counsel in their deportation proceedings. This includes children as young as 3, girls who have been gang-raped and must share that experience in court, and teens who have fled gangs threatening to kill them because they do not wish to join.

While New York has made significant efforts to help ensure unaccompanied children have access to counsel, more must be done.

Wendy Young, Washington

Editor's note: The writer is the president of Kids in Need of Defense, an advocacy organization for unaccompanied children.