Hundreds of migrants slept on sidewalks outside of the Roosevelt Hotel...

Hundreds of migrants slept on sidewalks outside of the Roosevelt Hotel on Madison Avenue and East 45th Street on Aug. 2 awaiting a place to stay. Credit: John Roca

In asking Long Islanders to accept responsibility for asylum-seekers, the Rev. John I. Cervini suggests we take a lesson from the Christmas story and not be the innkeeper who refused shelter to Mary, Joseph and their infant [“Long Island should accept asylum-seekers,” Opinion, Sept. 7].

But what is the innkeeper to do when Mary, Joseph and their infant arrive at the inn with 1,000 followers and more on the way every day? Where will they sleep? What will they eat? How will any medical issues be addressed? It is a human tragedy and a logistical nightmare that no amount of compassion and righteousness will resolve.

The governments that have forced this exodus by failing to provide for the health, welfare and security of their people should be compelled to assist the United States in setting up large, safe, strategically located vetting stations within their borders.

Education levels, occupational and language skills, health status and the search for friends and family living here could be determined and serve as the basis for orderly entry into the United States and ultimately to the communities best suited to their abilities and needs.

Chaos isn’t a good strategy. 

— Ed Weinert, Melville


A reader agreed with the Rev. John I. Cervini, a guest essayist, that “exclusion is not who we are as Americans” regarding admitting immigrants into our country [“Americans don’t believe in exclusion,” Letters, Sept. 12].

But we always believed in screening. That’s what Ellis Island was all about. Until recent months, our immigration policy was to have those who applied for admission into our country screened so we could exclude those with criminal backgrounds or communicable diseases, as well as those with terrorist affiliations.

This is all done to protect the current citizens of our country, which is the first responsibility of our federal government, in addition to maintaining the integrity of our borders. The current administration has failed in this primary role.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams recently stated that the migrant crisis “will destroy New York City” and there is no end in sight. Indeed, it could destroy our country. We have no idea how many criminals, terrorists, those with diseases, etc. are coming through our southern borders unvetted.

There is much misery in the world, but it is not our responsibility to cure the world of these miseries at the cost of the safety and well-being of Americans.

 — Gerald Fortsch, Smithtown


Refugees seeking asylum at border crossings should be given ankle bracelets and ordered to return for preliminary hearings within 30 days.

If they have credible claims, they should have to show up or else be deported. Credible claimants should get work permits and may remain here until a final hearing is held. President Joe Biden and congressional leaders need to figure out a better way. Current procedures make no sense.

We need to reform the system now. It’s not something that needs debate. Just common sense, with due process and fairness.

 — Michael Ciaffa, Garden City

The writer is a former Nassau County District Court judge.


Yes, we Americans have been welcoming immigrants for well over 100 years while demanding they enter legally and follow a path to citizenship. This was done to promote safety, security and control of numbers so Americans already here will not be negatively impacted. It’s just common sense, which this present administration in Washington apparently lacks.

Another reader claimed that former President Donald Trump did not solve this problem. Trump was building a wall and had a “remain in Mexico” policy to make sure these asylum-seekers were processed correctly. On his first day in office, President Joe Biden announced he would undo many Trump immigration policies. Place this mess at his feet, where it belongs.

 — Joanne Russo, Garden City


It’s ironic that Democrats apparently are OK with open borders and an all-are-welcome mindset, but now that red states are sending migrants to blue states, they are protesting and saying something should be done about busing them. The hypocrisy is out of control. Politicians have succeeded in dividing us.
 — Greg James, Commack

I agree with everything the Rev. John I. Cervini wrote, that throughout our state we need to demonstrate more inclusion, justice and love, and do more to help those in need.

Article XVII of our state Constitution notes this: “The aid, care and support of the needy are public concerns and shall be provided by the state   . . .   ” I would add one thing. If most counties and municipalities prohibit motels and shelters from receiving asylum-seekers, would the many closed-up Catholic schools be subject to the same orders? If not, isn’t there ample square footage statewide to accommodate the many?

 — Peter White, Centerport

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