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Good Afternoon

Immigration reform, Suffolk PBA, picking a college, and more

The Hispanic Heritage Month celebration, featuring dance, music

The Hispanic Heritage Month celebration, featuring dance, music and other cultural aspects, runs through Oct. 15. Credit: Dawn M. Tesoro

Schumer must help pass immigration reform

While the U.S. Senate parliamentarian’s ruling Sunday that disallows immigration reform via reconciliation was disappointing, I hope Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer will stay committed to submitting additional proposals to provide protections to undocumented individuals during the budget reconciliation process.

It is fitting that we are debating this during Hispanic Heritage Month ["Patchogue Theatre’s Hispanic heritage celebration," Flash!, Sept. 17].

We also recently marked the fourth anniversary of former President Donald Trump’s rescission of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which jeopardized the future of hundreds of thousands of young Dreamers nationwide.

While the U.S. Supreme Court overruled Trump’s misguided attempt to terminate DACA, an estimated 100,000 New York Dreamers — along with 600,000 DACA recipients nationwide — still face an uphill battle without a pathway to citizenship.

An estimated 330,000 undocumented essential workers, 30,000 Temporary Protected Status holders and thousands of undocumented farmworkers are trapped by our antiquated immigration system that is tentatively held together.

Band-Aid fixes are not the solution. Schumer and the Democrats must follow through on passing immigration reform with the Dream Act or in the reconciliation bill.

Phil Ramos, Brentwood

The writer is a Democratic assemblyman representing Brentwood.

Suffolk PBA should face investigation

The laws on direct political contributions are clear, but the Suffolk Police Benevolent Association seemingly is allowed to break them with impunity ["If at first you don't get an advisory opinion ...," The Point, Sept. 18]. Is there one law for the police and another law for everyone else?

Suffolk County Legis. Robert Trotta (R-Fort Salonga) may be correct that the Suffolk PBA's ethics are questionable. If the paycheck deductions that the PBA uses to contribute to political campaigns aren’t authorized by police officers, it is failing at its most basic duty.

Are Suffolk officials like District Attorney Timothy Sini not challenging the PBA and its president, Noel DiGerolamo, because they are the beneficiaries of these collected funds? If no law enforcement agency is willing to act against the PBA, the AFL-CIO should investigate the union and consider its expulsion should these allegations prove to be true.

Timothy Karcich, Centereach

The writer co-chairs the Suffolk County Democratic Socialists of America.

Make sound choices when picking colleges

In the article "Parents struggling with student debt" [LI Business, Sept. 15], a student loan expert says, "Parents take on whatever it takes to get their kids at college, including taking on unaffordable debt." Now some parents want loan forgiveness. Who forced them to go into debt? Who guided their children in choosing which college to attend? The choice was theirs and their children’s to make. Were there any less expensive colleges? What example are these parents setting for their children? Certainly not weighing their options or making sound choices. Fifty years ago, my parents and I decided that I would attend a city university instead of a private one to avoid debt. My first choice? No, but we chose the sensible one.

Judy Riccuiti, Farmingdale

Celebrities' politics spoil awards shows

Verne Gay asserts that the reason for the decline in viewership of the Primetime Emmys show is the availability of streaming services that compete with it for viewers ["Emmys tout streaming," News, Sept. 20]. Not so. People like me, who used to happily watch the show, gave up because we could no longer watch all the pretentious, phony Hollywood celebrities who continue to use it as a platform to spout off their political views when all we care about is the quality of their work. I don’t know if this happened Sunday night since I did not watch, but it started happening so often on awards shows that I just gave up watching them years ago. I believe viewership will continue to decline until these celebrities suddenly remember why they’re onstage in the first place. Please just wear your beautiful clothes, say your thank-yous and then shut up.

Priscilla Soumakis, Brightwaters