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Letter: Green card policy is shortsighted

Hundreds of people overflow onto the sidewalk in

Hundreds of people overflow onto the sidewalk in a line snaking around the block outside a U.S. immigration office in San Francisco on Jan. 31, 2019. Credit: AP/Eric Risberg

The Trump administration would wrongly deny green cards to immigrants who are here legally and enrolled in public assistance programs [“A crackdown on some legal immigrants,” News, Aug. 12].

This is very personal to me. My parents were immigrants from the Dominican Republic. I was born a U.S. citizen in 1979 with a birth defect that left me blind in one eye. Surgery, weekly doctor visits and eyeglasses saved the sight in my other eye.

My family’s circumstances required government assistance, especially for health care. Had I been born under President Donald Trump, my parents (legal residents at the time) would have to live in fear of using public assistance because it would have threatened their dream of gaining permanent legal status. Later, they became naturalized citizens, started a business and no longer needed government help.

Should a little girl’s parents opt out Medicaid for fear of deportation? Should she be denied the care she needs and risk total blindness because of threats by our government? My gift of sight enabled me to become a teacher on Long Island instead of someone permanently dependent on government help.

This is Trump’s America. Take a good, hard look and ask yourself whether this is what you want America to be.

Jacqueline Rooney,


Ken Cuccinelli, the acting director of immigration, said President Donald Trump’s new policy on green cards “is reinforcing the ideals of self-sufficiency and personal responsibility.”

Under the new policy, immigrants who are in the country legally would be denied green cards if they have received or might receive public funds.

Meanwhile, the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, a nonpartisan watchdog organization, found in April that 60 top corporations not only paid no federal income tax for 2018, but received tax refunds from the public treasury. Money for these refunds comes partly from taxes paid by those targeted immigrants.

Under Trump’s policy, the government would demand self-sufficiency from immigrants who are here legally as we give away our hard-earned tax dollars to corporations like Amazon, Halliburton and IBM. Where is the demand for their self-sufficiency?

Cuccinelli also cited a need for “personal responsibility.” Corporations claim personhood under U.S. law, with all attendant rights and privileges. It is deplorable that these corporate “persons” are not being forced to suffer the economic burdens of personal responsibility as citizens and legal immigrants.

Bruce Madonna,


Renewal of Hicksville is re-energized

The Aug. 12 editorial, “Hicksville renaissance needs a leader,” requires more facts for the reader to fully understand that redevelopment stalled there before I was appointed supervisor of the Town of Oyster Bay in 2017. I re-energized the effort.

Upon taking office, I championed the grant application for Hicksville’s revival. I hosted many community meetings and secured $10 million from the state for improvements. Although the state announced that award a year ago, it sent the contract to my office only last week. I expect the town board to approve the contract at its regular meeting Tuesday.

My administration also moved forward with rezoning plans, which are ready but still await Nassau County’s year-late traffic study. We continue to meet with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. It must fully fund one or two new parking garages in Hicksville, as it did in Westbury and Mineola, for the third-track project.

Behind the scenes, I work to get these other levels of government moving in the right direction for Hicksville’s benefit.

The editorial board might wish I were more public, but grandstanding and chiding the MTA will never end in positive results for Hicksville.

Joseph Saladino,

  Oyster Bay

Woodstock opened the eyes of a teenager

Your pages on the 50th anniversary of Woodstock brought back memories [“Woodstock flashbacks,” Fanfare, Aug. 11]. I went as a counselor-in-training with Camp Willoway, an upstate camp that made the concert into an outing.

As your story mentioned, there indeed were drugs at the concert. I recall a teenager in an old trenchcoat and fedora carrying a briefcase through the crowd and gently calling out the names of various drugs. People followed him like the Pied Piper.

The first night, performers onstage said they were going to turn out the lights and everyone should hold up a match or lighter. In the pitch dark, when everyone held up a light, it looked just like the stars came down from the sky.

As a naive 13-year-old, I saw the utter companionship of hundreds of thousands of strangers. That we all cooperated, talked, sang together, worked and helped each other was unforgettable — and a view of what this world could be, but sadly these days is not.

I am a track coach at Uniondale High School. I asked my athletes last week whether they had heard of Woodstock. They had not. I told them to Google it. They probably won’t believe I was there, but now they’ll know how old I am.

Leigh Pollet,