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Letter: People here legally do not live in fear

A mother of five who is living in

A mother of five who is living in the country illegally. She lives in Hempstead and fears deportation. Credit: Jessica Rotkiewicz

Why can’t Newsday speak the truth when writing headlines? The headline of your lead “Climate of fear” story on Sunday said, “In Trump era, anxiety grows for LI immigrants” [News, June 9].

President Donald Trump is not against immigration; he is against illegal immigration — and rightfully so. Our nation cannot continue supporting these immigrants. School taxes are unreasonable, welfare is out of control, the cost of incarcerating people who enter illegally is outrageous, and don’t forget that MS-13 has killed innocent people.

I think the administration is trying to do the right thing by us Americans.

Richard Baran,


I spent 15 years working in three foreign countries, and each time I obtained residency, a driver’s license and medical insurance legally. I respected the laws of those countries. If you are in the United States illegally, you broke the law and should expect a knock at the door. The fact that arrests have risen under President Donald Trump can be explained by better enforcement by this administration relative to President Barack Obama’s later years.

Frank Johansen Jr.


What about the climate of fear for citizens? Newsday twists around a very serious problem affecting taxpaying, law-abiding citizens of the United States. The fear that people here illegally and their children live with is due to their unauthorized entrance to this country. What kind of world are we creating, what are we teaching our children? That illegal acts are OK?

Ilene Curtis,


I too am living in a climate of fear — fear of what the president will do or say next that will endanger our longtime connections to allies, fear of his acting on impulse without knowledge of background information or notion of consequence, fear of the technique of negotiation by threat, fear of rollbacks on laws that protect our environment, fear of rejection of science with regard to climate change, fear of denigration of ethnic groups, fear on behalf of Dreamers and other immigrants who have to live unsettled lives, fear that children and parents separated at the border will not be reunited, fear that these children will be affected for life, fear of the consequence of calling news “fake news.”

I fear that we are governed by fear, that the Senate will not stand up on these issues, that there will be no action by Congress on issues that concern us, the American people.

Marilyn Gilbert,

  Port Washington

‘Adversity score’ can help level the field

A reader’s letter in opposition to the College Board’s adoption of an “adversity score” perfectly exemplifies the need for that score [“  ‘Adversity score’ could hurt some LI students,” Just Sayin’, June 8].

Many Great Neck students and others in affluent areas are fortunate to be able to take expensive SAT prep courses and benefit from the high tax bases that fund their schools — not a reflection of their worthiness, but a perquisite of their families’ financial status.

The adversity score is an attempt to level the field somewhat for hardworking students whose families are unable to provide these benefits.

Suzanne Mueller,

  Great Neck

It’s always disappointing to see sentiments like those expressed in the letter about the “adversity score.”

The reader unfortunately attributes the privileges some students benefit from by virtue of their race, socioeconomic class or family situation to “hard work.”

The implication is that underprivileged children simply don’t work as hard, when clearly they have to work harder to rank equally because of educational, nutritional and discriminatory disadvantages. Students who stand on the inside track, in school and in life, are not being penalized when disadvantaged students are afforded a staggered start. That’s called fairness. And their parents need to finally understand that it was not just their own “hard work and sacrifices” that bought their children their privileges, but the inequality of opportunities that they so take for granted that they have become blinded to them.

Alan M. Weber,


Editor’s note: The writer is a retired college professor of early childhood education.

A big payout won’t compare to suffering

I was upset by your article “Looking at a pricey payout” [“News,” June 10], which discussed the prospect of a settlement or judgment being paid to Keith Bush, the man whose murder conviction was recently vacated in Suffolk County.

I was not disturbed because I’m a Long Island taxpayer, but because I’m a wrongful-conviction attorney who has exonerated several men in recent years. I am keenly aware that whatever amount of money is awarded to exonerees pales in comparison to what they and their families have suffered.

Settlement and judgments to exonerees are not lottery winnings; they represent what a judge or jury believes is fair compensation for what society has taken from them.

Maybe when society starts paying more attention to the criminal justice system and its failures, we will invest time and money into providing a fairer system so that there won’t be a need for these types of cases anymore.

Oscar Michelen,