I was a winter Texan staying a mile north of the Rio Grande in 2006 and 2010 (“Trump moves to quickly send troops to border,” April 5). When I rode my bicycle along the levees, I would encounter the deployed National Guard troops. All of them were bored to death and wishing they were home with their families. I could discern no legitimate reason as to why they were there.

I was also in Texas when former Gov. Rick Perry did his surge, deploying state troopers and even game wardens. I talked to some of these people, and most said they should be home taking care of business instead of being on the border. I did notice that the illegals who staff a lot of the car washes enjoyed the additional work washing the troopers’ cars.

We would get shut out of the county park when Perry and television pundit Sean Hannity would show up to ride the patrol boats and look tough in their helmets and flak jackets. Oh, well, the motels and Whataburgers will prosper, and 45 will look good.

Chuck Justice, Woodbury

• • •

I’m trying to imagine how it feels to be one of the tens of thousands of Muslims living in Minnesota reading the letter to the Star Tribune in today’s paper from a reader in Edina urging the government to take action to ban Muslims from the country by patrolling the borders (“keep out the rapists, drug dealers, killers, torturers, illegal immigrants, Muslims and all bad people in general.”)

I know the Star Tribune wants to reflect the views of its readers on the letters page, but surely it’s not necessary to print this kind of hateful venom. We know there are plenty of people with deplorable attitudes toward their fellow citizens. Do their views deserve to be elevated to print and distributed throughout the state? At the very least, the editors could have omitted the word “Muslim” from his diatribe.

Stacey Burns, Minneapolis

CENSUS AND CITIZENSHIP

State’s interest in joining lawsuit is difficult to perceive

Attorney General Lori Swanson has had Minnesota join as a plaintiff in a lawsuit to prevent asking citizenship questions in gathering the data to compile the 2020 census (front page, April 4). Why, pray tell, does she wish to disadvantage the state that elected her to office?

The basis for the lawsuit is that persons who are undocumented aliens or minorities will be more likely to avoid the census taker, and thus will not be counted, if a citizenship question is included. But Minnesota has a much smaller percentage of noncitizens and minorities than most other states. Therefore, if the question’s inclusion will result in such undercounting, the percentage undercounting in Minnesota will be less than the percentage in states such as Texas or California. Is it not better for our state if it is these other states that suffer the loss of seats in the House of Representatives? Is it not also better for us if our proportionate share of highway and child-care grants increases slightly?

David K. Hackley, Minneapolis

TRADE AND TARIFFS

In case of China, no rationale, or a perfectly logical rationale?

Pork and beans.

With no rationale, the 45th president of the United States has launched a trade war with China that will have a direct impact on Minnesota’s agricultural markets (“Tariff threat alarms Minn. soy farmers,” April 5).

With no rationale, perhaps China will reduce its buying of U.S. debt that the 45th president is counting on to fund his trillion-dollar deficit-inducing tax cut.

Paul Hager, Northfield

• • •

I’m a supporter of free and fair trade, so I was somewhat troubled by announcements from the Trump administration that increased tariffs would be implemented. That said, I know there are two sides to every story and that, increasingly, the media reports one side or the other depending upon its political tilt. So I did a little bit of independent research reviewing information from the World Trade Organization (WTO), the body responsible for tracking, managing and adjudicating international trade. What I found was enlightening. China’s average tariff (9.9 percent) is roughly three times higher than the U.S. (3.5 percent). China seems to be restricting trade into its country via high tariffs, while the U.S. is encouraging imports through low tariffs. Given this circumstance, it’s not surprising we have such a high trade imbalance with China, nor is it surprising that an administration with an America First approach would fight back with tariffs. China is retaliating to preserve its unfair advantage, while the U.S. is trying to level the playing field. Fair trade is a two-way street that currently seems to be operating as a one-way street.

Casey Whelan, Maple Grove

ASSISTED LIVING

It’s absurd what Minnesota does and does not license

It is outrageous that senior-living facilities that tout themselves as “assisted” living go unlicensed in Minnesota (“Home said dead resident was ‘OK,’ ” April 5). We require licenses for businesses that do services for people — for example, day care, beauty salons, group homes, nursing homes, restaurants. Why on earth should a facility where people live who need a little help with the “activities of daily living” be unlicensed? There is a need for standards. This is what licensure can provide.

Belinda Flanagan, Bloomington

MINNEAPOLIS DEVELOPMENT

Cars plus alternatives, not cars at odds with alternatives. Right?

I appreciate Carol Becker’s concerns about the need for automobile transportation around the Twin Cities (“Planners should remember: Some people need to drive,” April 5”). Within her article, however, she perpetuates a common false claim about the goals and aims of the Minneapolis City Council. While the city is actively working to build a 21st-century transportation infrastructure that offers alternatives to fossil fuel-dependent automobiles, it is not attempting to eliminate roads nor the cars that travel upon them. Like other policy discussions within our society, this is not a binary issue — that is, if we have one, then we can’t have the other. To present it in that light is overly simplistic and false.

Glenn Miller, Minneapolis

• • •

Becker wrote that she has “no choice” but to drive. We all have choices. We make them every day. Vehicles do not own the roads. We all pay taxes, not just those who drive vehicles.

I love that the city of Minneapolis has put effort into designated bike routes, light rail and buses. It is too bad that there are people who are bothered that vehicles do not have enough space, to drive or park their vehicles. I do not feel sorry for motorists one bit. I think it is hilarious that people who do drive are angry about bikes, etc. Those of us who do ride our bikes, walk or take buses have had to put up with dangerous drivers who run over bicycle riders and pedestrians.

People really need to get out of their vehicles and either walk, ride a bike, take public transportation or move away from Minnesota.

Darla J. Krutzig, Minneapolis