What am I missing here? According to a March 20 article (“ICE agents hit courthouses”), some officials believe we need different rules of engagement in the apprehension of criminals. They state that it isn’t fair to apprehend undocumented immigrants (illegal, criminal) when they show up at the courthouse for a hearing. They call those actions of Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers in these situations “stalking.”
Have we drifted so far from reason and common sense that we no longer can tell right from wrong? I pray we will come to our senses and find our true bearing.
Terry T. Lundberg, Apple Valley
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The weekly report listing counties that do not comply with ICE detainer requests (“Hennepin lands on ICE’s radar,” March 21) may have been intended as a “shaming stunt,” but I’d like to thank the Trump administration for inadvertently providing a quick and easy way to find the best places to travel in the U.S. Now that Hennepin County is on the list, and Ramsey County will presumably appear soon, perhaps our tourism profile will be raised among people who appreciate knowing that county law enforcement agencies are doing their own well-defined jobs, which do not include federal immigration enforcement duties. I know I’ll be consulting the ICE list when making travel plans from now on, and will choose to visit the places where the locals protect everyone’s constitutional rights, no matter where they’re from.
Baya Clare, St. Paul
History has shown that we must pay attention to the long term
The March 12 editorial (“Worrisome gaps in state budget bids”) is a must-read. Time and again we have suffered when political leadership places the attraction of the short-term over the well-being of the future.
Republicans’ legislative plans to cut taxes by $1.35 billion may look good today in the context of the 2018 election. However, that expectation will be quickly dashed when they realize the consequences of the enormous transfers of spending responsibility from the federal government to the states. That is one area where President Trump and congressional Republicans are in agreement.
Minnesotans will be better served if our leaders significantly increase the budget reserves and prudently and wisely engage in long-term planning.
Arne H. Carlson, Minneapolis
The writer was governor of Minnesota from 1991 to 1999.
The ins and outs and starts and stops of urban-rural disparities
The well-researched article in the Star Tribune on how the metro area subsidizes the transportation projects in outstate areas (“Spending on roads lopsided,” March 20) is only part of the story. Commercial properties have an additional tax that is directed to the state’s general fund, which helps pay for the state’s transportation projects. However, the North Shore taconite mines do not pay any commercial property tax. In lieu of property taxes, the mines pay production taxes that fund the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board, the controversial agency that subsidizes Giants Ridge (“Harsh critique for range agency,” March 19, 2016) and other local projects. If the loss of general fund revenue from the taconite mines was taken into account, I’m sure the disparity would be greater.
Steve Young, Minneapolis
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As an 18-year-old then living in southwestern Minnesota, I began my weekly drive to attend college at Mankato State. At about the same time the Minnesota Department of Transportation started extending Hwy. 60 toward Worthington, and I thought, “How nice — we’ll have four lanes to Interstate 90.” The four lanes would be done in bits and pieces until finished. Sort of like connecting one town to the next with four-lane. That was in 1963. Fifty-four years later, the people of southwestern Minnesota are still waiting for the last section to be finished. Yet, in that same period, how many times has I-494 from I-394 to the St. Cloud exit been rebuilt? Maybe someday they’ll get it right. So much for outstate Minnesota getting more highway money than the metro.
Robert Saathoff, Prior Lake
No matter where you live, you can support us through policy
It’s great to see the responses (Readers Write, March 19 and March 21) to the March 12 commentary by Mickey Cook about north Minneapolis. I have lived here for almost 30 years and want to let others, even if they live in rural Minnesota, know what kind of things they can do to help the people who live here. Advocate for things that will improve the lives of those who are poor and have no hope, such as light rail for access to work, early childhood education, more teachers, universal health care and a $15-an-hour minimum wage. Hope for a better life will keep young men away from gangs.
Michele Strahan, Minneapolis
HENNEPIN COUNTY RESERVES
Spending on improving child protection is a worthy trade-off
Regarding “County’s rainy day fund hits low level” (March 18): At first glance, this sounds like bad news, but actually it reflects some very forward thinking on the part of the Hennepin County commissioners. They decided to use $5 million to hire 100 more staffers with the intention of improving the child-protection system. This foresight is seldom seen in political decisionmaking. By improving the child-protection system, they are sparing vulnerable children from the trauma that not only affects their childhood but their adult lives. The Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACE) done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Dr. Vincent Fellitti at Kaiser Permanente in 1996 clearly connected the dots between childhood trauma and physical and mental illnesses in adulthood. The term “pay now or pay later” is well-known. These commissioners see the wisdom in paying now to reduce damaging childhood trauma.
Carol Koepp, Edina
Universal health care is the common denominator, globally
One factor shared by all of the countries ranked among the top 10 in citizen happiness (“Norway is happiest while U.S. may be looking in wrong places,” March 21) is universal health care. Certainly, there are many other factors involved as well. But it seems plausible that being free from the threat of disastrous health care costs might provide these citizens with a solid base from which they might pursue other avenues to happiness.
Dr. P.R. L’Heureux, Plymouth
TRUMP ADMINISTRATION LOYALTY
Gone googly-eyed with paranoia
We spy on them. They spy on us. And now, as reported by the Washington Post (March 21), the White House has installed political aides at Cabinet agencies to be Trump’s eyes and ears to monitor the secretaries’ loyalty, according to eight officials in and outside the administration. Is this another indication of rampant paranoia?
Judy Gelina, Bloomington
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Republicans are very concerned about leaks. One has to wonder — if an illegal leak revealed treason on the part of the Trump campaign vis-à-vis Russia, would Republicans be more concerned about the treason or about the leak?
Kent Bailey, Rochester