I struggle reconciling facts from the New York Times piece in the Sunday Star Tribune "More are homeless; no end in sight" with Saturday's editorial "A humanitarian storm at the border." The Star Tribune Editorial Board seem to advocate that the 4,000 children — and probably most of the adults at our border — should be granted asylum due to conditions of economic hardship/violence in Latin America. However, the standards for asylum involve persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion.
Also mentioned is comprehensive immigration reform, which no politicians, journalists or editors ever define, leaving the public to wonder if immigration numbers would be unlimited. A Washington Post piece that the Star Tribune printed on March 13 reported more than 4,200 migrants crossing per day that week, nearly double January's number ("Shelters unable to keep pace with migrant surge").
Realistically, in a pandemic with millions unemployed and 580,000 reported homeless at the start of 2020 with likely more now (from the NYT piece), shouldn't it be established — based on facts, not sentiment — what a sustainable number of immigrants would be? A ray of light in the editorial is the $4 billion in development aid proposed for the Northern Triangle countries by President Joe Biden, but the responsibility for economic conditions and providing for their citizens is still with those governments.
If nearly all those pressing our border are given access to our country, they will require jobs, housing, social services. How does this square with the needs of our own unfortunate citizens represented in "More are homeless; no end in sight"?
Linda Huhn, Minneapolis
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America isn't perfect. We've made our share of mistakes throughout our history. But ever since our founding, people from all over the world have been wanting to come here. Now there is chaos on the border as thousands of immigrants want to come into the country. Call it what you will, a crisis or something else, it's not pretty. Especially with so many children involved.
Immigrants should always be welcomed in America. But they must follow the rules. Entering illegally is not fair to those who wait in line to get in the proper way. Both my parents were Hungarian immigrants. They came to America as teenagers; my father in 1912 and my mother in 1922. They both went through Ellis Island. They followed the rules. And sometimes those rules were very traumatic. Two of my dad's teenage sisters got split up because one of my aunts could not pass the eye exam. She got sent back to Europe. Think about that — two young girls, not speaking a world of English. One gets to stay. The other gets sent back. That would be a nightmare scenario for two young girls. But those were the rules.
What is happening on our southern border with all these people (many of them children) trying to get in is nothing short of a disaster. We should quit pointing fingers of blame. This is a problem that must be attended to immediately. But if we are to remain a sovereign country, everybody must abide by the rules.
Tom R. Kovach, Nevis, Minn.
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As I read about the continuing humanitarian crisis at the border, I am reminded of the story of the hiker who, hearing voices of desperation, came upon a group of people pulling children out of a roaring stream. When asked to help he turned and quickly ran back into the forest. "Where are you going?" shouted one of the rescuers. "I'm going upstream to find the monster who is throwing these kids into the river!" was the reply. Today's Republican Party seems to forget they had four years to go upstream and work to reduce the monstrous conditions that are driving the children and their families to the safety of our border. Instead of doing the hard work of problem-solving, they did then what they continue today, blame the victims and those who are now trying to clean up the mess they left behind.
Gene Janicke, Forest Lake
We shouldn't be there, but apparently we're staying anyway
Can you be wrong but still be right? Explain how President Joe Biden can for years say he was wrong to have supported the Iraq war but now he authorizes strikes upon Iran-backed militias in Syria because the militias were attacking U.S. forces in Iraq.
If Biden says the war was wrong, how then can the resulting occupation from the war be right? If you are illegally in your neighbor's house, and then admit your break-in was wrong, do you in any way have the right to use violence against those trying to get you out?
Here's how the game is played in Washington and the media simply goes along with it — the "enemy" is evil for attacking U.S. troops, regardless of the awful corrupt predicaments those in Washington put the U.S. troops in.
Biden says he was wrong for supporting the war but keeps the occupation in place and then those who attack U.S. troops in Iraq are more evil than the false war Biden helped start. It makes no sense, but the media and the public buy it.
The war created American "interests" in Iraq and Biden will now justify more military violence by saying American "interests" in Iraq need to be protected.
Kind of a clever plan — but easily exposed.
Frank Erickson, Minneapolis
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Regarding the March 19 editorial "U.S. must confront coup in Myanmar": It would be better for another country to get involved in Myanmar, rather than the U.S. I cite the ineptitude displayed by the U.S. military in the long involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Constitution does not promote warmongering all over the world. Furthermore, the financial resources are badly needed in the U.S. at this time.
Sharon Fortunak, St. Paul
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Thank you for the editorial in Friday's paper calling for the U.S. to confront the coup in Myanmar. We as a nation cannot stand by when the people of Myanmar are dying in the streets to preserve their democratic government. I have had the opportunity to travel to Yangon on two separate occasions. I know the pride the people there have for their country and their concern for the future. This nation has been held back in their development for decades due to corrupt military rule. There is no wonder that, just when they have voted for expanded democratic leadership and the military again overpowers the new government, the people would fight back. We need to continue to learn more about the brave people who are asking for their voices to be heard around the world as they are being intimated, tortured and killed. The military leaders don't want to lose their hold on their wealth and privilege. Please continue to tell this story.
Diane Greve, Minneapolis
The misogyny is somehow missed
The recent rampage in Atlanta, in which eight people, including six of Asian heritage, were targeted, has rightly brought nationwide condemnation of anti-Asian violence and harassment. But the victims also included seven women, which seems to fit with the suspect's reported statement to law enforcement that he committed these acts as a means to lessen the temptation of his sex addiction. There has been no reported public outrage over this violence toward women. Has our society become so used to misogyny, so inured to the constant violence and harassment of women over many decades, that this targeted killing of women is unremarkable?
Susan Sanger, St. Louis Park
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