News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


Illegals frighten legal immigrant


The editorial reads, "When the Mexican national women's soccer team played against Duke University in Decatur on Sunday, an estimated five out of every six spectators were Hispanic. While spectators sang the Mexican national anthem with mucho gusto, they ignored 'The Star Spangled Banner.' " Déjà vu! I used to attend the annual Spanish Horse Show at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center. It used to be a beautiful spring event with attendance of mostly English-speaking audiences and a very select, high-class number of Spanish-speaking folks.

Imagine my shock two years ago, when I entered the equestrian center and found myself among a sea of Spanish-speaking, hard liquor-drinking people. The smell of metabolized booze was overpowering, even outdoors. I was concerned for my safety and that of my daughter because I was pretty sure there were Latino gangs present and a shooting war could start at any moment.

At the start of the show, the U.S. national anthem was played while the audience chatted in low voices. When the horsemen appeared carrying the flags of the participating countries, the Mexican flag got a thunderous ovation, while the U.S. flag got some clapping from the obvious minority in the audience. I was glad to get out of there safely, but I no longer have the desire to see the beautiful Spanish horses. I feel it's not safe anymore.

By the way, I'm Hispanic. I came to the United States as a legal immigrant. I'm a naturalized U.S. citizen and I'm against the illegal alien invasion. How do we deport 20 million illegal aliens? One at a time. Where there's a will, there's a way.

Haydee Pavia

Laguna Woods, Calif.

Secure borders, enforce the law


The April 11 editorial concerning immigration was right on target. Securing the borders and enforcing existing immigration and employment laws would go a long way towards solving the illegal alien invasion.

Barring the simple solution of enforcing existing laws, true "comprehensive immigration reform" would mean lowering the numbers of legal immigrants entering yearly from over 1 million to no more than 300,000 in order to stabilize the U.S. population and enabling our overwhelmed system to function. To do this, family reunification should be limited to the nuclear family rather than the current policy of extended-family preferences. Guest worker programs should be based on objective measures of labor shortages such as severe wage inflation — not on self-interested attestations from cheap labor beneficiaries.

As for illegal aliens, the current employer verification pilot program should be made mandatory instead of voluntary, and employer penalties should be aggressively enforced and stiffened. No amnesties should be allowed because amnesty clearly only encourages more illegal migration, to say nothing of making a mockery of the rule of law.

Lastly, Congress needs to provide the funding for both border and interior enforcement. The absurd proposals coming out of the U.S. Senate are business as usual approaches and will only make matters worse — unless you are an open borders/illegal alien advocate.

Jan M. Touma


Sick of illegals and inaction


I'm sick of watching thousands of illegals march in the street under the flags of Mexico and various South American countries and demand their rights. They have the right to apply for entry and come in when granted a visa. Period. I'm sick of hearing about how easy it is for them to walk across in Arizona, New Mexico or California. I'm sick of the endless debate that goes nowhere on what to do about it while we continue to do nothing.

I'm sick of President Bush's rhetoric about jobs that Americans won't do and how important it is to have poor, uneducated immigrants who are willing to do them. I'm sick of the "robber barons" who increase their profits by using illegal immigrants. If a tomato farmer in California has to pay $8 an hour for labor, then let him adjust the price of the product. Pay a fair wage or go out of business.

I'm sick of what illegal immigrants cost in terms of lost wages to American citizens. I'm sick of what it costs in lost tax revenue and Social Security taxes. I'm sick of the $50 billion annually it costs to provide services to illegals. I'm sick at the prospect of 20 million more illegals entering the country in the next 10 years if nothing changes. I'm sick of listening to Mexico's President Fox tell George what he needs to do. I'm sick that it seems George is listening to him and not us.

And mostly, I'm sick that American service people are dying for the glorious cause of freedom and domestic security while our representatives refuse to ensure security at home by sealing the border and stopping the use of illegal aliens who suck the blood out of our economy.

Michael Olson


Reason, not emotion, saved Wilson Morgan


Interesting to read the new president of the Chamber of Commerce state that the recent "ruckus" over putting a huge retail complex in Wilson Morgan Park was a "triumph of emotion over reason." Those are words easily spoken by an individual who has no fear of a retail development being built in his backyard. It was reason, not emotion, that led the City Council to determine that the neighborhood surrounding Wilson Morgan Park would be decimated by the traffic a retail development would bring, and that Sandlin Road would become an unbearable bottleneck. It was reason, not emotion, that led to the conclusion that there were other, more retail-friendly spots awaiting development in Decatur without destroying one of the few attractive features Decatur has left on the Beltline.

In the same article, Terry Roche discussed the process he and his family went through to choose a home in Decatur — the same process used by most homeowners. Nice schools and neighborhoods, parks nearby. The only difference between Roche and the citizens of Austinville is that he lives near Delano and Point Mallard parks and we live near Wilson Morgan. No one dares speak of developing Delano into a Target, so it is safe to suggest that those interested in keeping Wilson Morgan and the surrounding neighborhoods intact are just being "emotional." It's hard not to get emotional about homes we have invested in every bit as carefully as Mr. Roche, particularly when they are homes we chose primarily because they are close to Wilson Morgan Park.

Threaten our homes and yes, we do get emotional. But in the end putting a huge retail complex at Wilson Morgan just isn't reasonable. I love Target as much as anyone, but I live in Decatur because it isn't like Huntsville, not because it might be someday.

S.E. Szczepanski


Home defense law prohibits recklessness


I found your "Smith & Wesson" editorial insulting and specious. The new law signed by Gov. Riley does not absolve anyone who recklessly or foolishly shoots someone from responsibility. It is intended to help protect those who have had to use a firearm in self-defense from the unpleasant after-effects of a justified shooting.

You seem to be under the delusion that someone can shoot an intruder, or some other person in an unjustified manner and the authorities will be unable to determine the truth. At one point this may have been true. Years ago, some people — even police officers — would suggest that, if you shot someone outside your house, you should drag the body inside. This was bad advice then, and it's absolutely horrible advice now. Modern forensic techniques will reveal the truth better than most of us imagine. And I wouldn't believe the over-hyped stuff TV shows like "C.S.I." espouse — that's called fiction.

For years liberals have been whining as different states and municipalities have liberalized concealed-carry laws and passed other pro-Second Amendment laws that this will lead to more shootings by wild-eyed vigilantes.

In 1987, Florida passed a pro-carry law and was denounced by the media as the "Gunshine State." Yet in reality, these laws have never resulted in a increase in "vigilante shootings," and it is high time that the members of the mass media get the message.

Have you figured it out, yet?

Mark H. Townsend


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