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MONDAY, JUNE 11, 2007
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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Native Americans also deserve an apology

To The Daily: Alabama just proposed a bill that apologizes for the state’s participation in the act of “slavery.” In order to have the available space in the state to move in landowners and slaves, the previous owners had to move out. When Alabama became a state in 1819, millions of acres were still owned by the Five Civilized Tribes: Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek and the Seminoles.

The United States government opened roads across the Native American land in Alabama called Federal Roads. These roads brought land speculators and surveyors who mapped out the rich farmland owned by these tribes. In 1830, Congress decided the tribes would not move on their own and had to be removed by federal troops. Congress then passed the “Indian Removal Act,” moving the Native Americans off all their land east of the Mississippi River to Oklahoma. Although the money paid for the land was far less than what it was worth, the five tribes left Alabama. We know this movement of Cherokees across North Alabama best as the “Trail of Tears.”

Since Alabama’s Legislature became concerned with our appearance to German businesses (who oppressed and killed millions), should we not go further by apologizing to the five tribes? Slavery was not just a “Southern institution,” and at one time was all across the North, even in New York City.

Slavery displaced many African-American families, just as the Indian Removal Act destroyed and displaced the families of the five tribes throughout the state of Alabama. More than 46,000 Native Americans between 1814 and 1858 were forced out of the state of Alabama, and about a third died during travel. Let’s show Europe we don’t need the enticement of their “businesses” to do the right thing. Let’s apologize for the Indian Removal Act, too.

Phillip Chenault
Decatur

Immigration reform bill a bunch of gobbledygook

To The Daily: I would like to extend my appreciation to Sen. Jeff Sessions for his clarification of “The Secure Borders, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Reform Act of 2007” (the Amnesty Bill). And also to The Decatur Daily for printing it.

The grandiose title of this piece of legislation would lead one to believe that it is an absolute work of art, but nothing could be further from the truth. In fact it is 197 pages of absolute gobbledygook. Here is one small example of what is in this bill.

SEC. 209. Inadmissibility and Removal for Passport and Immigration Fraud Offenses.

(a) Inadmissibility — Section 212(a)(2)(A)
(i) (8 U.S.C.1182(a)(2)(A)(i)) is amended —

(1)in subclause (I), by striking ‘, or’ at the end and inserting a semicolon;

(2)in subclause (II), by striking the comma at the end and inserting ‘; or’; and

(3) by inserting after subclause (II) the following: ‘(III) a violation of (or a conspiracy or attempt to violate) section 1541, 1545, subsection (b) of section 1546, or subsection (b) of section 1547 of title 18, United States Code,’.

(b) Removal — Section 237(a)(3)(B)(iii) (8 U.S.C.1227(a)(3)(B)(iii)) is amended to read as follows: ‘(iii) a violation of (or a conspiracy or attempt to violate) section 1541, 1545, 1546, or subsection (b) of section 1547 of title 18, United States Code.

Huh? Wait a minute. I pressed “1” for English.

Section 1, 5b states, “It is the sense of Congress...” Excuse me, but Congress has no sense.

I propose that all future legislation be prescreened by a group of third-graders. Also, Sen. Edward Kennedy, I believe it is time for you to retire.

Pamela Milligan
Decatur

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