Printed letters, May 21, 2013
I applaud the “gang of eight” senators who have been working to draft a beginning to overhauling our immigration system. However, I have sent queries regarding some issues that I have not seen in the published drafts with no response:
✓ Seems that most of the immigrant rights groups and the demonstrations want instant legalization and are not particularly interested in paying fines, paying back taxes, learning English or waiting and working on the other requirements. How will these folks be handled if they do not step up and start the process?
✓ How will the U.S. stop others who try to cross the border after these laws are passed? When will we say that “enough is enough” and get tough on illegals?
✓ There are already laws about overstaying visas. How will these people be identified and treated?
✓ Border security has to be a lot better than it is now. Many of the illegals are “mules,” bringing drugs across and cash or ammunition back. What will be the way to stop them? They have no interest in becoming citizens either.
✓ And, most importantly, how will the U.S. citizens who hire these illegals be treated? Big, big fines would sure be a start.
I am not anti-immigration, but know lots of former citizens of other countries who are completely disgusted with the U.S. looking the other way, after they spent so much time and effort to be citizens here.
Simultaneous scandals now plague Obama administration
Three scandals now face President Obama and his band of merry men. I seriously doubt there are enough credible lies to explain them away.
These simultaneous eruptions, the net result of which is the public’s complete distrust in government, will probably plague this “lame duck” presidency until it ends.
I perceive the Benghazi thing as an egregious error compounded by a cover-up. And, the IRS thing as something that exploded, but was timed to take some heat off Obama.
The Associated Press/Department of Justice thing is just another example of the Department of Justice having little regard for the rule of law and the First Amendment. The attorney general recusing himself smells like more executive privilege to me.
So, I believe the old saying, “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire” applies. If the investigations find the scandals are political and hold no basis in fact, then they should be welcomed and the air cleared.
County roads within BLM boundaries are assets to all
Bill Grant’s recent column accusing the Mesa County commissioners of only having ears for OHV access shows a lack of journalistic research prior to publishing a column. The column also seeks to inflame different user groups and create animosity between user groups regarding public land use.
In reality, the Mesa County commissioners are concerned about making good comments to the BLM regarding county roads that are located within the boundaries of the BLM. These are roads in which the county has a vested interest and ownership of unless they are willing to give up ownership to the federal government. These roads are assets of the county and as assets are of significant value.
The county commissioners are concerned about these assets not solely for OHV access but rather for access for all. All of us use motorized means for getting to a special area on the BLM or for exploring our public lands. The county commissioners are not interested in one user group over another but rather protecting assets that we can all enjoy and use.
Keep in mind that the federal government has already placed motorized restrictions on one-half of all public lands.
My suggestion to all user groups is to get behind the county commissioners on this issue of county roads on public lands. I know some think they are doing good by closing access to public lands. I think it is more about educating people to be responsible when using our national treasures.
We do this by encouraging stewardship and showing people the treasures that we have, not by restricting use.
JAMES B. SOLOMON
Grand Canyon Watershed should be national monument
The Grand Canyon Watershed is a magnificent area held dear by local Arizonans and Americans across the country. The one-of-a-kind. wild, rugged cliffs, deep canyons and grasslands are home to many rare plants and animals, as well as a wealth of recreation opportunities.
It’s a place worthy — and in need — of permanent protection. There has been resurgence in interest in uranium mining, putting the Grand Canyon Watershed and the water supply of millions of people at risk.
Permanent protection could secure recreation opportunities, the natural beauty and economic potential of the Grand Canyon Watershed, while respecting existing uses. President Obama should designate the Grand Canyon Watershed as a national monument.