Printed letters, May 5, 2013

Both political parties learned from the last national election that it is time to allow hard-working immigrants a fair chance at one day becoming citizens.

I’m a first-generation-born citizen and am grateful to be an American. We need to be reminded that most of us are a nation of immigrants. Millions of people have arrived on our shores who were welcome. Now millions more are ready to become citizens. Let’s give them a fair chance. Most voters want this.



Bennet offering charade 
on immigration reform

Sen. Michael Bennet comes to western Colorado pretending to be a messiah who will solve the immigration issues we have. The illegal-immigrant population is going to provide our farms with workers and voters for him. Then all will be right with the world.

Balderdash and horse hockey. What politicians in Denver and Washington, D.C., don’t care about is the fact these aren’t the laborers who provide a service and go back to Mexico as they did when my father and I both picked with the Brazeros. Now, large numbers of them stay, drain social resources, file fraudulent tax returns and bring criminals into the country who go on to drug trafficking and other illegal activities.

Dad and I picked with good, hard workers who took care of their families, unlike the majority of the problem immigrants we seem to have inherited from Mexico, people who have no conscience about their impact on our economy after ruining their own.

Now, our government officials arm Mexican drug cartels with high-grade weapons, erode our rights to defend ourselves, tax us higher to pay for their stupidity and expect us to think them “really smart.”

They put the independent businessmen, in the form of the farmers, over a barrel and then expect them to pay for the priveledge?

When I picked, there were more legal resident pickers and fewer illegal immigrants. So, are Bennet and his fellow senators saying that Americans wouldn’t take those jobs when offered? That teenagers or others wouldn’t step up and help our farmers out when needed? I’d rather be picking than be a Walmart greeter.

Sen. Bennet, go back over the mountain and enforce the laws we already have. Illegal immigrants shouldn’t get the right to citizenship, to vote or even to work in this country without proper documentation, let alone all the welfare benefits and fraudulent tax money they can carry.


Grand Junction


Science is still disputed 
on violent video games

Now that Congress has rejected gun laws and people have had time to cool down, perhaps a discussion on a related topic can be had from a more rational perspective.

Last December, NRA leader Wayne LaPierre lashed out against a video game industry that “sells and sows violence against its own people.” LaPierre’s quote is old news, but the call for the government to “do something” continues. This refrain represents a waste of legislative and judicial resources.

The First Amendment protects video-game content, even for minors. For years, courts have been striking down laws attempting to ban video games. And the Supreme Court decided the issue in Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association in 2010.

This case was not a narrow 5-4 split. Seven of the nine justices voted to strike down California’s prohibition against selling violent games to minors.

The evidence does not support a link between video games and violent acts. While some studies indicate video games can increase aggression, other research suggests that games may actually reduce crime rates by providing an alternative activity to people predisposed toward crime.

This reduction in crime could account for the 20-year decline in the rate of violent crimes observable on the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ website.

As long as the science is disputed, violent-video-game bans will not pass the “strict scrutiny” required to override a constitutional right.

According to the Entertainment Software Association, the average gamer is now 30 years old, making video games a form of adult entertainment.

Any legislation seeking to infringe on this right will generate costly, and ultimately successful, legal challenges. The public needs to focus on the proven causes of violence, rather than inventing new ones.


Grand Junction


Bill Grant’s Colbran column lacked accurate information

Having been born and raised in the Collbran area and having spent about 70 years there, I will impart a few facts to columnist Bill Grant.

Collbran is not a food desert, but a land of plenty, with vast amounts of food being raised, or could be raised with little effort. It is not an isolated community, the road being paved from the mouth of Plateau Canyon to Collbran in the fall of 1949. It is a very progressive, friendly, help-our-neighbor type of place to reside.

I made a few phone calls to some of my old neighbors in the Collbran area after reading Grant’s column, as I believed there were many inconsistencies about hunger in Plateau Valley.

The Plateau Valley School serves breakfast, also lunch, at no cost or reduced cost to all that qualify. The Assembly of God church provides a warm, nutritious dish after school to those wishing to partake, no questions asked. Also, the church sponsors the backpack program for the weekend.

A food bank also distributes many pounds of food once a week, with fresh produce. In season, many of the locals donate extra fresh vegetables from their gardens to the program. In season, vendors bring fresh fruit and vegetables from out of the area and set up stands to sell their produce.

Grant stated there are no supermarkets in Collbran. True, but there are several small grocery stores. Just a rough guess, but I imagine most households come to Palisade, Clifton or Grand Junction once a week or more often.


Grand Junction


Commenting is not available in this channel entry.
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Contrary to Richard Bright’s nativist rant (“Bennet offering charade on immigration reform”, May 5, 2013), Senator Michael Bennet does not purport to be a “messiah who will solve the immigration issues we have”.

Rather, as accurately reported by the Sentinel (“Immigration-reform supporters champion their cause at GJ rally”, May 3, 2013), Senator Bennet visited Grand Junction Thursday to explain provisions of the proposed “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013” to his directly-affected constituents—local members of national agricultural groups.

Bright seems completely unaware that Western Slope farmers, growers, and ranchers who rely on migrant workers regard the current H-2A visa program as administratively unworkable and incapable of meeting the demand for such labor – precisely because U.S. citizens are unwilling to “step up and help our farmers out when needed”.

Bright also seems unaware that undocumented workers make a positive contribution to our overall economy – by cheaply harvesting valuable crops while paying sales taxes, gas taxes, payroll taxes, etc. – even if their presence also modestly strains social services.

Bright willfully ignores the facts that the primary impetus for drug trafficking across our southern border is “northerners’” insatiable demand for illegal drugs, and that the NRA’s “gun lobby” has thwarted every effort to stem the flow of arms to drug cartels – either by expanding background checks to close the “gun show loophole” and/or by making “straw purchase” gun trafficking a federal offense.  Meanwhile, U.S. gun manufacturers and hundreds of gun dealers in Arizona continue to greedily profit from those loopholes.

As Olathe’s John Harold opined, the bipartisan immigration reform bill co-sponsored by Senators Bennet and John McCain, et al.  – imperfect and contingent on $4.5 billion in enhanced border security as it is – nevertheless constitutes the best available opportunity to achieve much-needed comprehensive reforms.

Therefore, Representative Scott Tipton should also support the bill.

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