Birth certificates, passport card key to illegals problem

Control of our borders should be treated as a logistics problem using all of our resources. It is unreasonable to believe that one approach (a physical wall) is the best solution.

The people entering or staying illegally can be classified in three groups. The largest group is the people looking for a better life with access to jobs and social services. The next group is the criminals and the smaller third group is terrorists.

If we reduce the number of people in the largest group, it will be easier to apprehend the others. We are required to provide identification in many circumstances. To receive medical services such as Medicare, there is a Medicare Card. To operate a car, we have a driver’s license, car registration and proof of insurance.

Many public jobs such as teaching require proof of citizenship, usually a birth certificate. Birth certificates for all 50 states are available and can be verified online. If legal residents are required to show a birth certificate to get a job or receive social and health services, the incentive to cross the border is greatly reduced. A National ID card is not required, given the data already available. The new Passport Card would be helpful for many people. This method would result in fewer entries and encourage present illegals to leave.

The cost of service to illegals would be reduced immediately. With fewer people crossing the borders, the existing border fences and personnel would be adequate. 

From Keith A. Farnham, Fairview, Pa.

Corporate ties that bind

It’s worth pondering how undemocratic this country has become as a result of corrupting corporate influence on our lawmakers and citizenry. Big Oil and Big Coal have successfully been blocking all progress to energy independence and a greener future for our nation.

We are completely in the hands of a few pro-greed multinational corporations that control legislation, regulation and the information flow. Ad campaigns, a flurry of corporate sponsored “citizen campaigns” and well-funded junk science is continuously misinforming the American people. As a result we are now moving backward in our awareness concerning global climate change and the necessity of creating a new “green” economy, not only because of environmental concerns but also to protect our national security interests and create new jobs here at home.

Our best scientists — the best source of accurate scientific information — inform us that we are facing a global environmental disaster unless we take immediate action to address our dependence of fossil fuels.

The best way to achieve that, according to experience and a majority of experts, is to increase the cost of polluting. That’s where carbon taxes and cap-and-trade schemes come in.

I can only hope people in this country understand it is our patriotic duty as Americans and world citizens to take action ourselves by lobbying our lawmakers and minimizing our own carbon footprint. What can be more patriotic than to save the country from a certain environmental collapse and ensure a prosperous future for our children and grandchildren?

From Dr. Peter Eriksson, Rockville, Md.

Don’t stop START treaty

In his July 2 article, “Russian Spy Ring May Be Last Straw for Obama Treaty,” J. Taylor Rushing offers absolutely no evidence for the assertion in its headline. None of the Republican Senators quoted in the article make reference to the spy ring, nor is there any other support for this point in the piece. 

There are serious issues under discussion with respect to the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), but Russian spying is not one of them. The bottom line is that the treaty will make us all safer by reducing U.S. and Russian arsenals by more than one-third; by creating a robust monitoring and verification system that will allow the United States to keep close tabs on Russian nuclear forces; and, perhaps most importantly, by giving Washington more leverage in persuading other nations to reduce or forswear their own nuclear arsenals. These are the issues that should be discussed as senators decide whether to support the treaty.

From William D. Hartung, Director of the Arms and Security Initiative at the New America Foundation, New York, N.Y.

Energy reform a must
When it comes to our energy future, senators need to choose between siding with the Big Oil companies who have been blocking reform for decades and standing with the majority of Americans who want comprehensive energy and climate policies.

With the largest environmental catastrophe in our nation’s history unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico, it is critically important that the Senate passes a strong comprehensive climate and energy bill this summer that caps harmful carbon pollution and invests in clean American power.

It is clear that our dependence on oil, be it from hostile nations or friendly coasts, hurts our economy, threatens our national security and harms our environment.

By transitioning to a clean energy future, we can create millions of new jobs, reduce our dangerous addiction to oil and protect the planet for future generations.

An essential component of any legislation is a strong cap on carbon, which will make polluters pay their fair share and spur innovation and private investment in clean energy technologies.

This bill must include expanded measures to respond to the Gulf disaster, while investing in transportation infrastructure in a way that will reduce oil use and carbon pollution.

Every day the Senate fails to pass comprehensive energy and climate legislation we put our economy, our national security, and our environment at risk.

From Tami Palacky, Springfield, Va.