Families separated, suffering in legal immigration process

All we ever heard about [in the immigration bill debate] was border security, illegal immigrants, what to do with the 12 million illegals sucking up our public services, poor people and chain migration.

But in that bill was also help for legal immigrants stuck for five, 10, and yes, 15 years, still waiting to come here. These are people who have filed to come here, followed our laws, followed our processes and do not complain: the exact kind of people we do want here. Because of the outdated laws, bureaucracy, ridiculous quota and old distribution visa number system, they are punished for doing things right. When that bill went, so did their help. These people are not illegal. These people are not part of the so-called new point system. They are people stuck in a broken system. Our politicians say they are for legal immigration but left these people high and dry again, and no one cares.

I was born in this country. I married a woman from Minsk, Belarus. We followed the law and today she is a legal, naturalized citizen. My stepdaughter was 20 when they came here. She turned 21 before she could get an interview, and then, because of government backlogs she had to go back. We followed the law. She is now 27 and still not here. She has a bachelor’s degree in linguistics and a master’s in American literature, and she speaks, writes and interprets four languages, including English. Under today’s rules and outdated quota system she could be projected for another five to seven years before she gets here.

Having killed the bill, these people should immediately pass something to get these backlogs cleared in three years and free up the quotas until this backlog is over.

The gloaters over the bill’s failure will not receive my vote, and neither will the people who were in favor of it. All of them just forgot these people.

~From Paul Burns, Wrentham, Mass.



Our time in Iraq has come to an end

Unfortunately Brent Budowsky is correct — courage is clearly lacking among GOP Senators, except for a few brave souls willing to put sanity ahead of loyalty to their president (column, “Reid’s moment, Lugar’s duty,” July 10). What diehard Bush fans fail to understand, and perhaps even his staunchest critics, is that even providing the doom-and-gloom scenarios put forth by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) — that an immediate U.S. withdrawal of forces from Iraq would result in complete catastrophe — a majority of Americans will still support withdrawal.

Oddly enough, the current administration can partly take blame for widespread apathy and disengagement for this war, as the vast majority of Americans have never been asked to sacrifice for it. They only see or hear of the war via condensed news clips on TV or in the newspaper, and now their attention span has come to an end; Americans have simply had enough of American casualties. When it comes right down to it, Americans care more about their fellow Americans sent off to fight in Iraq than for the fate of the Iraqis in Iraq. Maybe our departure will leave them to a horrible fate of civil war and terrorism, and our national security and reputation will be worse off ... maybe.

CIA analysts, Pentagon brass and irate Bush supporters can drone on and on about the necessity of 100,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, but Americans for the most part agree: Our time in Iraq has come to end; let the cards fall where they may. Hurricane season is upon us.

~From John A. Polagruto, West Sacramento, Calif.