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Armenian lobbying groups mislead US public opinion

The response Aram Hamparian and his lobbying outfit, the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA), give is disingenuous. (“Ad blitz aimed at lifting Azerbaijan aid ban,” Feb. 29.)

For decades, ANCA and other Armenian lobby groups have been misleading the American public opinion and officials, especially in Congress, with rampant and extreme anti-Azerbaijanism and Turcophobia. The ANCA spends around $90,000 per year on direct lobbying.

Instead of advocating peace and economic development, ANCA and the Armenian lobby have been advocating historical revisionism, economic sanctions on the victims (Azerbaijani refugees and internally displaced persons), irredentism (aid to the Armenia-occupied region of Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh, which is ethnically cleansed of all Azerbaijanis) and a multitude of other destructive, but ultimately unsuccessful, actions.

In 20 years of independence, Armenia got, thanks to the Armenian lobby, nearly $3 billion in U.S. aid, while Azerbaijan — a country almost three times its size and population, and with nearly 1 million refugees and internally displaced persons due to Armenian occupation of NK — got less than $800 million. Yet the human-rights situation in Armenia is much worse, with 10 protesters being killed on the streets of Yerevan in March 2008 for being against current President Serzh Sargsyan, who admitted his responsibility for the Khojaly Massacre that the ad blitz is about. Strangely, ANCA and Aram Hamparian are deaf and silent about Armenia having the worst human-rights record in the former USSR.

Alexandria, Va.

Dairy farm legislation a threat to smaller farms

Last Thursday’s [March 8] opinion piece by Rep. Joe Courtney (D-Conn.) (“We must reform our nation’s dairy programs”) closes with the warning that if Congress does not pass the Dairy Security Act, “thousands more farms — and a very American way of life — will be lost for good.” 

That legislation forces dairy farmers who want government-subsidized insurance to also participate in the Dairy Market Stabilization Program (DMSP), a new program that will periodically limit milk supplies. The DMSP is not a subsidy program, but a direct intervention into dairy markets that will keep milk prices artificially high for consumers.

Because large dairy farms are more efficient, small dairy farms have been disappearing for decades. Although there are about 50,000 dairy farms, fewer than 2,000 now produce more than half of our country’s milk. The DMSP, proposed by Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) will, according to the only academic review of the bill so far, not reverse this trend and will most likely increase it. 

The solution is to offer dairy farmers the same opportunity for catastrophic and revenue insurance that is being offered to other farmers. Congress is expected to spend well above $100 billion over the next 10 years on commodity support programs with less than one half of one percent of those funds targeted to dairy. 

From Jerry Slominski, senior vice president of legislative affairs and economic policy at the International Dairy Foods Association, Washington, D.C.

E-Verify good option to deport illegal immigrants

What benefit would it be to citizens to assimilate millions of illegal immigrants with a blue card and no citizenship (“How to solve illegal immigration,” by former Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), March 5)? Illegals would continue to migrate, give birth to anchor babies, attach to social services and overburden American society. PEW says it costs the American taxpayer $113 billion dollars annually to support illegal immigration.

Yes, we are a nation of immigrants, LEGAL immigrants who come wanting to experience the American Dream. Most of the illegal immigrants have no desire to pay the big bucks to apply for citizenship, study for a history test in English and wait 5-7 years when they are here under the radar earning a living. And, why should they, when they have the benefits without citizenship or the burden of application? And where is the fairness due the immigrants who’ve spent years applying to come here legally and paid the price? 

E-Verify would help illegals deport themselves, because you can’t support yourself or a family without a job. 

From Artha Ortiz, Thornton, Colo.

Sen. Gregg misses points in immigration debate

Former Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) should be complimented on the calm language and logic he uses to discuss the volatile issue of illegal immigration (“How to solve illegal immigration,” March 5). 

Most of his points will make sense to many Americans. However, he has passed over two important facts in this debate. First, we already embrace the philosophy of widespread immigration with programs that allow 1 million people a year to legally enter the United States. Second, we have to balance the pluses of immigration with its negative impacts on our unemployment rate. 

We have 7 million illegal immigrants in nonfarming jobs. Gregg also doesn’t endorse E-Verify, the one simple step that would eliminate many of these illegal workers.

From Charles Curtis, Dallas

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