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America’s immigration system should be like Canada’s

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To the editor,

Reader Alan Podhaizer makes a valid point in that most of our ancestors were immigrants who might not fit the requirements the President would like to institute. He neglects to mention the ones they did have to adhere to. Many were turned away because of common illnesses like conjunctivitis or for minor disabilities. They were required to prove that they could support themselves or be sponsored by family or one of the many societies of landsmen which were formed for that purpose. The elderly could only brought over by established relatives who would vouch for their future support. Today, many elderly immigrants come to America to “retire” and receive benefits from a system which they never supported. A visiting nurse friend has a patient who came to this country, elderly and on dialysis, with his Medicaid already established before he got here. His wife has her own visiting nurse. My mother, who worked in this country and paid taxes from the age of 16, died waiting to be approved for benefits these immigrants had upon arrival.

As far as being unskilled, yes, these ancestors were unskilled but the world was very different then. My Italian grandfather supported 13 children on what he made peddling fruit from a wagon. They lived in a cold water flat without welfare, EBT, or Section 8. Back then you could work in construction or similar fields without joining a union. There were few restrictions on most occupations. In today’s world, college graduates have difficulty finding jobs.

As the world evolves and relies more on technology, the job force will be expected to progress as well. Other countries recognized this and established these very same rules years ago and no one thought twice. Take a look at the requirements to immigrate to Canada or Australia What this country needed when our ancestors arrived at the turn of the century and what it needs now are completely different. I don’t believe it’s too much to expect that you have something to offer when you ask to be accepted in another country.Louise Quinlan

Marine Park

Cheers, not jeers

To the editor,

I am writing in response to the article in Courier Life dated Feb. 9-15 “Hoping for a Symbolic Victory.” Mr . Ragbir was a visitor to our country from Trinidad and Tobago for six years and in that time he was arrested for wire fraud!! I have visited many countries in my lifetime and never have I been arrested in any of them! Wire fraud?

I wouldn’t even know how to do it! Ragbir stated on Feb. 6 that President Trump’s administration was “undermining the humanity of immigrants.” Let me be clear, President Trump’s administration is elevating the quality of life of United States citizens by protecting us from “visitors” to our country who wish to do us harm. I say, “Come to our country. Make a positive contribution. Obey the law. Respect the rights of its citizens. If you are going to break the law, then you have worn out your welcome.”

Amazingly to me, Ragbir was at the State of the Union Address in Washington D.C. this January! Ragbir’s wife, who was also an attendee, stated that “it was very hard to be in that space and see how he (President Trump) portrayed immigrants.” She further stated “It felt like a direct challenge to immigrants that were present in that room.” Is she serious?? Immigrants who break the law are a direct challenge to U.S. citizens who work hard every day and are forced to welcome and give sanctuary to immigrants who break the law. Ragbir’s wife stated “it was particularly difficult to be there.” I would have considered it an honor to be there and to hear President Trump speak. And I would gladly stand up, applaud and cheer for what he has to say! Next time, send me !Barbara Davis

Marine Park

Buses discussed

To the editor,

Earlier in the month yet another commuter council stepped up to the cameras with their ridiculous letter grades of all NYC Transit bus lines, slamming transit management and drivers along the way.

I frequently use our B-2 to get to the Brighton line trains and have few complaints, though I did get an eye opener one early morning when I dropped off my Jeep for service, and decided to climb aboard a B-41 Limited.

The ride from Kings Plaza to almost Kings Highway was without incident, and then the fun began. We started crawling to an agonizing speed as the illegal jitney buses by the dozens practiced their kamikaze moves, cutting in front of the bus, stopping illegally at transit bus stops, forcing our regular passengers to dash into the street to get on. Compounding this problem, hordes of Uber and other “black” TLC cars clogged Flatbush, seemingly from Marine Park well into downtown.

For most of the ride our driver had to swerve wildly to miss double- and triple-parked cars and large trucks hogging the right and sometimes center lanes too.

The short section of dedicated bus lanes proved a joke as it too was clogged with illegal vans and TLC cars stopping to load passengers. I finally got downtown, albeit almost an hour late, vowing to get back on the Q train forever more.

Before blaming bus drivers and managers, why not place responsibility for our citywide poor bus service squarely on the cause: failure of our top city leaders to un-cuff our police. It isn’t a violation of civil rights to get the dozens of unregulated illegal jitneys off the road. How about stringently enforcing bus lane clearance laws, now collecting dust on the court shelves. What a joy it would be seeing a cop pull over a TLC car, inconveniencing his passenger, as he inconvenienced dozens behind him in a bus. Unless lawmakers get serious about this problem, all the grousing and failed grading by these transit groups is for naught.

Robert W. Lobenstein

Marine Park

Stamp it out!

To the editor,

There are solutions to complaints concerning problems with delivery of mail. Congress needs to consider providing regulatory relief for reforms which could assist the Post Office in providing better services. The United States Postal Service has averaged quarterly losses of $550 million in 2017.

This will now result in the price of a first class stamp going up by a penny from 49 cents to 50 cents later this year. One wonders why they previously first decreased the price of a first class stamp from 49 cents to 47 cents, before bringing it back to 49 cents. Part of the problem is that Congress in 2006 mandated that the Post Office fully fund 75 years of retirement benefits for employees. This has contributed billions to the Post Office’s long term debt. While many private and other public retirement plans are underfunded, the Postal Service is vastly overfunded. It is time for Congress to amend legislation and afford the Post Office the ability to fund its retirement plan at a more reasonable level.

There are other initiatives which could assist the Postal Service in avoiding frequent postage stamp increases. The Postal Service should continue with more joint business ventures like Amazon in expanding Sunday delivery. This could be the start of something big. Using underutilized assets and facilities on Sunday could generate badly needed revenues. This would assist in developing alternatives to the periodic increasing frequency of raising the price of a first class stamps every few years. Why not consider going after other available untapped potential revenue streams? Consider these untapped sources to reduce operating deficits and perhaps even turn a small profit. The Postal Service could sell advertising space on the sides of mailboxes, inside and outside the post offices along with the small jeeps, regular trucks and heavy-duty long-haul trucks. Sell off some of the valuable real estate and move to less expensive locations.

Why not join banks and fast-food restaurants that sublet space at Wal-Mart and other big box stores to open smaller post offices? Generate both revenue and customers by subletting excess capacity at underutilized post offices to other village, town, county, city, state or federal agencies along with private sector businesses. License corporations to sponsor stamps for a fee.

Have members of Congress, State Legislature, New York City Council and other elected officials pay the real, full costs for their annoying frequent bulk rate mailings to constituents. They are nothing more than free re-election campaign brochures subsidized by taxpayers. Charge the full price for all junk mail. Future increases in the price of stamps should be directly tied to inflation.

The Postal Service should apply free-enterprise solutions including working with Amazon and other private sector businesses to provide a more cost-effective product, reduce deficits and prevent more branches from closing thus keeping its commitment to serve the public well.

Larry Penner

Great Neck

Posted 12:00 am, February 18, 2018
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