Letters – Gov. Greg Abbott, Domestic Terrorism, Lady Liberty, Ken Cuccinelli, Immigrants

Texas goes in circlesRe: "Abbott aims to tackle terror — Panel's goal: Root out 'extremist ideologies' that fuel hate, violence," Thursday news story.Insanity has been defined by doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results. Gov. Greg Abbott's roundtable plan sounds like we're going in circles, again. Here's an idea: Put together a group of people not connected to any sort of special interest group or politician. Add a roundtable group of "normal folks" from both sides of the issue, those who support guns and those who question that support. Include parents, teachers, emergency room physicians, retail workers, etc.After the groups have debated and worked the issue, put the results side-by-side. Look for common ground as a start. It would be great if there were a way to get input from people around the state on both plans. We need input from those of us who live with the decisions made by Austin, not those special interests groups who pay to influence decisions. Nothing will change as long as those working on these issues are the same people who have been working these issues before — because nothing has changed. Texas, and the entire country, continues down the same path, doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. It's time to do something different and show the world Texas is not insane.Perri Brackett, LewisvilleJust more deflectionIn a classic example of deflection, Gov. Greg Abbott has decided to rid Texas of white supremacy and hate in order prevent any more massacres by designating a Domestic Terrorism Task Force. After the Santa Fe massacre, Abbott set up roundtables focusing on mental health and school safety. The governor continues to avoid the real issue, the incredible accessibility of battlefield killing weapons like the AK-47 and AR-15 to the public.Nice try, governor, but no intelligent person believes that hate or terrorism will be eliminated by a task force meeting every calendar quarter. While laudable, the goal of eliminating hate is also not possible as long as the president of the United States of America keeps on espousing it.Tony Torres, GarlandNot just for EuropeansRe: "Lady Liberty remarks bashed — Poem author's biographer disputes official's interpretation of inscription," Thursday news story.Trump appointee Ken Cuccinelli, acting director for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, says the poem on the Statue of Liberty refers only to "people coming from Europe." Emma Lazarus is dead, so we can't ask its author if she meant only Europeans are welcome, but we can make a few assumptions.First, Lazarus was a Jew. We know that, especially in her later years, she studied the Hebrew Bible (a.k.a. Torah and the Old Testament) wherein it commands us to welcome the stranger over 30 times. This is a very important tenet of Jewish tradition and was written over 3,000 years ago in the Middle East, not Europe, and it means all strangers.Second, Lazarus wrote this poem knowing her ancestry was Sephardic. Some of her ancestors came to the U.S. from Brazil. Had Cuccinelli's incorrect interpretation been what she really meant, her own family would have been turned away.Cuccinelli is wrong. Lazarus' iconic poem on our national symbol of welcome charges us with welcoming "the wretched refuse" (as in poor) from wherever they have come. This is our proud heritage, and Donald Trump, Ken Cuccinelli or Stephen Miller should not be allowed to twist it otherwise.Susan Giardina, AllenContemptible attitudeWhen the ancestors of our members of Congress came to the United States, what was their socioeconomic status? Were they rich? Did they have their own health insurance? Were they all set for their eventual retirement? I doubt it.Ken Cuccinelli's statements to the press are the Trump administration's racism laid bare. To hell with America's tradition of taking in the hardscrabble yearners of the world and the tempest-tossed, unless that tempest is endangering their yachts. If they can't pay for a Mar-a-Largo membership, let 'em starve. Contemptible. Keep America a land of immigrants and opportunity. It's getting past time to kick the president out of office.Will Handy, Dallas/UptownImmigrants enrich U.S.I recently traveled to the U.S.-Mexico border and met some Border Patrol agents, activists, locals, migrants, asylum-seekers, deportees and DREAMers. Their stories have shown me that we are in desperate need of immigration reform. I am asking Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz and Rep. Van Taylor to uphold our asylum laws, to end the inhumane detention of migrants at the border and to enact policies that treat all immigrants with compassion and dignity. I am also asking them to stand up against the hateful rhetoric directed towards the immigrant community. We are a nation built by immigrants. Our Statue of Liberty proclaims that we are a country that welcomes the tired, the poor and the huddled masses yearning to breathe free. I am proud to be a daughter of immigrants and I believe that our country is enriched because of immigrants.Devra Dato-on, RichardsonPost 'visitors welcome' signRe: "Trespassing is trespassing," by Kevin Loyd, Wednesday Letters.I'm not a Democrat, but I can answer Loyd's questions. First of all, the U.S. is not private property so the analogy ends there. I will entertain the analogy though. Just as easily as I could put up a "no trespassing" sign, I could put up a "visitors welcome" sign. I don't need to call the police on people; I could invite them in for dinner. Maybe their partner is abusing them or a gang put a price on their head, so I let them stay the night. Private property implies the right to let people in just as much as keep them out. The U.S. belongs to all of us, and some of us want to let people in.Thomas Urech, Plano  Continue reading...

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