Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor

Immigrants should try citizenship

In response to “Community angels help heal immigrants in crisis” (May 3):

Kudos to Antonia Valenzuela and her son Josuelito for wanting to help her fellow countrypersons, who have entered our country illegally.

The word they are using now is not illegal immigrants, but “undocumented individuals.” But they have the same meaning, no matter what you want to call those who have entered our country illegally, for whatever reason. When they crossed the line into the United States without proper papers, they broke our laws.

I do have one question. As much as Ms. Valenzuela and her son are helping those who are detained, have they tried to get them to apply for U.S. citizenship? Because by the news stories, lately, many illegal immigrants have been living in our country for many years, some as long as 16 years, and have not applied for U.S. citizenship.

I think people today have forgotten about those who came from Europe and China, in the early 1920s and 1930s, were detained before they were allowed freedom to enter the U.S., legally. Remember Ellis Island, in New York harbor, and Angel Island in San Francisco? My in-laws arrived from China, in the 1920s, and my father-in-law was taken from the streets of Canton, China, as a young man and sent to San Francisco to work on the railroads. My mother-in-law was brought to Seattle from Canton, China, by her relatives living here, to marry an American citizen. She had to go through a process, similar to other non-Americans, before she was released to the custody of her relatives. They had to sign papers that she would not be a burden to our government and they, the relatives, would support her.

I would suggest that Ms. Valenzuela and Josuelito, and those helping these people, encourage as many of those who have entered into our country, illegally, to apply for citizenship as soon as they are able. Waiting around for the government to raid where they are working, then having to pay a hefty fine to get them out of detention, puts a strain on themselves as well as their families.

When Ms. Valenzuela receives the phone call, it’s too late.

Pat Gee,

Federal Way

We really do want the dirt

I feel compelled to respond to the comments of D. Hagen (letters to the editor, May 3).

She begins with a defense of Federal Way Municipal Court judge Dave Larson, who was apparently attacked by political columnist Bob Roegner. But then she goes on to attack writers in general. Referring to the general negativity in the press, Hagen writes: “We are turning into a society who wants all the dirt…all the sensationalism…who thinks that the individual has all the right answers and doesn’t look at the experts to know anything.”

She is right here. When there is corruption everywhere, we (the public) do want all the dirt. But if the experts know everything, then why are there so many unsolved problems? America was founded on individualism and individual thinking. This is precisely why there is a First Amendment.

She goes on the lump me, Charlie Hoff and Walter Backstrom — three civic activists who write for The Mirror — into a group of people who write diatribes. Well, one person’s diatribe is another person’s truth. George III no doubt thought of the Declaration of Independence as a diatribe. Also, the First Amendment gives citizens to right to write diatribes.

The Mirror is to be applauded for printing the writings of many citizens who all offer different points of view. Ms. Hagen seems to think, and says, that reading this stuff is tiring (sic).

Well OK, the First Amendment doesn’t say you have to read everything that is written. But some people do want to read as many points of view as possible before they make up their mind. These people have a name. They are called wise.

Mankind has a wonderful invention for those who detest points of view (and their authors) with which they disagree. They are called blinders.

Bill Pirkle,

Federal Way

City council and applause

Having recorded the April 15 Federal Way City Council meeting and having listened to it several times, I find it has some disturbing undertones that I feel need a bit more illumination and discussion.

The bottom line being, seemingly, only the limited and preferred few are responded to. There are actually at least three examples of that in this meeting. Four people spoke, an organized group, obviously favored by the city council, considering their ovation at the end of their input by the audience, which included certain former council members and minions.

I mention this because at the end of the citizen’s input, there was huge applause, prompting Deputy Mayor Eric Faison to laughingly say “try to avoid clapping during public comment even though we happen to agree with you,” prompting another round of gleeful applause. The problem being a woman who had gotten 10 signatures on a petition to install speed bumps on her street and/or the four-way stop at the 21st Avenue and 304th Street intersection that these folks disagree with.

I happen to know the woman and her concerns were for the Access buses and school buses in the area. People speeding and passing each other on this neighborhood road needed some control. The sad and rather disturbing comments of two of these speakers needs highlighting. One speaker references her right to the democratic process as this “woman harping to the city;” “stands at the edge of the road and gives ‘looks’;” “thinks the city should go talk to her but,” he warned, “I’m concerned about how she’ll react if she doesn’t get her way” — as opposed to what, your way?! How revealing.

Another speaker “wants the city to revisit the issue, then close the matter and never revisit it.” Wow. That’s democracy? Would the council respond to that same request from the woman? Remember the applause? How reassuring for the rest of us.

There was the very interesting citizen input by Roy Parke. He accused the city government, the council in particular, of corruption. Said he went to the police for investigative help and was told they would definitely not investigate the city. He told the council he is staking his reputation and his financial worth on this pursuit and challenged the council, or anyone, to disprove one single statement he’s made. He told them he wants a committee formed to investigate this corruption and has sent a chronological list of the city’s action to the state auditor and expects the council to cooperate when contacted. No applause here. No, one could have heard a pin drop. Also, something that would be funny if it weren’t so pitiful.

Then there was the wonderful new asset to our council, Dini Duclos, who, I assure you, would never even suspect the machinations the powerful oligarchy of four on our council is capable of, congratulating the efforts of all the workers who (I’m sure, quite innocently) put together the meeting to pick the City Center ramp being selected for the freeway traffic.

It was nothing more than a verbal stroking get-together to make people feel good offering their input on such an important issue. Trust me. That decision was made before the meeting and it will be 312th street, right through the middle of Steel Lake Park. Lastly, oops, there were four examples instead of three where citizen input is to be ignored. This one is the resurrection of the huge transit package we already failed. Oh well...

Clara McArthur,

Federal Way

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