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Zero-sum politics



To the editor:

The hostility many Americans show towards immigrants is extremely worrisome. Immigrants, particularly the undocumented, cut our lawns, build and repair our homes, pick our produce and butcher the meats on our tables. Without immigrants, our economy would collapse.  Anti-immigrant sentiment is literally biting the hands that feed us.

During the last GOP debate in Iowa, the now former presidential candidate Ron DeSantis predictably answered “zero” when asked how many of the 10 million undocumented immigrants in the country would be allowed to stay under his administration. It was the loudest applause he received all evening. 

That sort of animosity isn’t about the rule of law; it is about an irrational fear of social change. If Iowans or any GOP voters truly cared about the law, Donald Trump would be the one polling in single digits; he isn’t because a recent poll shows that over three-quarters of Republicans agree with Trump’s racist contention that immigrants are “poisoning the blood” of our country.

The overwhelming majority of undocumented immigrants, including the roughly two million who came here as children — the “dreamers” — have proven to be peaceful, well-educated, productive members of society whose only crime is that they did not gain citizenship under a system designed to prevent that from happening. 

Under current law, becoming a citizen takes two decades or more. A 2019 study by the conservative Cato Institute found that one-third of green card applicants wait over 10 years. It then takes between seven and 10 years to become naturalized after obtaining a green card. Since that report, wait times have grown even longer. That isn’t a legal path, it is an American Ninja Warrior-style obstacle course which in no way resembles the process most Americans’ ancestors went through when they came here; including mine.

Joseph Cannisi


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  • TeriDeCastro


    Majority of Americans support immigration... LEGAL immigration that is...

    10 million migrants just flowing through our gates, unaccounted for, without being vetted, clearly adds to the decline of our country.

    They are on the public dole, taxing our healthcare systems, school systems, housing systems, on and on and on, which working Americans are paying for and are in dire straits to begin with, especially in NYC... We cannot sustain this.

    Worst of all, they are a major threat to the national security and safety of this nation, as crime has spiked, and it is only a matter of time before another terrorist attack will occur.

    We are Bankrupt !

    Maybe you have room in your humble abode to accomodate a few of these migrants...

    Maybe look around and see why millions of "racists" have fled NY in the last few years..

    You get what you pay (vote) for...

    What a disgrace for the once "Capitol of the World" !!

    Wednesday, January 24 Report this

  • wpeakes


    Then I'm sure you will support sending the resources to the border to pay for additional immigration judges, court rooms, investigators, liaisons in different countries, etc to support your position. Without any or all of those things, this is just more of the same empty rhetoric that doesn't solve anything or provide concrete solutions. With the state of the world today, as was the case in years past, people naturally migrate to the places that allow them to support themselves and their families. I'm sure they would rather stay within their own borders but sometimes that's not the case. I will also remind you that, bogus or not, it is LEGAL to come to the US and request for asylum. If you want those claims vetted expeditiously, you'll have to put money down there to support the enforcement of the LAW.

    Thursday, January 25 Report this

  • reenjoe

    Interesting. TD responds "Americans support immigration, legal immigration” to a letter detailing how our system places insurmountable obstacles in the way of gaining citizenship. That's a bit like saying, ‘I’m in favor of buying my daughter a pony for her birthday, provided it’s a unicorn’.

    As for vetting, my immigrant grandparents weren't vetted. Were yours TD? I doubt it. The History Channel confirms that “At peak, most immigrants arriving at Ellis Island were processed in a few hours” and “no passports or visas were needed to enter. In fact, no papers were required at all”.

    This may shock TD, but crime isn't spiking, it has been dropping for over 20 years. NYPD crime stats confirm that major crimes were 21.8% lower in 2023 than in 2001, 40.5% lower than 1998, 70.5% lower than 1993 and 76% lower than in 1990. Do a google search and prove it for yourself. And immigrants pose no greater threat than anyone else. A 2020 study from Texas, arguably the most impacted state, analyzed arrests from 2012 to 2018 and found “Relative to undocumented immigrants, US-born citizens are over 2 times more likely to be arrested for violent crimes, 2.5 times more likely to be arrested for drug crimes, and over 4 times more likely to be arrested for property crimes.”

    I agree with TD on one thing, we get what we vote for. If we keep electing Republicans who have a vested interest in maintaining a broken system, the system will stay broken.

    Friday, January 26 Report this