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Immigration costs

EDITOR: The U.S. and Mexico are stuck in a dysfunctional relationship that hurts both countries.

By encouraging its poor to illegally emigrate to the U.S., Mexico relieves itself of the responsibility to give its citizens a better life at home. Where did the huge windfall of money from its oil reserves go? Did any of it go to help Mexico’s poor?

And when U.S. businesses hire illegal immigrants at below minimum wage, they cheat American workers out of a living. I have seen this firsthand in the service, restaurant, hospitality and construction industries.

If we only hired American citizens, at salaries starting at or above minimum wage, we are helping our own. We’ll all pay more, but for me, it’s worth it.

RICK KRIGSTEIN

Rohnert Park

GOP health plan

EDITOR: My wife and I have Kaiser health insurance. Before the Affordable Care Act, I was paying $1,200 a month for myself and $650 for my wife every month. Since then, the rates have dropped to $780 for both of us. I think that the Republicans are picking a few select cases where the square peg doesn’t fit the round hole to eliminate this move toward health care for all.

We are one of the few nations that doesn’t have universal health care. If we want to make America great again, shouldn’t we be healthy to enjoy it? Or maybe Congress could give us all the health care plan its members enjoy at our expense.

JORDON BERKOVE

Forestville

RP immigrant policy

EDITOR: The primary role of law enforcement, including the Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety, is to protect life and property. Many people who live and work in Rohnert Park are anxious and worried about recent statements in the media about the federal government targeting people who are in the United States illegally.

As the director of Public Safety for the past eight years, we have never worked with Immigration and Custom’s Enforcement in sweeps that result in the arrest of undocumented immigrants. Rohnert Park Public Safety isn’t planning to conduct coordinated sweeps for law-abiding people who are residing our community.

It is my intent in writing this short letter to reduce the fear and anxiety of individuals who are living and working in Rohnert Park and are immigrants and may be undocumented; Public Safety officers are not going to deport you. Our officers have worked extremely hard over the past eight years to build the trust of all civilians, regardless of their immigration status.

We will continue to respect all individuals and do everything in our power to keep them safe in our community. We have not and do not plan to deport members of our community solely based on their immigration status.

BRIAN MASTERSON

Rohnert Park director of Public Safety

Some compromises

EDITOR: The election is over. As one of your letter writers put it, “Governing is all about compromise” (“Failure to govern,” Wednesday). I don’t see why independents, Libertarians, Greens, Democrats and Republicans can’t work together as an American team to compromise on women’s health care, lowering taxes on the 1 percent, suppressing minority voting, blocking scientific research, persecuting Muslims and breaking up Latino families.

I was quite young when we interned Americans of Japanese descent. As I remember it, we didn’t take the Japanese children away and turn them over to foster care. That’s a new proposal, aimed at undocumented Latinos by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, but it’s an old idea. The precedents include breaking up and selling enslaved black families, the disappearances in Argentina and the Holocaust. Maybe we can compromise with Republicans and remove only the girls. I forget how “Sophie’s Choice” ended.

GARY GOSS

Santa Rosa

Needless deaths

EDITOR: As Washington politicians take aim to scuttle the Affordable Care Act, a lot, if not millions, of hardworking Americans will again be left with no meaningful health insurance.

People who don’t have health insurance cannot and do not access our health care system for fear of bankruptcy. Large numbers of these same people will subsequently and needlessly die prematurely without health care.

These same politicians and their supporters, because of their actions, have a strict personal moral responsibility for the unfortunate outcomes of these people.

JOE CLENDENIN

Santa Rosa

The county’s priorities

EDITOR: When I was a kid in school in the 1950s and 1960s, I was taught that the principal tasks of government were providing public safety and infrastructure. In practice in Sonoma County, abundant general fund tax dollars are allotted to various entitlement programs and non-essential services. When funds are inadequate for public safety and infrastructure, such as serious road repaving, additional taxes are proposed. Wouldn’t it be nice if general fund revenue that we already have were spent on public safety and infrastructure and special taxes were proposed for non-essential services? Then spending priorities would be the priorities of the tax-paying public.

RAY WALDBAUM

Santa Rosa