Alibi V.27 No.28 • July 12-18, 2018 

Letters

Support For All

Dear Alibi,

I strongly support full human rights for all immigrants. Many immigrants flee here from war, persecution and severe poverty caused largely by the United States Empire. Many immigrants would prefer to stay in their native countries if living conditions there greatly improved.

The US government routinely and deliberately sides with the filthy rich to rob and oppress the poor in many nations. Since 1950 the US under both Democrat and Republican presidents, has overthrown 50 governments, many of them democracies, and has bombed 30 countries.

The US invaded Mexico in 1848 and murdered many people. The US stole from Mexico most of what is now the US Southwest. US President Grant later said the Mexican-American War was, “one of the most unjust ever waged by a stronger nation against a weaker nation.”

My country is the world! I want all 7+ billion people on Earth to be treated fairly! Hell no to the US first. I do not pledge allegiance to the US flag or to any nation’s flag! I want this nation to be a safe place for refugees and undocumented people. No human being is illegal! All immigrants are our sisters and brothers. I oppose treating immigrants as criminals just because they do not have legal papers.

The main goal of the US government worldwide, sadly, is grabbing more wealth and cheap labor by any means necessary—regardless how many millions are robbed, tortured, starved, imprisoned and murdered! The main goal worldwide of the US government is not now and never has been genuine democracy, freedom, justice and human rights for all people on Earth.

As long as most people here believe they deserve much more than desperately poor multitudes abroad and as long as most people here crave and buy crap no one needs, the US will rob, exploit, injure and murder millions!

But as individuals, we can choose to live simply and fairly in our world family. I have no right to much more than I need while many millions have far less than they need. I enjoy living simply far below the US poverty level. I lived well all of 2017 on $5,528 for all my expenses—rent, food, etc. I am deeply indebted to many people who have taught me, loved me and inspired me!

Don Schrader,

Albuquerque

Red Light Love

Dear Alibi,

It is time to turn our red light cameras back on. It has been lightyears since all of our red light cameras have been removed. Now New Mexico is number one in pedestrian, bicycle, hit-and-run and motorcycle fatalities.

Albuquerque has become one of the worse places to live ever since all of our red light cameras were removed. Who wants to live in a place where everyone is getting killed by automobiles? That red light camera election was a non-binding election. It was just a survey. It is time that our City Councilors voted to bring back our red light cameras. Fifty-nine thousand people moved out of New Mexico in the last six years. The criminals and traffic violators took over our state. Please contact our new Mayor Keller and City Councilors to get our red light cameras back.

Sanda Han,

Albuquerque

No Tolerance For Martinez

Dear Alibi,

President Trump's “zero tolerance” policy to criminally prosecute anyone unlawfully crossing our southern border causes children to be separated from their families. It is a devastating human tragedy that promises to leave these children with deep emotional and mental scars for life. All of us in New Mexico, leaders and ordinary citizens alike, have an absolute obligation to raise our voices in strong opposition, being on the doorstep of where this is taking place. Unfortunately, our governor has endorsed Trump's inhumane policy, and should be called to account.

Thanks to the enormous public outrage at his policy of ripping children away from their parents at the border, the president backed down to a degree. But make no mistake, his new executive order allegedly rescinding the separation policy does not go nearly far enough. Over 2,300 migrant children, including infants and toddlers, apparently will remain in congregate care—sometimes in fenced-in cages, as shown by the media—far from their parents and families.

To try to get some answers, I made the short drive myself down to Tornillo, Texas, this week to the federal holding facility where hundreds of unaccompanied migrant boys are being detained. I saw the prison-like atmosphere and the makeshift tents lined up in rows with portable air conditioning units in the 100 degree desert heat. I wondered what the children inside must be experiencing.

As an advocate for people struggling with mental health issues in New Mexico, I am seriously concerned about the scars that traumatic separation from their families, carried out by US border officials, will leave on these children for the rest of their lives. Much is already known.

Study after study shows that prolonged separation from parents causes long-term damage, both physical and mental. The chance for children in these circumstances to live productive and happy lives is significantly reduced by their experience. The leading causes of death—heart, lung and liver disease, as well as alcoholism, drug abuse and suicide—are all powerfully linked to the kind of separation occurring on the southern border today. Without the presence of their parents for safety and support, children suffer high stress that causes a lifetime of continual, experienced trauma or PTSD-like symptoms.

Will we see all these children later in our mental health institutions when they turn up with severe problems being created today?

How bad is this policy? All four living former first ladies have publicly condemned it, calling the practice "immoral," "disgraceful" and a "humanitarian crisis." The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychiatric Association and the United Nations human rights office, among others, have all called for an immediate end to the policy and its practice.

Governor Susana Martinez is seen reading to young children frequently, but where is she when they really need help? She did grave harm to the behavioral health system of care in our state when she shut down 15 providers in 2013. We are still living with it. That experience should have made her more sensitive to the effects of the separation policy she now has endorsed. It is frankly appalling. New Mexico's leaders should condemn, not applaud the Trump policy. It makes one wonder about her motivations.

I respect good immigration laws, and I hope we will work really hard to get better laws. But we must also protect migrant children from trauma and harm in the process. Our nation desperately needs humane, bipartisan reform that protects our borders, but that rejects the cruel practice of the so-called “zero-tolerance” policy. It is wrong to use children as pawns.

Sen. Mary Kay Papen

(D-Doña Ana)
Letters should be sent with the writer’s name, address and daytime phone number via email to letters@alibi.com. They can also be faxed to (505) 256-9651. Letters may be edited for length and clarity, and may be published in any medium; we regret that owing to the volume of correspondence we cannot reply to every letter. Word count limit for letters is 300 words.