Letters to the editor

Immigration bill far from amnesty

Dear Editor,

I am utterly disgusted that the Daily Kent Stater called the Kennedy-McCain immigration bill “a glorified amnesty program.” The editorial board’s description makes it sound like so-called “illegal” immigrants should pay some sort of penance for coming to this country.

But the editorial board failed to explain how the bill does indeed demand this sort of penance. A person of “illegal” status before the bill passes (if it ever does) can apply for nonimmigrant status, but he or she has to pay $1,000 to do so. Underneath the description of this process in the bill is this interesting blurb: “Employers of aliens who apply for adjustment of status shall not be subject to civil or criminal tax liability relating to the employment of the alien.” Could this mean that sometime after the passage of this bill the government could prosecute businesses that employ “illegal” immigrants?

Further, the Kennedy-McCain bill would limit the right to better lives for millions of people. The first hurdle an immigrant must jump over is the $500 application fee just to begin the process to become a guest worker. Think about that for a second. These guest workers need jobs because they need money. But they need money to be able to apply to go where there are jobs.

Now, let’s say each of the guest workers somehow come up with the $500. There are still only 400,000 visas available. According to a Pew Hispanic Center report, 640,000 people from Latin America immigrated to the United States in 2004. That means every year over one-third of the immigrants looking for jobs will not make it into the country legally. Those that are left out will surely find other ways to cross the border.

— Allen Hines

Sophomore pre-journalism and mass communication major

Everyone benefits from Biloxi project

Dear Editor,

I want to express my profound gratitude to all those who made it possible for more than 400 students, staff and faculty to participate in the Kent State United for Biloxi experience. It has been the most meaningful service experience for me personally.

Enthusiastic participation of our younger generation in this project touched me greatly. So did the visibly thankful faces of residents of Pass Christian and East Biloxi communities; you could see their quivering lips and tearful eyes, when the volunteers waved goodbye at several of the work sites.

There is no doubt in my mind that the volunteers, and the local recipients of even a little bit of help, will for ever remember this experience. The example that has been set by Kent State United for Biloxi volunteers, should become a uniquely memorable collective act of compassion, that has brought the North Coast and the South Coast of the nation as close as a warm hug. May this relationship, begun in adversity, grow through a deeper understanding of human values of compassion, respect and peace. Kent State University community, I am mighty proud of you.

— Surinder Bhardwaj

Professor Emeritus, Department of Geography