Republican Governors to Migrants: Go Away

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  • Biden’s ‘Heartless’ Pandemic Comment
  • Abortion Prosecutors, ‘on Call’ in the Hospital?
  • A Curb on Arms for Ukraine

Credit…Matt Cosby for The New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “Migrants DeSantis Sent to Martha’s Vineyard Say They Were Misled” (news article, Sept. 17):

There may well be some legitimacy to the idea that blue state governors and mayors ignore the difficulty of humanely housing migrants and asylum seekers at the border without more federal assistance. But instead of using persecuted and vulnerable humans as political pawns via deliberately false inducements and forced geographic dispersion, it would be far more reasonable for Republican governors to urge their brethren in Congress to stop rejecting comprehensive immigration reform and also endorse a national solution to match willing workers with job openings that remain unfilled in restaurants, hotels, farms and elsewhere across the United States.

Laurie Woog
Westfield, N.J.
The writer is an immigration attorney.

To the Editor:

Re “Migrants Sent to Martha’s Vineyard as Message” (front page, Sept. 16):

Relocating immigrants from border states to other states happens every day, and has for years on end. Our existing system of handling asylum-seeking migrants, which does indeed need much improvement, does this now regularly, but in a more orderly way. It registers the migrants, sets a date for a court hearing on their status and lets them go, often to family or other sponsors throughout the U.S. who expect them.

So what’s with these governors plucking dozens of such immigrants out of this stream, putting them on planes or buses, and dumping them on the Vineyard, or the vice president’s doorstep in Washington, with no notice?

It’s a stunt, folks, a political stunt, cruel, demeaning, shameful and unworthy of our immigrant nation — a stunt contrived by ambitious, attention-seeking border governors who seek to embarrass the federal government and poke the eye of “woke” Northern states, but who have mainly demonstrated their unworthiness of higher — or even their present — offices.

It’s a sadly ironic commentary on governance in America that it takes such a disgraceful stunt to elevate this deadlocked issue on the national agenda.

Basil J. Whiting
Winter Springs, Fla.

To the Editor:

It’s no stunt. I live in Arizona, and we have many thousands of migrants coming every week. Unless people in sanctuary cities really experience what we are experiencing, they do not know or care what happens here. Do you New Yorkers or Chicagoans or Martha’s Vineyard people just want to live in your privileged communities and leave us to deal with millions of migrants? That’s not democracy.

Democracy is you share with us. Even just a little bit. So don’t panic and call it a stunt.

Gerald Kleinfeld
Tucson, Ariz.
The writer is a retired university professor of history and political science at Arizona State University.

To the Editor:

Govs. Greg Abbott and Ron DeSantis are using asylum seekers as political tools.

But what strikes me most is the contrast in photos. Photos of migrants in Texas have shown people sleeping on concrete floors, sometimes in cages, or being chased by law enforcement on horses. The photos of people in Edgartown show migrants being welcomed into a church where students studying Spanish wait to help translate while other volunteers gather clothes and essentials to distribute.

While we wait for Congress to have enough representatives who will pass and fund legislation that will improve the lives of people, it’s comforting to know that among us citizens there is still kindness and a desire to help others.

Cynthia Hicks
San Leandro, Calif.

To the Editor:

Sixty years ago, my brother and I arrived in the United States as refugees from Cuba without our parents. We were welcomed and raised by family in Florida and New York. We were 9 and 11, and what remains most memorable was the kindness of so many Americans — teachers, neighbors, the guy at the candy store — who affirmed a sense of hope, goodness and friendship.

Today, I am ashamed and angered by the actions of opportunistic elected officials. People fleeing chaos, oppression and violence should not be exploited or used as pawns for political purposes.

The inhumane acts of Govs. Ron DeSantis and Greg Abbott are unconscionable and defy the values of the America we cherish. Shame on them and shame on all who support their actions.

And today, as an American, I extend the same welcome we experienced. For the new arrivals, the first days in America will be difficult and painful. May they stay, be safe, and get the love and care that my brother and I experienced not so long ago. Welcome!

Luis A. Hernandez

Biden’s ‘Heartless’ Pandemic Comment

Covid-19 patients being treated at Providence St. Mary Medical Center in Apple Valley, California.Credit…Mario Tama/Getty Images

To the Editor:

Re “Biden Says ‘Pandemic Is Over,’ but at Least 400 People a Day Are Dying” (news article, Sept. 20):

President Biden’s declaration that “the pandemic is over” gave me little comfort, on my second day of fever, chills, a trip to urgent care and a prescription for Paxlovid.

As my physician husband pointed out, Mr. Biden’s statement might be scientifically accurate, but lacked clarity. Sadly, Covid is now endemic. That means we still need to be vigilant, get vaccinated and, yes, wear masks indoors. Though I followed all of these precautions — often finding myself the lone person masked inside — I still caught the virus.

Mr. Biden’s breezy comment must also feel painfully heartless to those who lost loved ones, or to anyone struggling with long Covid. I hope that Mr. Biden — and his medical advisers — will issue a much-needed correction, soon.

Liza Ketchum
Watertown, Mass.

Abortion Prosecutors, ‘on Call’ in the Hospital?

Credit…Jamie Kelter Davis for The New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “Roe’s Reversal Changes Ways Doctors Work” (front page, Sept. 11):

Rather than having hospital lawyers on call to advise doctors whether to perform an abortion, let’s require state prosecutors who would file any criminal charges to be on call 24/7 to come to the hospital and put a note in the chart about whether or not they will criminally charge the physician and the patient if an abortion is performed.

That way all ambiguity is removed, and the physician can focus on delivering medical care rather than legal concerns. The hospital saves legal costs, and the prosecutors can take responsibility for the medical outcomes as they now should.

Perhaps state prosecutors should now all be required to take the Hippocratic oath. Better still, let’s require state prosecutors to be physically present 24/7 in every hospital, ready to rush down to the E.R. or the OB-GYN department on a moment’s notice, to make these evaluations at the doctor’s side, putting “legal” notes in the clinical chart as the case evolves.

If that clutters the medical chart, a parallel “legal chart” that the state prosecutor maintains in real time could now become routine.

Robert D. Rifkin
Chapel Hill, N.C.
The writer is a retired professor of medicine at the Washington University School of Medicine.

A Curb on Arms for Ukraine

While supporting Ukraine against Russian aggression, President Biden has tried to prevent the conflict from widening. Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “U.S. Is Reluctant as Ukraine Asks to Upgrade Arms” (front page, Sept. 18):

About the concerns over giving Ukraine missiles that can strike inside Russia: Can’t the satellite-guided weapons be hard-wired to reject any target coordinates outside Ukraine?

Shouldn’t all precision weapons we export have geographical limits built in? Even non-precision weapons could be programmed to work only within specified GPS locations.

If we’re concerned about the spread of war, such limits shouldn’t be an afterthought.

Ilya Shlyakhter
Belmont, Mass.

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