Opinion

Okay, in response to Dee Baby’s column last week, it looks like it’s time for one of my seemingly annual letters.

I’m confused where this idea came from that illegal immigrants can apply for welfare when one of the things you need in order to apply is proof of citizenship. Perhaps people think the system is easily fooled since some of our own citizens are able to abuse it? If that’s true, shouldn’t the main concern be fixing that system to alleviate it being taken advantage of in general?

I’ve also heard the argument that illegal immigrants aren’t paying taxes. Well, let’s go through said taxes:

Property tax – this can easily be circumvented by renting, but it wouldn’t be logical to place the expectation to buy property on illegal immigrants when we don’t place this expectation on our own citizens. 

Sales tax – There’s really no way to get around this one except through EBT / Food Stamps, which I’ve already touched in the paragraph about welfare.

Income tax – Some illegal immigrants do pay income taxes by using fake social security numbers, the majority of them not receiving any income tax returns due to the system recognizing that the social security number doesn’t match the data in the system. 

As for the illegal immigrants that are paid under the table to avoid paying income taxes, I’ll play devil’s advocate and ask, why are they the ones that are blamed? There are two reasons that come to mind for why someone would hire an illegal immigrant over a U.S. citizen. 

Number one, employers can’t find any legal resident that is willing to work the more distasteful jobs. Thus, they turn to the illegal immigrants that are willing after coming from a country that has 42 percent of its population below the national poverty level. (I’m pretty sure the people from such a country aren’t able to afford having their noses in smartphones 24/7 either.) Shouldn’t you then blame our citizens that are unwilling to do those kinds of jobs and are instead content to milk welfare?

Two, the employers want to cut back on their own expenses, as illegal immigrants are usually paid less than usual. In this case, why wouldn’t you be angry at the employers for choosing avarice over providing an income to their fellow Americans?

In regards to the wall, it probably won’t come as a surprise to anyone that I’m against it. I’m with Dee; why spend that much on a wall when there are other more important things that money could be spent on? If you disagree and think border security is most important, fine. Then vote to hire more people to work as border patrol. They’re understaffed from what I’ve heard. According to an internal report by the Department of Homeland Security, the wall’s total estimated cost is 21 billion, 600 million dollars, which doesn’t even account for costs of upkeep. The border between the U.S. and Mexico is 1,989 miles. If we hired 50,000 workers, having 25 workers per mile, and paid them the average border patrol salary of about $41,000, every year it would cost 2 billion, 500 million dollars, less than a tenth of what it would take just to build the wall. Sounds much more effective to me, in cost and results.

If you’re still unsatisfied even after hearing all this, if nothing will change your mind about a wall alone being enough to deter illegal immigrants from crossing (with not enough workers to patrol the border, let alone the wall, as it is), I don’t want to hear you argue that more gun control won’t deter criminals from acquiring guns.

Tired of obstinance,

Parker Senska,

Woonsocket

Letter to the Editor

By Parker Senska

To the conservatively-biased,

You cry fake news whenever you see fit, just like our so-called President, yet you refuse to point the finger at your own party. You cry “hypocrisy!” whenever liberals take offense, but remain silent when conservatives do the same. You take all conservatively-minded media as gospel, unwilling to do the work of educating yourself on issues, to see the flaws and smoke on BOTH sides of the spectrum. “Fox news? It’s just a little biased.” You try to seem intellectual with the response, but parrot what hard liberals would say about CNN. 

I’ve avoided the latest event in the years-long string of “he said, she saids,” knowing full well that social media has become diseased with any sort of “news” that tries to win someone to their side or get that precious “Like.” However, as my family decided to hold a shouting match on Facebook for all the world to see, to the point my boss was receiving text messages about it, I figured I should become educated on the issue so I can actually smackdown some knowledge should the need arise. I familiarized myself with both sides’ views of the issue, making sure to keep all judgements in check, before watching a minimally-biased news source, one which focuses on informing rather than giving their own opinion.

I can see both sides of the issue. Yes, children are generally separated from their felonious parents. Is illegally crossing the border an equally as steep crime? That really depends on your own values and personality. Personally, I don’t believe so. I feel it’s especially excessive after learning the amount of children that have been taken away (reportedly 2,000 children so far in the span of six weeks).

Ironically, the act itself isn’t what has made me the most livid (I’m not sure what that says about my character). The most outrageous thing to me was when the Trump Administration’s Attorney General Jeff Sessions tried to use the Bible as an excuse for this display of clear intolerance. Before the conservatively-biased minds leap up, saying it’s not intolerance, I will point out that the border authorities are not obligated to imprison the parents. They could just as easily send the entire family back to Mexico. However, as our dear President put in one of his recent barrage of tweets, he will not tolerate the “Catch and Release” system any longer. His ultimatum is build the wall (God forbid) or continue to separate children from their families. 

To the conservatives pointing the blame at the Democrats for the separation happening, the minds behind this separation tactic are using an anti-trafficking law that Democrats passed, which forbids children from being detained in immigration centers for more than 72 hours. However, from what I understand, the same rule is held within the Flores Settlement Agreement, which places restrictions on immigration authorities from holding children regardless. Do your research instead of automatically latching onto any sort of idea that leaves your side blameless.

Back to my main point, it infuriates me that someone would use Christianity, a religion that centers on love, compassion, forgiveness – all values that Jesus Christ shows and preaches on – for his own intolerant agenda. It is amazing how hypocritical some Christians can be, preaching love and kindness while spewing intolerence and hatred in the same breath. And yet these same Christians are baffled why so many people are turning away from the religion. These people see that hypocrisy. It infuriates me that people are turning away from God because of those like Jeff Sessions.

It’s cliche, but I will end this by asking, “What would Jesus do?” Do you think the same person that welcomed children, sinners, and non-Jewish people, even while others tried to deter him from doing so, would hold such malevolence in his heart to separate children from parents out of mere spite? If you said yes, then you are one of the reasons Christianity is dying out.

Sincerely,

Parker Senska, a concerned 

Christian citizen

On Jan. 1, 2018, I, Hillary Lutter, will have been Editor and Chief of the Sanborn Weekly Journal for 14 years. That will be my last day.
It’s been a unique, fun and very fulfilling experience, and I have enjoyed the loyalty and support of our great communities. It truly has been an interesting ride, and there’s been some awesome experiences along the way.
I believe it can take a trained eye to realize when something is finished; people tend to float through life doing what is familiar, shoving their true hopes aside in favor of the status quo. “Someday I’ll do X or Y,” when in reality someday often never comes.
Or maybe it’s just a mid-life crisis. Unbelievably to me, I’m not necessarily too young for one of those. Throughout the past year or so, I’ve come to realize I’m not too young for much of anything.
“Making memories.” This is a favorite saying these days, it seems. Everyone is “making memories” all over social media – and annoying the heck out of me. Why not say, “We are living. Look what we did in our lives today!” To me, the phrase “making memories” implies these events will never again take place, but they were fun while they lasted; sure glad we have a memory, because that’s all we’ll ever have.
Or maybe I’m just overthinking things in a negative voice. But seriously, why not just LIVE, because you’re able? No one knows how much time they have left. The important thing is to live each day with one simple goal: Be Happy Today.
I might be getting too philosophical just to say one thing, that it’s time for me to be finished with this newspaper. It’s taken a lot of searching to get here, and I do not take it lightly, as I know this may mean the end of a service business as old as the town of Woonsocket itself. But, here I am, and I have no regrets, and I have no guilt. At some point, one has to DO for themselves in a completely selfish way.
My husband and I have been running Badlands Agronomy for four years now, from two opposite ends of the state. Splitting my time has become unfair to Bryan, myself and our business, and it is well past time for me to put all my efforts into us.
A quote often attributed to Buddha (but not proven to really be from him) are words that run through my mind nearly every day lately: “The trouble is, you think you have time.”
I’ve come to realize my happiness, my health and my plans for the future are at stake, and these are things I can no longer ignore.
So, here it is: I have lost the ability to do this newspaper the justice it deserves. It’s time to pass the torch, or call it a day. The decision wasn’t easy, but it has come to a point where staying with it is no longer an option. That space between the rock and the hard place is not a good place to be, so I’m going to find a foothold and climb out of there… and what will be, will be.
I leave you with this, and I really hope you take a second and think about it:
Live life for the moment, not for the memories. Tomorrow is never guaranteed, so don’t wait too long to be HAPPY.
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