Illegal border crossings test

fiber of American democracy

I was shocked to learn from the April 4 article "Private volunteers patrol a porous border" that the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Arizona "has trained dozens of volunteers to monitor the minutemen."

Traditionally, the ACLU has protected Americans' rights from government abuses. It is a sad day indeed when the ACLU is training "monitors" to spy on other Americans exercising their rights.

Clearly, the ACLU has taken on a political agenda. We now have to worry about abuses from both the government and the ACLU.
Warren Harrison
Portland, Ore.

I do sleep better at night knowing that we have the minutemen helping out on the Arizona border. I just hope that we haven't waited too long to start patrolling.

I'm afraid that too many terrorists and foreigners have already made their way into this country illegally, and we will be dealing with them for years to come.

Individually, I can feel sorry for the plight of illegals, but collectively they cause the quality of life to diminish for US citizens.

This problem will only continue to grow and become too big to handle and we will forever be dealing with it. We must take action now, and the minutemen are there to help.
Nora Clark
Franklin, N.C.

Regarding the April 7 article "Border family's strange encounters with illegal crossers": The Garners' experience, and the experiences of my friends living on the Arizona-Mexico border, have several messages:

First, illegal border crossings are out of control and cannot be stopped indefinitely by patrolling our borders; second, where there is illegal crossing, there will be illegal drugs and a means for those who want to harm us to enter; and third, the key policy change to resolve this crisis is to make employing illegals unprofitable.

All that is required to wean our economy from the addiction to low-cost illegal workers is the political will to do so.

Because that will is lacking, at least so far, we see the volunteer border observers carrying out a time-honored tradition of "if the government won't take care of of the problem, we will." Not a healthy situation, but inevitable until government action is taken.

Time is not on our side, and we need our president to say, as soon as possible, that illegal immigrants are not welcome in the United States, and then implement appropriate policies to discourage them from coming over the border by closing down the demand for their services.
Cutler Umbach
McCall, Idaho

Alaska's wild fish tales

The March 31 article "Allure of Alaska's wild fish" perpetuates the myth that all Alaska salmon are wild fish.

The simple definition of a "wild" fish is one that spawns naturally. But the fact is that on average about 30 percent of the annual Alaska harvest consists of hatchery salmon that were fertilized in plastic buckets and released into the ocean pastures as juveniles.

There is nothing alluring about these hatchery fish. Hatchery fish can spread disease among wild fish; they compete with wild fish for food and space; and they can interbreed with wild fish, causing a loss of genetic fitness.

As the article suggests, consumers need to know where their salmon comes from. The problem is that consumers are being systematically deceived into believing that the Alaska salmon they're buying is wild, when the odds are 1 in 3 that it is not.
Jan Konigsberg
Anchorage, Alaska

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