Letters to the Editor – Weekly Issue of May 24, 2010

Readers write in about Arizona's immigration law and sex offenses made by Catholic priests.

Arizona immigration law

The May 10 World news article, "Immigration and the drug war" reports that President Obama has condemned the law as being "irresponsible": a strange position to take on a law that mirrors existing federal law.

But the only irresponsibility is that of Mr. Obama and his predecessors who have refused to enforce federal immigration law.

Secretary Napolitano is reported to have said that the Arizona law could siphon resources from the "need to focus on those in the country illegally." What?

That is illogical: A law permitting Arizona law enforcement officials to enforce the same requirements for legal entry to the US that the federal government is supposed to be enforcing is siphoning off resources from that very effort? No! It is adding resources to that effort.

Many people in the media and civil rights groups are claiming the Arizona law is unconstitutional.

Many see it as a state usurping federal authority.

On this point I specifically disagree: While immigration had been taken by the federal government as its responsibility, it has essentially abdicated the right to control this governmental function by failing to enforce the law. A state like Arizona cannot be barred from acting to protect its own citizens and state interests when the federal government fails to act on its citizens' behalf.

Stephen Landes

Ann Arbor, Mich.

Sex offense? Call the police.

When I finished reading the May 10 commentary "Amid sex abuse furor, Catholic leaders can rebuild trust" by Joanne Pierce, I thought, surely you jest!

Despite the interesting medieval history, this opinion bears no connection to reality. The rape of children and the coverup and denial by bishops is not the same as confessing a silence infraction in a monastery.

Just how would this have worked? If priests from north of Boston had met, would priests stand up to share that they were raping boys in school coat closets and in the rectory? Then what? Would everyone feel better?

There is a simpler solution: What if every Roman Catholic in general, and leaders in particular, acted like any other mandated child abuse reporter? Call the Department of Social Services or the district attorney's office. They investigate, keep records, and take it from there.

I was a public school elementary principal. My legal and moral obligation, when child abuse was suspected, was to make a phone call.

I am stunned and saddened that anyone would still be offering solutions that don't involve picking up the phone to call the authorities.

Jo Sullivan, public school administrator

Lynn, Mass.

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