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Reader’s Forum — 7-23-14

Taxpayer will bear cost of increased illegal immigration
In response to the July 18th “Come on in” editorial, I feel clarification is needed in several areas. First, and foremost, I quote Title 8 Section 1325 of the U.S. Code, Improper Entry by Alien: “Any citizen of any county other than the United States who: Enters or attempts to enter the United States at any time or place other than as designated by immigration officers… has committed a federal crime.
“Violations are punishable by criminal fines and imprisonment for up to six months.”
So let’s follow the “Come on in” philosophy, and welcome several hundred of these federal law violators into Lincoln County. Do we simply plunk them down in the middle of the county and walk away? We will need to supply housing for them. Who pays for this? Not a government agency, since they don’t have money on their own. We, the taxpayers, will foot the bill. They surely will be provided with food. Again, who pays? See above. They will require clothing. Who pays? See above. As necessary, they will require medical treatment, whether routine, emergency or preventative inoculations to minimize the spread of possible contagious diseases. Who pays? See above.
Wherever they reside, they will need transportation for a myriad of reasons. Who pays? See above. With an upcoming school year, who will pay for their schooling? See above (getting repetitious?).
While many of them may have received a minimum of education, many more will probably be illiterate in reading or writing their own language, let alone English. Who will teach them to read, write and understand English or teach them in their native language? Again, see above. Will they sit around all day twiddling their thumbs or will many of them be seeking employment. Where will they find those jobs and who will they compete with for those scarce jobs? Keep looking at the past answer.
It is reported that these federal law violators are fleeing their own country seeking a better life. Welcome to our world. I would hope the editor of the Times-News wouldn’t have to look very far to find Lincoln County residents who are suffering from tough economic times and would welcome increased taxpayer support to provide them with a better life.
We taxpayers currently provide such support and, although that support may be inadequate, supporting our friends, neighbors and fellow county residents is our moral and legal obligation.
Not so for people who illegally enter this country expecting others (as in we, the taxpayers) to provide the better life they seek.
Historically, we in America are among the most generous in supporting the less fortunate, both in the United States and overseas. Perhaps that tradition has misled those who casually violate our immigration laws to believe that our generosity is limitless and without conditions. Perhaps they also understand that this country was, and is, a nation of immigrants.
However, they are grossly mistaken if they believe this nation of immigrants equates to borderless and without requirements and limitations for entry into the country.
Immigration policies are determined by our voters and lawmakers, not anyone and everyone who is looking for a different life. We have laws in this country, we are a nation of laws and we are generous to a fault when our fellow citizens are involved. Now, we need a serious examination of the “Come on in” concept and we, the citizens, should determine if it is in the greater interest of Lincoln County and its taxpayers?
I believe not.
Tom Hawk
Lincolnton

County has options
In recent issues of your paper, there have been discussions of various movements of county offices out of town. To those pushing to move the offices out of the Citizens Center, I must remind them that when it was built, it was designed to please a committee of citizens from all over the county who worked with the architect in designing it and the auditorium, to meet the needs of those offices.
The auditorium was also designed for large or small crowd uses, as might be needed from time to time, and also for use by the Lincoln County Schools on various occasions when a large auditorium was needed. It was also to be used by the public for large concerts, shows, etc. on a rented basis.
Instead of changing the offices at the Citizens Center, why not move all offices other than court related offices out of the courthouse and make it strictly for court use? One in particular, the Emergency Management offices, would make a good courtroom. It could be moved to the old hospital (on Gamble Drive) where there are emergency generators available and plenty of space available. So no large expense would be incurred to do this.
You might even consider moving the Fire Marshall, which would create more space and make the courthouse a strictly court facility, which already has the law enforcement officers and necessary guard arrangements in place. Therefore, you would not need to make these arrangements at another facility.
I have one other suggestion. Why not move the Health Department to the old hospital’s second floor — with an entrance on the rear being ground level at the emergency room entrance. I believe you would find it well suited for the Health Department. The clinical rooms and various spaces would accommodate its needs very well.
After the Health Department is moved, the property could probably be sold for commercial or industrial use if it is deemed no longer needed. The funds could be used to cut the cost of the hospital repairs as needed, especially the roadways and parking lots.
This way of improvements would surely save the taxpayers of the county many millions of dollars, now and in the future.
Fred M. Houser
Lincolnton

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