Regarding “Tax bill could push graduate students out of universities” (Nov. 16): I am a Ph.D student and assistant professor at UNC-Chapel Hill. After 11 years of teaching young children, I have returned to school full time to work to develop the next generation of educators. The current tax-reform bill proposes to tax graduate students’ tuition waivers as if they were income, money that we never actually see. This move would significantly increase the tax burden of students like me who are working to benefit public universities and schools.
Most graduate students are barely able to support themselves with the current level of funding. The proposed increased tax burden would force many current and prospective students to step out of the pipeline that develops the educators, researchers, scientists, and engineers that are necessary to grow the social and economic structure of this great country. I urge readers to contact Senators Tillis and Burr and ask them to vote against the tax-reform bill as currently drafted.
“Myanmar treatment of Rohingya called apartheid in new report” (Nov. 21) underscores the insufficiency of global responses to such deeds. For starters, terms like “apartheid” are too sterile to capture the terror and brutality being inflicted by Myanmar’s government upon its Muslim minority.
But whether one uses the term apartheid, ethnic cleansing, genocide or something more darkly descriptive, at the least these acts against the Rohingya amount to an existential crime against humanity. That much should be acknowledged. Surely, then, a moral imperative is at stake. That imperative ought to compel efforts to halt and, as practical, undo as much as possible the horrific harm already perpetrated.
Action doesn’t entail the United States shouldering the whole burden – though our voice is needed. Nor does it necessarily mean resorting to military measures. But the global community should assemble a subset of its geostrategically minded experts – first quickly to define a goal, and then as quickly to wield some combination of economic, political and diplomatic apparatuses to leverage best outcomes. Let’s not find ourselves looking back 10 years from now, lamenting yet again our inaction.
I appreciated “Poll finds NC support for some ‘illegal immigrants’ ” (Nov. 25). Clearly a majority of North Carolina residents support immigrants who have served in the military, work and pay taxes, are married to U.S. citizens or were brought here as children. I believe that this would be an easy win for Congress. Pass immigration reform now. Allow the “Dreamers” to stay and work here as well as their parents. What a wonderful Christmas present this would be for all of us.
I truly believe along with Rep. David Price that if the “Dreamers” Act were put up for a vote in Congress, it would pass. Congress needs this win and so does the country. We are in need of good news.
Gail S. Phares
Witness for Peace