Regarding “Senate leaders reach budget agreement” (Feb. 7): It is time to pass a bill to protect Dreamers while rejecting all of the White House’s terms to further ban immigrants. Pass a clean DREAM Act. An overwhelming number of Americans want Dreamers protected from deportation. There’s little support for any of Trump’s add-ons – the border wall, cutting legal migration for families and ending the diversity visa program – in a final bill to protect Dreamers.
Denying women the legal right to live and work here makes them extremely vulnerable to abuse. Reports of domestic violence and rape dropped because women now fear being deported. Trump’s plan is an attack on entire families, for whom immigrant women are often the main providers and caretakers. Bosses use threats of deportation to keep immigrants’ silent about abuse in the workplace. Around half a million children witnessed the traumatic arrest, detention, or deportation of a parent. And those are only the children who are U.S. citizens.
It is Congress’ fault that Dreamers and all other immigrants are now at the mercy of Trump. I want my elected officials to do everything in their power to protect them from Trump. Pass a clean DREAM Act.
State program questioned
Regarding “Program offers aid for special needs students” (Feb. 2): I fully support education and services for special needs children. However, if those services are available in the student’s public school, the state should not pay for duplicate services in a private setting. If a child is receiving speech and physical therapy in her public school, why should I, as a Southern Baptist taxpayer, pay for her private Catholic education?
According to the article, the state plans to spend $3 million next year to serve 300 students. That money could be better spent for the one and a half million public school students (including the 169,000 students with disabilities).
I appreciated the Sunday Forum “Readers speak out on environmental issues” (Jan. 28) addressing good and proper concerns about the climate. As a fellow resident of the Triangle, it is encouraging to hear that I am not alone in my concerns about our climate.
Climate change remains a contentious issue. This is exacerbated by the politicization of the issue, so that even though it affects everyone, it has come to be seen as a “right” or “left” issue. This is, thankfully, shifting. The House Climate Solutions Caucus is up to 68 members, with an even split between Republicans and Democrats. Bipartisan support for action on climate change is not only possible, but highly probable. Best yet, there is a ready solution that offers a respectful nod to both sides: carbon fee and dividend.
Add a rising fee on carbon, but return dividends to the people. This utilizes market-based incentives to shift the use of carbon – ensuring that our approach respects the need for a market-oriented solution – while also maintaining an understanding of the effect that such added costs will have on people in their day-to-day lives. It’s a solution that should appeal to all sides.
Congress must protect SNAP
Congress must stop whittling away at the social safety net for low-income households, the disabled and the elderly. At risk is SNAP, formerly food stamps, a program that helps 1.5 million low-income North Carolinians buy essential groceries each month. SNAP and other nutrition programs are part of the Farm Bill, up for renewal in 2018. In North Carolina, SNAP predominantly aids children, seniors, and people with disabilities.
These benefits help reduce hunger, as well as lower the risk of childhood obesity and high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes in adults. Furthermore, SNAP pumped $2.2 billion into North Carolina’s economy last year alone. SNAP works – for those most in need and for the state’s economy at large.
Thousands of households depend on SNAP benefits to help make ends meet. Even in Wake County, one of the wealthiest counties in the state, 18 percent of our children are food insecure. We urge people to join 11 food policy councils across the state of North Carolina and over 120 cross-sector organizations to tell Congress to #protectSNAP.
Andy Petesch, President
Cindy Sink, Food Access & Security Circle Lead
Capital Area Food Network (CAFN)