With over 45 years in healthcare administration and governance, I read with interest the commentary “ America is facing a shortage of caregivers” (Feb. 17). The author speaks truth. Every single one of us will need caregiving at one time or another in our lifetimes, some more and some less. Doctors, nurses, therapists, aides, volunteers. Match that burgeoning need against the reality of how many legal immigrants fulfill our caregiving needs.
I am associated with Ascension, the largest nonprofit health system in the U.S. and there are literally thousands of immigrants among our caregiving workforce of 150,000 – 500 of those happen to be DACA-eligible. These demanding jobs are open to all and there are not enough trained, committed persons to fill them. Without immigrants, this shortage would be significantly worse.
Whether Republican or Democrat, connect the dots. Anything our policy-makers or lawmakers do to unnecessarily restrict legal immigration, including DACA and Dreamers, will almost certainly restrict the number of compassionate, competent caregivers available to you and I when we will most need it.
Gino J. Pazzaglini, MSW LFACHE
Member, Ascension Sponsor
Stop lending bill
Regarding “ Patrick McHenry banking bill stokes critics’ fear of payday lending” (Feb. 16): Predatory lenders are vultures devouring the poor, the ignorant and the innocent across America. They, of course, contribute heavily to some congressional representatives and, now, expect the favor to be returned in a law so beyond usury it will override present North Carolina law through devious means. It is all about money for the lenders and continuing and increasing debt for their clients, growing like a virus and finally leading to bankruptcy.
It troubles me greatly that such a bill was introduced in the Congress and must have been voted out of Committee for the entire House of Representatives to even be considering it. Concerned North Carolina citizens should immediately phone their representatives to vote “no” for those who are unrepresented victims of such unjust and despicable legislation.
Years ago as an auditor with a CPA firm in an adjoining state I witnessed how a small lender turned an $84 loan to an unsuspecting African-American borrower into an $840 principal using the then-popular scheme of “flipping.” Time has not improved upon that method and our legislators are fully aware of those devious means, or should be.
If such a bill is passed by the House, it can only signal how powerful the “payday lending lobby” has become. May God forbid if common sense and justice do not rise from the floor of the House of Representatives in Washington.
H. Theron Few
Vote for democracy
Regarding “The gerrymander king condemns partisanship” (Gene Nichol): In truth, gerrymandering is wrong: wrong when employed by Dems and wrong when used by the GOP. But, to be so unapologetically open about gerrymandering, as “electing Republicans is better than electing Democrats” simply floors me.
The value of the voters making their own decision and the basis of having a democracy is summarily dismissed with this attitude. Eliminate gerrymandering once and for all and let my vote be a real vote, a vote for democracy.
‘Common sense’ on guns
Regarding “There have been threats of violence at 12 U.S. schools, at least, since Fla. shooting” (Feb. 15): As a 25+ year retired teacher and principal I occasionally faced fear and imminent danger in the schoolhouse, but nothing like this increasing trend of mass murders.
I’ve removed and restrained unhinged and threatening students and parents. My teaching partner took a loaded gun from a student who was intent on killing the principal. I’ve stood in the schoolhouse door to deny access to a sexually abusive and violent parent, and I’ve warned parents of their child’s desire for violence against them. Never in my career did I expect to hear of school massacres.
I pledge to our children that I will not support or vote for any political candidate who refuses to support common-sense measures such as keeping guns out of the hands of violent or dangerous individuals, supporting vigorous background checks, and the outlawing of military-style attack weapons. We adults can do no less.