Letters to the editor Oct. 4

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Raids and deportation are not the answer

CNN reported recently on a raid in Ohio where 114 undocumented workers at a gardening center were arrested. In April, the Washington Post noted that 97 illegal immigrants were arrested in Tennessee at a meat packing plant. The Baltimore Sun reported that the new visa lottery system is resulting in the crab industry losing 40% of its workforce. All three of these reports point to something being very wrong between our employment and immigration laws.

People flee their home countries in the hope of finding a better life here. It is what all our ancestors did. The only individuals native to this country, we pushed off their land. With unemployment rates at their lowest levels in a decade, finding workers is difficult. The government needs to do more to help employers find workers for gardening, meat packing, fishing, etc.

People who say there are no jobs are wrong, there are just jobs they do not want to do. Thus, the need for immigrant workers.

Raids and deportation are not the answer. The people in the wrong are the employers, not the workers. Yes, punish the employers ­— fine them and have them do community service, but politicians need to find a path that lets these immigrants, who came for a better life, find that. Lets get over the mantra that illegal immigrants are taking away jobs. As noted, the only jobs they are taking are those nobody else is willing to do and most of us do not mind that. Let’s adopt the mantra that people who are working in jobs others do not want to do, need to have a path that moves them out of shadows and toward the light — citizenship, paying taxes and being accountable members of society.

— Herbert Baum, Bigfork

What a shame

In response to “1 Sexual Assault is Too Many,” I’d have to say that I agree - one is too many and I’m truly sorry for whatever pain Ms. Casey was forced to endure.

That being said, I wonder how many Americans would like to have our due process revoked only in cases when someone is accused of what the populace deems reprehensible? ALL Americans enjoy due process, but if you’re accused, you’re guilty and your name should be thrown around every single nightly newscast, and based SOLELY on the accusation - not a single piece of evidence has surfaced or even the letter that the accuser wrote has been printed (it’s all been paraphrased on television), it’s astonishing that people polled are willing to say they believe her or they don’t believe her.

What in the world are we coming to? What if it did happen? But really, what if it didn’t happen? What if this guy is totally innocent of what he’s being accused of? How can you have an opinion about something you know nothing about?

The older I get, the more I understand that it doesn’t seem to matter WHAT is said, it matters WHO said it, and what a shame.

— Julie Miller, Marion

Silencing viewpoints

Bob Brown has honorably served the state of Montana for more than three decades as an elected public official and as a private citizen, and has earned the respect of every fair-minded Montanan. It is altogether fitting and proper for Mr. Brown and all the others involved to rally in Depot Park for human rights and public lands, and I believe his statement that the lawless behavior and radical, fringe outlook of Ammon Bundy and his supporters is one not shared by most Montanans, regardless of political persuasions, cannot be contradicted by any reasonable person.

But it troubles me to see Brown appear to adopt the stance of Love Lives Here, a growing number students at many of our colleges and universities today and other thought police by stating that the event Bundy and his comrades will be holding “has no place in Whitefish or anywhere else in Montana.” Most Montanans hold dear the rights and freedoms acknowledged in the First Amendment, and to proclaim that events advocating hateful and unpopular ideas have no place in our state flies in the face of those values and beliefs. There is a disturbing trend in this country today of people seeking to silence viewpoints with which they strongly disagree, decreeing them unworthy of First Amendment protection, and I’m sorry to see Bob Brown seem to adopt this wrong and dangerous attitude. Organizing the counter rally in Depot Park is the right way to demonstrate majority opposition to Bundy’s extremism. Declaring that the Bundy event or any event representing a minority viewpoint, even or especially a hateful one, “has no place” here is wrong and wrongheaded. This is Montana, USA, not Oceania.

— Lee Smith, Somers

Changes in Title IX

Recent articles have pointed to possible changes in Title IX guidelines for reporting and handling of sexual assault on college and university campuses. The changes proposed by Betsy DeVos and the Department of Education would supposedly strengthen the rights of the accused perpetrator and decrease college liabilities and costs. These changes include: relieving colleges of the responsibility to investigate and deal with incidents of assault that happen off-campus, forcing survivors to confront the perpetrator of assault during investigations, and lowering the bar on what types of reports trigger formal responses by the colleges.

As members of the Lunch Bunch discussion group of the Kalispell branch of the American Association of University Women, we are concerned that these proposed changes will make it more difficult for survivors to report and seek justice while attending college. The University of Montana, Missoula has worked hard to create a safer, more informed and collaborative process when assaults occur. The proposed changes by Betsy DeVos and the Department of Education will undermine these positive steps forward. We urge that the existing Title IX guidelines be maintained. We want our daughters, granddaughters and all students to feel as safe and supported as possible when sexual assault occurs.

— Barbara Myers, Linda Harris and members of Lunch Bunch Discussion Group Of the Kalispell Branch of the American Association of University Women

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