They Could Be Citizens and They Might Be Deported

"This is not a big human-interest 'touchy-feely' story. It is a simple legal matter. ... Do not reward those who break the law."

'Streamlining' Immigrants

Nina Shapiro's story was excellent ["They Could Be Citizens and They Might Be Deported," April 26]. You have no idea how many cases like this you see—where an encounter with the criminal justice system, which most people could put behind them or learn from, results in the destruction of a family.

I should add that the proposed new removal grounds for suspected gang membership—if the government has "reason to believe," an incredibly low standard—are going to wreak havoc on people from rough neighborhoods or troubled backgrounds who have made lives for themselves, and by definition are going to be deporting people who came here when young.

A provision that allows a person who has been here for a long time, and who may really be fully a product of U.S. society, to at least ask to be allowed to stay would be a decent thing to do.

The Senate versions of a new immigration bill involve more "streamlining," less due process, and less judicial review of immigration judge decisions. Instead of making the Board of Immigration Appeals actually adjudicate cases and make decisions, they pass them on—"streamline" them—straight to federal courts. Then we hear complaints about the "flood" of federal immigration cases, and of course the only remedy is to restrict judicial review even further. . . . 

Jonathan Moore

Washington Defender Association Immigration Project


Deport 'em

If the folks are here illegally, then deport them ["They Could Be Citizens and They Might Be Deported," April 26]. This is not a big human-interest "touchy-feely" story. It is a simple legal matter. Enforce the laws we have. Do not reward those who break the law. Ship their asses back so as not to slap those who legally enter in the face for obeying the law. I could give a rat's butt about their extended families. If they broke the law by sheltering them, punish them as well.

Kevin Armstrong

Oak Harbor

Explaining Why

I wish to commend Nina Shapiro on writing one of the most intelligent and enlightening reports on our country's immigration laws and the people whose lives are affected by them ["They Could Be Citizens and They Might Be Deported," April 26]. As an immigration lawyer, it seems media reporting on this issue often consists of superficial, albeit heartwarming, tales that end with the reporter asking, "Why's this happening?" Shapiro went into depth to explain how complex the laws are and illustrated the problems they create for people in a variety of situations. She explained why it's happening.

I especially appreciated the point that undocumented persons aren't here alone. Many are so integrated into American life, including having U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident relatives.

Shapiro's efforts and writing deserve the highest praise. Thank you.

Genie Hedlund

Mankato, MN

Yuppies Aren't the Enemy

I grew up in Ballard ["Chili Ballard Reception," April 26]. I graduated from Ballard High School, from which I live a block and a half away, in 1978. Two of my great-grandfathers worked the shingle mills and lived on Ballard Avenue in buildings that still stand. I'm a big fan of Mike's—love the chili—and of Warren Aakervik and his constant and tireless efforts to keep the industrial spirit in Ballard. I love that part of it, so I love that they are watching over the development, although I don't know that I am not in favor of this development (this article is the first I'd seen of it).

What I can't stand, I guess from Seattle Weekly in general, is this constant and tiring notion that anybody that doesn't wear Birkenstocks, drives anything that gets less than 20 miles per gallon, and eats at popular restaurants is a "yuppie." Freakin' narrow-minded is what it is. And that somehow these "yuppies" are in favor of tearing down everything, endlessly "yuppifying" the town.

That lot and 14th Avenue Northwest are crap. Something needs to be done, for everybody—yuppies, fishermen, and shingle cutters included.

I take no offense from this grotesque generalization that I think you guys must keep available in your digital clipboards as obligatory paste fodder for any article written, because I am too old for the category. But to paint the views on this thing as so black-and-white is shortsighted and borders on bigotry. Cut us some slack, will ya?

Joel Niemeyer


Bye-Bye, Blue-Collar

Ballard's days as a blue-collar neighborhood are numbered ["Chili Ballard Reception," April 26]. With the high-density development and the yuppification process that is going on presently, the marine and industrial heart of this neighborhood will be gradually pushed out by high-end retail stores and boutiques. Look at what happened to Fremont. Our city leadership doesn't care or understand that Seattle is unique in that the industrial type businesses are located within or close to the city core, providing a diverse range of jobs for the people living in this city. Not everyone works at Adobe, the Gates Foundation, or for that matter, the city of Seattle. The City Council's and the mayor's office's policies towards development will continue to make it difficult for the industrial type jobs to remain in our city. Eventually they will leave, and we will end up with more of the upscale commercial sameness that seems to be infecting this city.

Martin Wayss


Better Robber Barons?

I share most of Knute Berger's viewpoints on Seattle Center, but remain frustrated that most of the recommendations from him and others end up with an admission fee and still more pavement [Mossback, "Keeping Seattle Centered," April 26]. What's the matter with grass and dirt? It seems to work in New York's Central Park. Folklife attracts thousands, and a good number of those folks collect around the central fountain and grass just to enjoy the commonality of it all. It seems to me that the unpaved areas attract as many people as the paved areas.

Somehow it just seems wrong that Seattle Center, as the city's commons, must raise money to survive. Didn't the financial barons of the last century donate part of their wealth back to the public with museums, libraries, and parks, while our new captains of industry like Paul Allen and Howard Schultz want to stick it to us?

And then we come to Frank Gehry's private joke on Seattle and his most wealthy client. I suspect Gehry wakes up every morning with a smile on his face, thinking how he found the perfect combination of fools. An architecturally challenged city and a wealthy client who would pay for the world's most colossal architectural joke. And while we commend Allen for collecting a chunk of music history before it all disappears, it is clear that even in this gesture he is more entrepreneurial than generous. He could keep the building open for a hundred years without even making a dent in the fuel bill for one of his multiple yachts.

Where are the robber barons of old?

Kent Kammerer


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