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Do it legally

Never in my many years of reading the Loaf have I come across a more slanted, biased, evasive, one-sided story than your cover story on "Hispanic immigrant" Pablo and his family's travails ("Invisible man," Dec. 1).

In the first place, Alyssa Abkowitz needs to learn the difference between the terms "immigrant" and "illegal immigrant," "Hispanic" and "Latino." These terms are not interchangeable! She also needs to understand that illegal immigration is just that -- against the law of the United States -- and that illegal immigrants are felons for breaking immigration law.

Second, it is clear that Alyssa tries to tear at our heartstrings with the sad story of Pablo and his trek to the USA to find work, only to die in a construction accident. But in telling this story, she does not realize that she uncovers many truths that are even sadder than Pablo's demise. Those include the fact that Pablo knew his journey to the USA was illegal yet he did not apply for a Visa and enter our nation legally.

When he got to the USA, Pablo was hired right away as a landscaper. Apparently, his employer was not concerned that he was breaking the law by hiring an illegal alien. The people who hired him at Folks were not too concerned that they were breaking federal law, either. Finally, Metal Building Erectors hired him. Folks and Metal Building Erectors should be investigated and fined.

Yes, this is a sad story. Very sad. In fact, it is tragic. But the tears I cry are not as much for Pablo as they are for U.S. workers and taxpayers. A nation that refuses to protect its borders for fear of losing millions of cheap laborers. A nation that refuses to tell its rich corporations to pay its workers a living wage. A nation that would rather pander to illegal aliens from Latin America by presenting everything from signs to phone menus to radio stations in Spanish than stand up for the law and say, "Go home and return the legal way."

Yes, it is a sad story, Alyssa. Sad for Pablo, but sadder for Georgia and the American wage earners and taxpayers who are getting f*cked.

-- Jack Franco Handmacher, Norcross

With all the immigration attention in CL, there are some questions I wish your reporters would ask:

Exactly how many legal immigrants do both sides want to let in and how large a population do they want the United States to have? If they have too many people who live [in Latin America], why won't the Roman Catholic church permit poor people in Latin America to practice birth control? Why does the U.S. government not allow foreign aid to be used for birth control when half the planet is trying to get into the U.S.? Why should a child of illegal aliens become an automatic citizen? Why don't school and college officials have a duty to report suspected illegal aliens? Why can't state and local police detain illegal aliens until federal agents pick them up? How do people who can't speak English pass the citizenship test so that they can vote?

-- Johnny Plunkett, Smyrna

Gotta love Drive-by

Really nice article on the Truckers show from the Tabernacle show last week (RedEye, "Keep on truckin' ..." Dec. 1). I'd have to say that of all the Drive-By Truckers articles I've read over the past few years, this has got to be one of my favorite bits: "... the songs explore how good men can do bad things but bad things don't have to overtake good men. To be Southern is to be both sides of the coin -- but, to date, the Drive-By Truckers keep coming up heads."

­­-- Jayne Clamp, Athens

Cold shoulder

Regarding the quote in Humbug Square, "First cold night" (Nov. 24), "The Chamber of Commerce, Central Atlanta Progress, all of the downtown businesses don't want to see poor folks in the city," [Derrick] Boazman says. "They could have said we'll be more humane. But they just said we'll just lock the folks up and harass them until we can run them out of town."

Do you think it might have made sense to ask any of us whether what former Atlanta City Councilman Boazman said is true? Because it isn't. Not even close. In fact, the ordinance we supported (and that was ultimately approved by Council overwhelmingly) is far more humane than the one it replaced if your criterion is "locking folks up." The new ordinance provides for multiple treatment options before anyone is sent to jail. And it is aimed at vocational panhandlers, not the homeless. Thought you would like to know the truth.

-- Paul B. Kelman, executive vice president,

Central Atlanta Progress

Same game

I live in the Perkerson neighborhood further down Metropolitan Parkway from the Capitol View Baptist Church, and I feel that it's a shame that a historic landmark has suffered neglect because everyone had plenty of time to develop a plan to save the site with community and preservationist assistance (News & Views, "A church looks for a savior," Nov. 24). Yet everyone was more focused on having a Starbucks or a coffee shop. Maybe it's time they stop waiting on government officials to lead the charge and take charge of the project from the standpoint of developing funding ideas, etc.

As to the Lakewood complex (News & Views, "City banks on Lakewood as ripe for redevelopment," Nov. 24), it is sad to see politicians playing games with the public when there is a Lakewood Oversight Committee and a Lakewood Finance Committee who represent NPU-X, NPU-Y and NPU-Z.

It's rather strange that your paper seems to take pride in trying to run stories that give [Councilwoman] Joyce Sheperd credibility when everyone knows that Mayor Franklin is running the show.

It's still the same old tired political game to me -- no matter who does it.

-- Flora M. Tommie, Atlanta

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