Editor’s note: In the spirit of democracy, The Monitor is publishing the following letters to the editor to make up the entirety of the Opinion page in this its Fourth of July edition — that freedom of speech may always resonate within our local communities.
‘Let Her Fly’
The following poem is dedicated to American veterans on the Fourth of July.
Let her colors grace the sky,
Let the people see her fly.
Praise the colors of the red, the white, and blue,
Our soldiers died for her, for me, and you.
The flag that’s called by all, ‘Old Glory’
is now an institution, so unique with its’ own story.
For her, a lot of good men gave their lives;
for freedom and for peace, that was the price.
She represents America, she represents the dream.
What our forefathers once envisioned, we have slowly seen.
She represents the freedom and respect she earned,
In wars so costly, now the lessons learned.
She flew in many wars, so brilliantly, so proud,
Her presence there was well felt, no doubt.
She flew in war, abroad as well as here at home,
now her honor and her pride is wide world known.
She is the symbol of a freedom world,
still as beautiful, as when she first unfurled;
displayed in every town and city in the USA
magnificently waving … any given day
No other flag has ever been more recognized,
nor more respected or even idolized,
as that of our united fifty states …
They say she even flies at Heaven’s gates.
Duke Martell, Mercedes
Why Trump’s ‘zero-tolerance’ is working
This letter is in reference to the article about the Border Patrol arrests that have dropped significantly in the month of June.
In the article, you have concluded that the recent results have been narrowed down to two reasons: 1. that it could just be the season we are currently in and illegals tend to not cross around this time of the year due to the hot weather; or 2. President Donald Trump’s “zero-tolerance” policy to criminally prosecute every adult who enters the country illegally is having a deterrent effect.
I believe that the president’s strict policy has a lot to do with the low number of illegals crossing. Many families have been shocked and traumatized by the recent separation of their families. Many children were separated from their families and have been left with no other option but to go back to their countries.
I believe this action by the Trump administration has left many to question their capability of crossing the border with their children illegally. If our country can continue to have zero tolerance for illegal crossing and secure our border with stricter policies, we will start to see our country safer and better.
Joann Juarez, Weslaco
Don’t be fooled by immigration ‘reforms’
Henry Cuellar proposes that we address “the root cause” of migration by sending more assistance to Central America. To those of us against building ever more prisons to incarcerate ever more frightened refugees, assistance may seem like a compassionate alternative.
Until we pause a moment to think about U.S. assistance.
In March 2016, environmental activist Berta Cáceres was assassinated in Honduras. Three of the eight charged with her murder are linked to U.S. trained elite military troops and two were trained at Fort Benning, School of the Americas, the infamous “school of assassins” responsible for thousands of murders and human rights violations by its graduates in Latin American.
Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador well understood the connection between U.S. aid and oppression. On Feb. 17, 1980, the archbishop wrote to President Jimmy Carter asking him not to send millions of dollars a day in additional assistance to his country, because he said aid would be used to repress the people and social movements meant to defend fundamental human rights.
Just weeks later, he was assassinated. During that reign of terror in El Salvador, an estimated 75,000 civilians were targeted by death squads — tortured, disappeared or murdered. Soon after, thousands of Salvadoran refugees began arriving here.
A forthcoming U.N. report leaked to CNN indicates that the U.S. is again funding and equipping elite paramilitary police units in El Salvador. It is crucial that citizens sympathetic to the refugees not be fooled by immigration “reforms” that include proposals for increased military aid to repressive regimes.
Terry Church, McAllen
Learn from past examples of open borders
There is a lesson to be learned from what happened to the countries of Sweden and Denmark when they opened up their borders to the refugees of the poorer European countries, the former Czech Republic as well as those from the war-torn Middle East.
They are now slamming the door shut on immigrants due to years of uncontrolled immigration, by allowing open borders both countries now find themselves embroiled in economic turmoil and internal strife as politicians from both countries try to find a way to keep their countries from coming apart due to the instability caused by uncontrolled immigration.
To date, the free movement project in both Denmark and Sweden has been halted, and now both countries by misjudging the effects of free migration are now a tragic example of what not to do.
Jake Longoria, Mission
Why I go ‘errr’
On Feb. 12, 2013, when Obama reconsidered demands to require English and placement in “the back of the line,” there was belief that Republicans would support a compromise allowing undocumented immigrants to gain citizenship.
Instead, five years passed and Republicans are still dragging their feet. Maybe it was the color of the argument. Errr?
I also go errr when people are expected to be thankful for “the lowest Hispanic and black unemployment numbers ever, and the lowest female unemployment in 20 years” while “somebody” boasts about having their way with women, separating families and behavior fitting of a toddler (or younger).
I suppose I should be thankful for my father caring for me even though he exhibited abusive behavior toward my mother
One last thought: When you see green shirts printed with “Mexico,” don’t worry. It’s not the “Mexican invasion.” You don’t have to confront them. All they are doing is supporting Mexico during the World Cup.
Or are they? Errr?
Isaac Chavarria, Alton
Who will listen to those who can’t speak up?
Children of illegal immigrants to our country were recently separated from their moms by ICE. Images of these children on TV showed them detained in “cages” and some crying for their moms. Meals were provided for them along with bedding and a thermal blanket. This type of action created uproar across our nation. Blame and guilt was upon the children’s parents, several politicians and our government.
The people in charge stated this legal action of the children’s separation from their parents would only be temporary. This rhetoric only enraged the citizens of our great nation even more. Several people cried out and said that this was not right. The spouse of our nation’s president also made an appearance to our Valley in hopes of reunifying mothers with their children.
What a contrast when we as a nation support and pass laws for a permanent separation of a child and mother via abortion. This legal action not only tears away a baby fetus but also stops their beating heart. These innocent ones have no fault of their own for being alive inside of their mother’s womb. Who will hear their silent cries? Just because it’s legal, it does not make it right.
I remember reading in the good book that we should “speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves.” Children are not the property of their parents nor of the government; they and we belong to God himself.
Ruben E. Lopez, Mission
Prescribe physical therapy treatment instead of opioids
The opioid epidemic has been a nationwide crisis since the late 1990s, killing 200,000 Americans.
Opioids are narcotics used to treat severe pain that work by lowering the number of pain signals your body sends to your brain and gives off a morphine-like effect. More conservative treatments should be prescribed to patients instead of the immediate distribution of opioids.
Physical therapy would be a great alternative to this problem because physical therapists are licensed health care professionals who can easily diagnose and treat issues related to the musculoskeletal system to help reduce pain and increase mobility. This type of treatment is not only more cost-effective for the patient, but directly treats the source of the pain rather than masking it temporarily with drugs.
Directly treating the source has more of a long term effect and eliminates the need for opioids, x-rays and unnecessary doctor visits.
Sending patients to the experts to gain knowledge on injury prevention, proper body mechanics and techniques during exercise and identifying muscle imbalances will help the patient self-manage his or her own pain. Part of the scope in physical therapy is to provide the patients with lifelong knowledge they can use to help keep their muscles working right, which will ultimately completely eliminate their pain.
I believe the need to prescribe physical therapy instead of opioids for pain would help to decrease the amount of opioid-related deaths in America.
Cassie Delgado, McAllen
Appalled by dog-eating festival
The Daily and Sunday Express posted an article about the struggle to end the barbarism of Yulin’s dog-eating festival. This festival was a huge public display of humans’ gross inhumanity to dogs, slaughtering them in front of society. Chinese activists’ are petitioning to stop this event from continuing and are fighting for their animal rights.
I strongly feel that banning the festival and illegalizing the dog meat trade will help the animals from being killed by the dog meat vendors. The slaughtering of animals is affecting the physical and mental being from society, and it shows how the festival is offensive to many Chinese young and educated urbanites.
The young children are innocent and would learn visually, when they see an animal being slaughtered and cooked for meat, they’ll think its just meat to eat.
Yulin’s dog meat festival reflects globally in an adverse way on China. Local Yulin citizens would steal pets from their homes and slaughter them for the festival. This is a scary thought, because not only is the dog meat trade legal, the festival slaughters the animals inhumanely in front of young children, thinking it’s OK.
Dr. Peter Li had investigated, interviewed dog meat vendors, supervised the research project and by experiencing what is happening, he petitioned to make dog meat trade illegal, saving them from a horrible fate.
It is said that banning the festival did not stop the event from happening, but we can try and prevent a large number of slaughter from occurring.
Leah Ortiz, Pharr
Banning ‘assault weapons’ a step forward in gun control
The New York Daily News posted an article about David Kelley, who killed 26 people in November 2017 using an assault weapon that he purchased legally. Kelley was in the Air Force and discharged on bad conduct in 2012, but his name was never sent to the NCIS. Mass murders are occurring more often, yet there are still no major changes that are being made to our gun laws.
Many of the people who have committed these mass murder crimes have legally purchased their assault weapons of choice. This is a scary thought because not only did they use these powerful guns to commit a horrific crime, but they had easy access to them. Banning assault weapons can help keep these powerful weapons away from people who may decide to commit such crimes in the future and decrease the death toll in America.
I believe many modifications to our gun laws can be made to help with this issue, and I strongly agree that banning assault weapons is one of them. Assault weapons are far too powerful to be sitting in people’s homes and can bring a great deal of tragedy to the nation’s cities and families. Preventing people from legally buying these types of guns can be a huge step in gun control for our society today.
Banning assault weapons will not completely stop all murders from happening, but we can at least try and prevent a large number of murders and deaths from occurring in our nation today.
Erica Borrego, Edinburg
Parents should vaccinate their children
Vaccinating children should be made a priority. The only exception would be for kids who cannot get vaccinated for health related issues, like weak immune systems or severe allergies to vaccines. The harder it is to get exemptions, the more likely people will be to vaccinate their children.
Parents who don’t vaccinate their children because of a nonmedical reason can have their child pass on a disease to the children that can’t be vaccinated. This can result in deadly diseases and even death. Children with leukemia and severe allergies can catch a disease that could be harmful to their health or vital organs. It is essential to vaccinate your children to help protect those who cannot be vaccinated.
Parents refusing to vaccinate their children are also putting their community at risk. These children will be more likely to catch a disease and spread it to children while at school or elsewhere. It’s possible the disease will spread to people who don’t have the vaccine to fight it off. It could get out of hand and result in an epidemic, like the measles outbreak in Anaheim, California. California changed the law in 2015 to only allow exemptions for medical reasons.
Changing the law to allow exemptions for medical reasons only will protect the community and those who cannot be vaccinated.
Dyamante Solis-Lozano, Weslaco
Do more to educate high school students on sex
Statistics show that Texas does not inform students on sex education. According to the state of Texas, abstinence is implied only, and that being in 2010, 54 percent of all pregnancies (298,000) in Texas were unintended (Guttmacher, 2017) and we have 81,873 people living with sexually transmitted diseases (aidsvu.org). We should educate high school students on not only having the option of abstinence.
There other options of protection (birth control, condoms) to prevent pregnancies and any other sexually transmitted diseases. This will help eliminate unplanned pregnancies for the future. They should be specific on the topic of STD’s due to the fact that it’s becoming a viral outbreak. I suggest they show them how a person can contract it and what it looks like. Since some individuals are visual learners, even though the graphics can be gruesome to one, this can educate them and be informative. That way we can decrease this viral outbreak.
Another solution will be letting them know if they choose to have an active life to also get checked with their partner regularly, to prevent any health risk. Also having the option in high school to get tested because not all teens are willing to admit to their guardians that they are having sexual relationships — this will help the school be more involved and create a relationship with their students.
I believe Texas should enforce this as a required credit.
Erica Juarez, San Juan