LETTERS: Be truthful in campaigns; Assange defended

Be truthful in campaigns

Political campaigns on the federal and state levels have left a question with regard to the use of factual truths versus impassioned rhetoric. Our elected officials should vote according to what they believe best for their constituents without being yelled at or slandered by misstatements and distortions of the issues.

Recent actions at the McAllen City Commission and in political advertisements have not followed this standard.

The issue of the motion and vote to approve a conditional use permit for a respite center on south 15th Street adjacent to the bus terminal was approved with a split vote, but according to correct legal procedures. Subsequent paid political advertising charged a single commissioner with allegations of 1. illegal actions, 2. accommodating illegal immigrants, and 3. turning McAllen into a sanctuary city.

None of these allegations happens to be true. The facts are as follows:

1. The city followed the protocol for requesting the CUP that has been used previously.

2. The immigrants are not “illegal,” in that they have had initial processing that allows them to be in the country legally while they await legal processing of their request for asylum.

3. Sanctuary cities have been defined as cities or jurisdictions that have policies in place designed to limit cooperation with or involvement in federal immigration enforcement actions. This McAllen CUP does not meet the criteria of a sanctuary city.

The McAllen CUP takes the immigrants (legally allowed to wait for their day in court) off the streets until they can be put on the buses (next door to the respite center) to the place in the country (out of McAllen) where they will stay.

An April 23 Monitor article stated, “For years, since 2014, (Sister Norma) Pimentel’s efforts to temporarily assist immigrants were made downtown, first at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church, and then, until last fall, at a small, rented space near the federal courthouse on Beaumont Avenue.”

These individuals are, and have been, downtown all along but now will locate across the street, saving the taxpayers money.

The cost of walking the immigrants across the street to the buses will be nil compared to the $1,500-$2,000 per day that was being paid to get them back and forth from the Catholic Charities respite center on Hackberry and 2nd to the buses.

Although some think the city pays for their bus tickets, that too is incorrect, as most bus tickets are paid by the immigrants’ families or friends. The tickets are not paid with city funds.

The alternative of doing nothing (denying the CUP) would leave the immigrants with no place to go except the streets or the bus station, which would create a great many problems that would be even more costly for our legal authorities. The CUP provides additional police presence at the respite center by the bus station.

I am not endorsing any candidate,but am endorsing truth in campaigning.

Nedra S. Kinerk, McAllen


Assange defended

Please, please consider the WikiLeaks revelations that Julian Assange helped give us access to — such as the raw footage of the slaughter of innocent Iraqis and two Reuters journalists in Baghdad in 2007 (just search YouTube for a video of the Apache strike that killed Reuters employees). Then decide whether Assange deserves to be imprisoned for allowing us to know the truth.

Don’t we, in a democracy, need accurate information in order to act as informed citizens? Should the 1 percent be allowed to keep us ignorant so that we will continue to fight its dirty wars and pay for them too?

Rather than sending thugs to drag the ailing Assange from the Ecuadorian embassy, shouldn’t we be thanking him for his brave actions and instead punishing George Bush, Colin Powell and the media bootlickers who peddled the weapons of mass destruction fairy tale that got us into that criminal war in the first place?

This country needs all the courageous whistleblowers it can get if we are to fend off the wars (Iran? Venezuela?) that the deep state has in store for us.

Long live Julian Assange.

Terry Church, McAllen

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