Letters to the editor

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Question of the Day

Is it still considered bad form to talk politics during a social gathering?

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Jerry Seper’s article “Illegals light border fires to sidetrack U.S. agents,” (Page 1, Tuesday) struck a chord. My documentary film about the border, “The Fence and the Fire,” documents a human-caused fire that started last Memorial Day during Minutemen fence-building activities. Was this intentional or just another campfire? We may never know.

Statistics in my film reveal that nearly 60,000 national forest acres have burned down around us in the Hereford, Ariz., area alone in the past four years because of human-caused fires. Why doesn’t the U.S. Forest Service or U.S. Border Patrol have enough investigators to find out who is burning our forests? How many arsonists have been prosecuted?

Forest Service officials that I contacted during my research stated that the Memorial Day fire started in Mexico, but local rangers fighting the fire provided its GPS location, which was inside the Coronado National Forest on the U.S. side close to our border.

Our forests are burning down around us, costing all taxpayers untold amounts.

Why don’t our leaders care enough to stop this damage to our precious desert environment, if for nothing more than to keep our trees and wildlife safe for future generations?

This is a crime against nature as well as against border residents. It is totally unacceptable and outrageous. Thank you for getting this virtually hidden issue to readers.

MERCEDES MAHARIS

Hereford, Ariz.

Enhanced security

The Friday editorial “Immigration laws on the books” may be misleading to readers in the way it describes the United States‘ use of biometrics to enhance U.S. security.

To clarify, biometric entry procedures the collection of digital fingerprints and photographs are in place at all international airports and seaports and in the secondary inspection areas of all land border ports of entry. In fact, through the use of biometrics, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has processed more than 86 million travelers without increasing wait times and has denied entry to hundreds of criminals and immigration violators.

DHS’ US-VISIT program provides this biometric screening capability, and it is enhancing our security while facilitating travel for the millions of legitimate travelers we welcome into the United States each year.

ROBERT MOCNY

Director

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