- The Washington Times - Friday, August 19, 2005

Duncan and illegals

Montgomery County Executive Douglas Duncan seems totally to have lost grasp of sensibility (“Duncan urges aid for illegals,” Metro, Wednesday). Perhaps it was the heat, the drinking water or the environmental change that affected Mr. Duncan as a consequence of his recent trip to El Salvador.

Whatever the cause, Mr. Duncan has quickly developed a philosophy about illegal aliens that includes embracing them with compassion and denouncing local enforcement of immigration laws. Mr. Duncan is of the opinion that local government should not scrutinize immigration violations or involvement in terrorism.

Mr. Duncan’s seemingly naive revelations are unbecoming of a politician from a suburban, sophisticated and educated community such as Montgomery County. Following September 11, Mr. Duncan wasted no time in making an appearance on Joyce Street in Arlington, overlooking the devastation of the Pentagon.



Had he been questioned by the media or anyone else about terrorism at that point in time, he likely would have uttered a strong statement about the need to fight terrorism and locate the culprits — legal or illegal — in this horrific attack on our nation.

He probably would have issued a stern message supporting the need to thwart terrorist organizations or the act of terrorism.

Now, four years later, Mr. Duncan is interested in becoming the next governor of Maryland, and he is cognizant that he must appeal to a diverse group of people with a wide range of interests.

Consequently, he seemingly has adopted this all-encompassing and broad attitude that lays out a welcome mat for illegal aliens and offers a hospitality platter replete with services, coupled with sympathy for their plight.

At the same time, Mr. Duncan contends that we have to find ways “not to split up families.” He chooses to minimize greatly, if not ignore, those families’ illegal immigration to the land of plenty. For Mr. Duncan, illegal aliens are here, and they can stay.

Mr. Duncan is not a stupid man. What is it he does not understand about the meaning of illegal? Does Mr. Duncan fail to understand the congruence between illegals, gang membership and terrorist organizations?

Moreover, does Mr. Duncan fail to comprehend that U.S. citizens do not want their tax dollars paying for illegal immigrants who make no effort to become legal but are willing to partake of all the services our country can provide, including health care, education, housing and jobs?

Mr. Duncan’s lack of a strong stance on illegals is not only disappointing but disgusting as well. He appears to be making an all-out attempt to gain political support for his higher political aspirations.

What he may not realize is that he has, by virtue of his words and actions, opened a door for disapproval by citizens who are fed up with endorsing illegality at their expense. Most citizens, contrary to Mr. Duncan’s view, believe local government should play an integral role in the enforcement of immigration laws and should involve itself in the fight against terrorism.

Mr. Duncan may need a period of respite and rehabilitation to regain his sense and sensibility. If not, he may find himself walking down a lonely road with no one welcoming him at his final political destination.

KAREN L. BUNE

Adjunct professor

Department of Criminal Justice

George Mason University

Arlington

*

Doug Duncan has returned from the wilderness to proclaim that criminals should be embraced with love, tenderness and lots and lots of taxpayer money.

After four days in El Salvador with his golfing buddies, Mr. Duncan has returned with the “solution” to America’s most clear and present danger, state-sponsored illegal immigration.

Is Mr. Duncan so politically naive to think anyone else believes his plan, or is he just living proof that medicinal hemp is more widely used in the Republic of Montgomery County than anyone suspected? Mr. Duncan has not a clue how to solve this problem; in fact, his policies and proclamations have created a breeding ground for theft, murder, tax evasion and an ongoing criminal enterprise which he is guilty of aiding and abetting.

Mr. Duncan — or as we know him, the man who would be king — has a great desire to be a governor. Maybe his buddy, President Antonio Saca of El Salvador, could find him a nice little place in that country. Mr. Duncan seems more at home with aliens than with American citizens. The sooner the better.

His boondoggles will be his legacy to Montgomery County and the state of Maryland. Both will be far worse off for his service.

WILSON FARIS

Gaithersburg

Dulles rail a ‘sideshow’

At this point, the Dulles rail issue is much ado about nothing (“Railroading Dulles,” Op-ed, Friday). The traffic and the nonsensical, ugly and dysfunctional suburban neighborhoods and school systems were all determined and set in cement, or asphalt, years ago.

Federal and local housing policies, social engineering — remember busing, eminent domain and the annihilation of ethnic inner-city neighborhoods? — and the interstate highway system (which was the world’s largest public-works program) have already determined life as it is. Life is dispersed and car-dependent in almost every aspect.

It is too bad that there could not have been more balance of inner-city expressways, rail, bus lines and school systems that were not spread out over areas measured in square miles needing multimillion-dollar transportation systems.

Your job is 30 miles away, and your children’s friends are spread out all over the asphalt landscape. They meet at the mall 10 miles away. The inner cities were trashed a long time ago. Dulles rail is just a sideshow, coming long after the fact.

SAMUEL BURKEEN

Reston

Montreal not a ‘hotbed’ of terrorism

Mark Steyn’s “Blinks and winks on Able Danger” (Commentary, Tuesday) refers to Montreal as a “hotbed of Islamist cells and sympathizers.” The reality is that there are people in Canada, as there are in the United States, who are sympathetic to the causes espoused by terrorists. At the same time, however, there are laws in place in Canada and the United States that allow us to take appropriate action against those who pose a real danger to North American security.

There were lessons learned from September 11 and the Ahmed Ressam case. Since then, both Canada and the United States have made great progress in securing North America. Canada has established the Integrated Threat Assessment Centre, which liaises and shares intelligence with the National Counterterrorism Center in the United States as well as similar centers in the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. Canada also has been particularly effective in keeping out people who are not properly documented.

Since 2001, our network of migration integrity officers in 39 key locations worldwide has been successful in stopping 40,000 people bound for Canada with improper documents. In addition to making it more difficult for undesirables to get into Canada, we also changed the rules for asylum seekers, denying them access to Canada’s refugee determination system until they are positively identified and a full security check has been done on them.

Both Canada and the United States have long been immigration countries. The majority of immigrants have been, and continue to be, law-abiding and loyal contributors to our economies and ways of life. Even if we could lock down our borders — which we can’t — it would be folly, and Mr. Steyn knows that. Working together to minimize the risks and prevent those who would try to do us harm is the way to go, and that’s what we are doing.

JON ALLEN

Charge d’affaires

Canadian Embassy

Washington

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