Canceling carnival hurts Philly
It's heartbreaking that the El Carnaval de Puebla in South Philly was canceled because participants are fearful of immigration raids due to a hateful Trump agenda ("Mexican carnival is canceled amid fears," Tuesday). This city is known for its lively street festivals, from Odunde to the Italian Market Festival. These events allow us to learn about each other while celebrating our rich culture and diversity.
As a native Philadelphian, I embrace its multiplicity. As a union security officer, I'm fortunate to meet people from various countries every day. I learn from them, and vice versa.
Diversity in this city can be found from the authentic food to the music that blasts throughout the streets. Hundreds of thousands come to this so-called City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection to sample its uniqueness and what makes Philly so great. Canceling this event stunts the learning experiences for all.
It's unfortunate that in President Trump's attempt to make America great, everyone else has to suffer.
|Karen Bonds, Philadelphia, firstname.lastname@example.org
ICE should get warrants
It's no surprise that the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency got it wrong on its immigrant detainer list ("ICE cites Phila., Chesco in report," Wednesday). ICE has consistently failed to live up to its responsibilities under the U.S. Constitution. At times, it even has falsely identified, detained, and deported U.S. citizens.
Federal courts are clear: warrantless detainers do not meet constitutional muster. That's part of the reason dozens of counties in Pennsylvania don't participate. When counties have done ICE's work for them, they've run into serious problems. ICE's mistakes have resulted in costly lawsuits and chaos for local communities.
After waiting decades for immigration reform from Washington, immigrants in Philadelphia and across the country deserve better than an unaccountable federal agency targeting their communities and sowing widespread fear and misunderstanding.
When ICE believes there's someone dangerous on the street, the agency should follow responsible, legal law-enforcement procedures and get a judicial warrant. Its refusal to do so isn't a sign of enhanced safety or renewed effort; it's a sign that the agency is committed to flouting the law.
|Helen Gym, City Council, Philadelphia, email@example.com
Dissatisfied with health-care flip
Constituents have called U.S. Rep. Tom MacArthur (R., N.J.). We have writtenand faxed. We have done our part to help him understand the needs and fears and hopes that flood our minds every moment of every day. And, yet, he has failed to do his part, to represent us in Washington.
In explaining his decision to flip and vote for the GOP's American Health Care Act, he said he was "satisfied enough" with changes made to the plan and those yet to come, including better benefits for older and disabled Americans covered under Medicaid and an additional $85 billion for those ages 50 to 65.
Will he be satisfied enough when:
A 57-year-old man is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and can't afford treatment because tax credits don't come close to covering the cost of insurance?
A woman unexpectedly becomes pregnant but is denied insurance because it is considered a preexisting condition?
A guardian of a special-needs adult no longer receives aid from Medicaid to make sure their child is safe and well?
34,350 people in MacArthur's district can no longer afford health care in 2020 and are one accident or illness away from living in poverty?
We won't forget this. On Election Day 2018, he will see that "satisfied enough" is not enough.
|Samantha Stark, Trenton, firstname.lastname@example.org
Trump cuts affect everyone
Your editorial, "Trump budget slaps his fans" (March 19) said funding cuts to the National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities and public broadcasting "would bludgeon organizations associated with liberal orthodoxy, an anathema to many in his base." That seems to imply that those cuts would impact liberal think tanks. The reality is quite different. Federal cultural funding goes to every congressional district in the country, including underserved urban neighborhoods and rural communities.
My organization, Taller Puertorriqueño, which serves mostly low-income residents of North Philadelphia and Kensington, received a 2016 NEA grant to mount an exhibit by two prominent Latina artists that included stories from local residents.
Other local organization, such as Asian Arts Initiative and the Village of Arts and Humanities, are examples of NEA-funded groups that serve people who often lack access to the arts.
Unlike many sources of private philanthropy, which concentrate on large, mainstream organizations, federal arts funding has a much broader focus and scope, and its impact truly touchs everyone.
|Carmen Febo San Miguel, executive director,
Taller Puertorriqueño, Philadelphia