Letters to the Editor

Ellis Island, immigration, Bera, teachers

More than 12 million immigrants to the United States were processed through Ellis Island from the late 1800s to the mid-1900s.
More than 12 million immigrants to the United States were processed through Ellis Island from the late 1800s to the mid-1900s. Associated Press file

What about illegal immigration?

Re “Lessons from taking a pilgrimage to Ellis Island” (Forum, Oct. 23): Dan Morain didn’t mention that all immigrants who came through Ellis Island were legally processed into the United States. One requirement at the time was asking if they had the ability to live or work with someone in this country. Antonio Santamorena was released to his sister. The process also tried to determine potentially contagious diseases.

Nowhere in the column was there a discussion of illegal immigration, which by definition is a crime. Why does the news media persist in grouping legal and illegal immigrants into one category?

I haven’t heard one person speak out against legal, vetted immigration. Also, it appears that the numerous successes of the Santamorena/Morain family were achieved without any government assistance. They didn’t ask schools to teach their kids in Italian, didn’t ask for government assistance and didn’t try make America into Italy. They persisted, worked hard, kept their heritage and achieved the American dream.

John Hightower,


Immigration story brought out tears

I just read the column about Ellis Island and the story of a particular Italian immigrant. As are millions of us, I, too, am the granddaughter of four immigrants who came through Ellis Island, two from Italy, two from Greece.

I never met any of them, but I have heard the stories and knew how both sets of grandparents struggled mightily to make a living upon finally landing in San Francisco. And I have heard how the good citizens of that city looked down upon them. My dad never finished high school but went on to be a very successful self-made businessman, owning his own businesses and doing well.

I actually had tears when I got to the end of the story. It touched me because we thought we had come so far, and I refuse to believe we haven’t. It does seem like we haven’t quite gotten there yet. Thank you; this one really left an impression.

Janet Glenn, Rocklin

Rep. Bera reflects who I am

Re “Ami Bera deserves a third term, despite rocky year” (Editorials, Oct. 23): Thank you for the endorsement of Rep. Ami Bera. I am pleased that The Bee’s editorial board took a good look at the candidates and selected the candidate that best reflects me, my family and Sacramento.

At first, Sheriff Scott Jones supported the xenophobic Donald Trump, and he was very late in repudiating him. As an immigrant from Texas, I can tell you that I have seen his type before and Jones is not who I want to represent Sacramento in Congress, and I will remember him at the next sheriff’s election.

Hortencia O. Morales, Sacramento

Why not assess our teachers?

Re “Multiple measures better identify schools in need of improvement” (Viewpoints, Oct. 23): While I find Assemblyman Patrick O’Donnell’s analogy “beneath the dignity of a reasoned debate,” it is important to remind him that schools are not hospitals and teachers are not physicians.

Health care, unlike public education, is full of choices and competition, and malpractice laws provide some assurance of accountability. The teacher unions would like us to believe their work performance is too complex to measure with exams, but I am confident my doctor passed all of his.

Dennis J. Clear,


No on Prop. 66; Yes on Prop. 62

Re “Can California’s death penalty be fixed?” (Viewpoints, Oct. 26): The “yes on 66” campaign promises justice for victims, limits state appeals to five years, and claims that no innocent person will ever be executed.

The Innocence Foundation lists 156 death row exonerations, the average taking 11.3 years to make it through the system. A recent study by Chen Hu of the American College of Radiology and Edward H. Kennedy of the University of Pennsylvania estimates that the number of wrongful convictions in death penalty cases is at least double the exoneration rate. Additionally, evidence indicating some people were wrongfully executed has come to light – some of them were posthumously pardoned.

As the partner of a father whose daughter was murdered, I respect that victims’ families need justice. However, speeding up the process will result in more wrongful executions. If you want justice for victims, the best way to do that is to ensure that those guilty of the most heinous murders are never released without making it impossible to provide justice to the wrongfully convicted.

Dawn Wolfson,

Cameron Park

Need for stability in president

Re “Nasty campaign got you stressed out? It may be time to step back, rebalance” (Insight, Oct. 25): America is in a psychologically abusive relationship with Donald Trump. He is bullying us verbally and emotionally.

Abuse results in psychological trauma, including anxiety and stress. I’m one of his victims. When I ask Trump supporters why they are voting for him, the most repeated answer is that they want change. I’m supporting Hillary Clinton because I want stability. I want to be able to go to sleep every night and know that the world will still be there the next day.

Karen Liptak,

El Dorado Hills


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