Letters to the Editor

Refugees from Afghanistan, protest at Capitol

Faisal Razmal, an interpreter for U.S. troops battling the Taliban in Afghanistan, immigrated to Sacramento only to face the type of violence he tried to escape from in his home country.
Faisal Razmal, an interpreter for U.S. troops battling the Taliban in Afghanistan, immigrated to Sacramento only to face the type of violence he tried to escape from in his home country. rbyer@sacbee.com

Be thankful they helped our troops

Re “No Safe Place” (Page 1A, June 26): In reading the special report, I recalled a right-wing talk radio rant I recently stumbled upon in which the host, a Donald Trump supporter, glorified American exceptionalism and told all who disagreed to go back where they came from.

Explain that to Faisal Razmal and others who risked their lives serving alongside U.S. troops in Afghanistan and, for their efforts, were promised a “safe place” if they immigrated to America. Many did, some settling in the Sacramento area but, as “No Safe Place” details, didn’t expect to subsist on low-paying wages, live in bug-infested apartments, and face violence for “being different.”

Let’s hope Sacramento’s business community is moved by this special report and reaches out to these immigrants, providing decent jobs and places to live, thereby giving real meaning to the term “American exceptionalism.”

Jack Pelletier,

El Dorado Hills

Our leaders should be outraged

Thank you for investigating the plight of our interpreters living in Sacramento. I worked with interpreters in Kosovo and they were paid so little that some lived in barns. Then the U.N. cut their salary 30 percent. The shameless way these friends are treated should outrage our politicians. Perhaps not, but I am sure very few of The Bee’s readers are not as outraged as I am.

After reading your story, I wondered how our treatment of these poor folks compared to the treatment being received by the thousands of Muslims flooding into our country.

Rick Baratta, Camichael

Debts unpaid have tragic outcomes

Sacramento Bee reporter Stephen Magagnini and photographer Renee C. Byer have provided us with an extraordinary account of the often desperate lives of Afghan refugees in the promised land of Sacramento who served the United States against the Taliban and have been targeted with death in their homeland. Magagnini and Byer make plain the debt owed by the United States that has been left unpaid.

We would do well to pay careful attention to this exemplary supplement, lest we live up to Gore Vidal’s unflattering label of the United States of Amnesia.

William Dorman,


First, take care of those at home

Our hearts go out to immigrants who have fled their homeland for a safe haven. A difficult question is whether immigrants, with unknown intentions, should take precedence over our own people. The Sacramento Bee favors immigrants with a page-1A story and a special report over stories about victims of devastating fires in California and floods in West Virginia. My heart resides closer to home.

Robert Reark, Granite Bay

Ban immigrants who helped us?

I wonder if Donald Trump wants to temporarily ban these people who helped U.S. troops.

Nick Stanton, Carmichael

Counter-protest at Capitol is shameful

Re “Neo-Nazi rally ends in chaos, bloodshed” (Page 1A, June 27): The protesters against the neo-Nazi loonies only gave them the attention they were seeking. They would have been totally ignored otherwise. The anti-fascist protesters had good intentions but only brought shame to Sacramento. People need to think about the consequences of their actions.

David Williams, Roseville

They’re no better than the fascists

I was dismayed about the counter-protesters at the neo-Nazi rally. They dressed like terrorists and came to fight. So they think that the best way to protest fascism is by means of fascist techniques? They won no hearts or minds for this.

Gabriel Lewin, Davis

Anti-protest a throwback

The U.S. has come a long way in creating a tolerant society. This means a tolerance of individual opinion. The woman who clashed with the legally sanctioned pro-Nazi demonstration is herself a throwback to the days of advocating violence against a group whose ideas are contrary to hers. She is just like the violent agitators of the 1950s and 60s. She only thinks she is better.

Barbara Beck, Victorville


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