Borders can't be secured before reform

Re: the May 8 article "Immigration bill hinges on secured border, GOP says."

The Washington politicians who say they won't discuss immigration reform until our borders are secure have it backwards. Our borders will not be secure until people can apply to come here legally to fill the vacant positions that need to be filled for the economy's sake.

We have spent billions on southern border security, and yet people still find a way to get in to work. First establishing a legal mechanism to screen and approve immigration is the only way that will work. We have a 1,500-mile southern border and countless boat inlets and landing fields. Security can never be total, but legality will make it less necessary.

Our 3,000-mile border with Canada is even more wide open, but nobody seems to worry about that. Perhaps Washington politicians think they can fool us. Pretending to be willing to "discuss" immigration reform after our "borders are secure" is their clever way of saying "never," while avoiding blame for doing nothing.

Herbert S. White

Retired administrator, Oro Valley

Let Tucson decide local issues for itself

Re: the April 30 article "Bill signed preventing Tucson from destroying 'buyback' guns."

I see that the governor has just signed a bill preventing Tucson from destroying "buyback" guns.

It somehow seems a little like talking with a forked tongue. Our Republican-controlled Legislature is very quick to tell Tucson what we can or cannot do, particularly when the action involves guns, while stating that local government is best as it is closer to the people.

So, that being the case, why does our Republican-controlled Legislature continue to write legislation preventing local governments from taking actions that local citizens approved? Why can't Tucson destroy "buyback" guns? And why can't Tucson pass an ordinance requiring background checks at gun shows? If Tucson wants to take the financial hit when gun shows leave Tucson, that is our business.

Sidney Thompson

Retired, Tucson

Penalty a slap in the face to taxpayers

Re: the May 3 article "Penalties just $5K in work-theft case."

My only comment is, a slap on the wrist for the criminals and a slap in the face to the taxpayers. Nothing new here.

Ronald C. Quintia

Oral and maxillofacial surgeon, Tucson

Tell lawmakers to back AHCCCS expansion

Re: the May 2 column "A legislator's frightening vision of subsidized health care."

Thank you, Sarah Garrecht Gassen, for skewering Rep. David Gowan's cold and nonsensical comments on Medicaid expansion. Gowan needs to acknowledge that there are many people who are working full time with no health care who by virtue of their low salaries are eligible for AHCCCS. If Arizona agrees to accept the federal dollars available to expand AHCCCS many of those on the waiting list can be enrolled. To decline that money will not only be immoral, it will be dumb.

Alarmingly, the governor has decided to approve legislation disallowing any of these monies to be allocated to Planned Parenthood - which provides a wide range of health services to women. Often these are women who work in low-salaried positions and would be eligible for AHCCCS through Medicaid expansion.

If you care about the welfare of our fellow citizens, contact your legislators at 398-6000.

Diane Wilson

Retired, Tucson

LDS temple would mar Foothills views

Re: the May 4 article "Foothills site likely for Mormon temple."

The Daily Star recently reported that the LDS church wants to build a massive temple nearly as high as the Tucson airport tower right in the middle of the Catalina Foothills. Not only will this private, members only complex "pave paradise and put up a parking lot" for over 250 cars, but the building includes a 95-foot high tower that will severely impact the unspoiled views of the Catalinas that thousands of Tucsonans enjoy daily.

County rules prohibit structures over 44 feet in the Foothills for good reason. This structure would tower twice that height as well as create traffic and lighting problems in the area. Reportedly the LDS church has two other sites under consideration that would not violate existing rules.

The Pima County Planning Department and the Board of Supervisors should say no to this misguided plan and preserve the scenic beauty of the mountains.

Donald G. Jorgensen

Business owner, Tucson

$344,329 is why Flake opposed gun-check bill

Please don't wonder why Sen. Jeff Flake did not support the initiative for gun control background check. The NRA spent $344,329 in the 2012 election to support Rep. Flake's campaign and defeat his opponent. He received more than twice what the next closest politician got (Orrin Hatch, $166,348). If we the people don't take money out of politics, politicians will not make decisions to benefit the majority of Americans.

Sehriban Graap

Registered nurse, Tucson