Dig deeper to find

border crisis’s cause

Re: the July 20 article “Leaving home was not their first choice; it was their last” by Perla Trevizo.

The Department of Homeland Security continues to puzzle over the causes of the most recent exodus of Central American children and families across the U.S.-Mexican border.

Smuggling organizations are the focus du jour. Economics 101 teaches that without demand there is no market and no profit.

One must dig deeper to distinguish consequences from the root causes. Perla Trevizo’s exemplary front page series is a worthy step in this direction.

Mistaking symptoms for causes is like blaming the thermometer for today’s high temperatures instead of looking at weather patterns.

John Heid

General laborer, Tucson

Let’s help our own

‘refugees’ first

Re: July 20 editorial “Migrant children fleeing danger is a refugee crisis.”

The gang violence described is not unique to El Salvador. Change the gang names and you could be describing gangs in any major city in the United States.

Based on the criteria, those persecuted by gang members in the U.S. are refugees and should receive expedient assistance, yet they go unmentioned because they are old news.

There are plenty of homeless, underfed and persecuted U.S. citizens, including military veterans, who need help.

Let’s focus on fixing the problems at home. Assistance to foreign nationals that in the Arizona Daily Star’s opinion “deserve protection under international law” should continue but only with international assistance. The U.S. should not have to do it all.

Bryan Berlin

Retired, Tucson

No way to justify

a 2-hour execution

Re: the execution of Joseph Wood

Joseph Wood was strapped to a table and gasped for air for two hours before the drugs secretly obtained by state officials finally killed him. Gov. Brewer justified this debacle because Mr. Wood did not suffer as much as the two people he killed.

It is a very sad day when elected officials justify state action as being no worse than the worst crimes committed.

Mr. Wood’s execution and the governor’s comments must be of great concern to all Arizonans, particularly those of us who participate in the state’s criminal justice system.

Natman Schaye

Lawyer, Tucson

Releasing feral cats

is a bad idea

Re: the July 25 article “Fix-and-release program for feral cats is proposed.”

Of course it’s sad to have to euthanize any animal, but it makes no sense to send feral cats back into the neighborhoods. They just continue to be a nuisance to the neighbors who don’t want them around, and they are devastating to the wildlife in the area, especially the native quail.

Domestic cats kill whether they are regularly fed or not, as opposed to wild cats that kill quickly because they are hungry.

The proponents of this proposal speak of the “humanity” of the release program, but have they ever witnessed a domestic cat making its “kill”?

The cat usually bats its victim about and plays with the prey for some time before finally dispatching the poor, suffering animal.

Where’s the humanity in that?

Clifford Schneider

Retired, Tucson

Feral cats upset balance of nature

Re: the July 25 article “Fix-and-release program for feral cats is proposed.”

As a cat rescuer and “parent” to numerous rescued cats, I share the goal of alleviating the massive cat overpopulation. I used to be a supporter of trap- and-release programs, but no longer believe it is the best solution.

My neighborhood is overrun by stray abandoned and/or feral cats. Cats with notched ears roam my yard looking for food and upset my own cats.

Cats are natural predators. My lizard population has been decimated and dead birds are a daily occurrence. Multiple kinds of ants, many with painful bites, have proliferated due to the imbalance of the ecosystem.

I believe the funds and volunteer time would be better spent on multiple, simple outdoor enclosed cat refuges. Property could be donated. Cats can be trapped, neutered and put in refuges with shade where volunteers can feed and care for them. I see roadkill cats on a regular basis and I’m sure more become wildlife meals. Doesn’t seem the most humane solution.

Jessica Hamdan

Retired, Tucson