The guest column in last week’s issue misidentified the home state of U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson, who interrupted President Obama during a 2009 speech to Congress. The Republican, who shouted “You lie!” during the president’s address on health care, is from South Carolina. LEO regrets the error.
Thank you for so prominently running the story on Jose Antonio Vargas in the Oct. 3 issue of LEO Weekly. Vargas’ experience as an undocumented, gay man living in the United States is an important one at a significant time in our history. Just two days after speaking here, Vargas was arrested in Minnesota for a minor traffic violation. The county in which he was arrested participates in a federal program known as “Secure Communities” in which local enforcement collaborates with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to check the immigration status of people who are arrested.
At this time, I understand that Jefferson County does not participate in this program (though Fayette County does), but the Department of Homeland Security has as its goal to see this program operating in every county in the U.S. by 2013. Programs like this one are responsible for the more than 1 million deportations of immigrants under the Obama administration; it encourages racial profiling and tears families apart. As a queer person, I oppose all laws and policies that keep people from building and keeping the families of which they are a part. I hope many of my neighbors can continue to make the connections with these issues and work toward a Louisville that is welcoming and safe for all families.
Tiff Gonzales, Old Louisville
Thank you for your recent interview with Jose Antonio Vargas (LEO Weekly, Oct. 3) — journalist, activist and undocumented immigrant. Only a couple hours after reading the piece, I learned that Vargas had been arrested in Minnesota for a minor traffic violation. While I understand that he has been released and that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has decided not to detain Vargas, it is worth noting that for many undocumented immigrants, the story does not end this way — close to 330,000 undocumented immigrants were detained and deported by ICE last year alone.
The news of Vargas’ arrest captured my attention and concern because I am now familiar, at least in part, with his story. And his story is far from unique. As reported by Joe Sonka, “there are an estimated 1 million young immigrants in America with a similar story: brought or sent here by their parents at a young age through no fault of their own.” While deferred action is a huge step in the right direction, we must continue working toward comprehensive immigration reform and passage of the DREAM Act.
Human migration is as old as human history, and as such, it is a part of our shared story. As members of one human family, we ought to work toward a solution that honors our shared humanity and places it at the center of U.S. immigration policy.
Noelle Tennis Gulden, Old Louisville
I am responding to the Sept. 19 Inbox letters. In the spirit of Spencer Davis’ request for scriptural references, I write this with 2 Timothy 2:24-26 in my mind. I also write this to the other writers reminding them to ponder and meditate on 2 Timothy 2:15-16.
With that preface, it seems many of your readers are biblically literate, but their literacy of scripture is not used to edify God or themselves. They use their literacy, as Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and Bill Maher have done, to refute, denigrate and demean holy scripture and its believers.
Those of you who identify yourselves as atheistic should consult your fellow skeptics such as Simon Greenleaf, the Royal Professor of Law at Harvard during the late 19th century. Scorn, ridicule and taking verses out of context only reinforces the truth (Timothy of the Evangelists) by Bishop Wilson: “Christianity does not profess to convince the perverse and headstrong, the daring and profane, or vanquish the proud scorner.” He also adds, “All that Christianity professes is to propose such evidence to satisfy the meek, the tractable, candid, or serious inquirer.”
Troy Kimmel, Jeffersonville