Several questions arose after reading about the mayor and Austin City Council members visiting Tornillo:
• Since the mayor and Austin City Council have no authority in Tornillo, what was the reason for their visit?
• Were they on annual leave or were they on taxpayers’ time and tax dollars?
• How was the information they wanted to receive to be used in the management of the city of Austin?
• Taxpayers need to know that our tax dollars and City Council are working for us and not for individual or personal politics.
H. B. SKELTON, AUSTIN
Re: June 21 article, “City Council members to get a firsthand glance at Tornillo’s ‘tent city.’”
I am proud of Mayor Steve Adler and our City Council members for travelling to the border to show compassion for the children separated from their parents by the Trump administration.
Our District 8 council member, Ellen Troxclair, did not go because, per the story, she “needed to tend to her newborn daughter.” That’s where a mother should be — with her child. I hope Troxclair gets the irony here and denounces the cruelty of her Republican Party.
LYNN KURTH, AUSTIN
Ever thought about bringing an NFL team to Austin? Of course not; the NFL doesn’t fit here. Austin’s economy grows because of high tech and the diversity of our Hispanic and Asian populations. These moms want their kids to play soccer, not American football.
It puzzles many University of Texas faculty prospects we interview at the McCombs School for Business that Austin does not have an MLS team. I have lived and taught here for 40 years. We need a professional soccer team that would be in line with the professional, intellectual and diverse profile of Austin population growth.
Austin economist Angelos Angelou said that bringing MLS to Austin will generate hundreds of millions of dollars in direct economic benefits for the city. The indirect multiplier effects will generate even more.
In my judgment, the economic, social and community benefits to Austin will outweigh the costs.
I encourage the City Council to strike a deal.
STEPHEN P. MAGEE, MCCOMBS SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS, AUSTIN
The possibility that the current administration or any of their congressional enablers have compassion for parents and children seeking asylum in our country is way short of slim.
A hard-line policy they thought would appeal to their anti-immigration base has come back to haunt them — and they are scrambling for cover. Maintaining a zero-tolerance policy by incarcerating children with their parents for indefinite terms is not compassionate; it is cruel.
These families have committed no criminal offense and should be allowed to pursue their legal right to seek asylum in our country.
MILTON JORDAN, GEORGETOWN
Again, the Republicans turn our attention away from the disaster that is the Republican president and administration and away from the Republican Congress now writing legislation that will harm millions of Americans.
Only this time, the distracting ploy is an act that caused or seriously exacerbated a major humanitarian crisis: families suffering on our borders, an intentional act cruel with no plan, and, worse, no understanding of how to effectively reunite the families.
Some of the children may never be reunited with their parents. Some parents have already been deported. There was no plan on how to reunite the families.
I can see and hear the Statue of Liberty weeping.
MARY PATRICK, AUSTIN
Re: June 22 letter to the editor, “Breaching border? Don’t bring kids,” and The Water Cooler comment, “President Trump and the Border Patrol are doing their jobs and enforcing the law.”
It’s all so simple. The letter writer and Facebook commenter demonstrate the lack of understanding and the gullibility of the Trump base.
First, there is no law requiring the separation of families. But Trump states he is simply following the law — and his worshipers repeat his falsehoods as if they are fact. When he reverses course, the worshipers simply reverse with him.
Second, these immigrants don’t simply say, “Hey let’s go break the immigration laws of the U.S. — and we’ll take the kids for fun.”
The letter writer has obviously never seen a repressive environment where life is not ensured. Some of these people are literally running for their lives. And you want them to leave their children behind? Exactly how does this make America great again?
JOHN COLLIER, CEDAR PARK
Re: June 21 letter to the editor, “‘Mr. Rogers’ was fine choice to emulate.”
I felt great joy reading the Mr. Rogers letter in Thursday’s paper. It brought me hope and quieted my despair to hear our shared American values expressed as kindness, love, thoughtfulness and care. Like Rogers, the writer wants to make the world a better place. I bet most Americans agree because that is who we are. Caring for one another especially, mothers and children, is in our DNA; it’s as all-American as apple pie.
Legislation moving through both houses of Congress right now aims to turn these values into action. The Reach Every Mother and Child Act will have a worldwide impact on the lives of women and children, and especially newborns. It aligns our actions with our values and deserves our support. Let your members of Congress know you care. Urge them to cosponsor this legislation and demonstrate America’s true values.
MARK COATS, AUSTIN