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More pathways needed for work authorization for immigrants

Currently, those applying for asylum need to wait a year until they receive their work permit. Because of this wait, many immigrants end up working in unsafe conditions to support themselves and their families.

Immigrant rights supporters rally in Grant Park following a march through downtown May 1, 2006 in Chicago. Immigrants and their supporters around the nation are rallying together through marches and demonstrations, along with boycotting work and spending, in a consolidated effort to show their importance throughout American society as the ongoing political debate on immigration reform continues.
Immigrant rights supporters rally in Grant Park following a march through downtown May 1, 2006 in Chicago.
Getty

In response to the editorial “New immigration policy aims to protect undocumented immigrants against work exploitation,” it is very clear employers should take responsibility for the environment they create, and for immigrants to feel comfortable in coming forward to speak about unsafe workplace practices.

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However, more pathways are needed for immigrants to obtain work authorization. Currently, those applying for asylum need to wait a year until they receive their work permits. Because of this wait, many immigrants end up working in unsafe conditions to support themselves and their families. If this is changed, then asylum seekers could start working in safer conditions and employers could have more workers.

Karina Donayre, director of communications, Interfaith Community for Detained Immigrants, Forest Park

They showed up and died

Seven hundred and fifty police officers across the United States have died of COVID-19. While most of the nation and critics stayed safe at home, they showed up and died while serving. Now it seems they are being called selfish monsters. The city is trying to fire or take away paychecks from those very people who stayed the course even in the face of serious illness or death. What could possibly go wrong in a city racked with escalating violence? Seven hundred eighty-seven police officers have retired so far this year. There are over 987 vacancies. Soon there will be none left to serve and protect. Then what?

Bob Angone, Austin, Texas

Drinking GOP’s Kool-Aid

As I read about people who threaten to leave their jobs because they are mandated to get a vaccine against COVID-19, I thought about my experience. “Anytime you’re ready,” I told the nurse. “It’s already done,” she said. I didn’t even feel the needle go in. And I experienced no side effects that day or the following day. The only thing I “suffered” from my vaccination was the 20-minute drive to and from my appointment, and the one minute sitting in a chair.

For that, people will throw away their jobs. And why? “Personal freedom,” they loudly chant. You have to ask, “Why do you always use your seat belt or wear a heavy coat in the frigid winter?” They may respond, “I don’t want to die.” It would be proper to point out that is exactly why they need the shot — but I’d advise saying it from a distance.

There is no mystery as to why people are citing “personal freedom” for not getting the vaccine: The Republicans ginned up this just to torpedo President Joe Biden’s effort to defeat the virus, solely for political gain, and thousands of gullible people have bought this despite the reality that they are endangering their lives.

For the Republicans, political power is more important than human life. Knowing where their true motivations lie, can we ever feel secure in allowing this group to control the direction of our country?

Lee Knohl, Evanston