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This letter has been written in response to the letter to the editor, Adopt Mexico’s immigration laws, written by Donna Manto, published in the May 16 -22 edition of the Vail Trail.

Legal and illegal aliens should have the same inalienable rights upon which this nation was founded. The solution to immigration reform can only be found through understanding and communication, rather than an attack on the culture and rights of a large portion of our population.

Regarding the taxpayer burden caused by illegal immigration, our elected officials are doing a poor job securing our border and enforcing immigration laws, therefore the voters are ultimately culpable.

Suggesting that Americans are being forced to learn Spanish, for the sole purpose of dealing with illegal immigrants, is ludicrous. Most other modern industrialized nations require school children to learn a second language; there is nothing wrong with a well-educated populace. Illegal aliens lack of English should not be attributed to laziness; there are many societal factors to be considered. Many citizens born in the United States, including my grandmother’s family, did not speak English as their first language, and they arrived to this country legally. Many nations in this world have multiple languages, either indigenous, brought by conquerers, or immigrants.

Historically it takes a generation to obtain complete fluency for any linguistic group immigrating to a new land. Bilingual programs in schools serve to create cultural diversity, and educate both native English speakers and English as a second language students. The fault in logic with conducting all government business in the native language is that immigration reform directly pertains to foreign languages, and will make the issue harder to resolve.

I believe that a multilingual society contributes to a rich, well-educated, and diverse populace. As a fluent Spanish speaker, I am glad that I have had an opportunity to learn another language through direct contact with an imported culture.

It is ridiculous to suggest that the purchase of certain land should be restricted to natives; all citizens deserve the same rights, whether they are born here or have immigrated legally.

Regarding the suggested ban on demonstrations, protests and foreign flag waving: to inhibit these would flagrantly violate the first amendment. Furthermore, the ban on flag waving is ridiculous because those who immigrate are not asked to abandon the culture of which they are a part. They should still show pride in their heritage. There are numerous instances of proud Americans, waving the flags of their family’s country of origin.

We should embrace the fact that we are a diverse, multicultural, multilingual society. Illegal immigration is a great problem that requires a complex solution. We should resolve the problem as Americans by holding true to the shared values that bind the many cultures out of which this nation has grown.

Alexander Feldman, Avon

If you’ve ever wondered what you can really do to protect the environment in a meaningful way, I’ve got an answer for you.

If your electricity comes from Holy Cross Energy, you will be getting a ballot in the mail in this week to elect two new members to the board of directors. Don’t throw it out!

This election is an opportunity to help make Holy Cross ” already remarkably progressive when it comes to clean energy ” even more so.

There are two candidates for the board who support increasing Holy Cross’s supply of renewable energy to ensure stable, fair prices, reliable supply and a clean environment. They know that as natural gas prices spike, our utility bills will continue to go up, since a portion of our electricity is generated with natural gas. As inevitable carbon dioxide regulations kick in, the price of coal-fired power will also rise.

Lynn Dwyer, from the Newcastle region, and David Campbell, from the Eagle region, both support clean power, stable prices and energy efficiency to help you keep utility bills in check and protect the environment. They are young, enthusiastic and ready for the job.

Please vote for Lynn and David for the Holy Cross Board. It’s the most important thing you’ll do for the environment this spring.

Auden Schendler, Basalt

More than seven years ago, I was in a car accident which resulted in my quadriplegia. From this tragedy, I have witnessed a miracle: our community. Our community has continued to be a source of prayers, love and support since my accident.

On April 23, I was the recipient of a benefit concert featuring Peter Kater at the Vilar Center that raised needed funds toward my out-of-pocket expenses for equipment, therapy and daily living needs.

Thank you to Barbara Hogoboom who had the idea and brought it to life and to the committee that helped her: Pat Casey, Nancy Kerby, Bobbi Hagerman, Debbie Mennino, Karen Simon, Barbara Roberts, Anne Roberts, Liz Spetnagel and Mary Pat Witt. Thank you to the Vail Valley Charitable Fund and the beautiful Vilar Center for the Arts. Thank you to the benefit sponsors, auction and in-kind donors, and to the many individual donors.

I start each day grateful knowing I have a community of loving supporters behind me ready to help! I am truly blessed. I hope that you always see yourselves as I do, as exceptional people.

Mylissa Eckdahl

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