Inside Opinion

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Tag: citizenship


A clean Dome and well-tended parks: Citizenship at work

This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.

Imagine Pierce County without volunteers and donors.

PTAs and youth athletic leagues would wither, along with homeless shelters and food kitchens. Trash would accumulate in alleys, vacant lots and on roadsides. Parks would turn into dumps. Charities would cease to exist.

And Tacoma’s most visible landmark – the Tacoma Dome – wouldn’t be getting cleaned this month.

Some anonymous donor recently offered the City of Tacoma up to $103,835 to scrub the Dome’s embarrassingly filthy roof.

A crew is now engaged in removing seven years of grime from its surface. Tens of thousands of motorists will soon be driving by a sparkling architectural icon, not a monument to freeway exhaust.

It’s a perfect illustration of why the world needs people generous with their time or money.

The city government is flat broke, so short of revenue that its police and fire departments are threatened by cutbacks. It’s in no position to write a six-figure check for an optional cleanup. Without private help, the Dome might have remained caked with pollutants – getting dirtier and dirtier – for years to come.

To that anonymous, public-spirited citizen: a heartfelt thanks.
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With fixing, DREAM Act could still come true

This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.

It’s a shame the DREAM Act failed in the closing days of Congress even as other major bipartisan measures made it through under the wire.

But a few strategic revisions to the bill would give it a better chance of succeeding, even after Republicans take over the House in January.

The idea behind the DREAM Act is to offer legal residency – and citizenship, far down the road – to young illegal aliens on condition that they serve in the military or make substantial headway in college.

As a matter of humanity, a 20-year-old whose parents smuggled her across the border at, say, age 3 shouldn’t be set packing to a “native” country whose language she can’t speak and whose culture is foreign to her.

The current form of the bill rebuts most of the complaints about earlier versions.
It is not “back door amnesty” for 1.2 million illegal aliens. The number of young people likely to qualify is much lower. An in-depth analysis by the Migration Policy Institute concludes that only about 260,000 of those eligible would make it all the way to permanent legal status under the bill.

The bill creates high hurdles. The college requirement would screen out many of the poor. An English proficiency requirement would screen out those who can’t speak it.
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