A Fundamentally Broken System

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Despite the noise from the Tea Partiers and radical right, we believe most New Yorkers will support President Barack Obama’s assertion that the nation’s immigration system is “fundamenta­lly broken.”

In his speech at American University, he said the immigration problem cannot be solved “only with fences and border patrols” and that Arizona’s new immigration law has “fanned the flames of an already contentious debate.”

There are thousands of illegal immigrants in Queens and the city. Many include children who by birth are U.S. citizens. Republicans and Democrats should find a way to get these immigrants on the path to citizenship.

The federal government should recognize that illegal immigrants are here, that nothing will be solved by driving these families underground and that Immigration and Customs Enforcement does not have the resources to locate and prosecute them.

With each passing day we grow more weary with the people who blame the city’s and nation’s economic woes on illegal immigrants and those who claim they represent an imminent threat to national security.

Obama has proposed a compassionate approach to the question of illegal immigration and on this matter he deserves the nation’s support.

The Lame Duck Roars

In the last week, Gov. David Paterson has demonstrated a courage rarely seen in Albany. While the state’s derelict legislators headed home for vacation, the governor sat with his aides and began vetoing the state budget.

The governor made good on a promise to veto an estimated 6,900 spending provisions that are part of the state’s $136 billion budget. The governor claims the budget handed to him three months late by the Democratic-run state Legislature is at least $400 million to $1.5 billion out of balance.

The state Assembly may have enough votes to override Paterson’s veto, but the state Senate does not. Queens Democrats are livid. They underestimated the chutzpah of the governor. They expected him to rubber-stamp a budget.

We confess that we never expected this from the governor. But the legally blind leader has demonstrated an integrity and political bravery rarely found in any state capital.

Way to go, governor.

Updated 6:14 pm, October 10, 2011
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