Immigrants come first

for N.J.'s Menendez

Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., was a lead co-sponsor of the Dream Act, which failed in Congress, but he was able to have President Barack Obama implement it by executive order.

To be eligible for the program Obama created, applicants must have come to the U.S. before they turned 16, be 30 or younger, be high school graduates or in college, or have served in the military. They get legal status and a work permit that will last for two years at first but that can be renewed, meaning those who qualify can remain in the U.S. without fear of deportation and with the right to work. It applies to millions of illegal immigrants who have formed lines extending for blocks to apply.

I do not object to helping illegal immigrants or their progeny. After all, we failed for too many years, and continue to fail, to secure our borders. Consequently, we share a portion of the guilt. However, New Jersey currently has an unemployment rate of 9.6 percent. We should wait until our legal citizens in New Jersey enjoy an unemployment rate of 6 percent or lower. Menendez should first represent his legal constituents before acting as Mexico's goodwill ambassador.

JOHN L. DAVIS

Thorofare

There's good reason

•ot to like Obama

Through my religious training, I learned that I am a child of God and so is every human being. I also learned that while God wants me to love each of my fellow humans, there will be times when I don't like one of them. So it is that I love the president and respect him as a child of God, but have many reasons for not liking him.

I don't like him for accentuating America's shortcomings to the rest of the world instead of being patriotic and trumpeting all the great things that we've accomplished. I don't like him for his reckless spending of tax dollars of hardworking Americans, or his reluctance to change his economic strategy despite being mired in the slowest economic recovery in generations.

I further don't like the current president for his attitude that the answer to any and all problems is bigger central government, over-regulating and suppressing private enterprise while demeaning and devaluing the entrepreneurial spirit that creates jobs and tax revenues.

Nor do I like the way the current president disregards the Constitution by attempting to bypass the legislative branch and by bullying the judicial branch in order to force his agenda down the throats of the citizenry, or the way he sides with radical elements in society in an obvious attempt to secularize our country and abolish religious expression and freedom of speech.

EARLE WREDE

Toms River

Is Rep. LoBiondo

scared of Shober?

Maybe the strain of serving so many terms in Congress is finally getting to Rep. Frank LoBiondo, R-2nd.

Or maybe it's the stress of being one of the most ineffectual members of the most ineffectual Congresses in years. Or maybe he's feeling vulnerable. He has refused to debate his outstanding Democratic opponent, Cassandra Shober.

I've attended some of LoBiondo's previous debates and seen his union flunkies taking up the majority of seats or lined up across the back of the room, cheering on cue (despite debate rules).

They, like many other constituents, are unaware of LoBiondo's actual votes on issues important to them.

LoBiondo's campaign manager said Shober isn't a serious candidate because she doesn't have LoBiondo's funding, professional staff or national recognition. What she does have is the support of those passionate about electing her, whether Democrats, Republicans or independents.

Is this big, strong man afraid to debate a woman whose intellect and compassion motivate her positions on the issues?

She publicly states where she stands and calls him out on his record. Realizing that the people have been neglected for too long, she is putting them first. More LoBiondo photo-ops just won't do it this time.

BETTIE J. REINA

Milmay

Let's unite to fight

big-money politics

Let me say right away that I'm a Democrat. I'm writing this, however, as a political democrat - small "d" - who believes that Americans are in danger of letting our democracy be taken away by those who have the most money.

In this presidential election, Republican super PACS - the groups given the green light by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2010 to spend unlimited amounts - are spending the most money right now - hundreds of millions of dollars. But in other elections, the highest bidder might be a Democrat or an independent. The drive to overwhelmingly outspend electoral opponents now operates at every political level and in nearly every American community.

Is this democracy to you? Would this be democracy to our Founding Fathers? I don't think so. Americans are known for basic fairness. Most of us, I believe, don't want money to be the major factor in determining electoral outcomes.

I'm convinced there are enough Republicans, Democrats and independents ready to work together to avert this grave threat, whether through new legislation, a constitutional amendment or by just peaceably assembling, as is our right under the Bill of Rights.

We've spent far too long in this country talking about what divides us rather than what brings us together. If we can unite effectively on this crucial issue, who knows what other links we could forge?

KIMBALL BAKER

Egg Harbor Township