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Immigrants have had

positive influence

As St. Joseph citizens active in many faiths, the members of the Interfaith Alliance for Immigrants wish to congratulate and thank you for your recent editorial supporting the decision by Gov. Mike Parson not to bar refugees from entering our state.

As you know, St. Joseph is home to a wonderful community of hardworking families who have arrived in recent years as refugees. Refugees have fled their home countries, requested refugee status through the United Nations, and passed lengthy security screenings by multiple U.S. national security agencies. They arrive in the U.S. fully documented.

These folks have enriched our city by their hard work, their drive to create a brighter future, particularly through the education of their children, and their participation in our civic life. They labor in our manufacturing and processing plants. They have established churches. Their young people have made their marks on our high school sports teams, musical groups and in numerous activities. Many one-time refugees are now U.S. citizens.

Their presence expands our understanding and appreciation of the wider world. In all ways, these new neighbors have had a very positive influence on St. Joseph.

Thank you for affirming our state’s and city’s continued welcome of refugees, who have endured much in pursuit of a better life. We’re so pleased the American Dream remains a reality in Missouri and in St. Joseph!

Nancy M. Clisbee,

Member, Interfaith Alliance

for Immigrants

St. Joseph

Both sides have

valid points

I read the Jan. 11 News-Press article “Council to vote on tobacco age increase Monday.”

I have sort of mixed emotions about this. One reason is because when I was age 18 — everything had a legal age of 18 — register to vote in elections, enroll with the Selective Service (in case of a military draft), drinking alcohol, tobacco use, and although I got my car diver’s license at 16, I most certainly could do that, too, at age 18. The old slogan back then was: “If you’re old enough to die for this country (in the military) , then you’re old-enough to drink, smoke and enjoy the privileges and liberties that your service to the nation enables other people to enjoy the freedoms of doing. That logic makes sense.

However, I see the opposite side of the coin: health and costly care. I have never smoked anything a day in my life; I am aware of the possible perils of secondhand smoke, nicotine vaping, oral tobacco and other types of indulgences.

My hope is that laws on common products would be uniform to prevent confusion.

James A. Marples

Longview, Texas

(former Kansan)

Vote to change how

politics work now

“When you teach a man to hate, and fear his brother, when you teach that he is a lesser man because of his color or beliefs, or the policies he pursues, when you teach that those who differ from you threaten your freedom, or your job, or your family, then you also learn to confront others, not as fellow citizens, but as enemies — to be met not with cooperation, but with conquest, to be subjugated and mastered.”

These words are from Robert Kennedy’s speech to the City Club of Cleveland during his 1968 presidential campaign, the day after the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated.

This is how politics work in the age of President Donald Trump. We cannot, we must not, continue to let things go on this way.

In the name of God and country, I implore all of you to vote!

Marie Daniel

Edgerton, Missouri