Harsher DWI sentencing needed
How is six years for a drunken driver who killed someone and drove away a “harsh” sentence (“Lawyer challenges 6-year sentence in fatal hit-and-run,” Nov. 17)? There should be consequences for drinking and driving. In other states where I’ve lived, one’s driver’s license and vehicle are taken away on the third offense for DWI.
If I were the judge (or jury), 16 years would have been the minimum before Ezrijatnael Alvarez-Lira could even be considered for parole. I echo the victim’s uncle, Tim Mattison’s, comment: “There is no justice; there is no law in this state.”
A high horse
Gov. Susana Martinez should get off her Republican ideological high horse and cooperate with President Barack Obama’s plan for Syrian immigrants and show that she is not an ideologue like many of her Republican Party candidates for president and governors who are politicizing this issue in the most uninformed, repugnant way.
A moral obligation
It is very disappointing to see Gov. Susana Martinez has joined the chorus of governors who seek to block the entry of 10,000 Syrian refugees. After 14 years of counterterrorism efforts, our intelligence and law enforcement agencies can screen the refugees seeking asylum. We have a moral and legal obligation to care for refugees. Reason and compassion should trump our fear and prejudices.
The Rev. Howard Dotson
Initiating a dialogue
In his letter to The New Mexican, the Imam Shafi Abdul Aziz strongly condemns the recent Islamic State atrocities in Paris, and says the Paris attackers have cast doubt on all Muslims worldwide (“Muslim neighbors invite conversation,” Nov. 18). Doubt and suspicion about the Muslim faith by non-Muslims is certainly a problem.
The imam invites non-Muslims to engage in a dialogue with those of the faith to learn more about it. A dialogue is a good idea, but I think the imam’s approach is too passive. How about Muslims actually initiate the dialogue instead of waiting for others to come to them seeking education? The Islamic Center’s goals listed on its website include propagating Islamic teachings and principles to non-Muslims and promoting friendly relations between Muslims and non-Muslims, but I don’t see any classes listed for non-Muslims.
A good salesman must reach out to potential customers, instead of waiting for his phone to ring.
Setting an example
I am disgusted with Gov. Susana Martinez in her knee-jerk acquiescence to Republican xenophobia regarding refugees. New Mexico is almost as large as California with one-twentieth the population. Surely we can fit some in. There may be a few bad guys coming in with the desperate. But certainly no more than we already have, and I’m sure we could handle that. Having endured the travails of diaspora, refugees who finally get here would eventually contribute to New Mexico’s flagging economy. And we could be an example to the rest of the nation, especially those states who are unfortunate enough to also have Republican governors. If we don’t act with compassion, we should crate up the Statue of Liberty and return it to France.
Remember Lady Liberty
We cannot let the hellish win — not the Islamic State nor the fearful and ignorant now cultivated by the stupid. We are admittedly shameful, and we should be, for the trail of violence we have left upon this world in the name of freedom. But that is no excuse for continuing to ignore the suffering of all the refugees, all the homeless, desperate, hungry, shattered lives created by us and the rest of the uncivilized world.
At the core of our humanity, our responsible citizenship to the Earth and all that dwell there, when we are the best that we can be, as Americans and individuals, there is a message we should send to all the helpless of the world:
“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me: I lift my lamp beside the golden door.” Emma Lazarus.