Ditch border, let everyone move in here

What's with all the furor over floods of thousands of minor children and their mothers illegally crossing our southern border into Arizona? There's plenty of open space for them in Arizona, California, and Texas. Once here, our government should inoculate them, house them, educate them, feed them and find employment for them. These are people fleeing political corruption and unrest in their home countries of Central America and Mexico. They have no other place to go.

While were at it, it's time for the United States to simply erase it's southern border. What's the point of continuing to ask immigrants to jump through the legal hoops required to enter and live in the United States? We are the richest country in the world. Our people are kind, and generous. Surely we can afford this. These immigrants are desperate. All they want is a safe place to live and raise their children. Is it too much for all of us to pay a little more in taxes to care for these people and the millions to follow? Isn't that who we are?

Craig Peterson

San Ramon

The 'huddled masses' are without end

The Statue of Liberty was dedicated in 1886 with the famous inscription, "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to breath free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore, send these, the homeless, tempest tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door." The population of the country at the time was approximately 62 million. Today, the U.S. population is approximately 316 million. In 1960, the population of California was 15.7 million. Today it is approximately 38.3 million. World population is expected to increase by one billion people every 11 years.

We desperately need immigration reform. While we will always be a nation of immigrants, we need to decide if we can continue to accommodate and afford the slogans of 1886.

John Hill

Danville

Democrats get the privilege of racial profiling

Do you think that all Italian-Americans were upset when the government prosecuted mafia dons? Do you believe that all Muslims were unhappy when the U.S. military found and killed Osama bin Laden? Do you think all Israelis were dismayed when the Israeli police arrested several Israelis for killing a Palestinian teenager? Do you believe all San Diego residents were distressed when their city's mayor was arrested for sexual harassment of employees?

When you predict that all members of a group will behave a certain way, before you even meet them, we call that "racial profiling." And of course liberals are very much against such behavior.

Unless, of course, it is them doing the profiling, and then it is apparently OK. Congressman Luis Gutierrez, a Democrat from Illinois, recently said in the House that ALL Hispanic voters will turn against politicians who don't vote for amnesty for those in this country illegally (mainly, but not entirely, Hispanics). Sorry Dr. King -- this Congressman thinks it's all about the color of their skin, and not their character.

Mike Heller

Danville

Standards have slipped a lot for Feds

Several years ago I worked for the U.S. government in the capacity of federal law enforcement officer. In those days, it was not uncommon to receive Congressional inquiries that usually were initiated by some Congressman or senator's constituent. This was deemed a priority when it landed on the director's desk and was time-and-date stamped all the way down the chain of command until it landed on my desk and upon receipt I had 24 hours to answer it. And the clock was running. If by chance I could not answer it I still had to reply in 24 hours -- no ands, ifs, buts or equivocations and to the best of my ability.

How has it come to pass when heads of federal agencies can unabashedly equivocate, deflect, lie and literally stonewall Congressional inquiries in matters dealing with Fast and Furious, Benghazi and the IRS, just to name a few? What has happened to the integrity of the system? What ever happened to the honor code?

William H. Mallery

Pleasanton

A minimum wage increase the right thing

To discredit the proposed minimum wage of $13 ("Another Minimum Wage Hike," June 29) Rocco Biale criticizes this increase as 'unearned.' But he fails to reveal that the minimum wage has lagged far behind worker productivity -- an accepted measure of the value of labor.

From World War II to the 1970s, one of the most prosperous periods of economic growth in our nation's history, the minimum wage matched productivity. Since then, it has fallen far behind productive gains. If it had kept pace, it would now be close to $22. This gap between contribution and compensation has helped produce the severe and growing inequality of our New Gilded Age, as the lion's share of added value goes to wealthy CEOs and large shareholders.

Biale also fails to reveal that the minimum wage has fallen behind the increasing cost of living. Since the 1970s the minimum wage has lost more than 20 percent of its value. With the increasing costs Biale himself refers to, minimum wage workers have become increasingly unable to make ends meet. Even the proposed standard, $13 (2017), for an annual income of slightly over $27,000, falls below the most recent poverty measure for the county -- between $29,500 and $37,000 for a family of four. It is no surprise that more than half the poor in our state live in working families, most in families with a full-time worker.

Among the skyrocketing costs, rising rents impose a particular hardship, having increased by more than 20 percent since 2000. There is no way to stretch minimum wages to make apartments in Contra Costa County affordable. With the fair market rental at $1,350, even with the proposed minimum wage a worker would have to spend 60 percent of his or her income on rent. They would have to earn $25, twice the proposed minimum wage, to make their rent affordable. Minimum wage workers must constantly choose between rent and food, clothing, transportation and medical care for their families.

The proposed minimum wage is not a living wage, but it is an important step toward ending poverty for many of our fellow Californians, reducing reliance on government assistance programs, stimulating economic activity in our communities and reviving the American dream for struggling families. It deserves our support.

Bob Lane

Pleasanton