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Pakistan does not need sophisticated weapons
The world must unite to fight the scourge of terrorism, says President Obama.
Yet the US administration has
approved the sale of F-16s and
other sophisticated weapons
to Pakistan, a country well
known for sponsoring hundreds of terrorist attacks
against India, providing facilities for the terrorist organization and harboring terrorists
including bin Laden in the
past. Not to forget, a country
also known for selling nuclear
recipes to other nations in the
India has been facing relentless jihadi/ISI sponsored terrorism. The attitude of the
world seems to be: It is okay
as long Pakistan-sponsored
terrorism does not affect the
Western countries or North
America. This is a conflicting
stand and the policy followed
by the West needs to be
changed. Pakistan certainly
does not need these sophisticated weapons to fight domestic terrorism.
Harbir Singh Plainsboro, New Jersey
For centuries, countless immi- grants, including the 3.5 million
that today call New York City home,
have brought culture, ideas, innovation, and an entrepreneurial spirit to
neighborhoods across the five boroughs, building communities and
embedding themselves in the social
fabric of the city.
For every immigrant, becoming a
citizen in the country where you live
and contribute is a great and proud
accomplishment. However, as a new
report from my office finds, the costs
of achieving citizenship have soared
in recent years, creating significant
barriers for many of the city’s
670,000 legal permanent residents
eligible for naturalization throughout
the five boroughs: 217,000 in Queens,
208,000 in Brooklyn, 117,000 in The
Bronx, 106,000 in Manhattan and
19,000 in Staten Island.
Since 1989, the citizenship application fee through the United States
Customs and Immigration Service
has spiked from $60 to $680 — an
increase of 500 percent accounting
These fees are amplified by additional costs that can run into the
thousands of dollars, including the
cost of English classes (typically
around $400 per week for group lessons) and consultations with immigration lawyers (fees can run as high
as $1,500). As a result, it comes as no
surprise that many would-be applicants cite financial barriers as the
main reason why citizenship remains
out of reach for them.
The inability of immigrants to
secure citizenship not only hurts their
families, but our economy at large.
Immigrants who naturalize in New
York City experience increases in
annual incomes of up to $3,200,
boosting wages for individuals and
promoting economic growth in our
As the city’s independent watchdog,
I work every day to make sure all
New Yorkers have the same opportunity to secure gainful employment
and support their families. That’s why
we need to be making it easier, not
harder to secure citizenship.
Today, 95 percent of the USCIS
operating budget is funded through
fees. Congress should direct addition-
al resources to USCIS in order to
reduce, or even eliminate, application
fees for becoming a citizen. In addi-
tion, USCIS should improve its fee
waiver process, which is designed to
offer full fee waivers to households
below 150 percent of the poverty line,
but is confusing and inconsistently
applied. Lastly, USCIS should
research alternative payment options,
including a staggered payment system
that enables eligible immigrants to
pay fees on an instalment plan.
However, we can’t wait for
Washington to act. Here in the
Immigrant Capital of the World, we
have to set the example by developing
public private partnerships to offer
more citizenship assistance services
where immigrants work; increasing
funding for English and civic lessons
for adults; and exploring tax credits
to incentivize employers to subsidize
We already know that citizenship is
a crucial step towards economic security in the United States. Now’s the
time to make it truly possible for all
Scott M Stringer Comptroller of the City of New York
Iread with interest ‘Money has become speech and corporations have become people’ (India
Abroad, April 1, 2016). I am glad to learn that
Peter Jacob, a progressive, who is influenced by
Bernie Sanders, is running for Congress from
The Citizens United ruling of the Supreme
Court, which is based on the principle, ‘money is
speech and corporations are people’ is opposed by
the vast majority of Americans and defies common sense.
If money is speech, then speech is money, but,
so far, I have not come across a business which
allows sale of products or services in exchange
Even free speech guaranteed by the First
Our democracy is based on the principle of ‘one person, one voice, one vote’, so why should
a rich person have more influence on the outcome of an election than an average person?
Unfettered campaign financing by the rich and Super PACS are also destructive to the demo-
cratic process and should be disallowed.
The best solution is to have 100 percent public financing of political campaigns. I don’t
think money is the only criterion that determines the outcome of elections anyway. This
explains why Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio failed miserably, despite their well-financed campaigns and Donald Trump, who is self-financed, and Bernie Sanders, who relies on the small
donations of individuals, are succeeding beyond expectations.
If an automaker sells an unsafe vehicle, is it possible to put that automaker in a jail? If not,
then how can corporations be people? We had a financial meltdown in 2008 because of companies like Goldman Sachs. Not only could we not put those companies in jail, we even
allowed their executives to go scot free; all we could do was impose fines on the corporations.
Besides, people are of sacred origin, whereas corporations are man-made entities, so how
could corporations be people?
Pradeep Srivastava Albany, California
A4 NEWS&COMMUNITY 8=?CBD:1A@B?D87CD>F:@F36:5
PeterJacob,aDemocrat,isseekingtoreplacethe Republicanincumbent,UnitedStatesRepresenta- tiveLeonardLance,intheCongressionalelection fromthe7thDistrictinNewJersey.
Jacob, a Progressive who supports US Senator Bernie
Sanders in the Presidential election, says he was dra wn to
politics, not because of power latent in it, but owing to a genuine desire to work for the public.
Jacob, who the only Democrat in the race against Lance,
who faces three people in the primaries: York Cook, Craig
Heard, and old-time electoral foe David Larsen, who has
been narrowing the margin of defeat in each contest.
According to Jacob, Lance, who came in as a moderate
conservative in 2008, has drifted further right with each
election, reflecting the mood in the party. He said dissatisfaction had grown in the district, and people were not happy
with Lance’s resolve to block any Supreme Court nominee, to
help repeal the Affordable Care Act, and other la ws legislation supported by the Obama administration.
“We’ve been able to tap into a progressive base,” Jacob
said, adding that the focus was “not so much about
labels, as about issues.”
He gave some examples of what he believes needs to
change. “We see pesky portholes, bad bridges,” he said,
adding that, besides, “Lance is not bringing investment
into Ne w Jersey” or encouraging green energy in the
state. He said that given the entrepreneurs the state had
nurtured, such as Thomas Edison, efforts needed to be
made to make New Jersey lead again in innovation.
Jacob addressed the issues of how the real estate market is hit by the high property taxes, an issue that has
bedeviled past state administrations, and said that, if
elected, he would love to partner with state and local
governments by getting everyone to pay their fair share
of taxes, including the many corporations who manage
to avoid doing so.
“There’s too much money in politics. Money has
become speech and corporations have become people,”
he said, arguing the liberal case that the final straw was
Citizens United, the case wherein the Supreme Court
permitted unlimited funding of elections.
Jacob’s Facebook page reflects his progressive credentials, with one picture having him against the backdrop
of a classroom board with this message about the high
interest rates of student loans: ‘Pursuing the American
dream need not be a debt sentence.’
A social worker, he argues, that he is better aware of
how things are in the county. He has studied at the local
Union County College and Kean University, before earning his master’s degree at Washington University in St
Louis. He says he has seen how people’s lives are crippled by the financial crisis.
“I have a background in social development
[and]understand things at clinical and macro levels…
We have support from working class people,” he said, while
also admitting that the district was quite affluent.
Jacob says his parents, Jacob Peter and Sheela Jacob,
instilled three things in him: integrity, compassion, and service to the community.
And adds that he was inspired by philosophers Socrates
and Plato to think critically, and by his professors at Kean
and Washington Universities, who, he says, taught him “not
what to think but how to think.”
Going back to politics in his district, he said administra-
tions had “gerrymandered the district to favor Republican…
Reps should not pick voters; voters should pick reps,” he said,
while asserting that “Elections have to be democratic.”
Did he mean Democratic or democratic?
“I do want to turn it blue,” he says, “but lower case D.”
‘Money has become
speech and corporations
have become people’
And Peter Jacob, who is running for the US Congress from the
7th District in New Jersey, hopes to change that.
He shares his vision with P Rajendran.
Peter Jacob, center.
How could corporations be people?