What our congressional representatives are doing — or not

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I believe Republicans, Democrats and unaffiliated voters in Connecticut are so transfixed by the looming $70 billion in unfunded pension and health care benefits for present and past state employees that we don’t focus enough on the job being done — or not done — by our congressional delegation.

But in my opinion our federal representatives seem to get a pass, as we don’t ask them about international issues. What does a state of about 3.5 million people care about foreign policy? Plenty! So what can our federal representatives tell us? It seems to me that some believe representing citizens of other nations is more important than representing the interests of U.S. citizens and their families.

Members of the U.S. House and Senate are elected by U.S. Citizens.

I think that with criticism of the detention of illegal immigrants at our borders and some questioning the efficacy of the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, it is fair to ask whether these federal representatives are aware that each is supposed to have been elected 100 percent by American citizens.

Although that 100 percent cannot be guaranteed, it is how our laws are written. As such, it is a federal representative’s obligation to first serve the interests of the U.S. citizens who elected them.

Jobs, schooling, health care, jobs training, etc. are to go first to U.S citizens. This does not diminish the need of our country to have orderly immigration laws as we are a country of many immigrants and their talents are needed for a growing economy. But few would suggest that one could merely get off a plane in another country such as France or cross the border into Canada and refuse to follow their immigration laws and expect to remain there unmolested. In my opinion, to militate for open borders and lax border security is not in the interest of the United States nor its citizens.

I wonder if Connecticut’s federal representatives believe that ICE has a role to enforce the existing immigration and customs laws of the United States?

Blood money

I have also noted that some of our federal representatives seem to make money off of the misfortune of others. Perhaps there is school shooting or the death of an American citizen of color at the hands of law enforcement which becomes an opportunity to raise campaign money. Is this blood money when it is initiated by the tragedy for others?

I don’t think our Congressmen and women and Senators pay attention to the “Chicago Tragedy,” which is real and a humanitarian disaster. It is the persistent death of young men of color in  Chicago by violence. In 2016 over an average of two people a day were killed in Chicago, but I don’t think our representatives pay much attention to it. Perhaps because it isn’t happening in Connecticut?

Last year, Sen. Cory Booker, D-New Jersey, said that “silence is complicity.” I wonder whether the collective silence of our representatives is complicity in the Chicago tragedy as they say little or nothing about it. Is it because they cannot raise money off of it?

Parkland shooting and values

On Feb. 14, 2018, a nut job killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. It seems that our representatives treat it as a way to work for more gun restrictions.

While bump stocks, which can turn a semi-automatic weapon into an automatic weapon, can certainly be outlawed and background checks can be expanded to help ensure that only law-abiding citizens can legally own guns, Parkland does not mean more gun control for Connecticut. Instead, in my opinion, Parkland points to a dearth of values.

What Parkland means to Connecticut is that we have failed as parents and schools to teach the Golden Rule, to treat others as you would like to be treated, and the value of life to our children. This is the message of Parkland for Connecticut. I wonder if our federal representatives feel the same?

Do our representatives actually care about the Dreamers?

In my opinion, all of our federal representatives are using the anguish of the Dreamers for their own political advantage. To actually help these 700,000 of so illegal immigrant children have a secure future in America will require a Republican and Democrat solution.

So you would think that their offices would react when I wrote as a gubernatorial candidate last year to each Congressman and woman and both senators with a compromise road map to legal status not just for 700,000 Dreamers but for almost 10 million illegals. I mailed my proposals to each of them in October 2017 first by certified mail, return receipt requested and then a second time by first class mail.

Crickets. Silence.

One wrote a short note back, but then went silent. Cynics would say that our federal representatives are more interested in scoring political points based on the precarious situation of these illegals than actually solving the problem and giving a road to legality to almost 10 million!

Peter Thalheim lives in Greenwich.


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