House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) said President Trump should not cancel the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program: "I believe that this is something that Congress has to fix. . . . I really do believe that there needs to be a legislative solution" ["Republicans press Trump to save DACA," front page, Sept. 3].
If Mr. Ryan thinks there needs to be a legislative solution, who better than he to offer it? Let him propose legislative language to put DACA into law. He should command substantial Republican backing for his position, and such a bill would assuredly get full-throated Democratic support and pass the House by a substantial majority.
But the perverse Republican insistence (known as the Hastert Rule) that a bill be allowed a vote only if it has a Republican majority behind it has stood in the way. Indeed, had then-House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) dared to use a Republican minority together with substantial Democratic support, he would long ago have saved us this trauma by passing bipartisan immigration reform in 2013, which cleared the Senate with nearly two-thirds support and could have passed overwhelmingly in the House with bipartisan support. What about governing for the good of the country? What about strength of convictions? What is the point of the speakership for if not this?
Avram Israel Reisner, Baltimore
Leon E. Panetta's defense of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in his Sept. 5 op-ed, "What about the 'dreamers' who serve us?," started powerfully as he recalled his sadness when his Italian grandfather was forced to leave the family home in Monterey, Calif., during World War II. But there is something disturbing about Mr. Panetta's argument that dreamers should be protected because of their aptitude for serving in the armed forces. Surely, continued hospitality should be extended to dreamers who came to the United States as children, have been educated here, work here and have committed to a future here for reasons beyond their utility as cannon fodder. They are part of the fabric of American society, and the idea of tearing them out of it and deporting them to a country they do not know should be rejected on the most fundamental moral grounds for its cruelty and stupidity.
Harry Eyres, Washington
House members opposed to continuing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program would do well to reflect on an early group of dreamers: the children of the Mayflower, many of whom were so young when brought to this land as to have no memory of any home other than the one made for them here by parents seeking a better life. Living in a community where survival was a struggle often lost, 18 of those minors managed to reach adulthood and to contribute to the growth of that community. Imagine instead their being deported to England by the people of the dominant culture, the Wampanoag. It seems House Republicans see the Wampanoag's failure to do so as a cautionary tale.
Gregory Adams, Washington