The American-News welcomes letters of opinion from our readers.

The American-News welcomes letters of opinion from our readers. Letters regarding current local and national news items are encouraged. All letters are subject to editing for length and style. Letters containing potentially libelous or obscene statements will not be published. Letters must contain name, address and phone number for verification and in case of questions. E-mail letters to: Letters may also be mailed to:  Editor, Montevideo Publishing, P.O. Box 99, Montevideo, MN 56265

Undocumented immigrants deserve a chance to drive legally

In Minnesota, undocumented immigrants are unable to obtain a legal driver’s license. This affects them in a multitude of ways, including: getting to work, caring for their children, attending important appointments, and being mobile during an emergency. Especially in rural areas, where public transit is non-existent or unreliable, it can be particularly difficult to get around without a driver’s license.


All people living in Minne­sota, documented or undocumented, should have the opportunity to drive legally. Not only would this ease a huge burden for our undocumented neighbors and friends, but it would create safer roads for all Minnesotans. With a legal driver’s license, undocumented immigrants could learn the rules of the road, receive proper training, and obtain insurance. By denying them a license, we are putting all Minnesotans in danger.


Opponents of this measure say that in giving undocumented immigrants driver’s licenses, we would be rewarding them for “breaking the law.” This is not a reward; this is simply about the ability to drive legally. Immigration is a separate issue. All residents of Minnesota should be able to drive legally here and have insurance in case of an accident.


Many other states, including but not limited to, California, Washington, and Colorado, have already enacted a law allowing all residents to apply for a license regardless of immigration status. The benefits in doing the same far outweigh the risks for Minnesotans.


I urge everyone to keep an open mind about this issue and truly consider the benefits of implementing a law that would allow all Minnesotan residents to drive legally and with insurance.

—Taylor Brendmoen



Support senior care reform

The Minnesota Legislature is at a crossroads on legislation that will determine how the state cares for seniors.


The Minnesota House passed a reform proposal that ensures seniors have access to quality care in their communities and near their families as well as provide much-needed funding for more livable wages and benefits for caregivers. The Minnesota Senate included funding for nursing home wage increases in a bill, but failed to address the need to fix a broken system that no longer meets the needs of our seniors and their caregivers.


In the next few weeks, a conference committee will evaluate the two proposals and bring forward a solution. I urge Senator Lyle Koenen to support the comprehensive reform proposal.      

About 60,000 Minnesotans will turn 65 this year and each year after that for the next 15 years. Our aging population is growing so quickly that it will eventually make up 25 percent of the state’s total population. This group of seniors is expected to live longer, and likely will require more care than any group of seniors in the state’s history.


Minnesota needs to get ready to ensure our seniors receive the care they deserve and their families expect from experienced caregivers. With a $2 billion state surplus, now is the time to make seniors and caregivers a priority.


Senator Koenen has the opportunity to make a positive difference in the lives of seniors and those who provide them with care. Senator Koenen is supportive to the nursing home industry and I encourage him to support Senior Care Reform, and urge his leadership to make this reform a reality.

— Jim Flaherty

Luther Haven Administrator



Invest in our transportation infrastructure

I’m writing in support of Governor Dayton’s transportation plan.


As someone who frequently travels on local roads, I agree that we have a lot of work to do to get our transportation infrastructure up to speed. We have long-overdue repairs needed and it’s time we get serious about this important investment for families and businesses in our communities.


The GOP’s transportation proposal would require that MnDOT spend 90 percent of the Unreserved Fund for infrastructure projects. This money is used in case of natural disasters.


We can’t go on pinching pennies and patching up our roads by spending money that is supposed to be used in the future. Quality roads and bridges are a necessity. It’s time we improve our transportation infrastructure for safety, for our economy, and for our future.

— Dan Richter

Granite Falls


Real justice?

No Justice, No Peace! No Justice, No Peace! That is the cry which has recently gone up from Baltimore and other places. Sometimes I get a little concerned when I hear people calling for justice and I wonder if they realize what real justice would look like if it suddenly appeared.


When I used to work court security sometimes people would come to court, people that as a law enforcement officer I knew a little bit about. If they felt they were mistreated and demanded justice in a loud voice, it used to frighten me a little and I would step back. I didn’t want to be killed as collateral damage if the justice they were calling for suddenly showed up!


The same with those chanting for justice in Baltimore. If divine justice was suddenly visited upon them there would be no one left alive to carry on the chant. You see justice, real justice for this fallen world would be a lot different than people think. When people cry out for justice they really mean that retribution should be visited on the other guy! That is not how it would be because real justice is so just! It would not only mean the offending police would be judged, but also everyone else in the crowd as well. Every sin, every thought, every intent.


Now Yeshua said “Let the one who is without sin cast the first stone” and in Baltimore the air was filled with a thousand stones raining down on the police. If true justice would been delivered that day in Baltimore, from a Holy God, all that would have been left of Baltimore would have been a smoking crater. You see we really don’t want justice if we are aware of our fallen nature, we want mercy!


According to the no justice, no peace crowd the police are responsible for all their problems and they want the police to get what they feel they deserve and to get it right now? Justice, true justice, doesn’t work that way however, justice is no respecter of persons and justice says all have sinned and come short-of-the glory-of-God. In the scales compared with the holiness of God we all come short before blind justice and the sword she bears is very, very sharp indeed! The wages of sin is death not only for policemen who sin but every last member of the “We Want Justice!” chanters in the Baltimore crowd.


There is a place however where justice and mercy meet and that is at the Cross. There mercy is offered to all that will come, acknowledge their sin and accept the grace offered there. The cops, the crowd, the stone throwing youth don’t have to experience the justice that is being called for and so little understood.

— Doug Hodge



Make senior care a priority

Thank you Representative Tim Miller, District 17A for your support of Senior Care Reform this session.


The current funding system for senior care services is broken and does not meet the needs of our seniors or the people who provide them with care.


The new system that Representative Miller supported will ensure seniors have access to the quality care they deserve in their communities and their families. It will also provide long overdue funding to pay more livable wages and benefits for caregivers.


With a $2 billion state surplus, now is the time to make seniors and caregivers a priority. Representative Miller supported a bill that addresses the realities of senior care today and in the future. A conference committee will soon make the final decision on this important reform proposal. I urge Representative Miller to do all that he can to positively influence the outcome of the conference committee and make this reform a reality.


Thank you Representative Miller for supporting Senior Care Reform.

— Jim Flaherty

Luther Haven Administrator