The debate over illegal immigration is not a concern only for states on the Southern U.S. border; it's as relevant in Albany, New York, as it is in Albany, Texas. Or Saratoga Springs, Altamont or any number of upstate New York communities.
We already heard this summer the concerns of restaurateurs for whom the Saratoga Race Course meet can be a make-or-break time of year. Intensified efforts by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement had workers and employers alike worried about their livelihoods and futures.
As we move into autumn harvest season, the spotlight and fear shift to orchards which, like many farms, rely heavily on migrant labor, legal or otherwise.
To say that this country needs a sensible, comprehensive immigration policy seems both obvious and futile. Congress and presidents have known this for years. Back in 2013, in a rare moment of compromise, a bipartisan group of senators dubbed the Gang of Eight came up with a package that included the stronger border security that conservatives wanted and the path to legal status and citizenship for otherwise law-abiding immigrants that liberals and many businesses wanted. It also required the use of E-Verify, a program that allows employers to check whether a potential employee is here legally.
The compromise collapsed under criticism that E-Verify was imperfect, and under the weight of partisan politics, particularly among Republicans — those with presidential aspirations, those worried about a far-right base made more influential by gerrymandering, and those who simply won't compromise.
Congress' dereliction leaves immigration policy in the hands of President Donald Trump, who vilified Mexicans and other immigrants in his campaign and whose idea of comprehensive policy is the roundup that's underway, along with the fantasy of an extravagant, ineffective wall.
We would bet, though, that Americans would be willing to pay a fairer price for their food if it means fewer workers are exploited and far less government energy has to be devoted to rounding up human beings who are, after all, only trying to survive. Who knows? We might even stop talking about Mr. Trump's ridiculous wall.
— The Times Union, Albany
An accessory to mass murder is in our midst, escaping justice with every breath. Nazi death camp guard Jakiw Palij, who aided in the killing of thousands of Polish Jews, snuck into this country 68 years ago by lying about his crimes against humanity.
Discovered by the Justice Department, Palij was stripped of his ill-gotten U.S. citizenship and ordered deported to Germany, Poland or Ukraine. That was 13 years ago. The State Department never followed through.
Now 94, Palij continues to reside comfortably in Jackson Heights.
When the crime is complicity in genocide, there is no statute of limitations. Which is why every member of New York's House delegation — far-left liberals and Trump-loving conservatives alike — and Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer have written Secretary of State Rex Tillerson demanding his personal involvement to quickly get Palij on a plane back to Europe.
State Department bureaucrats mumble about making inquiries. Not good enough. The feds routinely find countries to accept Gitmo detainees, but never manage to land spots for old Nazi war criminals. Eight such Nazis have died here since 2009.
If Jakiw Palij dies free in the country he lied to, justice will have failed. Deport him now.
— The Daily News, New York
Oct. 13, less than two weeks from today — that's the deadline to change the party affiliation on your voter registration in time to vote in next year's primary elections.
We repeat: Next year's primary election — not this year's. Crazy, right? Nevertheless, you can't vote if you aren't registered, so the purpose of this editorial is to inform and prepare you.
Primaries are almost certain next year to decide who represents the North Country in the U.S. House of Representatives. Incumbent Rep. Elise Stefanik already has a Republican opponent, Russell Finley, and the Democratic side is super-crowded — now up to seven announced candidates: Donald Boyajian, Tedra Cobb, Ronald Kim, Steve Krieg, Emily Martz, Patrick Nelson and Katie Wilson. Christopher Schmidt is also running as a Libertarian. More candidates may well emerge before the primaries, which haven't been scheduled yet — talk tends to lean toward June.
Our state makes registering to vote harder than necessary — Exhibit A being the extreme advance deadline to change party enrollment before a primary. It must be 25 days before the last general election, which works out to Oct. 13 this year.
That's firm, and there's no separate postmark deadline. If your county board of elections staff doesn't receive your change-of-enrollment paperwork, either by mail or in person, before they go home on that Friday — and by the way, the Fulton County Board of Elections office closes at 5 p.m., Montgomery County at 4 p.m. — then for all of next year you're stuck with whatever party (or none) you had before.
It's very different if you need to change your address or file a new voter registration. For that, you can do it now in time for this coming general election, Nov. 7. Nevertheless, the deadlines are strangely staggered:
• New registration forms must be postmarked by Oct. 13 and received by the 18th, or completed in person at the county Board of Elections office by Oct. 13.
• Change-of-address forms must be postmarked by Oct. 13 and received by the 18th, or completed in person at the county Board of Elections office by Oct. 18.
Again, those are for this year's election. To change party enrollment, you have to make the change now for next year. Why? Who knows? Our best guess is that election officials can't be bothered to deal with it more than once a year.
— The Leader-Herald, Gloversville