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State has more urgent needs than travel ban suit

March 17, 2017 - 12:05am

Living in Hawaii, driving to work, roads are in terrible condition all over all the islands. Random homeless encampments, with all their associated trash scattered on the side of the roads. Not enough police. Not enough lifeguards. Not enough state money to pay our current pension obligations. Not enough drug rehabilitation centers. Not enough elder care. Not enough affordable housing. Not enough jails. Three billion dollars overrun on Honolulu rail project. Poor state property and other asset management. The list goes on and on.

Like it or not, we are in financial trouble here in our islands.

What do we get for all that, a state attorney general (David Chin) on Oahu, who spends $150,000 with an East Coast law firm to sue the federal government over the most recent of President Trump’s “travel bans.”

According to the Honolulu Star Advertiser, less than 1 percent of the population here is Muslim and live on Oahu (5,000 people is their estimate). Again, according to the Star Advertiser, Chin filed suit because one man’s mother can’t come over from Syria, which means his rights are being abridged. Hey, guess what people, she was never coming over here in the first place or she would have been here by now — poor excuse!

And David Chin is a poor excuse for an attorney general, a guy trying desperately to make a name for himself at the Conference of Western State Attorneys General Meeting this week in Honolulu. Why do you think he timed the lawsuit for the opening of the conference?

David Chin says in his complaint that the Trump 90 day ban would “harm its tourist industry,” and “the ability to recruit foreign students and workers.” Don’t we have enough of our own people out of work here? Do we need to recruit “students and workers” from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen? Really? How about recruiting real Hawaiians who have moved out of the state first?

Can you imagine that we are worried about losing 100 tourists a year from the six countries covered by the ban? We are worried about one man’s mother or grandmother who can’t come over until properly vetted? Is David Chin nuts? Who actually cares if anyone from the Middle East ever comes to Hawaii, we are already overpopulated, and “under-infrastructured,” right? We cannot even service what we have, let alone additional population increases.

Don’t we as a state have so many larger problems to deal with than Trump’s travel ban? Bet if you asked our Hawaii County Prosecutor Mitch Roth if he could put the $150,000 to good use here on the Big Island, the answer would be a resounding yes! How about we give the teachers a raise? How about we hire 50 more police officers?

Stupid move by David Chin, and just scratches the surface with what is wrong with some of our public servants.

Wilson Pepper is a resident of Waimea

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