Letters to the Editor

Sympathy for person of interest misplaced

I am irritated with the apologists defending Zayed Hajaig after he overstayed his visa and possibly disposed of multiple firearms in the Chattahoochee River. Hajaig apparently "forgot" to leave when his visitor visa expired.

Hajaig knowingly become a illegal alien the minute his visa expired and he refused to leave. It is a felony for any illegal alien to have a firearm, and it is likely he violated federal firearms laws since only certain nonimmigrant alien visitors, namely licensed hunters, may possess a firearm. Did Hajaig acquire firearms by lying on the firearm purchase form about his nonimmigrant status thus committing still another felony?

I wonder if the Briscoe Field company conducting flight training verified that Hajaig was in possession of the proper J1 or M1 visa. If they continued to conduct flight training even after they became aware Hajaig's visa had expired then this company should be prosecuted and their certification to train nonresident aliens canceled.

If this flight company was aware that Hajaig did not leave at the end of his period of admittance then this school had the moral, if not legal, requirement to report this immigration violation.

No excuses should be made for Hajaig and any sympathy for him is misplaced. He appears to have purposely violated multiple serious federal laws for which the prescribed punishment is imprisonment, deportation or both. If the accusations are correct, Hajaig showed his contempt for our country by purposely violating multiple laws, and he should be forever barred from entering our country again.

- Ernest Wade


Bride shouldn't face scorn for her mistake

It sickened me to see the vehement comments regarding the "Runaway Bride" and the willingness of so many people to want to charge her with some type of crime.

Sure, she made a mistake, but does it help the situation at all by charging her with a crime? I know too many people who have been charged with a crime only to have the alleged victim recant and no charges are pressed against them.

Forty percent of all rape allegations are proven to be false and charges dropped; does the false accuser face any punishment? No. The lives of the accused are ruined, but no one really cares about that.

And since we are on the topic of punishment, ask yourselves in this harried, frenzied "anti-child molester" craze we are in, are we in the state of Georgia still willing to charge a 16-year-old boy or girl for the act of simply kissing a 15-year-old with child molestation?

Do you want the same penalty applied to them that should be applied to those people molesting young children. Our legislators need to get off their high horses and stop trying to paint everyone with the same brush.

I have no desire to pay to keep a teenager in jail for 10 years for simply cuddling his or her significant other. Yet we do it every day in this state. Now under this frenzy going on, our legislators will probably follow Florida's lead and up it to a mandatory 25 years to serve and monitor them for life.

We claim to live in a Christian nation, but we are so eager to punish instead of trying to see the truth and treat people fairly. We need to let judges do their jobs and look at each case individually.

- J.L. Winton