Regarding the April 10 article, "Breakthrough on Senate immigration bill breaks down": I am married to an immigrant who entered this country illegally. He has been in this country for more than 10 years and has been a resident since we were married six years ago. I would never have met this wonderful man, had our two children, bought our home, or started our business if my husband had not come to the US.
I do not believe people understand or have empathy for the immigrants coming in illegally. My brother-in-law and my father-in-law have been applying for visas in their country for many years and have been declined each time.
I also had occasion to be with a 16-year-old boy who died in the hospital in Portland, Ore., without his mother because the US consulate in Guatemala would not approve her temporary visa. I have seen many events over the past seven years that have been just as bad, if not worse. This is why people enter the country without papers. They are suffering, are undereducated, and have almost no options in their country.
I hope people realize by the demonstrations, and the blackout on May 1, that Hispanic people and other illegal immigrants are here to better our country, not hurt it. They are only here illegally because they cannot get papers in their own countries to come to the US.
In response to the Feb. 17, 2005 article, "Driver's license bill roils a melting pot": I am a Hispanic whose family immigrated to the US three generations ago. The men in my family have served in the US Armed Forces since the turn of the century. I was the latest, serving in the US Marine Corps during the first Gulf War.
As a disabled veteran who has fought for the idea of freedom, I am very much interested in being an advocate for those seeking legal immigration into the United States. Although our country was founded by immigrants, we now have laws (as a nation should) that protect our borders as well as our citizens. When people break our laws, they should be held accountable for their illegal action.
Now, I don't believe that people should be considered felons (in most cases) if they are already here trying to provide a better future for their family, but I do believe that penalties should be applied and that people seeking permission to remain in the US should be made to follow procedures. If the penalties are not paid and permission to remain is not sought, then deportation should follow.
As I stated previously, I support the legal immigration of those seeking freedom and a better way of life. I do not support illegal activity, regardless of the heritage I may share with some.
Regarding the April 7 article, "Manly man? Girly man? Oh, man!": Times have changed, and women from most cultures are getting better educated, more worldly, tech-savvy, and, in short, more adept at managing their own affairs. Men need to learn to accept living with them as equals rather than refer to bookish advice on what went wrong with the male of the species in getting too soft!
So let us come out of this nostalgia for the "good ol' days" when women were oh-so-delicate and guys were real macho. Instead, we all would do well to learn to appreciate the strengths of both the masculine and feminine qualities!
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