George Grayson's March 30 Opinion piece, "Mexico prefers to export its poor, not uplift them," is absolutely right on the mark. I'm American, and I married and immigrated to Mexico in 1981. My children were born here.
Mexico is a wealthy country, easily capable of vastly raising the standard of living of its people, should it ever develop the political will to implement the most basic of reforms.
There is some validity to arguments that the US should be honest with itself about the need for low-cost immigrant labor, and it should not criminalize the illegals, but the overriding driver of the immigration is not that need; it is what Grayson mentions in his Opinion piece.
Mexican elites are playing the US for a bunch of suckers, perpetuating their own comfortable haven by trying to justify a huge escape valve that shouldn't be. Real reform in Mexico must be part of an immigration policy package, yet it is barely mentioned. The US ignores the issue at its peril.
Regarding your April 19 editorial, "Hiring illegals is just as illegal": Thank you for bringing a larger light to the crux of this issue while furious debate is being held far away from it.
The debate should not center on the immigrant, but rather employers. Thus, "jobs Americans don't want" should truly be defined as "jobs Americans don't want without a fair wage and fair options for earning benefits." Those hiring illegal workers will naturally favor those workers in light of such a huge marginal benefit.
The past few years cannot be undone in a moment, but much less unnecessary unrest would come from saying, "I'm sorry, I cannot hire you," than what we have seen from the loaded phrase, "Immigrants go home!"
Eric j. henderson
Regarding the April 14 article, "Retired generals speak out to oppose Rumsfeld": I welcome the generals' willingness to place accountability at the feet of senior leadership. I feel this implies support for our US troops.
After Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said thousands of tactical errors have been made in Iraq, but the US made the right strategic decisions, I've been wondering how that can be explained.
Either we have many incompetent junior officers, and senior leaders are criticizing them, or those junior officers lack strategic direction and are forced to cope with ambiguity or flawed planning. I feel the generals are pointing out the flaws in our strategy and laying blame where it is deserved.
Gig Harbor, Wash.
Regarding the April 18 article on Detroit, "Can the Motor City walk?": It is right on target. I work for one of the "Big Three," and I probably see things differently than 80 percent of auto employees. I want mass transit. I want to be able to take a train downtown, or to my job, or to Ann Arbor.
My girlfriend feels the same way about mass transit as most people in Detroit do: "I want to be able to go where I want, when I want." For most Detroiters a car means freedom. I feel the same way, but I know that in order for this city to move forward, we need to reduce our dependence on cars and begin to walk again.
Dale W. Stemen Jr.
Auburn Hills, Mich.
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