Letters

Immigration reform must go deeper than a 'guest worker' plan

Regarding your May 2 editorial, "A 'guest worker' plan isn't a solution": It is depressing to read how Washington examines the immigration question, reaches an answer, and then acts in contradiction. Both the 1978 Select Commission on Immigration and Refugee Policy and the 1990 Congressional Bipartisan Commission on Immigration Reform urged reducing legal immigration and enforcing our borders, yet Congress and US presidents have done the opposite.

The entire immigration issue is a Ponzi scheme: more immigrants mean more immigration through "family reunification"; more amnesties mean more future amnesties as millions see there are no rules; and more Social Security contributors today mean more demand tomorrow as immigrants reach retirement age.

The proposals of the Senate and the president are unsustainable nonsense. Americans deserve more from their representatives.
Tim Aaronson
El Cerrito, Calif.

I appreciate the point that "Importing temporary workers simply for their willingness to accept low wages, while companies avoid paying higher wages to jobless Americans, is hardly a wise immigration policy," and is one that won't check joblessness among high school dropouts, African-Americans, and white teenagers. But why should US society have high school dropouts? And why should white teenagers need to work, unless it is for fun? Can't the US, with its economic strength and institutions, create conditions where high school dropouts can be motivated and disciplined to continue education so that their need for semi- or un-skilled jobs is eliminated? This would also eliminate the need for the US to import highly skilled workers in select industries.
Ashim Chatterjee
Delhi, India

Bravo for your May 2 editorial! Until recently I was an adjudicator for the Immigration and Naturalization Service (today the US Citizenship and Immigration Services). I was sent to school to learn immigration law. It's complicated. I have been dismayed at the lack of in-depth knowledge displayed by general commentaries in the media. Your editorial is the most educated I have read.

Further, legislators need to take into account that under present immigration law, any child of a "guest worker" born in this country would automatically be a citizen. As a practical matter, the USCIS does not deport parents of US citizens. They can obtain a green card, which is the goal of most illegals. The illegal doesn't have to speak English to obtain a green card, and yet a green card gives all the rights of citizenship, except the right to vote.
Judy Little
Fontana, Calif.

Model of nutrition? Think again

The May 2 article, "Overweight kids: Schools take action," starts out by describing a first-grader's lunch as "a model of nutrition: a lettuce and carrot salad, an apple, a granola bar, and ... chocolate milk." No, that is a terrible lunch for a first-grader! Where's the protein? Where's the fat her brain needs in order to develop? The iceberg lettuce in her salad is devoid of nutrition. Her body will burn through the sugar in the granola bar in an hour or so. This kid will be hungry and tired by mid-afternoon.

Worse yet, she's going to grow up with a poor view of how to feed her body and eat for energy. Don't laud schools for swinging the pendulum way too far to the iceberg lettuce side of things. There are other options beyond hot dogs and fat-phobic salads: whole grains; soluble fiber; vitamin-rich, filling vegetables and legumes. Despite its efforts, this school (and others) has struck out.
Tricia Cornell
Minneapolis Editor, Minnesota Parent magazine

The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. Because of the volume of mail we receive, we can neither acknowledge nor return unpublished submissions. All submissions are subject to editing. Letters must be signed and include your mailing address and telephone number. Any letter accepted will appear in print and on our website, www.csmonitor.com.

Mail letters to 'Readers Write,' and opinion articles to Opinion Page, One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, or fax to (617) 450-2317, or e-mail to Letters.

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