Letters

Debating the proper status of illegal immigrants' children

Noreen M. Sugrue's July 17 Opinion piece, "American-born children shouldn't be deported," presents a convincing argument for ending the practice of granting unconditional citizenship by birth. After all, the US stands alone among all industrialized nations and Europe in granting automatic citizenship by birth. It's time we grow up.

People say the 14th Amendment is the basis for the unconditional citizenship by birth policy, yet the 14th Amendment was designed to grant citizenship to slaves who had already been born on American soil. Since the 14th Amendment was proposed 150 years ago, many individuals have been denied citizenship through birth alone – most notably Native Americans. But it is clear minor children must stay with their parents. Birth on American soil, under current interpretation, actually bestows only the promise of American citizenship, since all the privileges and obligations really do not take effect until the child reaches adulthood, and takes up residence in the US. At that time, a young person can choose which citizenship he or she will keep, and to which country he or she will direct his or her primary allegiance.
Tom Sleckman
San Francisco

I loved Noreen Sugrue's July 17 Opinion piece about children who are citizens but whose parents unfortunately are undocumented workers. I really wish Congress could consider doing something about this. Yes, I understand that it's important to protect our borders. But this is really America's fault as far as the amount of illegal immigration is concerned; unfortunately, Congress blames it on the immigrants and punishes them by sending them home, when the majority just want a better life. In the end, the US is just a piece of land, and any good person should be allowed to set foot on it.
Carolina Espinales
Boca Raton, Fla.

Regarding Noreen Sugrue's Opinion piece: The point is that these children should not be citizens as their parents are in this country illegally. There are many other American children who are in just as dire straits as these children of illegals. Where is the concern for them?

We are rewarding people who break our laws by providing citizenship for their children and granting them all kinds of assistance. I am retired and a widow on a fixed income, and it is becoming increasingly hard for me to pay taxes and pay for everything that I have to pay for which the illegals don't.

They should stay home and make their country a better place to live and raise their families in. They march here; why don't they march in their country for better conditions?
Dorthy Crabb
Emory, Texas

Corporate greed and inflation

Regarding the July 20 article, "The Fed walks tightrope on interest rates": Increased wages for workers are cited as an inflationary signal that threatens the growth of the economy. Higher wages can result in higher prices, thus adding to inflation.

Why aren't exorbitant corporate profits and outrageous executive salaries and bonuses cited as inflationary threats as well? Obviously, these factors contribute to price levels, yet are rarely mentioned by the Federal Reserve. A comprehensive tally of corporate profit margins, executive compensation levels, and wages should be developed to provide a clearer picture of institutional costs that influence pricing. Depicting workers as inflationary bad guys while executives and corporations rake in incredible profits is inaccurate and unfair.
Douglas J. O'Brien
Jacksonville, Fla.

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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