Letters to the Editor

Readers write about immigration reform, Azeris in Iran, and censorship in Hollywood.

Reform of immigration law: the sharp and differing views

Regarding the May 21 article, "To immigrants, US reform bill is unrealistic": This article provided an example of what causes fury in many xenophobes. Desmond, the girl whose last name isn't mentioned, is in high school and has lived in the US since kindergarten. Yet she spoke through an interpreter for the interview.

I'm not saying that Desmond should cease using her native language. Bilingualism is a virtue. But the fact that she needed an interpreter suggests laxity on her part in learning English. Although I don't know all of her circumstances, I do think that, by now, Desmond ought to be able to give an interview in English.

She certainly does herself a disservice by not learning English better.

Paul D. Lawrence
Fresno, Calif.

Regarding the May 21 article about immigration: My parents were forced from their homes in a European country during World War II. They lived in a deported persons' camp for six years until they could legally come to the United States. They couldn't have come to the US illegally, nor would they have wanted to. They assimilated and learned English, even while keeping their own culture and customs.

Immigrants who complain about the US reform bill should consider themselves fortunate to have any opportunities at all. Illegal immigrants are here illegally! So why do they get to complain about lacking rights? How does anyone have rights when they've knowingly broken the laws?

Immigrants who have come here legally didn't have a US reform bill to help them. Many of them made it here with hardly any money or belongings to start with, and they respected the laws of this country and the language of this country. Why should it be any different now? Why make exceptions based solely on the fact that there are too many illegal immigrants to handle? Those who followed the rules should get the most help. The ones who don't should be returned to their former country.

Melanie Mantenieks
Chicago

In response to the May 21 article about immigration: Many illegal immigrants now living and working in the US have children who were born American citizens.

We need immigration reform to protect the family units that have been created, to ensure that no American children will be left abandoned by their parents.

I strongly support any legislation that will bring many "out of the shadow and into the sunshine." However, the pending legislation will put the dreams of many lawful immigrants into the deep, dark shadows of hopelessness. It is hurting those who have waited in line and paid their dues. The proposed legislation tells them that, while we are making a way for those who have broken the law, we are shutting down their aspirations to be with their extended families. It tells them that siblings and parents are not important. We prefer skills and education.

Why break the long tradition of family migration, especially since existing laws already make it difficult enough to petition family members anyway? Prevailing immigration laws are reflective of how hospitable and welcoming America is.

James Nilo
Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan

Regarding the May 21 article about immigration: If Congress really wanted to do something about illegal immigration, it would concentrate more on employers of illegal immigrants.

If there were a way for employers to confirm citizenship, then stiffer fines could be imposed on them.

Juan Reyna
Aurora, Ill.

Regarding the May 21 article about the immigration bill: However unrealistic this plan is from a governance standpoint, further resistance by illegal immigrants to consider this as an opportunity is further evidence that they do not desire to integrate into our society or abide by US immigration laws.

As far as I am concerned, my government gave them a pass with this latest reform bill.

No matter how Mexican officials try to sugarcoat the relationship between the two countries, there still remains major problems on how the government of Mexico encourages its citizens to cross the border – and break our laws.

If it was any other country doing this, the US would be engaged in armed conflict to protect our national security interests.

It seems as though Republicans and Democrats are addicted to cheap labor and are not paying attention to the interests of the American people.

Tom Lane
Rockaway, N.J.

Morality police revisiting Hollywood?

In response to the May 18 humor article, "Celluloid Cigarettes": Who is the author kidding? In the 1920s and '30s, very powerful special-interest groups called for censorship of objectionable depictions of morality in Hollywood movies.

Public pressure from those groups forced motion picture industry figures to regulate the contents of their feature films.

Will Hays ran the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors Association (MPPDA), and he created and enforced a production code and issued purity seals.

In 2007, in the name of protecting children, is history repeating? Are powerful, politically correct special-interest groups pressuring the Motion Picture Association of America to eliminate legal representations of morality and speech they simply find offensive?

Brenda Loew
President, New England Vintage Film Society
Newton, Mass.

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 Op-Ed.

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