Letters to the Editor

Readers write about border security, influencing the outcome in Afghanistan, free speech, and past immigration policy.

Border security depends upon enforcement of laws

Regarding the June 21 article, "Senate makes new try for immigration bill": Sen. Harry Reid (D) of Nevada and others seem as though they want to hurt their prospects for reelection, since they are pushing for a comprehensive immigration plan when probably 80 percent of the American people only want a border security plan, without any form of amnesty. Illegal aliens are criminals who broke the laws of the United States. They should go back home.

Any senators or representatives who vote for any amnesty plan should be voted out of office, and probably the majority will vote them out. We, the American people, are tired of our voices being ignored in Washington.

There is a need for real, meaningful enforcement when it comes to drying up the jobs provided by small businesses that hire undocumented workers. These employers should all be fined $500 per day per worker, and there should be frequent audits to make sure that the employers are not paying cash to these individuals. The current laws on the books are that employers must verify that their employees are legally eligible to work, but these are not being enforced.

Our representatives have let Americans down, as they did when they passed the 1986 amnesty. The current bill will result in more of the same – business as usual. We may never see border security. Congress can spend billions on a war that we should never have been in, yet it will not spend all the money needed to secure the border.

Tom Rodeffer
Decatur, Ala.

Influencing the outcome of Afghanistan

Almost six years after 9/11, the June 25 article, "Taliban turn gunsights on Afghan police," told about America's efforts to defend against future Taliban provocations. We learn that Afghan police forces contain "ragtag" auxiliaries training with fake guns. We must do better by Afghanistan.

US soldiers sacrifice much for the cause. What should we do? Write our congressional representatives and demand more resources for Afghanistan. Write the media and demand that they don't let Paris Hilton and friends upstage the ominous trends in Afghanistan. Go to the websites of such organizations as the Spirit of America, the Global Partnership for Afghanistan, and the Central Asia Institute and give generously. Work to motivate others.

There is no greater mistake than to do nothing, just because you can do only a little.

John Stettler
Dallas

Don't curb the First Amendment

I read your June 27 editorial, "When campaign money can't talk." The problem with your stance is that you seem to be saying that the First Amendment must bend to disallow certain types of political speech. I'm curious to know when political speech has ever damaged the body politic in a free society.

The fact is, the free speech spoken about in the First Amendment is what defends the very democracy that your editorial seems to wish to protect by limiting some forms of political speech.

The only reason for people to want to limit political speech would be if they don't like the results of an election. Those on the losing side rarely like the result, and it's always easy for them to be upset at the other side for stating its case too well. The Supreme Court didn't go as far as it should have in striking down the ban on issue ads, and for the good of the republic, it should have struck down this whole antidemocracy law.

Michael Lacy
Salem, Ore.

Learning from the mistakes of past immigration policy

Regarding the June 28 article, "What's left out of immigration debate": I think it's time for electors to debate the effectiveness of elected officials in America. Thank you for this article and the link to a previous article about seven immigrants who benefited from the immigration bill of 1986.

It seems that if the senators would read these articles, they could focus on what went wrong with the previous amnesty bill and work on new implementation processes. We should decrease the amount of their benefits and lower their salaries until they do the job they were elected to do.

I think the average American has a short memory, but the actions of our elected officials affect the country for a long time.

Martha Goldhorn
Beckenham, England

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 may appear in print or 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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