Letters to the Editor

Readers write about student slander, wiretapping, the immigration process, and personal finance.

Students as well as teachers need safety from slander

Regarding the Feb. 25 article, "Teachers strike back at students' online gibes": At least adults are capable of coping with such incidents, capable of striking back, and are more likely to be heard and offered a sympathetic ear and support from their peers and the legal system. That is not the case with the students themselves.

For years students have endured the same maliciousness, the same scheming, slander, and bullying from their own peers, and for years they have been ignored. The fact that it has always been so does not justify allowing the continuance of such behavior.

I am all for the teachers fighting back, and I hope that strong measures are taken against any students who engage in the extreme side of this behavior. But I also hope that in protesting for their own rights, the teachers remember how it feels and look with more sympathy on the children who endure this behavior every day with no outlet against the harm it causes them.

If this is a punishable offense in the eyes of the law, shouldn't the law be enforced for everyone, not only for the teachers and adults who can stand up for themselves, but for those in their charge, those without a voice as well?

Susan Dean
Colorado Springs, Colo.

Surveillance must be constitutional

Regarding the Feb. 19 article, "Dispute over risks of lapsed wiretap law": One of the great Western inventions in the establishment of government is the development of a constitution. A constitution is a document that defines the limitations of government, beyond which no law or edict may transgress.

The Constitution of the United States deals quite clearly with the limitations of government with respect to gathering evidence of crimes. The government cannot violate a person's property, intellectual or otherwise, except with a warrant issued on probable cause supported by oath or affirmation. The expired Protect America Act gave the government powers beyond that limit.

It doesn't matter if a new law will allow government agencies to save 10 lives, or a hundred lives, or a million lives. If it violates the Constitution, it may not be done.

Zachariah Norman
Richmond, Calif.

Difficulties in legal immigration

Regarding the Feb. 26 article, "An endless wait for legal migrants to US": The article is factual overall, but as an immigration attorney, I can say that rarely does one have to submit "hundreds of pages" of documents, except on appeal.

Also, as pointed out in the article, both family-based immigration, especially via marriage to a US citizen, and employment-based immigration, are rife with fraud. Employers often use false job positions in order to get around delays and to obtain green cards for friends or relatives.

Congress has said that a limited number of green cards may be issued per year per category. I doubt most Americans would be in favor of granting all several million backlogged green cards.

Edward Shomo
Detroit

Fiscal responsibility is essential

Regarding the Feb. 25 article, "As recession looms, signs of a new frugality": It's about time Americans realize that if they want stability in the nation, the government and the people have to live within their means.

Consultants should not have to teach something so basic.

Sonia Kovach
Chicago

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 pieces to Opinion Page, One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115. E-mail letters to Letters and Opinion pieces to OpEd.

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