Letters to the Editor

Readers write about college demographics, illegal immigrants, the legal drinking age, and war in Sudan.

Focus on college prep for students of all income levels

Regarding the Aug. 6 article, "Too few low-income college students?": There has been a tremendous emphasis in the past 30 years on ensuring that as many students as possible go to college, but little concern about how those students fare once they are there. Many lower-income students soon discover that they are ill-prepared for college-level academics and join the ever-growing legions of college dropouts.

Just getting into college is not enough. Improving the quality of high school education is a far more critical priority. Not only will it improve the rates at which lower-income students go to college, it will ensure they have the necessary tools to graduate.

Just trying to improve socioeconomic diversity by encouraging recruitment of low-income students is simply a superficial Band-Aid to a much larger systemic problem.

Earl Zaromb
Brooklyn, N.Y.

Let illegal immigrants become legal

In response to the Aug. 19 article, "US farmers see how their employees live back in Mexico": Leaving out the word "illegal" before the word "immigrants" paints all United States citizens as "racist."

What I protest, and what I think most US citizens protest, are illegal aliens who come across the border from countries across the globe. In order to work, drive, and get housing, these illegals get fraudulent documents that often belong to someone else. These are real crimes that cause real problems for the legal owners of the documents.

The problem would not exist without employers looking for illegals for cheap labor who will work without required safety standards.

I would support an expanded visa system to get the current working illegals a visa so they can work here legally. In a country made up of mostly immigrants, I think it is poor reporting to cast all of us "US citizens" as hating immigrants. I don't hate illegal aliens, but I think they should make the effort to obtain a legal work visa or stay at home. I used to work in an oil field and was required to have a passport in case my next job was out of the country. I would be an alien there, but legal. There are ways to get by without resorting to crime.

Luther Browning
Corpus Christi, Texas

Raise voting, enlistment age to 21

Regarding your Aug. 21 editorial, "Battle of the binge": A drinking age of 21 is a good idea. The problem is the legal hypocrisy. We tell 18-year-olds that they have the maturity to vote our leaders into office, to kill an enemy in the name of the United States, and to know the difference between criminal right or wrong, but not the maturity to decide when to say when? The debate is about the wrong thing. We should move the age of military enlistment to 21 (no exceptions) and return the voting age to 21, too.

Doug van Aman
Spanish Springs, Nev.

War is sustained by those who benefit

Regarding the April 23 article, "Boycott 'Genocide Games'? Sudan's athletes say no.": It is only for the benefit of politicians and rebel leaders to make people suffer in war.

In all wars, there are people behind the curtains who profit; the Sudanese government, the UN, and the rebel leaders are no exceptions. Many of the political leaders in Sudan and other so-called poor countries benefit from leaving their citizens uneducated, living the same way their grandparents lived decades ago.

Haythum A. Osman
Khartoum, Sudan

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, 210 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA 02115. E-mail letters to Letters and Opinion pieces to OpEd.

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