The Economics of Prop. 187

The editorial ``Punishing Immigrants,'' Nov. 3, states that California's Proposition 187, ``tells Hispanics - and by extension, other non-Anglos - that they are not wanted in California.'' This is not true. I am a Hispanic who grew up in Arizona, Mexico, and Texas. I, and all my family, are native-born American citizens of Hispanic heritage. I do not feel that Proposition 187 tells me, my father, or my sisters or brothers that we are not wanted in California or any part of the Southwest.

People are often surprised to learn that millions of Hispanics oppose illegal immigration. Many Hispanics support Prop. 187. Are we telling ourselves that we are not wanted in this country? We support measures to slow illegal immigration, which you correctly state is an important public concern. It is a concern that the elites of this country have not chosen to address adequately.

California (and the rest of the Southwest) cannot continue to bear the cost of illegal immigration. We Hispanic citizens want what every US citizen wants. We want a decent education for our children.

In New Mexico, teachers average $18,000 less than teachers in Connecticut (a low immigration state). The per-capita income in New Mexico is $11,000 below that of Connecticut. Of course many factors account for these differences, but one important factor is the magnitude of illegal-immigration costs.

Through Prop. 187, many Hispanic citizens join with others in sending the message: The problem of illegal immigration must be solved. M. Elizabeth Hernandez, Las Cruces, N.M.

Wrongly attacking `Quiz Show'

It's bad enough to read a specious review of ``Quiz Show'' in the New York Times, but it verges on recklessness to discover the identical distortion two months later in the opinion-page article ``Quiz Show - Rigged Again,'' Oct. 28.

Before launching his attack on Robert Redford, the author hunkers down in defense of his past territory, the business of television. He blithely describes the 1958 fraud perpetrated by the game show ``Twenty-One,'' as ``fooling the public'' for ``fun and profit.'' The author then proceeds to compare the fun and games of fraud to the molehill of artistic license that Mr. Redford forthrightly interprets for the critics.

Developing a composite character is standard procedure in movies, literature, and other art forms. And apparently, the Redford research team unearthed sufficient evidence about NBC President Robert Kintner to assume he had some knowledge of the scam.

Redford made a movie about one of television's grandest frauds, which, appropriately enough in this political season, is being spun about for '90s consumption as something that everyone does; so who's to say what's right or wrong here? Certainly not former TV commentators. Elizabeth D. Earls, Washington

What about Clinton's achievements?

The article ``Clinton's Ratings Improve as Congress Adjourns,'' Oct. 21, was disappointing. When Stanley Greenberg, the White House's unofficial pollster, related the fact that President Clinton's approval rate has risen to almost 50 percent, it would have been the perfect time to point out some of the President's accomplishments that somehow never get mentioned in the press, such as the passing of the Family Leave Act, procurement reform, creation of AmeriCorps, the doubling of the Earned Income Tax Credit, and others.

Mr. Greenberg says the problem with the president's popularity is the perception of the president's inability to make things happen in Washington. While Greenberg was answering questions from reporters, he should have pointed out some of Clinton's accomplishments since he was in the perfect position to do so. Veronika Walton, Hamden, Conn.

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