Real Immigration Fix: Improve Economies
The writer of the letter ``Prop. 187: Quick Fix to Big Problem,'' Dec. 6, seems to think that Proposition 187 was meant to be some sort of quick fix of the immigration problem, and that ``nobody cares'' about it. [Editor's note: Proposition 187 is a ballot initiative passed in California Nov. 8 that would prohibit certain state services to illegal immigrants. It is being challenged in court.]
My vote for Proposition 187 had nothing to do with immigrants of any national origin. Nor did I have any illusion that this measure would solve any problem. Rather it was a refusal to reward or encourage those who were breaking the law.
The only real solution to the immigration problem is economic improvement in the country of origin - the removal of political oppression, moral corruption, and elite, wealthy caste systems based on the possession of most of the money and land - regardless of whether it is immigration from the south or from third-world countries in Europe, Asia, and Africa. Janice Burleigh, Vista, Calif.
GATT, NAFTA - what advantages?
In the opinion-page article ``GATT Approval Proves the Two Parties Can Tango,'' Dec. 13, Rep. David Dreier (R) of California states that the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), a small trade deal compared with the Uruguay Round, has created nearly 100,000 export jobs in one year.
Representative Dreier does not state if the jobs created are near-minimum-wage jobs or manufacturing jobs, or whether they are export jobs from Mexico or from the US.
Even if the ``nearly 100,000'' jobs did turn out to be American jobs, from other articles I've read it seems we could still be losing about 44,000 jobs.
In defense of Representative Drier, he is not the only advocate of NAFTA and GATT (the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) who has practiced this apparent deception. I have heard many other politicians, as well as those who would benefit from these agreements, marching to the same drumbeat.
Someone is going to have to spell out the advantages of NAFTA and GATT, to me and to the American blue-collar worker, in single-syllable words. Fernand Feig, Gross Ile, Mich.
The mixed bag of mass media
I agree with the editorial ``Real Solutions to Crime,'' Nov. 8, which states that the media share much of the blame for the state our society is in today. Mass media have had the most influence on societal changes in the 20th century.
The role of the media has enabled the public to be more active in changing the laws and the ideas of the public. Through mass media, people are able to share their opinions and ideas with the rest of the world more quickly than before. The public is also better informed about candidates running for public office. A candidate's appearance shows more of what the candidate is all about.
But television has caused a decline in the idea of the traditional family. In the past, members of the family relied on one another for entertainment by going out and doing things together, telling stories, visiting neighbors, friends, or relatives, or by playing games.
Today, the average teen watches between two and three hours of television every day and spends little time conversing with other family members. Russell Weir, Belton, Texas
Helping teenage moms cope
In response to the article ``Federal Program Helping Teenage Moms,'' Dec. 12, I am pleased with the new federally funded programs that will enable social workers to make weekly home visits to provide teens with guidance in parenting, family planning, health care, and obtaining child support.
It is true that home visits will allow social workers to deal with personal problems that go beyond basic education and job training.
I find it frustrating that inadequate funds limit the number of eligible teens who are served by the program.
This is a perfect opportunity for members of local churches to get involved. Mothers who stay at home would be a perfect resource to teens who need basic parenting and child care instruction. Rebecca Naumoff, Oxford, Ohio