Safety along US-Mexico border

Regarding "Rural counties on border struggle with surge of dangerous crossings" (May 4):

While there is no question that there are problems caused by illegal immigration, there is more than one way to look at it. On March 26, 1999, Ray Borane, the mayor of Douglas, Ariz., was quoted as advocating in a letter to President Clinton that the problems be resolved by legalizing immigration. Douglas is directly across the border from Agua Prieta, Mexico, and has had far more than its share of problems with illegal immigration.

The mayor seems to be saying we should either provide enough border patrol agents to stop the immigration, or simply let these people in and eliminate the criminal smuggling, dangerous desert crossings, and desperate thefts along the border. Mr. Borane seems perfectly comfortable just letting them in. Is that worse than sending the jobs to sweatshops abroad?

It seems strange to me that people who are not near the border are more concerned about Mexican immigrants than those who see them every day.

Mars Burnside, Tucson, Ariz.

Debt forgiveness would be a mistake

Regarding your editorial "Debt forgiveness" (April 28): The large loans provided for sub-Saharan African countries were squandered by irresponsible, corrupt governments, who were all too often viciously oppressing their own people (Uganda, NIgeria, Zaire, Rwanda, etc.).

If they get more loans, they will be spent largely in a similar fashion. The debts should not be forgiven. And new loans should be granted only if proven to be spent for specific, rational purposes, supervised by an international organization.

Louis J. Mihalyi, Newland, N.C.

Higher standard needed for Hollywood

Regarding "Hollywood's genial gladiator against 'sleaze' " (April 30): I was delighted to see an entertainer of the quality and caliber of Steve Allen step forward and challenge the Hollywood thinking that "anything goes."

One is hard pressed to find much in the media and entertainment venues these days that promotes family, respect, honesty, or any of the qualities most parents look to instill in their children.

Much of what we see portrayed on TV and the movies, no matter how much it may be patterning itself after our culture, is not entertainment.

Hollywood must be held to a higher standard, and must be held responsible for the messages it conveys. If it is not to pursue the "self-censorship and sensitivity" that author Charles Lyons mentions in your article (and which I am hard pressed to see in recent products) then it needs to be subject to some further restrictions or a new level of legal responsibility.

Robert Dowcett, San Ramon, Calif.

Boys and girls

The article "Young and male in America: It's hard being a boy" (April 29) provided information that is helpful to all adults, including parents, teachers, clergy, and others. However, I believe that to employ the "girls' movement" as a partial reason for the perceived difficulties among boys is clearly looking in the wrong direction.

Just look at the other stories in the same issue: bullets made of depleted uranium, peace elusive in Colombia, a rare visit to Iraq's radioactive battlefield. How can we expect anything different from our boys when these are the cultural values? Please don't blame girls for this too.

Diane Ross, Fullerton, Calif.

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