Immigration Fairness Act - not fair

Your Oct. 19 article "Hispanic voters watch immigration battle" states: "The Latino and Immigrant Fairness Act, as the bill is called, is backed by a coalition of Hispanic groups, such as the National Council of La Raza and the Mexican American Legal Defense Fund."

While I can understand Hispanics' sympathy toward their own ethnic groups, I can hardly see how the proposed immigration act can be characterized as a call for "fairness." As the US Census data prove, Latinos in general, and Mexicans in particular, are already over-represented in the recent wave of immigration to the US. This gives them unfair advantage over other nations whose poor and oppressed want to come to the US but are denied entry because of visa limitations.

Because mostly Mexicans and Latinos will benefit from the "Fairness Act," the legislation would make the immigration playing field even less level.

Marek A. Suchenek Redondo Beach, Calif.

'No homework,' is not a radical idea

When I first heard about the idea of no homework ("Who needs homework, anyway?" Oct. 24), I was a little skeptical. But a quick analysis of our family confirms much of what your article stated.

We have three children and have found that homework is a major source of stress. My husband and I are both college- and post-college graduates. We have found we often cause more problems than we solve when we try to assist our kids with homework - especially when the instructions are not clear, nonexistent, or not written down.

We would love to spend quality evening time discussing current events, history, reading out loud, or taking a walk. The school day should be longer with scheduled time for "in-class homework."

Sharon Stones Lubbock, Texas

Population control key to reforms

Presidential candidates claim they want to address this nation's education and high healthcare costs. But can they do so without also advocating immigration reduction? Do they know that even children in public schools in less populous states now speak scores of foreign languages? Also, more than 30 percent of people living in immigrant families lacked health insurance in 1998.

Americans are told daily that the US is experiencing "unprecedented prosperity." In the '60s, when this country had fewer than 200 million people, most Americans needed only one income to live a middle-class lifestyle. Today, with 275 million people in the US, most families require two incomes and most have a hard time making ends meet!

Are the majority of Americans really living better now than 40 years ago? What price tag should we give to our deteriorating quality of life as the result of population growth?

Yeh Ling-Ling Oakland, Calif.

Media's role in campaign-finance laws

Your Oct. 24 editorial "Let votes, not dollars, rule" missed the true roots of the problem, as well as the only possible solution.

You should have pointed out how the $3 billion that you say "will likely be spent on this year's federal campaigns" actually gets spent. Much of it goes to buying time or space for advertising. That's a huge boon to the media. Another part of it goes to buying the time of political consultants and their polling teams. In other words, the experts and the media would be the big losers from any campaign-finance reform.

The solution is to establish formats in which neither the candidates nor the media control the campaigning.

Malcolm Mitchell Ithaca, N.Y.

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