For the flood of immigrants, a flood of criticism

Your July 31 article "On immigrants, a great softening" was incorrect to note that Americans' desire to reduce immigration has lessened.

According to a recent poll of California voters on immigration conducted by Zogby, 65 percent of blacks and 34 percent of Hispanics said that a three-year moratorium on legal immigration would be beneficial. Two-thirds of blacks and Hispanics polled agree that immigration makes education reform more difficult.

Yeh Ling-Ling Executive Director, Diversity Alliance for a Sustainable America

Oakland, Calif.

I read your front page article "On immigrants, a great softening" with sadness. We have had an economic boom here in the US which has gone on and on for years, and in its long duration has persuaded us that we can continue to take in large numbers of poorly educated workers and their relatives, without having to pay the price for the dependence resulting from their lack of education.

What happens when the economy slows or stops and we have to tally up what we've done and where we are headed?

Marvin Gregory

Renton, Wash.

The claim of immigration proponents that Mexican immigrants work in low-wage jobs most Americans won't touch is overly simplistic and misleading. Low wages in these jobs were caused in part by a decades-long flood of illegals, thus driving out the Americans that used to perform them.

While employers and consumers may delight in the resulting lower wages, they are a Faustian bargain. Government ends up paying much more for associated increases in crime, illegitimacy, bilingual education, and healthcare costs.

Loyd Eskildson

Scottsdale, Ariz.

UN budget-cut will multiply suffering

We appreciated your recent coverage of the severe budget shortage currently confronting the UN High Commissioner for Refugees ("World's human rights defender slashes budget" July 24).

As he selects programs to cut, however, it is critical that the international community understands that he is not only cleaning up the agency's ledger but is literally choosing which refugee to save and which to sacrifice.

Every UNHCR dollar lost and every office closed will translate into women being denied protection from sexual violence and other abuses and children losing the opportunity for education and a fresh start in life.

Donors, especially those in Europe, must provide UNHCR with the resources necessary to ensure that progress made thus far for the protection of refugee women is not undermined.

Mary Diaz

Executive Director

Women's Commission

for Refugee Women and Children

New York

CSM + readers

"Sweet nothings, set in stone," (July 27, Home Forum) was heartwarming. Ten years ago, I was surprised and delighted to see the initials my husband, Clay, had carved in the sidewalk of our new home: CS + MN (my maiden name began with N). Now we are enjoying the 51st year of our special marriage of love and commitment.

Margaret Simons

Boise, Idaho

MTV vs. civilization

Seeing the Monitor glorifying MTV ("The end of the world as we knew it," July 27) surpasses all understanding. MTV encourages behavior that is most destructive to civilization: actions without consequences.

Allen Lawrence

San Antonio

The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. Due to 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.

Mail letters to 'Readers Write,' and opinion articles to Opinion Page, One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, or fax to 617-450-2317, or e-mail to oped@csps.com.

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