Regarding "Local cops and visa-violators" (Editorial, April 30): I'm the assistant chief of police in El Paso, which shares the largest international border with Mexico. For the past 15 years, we've teamed up foot-patrol officers with border-patrol agents a decision that was scrutinized by groups fearing the police would begin enforcing immigration laws not under their jurisdiction. But we've kept police officers involved only with state law and city ordinances. However, teaming up border-patrol officers with city officers has helped to expedite things, since many of our criminal offenders are also illegal immigrants.
This does not mean local police should be enforcing federal laws. Our Constitution provides for various layers of government federal and state. As a democracy, we don't want one law-enforcement agency to possess the authority to enforce all laws irregardless of jurisdiction. To allow that would be the first step in the formalization of a national police force.
George A. De Angelis
El Paso, Texas
Regarding "L.A.'s darkest days" (April 29): For one who grew up in southern California, worked in South-Central Los Angeles and was downtown the night the L.A. riots erupted, your article brought back vivid memories. I spent my childhood in the suburban neighborhoods of the San Gabriel Valley a neighborhood of many races and ethnic backgrounds. I saw some racial tensions, but most often we got along.
When I began working in the more poverty-stricken neighborhoods of the inner city, I began to see a whole other side of L.A. Everything wrong and evil in these communities was the result of two things: ignorance and poverty. The uneducated masses were often stuck in society, because of a lack of usable skills and education not just scholastically but socially and spiritually as well.
The only way to battle this ignorance is through education. People of different races must take the time to understand one another.
Virginia Beach, Va.
Regarding "In crisis, Israel rallies behind settlers" (April 26): I grew up in the Germany of the '30s and '40s and am well familiar with the Nazi slogans of a "Greater Germany" and other labels of superiority conveying the idea of a chosen people. Then and now, such thinking is anathematic, philosophically redundant, and offensive. Such ideas need to be washed away with all other racial theories. We profess to be a nation under God, governed by the rules of equality, which are not negotiable. We must acknowledge and insist on the absolute and equal rights of all people.
Ralph E. Eissmann
Regarding "Balancing family and work at the White House" (April 25): Hats off to President Bush's counselor Karen Hughes and her decision to take more time for her family. It's about time someone matched their walk with their talk. This country gives a lot of lip service to "family first" until people actually have to make a critical decision.
It was probably an oversight in the midst of a deadline crunch, but to define "high-achieving women" as "those earning $100,000 or more" seems unfortunate. Perhaps these are the terms of the book from which you obtained your statistic, but by not putting them in quotation marks, they come across as your terms. In my experience, many of the women whose achievements I admire most didn't get paid a dime for them.
Jamaica Plain, Mass.
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