To stem migration, address economic need in Latin America

In Mexico, I watched the response to the House vote in December to construct a "thousand meter wall on the border." Day after day, news coverage registered shock, and Mexicans were offended. Within a week, it was "the wall of vengeance" ("el muro de venganza").

Your March 14 editorial, "Border fence: symptom of a failed policy," calling for both governments to address the underlying causes of illegal migration, is the only proposal with meaning.

All other options merely extend the ineffective enforcement projects of previous years.

Criminalizing people's human efforts to survive and to help others survive increases terrible tensions and cannot be carried out.

I've had people tell me the House bill was racist. Mexico is, after all, a friendly neighbor who deserves respect.

A woman who left her teenagers years ago to work in the US so they could attend school said, "This will not stop the border crossing. People will still go, only it will be more dangerous and more costly."

A primary cause of border crossing is the economic imbalance between the two countries - only made worse by NAFTA. And there is no more terrorist threat on this border of the US than any other, so pinning arguments on that is wrong. National leaders must talk about how to address the human economic need.
Grace Braley
Yorktown Heights, N.Y.

Regarding your March 29 editorial, "Blocking illegal migrants - and rhetoric": What kind of country allows millions of people to enter the country, work, raise their families, own their own house, and marry US citizens, and then say, "Now you have to leave"?

What kind of a country allows many critical industries to rely on illegal immigrants for labor for decades?

A law that is not enforced is not a law at all. The country has the responsibility to face the consequences of its actions (or lack of action) - to do the right thing and make provisions for these people and businesses.
Michael McLean
Sarasota, Fla.

Cellphone saturation - even in the air

Regarding the March 30 article, "Cellphone chats at 35,000 feet? US considers legalizing them on airline flights": It is discourteous enough for those who don't use cellphones to be exposed to the constant cacophony of cellphone users in restaurants, theaters, and even public libraries - but at least in those places the offended individual has the option of moving away from the talkers.

However, one would be hard pressed in an airplane to avoid the offender, unless he or she is equipped with a parachute and has access to an escape hatch.

The cellphone has already permeated too much of our society. To some, cellphone users are as obnoxious as smokers. Give us a break.
Nelson Marans
Silver Spring, Md.

In response to the March 30 article about cellphone calls on airline flights: Perhaps the airlines ought to offer cellphone and noncellphone sections on their planes.

That way, those who want to yap on their cellphones can (although they run the risk of being next to other loud talkers, since plane noise would make quiet conversations nearly impossible).

Those who prefer their "sanctuary" without cellphones can sit in the noncellphone section.
Paul Griffin
Morrisville, NC

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