To curb immigration, enforce US laws and help Mexico develop

I agree with your Nov. 13 editorial, "Illegal-immigration temptation," about immigration reform and the fallout of the midterm elections. The majority of American citizens are increasingly fed up with the lack of enforcement of our immigration laws (poll after poll shows this). Despite the tough talk, there are still 12 million to 20 million illegal immigrants openly defying the laws, customs, rules, and norms of our society.

The newly elected congressional representatives now must show that they will indeed "change direction" on enforcement of immigration laws. What are they waiting for? We don't need to have any more laws from the federal government. We just need to enforce the laws we have and build the fence as soon as possible. When the jobs and public benefits dry up and crossing the border becomes next to impossible, then the current illegal immigrants will start voluntarily repatriating. I believe it's the only way to force Mexico to deal with its own people. We in the US have to stop being the social welfare and employment agency of Mexico's underclass simply because Mexico refuses to look within itself and heal itself. We must act in our own self-interest first. Mexico obviously has been doing so – to our detriment.
Mariann Davies
Vice chair, You Don't Speak for Me
Doylestown, Pa.

What perfect advice your Nov. 13 editorial gave on America's immigration crisis. At a recent demonstration in front of the Mexican Embassy in New York, one of our chants was, "Reform Mexico there!" The Bush administration and its congressional allies advocate the cheap fix of an amnesty for the estimated 12 million to 20 million illegals in America, which doesn't even address what your editorial recognizes – that there are about 50 million poor Mexicans, and millions more poor in Latin America and the rest of the world who want to come here.

The American people aren't responsible for the terrible poverty that exists in the rest of the world, but your editorial recommendation to assist Mexico in Mexico makes sense. The only debate is how much assistance we should give and in what capacity we should provide it.
Kenneth Reynolds
Bronx, N.Y.

On Halloween, a trick before the treat

The Oct. 30 article, "A sweet welcome to America," about a Russian immigrant's first Halloween in the US, brought back a sweet memory for my sister and me. As children of two Army officers, we and our brothers had been moved around since birth. Our last post before settling down had been Okinawa. One year after returning stateside, we moved to Parma, Ohio. The majority of our neighbors there were central European immigrants and their American children.

For we three youngest, Halloween was still a great novelty. Mama dressed us up in our kimonos and clear plastic masks and sent us out. At one house, the "babushka" who answered the door had obviously been coached about the holiday but was a little confused about it. When we held out our bags with the requisite exclamation, she said, "First show me your trick, and then the treat." Taken aback, but used to being strangers in strange cultures ourselves, we backed up the sidewalk to discuss how to handle the situation kindly. Coming to agreement, we went back to the waiting open door, sang "Twinkle, twinkle, little star" in Japanese, and received our candy. The candy is long gone, but the memory remains our sweetest treat ever from that holiday.
Cynthia Bushnell-Blume
Southington, Ohio

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