To stem the flow of illegal immigrants, start with employers
Your Dec. 18 editorial, "Crossing the ID border," offers valid points with which our US Congress must come to grips as it searches for an answer to this difficult problem of illegal immigration. I would offer that since most illegal immigration is for economic reasons, the enforcement of immigration law must be workplace oriented. No multimillion-dollar fence will stem the flow of illegals into the US. We must have secure documentation for, and onerous penalties against, employers who would otherwise exploit illegals to gain economic advantage over their competitors.
Until there exists an environment where there is a real threat of extreme fines and jail time for CEOs and managers who break the law, nothing will change.
The Dec. 21 article "Touched by Africa, Hollywood Gives a Little Back," confirmed my experiences on a recent trip to Nairobi, Kenya, where I visited with and viewed the works and programs of the De La Salle Christian Brothers.
There is a slum called Kuwinda near their formation house in Nairobi. The Christian Brothers provide food, clothing, tutors, a place to study, and school tuition to boys from the slum who are homeless or orphaned. One of the teenaged boys invited me to visit the house in Kuwinda where he stays with a younger brother. I was appalled at the wretched and harsh conditions in which so many live. At the same time I felt hopeful when I saw women sharing food and laughter with young children, when the school boys talked about Shakespeare and soccer games, and when the young Brothers talked of their commitment to teaching.
It is important that the Monitor write stories such as the Dec. 21 article that allow readers to see the poor and disenfranchised as individuals with gifts and contributions to give as well as needs to be met.
Small gifts of time and money can make a huge difference in the lives of people who must live each day in dismal and sometimes violent conditions. Thank you for your coverage of these people and places.
The Dec. 19 article, " 'Sustainability' gains status on US campuses," is very exciting. Encouraging students to think holistically about the challenges facing our world is essential.
Two aspects of sustainability that I feel are important for programs such as the one at Arizona State University to address are the role of public policy and the challenge of incorporating social equity concerns.
At the Leadership Institute for Ecology and the Economy, we believe that knowledge of sustainability is essential for leaders who are responsible for developing public policy. To this end, we educate community leaders about how to integrate environmental, economic, and social equity issues in order to live sustainably and ensure a high quality of life for future generations.
Because it can be challenging to address all three "E's" of sustainability – ecology, economy, and equity – we welcome any new research that might come from Arizona State's School of Sustainability that effectively deals with all three. We need innovative thinking to create win-win-win outcomes and challenge the notion that sustainability is a viable option only for those who can afford it.
Executive director, Leadership Institute for Ecology and the Economy
Santa Rosa, Calif.
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