Letters to the Editor

Readers debate US immigration policy, Palestinians' right of return, and defend single dads' rights.

Immigration: Close borders or open trade?

In response to the April 25 article, "US fights a border-crime 'epidemic' ": One would hope that any immigration-reform bill would also take into account the way that US policies on other issues influence economic migration. For example, US farm subsidies have the result of impoverishing Mexican corn farmers. Having fewer people who want to cross the border could also help bring down the level of violence.

Annelies Kamran
Brookhaven, N.Y.

Regarding the April 24 article, "On tighter US border with Mexico, violence rises": Massive illegal immigration is a dagger aimed at the heart of American citizenship, sovereignty, and the rule of law. Giving legal status or amnesty to millions of illegal aliens would pour gasoline on a blazing fire. Already, it is estimated that 40 percent of all illegal immigrants residing in the US arrived here in the past five years.

Larry Brown
Riverside, Calif.

Who should resettle Palestinians?

Regarding Alan Dershowitz's April 16 Opinion piece, "Palestinians and the 'right of return' ": For many of us who feel that the Israeli side of the Middle East conflict is often drowned out in the media, it's refreshing and informative to read Mr. Dershowitz's constructive account.

Dershowitz usefully reminds us how oil-rich Arab governments have used Palestinian refugees for political advantage while ignoring the human tragedy, and that a "right of return" could also apply to the 700,000 Jewish refugees who have had to flee Arab countries since 1948.

Most helpfully, Dershowitz advances practical proposals as to how Israelis might extend a hand of friendship and compromise to Arabs – without destroying Israel itself. This kind of perspective is needed.

Douglas Leiterman

Regarding Alan Dershowitz's April 16 Opinion piece on the "right of return": It is a promotion of a travesty of justice for Mr. Dershowitz to refute the inalienable right of return of Palestinians who were forced out of their homeland in an inhuman act of ethnic cleansing in 1948.

Israel's admission to the United Nations was conditional upon its compliance with the terms of UN Resolution 194, which reaffirmed the right of return of Palestinians to their homes. Therefore, I find it very puzzling that the likes of Dershowitz continue to advance highly casuistic arguments against the well-documented rights of Palestinians.

Sami Joseph
Aylesbury, England

Housing for single dads, too

In response to the April 26 article, "Housing holds back moms in college": I would just like to add that there are single dads out there, too, who face similar obstacles. I am raising four children and expect to complete my degree in August 2007.

I'm attending college online now. It has been difficult, but college has been the best thing I could have ever done for myself and my children. But at one point at a main campus at a regular university, the wait list for family housing was more than one year.

In many areas of the country, there are local shelters for women with children. But, it seems that there aren't any for males with children – at least not any that I have found. I believe there are more men like me in America.

If universities do provide housing for single moms, they should strive to provide it for single dads as well – and not perpetuate some of the same biases that they are trying to eliminate.

Atilano Sanchez

The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. Because of 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. Any letter accepted will appear in print and on our website, www.csmonitor.com.

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