Letters to the Editor

Readers write about work visas for immigrants and improvements for Amtrak.

Provide a means to issue work visas for immigrants

In response to Lionel Sosa's Nov. 9 Opinion piece, "A way to keep needed foreign laborers": This piece should be required reading for all representatives in Congress, and I am sending it to mine.

We encourage illegal immigration by hiring those we say should not come to this country.

Unless we are willing to pay $8.00 for a pound of peaches, or more Americans choose to pick tomatoes and clean motel rooms, this country needs the services and labor that these workers provide.

Clearly, we are not going to deport or jail the estimated 12.5 million undocumented immigrants.

Mr. Sosa's thoughtful and realistic ideas would provide a means to issue work visas and safely vet immigrants through new centers at the border.

The United States has alienated much of the world through its recent foreign policies.

At a time when human hearts are reaching out for hope, tolerance, and cooperation, we are planning to build a giant wall along our southern border, ignoring sensitive environmental areas and pretending that concrete will fix the mixed message that we send to Mexico.

Ann Hymes
St. Michaels, Md.

Amtrak still needs improvements

Regarding your Nov. 9 editorial, "Help Amtrak keep on trackin' ": I applaud the coverage of Amtrak's increase in ridership and the corresponding increase in congressional support.

I have just returned from a regular business trip to Germany, where I continue to be impressed with the integration of the rail system in daily life.

On my most recent trip, I traveled from the Frankfurt airport to Cologne.

It was a short, easy walk to the connected rail station, and a reliable one-hour trip to the center of Cologne, and a five-minute walk to my hotel.

I generally take a business class flight, but the final rail leg is the most relaxed and comfortable part of the trip.

It's another easy trip on intracity rail to reach my office in the city suburbs.

I frequently think how great this would be in the US. I take the train from Wilmington, Del., to Washington, where the Acela is becoming more like a European trip, without – unfortunately – the connections.

One way to do it in the United States is to copy Germany: The shopping mall in the center of the city acts as the central rail station.

This came to me as we walked one night through the rain and relatively empty streets to the train station as a meeting point.

When we reached the rail station, it was warm and full of people, dogs on leashes, and life.

For Americans, when convenience, commercial interest, and comfortable transportation come together, there is a chance that something can get done.

Peter Murray
Kennett Square, Pa.

In response to your Nov. 9 editorial on Amtrak: I agree that the Acela train should be used in more parts of the US.

However, we should also keep in mind that the average citizen or retired person cannot afford the significantly higher fares and must use the less expensive, slower trains.

Bring back the old parlor cars on the East Coast.

They were a great way to travel years ago and would certainly be a drawing factor today.

Horace Fox
Pottstown, Pa.

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 may appear in print or on our website, www.csmonitor.com. Mail letters to Readers Write and Opinion pieces to Opinion Page, One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115. E-mail letters to Letters and Opinion pieces to OpEd.

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