Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

January 15, 2004

Broken system of immigration needs better fix

Thanks to The Sun for giving voice to some of the concerns immigrant and labor advocates have concerning President Bush's proposed immigration changes ("Bush's immigration plan under fire," Jan. 9).

In his remarks on Jan. 7, the president acknowledged the contributions immigrants make to the national economy, and lamented that many are forced to live and work on the margins of our society.

Those are welcome comments. But to have a positive, long-term impact on immigrant workers and their families, any reforms to the immigration system should ensure that undocumented workers are provided with an expedited path to permanent resident status; that their rights on the job are protected; that they are able to reunite with their families; and that immigrants have a clear road to citizenship.

The U.S. immigration system is broken, and it is in the interests of immigrant workers, national security and our local economies to fix it.

Kevin Griffin Moreno

Baltimore

The writer is program manager for the Job Opportunities Task Force.

More competition for U.S. workers

Let me get this straight. First, the American worker had to compete for our jobs against workers around the world. Now, as born and bred American industries are shopping our jobs to the cheapest labor markets around the globe, we are expected to compete for jobs against millions of cheap laborers from south of our so-called border ("Bush unveils reform on visas," Jan. 8).

I suppose the only conclusion the American worker can make is that we are getting the shaft.

Richard Pollock

Edgemere

Missing weapons remain real story

When the Bush administration set out to convince the American people that Iraq was a threat to U.S. security because it held weapons of mass destruction (WMD), its "evidence" and justifications made the front page of The Sun and other newspapers.

Last week, the administration "quietly" pulled from Iraq a 400-man military team whose job it was to find those WMD and to justify the war. The removal of these troops did not make the front pages of The Sun. In fact it was buried on Page 12A, below the crease ("U.S. pulls from Iraq team hunting arms," Jan. 8).

I would think the story of the Iraqi WMD and the administration's tacit admission of failure to find them deserves at least as much of the front page as does the administration's latest gambit to pander to the Latino vote by unveiling "reforms" that would allow millions of illegal aliens to live and work in the United States.

Frank Dauteuil

Columbia

Soldiers still dying in a war based on lies

I read with sadness and an ever-growing sense of outrage the article about Army Sgt. Jeffery C. Walker of Havre de Grace, who died last week along with eight others when their helicopter was shot down in Iraq ("Soldier from Md. dies in Iraq," Jan. 11),

Nearly 500 U.S. soldiers have been killed in this senseless and totally unnecessary war. The time for polite discourse is over. The American people were lied to and deceived by President Bush and his minions as to the reasons for this war, and now we are asked to believe we accomplished something with the ouster and capture of Saddam Hussein. Worse yet, we are told that regardless of why we went there, we must stay and deal with the chaos we created.

Well, perhaps we do, and those who seem to know say the task may take years.

But if that is the case, let's reinstate the draft, with the prospect that the sons of the privileged may be put in harm's way. Then we might learn just how strong our commitment really is.

Bill Blackwell

Timonium

Relocating the poor threatens the county

Why should Baltimore County have to house Baltimore City's public housing residents ("New light on area's housing," Jan. 8)? This would only bring about the decline of the county.

This is especially true in the working-class neighborhoods. Why should senior citizens who own homes in these neighborhoods see their property taxes go up to subsidize public housing residents? The same seniors will see their houses' values go down.

When are the American Civil Liberties Union and The Sun going to realize you don't solve this problem by spreading it to other jurisdictions?

Robert Chase

Halethorpe

Sorry state of jail can't be dismissed

The letter mocking the lawsuit over conditions at Baltimore City Detention Center missed the point ("No pity for inmates' bad living conditions," Jan. 6).

I was detained at the jail for several months, and I know firsthand that the lawsuit is not just challenging minor inconveniences or cosmetic appearances. For months, I had trouble accessing life-sustaining medication.

I went to the jail with the medication but had it taken away by nonmedical personnel. Then I had trouble getting any medical attention as I got sicker. At several points, I thought I was going to die at the jail even though I had been convicted of no crime.

I've spent a lot time trying to recover since my release. And, sadly, my story is not at all uncommon.

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