Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

March 03, 2005

Don't encourage new immigrants to break the law

It is well-known that reinforcing a behavior results in more of that behavior. So why is The Sun supporting illegal immigration, and urging Baltimore to assist people who are in this country illegally ("Protecting workers," editorial, Feb. 28)?

In whose interest is it to allow millions of illegal immigrants to enter the United States every year?

Certainly not that of the American worker, who has seen his or her wages steadily driven down because of millions of illegal workers who are willing to work for one-half, or even less, of the wages that an American citizen needs to live a middle-class life.

Illegal immigrants should be deported immediately, not "protected," as The Sun recommends.

Michael Holden

Chestertown

Citizenship is path to rights, protection

I wholeheartedly endorse the idea of building a center for immigrant workers who are waiting for work, with one stipulation - that a branch of the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services be part of the building, and that those workers who are found to be here illegally be processed for deportation ("Protecting workers," editorial, Feb. 28).

Citizenship brings rights. Rights to fair compensation and not to be exploited. The right to vote.

Those who come here illegally have no such rights. They have no entitlement to driver's licenses. They have no right to complain if English is made the official language.

I cannot understand how some politicians and The Sun continue to endorse the cause of those who came here by bypassing the laws of our country. I can't see any logic in their stance.

These immigrants want rights, respect, licenses, the vote? Simple. Apply for citizenship through the legal channels. And learn English, because a common language is what unites a people.

If they do these things, there would be no dispute about everyone welcoming them to our country.

D. Keith Henderson

Perry Hall

Legal immigration is the right choice

I was glad to see The Sun's editorial on the potential of immigration to support Social Security payments ("Immigration benefits," Feb. 23) .

With the pending retirement of the baby boomers, the number of workers paying into Social Security relative to the number getting benefits may fall to a ratio of 2-to-1 if there is no increase in immigration.

History shows us that no fence is high enough to separate desperate workers from jobs.

If we change nothing, these workers will arrive by illegal immigration and be brought in by criminal networks, and many will not pay the payroll taxes needed to fund Social Security.

Our country cannot choose between immigration and no immigration; we must choose between legal immigration and illegal immigration.

I think increasing legal immigration is the right choice.

Jim Wade

Columbia

Blowing up budget to repeal New Deal?

Steve Chapman's column on the looming costs of Medicare seems to assume that our leaders are merely acting with typical political cowardice ("Medicare will blow up the budget," Opinion * Commentary, Feb. 28).

Given that a frequently stated aim of the GOP over the last 20 years has been to bust the budget so that the New Deal-era social programs they despise will become unaffordable, why are we not to assume that the entire situation is a deliberate attempt to return to the glory days of the turn of the last century?

May Robinson

Baltimore

Mall killing shows we must control guns

The senseless death of William A. Bassett calls attention to the shameless neglect of gun control.

The Sun reports that the alleged assassin had no prior criminal history, juvenile or adult. He is said to have bought his weapon at an Essex gun shop ("Teen held in mall killing charged in earlier robbery," Feb. 23).

There are no restrictions in Maryland on the purchase of a shotgun by someone who has reached age 18 except the criminal background check.

The murder would never have happened if the weapon hadn't been so readily available.

Let the worshippers of the Second Amendment ponder that naked fact. And let them share with us their clairvoyance as to which legal purchasers of firearms will use them to commit crimes.

Hal Riedl

Baltimore

Concealed weapons can cut crime rate

In the wake of another senseless killing, a local politician has attempted to garner the limelight by calling for increased penalties when a criminal uses a rifle or shotgun in a crime. Last week, Baltimore County Executive James T. Smith Jr. announced support for a mandatory sentence for anyone convicted of a crime using a shotgun or rifle ("Smith backs measure to expand law on handguns," Feb. 25).

If this sounds like the current mandatory sentence for crimes using a handgun, it should. And that mandatory sentence has done absolutely nothing to bring down the murder rate in Baltimore.

So now we're expected to believe that adding rifles and shotguns to the list of guns will help? And I won't mention the fact that adding a mandatory five years to a sentence of life without parole for murder really doesn't mean much.

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