Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

November 22, 2005

Many immigrants disregard our laws

The Sun's article "MVA sued over licensing barriers" (Nov. 16) shows the arrogance and brazen attitude that some immigrants, both legal and illegal, have about our laws. The plaintiffs in this suit are complaining of not being able to get jobs without a driver's license but fail to mention that federal laws require proper documentation before an employer can hire them.

Every day I encounter immigrants, working well-paying jobs, who cannot speak any English and expect me to understand what they are saying. My wife encounters immigrants who use the local hospital as a clinic and have no means to pay their bills.

And since when does Maryland law trump federal law? You know, the federal law that says a person cannot cross the border illegally.

If these plaintiffs are legally in our country and have proper documentation, they should be allowed a driver's license.

But unfortunately more and more illegal aliens are attempting to get the same rights as law-abiding citizens, creating a logjam for their peers who have entered this country legally.

If the immigrants don't like our laws or the way we do business, they always have the option of returning to their native land.

Joe Collins

Reisterstown

Hispanic birth-rate poses a real threat

I applaud Tom Horton for making clear that environmental deterioration cannot be separated from uncontrolled population growth, and that the only way to stabilize our exploding population is "by reducing the record number of immigrants and by slowing our fertility rate, highest of any industrialized democracy"("Reality differs a bit from people's words, actions on growth," Nov. 15).

I take issue, however, with Mr. Horton's assertion that reducing immigration is doable without "culturally unacceptable measures" because the immigrant group with the highest fertility rate is Hispanic.

And to focus population measures on this one group would not only be "culturally unacceptable," it would be politically incorrect to the nth degree. Indeed, this is why environmental groups, as Mr. Horton notes, duck the issue.

But the fact remains that the fertility rates of Hispanic immigrants and their descendants are a primary factor in U.S. population growth.

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the fertility rate for U.S. Hispanics - the average number of births per woman - is 2.75.

This compares with a rate of 1.84 for non-Hispanic whites, 2.05 for non-Hispanic blacks and 1.75 for American Indians.

In other words, Hispanic fertility rates are 40 percent higher than those of non-Hispanic blacks, and 60 percent higher than those in all other major racial and ethnic groups.

It should also be noted that a fertility rate of 2.1 is considered the level at which population remains stable - that is, neither rises nor falls. U.S. non-Hispanics are already at or below that level.

So the question boils down to how to affect Hispanic fertility rates in "culturally acceptable" and politically correct ways.

I hope Mr. Horton, whom I admire greatly, will address this question in a future column.

Howard Bluth

Baltimore

Development mocks `Smart Growth'

Tom Horton hit the nail on the head when he called the proposed Terrapin Run development in Allegany County a travesty ("Reality differs a bit from people's words, actions on growth," Nov. 15). It will be a blight on some of Maryland's most picturesque countryside.

Many miles from the nearest population center of Cumberland, this development will force struggling Allegany County to supply services and infrastructure to a development that is close to nothing - nothing, but public forest, rural land and limited water resources.

I am sure these costs will offset any gain in the county tax base.

And, by catering to "long-distance commuters," as the developer calls the residents, this development will enable them to burn our limited supply of fossil fuels as they commute to Baltimore and Washington.

Whatever happened to "Smart Growth"?

The biggest losers in all this will be the people of Maryland, who are fed up with the rate at which unspoiled areas are being consumed by unbridled development.

Terry Cooper

Timonium

Suicide bombers earn no empathy

Michael Hill's article about "Paradise Now" paints a sympathetic portrait of the film and its director ("The painful road to `Paradise', Nov. 13).

But if the accompanying sub-headline is correct, and the film truly "portrays suicide bombers as neither evil nor heroic," the film deserves condemnation, not sympathy. The cold-blooded murder of civilians is an evil, which is in no way mitigated by the alleged "complexity" of the bombers portrayed in the movie.

Worse still, Mr. Hill offered no voices to dispute the claim made repeatedly throughout the article that Israel's "occupation" of Palestinian lands causes the suicide bombing.

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