Illegals aren't owed a tuition discount
Del. Victor R. Ramirez - with the blessings of our new governor - has again entered his bill that would force the taxpaying citizens of Maryland to subsidize the education of people who enter this country illegally ("In Maryland, lawmakers revisiting immigration," Feb. 25).
I think this bill angers the majority of law-abiding Americans in Maryland.
Behind this anger is the fact that our parents and their parents came to this country legally. They did not start their American experience in an illegal fashion. They waited patiently until it was their turn and were not rude or inconsiderate enough to push their way to the front of the line. They were too law-abiding to break the law.
Our grandfathers or great-grandfathers came, obtained jobs and went to school in the evening to learn English and to study for citizenship because they wanted to be Americans and reap the benefits of being an American.
After they were established, they sent for their families, who also learned to speak English and assimilate into society.
They contributed to the economy and kept the money that they earned in our economy.
I believe that Mr. Ramirez does not understand or care that the discounts that taxpaying citizens receive are perks earned by ourselves and our ancestors - ones that people who cannot take the time to become Americans don't deserve.
They have not paid their dues.
John R. Wingate
Foolish to reward border lawbreakers
It was most disconcerting to read that Gov. Martin O'Malley has pledged support for a controversial bill that would allow illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition at Maryland colleges ("In Maryland, lawmakers revisiting immigration," Feb. 25).
Even more alarming was the House of Delegates' decision allowing such lawbreakers to testify at a committee hearing in support of the tuition subsidy measure.
With an educational crisis looming in some Maryland school systems, one would hope that the governor and legislature would focus first on meeting the education needs of Maryland's own before diverting resources to aid illegal entrants.
Apparently, some lawmakers in Annapolis believe that there is an endless supply of money to support illegal aliens.
Our lawmakers need to be reminded that we should not reward illegal behavior and that charity must begin at home.
Terry M. Klima
As a lifelong Marylander, I have always known that there was something about Annapolis that makes many legislators lose their senses. The bill that would allow illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition just proves my point.
How many sons and daughters of taxpaying Maryland citizens would be denied a place in college if this bill were to pass? How many millions of dollars would it cost?
Why is the state considering rewarding and sanctioning illegal activity?
And why aren't the illegal immigrants who testify at these hearings deported and their employers fined?
Kurt S. Willem
Council costs bars of city a customer
Congratulations to the City Council. By passing a smoking ban, you have just lost a customer to any bar or restaurant in Baltimore ("Smoking ban wins approval," Feb. 27). Nice job.
No bartender or waiter or waitress in Baltimore will receive any income from me.
I may be in the minority, but I will no longer be going to a bar to drink or eat, and if I want food from a restaurant, I'll get carryout.
I'm sure there are many others like me.
Can city enforce new smoking ban?
Reading of the new smoking ban in Baltimore, I wondered if this action is truly enforceable ("Smoking ban wins approval," Feb. 27).
In a city struggling to control serious law enforcement issues such as gun violence, an out-of-control gun trade and the burgeoning threat of organized gangs, what resources are available to ensure that bar patrons are obeying this law?
I'm afraid this ban could prove to be a needless encroachment on otherwise law-abiding citizens' freedom at a time when the city needs to deal with more-pressing issues.
Condemned to relive Iraq war scenario?
Iraq. Iran. From the Bush administration's perspective, it's as simple as changing a q to an n ("U.S. says explosives originated in Iran," Feb. 27).
The build-up to war looks frighteningly similar:
Have some administration officials talk of diplomacy while Vice President Dick Cheney makes threatening remarks.
Promote news stories about weapons supplied by the target country, but balk at identifying any "smoking gun" evidence.
Ask the United Nations to impose sanctions, but direct the Pentagon to plan for war.
Listen to neoconservative political supporters, but ignore the doubts expressed by military experts and rational civilian advisers.
Based upon the Iraq debacle, we can assume that the Bush administration has not thought out the consequences of an attack on Iran.