Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

July 08, 2008

Businesses export many more jobs

Many people decry the presence of 12 million illegal immigrants in this country who take away our jobs and use our government services. Dan Rodricks had an excellent response to this view in his column "Happy Fourth! Now hit the road" (July 3).

But many of us stand silent when American businesses export many more millions of jobs overseas. These businesses deprive more Americans of jobs than illegal immigrants ever will. Yet many of us don't care because we want to buy our goods and services at the lowest possible cost.

Take a moment to look at all of your belongings, and even your food - how much of what you own is "Made in the U.S.A."?

So why should we be condemning the illegal immigrants?

At least most of them are working hard and helping the economy by providing needed goods and services and contributing their hard-earned dollars through taxes to help the government provide services.

Let's voice our anger instead at the businesses exporting jobs out of this country.

Don Torres, Ellicott City

Why no sanctions for the employer?

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers did a great job rounding up those illegal immigrants in Anne Arundel County ("Effect of illegals policy is debated," July 6). They rescued those workers from an employer who allegedly took much of their pay and housed them in overcrowded company-owned houses with few amenities.

But I saw no reports of the company management being arrested for hiring these undocumented workers and avoiding federal labor laws.

County Executive John R. Leopold said, "The arrests should send a strong signal that the hiring of illegal immigrants won't be tolerated in Anne Arundel County."

The message I see is there are no consequences for greedy companies that use and abuse illegal immigrants.

Does anyone believe that rounding up 45 workers at a time will put a dent in the 12 million illegal immigrants in the United States?

The only way to curb illegal immigrants in this county is to make corporate mangers pay a dear price for hiring and abusing them to undercut the wage structure of the U.S. working class.

Wayne Brooks, Baltimore

Enforcing law often causes hardships

The letter writer who claimed that the recent Anne Arundel County raids targeting illegal immigrants "imposed unnecessary hardship on spouses and children of immigrant workers" should remember that this is usually the case when folks are arrested for breaking the law ("Raids hurt families, undermine values," July 6).

Does not a $100 traffic ticket impose a hardship on a person making $8 per hour and his or her dependents? Does not a stint in the county jail for a drug offense create a hardship for the spouse and children of the offending breadwinner?

Our nation desperately needs a comprehensive immigration policy. We also need to change our strategy on the war on drugs and other crime and punishment initiatives.

But that doesn't mean that we should ask Anne Arundel County Executive John R. Leopold to enforce the law selectively.

Mr. Leopold did the right thing. And he did a service to Maryland's law-abiding contractors and their families, who will now less often have to compete with companies that use cheap, illegal labor.

Those who disagree with the laws should work to change them, not criticize those who are sworn to uphold them.

Michael P. DeCicco, Severn

Migrants sacrifice to help families

My visit to El Salvador a few years back helps me to put in perspective what happened in Annapolis on June 30 ("Effect of illegals policy is debated," July 6).

I talked to people who had left their farms for the city of San Salvador, where they couldn't find jobs and barely eked out a living. They couldn't compete with the less expensive rice and other crops dumped in the country by companies from the United States and other industrialized nations.

They spoke lovingly and appreciatively of the women and men who had dared to strike out for the U.S. and were sending them money so that they might live as human beings. They were speaking not of criminals but of people who were doing the right thing to help them.

The U.S. needs to change those parts of its economic and trade policies that have been important factors in the immigration problem, and it needs to create a comprehensive path to legal immigration.

Brother Jeremiah O'Leary, Baltimore

The writer is coordinator for peace and justice for the Xaverian Brothers.

City mass transit needs an overhaul

The Sun's article "Neighborhood sees $1.3 billion lifeline" (June 27) makes the obvious argument that the construction of a Red Line through West Baltimore would help revitalize the suffering neighborhoods in the area. This is indeed a noble goal worth achieving.

But the article overlooks the even more obvious incentive of building a new Red Line, which is that Baltimore desperately needs to improve its mass transportation infrastructure in general.

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