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Letters to the editor

- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 22, 2007

CASA and tax dollars

So, CASA of Maryland reflexively opposes a proposal that government contractors confirm the legal status of their employees ("Reinforcing the law," Editorial, Monday). This is hardly news. Last year, CASA opposed a common-sense proposal by Delegate Luis Simmons, Montgomery County Democrat, that Maryland law conform to Virginia and D.C. law by allowing imposition of a jail term for driving without a license. Astonishingly, the same Gustavo Torres mentioned in the editorial said people had to drive children to school and get to work no matter whether they had a license or not. This year, Mr. Torres criticized Montgomery County police for assisting federal officials in the El Pollo Rico raids.

Why do the taxpayers have to support these constant attacks from CASA? As constituents, we wrote to Rep. Chris Van Hollen, Democrat of Maryland, some time ago raising this point after he touted a $200,000 federal grant to CASA for anti-gang work in Maryland. We have yet to receive a response from the congressman.

LIZ AND GEORGE VARY

Bethesda

Illegals and crime

Donald J. Boudreaux of George Mason University either carelessly or purposefully misrepresents Michelle Malkin's message in her Saturday Commentary column, "Sanctuary nation or sovereign nation?" which is not that "immigrants are especially likely to commit crimes" ("The truth about 'immigrants,'" Letters, Monday). The incarceration rate of legal immigrants is irrelevant to the point.

It is the classic liberal tactic of accusing those who believe in the rule of law of xenophobia. The issue is illegal aliens, not legal immigrants. If our government had been doing its job, illegals who have committed vicious crimes would not have been here. Victims would be alive. Families would not be grieving. It is denial of the facts, not ignorance, that is the problem.

ANNE ALLEN

Washington

Donald J. Boudreaux accuses Michelle Malkin of "stoking up xenophobia" in his Monday letter, "The truth about 'immigrants.'" He further notes that in their demographic groups, immigrants are one-tenth as likely to commit crimes as are native-born Americans in those groups. His statistics appear to group all immigrants, legal and illegal, into one statistical group.

According to a Government Accountability Office report issued in April 2005, illegal aliens make up 27 percent of the prison population while representing just 4 percent (12 million) of the population. Twenty-five U.S. citizens are killed every day by illegals, for a total of 9,000 per year half killed by murder, the other half by vehicular accidents. How many of the drivers in those accidents had no license or insurance? I wonder.

Mr. Boudreaux then states, "Ignorance of the facts is, well, criminal." The deaths of 9,000 of my fellow Americans at the hands (or wheels) of illegal immigrants is, well, criminal.

JAY R. RUSSO

Washington

Keep hope alive

I salute Rep. Dan Burton on his column "Negotiating for peace in Kosovo" (Commentary, Monday). He is a true American patriot and a shining star among American politicians.

Eight years ago, on March 23, 1999, U.S.-led NATO forces bombed Serbia for no valid reason and against international law. Thousands of Serbs have perished in the aggressive war perpetrated on Serbia in the name of "America's values" and on behalf of the Kosovo Albanian minority that sought independence. Since NATO troops entered Kosovo in 1999, more than 230,000 Serbs and other non-Albanians have been driven out of Kosovo and Metohia by Albanians despite the presence of the international military and police force in the region.

Bombing Serbia, a sovereign nation, for ill-defined reasons with vague objectives undermined America's stature in the world. Respect and trust for America diminishes each time an American administration decides to intervene in some foreign country. It'll take time for America to restore its standing in the world. However, as long as there are honest American politicians such as Mr. Burton, there is hope.

BOB BOROYEVICH

Ottawa

True or false?

I read with great amusement your article concerning the current and upcoming pilot "shortage" ("Airlines brace for shortage of pilots," Page 1, Monday). I recently was forced to retire from flying for a major U.S. carrier because of the "age 60" regulations.

In the weeks before retirement and in the months afterward, I actively sought further employment in a job I love: flying. In each rejection (there were many) I was told that there were no positions available.

Where's the shortage?

THOMAS HEIDENBERGER

Chevy Chase

Developing prospects for developing nations

In his Aug. 14 Page One article, "World Bank plan allows Third World to set rules," Steve Hirsch raised important points about a proposed World Bank pilot program to strengthen developing-country procurement systems and relayed some concerns expressed by the business community.

We believe this program has the potential to contribute to the fight against corruption, strengthen the human and institutional capacity in developing countries and improve their prospects for overcoming poverty.

Indeed, the goal is to improve development efforts by raising standards for procurement and international competitive bidding in these countries. This would extend beyond World Bank-financed projects to all developing-country expenditures and stands to enhance efficiency, competitiveness and access to public procurement.

It is important to note that the pilot program would work with a few developing countries that already have high standards and could take advantage of the opportunity to improve their systems. In the long run, this effort should increase opportunities for countries to attract external investment and for firms worldwide to have the opportunity to compete.

Finally, before we move forward, the World Bank will hold consultations on the details of the proposal to ensure that stakeholders, such as governments, companies and civil society around the world, have been heard.

We welcome the attention The Washington Times has focused on a program that holds great promise for strengthening the capabilities of our borrowing countries and improving their development prospects.

JEFFREY GUTMAN

Vice president

World Bank

Operations Policy and

Country Services

Washington