- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 27, 2005

Educating illegals

I fervently hope America’s governors follow Deborah Simmons’ advice (“Educating the Workforce,” Op-Ed, Friday) as they “”ponder, for a moment, the socioeconomic burdens if millions of illegal immigrants are granted the same public benefits as Americans…”

As a result of the 1982 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Plyler v. Doe, children may not be denied education on the basis of their immigration status. Millions of illegal aliens’ children are already being educated in our schools. According to a Government Accountability Office report (“Illegal Alien Schoolchildren: Issues in Estimating State-by-State Costs”), the National Center for Education Statistics says expenditures for primary and secondary schools for the 1999-2000 school year totaled about $324 billion, with an additional $35 billion going for capital outlays. Most of these costs are borne at the state and local level, with only about 7 percent of school revenue coming from federal dollars.

Presumably, the Supreme Court decision would allow state or local governments to inquire about a pupil’s legal status for the purpose of seeking federal reimbursement for educating illegal-alien schoolchildren. It’s about time governors stop ignoring the issue. They should simultaneously demand federal reimbursement for educating the children of illegal aliens and security for our borders to prevent millions more from taking advantage of American taxpayers.

CHEREE CALABRO

Porter County director

Indiana Federation for Immigration Reform & Enforcement

Valparaiso, Ind.

50 percent not good enough

You do a fairly good job of laying it all it out in your editorial (“Social Security: No ‘phony’ crisis,” Sunday), but you and the politicians are still missing a key point, and this is the one that will do us all in.

I am a retired engineer. Suppose I designed an airplane and met Mark Weisbrot and Dean Baker, co-directors of the liberal Center for Economic and Policy Research, at the boarding ramp at the airport, smiled and said, “Don’t worry, the airplane is completely safe; you have a probability of reaching your destination of 50 percent.”

Do you think that they would regard any criticism of the design as a myth? If you do not think this analogy translates to economics and finance you would be absolutely wrong. There have been tens of books and articles written criticizing financial planners for plugging historical mean returns into spreadsheets, charging their clients some ridiculous fee, and telling them that they are in fine shape for retirement; which is true of probably 50 percent. Every date you mention in your editorial is just an estimated mean value. Nobody in their right mind would subject the entire U.S. population to that kind of uncertainty.

The only conclusion to reach is that the politicians, and apparently a great number of journalists, really are delusional.

SAMUEL BURKEEN

Reston

Employers, Mexico are partners in crime

Beefing up the Border Patrol to stem the tide of illegal immigration will fail until employers of this illicit population are penalized (“Strength in numbers,” Editorial, Thursday). Each year the problem has grown and it shows no sign of abating.

Unless working conditions and employment opportunities south of the border drastically improve, the illegal immigrant influx will not abate. Mexico is a two-class society: the very rich and the poor. It’s no wonder those seeking a better life come here to fill the plethora of “off the books,” low-paying jobs.

Mexico surrendered a tremendous area of land following the Mexican-American War. However, until the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo is renegotiated, our borders are non-negotiable. Allowing the unending invasion of our country is an act of treason.

ROSALIND ELLIS

Baltimore

Politicizing HIV-AIDS

Cal Thomas mentions a “virulent strain of HIV invading and infecting a new generation of homosexual men” (“AIDS mutation menace,” Commentary, Feb. 20). I wasn’t aware that there was new medical evidence that the AIDS virus, of any strain, was able to differentiate between homosexual and heterosexual men to only infect the former. Mr. Thomas also states “after two decades of hearing that changing homosexual behavior is nearly impossible and conversion to celibacy or a heterosexuality is a sham, getting people to consider behavioral change will be increasingly difficult.” This is true, just as it has proven nearly impossible to change heterosexual behaviors regarding abortion, adultery, divorce and illegitimacy. Humans will be humans. Is it really necessary to make it an issue of homosexual vs. heterosexual?

BEN BERRY

Washington

Culture of death

Florida Circuit Court Judge George Greer has given Terri Schiavo’s husband permission to withdraw her feeding tube on March 18 (“Court gives date to pull Schiavo’s feeding tube,” Nation, Saturday). If she were a prisoner on death row, there would be candlelight vigils. If she were a prisoner at Guantanamo, what is being done to her would be considered torture.

It shows how far we have slid down the slippery slope in the culture of death when a court will grant permission to Michael Schiavo to literally starve his wife to death.

In 1990, Mrs. Schiavo suffered a 10-minute loss of oxygen and suffered brain damage which left her severely handicapped. She cannot feed herself, but neither can a newborn infant. She is not dying. She has no terminal illness.

Her family loves her and is willing to take care of her. Yet her husband and the courts are trying to kill her. Those who want Mrs. Schiavo to die say it would not be murder but something called “death with dignity,” even though there is no dignity in death by starvation.

Sarah Scantlin was once in a similar position, having been struck in 1984 at age 18 by a drunken driver who left her confined to a hospital bed unable to communicate or feed herself, oblivious to the world around her. Suddenly, inexplicably, 20 years later she has regained her ability to speak and her memory, to the delight of those who cared for her, loved her, and didn’t try to kill her.

If Terri Schiavo is starved to death, who’s next? Alzheimer’s victims? The elderly in nursing homes? The handicapped? The 2000 Census reported that almost two million people are living in nursing homes.

Will we be allowed to do to people what is illegal to do to dogs?

DANIEL JOHN SOBIESKI

Chicago


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