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Riordan's Comments

September 05, 1993

* Regarding Mayor Richard Riordan's comments that education and health care are the "God-given right" of all illegal immigrants and their children (Aug. 18): First, free public education is hardly a God-given right. It is a privilege that we, the adult citizens of this country, have collectively chosen to provide and to financially support for the children of this country. Few of us envisioned that the social contract was to include every child whose parents managed to sneak across the border and give birth. While I applaud Mayor Riordan's well-known efforts to improve schools, does he really believe that there is no connection between the fact that California absorbs more immigrants than most of the rest of the states combined and the spiraling decline in quality of our public schools?

As for health care, how is it the right of every illegal immigrant, when there are 37 million citizens in this country who are not yet covered by health insurance? Included in this number are myself, an unemployed technical editor attending graduate school; my significant other, a fisherman who works part-time at a resort, and my four adult children and one son-in-law, all of whom are employed.

After a lifetime as a liberal Democrat, it's quite a shock to find myself arguing that a Republican businessman is too liberal!

IRENE RIORDAN STRUTHERS

Altadena

* In Bill Boyarsky's column (Aug. 18), Mayor Riordan is quoted as saying education and health care are "God-given rights." Since the mayor demands an end to mandates without funding, is the money to pay for these divine-right entitlements going to be heaven-sent?

JOEL FOX, President

Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assn.

Los Angeles

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