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It's the Immigrant Kids Who Embody the American Spirit

November 24, 1995

Re "The Great Divide" (Nov. 17): The story of the newly immigrated Latino children broke my heart, not because they have problems fitting in, but because they want to.

Humiliated by their Payless shoes and ruffled dresses, embarrassed by their respect for family and for school, they work to develop a lust for the right name brand to become "real" Americans.

But what's new?

We are a nation of people who are judged by what we own. We even display designer labels on the outside of our clothes just in case others fail to recognize our good taste.

We charge to the max and put in extra hours at work so we and the children--the children we have little time to see--can buy what will force others to respect us.

NANCY C. COOK

San Pedro

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It's a shame the immigrants are always looked upon with disdain by the "in" crowd.

In my opinion, they are the only reason the United States has prospered and continues to maintain some values.

It's refreshing to see there are children who are modest and traditional, who are "nerdy" and still like Mickey Mouse.

I am completely opposed to minimizing what these immigrant children have to contribute.

Their qualities, such as respect, good study habits and innocence, should be promoted among all students.

If we don't, we will successfully indoctrinate these kids to a free-and-easy, sex-and-intolerance mentality that exists with our youth and society.

RODRIGO T. GARCIA

Monterey Park

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My reaction to "The Great Divide" was swift and angry.

I wished at once that I had an opportunity to ask teachers to make it a requirement for every student to read what is chiseled on the lower portion of our Statue of Liberty and to tell them as well that taking away rights of others is not American.

MARILYN B. ALLEN

Glendale

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