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Differing Versions of the American Dream

June 19, 1997

Re "Out of the Mouths of Babes" (May 27): A generation or so down the line, after Laura Simon's immigrant students have graduated from Harvard and Yale and Smith and Stanford, and have become the doctors and teachers and professors as well as laborers and craftspersons of the time--as I am sure many of them will--and they therefore represent the mainstream and the elite of their society, it will be interesting to see how they feel about immigrants.


Temple City


An amazing success story. But how did Laura Angelica Simon become fluent in English by the fourth grade? If other immigrants know that method, it could help thousands to get a good education.

Duke Russell



While the story "Out of the Mouths of Babes" was touching and heart-rending, the fact remains that the United States cannot afford to feed, clothe, provide shelter and medical care to the entire world--especially people who have violated our borders.




To this writer, it is clearly exploitative to ask 6- and 7-year-old youngsters questions about the impact of the consequences of their parents' behavior upon them. It is their parents who are violating the social contract and federal immigration laws, not the children.

Those who enter illegally not only violate federal statutes, they violate a cornerstone of free society--the social contract. Six-year-olds cannot be expected to understand this.

Simon says, "Your job [as a teacher] may be . . . to kick these kids out," and that she didn't become a teacher for that reason.

Her job as a public employee includes guarding the public trust, as well as teaching. It is not her prerogative to spend the taxpayers' money in ways the taxpayers disapprove, just as it is not my prerogative to spend my employer's money in ways he disapproves--even if it's for a wonderful and noble cause.

Ms. Simon's parents honored the social contract and obeyed the laws when they came to America. They raised a bright, young daughter well, and have seen that she got a good education. This is the American dream. This is what it's about. This is what makes America unique in all the world.

One would think that Simon would hold others to the same standard. It's important to preserving our liberty and maintaining a state of society.


Fountain Valley

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