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A Job Seeker's Plight Exposes Deep Problems

April 06, 2002

Regarding your April 3 story on Latino job seekers, am I really supposed to feel for Angel Casas in his plight? Let's see, 18 years old, unmarried but with a kid, living off his parents, and yet he has a $700 monthly truck payment? Is this the best example of the Latino population The Times could find?

This story has little to do with being Latino and more to do with being irresponsible. I would expect anyone to be having trouble in life with the decisions he has made.

This story also illustrates the problem of expecting minimum-wage jobs to support entire families. Now it's hard for young people--the ones whom minimum-wage jobs are made for--to get these jobs, because 40-year-olds are raising their kids on them.

Maybe next time you could do a story on the many success stories out there of people who did things the right way, and did so without excuses.

Erik Rose

Simi Valley

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As the saying goes: "What goes around, comes around." Casas is being displaced from the job market by illegal aliens who keep on pouring over our border and grabbing the jobs at cheaper wages. When they arrived years ago, his parents took jobs from high school graduates like their son. This will go on until young Americans of Mexican descent realize that illegal immigrants take jobs away from them as well.

Maybe then something will finally be done about illegal immigration.

Haydee Pavia

West Hills

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I read with some trepidation about the problem of inexperienced or unskilled second-generation Latinos, as I had a similar experience in my youth.

The problem, I feel, lies in a Latin American culture that relinquishes all responsibility to the state for the parental supervision of the education of their children. The state also bears responsibility by placing concern, for the most part, on black and Latino feelings and self-esteem above basic, hard academic work.

How is it possible that an immigrant from a poor Latin American country could be better at adding and subtracting than the supposedly better-educated and advantaged American youth? If Los Angeles is truly a bellwether for the rest of the nation, then this problem must surely be of national security importance.

Luis G. Martinez

Los Angeles

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