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Look at the Effect of Many Enriques

October 02, 2002

Oh my. Six days of sob stories, and all about Enrique, beginning with "The Boy Left Behind" (Sept. 29). I hope somewhere there is an objective assessment of the misdeeds and moral failures of a number of parties: The mother who commences her relationship with our country by breaking its laws but still finds time to shack up with her new boyfriend and produce yet another child; the family members in Central America who are so lacking in will that they can't stop a child from walking out the door; the government in Honduras that can't keep a child from walking across its borders; the government of Mexico that is too busy talking us out of securing our own borders to bother with its own ethical responsibilities; and the reporter herself.

This series belongs with some do-good section yet to be created. It is not hard news, any more than a story about aliens waiting their turn to emigrate, following the rules while standing in the rain in Bucharest, would be hard news.

L.A. Times, get a grip.

Barry Hofeld

Riverside

*

Thank you, Sonia Nazario and The Times, for this deeply moving and vividly told story. It comes at a time when I'm evaluating my priorities and asking how I can give more of my life away, since I have so very much when compared with so many others.

Jeff DeVore

Fullerton

*

After having read the first installment of this voluminous account of a young Central American boy, Enrique, and his journey to reunite with his mother, I have come to the conclusion that The Times is not interested in fair and balanced reporting with regard to the extremely complex issue of immigration. There is no doubt that Enrique's journey is a heartbreaking example of broken families in search of reunification. One cannot read the story without appreciating the immense difficulty experienced by all of the players in this drama. However, the story of immigrants in search of a better life is played out daily by the media.

My objection to this article is that it completely ignores the other dimensions to vast amounts of illegal immigration. To what extent should American taxpayers subsidize millions of foreign-born people? Should we pay to feed, educate and provide health care for anybody who wants to come to this country? With 8 million foreign-born residents in California, does it make sense to add another 10 million to 20 million over the next 20 years? What about the effects of pollution, congestion and other quality-of-life factors? Should we ask tough questions about crime? To spotlight this issue in this manner, without addressing its public policy consequences, is journalistically irresponsible. Why doesn't The Times devote the same space and placement to the other side of the argument?

Robert Yocum

Los Angeles

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