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Veterans as students at Stanford; the pros and cons of E-Verify; cutbacks by the city of Costa Mesa Letters

June 18, 2011
  • At Stanford: U.S. military veterans Guez Salinas, left, Gabriel Zamora and Sebastian Gould. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)
At Stanford: U.S. military veterans Guez Salinas, left, Gabriel Zamora…

Stanford's vets

Re "Vets have desk duty — at Stanford," June 13

As a Stanford graduate and a U.S. Air Force Vietnam veteran, I was very pleased to read about several of the Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who now attend Stanford.

Because only 10 out of roughly 7,000 undergraduates are military veterans, it is even more impressive that they have reached out to "traditional" students and are planning a conference on military energy use with the help of the president's office.

I am sure these veterans are getting a first-rate education. More important, they are giving the other students, the faculty and the administration a good balance and a chance to learn about true patriotism because of their real-life experiences.

George Stoneman

Los Angeles

Stanford has long valued the contributions of non-traditional students to its student body. In the early 1970s it was one of the first liberal arts colleges to open its doors to students who didn't fit the 18- to 21-year-old demographic.

When I entered in 1973 as a single mother, there were around two dozen of us. About half were re-entry women and half were Vietnam veterans. We enriched the classroom discussions with our real-world experience. We were also stimulated and challenged by our very bright fellow students.

Jeanne L. Kennedy


E-Verify's pros and cons

Re "Don't trust — E-Verify," Opinion, June 13

Reps. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and Elton Gallegly (R-Simi Valley) have misguided notions of success. The test for a mandatory E-Verify program is not whether it has high "customer satisfaction" but whether it works.

E-Verify is deeply flawed. Studies show that foreign-born individuals, including holders of green cards and citizens, are

20 times more likely to be flagged as unauthorized to work. These flags are often triggered by the misspelling of a name or a change in immigration status, not a lack of immigration status.

In Los Angeles, where 70% of the Asian Pacific Islander community is foreign-born, E-Verify will devastate the group's competitiveness. In this economy, this is a risk no one wants to face.

Connie Choi

Los Angeles

The writer is staff attorney at the Asian Pacific American Legal Center.

It is gratifying to see that Smith and Gallegly are taking action to reserve jobs for those legally in the country. For too long, the prevailing attitude has been that nonenforcement was compassionate. However, with our unemployment rate so high, what is compassionate about impoverishing our own middle class?

If the new immigrants (legal and illegal) cannot find jobs, how will they support their families? America cannot provide education, healthcare and housing to the world. The only rational solution is to defend our sovereignty and protect legal residents.

Frank Balena

Santa Clarita

I am wondering what "scarce" jobs Smith and Gallegly are talking about. Most of the undocumented work for non-living wages, no benefits and no union representation. They do America's dirty work.

As for the 17% reduction in Arizona's illegal immigrant population, this has to do with our poor economy, not the success of E-Verify. Immigrants are not stupid. They are not willing to take such a great risk (sometimes death) to try to find work.

Why not start punishing "good" Americans who pick up day laborers, or the folks who hire nannies for their kids? When Americans stop hiring illegal immigrants secretly (and illegally), only then will Americans be part of the solution.

Jeff Calzada


How about some history lessons?

Re "The politics of history," Opinion, June 13

Well, if we're all "implicated" in being ignorant of history, then why doesn't The Times do something about it? Like maybe proposing an increase in the number of history classes that a high school student must take? This might help.

Of course, assessing history exams requires reading essays and blue books, and that doesn't fit neatly into the standardized testing frenzy. If students can do great on standardized tests but they're not learning much, what good are all those tests?

Regarding your idea of a litmus test for Sarah Palin, you're right: Judging her on her knowledge of Paul Revere is silly. A better litmus test for her would be a filter test. Everyone has a filter, and everyone should use it.

Chet Chebegia

Long Beach

I wonder how Gregory Rodriguez, who calls Palin an "idiot ex-governor," would feel if he were referred to as "that idiot ex-writer"?

Seems to me he has his tar-and-feather brush out a tad early in the race for president.

Penny Downs


Cutbacks in Costa Mesa

Re "Round 2 in Costa Mesa," Column, June 12

It's a little hard to feel sorry for workers who have lost their jobs at the hands of the very people they elected to represent them. Though I am sympathetic to their plight, I have to ask why, as conservative Republicans, they expected a different outcome? By sending Ayn Rand wannabes to the City Council, Costa Mesa sealed its fate.

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