Cut-rate tuition for illegal aliens makes no sense

Why in the world would the Maryland House of Delegates approve a proposal to give in-state tuition to undocumented aliens ("House OKs tuition break for aliens," March 22)?

It is extremely disturbing to watch our political leaders give support and aid to those who have chosen to enter our country illegally.

And I wonder what would cause 82 members of the House to believe the undocumented immigrants will respect a promise to apply for permanent resident status once they get another financial break at the taxpayers' expense? They certainly haven't shown much respect for our immigration laws thus far.

I agree with Del. Herbert H. McMillan that it's unfair to provide this service to those who have ignored our immigration laws.

This is an extremely bad bill and, as a citizen of Maryland, I am extremely concerned about the message it will send to others who chose to enter our country illegally.

Wanser W. Turner


The Maryland House of Delegates has passed a bill that would allow undocumented immigrants to pay in-state tuition fees at Maryland's public colleges and universities. Given Maryland's current budget shortfall, this legislation is absurd.

And why would the state legislature consider subsidizing and rewarding people who may be in the United States illegally by giving them benefits denied to Americans from states other than Maryland - who must pay out-of-state tuition charges?

The state of Maryland currently faces a $1.8 billion budget shortfall, but this legislation would use taxpayer dollars to subsidize illegal behavior. It's madness.

Illegal immigrants should be deported, not rewarded with college tuition discounts.

Michael Holden


Raising income tax is the fair approach

I voted for Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. because I thought he could relate to the ordinary guy instead of the wealthy people who always get their way in Maryland. And because he said that he would not raise taxes. But now he says that the promise means he will not raise the income tax or sales tax, and he has proposed a hike in the state property tax ("Budget bill moves on to the Senate," March 22).

I realize the previous governor spent our money until he created an enormous budget shortfall, and the state needs to find more revenue. But the property tax hurts the ordinary guy. The property tax should be eliminated instead of increased.

The only fair tax is the income tax, and if an increase is necessary, the income tax should be increased for the people with high incomes.

But I assume the wealthy will win again, and my property tax will increase. All I can do is track the tax bills and vote against any politician who endorses raising the property tax.

Stanley J. Glinka

Ellicott City

Health insurance is struggle for families

The Sun's article "Retirees scrambling to find health insurance" (March 23) made me very angry, as I have family members who are dealing with the intricacies of health insurance right now.

Indeed, the struggle with the complexities of health insurance coverage can be a formidable task for the average family. And viewing The Sun's pictures of aged steelworkers who spent much of their lives working in heat and fire, I can certainly identify with their anxiety.

This health insurance issue has gone on for years and years, but there's no end in sight.

Gerardine M. Delambo


Comment insulting to female protesters

Shades of June Cleaver!

While I agree with some of your readers that anti-war protests alone will not stop the war in Iraq, the letter suggesting that female protesters' time would be better spent cooking their families "a good, hot meal" is not only archaic it is insulting ("War protests distract police, tie up traffic," March 25).

Might I remind the author that the freedom we take for granted - whether it be writing a letter to the editor or carrying a placard outside the White House - is what our young men and women are dying for in the Middle East.

And if protesters are tying up traffic, I suggest taking an alternate route.

Richard Crystal


Billions for the war as schools languish

President Bush is asking for billions to pay for the war, but Baltimore's public schools lack money for replacing lead water pipes and repairing dilapidated schools ("Bush to ask Congress for $75 billion for war," March 25).

Why do we continue to fix up other countries that end up hating us more when we need to fix so much in this country?

Shame on America.

Lola J. Massey

Owings Mills

Will U.S. bomb Jerusalem next?

The Bush administration claims it has invaded Iraq to enforce U.N. Security Council Resolution 1441. That resolution warned Iraq that if it does not disarm now, it would face "serious consequences."

How soon can we expect a similar bombing and guided-missile blitzkrieg followed by a massive U.S. invasion of Israel, for violating U.N. Security Council Resolution 242 - which calls for an Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territories, an end to Israel's legal use of torture and a full freeze on settlement - or over the several other U.N. resolutions Israel continues to violate?

A. Robert Kaufman


Show support for our soldiers

My heart goes out to those who have lost loved ones in this war and others, but as the father of a career military man, I would note that our Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard are all-volunteer.

These men and women know what can happen to them and they accept the responsibility. All these protests and civil disturbances do nothing except give support to the terrorists and enemies that our sons and daughters are fighting. We must show a strong support for our fighting men and women now.

If you are unhappy with the way things have come out, show it at the polls in the next election.

Melvin L. McDonald


Giving lives for oil is a terrible deal

My father was a hero. He died in World War II. He fought for freedom. I have a Silver Star in my drawer that tells me of him.

My brother was also a hero. He died in Vietnam. I don't know what he died for, but I have another Silver Star in my drawer that tells me of him.

My son is about to be asked to jump out of a plane to save an oil well. I will know what he died for. But I don't want another Silver Star.

Does it make any sense to export a barrel of oil from Iraq in April if what made it possible was the import of a body bag at Dover Air Force Base in March?

George Gregoire


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