Views in brief

How "free" are immigrants?

I WANT to tell you about how this country affects families from Mexico and other countries.

When our family members from Mexico need to come to the United States, they need money to get here. To come to this country, you have to pay a lot of money you worked hard for. If you come to the United States without documents, you give all your money to a person who will bring you.

Now you are ready to go, and all of your family is crying for you, because it is a difficult trip and you could die. When you go to la frontera (the border region), there is nowhere to drink water or eat food, so you have to bring your own water bottles and some food. You have to dress in all black so la migra (immigration) can't see you in the dark. The only extra clothing you can bring is your underwear.

If you get caught, la migra will put you back in your country. And if you want to try again, you have to pay again. It is very expensive.

My mom told me that the Statue of Liberty means that this country is free. But I think that is not true because of how the president and the other people here act.

They do not let people from Mexico or other countries in the United States if they do not have the right papers. This is why some people insult immigrants who do not have the right papers.
Maria, sixth grade student, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Another congressional insult

WATCHING THE reports on the "steroids in baseball" hearings in Congress is really an eye-opening experience. It demonstrates where Congress' priorities are.

Forget that the United States illegally invaded and is currently illegally occupying two countries. Forget about torture in Guantánamo, prisons in Iraq, Afghanistan or the U.S. for that matter. Forget about investigating the use of "extraordinary rendition" to farm out torture. Forget about the hundreds of women who have been raped in Iraq: servicewomen, contractors and Iraqis. Forget about the fact that people are still living in tents and trailers in New Orleans. Forget about spying by the government on its citizens.

We all know that the system doesn't care about people. If it did, we would have universal health care and we would be building schools and hospitals instead of prisons.

You would think that maybe missing tax dollars might matter to Congress. I understand that over $9 billion was flown to Iraq, loaded into trucks and disappeared into thin air. Halliburton, KRB, Bechtel and many other corrupt contractors were paid to rebuild Iraq, which remains in ruin.

The writers of the Constitution wrote "high crimes and misdemeanors" into the Constitution for times such as these. But apparently, it is so much more important that we find out who is injecting human growth hormones in baseball than investigate governmental crimes and corruption.
Cindy Klumb, Brooklyn, N.Y.