Letters: Immigration Remains Hot

Renee Montagne and Steve Inskeep read from listeners' letters. Immigration continues to be a hot topic of debate.

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STEVE INSKEEP, host:

And it's time again for more of your comments.

RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

We heard yesterday about undocumented students who can't get in-state tuition for college, in many of the states where they've just graduated from high school.

Ann Bjornson(ph) of Longmont, Colorado, writes, Would someone please explain how an illegal immigrant can even enroll in a public high school, let alone graduate? I'm a believer in public education for everyone. But when our schools can barely afford to pay our teachers, I'm outraged my tax dollars are paying to educate the children of lawbreakers.

INSKEEP: Betsy Kraft(ph) of Aurora, Oregon, counters with this. Many of these students came here as young children with their undocumented parents. And they have known only the U.S. as home. They did not choose to immigrate without documentation.

MONTAGNE: And there was this immigration story.

LOURDES GARCIA-NAVARRO reporting:

The railway sighting at Tultitlan is a pit stop between a memory and a dream.

MONTAGNE: That's how NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro began a report from Mexico, on how that country treats immigrants who enter Mexico illegally. Mostly they come from Central America and our traveling through Mexico on the way to the U.S. Her report described how the migrants are robbed and even raped by Mexican police.

INSKEEP: Listener Tom Darwin of Oceanside, California writes, I've never heard or read a story like this, even in Latin American publications. Ms. Garcia- Navarro's story was stark, evocative and human, without being sappy.

MONTAGNE: And Randy Udall, of Carbondale, Colorado, took issue with our story about oil shale drilling, as an alternative source of energy.

INSKEEP: He writes, Oil shale is a mirage, not a bonanza. There's just not that much energy in these rocks. A ton of oil shale, he says, contains far less energy than a ton of coal, peat moss, animal dung, or Cap'n Crunch. In short, oil shale is the petroleum's equivalent of fool's gold.

MONTAGNE: Did he say Captain Crunch?

Mr. RANDY UDALL (Director, Community Office For Resource Efficiency): That's correct. There's more energy in a pound of Captain Crunch, or a pound of granola, than there is in a pound of oil shale.

INSKEEP: That's the writer, himself, Randy Udall who directs the Community Office For Resource Efficiency in Colorado.

Mr. UDALL: You can convert any kind of fuel or food into energy. A bicyclist converts his breakfast into miles per gallon. In the same way, you can convert food calories into British Thermal Units. And so, when you do this conversion, it turns out that oil shale has the energy density of a baked potato. It's just a lousy fuel.

INSKEEP: I never tried it with sour cream.

(Soundbite of laughter)

MONTAGNE: I heard from several listeners yesterday, after we compared the number of people who voted in the 2000 presidential race, to those who voted for their favorite singer on the TV show, American Idol. They are apples and oranges, you wrote, because people can vote more than once for an American idol. But for an American president, the rule is one man, one vote.

All you need is a phone to vote on Idol, adds listener Tim Wolfe(ph). No registration card. And no standing in line on a working day.

INSKEEP: So may be it was just a handful of Idol fans. A handful who were busy speed dialing last night, because more than 60 million votes were cast to crown Taylor Hicks the next American Idol. The 29-year-old Alabaman native kicked off his reign as Idol by singing the new single, Do I Make You Proud?

(Soundbite of American Idol)

Mr. TAYLOR HICKS (American Idol): I'm living the American dream.

(Singing): Do I make you proud?

MONTAGNE: You can write as many letters as you want here at MORNING EDITION. Visit npr.org and click on Contact Us.

(Soundbite of song "Taking It To The Steets")

Mr. HICKS: (Singing): Oh, you, telling me the things you're going to do for me. I ain't blind and I don't like what I think I see. Taking it to the streets. Taking it to the streets. No more need for running. Taking it to the streets. Yeah. Taking it to the streets. Oh, you...

MONTAGNE: Taking it to the airwaves here at NPR News.

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