The Illegal Immigration Debate

Yesterday, thousands of immigrant rights supporters marched across the Brooklyn Bridge. Last week, an estimated 500,000 people marched through L.A.

What's to be done about illegal immigration, aside from political posturing?

There is legislation, already approved in the House, which would make it a felony to be in the U.S. without the proper immigration paperwork. What are we doing? Trying to make a crime more illegal? There's also competing legislation that would give the estimated 11-12 million "undocumented" immigrants living in the U.S. a chance at citizenship. The ironic thing about this legislation is that illegal immigrants always had a chance to legally immigrate. They chose not to. The U.S. should not honor those who break its laws with citizenship. This leads me to a letter-to-the-editor I read today in the Seattle P-I:

If a person has entered this country illegally, no matter if it was yesterday or 30 years ago, that person should have to leave this country posthaste. My wife came to this country 10 years ago. We jumped through all the hoops, filed all the necessary documents, paid all the fees, disclosed our personal and monetary lives to the government.

As soon as was possible, my wife became a U.S. citizen. She has learned the English language, she keeps up to date on current events and never misses a chance to vote. We did it all correct and honest. Anyone coming here from another country who wants to enjoy the freedoms and benefits we have to offer must do so the correct and honest way or leave.

We have laws that address this issue and there should be no debate about it. -George Britton

The big problem with illegal immigration is that we're encouraging it. It's too easy, and legal immigrants who "jump through the hoops," like Mrs. Britton, are discouraged by waiting in line while others are "jumping the fence" and gaining benefits of U.S. citizenship without the hassle. Illegal immigrants who are already here should not be deported, but they should face the same laws they already face if they choose not to naturalize.

Border security is important and needs to be tightened. Hell, we just want to know who's here. If I'm having a party at my house, I'd want people to come through the front door, not the side window. Surely, illegal immigrants wanting to work and gain a better life cross our borders, but so do illegal drugs and criminals. We already have an immigration system in place which allows those looking for a better way of life to enter the United States while stopping the drug trade and catching criminals.

The focus needs to be upon border security, not illegal immigration. If we regain control of our borders then "undocumented" immigration will no longer be a problem and immigrants will continue to legally enter the United States to live their American dreams.