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Implementing Immigration Act

November 14, 1986

I commend Frank del Olmo on his observations (Editorial Pages, Oct. 23), "Immigration Law--Now the Work Begins," regarding the immigration reform bill enacted by Congress. I share his hope that the Latino activists who so vocally fought the legislation will work as hard to make its amnesty provisions more than empty promises.

I strongly believe, though, that Latino Americans are not the only ones who have a stake in the successful implementation of the new immigration law.

All residents of Los Angeles have something to gain if the amnesty provision of the new law will result in encouraging our city's hundreds of thousands of illegal residents, who now make up a fearful and exploited "shadow society," to come out of hiding and fully participate in the American way of life.

Our city can only benefit from the full participation of all its residents, participation that includes all the responsibilities of citizenship. If this can be achieved, we will have made great strides toward solving the city's current immigration-related problems in law enforcement, housing and health and in reducing the climate of tension and ill feeling that plagues many of our neighborhoods.

It won't be easy to reach the people in the hidden "shadow society," nor will it be an easy task for them to negotiate the maze of requirements of the complex new law. If the responsible leaders of the Latino community, especially the political activists, don't apply themselves to the task, the job will be done by fly-by-night shysters who have been profiting handsomely from the illegal immigrant's ignorance and fear.

As Los Angeles City Councilman of the Seventh District, the newly created, most heavily Hispanic district of the San Fernando Valley, I intend to extend the fullest cooperation of my office to facilitate the earliest responsible implementation of the new law.



Seventh District

Los Angeles

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