Your editorial "Chaos at the Border" (Dec. 19) correctly identified a chaotic situation, but as usual when it comes to illegal alien and immigration issues, you found the wrong problem and the wrong "solution."
In response to the growing number of illegal aliens from Central America crossing into Texas you advocate that the United States grant them "special immigration status that would allow these desperate people to remain in this country until the turmoil in their homelands ends." Of course, you know that such temporary status means permanent residence. They will never go home because they are leaving Central America for economic reasons just as are the people from Mexico and many other places around the world. Shouldn't we grant special immigration status to the starving people from Africa, Bangladesh and everywhere else?
There are many special-interest groups who want the open border policy to ensure that they will have a constant supply of cheap immigrant labor or for other special reasons. They try to cover their real reasons by telling us that we are "a nation of immigrants" and have a moral obligation to let in everyone who wants to come. In the past few years we have already admitted far more immigrants than all the other nations of the world combined. But we are not an empty frontier country any longer.
We are also told that ethnicity is good and should be encouraged. I have no objection to this nation being a blend of every ethnic group in the world as long as it is truly a blend. But we are now in danger of becoming a Balkanized nation with each ethnic group identifying with their special interests rather than with the nation as a whole. We have plenty of evidence from all over the world and throughout history of the divisive consequences of that attitude.
We have not successfully integrated the two largest minority groups in this country--blacks and Latinos, and the problem is getting worse. Racial prejudice is increasing rather than decreasing. The fire is going out under the melting pot, so we had better stop putting more fat in the pot until we integrate and absorb the people we already have. Otherwise the fat will really be in the fire.