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Issue: U.S. Entry Fee

August 01, 1993| Compiled by Iris Yokoi / Times community correspondent

Sen. Dianne Feinstein has called for a $1-per-person toll on anyone entering the United States to raise revenues to beef up the Border Patrol. Last year, such a "transit fee" would have raised about $400 million--more than double the Border Patrol's annual budget, Feinstein said. What do you think?

* Edmund Anciano: immigration project director, Asian Pacific American Legal Center "It depends on the purpose of the fee. If the purpose is to hinder or act as an obstacle to people who have a legal right to enter the country, I would not support it. And if it's going to be a logistics nightmare, with lines and lines of people waiting to pay at the border, I don't think it's productive. If the objective is to increase revenues, it's a reasonable, legitimate way to raise revenues. I wouldn't have the fee just at the U.S. borders. I'd include . . . the airports that act as the major ports of entry to the United States, such as (New York's) JFK Airport and the Los Angeles and San Francisco airports."

* Allen Resnick: Downtown attorney and president of the Canada California Chamber of Commerce "In an era of increasing globalization, such as the U.S.-Canada Free Trade Agreement and the North American Free Trade Agreement, it might be more appropriate to focus on longer-term solutions to the illegal-alien problem, such as joint economic development among the North American countries, rather than increasing bureaucracy and creating additional obstacles to the exchange of people, and presumably business, among our countries. By increasing border patrols, we may run the risk of escalating the problem rather than addressing the root causes of illegal immigration. By working with Mexico and Canada to create jobs in all three countries, perhaps fewer Mexican citizens would feel the necessity to enter the United States illegally to support their families."

* Oscar Andrade: executive director of El Rescate, a multi-service organization for L.A.'s Central American community "In terms of the $1, that particular part might be OK because it would be revenue. But being an institution that deals with immigrants, we are opposed to the proposal because the dollar amount is going to be reinvested toward the persecution of the immigrant community. The money will be reinvested into more Border Patrol agents and the National Guard to guard the border. It only targets the southern border, the border with Mexico. It's a discriminatory law. Another thing we need to look into is labor laws; they are trying to close the borders, but on the other hand, it's OK to underpay nannies, housekeepers, crop pickers, gardeners and other jobs held by immigrants."

* Neysa Johnson: supply officer, Downtown criminal courts building "If they're going to beef up the controls in addition to beefing up the patrol, I'm for it. I don't think too many people are too poor to afford $1. Too many people get past the border into San Diego. They don't have enough border stops. If your posts are so distant from one another, so many people can get through without being seen. I also think it's hazardous for people coming over illegally as well as it hurts the economy of Southern California. I feel sorry for the people who get cheated of money coming across the border and . . . the people who've been killed. It would save lives if they stop them from going across."

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