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Southern California Voices / A FORUM FOR COMMUNITY

Community Comment : Fears About a National Identity Database Are 'a Bogus Issue'

August 08, 1994|TIRSO del JUNCO | The national Bipartisan Commission on Immigration has proposed using an electronic database to verify Social Security numbers of prospective employees. Dr. Tirso del Junco, a practicing general surgeon and Chairman of the California Republican Party, discusses the proposal's impact on the Latino community. and

I do not believe that the database will have anything to do with the (economic) future of the Latino community.

In fact, today, we have a national, universal database, based on the Social Security number, at the Internal Revenue Service. Every single citizen has his Social Security number in that database. The only thing that we're talking about is (having) a tamper-proof card. But I do not believe that that will change the fact that the system is already in place.

The law right now says that the employer should check the Social Security card of the potential employee. The only thing is that he's going to have (that's new is) a tamper-proof system.

I'm an immigrant; I came here 40 years ago. And I don't think the issue is immigration. The issue is illegal immigration. We make a very big mistake when we do not separate these two issues. This is a very, very serious economic issue. There are a large number of incentives for illegal immigrants, a very strong force for them, to take whatever risk is necessary to come to the United States. This itself has a great economic impact on particular states like California, Texas and Florida. We're talking about billions of dollars.

The idea that rules, regulations and standards established to regulate the illegal immigration problem causes difficulties for legal immigrants in my opinion is a bogus issue.

It has nothing to do with legal immigrants. Legal immigrants have access to jobs and all government benefits. I, as one who has lived in California for more than 30 years, have never found any problems whatsoever.

I think we make a very big mistake when we merge the issue of illegal immigration with (legal) immigration.

Immigration has been good for America historically and I believe it will continue to be good. But it has to be done in a regimented and regulated fashion as has been done historically.

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