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Who Benefits From Mexican Immigration?

August 02, 2001

I had been on the fence regarding the various proposals now being considered to grant amnesty to millions of illegal Mexican immigrants until I read Frank del Olmo's July 29 commentary, "Mexicans Should Head Up the Legalization Line." Del Olmo, who favors a liberal immigration policy, writes that such a policy will provide a "safety valve" to keep impoverished Mexicans from staging a "second Mexican revolution" to end their endemic poverty.

The notion that liberalizing our immigration policies will keep the Mexican people impoverished and subservient in their own homeland has convinced me that we should do all we can to strengthen our borders. My concern is not for the 3 million to 4 million Mexican immigrants who might benefit from legalization, it's for the 100 million Mexican citizens who will be kept poor and disenfranchised by such a policy.

Del Olmo's commentary should be required reading for anyone who thinks that a liberal immigration policy is somehow good for Mexicans. Apparently, it's only good for the Mexican government and the U.S. corporations that want an impoverished, voiceless Mexican work force.

David Stein

Beverly Hills

Del Olmo writes, "Most of the major cities, like San Diego and Los Angeles, were founded by Mexicans and retain a Mexican ambience." He needs to take a history class. San Diego was founded in 1769 and Los Angeles in 1781. Both of these cities were founded by the Spanish; in other words, by people from a European country. Maybe if Del Olmo understood history better he would also be capable of understanding the simple concept that any people who break the law and violate a country's sovereign borders are only deserving of immediate deportation. Anything less is a slap in the face to the millions who followed the law and entered through Ellis Island and dozens of other ports of legal entry.

John Zavesky

Los Angeles

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