Re "State Is Sailing Toward a Crisis on Immigration," Voices, Oct. 2:
Beverly Antel is just one of a rapidly growing number of California citizens realizing that illegal immigrants are causing a huge decline in the quality of life not only in California but the nation as a whole.
Her urging a wake-up call to her fellow Californians is welcome to those of us who have been trying to make people realize for some time the absolute necessity for our federal and state governments to mobilize and take action.
Elected officials must not offer illegal immigrants amnesty, driver's licenses or free medical care.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services must be reinforced and directed to detain and deport illegal immigrants without delay.
More important, employers of illegals must be charged, tried and sentenced to stiff fines and prison time. They are the real reason the illegals are here.
Illegal immigrants are not needed or wanted in America by a large majority of legal citizens. All they offer is cheap labor and a host of detrimental effects too numerous to list.
These are not racist thoughts; they are economic facts of present life.
In her call for a political response to illegal immigration by our representatives in Sacramento, Antel oversimplifies the political and economic factors involved in the debate over immigration. We are not simply arguing over the price of grapes with or without the labor of undocumented workers. Immigration law is made and enforced by the federal government, and the levels of immigration, both legal and illegal, depend on factors between Mexico and the United States that are outside the control of our legislative processes.
We must recognize the reality of our changing demographics. Among nonimmigrant citizens, we have an aging, dwindling and expensive labor force. In deciding on the level of enforcement of our immigration laws, federal legislators must balance regional social and economic interests for all 50 states.
They cannot ignore the demands for workers in agriculture and factories in North Carolina and Illinois to satisfy the concerns of citizens of Los Angeles about immigration's effect on their city.
California legislators' attempt to license all of the state's drivers regardless of immigration status and Gov. Schwarzenegger's veto of this law have no impact on the larger factors that determine national immigration policy. The governor's veto merely makes our highways less safe and the lives of undocumented workers more difficult.
Jill Kerper Mora
Antel is correct that California is now experiencing the fruits of a failed state and national policy that allows and, by allowing, encourages illegal immigration into this country.
Although there is some crossover between the parties, Republicans pander to agricultural and restaurant business interests that believe it is important to keep a steady flow of workers looking for work in order to keep wages low, and Democrats pander to Mexican American activist leaders so they may continue to receive votes. The bottom line is politicians just want to get reelected and are putting the best interests of Californians last again.
The irony is that legal Mexican American immigrants do not want illegal immigration because it is hurting their ability to make a decent wage.