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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

Decent Pay Would Curb Illegal Immigration

February 09, 2005

As an American, I'm embarrassed every time President Bush attempts to justify his immigration reforms by saying that we need to allow people into this country to do the jobs that Americans won't do. If the employers would pay a reasonable wage, I can't believe that there is a single job that a legal resident wouldn't do.

Allow the free market to operate in this country. Either you offer employment at a rate that will attract candidates or you do it yourself. Don't throw the borders open to a "slave" class just because you're trying to ensure that the rich get richer.

Dale S. Weikel

Garden Grove

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Re "Taking Border Patrol Into Their Own Hands," Feb. 2: Bush says our immigration system is broken. The only thing broken is the will of Congress to enforce our immigration laws. The 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act granted amnesty to millions of illegal aliens, but the workplace enforcement provision was never implemented.

Many agree that immigration is a complex issue. So are taxes. But the IRS employs armies of auditors to ensure compliance with the tax code. Likewise, the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement should be voted the necessary funds to send agents to every plant, hotel and corporate farm to verify the Social Security number and immigration status of every employee. Instead of legislating immigration laws out of existence, as the president wants to do, why not give enforcement a chance?

Doug Bell

San Diego

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Volunteers of the Minuteman Project are well meaning but terribly ignorant about the political and economic situation involving illegal immigrants from Mexico. The federal government could seal the border at any time. This would lead to civil unrest as Mexican citizens rallied against their corrupt government. When this happened, refugees would pour across the border and we would have to accommodate them.

The Central Americans who have fled because of war, and who were given temporary visas, are still here. That is precisely the reason why we have weak enforcement of the border.

Henry Sakaida

Temple City

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