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Players in the immigration drama

July 28, 2006

Re "Some at GOP Event Scold Gov.," July 26

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is troubled by the strong views that ordinary citizens he's meeting have on immigration. On the first day of the governor's campaign bus trip, he stopped in La Mesa, where his town hall event was dominated by the strong views of people who called him soft on immigration. "This was really the first time I had seen the intensity of prejudice," he said.

The first time? When did Proposition 187 pass? Doesn't this man get out? It'd be worth asking what planet he's been living on for the last 12 years. How can anyone wanting to lead California honestly be so out of touch as to only now be troubled by the strong views that people hold on immigration? Schwarzenegger can flip-flop all he wants on the issue; it's the right of each person to change his views. But he needs to get out more so he can understand the people he purports to represent.

WILLIAM R. ORTON

Long Beach

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Re "They're people too," editorial, July 26

I couldn't help but note the irony in a television program that has an illegal alien family invite an American citizen to share their home for 30 days. Do you think the family would have been as open and charming if the citizen had just walked into the family's home uninvited? Would he have been embraced as an undocumented guest?

WANDA GOMEZ-BERGER

El Cerrito

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Contrary to your allusion to Frank Jorge pointing a gun at illegal aliens, Minuteman Project volunteers are not allowed to detain or threaten illegal immigrants, whether with a firearm or other weapons.

They patrol and report. They are no more "vigilante" than any other neighborhood watch program.

Minuteman volunteers, on the main, have no difficulty accepting that illegal immigrants are as "noble, hardworking, funny, angry, God-fearing, sassy, patriotic ... and, well, human" as any other criminal. Although the television program may show "the humanity on both sides of the issue," it isn't the humanity of illegal aliens that is in question. The question is whether pity is reason enough to surrender our borders to them.

MERRY BIERD-DOBBINS

Dallas, Ga.

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