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Immigration's new rules

August 14, 2007

Re "A misguided crackdown," editorial, Aug. 11

If the U.S. is to remain the land of the free with real opportunities for a good life for all citizens, massive illegal immigration should be prevented and the "no-match letters" will be a necessary component of government policy.

However, as The Times notes, 90 days may not provide enough time to clear up all of the discrepancies reported in the letters. Provide an extension of the time period to account for bureaucratic snafus. An even more palatable policy for some Americans would be to make the policy apply to workers hired after Aug. 10. In any event, there is no need to wait for comprehensive immigration reform to get the ball rolling.

Marc Jacobson

Los Angeles

How does the offense of working in our fields without proper papers compare to robbery, rape and assault? Some politicians speak of a national emergency and call for a 100% conviction rate. Illegal workers will not be afforded legal protections that regularly apply to robbers and rapists. Our government wants each employer to act as judge. The jury will be the confused bureaucrats who attempt to process information about the "criminals" under limited time constraints.

Stanley Gill

Williamson

Del Mar

The Times is so narrow-minded when it comes to illegal immigration. It never considers the farmworkers or the hotel, restaurant and construction workers who are already here and forced to work for below minimum wage because of the job instability that the constant influx of illegal immigrants creates. I have a suggestion -- step out and actually talk to migrant workers. They'll tell you the negative effect on them that illegal immigration causes -- that's the real "Economics 101."

Ted Kuepper

Oxnard

In a free labor market, field labor rates must rise to union levels. Produce prices should rise dramatically. The two alternatives, both attractive to President Bush and his ilk, are using captive prison labor gangs at even lower slave wages or importing low-cost produce from overseas slave farms. There is the ghastly picture of young people who can't find jobs, turn to drugs, are jailed in the endless "war on drugs," and then become pressed into chain gangs at slave-labor rates even lower than those paid to the undocumented. It's just one more Bush degradation of the underclass, similar to what happened at the end of the Roman Republic, which also became dependent on slave labor.

Doug Korthof

Seal Beach

The first time I tried filing my taxes online, I discovered that the Social Security Administration had the wrong year of birth in my records. It took several months and phone calls to get it straightened out. The implications were minor at the time, but under these new Bush administration rules, my employer would be required to fire me for such a discrepancy. Considering the bang-up job this administration has done with foreseeing the consequences of its harebrained schemes, it's not surprising that it doesn't see the forced firing of citizens as a problem.

Chad Jones

Granada Hills

Oh, please. Are we really worried about the price of strawberries if illegal farmworkers are forced to leave our country? Whatever happened to thinking outside the box? If people can't figure out a way to cut down on cigarettes or beer to better afford those strawberries, why not engage students to spend time in the fields for college credit? Even if we should feel the pressure of increased produce prices, might we also feel a corresponding reduction of pressure on our freeways, hospitals, prisons and schools?

Jill Chapin

Santa Monica

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