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The immigration conundrum

July 04, 2007

Re "Immigration proved too hot for Bush, Congress to handle," news analysis, July 1

The Times was remiss to analyze the recent immigration bill charade and refer to the 1986 Reagan amnesty with no mention that it was promised to be absolutely, positively the last ever reward to lawbreaking illegal aliens.

The country is overrun with more than 12 million foreigners of unknown identity precisely because of the earlier legislation and the government's subsequent refusal to enforce the borders and workplaces. Citizens are angry because of this history.

Since the amnesty, business interests have become even more addicted to an exploitable labor force, so the current immigration enforcement system is expensive window-dressing only.

Furthermore, the Senate bill was created behind closed doors in bad faith and would not have ended illegal immigration because it was never meant to.

DANA GARCIA

Berkeley

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The Times makes some important observations in the immigration analysis: The problem will only get harder to solve with time; failure to handle the illegal immigrants tends to establish a large permanent underclass; local governments are likely to step in for lack of federal action, creating a patchwork of conflicting laws; and Americans don't believe the government is acting on their behalf in this matter.

In fact, no new immigration laws are needed to effectively correct these issues and the overall illegal immigration problem. What is needed is strict enforcement of current law.

That neither political party has stepped up to this obvious requirement over the last 20 years is morally bankrupt and intellectually vacuous, tolerance indistinguishable from cowardice. It is no wonder Americans have no faith in this latest ostensible "reform."

JACKSON L. FORNEY

Nipomo, Calif.

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