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GOP's quandary on immigration

June 01, 2007

Re "Immigration debate puts up a wall in the GOP," May 27

This article demonstrates the problem with the latest immigration bill. Both parties are interested in getting the millions of votes that would come with amnesty. Perhaps our representatives should do something radical, such as put the best interest of American citizens first. If that were done, the fence that was approved last year already would have been built, the border would be secure and there would be workplace enforcement.

Republicans did not lose seats in the last election because of their stance on illegal immigration. The seats were lost because of Iraq. Every anti-illegal alien proposition that was voted on in various cities passed, showing that Americans want enforcement of our immigration laws. The Democrats who won did so by portraying themselves as tough on illegal immigration.

DONNA PICCININNI

Huntington Beach

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The secondary headline on this article -- "Pursue Latino voters or please the party's base?" -- is a phony dichotomy. A 2006 national survey of Latinos by the Pew Hispanic Center showed that Latinos were only 6% of the voters in the 2004 national elections, of which 42% were registered Democratic and 22% Republican. Republicans showed no slippage with Latino voters since 1999, while Democratic affiliation eroded.

The report also underscores differences between native- and foreign-born, with native-born more likely to favor restrictions and limits and to see economic harm to wages. Indeed, 41% of all Latinos, according to the survey, believe "only undocumented immigrants here five years (or more) should be allowed to stay," and 5% believe none should. Is immigration the most important problem facing the country? Only 20% of foreign-born and 3% of U.S.-born Latinos regard it as such.

Instead of a policy based on faux ethnic-driven politics, the winning politicians and party should act on what is best for the common good and our children's future. In the end, American voters, not business or ethnic lobbies, have the last word.

MAGGIE ART

Carmel

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In the Republicans' effort to pander directly to either their base or to Latinos, it seems that the average American is left entirely out of their thought processes. The Republican strategy of dividing the population according to narrow niches for a more direct appeal during this last decade has left the party fractured over which minority to pursue. The average American is neither a Latino nor a conservative Christian. When are the needs of the bulk of America going to figure into Republican ideology? They deserve exactly what they've earned.

BRYAN HAYS

Saugus

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