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Senate falls down on immigration

June 30, 2007

Re "The immigration debate: bill fails in Senate," June 29

Now that the immigration bill has failed, we need to push the president to enforce the immigration laws that are already on the books, including building the 700-mile fence on the U.S.-Mexico border.

This also includes more border guards and an immigrant verification system. If we can track a cow in Hoboken back to its mother in Poland, we've got to be able to devise a system to verify that an immigrant is not a felon or an undesirable. Credit card companies do it every day. Someday we will establish laws to control immigration, but not before the border is secure and the verification system is in place so employers can quickly know if an immigrant is employable.

DONALD W. CHRISTY

Harbor City

*

The overwhelming defeat of the Senate immigration bill sends a serious message to Congress. Immigration reform is critically important, yet the Senate addressed it in an unprofessional and unacceptable manner. Select senators met secretly and drafted a complex, incomprehensible bill. Senate leaders attempted to pressure colleagues into passing the bill without affording an adequate opportunity to thoroughly understand and assess its financial and social effects. No hearings or impact studies were conducted, and limited debate was allowed on the Senate floor. The Senate felt no responsibility to explain its legislation to the public and convince it of the benefits. Transparency and accountability were sadly absent from the process.

Such a process is unworthy of the Senate and correctly did not prevail.

THOMAS R. DAMIANI

Newport Beach

*

Republican senators are celebrating the defeat of immigration reform legislation. Their obstructionism won the day. By refusing to help repair a broken policy, they have endorsed the silent amnesty of the status quo.

GLENN HAYES

Whittier

*

This bill was rejected by politicians more concerned with extending their collective careers than doing what is right. The Senate appropriately rejected this bill, in part because of the removal of the national identification requirement. Any immigration bill not including such a system is simply amnesty by a different name and encourages even more illegal immigration.

As U.S. citizens, we have the need and the right to identify everyone living here.

An identification system would prevent immigrants from working without being identified and protect them from being forced to work for unscrupulous businesses that fuel the underground economy and pay slave-like wages.

KEVIN GORDON

Saugus

*

By voting to defeat the immigration reform bill, the Senate has only succeeded in delaying the inevitable. We must pass some form of immigration reform. We must create a fast path to get all of the immigrants on the road to full rights and citizenship. We can no longer ignore the reality that is the world economy. Corporations and businesses at all levels must now play on the same harsh, muddy Third World field. The 1950s and the myth of the middle class are history. Protectionism and tariffs worked back when American corporations were American. It's a different world now. Let's get on with it, already. Open the gates and face the future.

MITCH FARIS

Orange

*

Now that the immigration legislation has been shelved, there could be another outlet for all the energy that went into its proposed passage. Could we not work with Mexico's government to provide decent living wages at home for the many who need to come to our country to provide for their families? Mexico has the resources and the jobs -- the wages are just too poor to live on. This quandary reminds me of a bit of wisdom of the Kennedy era. The poor who were taught how to grow and harvest the wheat seeds we gave them did much better than those who simply ate the wheat seeds we provided.

MARY PETTITT

Highland, Calif.

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