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The many sides of the illegal immigration debate

May 04, 2010

It's about the law

Re "Protesters nationwide call for immigration overhaul," May 2

Unlike the mostly corrupt societies in the world today (including Mexico), American society is rooted in a system of enforceable laws, which is what creates and guarantees the freedom and opportunities that all immigrants — both legal and illegal — seek here.

It is disturbing that the mayor of America's second-largest city and one of its main religious leaders have publicly aligned themselves with millions of people who have broken the law to be here. Instead of standing for legal principle, they are considering their own self-interest — Antonio Villaraigosa is thinking about all those votes, and Cardinal Roger Mahony is thinking about all those Catholics.

The illegal immigration issue is an argument of principle, not discrimination, and I think both the mayor and the cardinal will be surprised by the number of silent Americans who feel this way.

Joel Anderson

Studio City

I find it pathetic that a few Latino illegal immigrants, politicians and activists vilify, protest and march against the Arizona immigration law but do not the courage to do the same against their homeland.

Mexico has no problem enforcing its immigration laws and militarizing its southern border.

How can some of these people demand rights and justice from a host country that does not truly enforce its own immigration laws and has been more than generous?

John Avalos

San Clemente

Illegal immigrants are breaking laws, and now they are angry because one state has stood up to them?

I ask: Can an American citizen sneak into Mexico and receive government services? Would I not be asked for proper Mexican paperwork if I were in that country?

Everyone seems to forget that illegal aliens are breaking the laws.

Caroline K. Malloy

Reseda

Not only is it not very popular to be Latino, it is quickly becoming a crime. Arizona's SB 1070 is an oppressive law and must be resisted.

I commend leaders like Mahony and Villaraigosa who have spoken out against the law. It is unfortunate that Republicans such as Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer have decided to burn bridges with the Latino community. Even as a social conservative, I remain outside the Republican Party.

It has been reported that 50% of Americans support the Arizona law.

We are in dire need of a president who will keep his promise of immigration reform.

Nicolas Hernandez

Baldwin Park

I was no more than 9 years old when a group of kids came to me while at recess. They asked if I was a "wetback." I didn't know the word's meaning but knew it was degrading, for they left laughing and I was left puzzled and humiliated.

Years later, I questioned what led them to doubt my citizenship — was it my poor attire, my humble personality or my skin color?

Arizona's recent immigration law forced that buried memory to resurface. This law can perpetuate racism by and against the most vulnerable ones — our kids — who listen and absorb what they are told.

I fear that one day some of today's kids will harass their peers. The victims may be my nephews or nieces, much like I was one day singled out, although we were born in the United States and I served in the Navy.

Juan Trujillo

Los Angeles

My wife and have just returned from a visit to the L.A. area. Never have I been so glad to escape the hypocritical diatribes of your newspaper, mayor and City Council.

Most of the folks here in Arizona are not fully in agreement with our legislators, who were deprived of adult supervision when Janet Napolitano decided to flee to D.C.

Most have no real problem with the people who have fled the failed narco state called Mexico in search of a better life. But even some of these normally honest, hardworking folks have been corrupted — forced to pack drugs into the United States by the cartel criminals and their allies.

Let's look at the root of the problem. It is not the people of Phoenix or Winslow — although not innocents — who are the major customers of the Mexican drug cartel. No, I would guess the larger markets would be L.A. County and your snobbish neighbors in San Francisco.

Get off your high horses and become a part of the solution rather than pick on those in the front lines.

Dan Davey

Mesa, Ariz.

The Times needs a better way to discuss the controversy over Arizona's new immigration law.

"Criminalizing illegal immigration" is an oxymoron. People who enter the United States without visas or who misuse their visas are violating our immigration laws, which is a crime.

How the federal or state governments respond is really the issue.

Perhaps the description should be "active enforcement of immigration laws."

Chris Chrisman

Los Angeles

Forget the welcome mat

Re "They're here; let's make them legal," Opinion, April 29

According to Tomas R. Jimenez, if someone barges into your house without your permission, you'd be wrong to say they're not welcome.

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