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Letters: Who should pay for illegal immigration?

February 02, 2013
  • Congressional leaders and President Obama are seeking new ways to address immigration reform.
Congressional leaders and President Obama are seeking new ways to address… (Los Angeles Times )

Re "Border issues still divide the public," Jan. 30

It irks me that immigrants lured to the United States by the availability of jobs, and who may be put on a path to citizenship, are the only ones asked to pay penalties. Businesses big and small welcomed them as cheap labor. Was that not breaking the law just as much as crossing borders illegally?

The last time immigration reform was in focus nationally, some of us suggested that simply enforcing laws or enacting new ones that penalized the businesses that employed illegal immigrants would be enough. Forget securing the border; if there are no jobs, immigrants wouldn't sneak across the border to fill them. Problem solved, and in a more humane way than erecting gun towers along the border and shooting anyone seen trying to cross, as one person quoted in your article suggested.

So when it comes to paying penalties in the form of back taxes and fines, shouldn't the businesses that helped create the illegal immigration problem pony up some financial atonement for their past transgressions?

Ken Fermoyle

Woodland Hills

Has our nation forgotten what common sense is? It boggles my mind that anyone desiring to be a citizen of our great nation can make their first act to do so a violation of federal law. It further defies common sense when politicians condone such actions by seeking to grant these individuals a path to citizenship.

If you have defied our laws just to get here, why would we want you as a citizen? It stands to reason that if you broke one law, would you not be prone to breaking others? As a nation of laws and not of men, at what point do we adhere and enforce them?

Illegal immigrants should go back to where they came from, go to the end of the line and wait their turn.

Bruce Kasper

Playa del Rey

One of the immigration deal's new fans is Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), whose parents came to the United States from Cuba. Rubio wants tough enforcement to prevent illegal immigration. Does he also favor fairness?

If so, he should call for an end to the special immigration rule that gives any Cuban who sets foot in the United States legal status. (Cubans intercepted at sea, however, are repatriated.) This policy does not apply to anyone from any other country, no matter how objectionable we find their government.

I personally cannot think of a more unfair policy in our immigration laws.

Erica Hahn



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