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Letters: A nation of immigrants

January 30, 2013

Re "Senate panel has plan on immigration," Jan. 28

I am so grateful to the millions of immigrants of recent decades, legal and illegal, for moving my country toward equality.

When I was growing up, our country was dominated by white male Protestants, and America was idealized as their dominion. I'm not one, so like millions of others, I did not feel truly at one with my country. But now we have hundreds of different identities.

As for "illegal" immigrants, they have always been vital to our country. All of the very first U.S. citizens became citizens illegally, by defying British law. And the early citizens in California and the Southwest became Americans because of a legally questionable war against Mexico.

Illegal immigration could be a problem for practical reasons, but it is not a moral issue: The Statue of Liberty states the moral principle that all who yearn to breathe free are welcome.

Ira Spiro

Los Angeles

The debate in Washington ignores the main impact of immigration: It increases our population.

America already hosts the world's third-largest population and suffers declining resources as a result. Americans deserve better from Washington, especially after reducing their family sizes enough to end population growth if immigration were reduced.

Immigration mimics other vital issues on which the nation's leaders offer no leadership, such as global warming and deficit reduction.

Kenneth Pasternack

Santa Barbara

Why is national service not being discussed? I

can think of no greater test of one's commitment to this nation than military service. Even money for college can be contingent on service.

This would not accommodate everyone, but it should be an option for illegal immigrants of good moral character who profess to love this country.

Mike Post



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