Illegal immigration: Readers offer solutions [Most commented]
The Obama administration has deported a record number of immigrants so far this year, but Republican presidential candidates are unsatisfied, writes the editorial board in Thursday’s pages.
The latest numbers, released last week, are unlikely to sway the current field of Republican presidential hopefuls, who steadfastly refuse to discuss fixing the broken immigration system, arguing that only stricter enforcement, tougher penalties and a 100% secured border will satisfy them.
Not that Obama is talking about fixing the broken immigration system either, the board points out.
No doubt, both parties shoulder the blame for the current state of affairs. Obama was swept into office promising, among other things, to restore common sense and fairness to the immigration system, yet three years later his administration has pushed the issue to the back burner and there is little hope of a legislative solution.
Here’s what readers suggest on our discussion board:
Use force at the border
This editorial is punitive, disrespectful, and horribly slanted. What's worse, is it quotes statistics on exportation of illegal aliens that are grossly exaggerated in number, and therefore woefully misleading. No, American citizens are still very dissatisfied with government performance in stopping the illegal alien squatter invasion. We also want the federal government to prosecute and enforce our federal law on Immigration, as set forth in Title 8.0, United States Code. If it takes more fencing or other measures to control our borders, so be it. America citizens are that important. We deserve protection from invasion, loss of jobs, and tax monies spent to support he illegal invasion population. Schools, law enforcement, and social services should not be dominated by illegal alien populations. These services are only for American citizens! American citizens will "fix" immigration! We will continue to insist our laws be enforced in government, and the illegal alien be deported (really, not just phony numbers.) WE will continue to insist the U.S. citizen be protected in his own country. The borders are not controlled intelligently, use force, if necessary! Contact you Representatives and Senators now! Insist they sponsor and enact the E-Verify system nationally!
Motivate people living here illegally to self-deport
I'm so sick and tired of illegal progressive activists telling us the our immigration policy is broken....Deport, E verify and stop all entitlements....the majority of the illegal criminals will self-deport.
Enforce employment laws
It is a good thing that the Times keeps writing these editorials. I hope immigration reform is a major issue in the 2012 campaign because I believe most citizens (you know those of us who can legally vote) disagree with the amnesty proposals and open border arguments made by the Times.
Illegal immigration is not the cause of all the problems with the US economy but it does affect many areas and except for low prices through exploitation I see nothing positive about it.
Schools are probably suffering the most through overcrowding and too many students with limited English skills putting a big strain on budgets and lowering standards.
Unemployment, medical care, affordable housing, and large social service budgets are all adversely affected.
Forcing people to enter the country legally allows US to control who and how many immigrate. We have people waiting in line to enter this country legally, why do we want let alone need to accept those who ignore the laws?
The border fence is a symbol more than a solution. We can control illegal immigration, if we enforce employment laws and deport those who manage to smuggle themselves into the country or greatly overstay their visas.
Limit birthright citizenship and medical care
Our immigration system, this editorial declares with breathless indignation, is "broken" and needs "fixing"--though, what is actually broken and how to fix it is never really discussed--just that Republican attitudes and solutions are wrong.
Liberal solutions tend to be described these days in print in general terms, usually traveling under the pseudonym "comprehensive immigration reform" or "a path to citizenship" ( both often a euphemism for amnesty). Conventional wisdom holds that the only rational solution is to change the wording of the laws in some subtle way. Then, woosh, like magic, the problem of illegal immigration goes away.
We need a wall, a big, deep, long one. That's a start. We must also pass a law (or constitutional amendment, if necessary) limiting birthright citizenship to children born of American citizens and permanent, legal residents, to the exclusion of all others, including those brought or conceived here "through no fault of their own". We should also start denying all but emergency care to illegal aliens. Furthermore, when identified for ANY reason, illegal aliens should be deported to their native country, period.
The ability of the United States to absorb the populations of foreign countries is finite. Whenever you give somebody cuts in front of the line, somebody toward the back gets screwed.
Reward legal actions
Here's the thing. Twenty-five years ago we tried the LA Times preferred solution of legalizing illegal aliens. There were something over 3 million legalized then, and now we have 11 or 12 or 20 million (depending on who you believe). Obviously "better-than-amnesty"* not only doesn't work, it is counterproductive. And let's get real about the supposed economic benefit of illegal immigrants. With something like 25% of the illegals in the country, if they were an overall benefit, the state would be booming. It isn't -- it is broke, has an unemployment rate of 20-35% higher than the national average, and no longer attracts Americans from other states.
*Better-than-amnesty because when we have, say, a library amnesty you don't get to keep the library books, when we have a tax amnesty, you don't get to keep the money you owe the government. With 'comprehensive immigration reform', the illegal will get rewarded by being able to keep his or her job, residence, etc in the US, plus be rewarded with a green card.
Reduce bureaucracy for legal immigrants
Funny, I guess you're not paying attention to members of the GOP, just writing articles saying how foolish they all are. I've heard the GOP talk about:
Securing the Border (yes that is building a fence)
Making it Easier for LEGAL immigrants to get in by reducing bureaucracy
Implementing employer verification systems (like E-Verify) to prevent illegal hires and punish companies who hire them anyway
That's a start. Nobody is saying what to do with the illegals already here, but if you read between the lines the Dem plan is full amnesty (which isn't fair to people who waited in line and are trying to do it the right way) and the GOP plan is based on removing the benefits to being here illegally (employment being the first, but serious discussions need to be had around education and health care).
*Spelling errors in the above comments have been corrected.
--Alexandra Le Tellier
Photo: Rancher Roger Barnett outside a tunnel used by undocumented immigrants. Credit: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times