Rethinking Immigration

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Regarding "A Balancing Act" [March 24-31]: Why not settle the immigration problem by letting those with valid passports who have shown no criminal intent and just want to come here to work cross the border legally?

Load them up with extracts of our labor and tax laws in a language they understand, encourage them to establish a permanent residence, get a driver's license, take a job at a fair wage, and become part of our society. We already do this for professionals in the medical and scientific fields. Let's put some of the money we now spend uselessly to prevent illegal border crossings into a program that will offer bonus points from cellphones to refrigerators to frequent-flier miles for those achieving various levels of proficiency in the English language. Let's make becoming American as easy as it was for our great-grandfathers. What problem can conservatives have with that? Let us concentrate our efforts on getting out from under the damage done to our economy by investment bankers' unsound schemes for building fortunes. If we don't, we will be the ones heading to Mexico or China or elsewhere looking for jobs to put bread on the table and a roof over our heads.

Eleanor S. Lukas


Rochelle Park, N.J.  

As a combat veteran, I feel that I did not fight or risk my life for the rights or entitlements of illegal aliens. The same sentiment is more profoundly expressed by my Filipino wife, who had to wait in line; fill out numerous U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services forms; have medical checks, fingerprinting, and background checks; and pay fees, etc. Presidential candidates as well as all other politicians should put the rights, entitlements, and interest of U.S. citizens first.

Robert E. O'Bryan


League City, Texas  

I am amazed at how such a simple matter can get so convoluted. We have two basic problems with our borders. One deals with illegal immigrants and the other with potential terrorists. With illegals, we simply need to have laws that impose serious penalties and enforcement for businesses that hire illegals. Take away the carrot, and the problem solves itself. Then, we could deal with the problem of allowing orderly migration using a combination of guest-worker programs and naturalization. We then could turn our Border Patrol attention to drug and terrorist interdiction. We don't need to build walls, hire new agents, or send in more National Guard troops.

Jeff Barwick


Clewiston, Fla.  

You don't have to spend billions of dollars on a border fence, helicopters, or guards. All you need is to purchase a few sheets of paper with the following inscribed: "We Have No Work for You, Go Home." Then post the signs in front of corporations, corporate farmers, and fruit growers.

Ralph Capotosto


South Yarmouth, Mass.