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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Amnesty bill fails to heed lessons of ‘86

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After the 1986 amnesty came over 25 years of alternating Republican and Democrat executive and congressional dominance, during which laws were ignored and elected officials avoided enlightenment. Now when illegal aliens have grown from between 2 million and 3 million to an estimated 11 million, immigration enforcement should not become illusory by setting boundaries far outside current standards.

Proposed legislation shunts into legal internment camps the millions of immigrants who follow normal rules for becoming citizens. They must stand aside for popular political compassion directed toward those of Hispanic heritage. These celebrated illegal aliens would find a path to citizenship unencumbered by background checks, immunization requirements and any serious requirement to learn English. They would acquire access to the full range of federal health, educational and financial benefits.

Contemplated legislation would create broad legal boulevards for Middle East terrorists and drug dealers migrating from Central and South America. They would vanish within a huge, anonymous, population that meets only the most minimal identity requirements. These individuals would possess enhanced freedom of movement before they chose to prey upon us, and then possess full legal-system access afterwards. No one should evade the rigorous assimilation path immigrants have followed as they enriched each new generation of Americans.

NOLAN NELSON

Eugene, Ore.

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