- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 14, 2006

Out of touch with reality

Charles Hurt’s report on the House Republicans’ immigration meeting (“GOP calls elite out of touch on immigration,” Nation, Wednesday) quotes Rep. Peter T. King’s statement,”I have never seen such a disconnect between the American people and the elite.”

These elite — in this case, our so-called elected representatives and certainly the Bush cabal and its big-business and global bed partners — are out of touch with reality. Mr. King himself has a poor immigration voting record. And despite the fact that a large majority of Americans are against illegal immigration and massive guest-worker increases, the president, Bush Republicans and majority of Congressional Democrats are determined to make them law.

How’s that?

They decry our porous borders while doing virtually nothing about them; admittedly disable current law in order to surveil American citizens while refusing to scrutinize foreigners here; and wink at illegal employers, illegal landlords and illegal welfare for illegal aliens.

Did I mention that these elite are so eager to undercut citizens that they offer illegal aliens perks that many citizens will never have, such as in-state college tuition and our now-you-see-them-now-you-don’t Social Security and Medicare? And there are minor matters of legal guest workers: They often pay no taxes; foreign-born workers are 50 percent more likely to collect welfare than citizens.

Touting amnesties and foreign workers while 14 million Americans are unemployed or underemployed, repeating the felonious refrain of the 1986 amnesty and insisting that immigration is good for us when it verifiably imports poverty and crime certainly qualify as being out of touch with reality.

ML PINKARD

Lafayette, Calif.

A dubious approach to border control

The Times opines in “Immigration reform now,” (Editorial, Tuesday) that to avoid the appearance of inaction on immigration, Republicans should embrace a modified version of the Pence-Hutchison (I call it “amnesty light”) bill. The editorial observes that the inclusion of a guest-worker program “is a major concession, but let’s remember that such a plan would implement a program only after the border is deemed secure.” Deemed secure by whom? The Bush administration — also known as the “mission accomplished” administration?

This administration’s approach to border security has been laughable in comparison to what is needed, and the use of National Guard troops is farcical. Mr. Bush would sign into law even the weakest border protections as long as he got the guest-worker bill he’s always wanted. An immigration bill with border-security provisions resembling Swiss cheese will fool no one.

With elections just weeks away, voters’ minds are likely already made up regarding Republicans’ abysmal performance on immigration. Time and numerous opportunities to do something constructive have been lost, and producing a flawed bill at this late date will do nothing to improve the Republican Party’s chances. Better Republican candidates ought to strongly emphasize border issues (and distance themselves from Mr. Bush) in their individual campaigns if they hope to retain control of Congress, and let the chips fall where they may.

ROBERT BERRY

Montgomery Village

Ridge wrong on immigration

Tom Ridge states in his Sunday Commentary column, “Immigration and security,” that at the rate Immigration and Customs Enforcement is achieving, it would take 70 years to deport all 11 million illegal aliens who have invaded our country. If this is true, it is a sad look at the ability of our government to protect the citizens of this country.

If the government really wants to enforce the law to the fullest extent, workplace enforcement and employer sanctions on those who hire illegals would result in self-deportation of illegals and would take considerably less than the 70 years Mr. Ridge has projected.

Linking border security with a guest-worker program and a pathway to citizenship and saying that we can’t have one without the other is like saying, “You can’t lock your doors to your home until you invite those home invaders who came through the window to move in permanently.”

Cheap illegal labor is not cheap to the working people of America when you consider the cost of crime and identity theft caused directly or indirectly by illegal aliens.

Mr. Ridge states that “all work has dignity.” I would submit to you that a thief has to work to break into your house, and I would not classify that line of work as having dignity. Obeying the laws of our country has a greater dignity.

Illegal aliens force their way into this country and take jobs that American citizens would do, despite the words of some politicians to the contrary. It’s time to protect our borders and begin to enforce our immigration laws to ensure that our nation, our citizens and our rule of law are protected. Our future as a sovereign nation depends on it.

EDDIE G. NICKELS

Mayking, Ky.

Tom Ridge, former head of the Department of Homeland Security, did a pretty good job defending himself in his Sunday Commentary column, “Immigration and Security.” It’s a shame that he didn’t do as good a job defending America’s borders.

The statistics he quoted about the supposed aggressive attempts during his tenure to “mend decades of lax border control” are debatable. Furthermore, his insistence that the work illegal aliens do is work Americans “prefer not to do” is a raggedy, overused old argument that Americans are not buying.

Americans will do any work if the pay is fair. In fact, there were plenty of Americans working to clean up New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina until they got kicked off the job sites because illegal aliens showed up willing to work for much less.

Amnesty of any kind will only encourage further abuse by employers. Guest-worker programs, H-1B visas and the like are nothing more than shameful exploitation of human beings that undercut American workers.

There are much more constructive ways to maintain a strong economy. In addition, allowing guest workers only encourages further parasitic behavior from the governments of Mexico and Central America.

If I were allowed as many words as Mr. Ridge, I could go on. However, there’s no need to bloviate the way he did. There are two main things America must do to solve our immigration crisis.

The first is to stop the flood at the borders, and that means more than a measly 6,000 unarmed National Guard troops who must be baby-sat by the Border Patrol.

The second is to end birthright citizenship and all the other taxpayer-funded benefits (education, welfare, health care, driver?s licenses, etc.) that should be afforded only to legal American citizens.

Some of the funding needed to enforce our immigration laws could come from taxes and fees on the $19 billion illegal aliens wire to Mexico every year.

Of course we can’t deport them all. Attrition through enforcement is the answer. This will take time, but we must act now. More than America’s security is at stake. Our sovereignty and whole way of life is being threatened in the interest of becoming part of the global economy.

LYNN BEIBER

Bowie

Guns and crime

Stephen J. Peter says that because the term “gun crime” was used frequently in an article on gun-related crimes, it was “an unfair attempt to blame an inanimate object, which is not capable of acting on its own, for the violent actions of human beings” (“Guns and crimes,” Letters, Wednesday). The logic behind this argument infers that Mr. Peter would not be in favor of limiting the spread of nuclear weapons because the bomb is an inanimate object and the problem lies with the violent men who may deploy it.

It is the use of this kind of reasoning by gun devotees that results in the fact that the chance of being killed by a gun in the United States is nearly 300 times that in Japan, where gun ownership is not permitted.

WILLIAM G. GARRETT

Harrow Middlesex, England

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