Can't ignore the law
I just read your recent column entitled "What 'Attack On Our Culture'?" (Boomer With Attitude, by John Grooms, June 18). I myself am an immigrant to the United States. I have many friends from other countries including South Africa, Mexico, Bulgaria, Japan, Germany and England who have also become legal residents of this fine country. Based on my experience, and the experiences of my friends, I can assure you that you are completely in error when you accuse your fellow citizens of "... nothing less than bigotry" when dealing with immigrants. Further, I have not experienced anyone here "... looking around for a foreigner ... to blame for their problems." You may have some personal guilt issues to deal with in this context Mr. Grooms (a problem endemic among liberals), but that does not give you the right to egregiously insult your fellow citizens. I have traveled extensively and I can tell you that Americans in general are among the most accepting and generous people in all the world. You owe them an apology.
However, I have encountered many people, including all of the legal immigrants I know who are rightfully concerned about the current flood of illegal aliens. It is hard to believe that you really propose that the sales tax revenues generated by individuals working for minimum wage could completely cover the education, health and social services costs they incur. Even leaving that fragile presumption aside, there is no question that their very numbers strain an already overburdened infrastructure of health services and education. I have worked in some of the local hospitals and I invite you to visit a local E.R. facility or school and observe this impact for yourself. How many millions of indigents do you think we can absorb before our systems themselves fail and the quality of life for all of us is undermined?
Not withstanding arguments about social costs and impacts it is indisputable that the real beneficiaries of the presence of millions of illegal workers are the agriculture, manufacturing and construction industries. At a time when a tightening labor market should have driven up wages (and the standard of living for the average American worker) these mega-businesses have been allowed to leverage illegal immigration to suppress workers wages. It would be hard to overestimate the negative impact this has had on the working class in this country. Incidentally, I do agree with you that the companies (and the managers) engaged in hiring illegals should be identified, prosecuted and heavily fined. They are criminals.
In conclusion, we need to stop encouraging people to ignore our laws. This will happen when we cease to provide them incentives (such as subsidized higher education) and start enforcing our laws, including deportation. I understand that in the eyes of the illegal aliens this is unfair as it represents a fundamental change in our past attitude. Unfortunately, I believe it is absolutely necessary to establish control over our borders, our population and to re-establish respect for the rule of law. We need to control who enters our country and we need to insure that their numbers do not overwhelm our social institutions. To do less may not destroy our "culture" but it will compromise our security and damage our way of life.
-- Mike Tunney, Indian Trail