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Immigration policy must change

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Posted: Monday, June 4, 2007 10:00 pm

Everyone knows our immigration policy must change.

Some still want to import cheap labor to improve their competitive advantage. Others want to offer amnesty and start over. A few want to hunt down 10 to 20 million illegal immigrants, kick 'em out, close the borders and protect what we used to have. Well, that ship has sailed.

It is like a car skidding across the ice. The first thing a driver must do is get control of the car. Then the driver can resume the journey. Trying to do both at once increases the risk to everyone.

First, we must get control of our borders. Afterwards, we can begin making decisions on how many should be allowed to enter, and who they should be. We must be sure that when we close the door, no more will enter through the windows.

Ultimately, we must decide what to do with 10 to 20 million illegal immigrants already here. Forget how they came. Forget why they came. Arrest the criminals when they commit a crime and jail them or deport them, or both. But don't argue that entering illegally is itself a crime. We invited them, they mowed our lawns, they tended our crops (and our children) and we didn't care if they were illegal. We waived the right long ago to punish them for responding to our needs for profit and convenience.

Those already here illegally must find a way to want to become American citizens. They must find a desire to become involved in the economic, social and political life of this great nation. The immigrants, the capitalists, the humanitarians and the exclusionists are all going to have to recognize it is in the best interests of each of them to find the common ground. If they and we fail, little will be gained, and the crisis will grow more intense, and more divisive.

But first, we must get control of the car. Then, maybe we can find our way off the ice.

Gordon E. Moore

Lodi

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