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Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday, October 21, 2005
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'Real' answers to border problem won't punish immigrants

"A day without an American": What a concept. It isn't surprising to me, as scare tactics and doomsday scenarios are what fuel the anti-immigrant movement in the U.S. Advocating what Kara Karlson equates to be a measure "like Proposition 200 on the federal level" is to support a poorly written and falsely advertised piece of legal "garbage" that does absolutely nothing to solve the problem of illegal immigration.

Real answers to this "problem" are not going to come by punishing illegal immigrants already in this nation contributing billions of dollars to the economy, to Social Security, and to the tax base. Real answers also will not emerge from Gov. Napolitano, whom Karlson criticized for her lack of action. Read up next time: immigration policy is an area of federal jurisdiction. I have a much better idea; let's imagine a day where Karlson and all who subscribe to her narrow train of thought don't take advantage of a single luxury afforded them by cheap immigrant labor. Therein lies material for an excellent movie.

Andy Gaona
senior majoring in political science and spanish

Immigration column a mix of jingoistic rants

Kara Karlson's column "A Day Without an American" reminded me of one of the articles from the German propaganda newspapers back in the 1930s. Substitute Karlson's Mexican for Jewish, and American for Aryan, and the same types of misleading and outrageous statements would be right at home on the pages of the Volkisher Beobachter.

Immigration is a complex issue with conflicting opinions across the political spectrum, and this is reflected by the competing immigration bills put forward by Republicans. However, Rep. Hayworth's proposal has more to do with anti-Mexican sentiment than to address the real causes of undocumented immigration. How exactly is denying U.S. citizenship to the children of immigrants going to deter illegal migration? By definition, the only people affected would be those already here in the U.S.

Illegal immigrants come to the U.S. for one reason, and one reason only: because there is available work. Rep. Hayworth's bill does little to address the employer's side of the equation. Increasing fines is not enough. What about making it a felony for employers to hire illegals? Or prohibiting these employers from doing business with the state and federal governments?

And where is the enforcement? How many ICE agents will be deployed to inspect work-sites and businesses across the U.S.? Of course, it is very hard to be tough on the business interests that fund the Republican Party, and so it is easier just to focus on the untermenshen that are "threatening the Fatherland" - the brown-skinned, Spanish-speaking Mexicans. Hayworth and Karlson's mix of jingoistic rants and knee-jerk reactions will do nothing to deal with the real issues surrounding immigration.

Francisco J. Gonzalez
assistant director Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Office

Draconian immigration solutions won't solve real problems

In her column "A day without an American," Kara Karlson writes, "Even if the border was sealed and every single illegal immigrant were shipped back to their home country, there would still be the gaping hole of automatic citizenship." She also writes, "Citizenship should not be a privilege of criminals."

I say denying citizenship to those born here in order to prevent illegal aliens from staying in the country runs exactly counter to a statement in the Constitution that all persons in the U.S. have a right to equal protection under the law. We all have a right to due process, the right to an attorney.

Also it runs counter to the idea that persons (as opposed to just citizens) in the U.S. are considered innocent until proven guilty of a crime. These ideas are embodied in the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. J. D. Hayworth's bill if it does include a provision to deny citizenship to the children of illegals born here would be tossed out the door of the Supreme Court as unconstitutional based on the 14th Amendment. Remember that the law that affects one affects all. If children of illegals are denied citizenship, then the citizenship of all born here will be denied as well. Do you really want that?

For your information, anyone, citizen or not, is or should be afforded due process of law and the equal protection thereof as long as they are in the U.S. If this idea is changed, then the bedrock fundamental reason that we are a great nation will go away and we will be no better that Nazi Germany.

"Automatic citizenship" as you call it is not a problem. It is specifically explained in the aforementioned amendment. Do we need to pass some citizenship test to be included? Who will set the standard? You? Do only white bread middle American right-wingers get to be citizens? What, then, happens to those immortal words carved in stone over the door to the Supreme Court "Equal Justice Under the Law"?

The way to stem cross-border traffic is for Mexicans to be paid a living wage at the least and to be treated with respect by their employers. With enough money to survive, I believe they would stay in Mexico. Ms. Karlson's (and J.D. Hayworth's) draconian proposals won't work.

Sam Marion
physiology research specialist

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