Legality of immigration is the issue

To the editor,

The implications of the article, “Bridging borders”, are disingenuous and insulting.

The “image of newcomers” has not taken a beating; the image of illegal newcomers is what has taken a beating.

Those who consider themselves “pro-immigrant” have persistently refused to frame the debate on this issue in terms of the legal status of the immigrants.

Ms. Heyman is quoted as saying, “Immigrants are people who come to this country because they want to do well and they want their children to do well.”

Those of us born and raised here and, more importantly, those who emigrated legally, want the same thing.

Allowing an open door for illegal immigrants to come here, in violation of our laws, presents well-documented challenges to accomplishing this shared goal.

Most people do in fact recognize the importance of immigrants to both the history and the future of this great country, and to imply otherwise is reflects a gross misrepresentation of the truth.

The real issue is not immigration: It is whether or not those immigrants get in line and come in the ‘front door’ or start their journey here as lawbreakers by sneaking in the back door, for which they are subsequently rewarded.

Please explain the justice of that to someone who did it the “right” way, the harder way.

The debate has indeed, sadly, become vitriolic.

However, if those who espouse themselves as “pro-immigrant” had the intellectual honesty to really listen to the content of the issue, it is not about immigration in general; it is about legal versus illegal.

Those who are labeled as “racist” and “anti-immigrant” are weary of the blatant dodging of this issue.

We all of us are descendants of those who blazed a trail from some other country.

I am proud to be among those whose predecessors came here legally, through Ellis Island, and earned their right to be here, and ultimately the rights I now enjoy today.

Let immigrants come, but let them come legally.

But please, listen and respond to what the true issue really is.

It is not the ethnic origins of those who come; it is the manner by which they arrive.

Holly M. Younghans, nonprofit consultant, San Diego, Calif.

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