To the editor:
Besides death and taxes, there is one other certainty in life. The government will make a problem so complex that it becomes unsolvable.
The problem of illegal immigrants is a clear example of this. If there are as many as 13 million illegal immigrants in America, what to do with them is the essence of the divisive discussion that is tearing our country apart.
Deporting all of them is one solution being proposed. But the cost is huge, and a nation with $20 trillion dollars in debt has not found the money to do this without adding to that debt.
From a humane standpoint, how would deportation prevent families, with children born in the United States, from being split apart? Their children would be allowed to stay, but their parents would be forced to leave.
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Another proposal is to allow illegal immigrants to stay with certain actions required on their part (fines, community service, etc.) as conditions for continued residency. Those who propose this solution add a "path to citizenship" as in intrinsic element and won't budge from that stance.
I'd like to offer an alternative.
Allow law-abiding illegal immigrants to stay, register for a permanent "Green Card," and pay income taxes, Social Security and Medicare premiums. But deny them a path to citizenship. It is illogical in the extreme to reward people who broke American immigration laws by granting them citizenship.
There are other problems that this alternative resolves as well. Economic elements such as agriculture, restaurants, hotels, and other jobs would not be disrupted. Farmers are already voicing grave concerns that crops will not be harvested and will rot in their fields. Hoteliers are noting the difficulties they will experience as many of their lower-end jobs are staffed by these immigrants.
Most importantly, the fissure in our country would begin to close, and we could focus on other problems as Americans instead of as Democrats and Republicans.
John J. Kauza
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