Mailbag: Children are the answer in immigration issue

May 27, 2011

We all can agree that immigration reform is a very complicated issue.

Assemblyman Jim Silva's recent column, ("Amnesty for illegal immigrants not the answer," Community Commentary, May 19) illustrates the complexity of immigration reform particularly for those who travel here from south of the U.S. border. Silva discusses the incarceration of the undocumented people for crimes of illegal drug trade, gang activity and smuggling (of human beings?). We have seen increased resources of personnel, extensions of walls both physical and cyber, weaponry like drones, and yet the crime has increased over the past 10 years along and across the border in Mexico.

The current approach to secure our border with Mexico moved migrants into more dangerous situations with smugglers and harsh geography. The reward for legitimate commerce and travel in this environment is more costly, threatening and inconvenient. No question, we need to stop the flow of weapons and drugs, but the current tact is not working, and we need to rethink our policy.


Silva enmeshes the illegal trade of guns for drugs with the issue of regularizing kids who came to this country as babies with their parents. These children are not criminals. They have grown up in this country, gone to school here, identify as Americans and are ready to give back to this country. Often, they don't find out that they are not a citizen until it is time to apply for college or enter the military.

Morality and fair play aside, the economic reasons to regularize these children as U.S. citizens is a no-brainer. We want these children to stay here, work here, pay taxes here, buy a house here and raise their families here. If we don't do the right thing for these children, we will contribute to a growing underground class of people who live in the shadows of our society.

Patricia M. Goodman

Huntington Beach

Dream Act shouldn't be deferred

Jim Silva's Community Commentary on May 19 ("Amnesty for illegal immigrants not the answer") was disappointing in many ways. Illegal immigration is a complex issue with many angles. Reasonable people can differ on how to solve the problem, but Silva's denunciation of the Dream Act is a bridge too far.

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