Monday, July 30, 2007 posts column by Amy Gottlieb about immigration

A story on by columnist Amy Gottlieb is thought provoking. Her column addresses a recent Morristown protest invovling a group opposed to illegal immigration. She raises some points. Ms. Gottlieb said her impression was that, despite the public sentiments expressed by group organizers, there was a lot of feeling in the crowd that was against illegal immigrants rather than policy.

As an American, I can understand why Americans are upset that foreigners try to circumvent laws to come into this counttry, take jobs away from Americans and absorb benefits. But this problem is far more pervasive and widespread than I believe media communicates. A former Harlingen, Texas resident who has done stories about immigration in the 80s, I had seen local, state and federal authorities struggling with this chronic problem 20 years ago. It was not for wont of effort or expertise that the U.S. Border Patrol or INS (as it was known then) failed in this goal. They were swamped. Just the Southern Texas leg of this problem boggles the mind when it comes to the sheer number of Central American people who enter the U.S. illegally.

Yet, in fairness, the life these people are fleeing is terrible and, if the shoe were on the other foot, I may do the same if circumstance made me desperate enough (e.g. fleeing corrupt totalitarianism for a better future for myself and my family). Our respective families came to America, and some had these very reasons. Nevertheless, especially when entering a new country, its laws should be observed or there have to be consequences. But this is not an academic exercise. What these illegal immigrants go through to get to this country is, in some cases, a nightmare beyond description (being victimized by traffickers known as coyotes, among others).

This issue is a growing one, and I suppose it isn't going to be on the backburner anymore. There is going to be trouble about this situation, and I really do not believe I have heard a good solution to this issue. A major roadblock to solving this, I think, is that it is difficult to translate the border country in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and California to the rest of the country. Without having a real sense of the mechanical problems of stopping illegal immigration, I do not think a satisfactory answer is going to show up. Perhaps if the Army were deployed in great strengths (an infantry division or better along each border state?), augmenting existing border units and agencies, it would actually put a dent in illegal immigration.

Flimsy fences or giving amnesty doesn't seem to make sense. And right here in Central New Jersey, Monmouth County, illegal immigration is an issue. Where's this one going? No idea but I don't think it's going to get solved right now. Still, a good piece by Ms. Gottlieb. Click on the headline and go there.

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