Letters to the Editor

Take tougher line on immigration

As a naturalized immigrant citizen of the United States, I am totally disgusted with the federal government's attempts to prevent Arizona from enforcing federal immigration laws.

There is a great irony in the fact that Mexico has very strict immigration laws.

Let me tell you what the government of the Netherlands, where I was born, does about immigration. Generally to emigrate to the Netherlands, foreign nationals must have secured a job in the country or be married to a Dutch citizen. Those who are denied immigrant status are put on an airplane with a few hundred euros to tide them over and sent home. There are of course those individuals denied immigration who go underground to avoid deportation. For the most part, the laws are clear and consistently enforced. The concept of "anchor babies," which arose from passage of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and provides that anyone born in the United States is a citizen, does not exist in the Netherlands.

With respect to languages, every Dutch child must learn four languages; Dutch and English are mandatory, and students choose two additional languages, generally from among German, Spanish, Italian and Latin. Dutch is the official language, period; all immigrants are required to learn Dutch and pass a test as a condition of immigrant status. Those who fail are deported. All tests, road signs and all official business transactions and documents are in Dutch. There is no such thing as "press 2 to hear this message in (another language)." I once lived in California and was disgusted to find out the driver's license written examination was available in Spanish, Chinese and several other languages, even though road signs are in English.

I believe that the continued and condoned illegal immigration in the United States is a serious threat to our nation and is the major contributory cause of the fiscal disasters that have occurred in states such as California and Arizona.

There are no simple and complete solutions. My suggestions include repealing the 14th Amendment, although not retroactively; completing a deterrent wall along our southern borders; adopting Arizona's approach on a national basis, and enforcing it; and staffing the southern borders to the extent that illegal immigration is seriously impaired. In addition, we should give up the ridiculous notion that illegal immigrants have rights. They don't have such rights in most other countries. The U.S. government could buy or charter five or so Airbus A-380 aircraft, and deport 5,500 illegal immigrants daily, assuming two round trip flights daily from Arizona and California for each airplane.

The cost savings associated with tough enforcement are almost immeasurable, in terms of medical care and other social services for illegal immigrants. The savings realized could be used to enhance the lives of legal residents and citizens.

The other meaningful step is, on a federal level, to require employers to ascertain legal immigration status, and sanction them when they don't. This is a fairly new law in South Carolina.

Some readers may feel I have oversimplified the problem and solutions; this may be somewhat true, but we have to start somewhere to fix this serious problem.

The writer lives in Longs.