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Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Scapegoating immigrants won't help North County Times - North San Diego and Southwest Riverside County News

Scapegoating immigrants won't help North County Times - North San Diego and Southwest Riverside County News

Contrary to right-wing propaganda, two forms of identification will be needed for a license. The license will not qualify them to vote or to receive for welfare.

I'd be hard pressed to believe that Wyland could deny that undocumented workers have been working for many of his constituents for a long time.

I am more inclined to believe he wrote his piece to reinforce a "law and order" image to his voting audience by scapegoating the immigrants. If he really believes that "illegal aliens" living and working in his district are a real problem that would get worse if they acquire driver's licenses, he should ask his constituents to refrain from hiring undocumented workers, because it is illegal. He should also write letters to his congressman, and encourage his constituents to do the same, to point out the urgent need to reform immigration laws.

Denying immigrants driver's licenses will not force them to go back. It's just vindictive. They will just continue doing what they have to do, and employers will continue to love it. Immigrants are the closest thing to free help.

Wyland tried to instill fear by repeating the right-wing mantra that a terrorist could somehow use a driver's license to "murder innocent Americans?"

The terrorists of 9-11 were Islamic. I do not believe that a terrorist would want to have his fingerprints taken if he ever applies for a license .

Wyland espouses a vigilante mentality on illegal immigration, saying we must "exercise real control over our borders" as a long-term solution to stop it.

Insanity has been defined as doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. The president of the National Border Patrol Council, T.J. Bonner, has a more realistic outlook. In a recent interview in the newspaper, La Opinion, Bonner said, "As long as the businesses that employ undocumented workers are not punished, the flow of these people will continue."

He added: "If I had to, I'd probably go to the place where the pay is much higher, too."

So how about trying something different to control immigration rather than demonizing immigrants? How about reforming our immigration laws, issuing forgery-proof work permits and punishing the employers who are breaking the law.

Ruben G. Fierro lives in Solana Beach.

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