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FROM OUR READERS: Don’t polarize community over immigration debate

To the editor:

Once again the Review-Journal has offered up more stale arguments on the question of illegal immigration (Monday editorial). The local newspaper with not a single Hispanic on its editorial board is once again on the attack, politicizing the "illegal" issue to advance its own political agenda.

The Review-Journal has seized on the term "illegal" to buttress its arguments against community members who support the rights of undocumented immigrants. I give those individuals kudos for the willingness to speak truth to power no matter how unfashionable it has become.

Simply stated, immigration is the next great front of the civil rights struggle in this country, and your editorial points to the fact that there is an acute need for immediate and comprehensive immigration reform. Is it wrong that people broke the law to enter this country? Absolutely. But we must go beyond answering poll questions and formulate effective solutions.

Let’s look at the legality argument. There is a difference between legality, morality and rightness. Slavery was legal until 1865. Women could not vote in the United States until the beginning of the 20th century. African-Americans were segregated in schools until the 1954 Brown decision. Would the Review-Journal say that because these practices — slavery, segregation and the denial of a woman’s right to vote — were legal that these laws were right and moral? I would guess that the Review-Journal opposes slavery, segregation and voter disenfranchisement, but correct me if I’m wrong.

The fact that slavery, segregation and the denial of suffrage are a thing of the past points out the fact that our great nation corrects its direction when its citizens see injustice and error. A willingness to do the right thing and a commitment to provide the downtrodden with opportunity are mighty cornerstones upon which the United States was built and are centerpieces of the pro-immigrant supporters today.

The advocates for undocumented workers are seeking a rational solution to the illegal immigrant question. Many immigrants’ rights supporters advocate for a rational, earned path to naturalization where undocumented immigrants would have to learn English, pay back taxes and abide by our laws to become citizens. What does the Review-Journal propose?

Would the Review-Journal favor putting 12 million people on trains and sending them back across the border (a la Auschwitz)? Would you support a policy that would tear families apart and leave many children without parents to care for them? You certainly support denying bright students the opportunity to educate themselves and not only overcome poverty, but make our community a better place to live.

Those who support comprehensive immigration reform also support improving national security by means of tightening our borders, both north and south. Employers who knowingly hire these workers should be held accountable. If you remove the demand, the supply will dwindle.

The Review-Journal offers no solutions. It simply continues to polarize the community and create enmity for a whole class of people — legal or not. If anyone is playing a race card here, it is the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Rene Cantu


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