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TUESDAY, APRIL 11, 2006
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EDITORIAL

Immigration: Sometimes simplest solution is the best

When the Mexican national women's soccer team played against Duke University in Decatur on Sunday, an estimated five out of every six spectators were Hispanic. While spectators sang the Mexican national anthem with mucho gusto, they ignored "The Star Spangled Banner."

"We can say, 'Viva United States,' too, but our heart is Mexican," explained Maria Chavez, 40, who came to the United States from Mexico more than 20 years ago.

After spending more than half her life here, she makes pretense about her allegiance.

At least she said the words in English.

The United States' borders currently contain an estimated 12 million foreigners here illegally. The U.S. Border Patrol doesn't have enough manpower to prevent illegal border crossings. The Immigration and Naturalization Service is unable to track those who enter the country illegally to fill job vacancies. If INS does come across an illegal foreigner, it is usually unable to deport him or her.

As a result, our education and health care systems are pushed beyond their resources; millions of undocumented aliens are driving automobiles without licenses (or insurance) and driving wages down; and a burgeoning black market for forged documents allows foreigners to, among other things, obtain the skills necessary to fly commercial airliners into crowded buildings.

President Bush and Congress have proposed a number of solutions that are so complicated as to be ludicrous. The INS and Border Patrol can't enforce the existing rules, which are fairly straightforward. How could they possibly enforce the red-tape nightmare that they propose?

Does Congress think those who have been here illegally for so long will suddenly turn themselves in? Or that employers will voluntarily begin to weed illegals from their payrolls?

The simplest solutions are often the best solutions.

Secure the borders and enforce existing immigration and employment laws.

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