An important distinction
I agree with some of Sen. Leahy’s comments on immigration in The Times Argus (June 27). America was built by immigrants, we are all descendants of immigrants, even the American Indians were immigrants, albeit a long, long time ago.
Leahy’s speech is all about how we need immigrants, how immigrants want a better life for themselves and their children, how his family prospered as immigrants, how the United States is made stronger by the diverse cultural background their being here provides, etc. All very true.
However, Leahy failed to add one important word before each time he mentioned immigrants. That word is “legal.” All of his references to immigrants apply to legal immigrants. The federal government has chosen to ignore enforcement of the laws enacted to protect our borders for decades, allowing a flood of illegal immigrants to enter our country and causing our present dilemma. Leahy was in office during the entire period of time this was allowed to happen.
The number of illegal immigrants now residing here is estimated to be in excess of 10 million to 12 million, a huge number, over 14 times the population of the state of Vermont. The population of our country has more than doubled since I was a child growing up in Vermont in the 1940s. How many more can we accommodate?
We are already one of the worst polluters of the world, what with our affluent way of living. Our streets and highways are clogged from the overabundance of people, especially in the northeastern part of the country. Our air is polluted, and we are running out of water and new sources of energy. Allowing unlimited numbers of illegal immigrants to continue flooding our borders is not the answer to the problem. By protecting our borders and deporting those who manage to get here illegally, we can control the numbers who enter.
Leahy’s appeal to our sympathy for those who seek a better life by emigrating to America is touching, but let it be controlled and legal.
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