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Los Angeles Times

Granting legal status for undocumented immigrants will increase competition in workforce

I'm old enough to remember the 1986 amnesty for undocumented immigrants ("Citizen status is seen for millions," Jan. 28).

I recall it was guaranteed never to happen again and the matter was settled. Now, nearly three decades later, we're back at square one. Millions apparently will be pardoned and soon wending their way to citizenship.

I was surprised by Vice President Joe Biden's recent comment at this month's congressional swearing in ceremony. He stated that the Latinos "are the center of the future of this nation." I found this remark in a Spanish language newspaper distributed around Fells Point, but I never saw it in any English publication.

The number of people who might receive legal status are triple the number granted amnesty in 1986 under the Ronald Regan plan. This will create an enormous shift in America's demographics and will have a major impact on our workforce. So far, those in the country in violation of immigration statutes have worked jobs "Americans won't do" and often below the minimum wage. Now that millions will be granted legal status, I wonder if they plan to continue in this line of employment. If my logic holds, the newly legalized will compete for the same jobs as the rest of us.

What will happen to the country 30 years from now, when the next "legalization" is offered? I have no idea, but fortunately, I won't live long enough to see it.

Roz Ellis, Baltimore

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
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