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ID Cards and Immigration

* Gov. Pete Wilson’s proposal to require all citizens and legal residents to carry an ID card (Sept. 10) is so bad and so wrong that it must be classified as idiotic or worse. Coming from a leader of a so-called “free people,” a leader who has sworn to uphold the Constitution, it may well be criminal for him to even suggest it. That he has suggested it should alert all Californians that we may have a man at the helm who has buckled and lost his ability to reason.

His contention is that illegal residents have forged green cards, passports and other documents to such an extent that the only solution is to require everyone, all of us, to carry government-issued ID cards. (These cards of course would somehow be forgery-proof.)

He is proposing a license to live and function as a citizen in America. He would begin by fining everyone $70 for not already having this ID/license. God help us. The next thing you know they will want to take our guns.

IVOR BARTELL

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Rancho Santa Margarita

* If your bathroom is flooding your house, you can try to build a wall around it, you can learn to live with soggy feet, or you can go in and turn off the faucet. This point seems to have been missed in all the discussion of immigration and Wilson’s recent proposals.

Overpopulation has forced grinding poverty on the people of Mexico. Naturally they are fleeing. But having overwhelmed their own country’s resources, they are now threatening to overwhelm our resources as well.

We can’t blame anyone for being born. But we can and should blame governments which have no policy to encourage and help people to have small families.

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As a condition for approval of NAFTA, we should demand that the Mexican government adopt a vigorous family planning program--which we will happily pay for.

ALLAN BEEK

Newport Beach

* I am appalled that the state Senate and Assembly would vote overwhelmingly for a bill sponsored by Sen. Alfred E. Alquist (D-San Jose) to prohibit the issuance of driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants (Sept. 10). When the state government cannot afford to pay for current programs, why is it volunteering to be a second Immigration and Naturalization Service? If enacted and signed by the governor, this law will not have a noticeable effect on illegal immigration (people come here for jobs, not to drive cars or trucks) but it will saddle the DMV with an expensive and impossible task. The INS can take years to determine whether someone is here legally--why should DMV have greater expertise?

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Even if the program successfully denied illegals licenses, many illegals would drive anyway--without properly registering their vehicles or obtaining liability insurance. The rest of us would be more likely to be hit by uninsured motorists and face higher costs for uninsured motorist coverage. Since there is no evidence that illegals pose any particular driving risk, they should be allowed to qualify for licenses like anyone else.

Even if one agrees with Wilson’s other policies for dealing with illegals, this bill is stupid, shortsighted and expensive.

STEPHANIE NORDLINGER

Los Angeles

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* In regard to the remarks made by Mexico’s Foreign Relations Secretary Fernando Solana, in which he opines that illegal aliens are abused and the victim of human rights violations (Sept. 11):

I’d like to have some of the abuse we heap upon Mexican aliens, such as food stamps, welfare money, housing allowance, free education and Medi-Cal.

MIKE COMBS

Trona, Calif.

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* Re “Immigration: The Problem Is Federal Rules,” Column Right by Tom Bethell, Sept. 12:

Bethell has laid out clearly the arguments regarding granting citizenship to children born here to illegal aliens, but he stops short of supporting amending the Constitution, saying perhaps all we need is a change in the federal rules regarding eligibility for federal benefits. But there is another reason why only a change in the Constitution will suffice.

Under current immigration law, every American citizen is eligible to sponsor his or her parents for immigration as an “immediate relative of an American citizen” once the child has reached the age of 21. Those parents, if elderly or disabled, are then eligible for a host of federal benefits, including SSI and Medicare. Thus, indigent parents who are successful in giving birth in this country today can assure themselves of future benefits. Currently, individuals on SSI in some cases receive more than others who have retired on regular Social Security after having worked in this country for many years. I doubt this scenario was envisioned by the authors of the 14th Amendment.

GEORGE TYNDALL

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Los Angeles

* If the people of this land had always had a policy of rejecting “boat people” refugees, whatever would have become of the pilgrims?

WALT HOPMANS

Santa Barbara

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