State Is Sailing Toward a Crisis on Immigration

Beverly Antel lives in Torrance.

I am a native Angeleno who was born in this city more than 50 years ago and has lived here ever since. Over the years, I have witnessed firsthand the effects of unchecked illegal immigration in California and can no longer remain silent on this issue. I believe we need to start enforcing our immigration laws to limit the number of people coming into the state.

Let me tell you about myself to dispel any notion that I’m racist because of this stance. I am an African American woman of mixed ethnic ancestry whose parents encouraged her to embrace diversity from a very early age. I attended integrated schools in the San Fernando Valley. I have friends of every color and stripe. My deceased husband was Caucasian. My mother is married to a man from the Philippines. And my brother’s girlfriend is a Latina.

This issue is not about race; it’s about fairness.

For years, liberal policy wonks have told us that illegal immigration is good for our economy. They sit in their high-rise think tanks in Brentwood and Century City and pontificate that the benefits of immigrants’ cheap labor outweigh the price we pay to have these people here.


But let’s open our eyes and use common sense when assessing the costs to our communities. Crowded schools, crammed emergency rooms, high-density housing, gridlocked roadways, pollution, crime, depressed wages -- are they worth the extra 50 cents we might save on a head of lettuce or a bunch of grapes? I don’t think so.

And I refuse to stand by and watch my beloved California go the way of the Titanic. Everyone wanted to sail on that mighty vessel. But when it got in trouble, no one seemed to notice at first or grasp the seriousness of the situation. Then the ship started to sink, and the commoners below were the first to drown.

That’s us, people. The ultra-wealthy Westsiders, the corporate moguls and the special- interest politicians don’t care about the hoi polloi on the lower decks.

Instead, Democrats want to cram more bodies into steerage, give them driver’s licenses and move them toward de facto legalization to swell party ranks. Republicans want cheap labor for their factories. And who suffers? We do, the working stiffs whose taxes go to pay for all these extra people.

California is in trouble. We’re up to our hips in red ink, and we’re steadily taking on more passengers.

Write your representatives in Sacramento to tell them that they had better start considering the needs of their constituents first. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was put in office because of a middle-class revolt. Surely, unchecked illegal immigration carries the potential to incite another.