Readers React: The real immigration problem for Trump to fix is overstaying visas, not illegal border crossings

A truck drives on the U.S. side of the border with Mexico in Jacumba, Calif., on Friday.
(Sandy Huffaker / AFP/Getty Images)

To the editor: President Trump has masterly shifted the direction of our immigration issues toward south of the border and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to achieve his political agenda. (“Mattis authorizes up to 4,000 National Guard troops for U.S. border with Mexico,” April 7)

Instead, we should really focus on visa overstays. Hundreds of thousands of visitors to the United States violate their visa stay requirements annually, dwarfing the number of illegal immigrants coming from south of the border.

The Trump administration has stated visa overstays account for a tiny percentage of the tens of millions of people who visit the U.S. every year. Yet illegal border crossings are “significantly lower” as visa overstays rise.


Trump is willing to spend millions of tax dollars to send National Guard troops to our southern border to manipulate us into focusing on his wall instead of addressing the real issues with our immigration laws and procedures. This reckless manipulation must stop.

Steven Apodaca, Whittier


To the editor: The immigration debate is the least informed public discussion of my lifetime. Ink spills over the electoral calculus and over insoluble questions like whether immigrants add more to the economy than they subtract, while the key impact of today’s high immigration level is ignored: It forces America’s population to grow even though Americans have small enough families to reduce the population.

Now that the United States ranks as the third-highest populated country on Earth, I hope Americans reconsider the wisdom of importing population growth, while California still has some prime farmland that has not been bulldozed into housing tracts, and some groundwater to irrigate that farmland.

The Constitution says it was adopted to “secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.” Do Americans still care about future generations?

Kenneth Pasternack, Santa Barbara


To the editor: I have no problem with President Trump deploying the National Guard. It’s just that the location is all wrong.

Instead of being sent to the U.S.-Mexico border, the troops should be reassigned to California’s Central Valley to assist with agricultural operations.

Joe Kevany, Mount Washington


To the editor: The United States and other countries will have to help Mexico and its neighbors to the south build their economies and rid themselves of corruption. This, unfortunately, will not happen quickly.

In the meantime, we must maintain our vigilance in guarding our borders. We must continue to return people here illegally to their home countries, where they may apply, like everyone else in the world, to come to the United States legally.

Robert Miller, Sherman Oaks

Follow the Opinion section on Twitter @latimesopinion and Facebook.