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SOUNDING OFF:Immigrants help the community

Moto Suzuki was a barber at Wally’s in downtown Laguna for many years, before passing away. When he was a little boy his Japanese family was given 48 hours to pack up and show up to be sent to a concentration camp for the duration of World War II.

After amnesty in the ‘80s, the central government had no sensible, legal way for immigrants to become workers and citizens and therefore we have 12 million so-called “illegals.”

I am a goon if I picket in favor of our Day Labor Center in Laguna canyon. One mantold me immigrants will destroy our democracy. Recent studies say just the opposite.

Immigrants who arrived in California between 1990 and 2004 increased wages for native workers, because immigrants generally perform complementary rather than competitive work.

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As immigrants filled lower-skilled jobs, they pushed native Californians up the economic ladder. Immigrant men ages 18 to 39 had a incarceration rate five times lower than native born citizens.

Among men of Mexican descent, 0.7% of those foreign born were jailed, compared to 5.9% of native born. Experts say immigrants clearly benefit U.S. residents and are being unfairly scapegoated for problems they don’t cause.

Moto Suzuki isn’t the only person sent away because of hysterical words. Throughout our history there have been many who ranted and raved against Italians, Asians, Irish, Blacks, hippies, Germans, gays, lesbians and even artists.

Besides, the Supreme Court has already said day laborers can seek work anywhere in Laguna — if they want — and Laguna’s municipal ordinance against it is illegal: Now who’s illegal?

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  • ROGER CARTER lives in Laguna Beach.

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