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Fri, Feb. 22
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Law enforcement is key to illegal problem

President Bush, Sens. Kyl and McCain and Rep. Renzi:

I heard yesterday of Secretary Ridge floating the proposal that a way must be found to give "legal status" to the approximately 12 million aliens who are in this country illegally. From my vantage point, they already have a defined legal status and that is "illegal."

Reportedly after granting this legal status, the government would follow a policy of firm enforcement to control future immigration.

As I recall, during the '80s this country granted immunity to all illegal immigrants who had been in this country for a specified number of years with a promise that it would implement strict control of the border in the future. It is obvious to anyone who was paying attention that the federal government had no intention of enforcing immigration laws then and has not done so since.

As a retired California peace officer I can attest to the fact that the quickest way to promote the violation of a law is to fail to enforce it. This country, at its highest levels, has made a mockery of our immigration laws by failing to enforce these laws vigorously. It is common knowledge throughout the world that we do not have the stomach to pre-vent illegal immigration.

In light of the War on Terrorism, there is no excuse to continue to ignore illegal aliens sneaking across our borders and then, once they have gotten a few miles past the border, ignoring them and letting them disappear into the subculture of the immigrant communities.

In case you have failed to clearly understand my position on this proposal, it is outrageous. I suggest that we muster not only the required personnel but also the intestinal fortitude to track down every "illegal" in this country and immediately deport them while simultaneously stationing the military along the border to reinforce the Border Patrol and stop this flood of illegals.

The only reason we are now experiencing the problems the hoard of illegal aliens is causing in this country is because the federal government's total abdication of its responsibility to protect our borders. From what I have read, 70 percent of the populace support a firm and enforced immigration policy. Isn't it about time the government began to listen to our citizens? We proclaim to the world that "we are a nation of laws," what a farce!

When I read of proposals such as this coming from your administration I wonder if I have misplaced my support for the Republican Party and specifically for your presidency.

(Oliver Taylor is a Prescott resident and former peace officer.)

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