Rita F. Silva: Secure borders, then fix immigration

May 5, 2014 

Regarding “To help farmers, pass immigration reform” (Opinions, April 30): Paul Wenger wrote an excellent article on immigration reform, and I agree with it 100 percent. The guest worker and E-Verify programs can be made to work properly.

What I don’t understand, is that whenever someone complains about the 11 to 12 million illegal immigrants in this country (and it could be more), they are told that we need them to do the jobs that Americans won’t do. If we already have millions of potential workers, why can’t the farmers get workers for their farms? Why do we need so many more? When amnesty was granted to millions in the 1980s, it was with the understanding that the borders would be closed. That didn’t happen. I don’t think the American people will accept amnesty again until the borders are secure; promises need to be kept.

I have no problem with giving the people who are here some kind of status so they can work legally, but citizenship needs to be the last step, not the first. Becoming an American citizen is a privilege, not a right, and amnesty is a slap in the face to all of the people who came here legally.

RITA F. SILVA

Los Banos

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