Original post made by Sue Kemp, Old Palo Alto, on Mar 23, 2007
I read Mr. Levy's article on immigration with great interest. It's such a knotty problem! I had a discussion with a good friend very recently and his only focus was on the word illegal. Nothing else matters to him. Not even when I told him I had read in the paper that west-coast agriculture was short 300,000 workers this past year, and that some crops rotted in the fields or on the trees and vines because there weren't enough workers to pick them at the time they were ready to harvest.
What can I say, I'm a Bush despiser, but I think the president's plan for the "undocumenteds" was as good a one as we're likely to get. A guest worker program, and a path to citizenship, even though an extremely lengthy and expensive path, are good ideas. Making criminals out of illegal immigrants is not economically intelligent, not to mention that it shows a total lack of compassion.
One last thing, because I resonated with the family problem Mr. Levy mentioned. I have been paying for tennis lessons for a 13-year-old who was born in the US. He lives with his stepfather, who is legal, and his mother, who I am not sure is legal. And there are four little siblings who were born here. The parents are great, hard-working people, giving their kids wonderful values, as well as tremendous opportunities because they are here. I don't want to break up that family!
I hope that the Congress can find a way to deal with this issue in a realistic and non-punitive way.