Opinion Your Views — 03 June 2010

To the editor:

In her letter Immigration Solutions Must Reflect Our Values, (May 20, 2010), Lucero Beebe-Giudice of the group Tenants and Workers United cleverly attempts to mask the threat illegal immigrants pose in our society with the use of emotionally appealing words that evoke traditional American ideals.

She writes, the solutions [to immigration issues] should reflect our nations values and local law enforcement must remain unwavering in their commitment to making our communities safe.

Our American values cannot be selectively chosen and embraced. Respecting our nations border laws is as important a value as any, and entering America illegally is in fact a criminal act.
And despite Beebe-Giudices protestations, there is no bright line separating the impact of illegal immigrants on our society.

Ask the Alexandria cop if local gangs are only a federal problem. Ask an Alexandria teacher if non-English speaking students are only a federal problem. Ask the Alexandria emergency room physician if the flood of sick and injured undocumented immigrant patients crowding the hospital waiting room is only a federal problem.

And who is picking up the tab for all the services provided to a significantly large population of illegal immigrants? Certainly not the federal government, nor the illegal immigrants themselves.
No, it is us the local citizens who, through higher taxes and higher insurance costs, pay out of pocket.

Beebe-Giudice would like to keep immigration enforcement restricted to the federal level, knowing that such enforcement has been and likely always will be woefully inadequate. But all law enforcement officers are sworn to enforce all laws. An officer who has reasonable suspicion or probable cause to believe any law has been broken (federal, state or local) is duty-bound to act; to do otherwise is to become an accomplice to criminal behavior.

Brent Bahler
Alexandria

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