Reagan granted amnesty. Obama abstained his first four years. And much ado in Washington - again - over a broken immigration system.
But for millions of immigrants who became citizens during the turn of the century, the system worked. My Dutch father, born in South Africa, and my grandparents for example, arrived in 1905. My father was six. Being steerage class - those folks stowed below - the three were processed through the Immigration Center - that huge “barn-like structure” built on Ellis Island. The “Island Of Hope.”
Possessing the twenty-five U.S. dollars required by law, sound of mind and body (and lice), the three were granted entry. After a journey of eight thousand miles, they had reached the Promised Land.
Now, a full century later, eleven million illegal immigrants mostly Hispanic - on top of the three million receiving amnesty in 1986 - live among us. They’re good people with strong family values and a strong work ethic. We should welcome them. But this time, let’s get it right: create some form of legal status while in line, enforce the proper and necessary steps to citizenship, calibrate the need for the skilled and unskilled, and enact - and enforce - appropriate E-Verification.
Either we’re a nation of laws, or we’re not.
BILL HARDER, SR., Auburn