The Newsday editorial "Immigration at the forefront" [Jan. 30] supports an amnesty program -- called "a path to citizenship" -- for more than 11 million illegal immigrants. This is a bad idea.
In 1986, more than 3 million illegal immigrants were granted legal status in what was to be a one-time amnesty program. In exchange, there was to be a tightening of the borders and strict enforcement of laws to prevent illegal immigrants from working. We now know what the government definition of "one-time" is. Now, as the editorial notes, we have 11 million more illegal immigrants.
The United States cannot continue to act as a safety valve for foreign countries. Mexico and other countries should take care of their own people. Mexico is rich in natural resources such as oil.
The great majority of people entering this country illegally are poor and uneducated. Here, their children receive an education, and they can get free health care. These illegal immigrants are holding down the wages and taking the jobs of U.S. citizens. Minority and working class citizens are the ones who suffer. The people who benefit are those who employ illegal immigrants.
We are told we have to be compassionate and that we cannot separate families. Well, we did not force these people to come here, and they are more than welcome to go home to the families they willingly left behind.
If we have another amnesty -- excuse me, a "path to citizenship" -- how long will it be before the next 11 million come?
Robert F. LaPorta, Dix Hills