Representatives of the Lowcountry Immigration Coalition stated in an April 22 letter, "the concept of 'round them up and send them back' is a xenophobic pipe dream."
The truth is that no one is really advocating that, although it should be noted that in the 1950s, former President Dwight Eisenhower did exactly that when 1 million illegal immigrants were deported in order to make jobs available to American veterans returning from Korea. This was accomplished without the technology we have now to find and locate people. In fact, not too many years ago, the federal government was able to find the exact farm and the exact cow infected with mad cow disease somewhere in Washington state.
However, a simpler solution exists. If the social safety net, which is meant to provide food stamps, WIC, subsidized housing, etc., to legal citizens, were made unavailable to people here illegally, they would self-deport as apparently many have with the economic slump we face today.
Meaningful comprehensive legislation would include mandating the use of E-Verify nationwide, punishing employers who employ illegal immigrants with heavy fines and jail time and making sure that all borders are secure before any consideration is given to what to do with the 20 million illegal immigrants already here.
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Maybe Congress can fool us once as they did with amnesty in 1986, which promised secure borders in return and then failed to deliver, but Congress should not be able to fool us twice.