California's scapegoat

Regarding the article ``In Immigration, Lawmakers See Source of California's Problems,'' Feb. 17: I appreciate the coverage the Monitor has given to the plight of California. I learn more from the Monitor than from the local press - especially concerning the immigration crisis, which seems to be taboo here. Perhaps it is because our local editors subscribe to the rationale that a political scientist echoes in the article: ``No politician in the state will let [immigration] go away because they need a scapegoat for why the California budget is so far out of whack.''

Although leaders are evidently gaining popularity with their stand against illegal immigration, the critics are using the issue of voter enticement as the real scapegoat. How can the unregulated influx of so many rootless people be overlooked as a cause for grave political concern? Our political critics have little regard for the government's responsibility to maintaining the integrity of our borders. Certainly a rational government protects what it deems a desirable rate of immigration.

Yet some seem to think that we are a nation of unlimited opportunity. Perhaps this explains why so many contemporary reports on our country's immigration legacy forget to distinguish between the millions of immigrants who legally entered the US at the turn of the century and the present masses who enter by stealth. Anthony Nispel, San Jose, Calif.

Your letters are welcome. For publication they must be signed and include your address and telephone number. Only a selection can be published, and none acknowledged. Letters should be addressed to ``Readers Write,'' and can be sent by Internet E-mail (200 word maximum) to OPED@RACHEL.CSPS.COM, by fax to 617-450-2317, or by mail to One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115

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