US should halt run for the border

Regarding the opinion-page article ``A Borderline Proposal,'' May 25: California's 1994 ballot initiative to cut off nonemergency benefits to illegal aliens is a right step.

The 14th Amendment was never intended to grant ``equal protection'' to foreign nationals who enter the United States unlawfully. Those quick to cite the amendment's equal-protection clause should also review Article IV, Section IV, of our Constitution, which requires the American government to protect each of the states against invasion. Illegal immigration is an invasion, and the US Border Patrol should have military backup, when necessary, to halt it.

Regarding possible harassment of lawful US residents having ``a particular complexion or hair color'': Tough enforcement of the employer-sanctions law and a secure work-authorization system to keep illegals out would reduce the problem. Not surprisingly, most Latinos favor these laws. In the job market, these people are the ones most likely to face competition from undocumented workers. In fact, most complaints to federal authorities are from Latinos and Asian-Americans edged out by illegal aliens.

Immigration is a privilege, not a right. The immigrant heritage we value is based on lawful entry, not border-crashing. Allowing illegal entrants to cut in line ahead of lawful newcomers who wait their turn is grossly unfair and makes a mockery of our laws.

Unless we deal squarely with this issue now, a moratorium on immigration may be the only remedy left. America was built on the ideals of freedom, personal responsibility, hard work, and fair play - not handouts. Jim Hastings, Boston

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