I share Don Castleman's frustrations (in his letter "Illegal immigration is costing taxpayers" published Friday, March 10, 2006) over the illegal immigrant problem. However, while the overt cost to our country is indeed enormous, Mr. Castleman's proposals would, in my opinion, be of no help and would, in addition, inflate the cost of living and make our country vulnerable to criticism of many of our friends in this world.
From a practical point of view, who would do the labor of these banished workers? The construction industry, the restaurant and hotel business, and agriculture all depend on these people. The cost to put American workers in those industries would be enormous.
From a philosophical point of view, what should we do with the children of these immigrants who are legal citizens of this country? Shall we cancel the laws that have given them citizenship and say, "Sorry, kids. We goofed on this one. Hasta la vista." (Ask the Japanese citizens interned in WWII about this.)
We must work hard to develop educational methods to make these youngsters proficient in our language. They can become hard-working citizens and add to the traditions and lore that Hispanics have long contributed, especially here in the Southwest.
The problem is enormous. The solutions are difficult. But, a wholesale sweeping out of the immigrant people is not the answer.
George Spears, Payson