Your article An Immigrant Underground – Los Angeles Times describes how illegal immigrants use the San Diego storm drainage system to be smuggled into the U.S.
At one point your article describes a situation in the following manner relating to one of the illegal immigrants using a storm drain "The black sludge reached Reyes’ chin as he crawled through the shoulder-width tube. Rats scurried by. Terrified of losing his way in the darkness, Reyes reached for the illegal immigrant in front of him and clutched his sneaker".
One can only attempt to imagine how deplorable things are in Mexico for these people to go to the extremes that they do to get here. The present debate in Congress and around the U.S. must answer the question " what responsibility does the U.S. have to lighten the burdens of these deplorable conditions in Mexico.
I guess the question must also be asked "what responsibility does Vicente Fox and his government have to address these conditions?". Right now, Fox seems satisfied to push these gigantic social and economic problems into the U.S.
In this country the battle lines are fairly clear. Grant amnesty to a large number of the 11-12 million illegal immigrants through various things they must do to "earn" the right to be here( an impossible task to administer), or treat these people as unwelcome trespassers and send them back home as they are identified–keeping them in the "shadows", and punishing their employers. An equally daunting task.
The argument for amnesty points to the great good these illegal aliens do here, and how much we have become dependent on them for our economic survival. The argument for deporting them points to the need to uphold the laws of the land, and the huge drain that these people cause from our educational, medical, and welfare systems.
In the end the American people must decide what is the right thing to do for this country–what values we hold in the highest regard.
William R. Jack