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Here's why I regard today's May Day marches for illegal immigrants with suspicion. I think illegals are being used by dead-ender socialists and old anti-capitalist types who otherwise would have just been obscure college professors. Having said that, here's what I think is wrong with U.S. government policy on our borders.

First, we should have borders that are secure and are not just earning opportunities for gangs and smuggling thugs.

Second, we should let more Mexicans, for instance, into this country legally. Right now the legal number is about 175,000 while we know that more like 850,000 cross illegally. If there were more legal entry slots, more immigrants would be legal. Simple as that.

Third, it's OK to charge immigrants money to re-enter the country legally, a feature of one current immigration reform proposal. But this plan is too punitive. Someone who is now thinking about coming into this country illegally is often willing to pay a smuggler a few thousand dollars. The fee from the U.S. government shouldn't be higher. You don't want to make the smuggler a better deal.

On the other hand, when you see angry protests about this country by people who came here by sneaking in, it occurs to me this country has been very generous to illegals, in terms of providing a better living and a better life and more individual wealth. $11 billion is now sent home to Mexico every year and 45 percent of all Mexicans have a relative or a friend working in the United States.

To me this suggests that a country benefiting so richly and people who are able to help their families back home ought to be a little more understanding of their host country's citizens who would like to see their own laws obeyed. Laws against drunk driving for instance. The law against crossing the border without stopping to visit U.S. Customs, just for instance.

Immigrants have done great things for this country, but for the new arrivals to be part of an actual country it is not too much to expect it would have borders that are real and immigrants are legally permitted to be here.

That's My Word.

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