It was good to be back with you after a couple of weeks off. As I mentioned, I spent some time in Los Angeles and was impressed with the fact that so much attention was being paid there to the immigration debate in Washington. I made an off-handed reference that "the folks" out on the left coast did not often pay much attention to Capitol Hill debate. A few California viewers correctly called me on that statement. I want to correct the record: What I meant to suggest is that local news organizations in L.A. don't often present much Hill news to the viewers there. I believe that to be an accurate statement based on personal observations. I said it badly — thanks to those of you who called me on it.
Here is a sample of some of the letters we received on Sunday about the immigration debate.
Joe from Alabama writes:
This topic is very difficult. As a small business owner I am for sponsored citizenship. The fact is that there is no legal working class in this country. If immigrants work and pay, or, have paid taxes for four years, pass an English test, and pass immigration tests, they should not have to return to their country of origin. The "gotcha" here is that oversight is necessary to make sure that it is sponsorship, not ownership.
Here's Gayle from Colorado:
"Cracking down" is meaningless until we have effective, strongly enforced borders and border laws. After the borders are made permanently strong and effective, we can fix the other problems; not a second before.
This may require removing George W. Bush from office, since he is emotionally incapable of strengthening our borders, and instead works deliberately to weaken them. Strong borders are an absolute requirement to protect Americans from terrorist attacks. With the porous to non-existent borders, George W. Bush has makes us almost defenseless.
Here is an interesting note from Clay:
Has anyone looked into the ability for a U.S. citizen to move to Mexico? I looked into retirement in Mexico and found it almost impossible. Essentially a U.S. citizen cannot get a work visa in Mexico. In order to get an extended stay Visa (retirement), one must prove financial worthiness in U.S. bank, otherwise you must return every 6 months. Mexico makes it practically impossible to move there, but they want it easy to get here. What's up with that?
A viewer from Dallas took the time to write this lengthy essay:
A crackdown on immigration would improve my life considerably, both economically and in terms of quality of life issues.
Dallas, where I have lived all of my life, now has the highest crime rate in the country, thanks — in substantial part — to illegal immigration. Texas schools are so crowded with the children of illegal immigrants that our taxes are out of sight, education is in disarray, and our state legislature is in yet another special session to resolve the crisis. (I personally know teachers who are changing professions because so many children in their classrooms cannot speak English.)
The demand for services in our county hospital has put it in crisis, and also caused considerable increases in hospital taxes. We have serious public health problems with diseases imported from Mexico and elsewhere that were once under control or virtually eliminated entirely.
Because of illegal immigration, drug problems are much worse, gang problems are much worse, counterfeiting is worse, and the costs to law enforcement and incarceration facilities are constantly increasing, thereby increases those taxes. Texas border towns, once wonderful places to visit, are now armed camps.
But, possibly even more damaging is the concern that our country has lost control of the security of its borders, we're more vulnerable to terrorism, respect for the rule of law has been seriously diminished, and our political leaders in Washington and elsewhere seem deaf to the vast majority of Americans who want this problem actually solved, and quickly. It feels like no one is listening.
I do not at all oppose immigration. In fact, I believe it is a source of pride and strengthens our country. But, I totally oppose illegal immigration, and rewarding with amnesty those who jumped ahead in line and stole their residency in our country by illegal means.
And finally there is this from Molly, also from Dallas:
I am a teacher in Texas and I can honestly tell you that a crackdown on illegals would definitely change my life for the better. It would make my workload much lighter, and prevent an overload of paperwork and daily headaches. I have so many kids who can't speak English, and they have no desire to because everything now is in Spanish and they are catered to down here in Texas. I have kids who won't pledge allegiance to the American flag. They eat free lunches at school, though, and if they can't afford school uniforms, the schools buy them for them. I'm a single mother and I struggle to make ends meet. There is no free lunch for my kids, or free medical care. I remain depressed about this situation on a daily basis.
Well, thank you for you many letters. Hope you'll join me next week for the Sunday edition of "Weekend Live."
“Weekend Live” hosted by Brian Wilson airs 12 – 2 p.m. ET on Sundays.
Send your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brian Wilson is a congressional correspondent for FOX News and anchor of the Sunday edition of "Weekend Live."