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Change nation’s immigration laws

I hope U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D−N.Y.) will grow into her new position, learn the needs and wishes of her constituency and earn my vote in the 2010 election by changing her position on immigration.

I am a white, second−generation, native−born American, but I can never forget that all four of my grandparents were immigrants. My grandfathers came here illegally, sneaking across borders in Europe that were closed to Jews trying to escape the tyranny of czarist Russia. Although they entered this country legally, they broke laws in Europe to get here and pursue their dreams of a better life.

But it is not just for humanitarian reasons, although they are important, that we must have an amnesty policy for illegal immigrants and a policy that lets new immigrants come here, too.

Vast segments of American industry and agriculture rely on the labor of illegal immigrants and the raids and restrictions of the former Bush administration have hurt these vital sectors of our economy. In addition, the focus of resources on stopping illegal immigrants has hurt our country’s efforts to stop drug trafficking. So all of us pay dearly, in multiple ways, for this ill−advised anti−immigration policy.

I hope Gillibrand will take leadership in changing our immigration laws so that illegal immigrants can become American citizens.

David R. Yale

Bayside

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