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Immigration reform, yes, executive action, no

Is the looming battle over immigration really about Congress' power to legislate immigration policy or about the president's power to set policy by executive order? I think it's the latter. But what really is at stake is the ability of Congress to deal effectively with the millions of illegal immigrants in this country. I only hope it will act, and soon.

On immigration, I tend to favor the president's plan, as long as it includes an effective control of our borders, but not his method of action.

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That millions of illegal immigrants are in this country, and have been for five years or more, is a serious problem. The failure to effectively guard our borders, pursue the undocumented immigrants and deport them is ours, and I favor action by Congress.

It is simply not reasonable to have allowed so many undocumented immigrants to live in this country, to raise families, pay taxes and otherwise conduct themselves responsibly, then break up those families through deportations.

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Obviously criminals should be deported. But it seems to me that most undocumented residents are paying their dues and should be cut a break. They should do what anyone else needs to do to become a citizen: learn about our culture and our laws and be able to speak, read and write English so they can take responsibility for themselves and their families.

Is that too much to ask? Good citizens are good for the country, and we need more of them.

What the president can and should do is actively encourage the leaders of the countries on our southern borders to deal with the causes of dissatisfaction in their own societies that force their citizens to undertake the risky process of entering the U.S. illegally.

Warren W. Updike, Towson

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