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Dialogue, continued from page 2 grants have taken advantage of their terms. As long as there is the prospect of more amnesties, more persons will continue to seek illegal entries. What do they have to lose? It is way past time to make worksite enforcement the “center piece” of the nation’s strategy for stopping illegal immigration. Jobs in the United States are reserved for those eligible to be hired: they are the native born and those who have become naturalized citizens as well as permanent resident aliens and other holders of specific visas that allow them to be employed. This is what the existing law says. Rigid enforcement of these terms by fines on employers \(and possible imprisonment of repeat offendthe job market from attracting illegal immigrants. Attrition should lead many illegal immigrants to go home on their own once they realize that employers will no longer hire them. Deportation should be relied upon for the remainder. But, in any event, the message should be clear: Illegal immigrants will not have the option of working. It will only be then that the American work force can be protected from such unfair competition; the American taxpayers can be assured that they are paying for the human resource development of their own citizens and eligible workers; and international policy can be turned to addressing the other root factorsoverpopulation, corrupt governments, human rights violations, trade barriersthat force so many persons to abandon their homelands. Vernon M. Briggs, Jr. Professor Cornell University Ithaca, NY On the eve of the ninth anniversary of Esequiel Hernandez’s murder, President Bush announced that as many as 6,000 National Guard troops would be dispatched to states along the Mexican border. Today I read that the Guard troops would mostly serve two-week stints before rotating out of the assignment. Keeping the force level at 6,000 over the course of a year could require up to 156,000 troops. As President Bush calls for deployment of the National Guard to our borders I’m asking everyone to remember two words: Esequiel Hernandez. Esequiel was 18 when he was shot and killed by Marines while herding his goats in Redford, Texas, on May 20th, 1997. President Bush’s plan is all sounding too familiar. Let’s not let them forget Esequiel. Kym Beckwith Flippo Terlingua LOCKDOWN/LOCKOUT I am pleased that my new book, Lockout: Why America Keeps Getting Immigration Wrong When Our Prosperity Depends on Getting It Right, gave Beatrice Edwards so much to think about in her review essay in your May 5 Immigration Issue [“Lockdown Americal . I very much hope that the book continues to provoke a broader discussion since immigration touches on so many aspects of life in this country. As Lockout makes clear, the growing economic and social disparities in this country are part of the reason that immigration has become such a hot-button issue. It also goes into great detail about America’s failings toward her own citizens as well as toward the immigrants upon whom we depend. It shows how the abuses of immigrants hurt American workers in turn. And it confronts head-on Patrick Buchanan’s and Samuel Huntington’s odes to an America where race and ethnicity ought rightfully to be a basis for inclusion or exclusion. Yet readers of Ms. Edwards’ essay are likely to come away with exactly the opposite impression. It is baffling how she could have read Lockout as an argument in favor of nativism, when in fact it documents a history of mistreatment of immigrants and critiques the ill-begotten arguments of nativists from Madison Grant \(author of The Passing of the Great Race, which earned him fan mail from For her to imply that the book ignores the fact that the new immigrants who come here are not white is not only inaccurate but just plain silly. And, despite her repetition of the old saw that the European immigrants of the 18801920 Great Wave were able to blend into American society because they were white, at the time Slavic, Eastern European, and Mediterranean newcomers were only regarded as white on paper. Congress commissioned a series of studies to “prove” that they were racially inferior. By no means do I intend to suggest that race is not a major factor in the immigration debate. However, it will become less so with time, just as happened over the course of the last century. What is more, prejudice is based as muchif not more soon class than on race. Just look at the way that Chinese and South Asian high-skilled immigrants have achieved positions at the heights of business and society. Nor, as Ms. Edwards says, does .the book focus on American consumers to the exclusion of workers. Indeed there is an entire chapter all about “American Jobs,” which analyzes many of the major recent studiesboth pro and conon the impact of immigration on the American economy and workers. It also makes clear that America must address our failings to educate U.S. workers and to provide them with the protections they need. Lockout does not, in fact, insist that America is “completely terrific,” in Ms. Edwards’ words. To the contrary, it criticizes Americans for taking for granted that people from other countries will want to come here no matter whatin other words, that America is a “Chosen” place. Despite America’s many failings, it remains hard to think of another country that has provided more opportunities or offers such a sense of possibility. Lockout argues that America’s failure is to have forgotten our ideals and the ways that we turn those ideals into reality. Without a positive way to say who we are, we fall victim to the nativists who want to define us by pushing away others”If you’re not with us, then you’re against us.” Lockout opens a discussion of what “with us” should mean. Michele Wacker New York, NY 16 THE TEXAS OBSERVER JUNE 2, 2006