11/27/07 — Protection for all: Young man’s death a reason to think about immigration

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Protection for all: Young man’s death a reason to think about immigration

It is not a direct connection — the shooting death of Ernesto Delgado and the problem of illegal immigration.

Police just don’t know yet who pulled the trigger that left the 22-year-old slumped in his car, dead, on the eve of Thanksgiving Day.

But what they do know is that Delgado had just cashed his paycheck in advance of the holiday. Then, hours later, he was found in a ditch.

Those who knew him said he was a hard-working, good young man, bright and bilingual.

In fact, he was the English connection for this extended family who also live in the area.

So why bring up immigration when talking about such a tragic murder?

Easy. The reason to make a decision on some form of regulation regarding this political hot button of an issue is to help protect hard-working people who are trying to get ahead like Delgado and his family.

Those who follow the rules and work hard deserve the chance to become card-carrying Americans. They are just the kind of citizens we need more of here.

But those who shot Delgado could have been part of the other element — the law-breakers, who pay no attention to the laws of this country and do not fear the repercussions should they be caught violating them.

Many of these immigrants are deported back to their countries and sneak back in — continuing to ignore rules of law and decency.

No one knows for sure yet who shot Ernesto Delgado. It might have been an illegal or someone else.

But his death points to a lesson about protection that should be offered to citizens of all races and why monitoring immigration is so important.

This was a waste of a young life — and a lesson for all of us as we try to figure out what to do with the millions of illegal and legal immigrants in this nation.

Demanding higher standards to earn residency here, insisting on stricter border controls and other monitoring as well as requiring English language education for all are just a few of the ways we can turn visitors and fugitives into full-fledged citizens who earn their keep.

And stricter rules and resolve will allow us to get rid of the criminals who are not only breaking immigration laws, but who are causing other problems as well.

It will allow America to remain the land of opportunity and dreams for those willing to work hard to attain them. And that is all most of us want anyway.

That is a goal worth aspiring to achieve — and a way to make life easier and safer for future Ernesto Delgados.

Published in Editorials on November 27, 2007 10:52 AM