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Dear Editor:
Here in Southern California, we live in a world of immigrants, both legal and illegal. We see illegals every day, on the street corners of Orange County seeking construction work; in the homes as house cleaners and on the lawns of Newport Beach, trimming and mowing; in the fields of Irvine, performing stoop labor, jobs Americans do not want, or at least do not want at the wages, and with the lack of benefits, illegals receive. But do we really see these illegals as people - fathers, sons, brothers, mothers, daughters, sisters and grandparents? Those of us fortunate enough to have been born in the US can easily take a smug attitude toward immigration and especially toward those who have come to the US illegally, as economic refugees from the Southern Border, seeking wages for an honest day's work; a life unavailable to them, and opportunities they cannot achieve, in their countries of birth. It is easy to brand these people as law breakers and scoff laws, people to be held to a lesser level of respect. But it is not these people who are to blame. It is the leaders of the governments who have over decades, in fact, centuries, not provided their countries with the leadership needed to insure success, while at the same time becoming some of the wealthiest people in the world. As an immigration lawyer, I am asked on a weekly basis, by immigration hopefuls from around the world, "Why can't I get immigration benefits, when all these illegals are here working?", hostility frothing from their tone of frustration. A naive question, which I answer with a statement of truth and another question, "You can stay illegally. Would you like to be an illegal alien?" Regardless of the arguments pro or contra on the issues of US immigration, 245(i), guest worker programs or outright amnesty for law breakers, the reality is that while the economic scales between the US and all of its neighbors to the South remain so abysmally disparate, we will continue to see economic refugees, willing to risk all for the promise of a better life, coming accross the border, no matter how high we build the wall or how many Border Patrol or vigilantes patrol the fine line in the sand in the southern desert that defines where America begins and the rest of the world ends. But is the life an illegal alien finds in the US really better than the life he or she left behind, or is it just another set of hardships?

David D. Murray, Esq.
Newport Beach, CA